Riders’ Lives ~ Grayson Perry

1. What was your first motorcycling experience?

I think it was a Honda Cub in a farmers field in the early seventies. I froze in fear and couldn’t turn and rode into a ditch.

2. What is your current bike?

I have a beautiful custom Harley called the Flying Bogey built by Shaw’s Harley Davidson and a KTM 690 supermoto.

3. What bike would you most like to ride/own?

I’d like a full blown psychedelic chopper by one of the old school  US builders like Rick Fairless.

4. Hairiest moment on a bike?

Riding the AM1 a huge hard tail custom built as an artwork by Battistini’s round the Nurburgring. The bike is a monster to ride and even at sixty was a total handful round that tracks twists and turns, I almost lost it. The bike was so difficult to control and cost so much to build it made every ride a terrifying challenge.

5. What was your most memorable ride?

God so many, my wife and I crossed the USA in 1991 on a Goldwing that was epic but even riding down the A13 into the sunset on my Harley is good.

6. What would be the ideal soundtrack to the above?

My hearing is shot by years at high speed. But our road song was “I’d rather ride around with you” by Reba Mcintyre.

7. What do you think is the best thing about motorcycling?

You have to be in the moment, its physical, you can’t worry about anything else, also its role playing, whenever I put on my leather jacket I’m dressing up as Dennis Hopper even though I look like Peter Stringfellow!

8. What do you think is the worst thing about motorcycling?

These days I am a total fair-weather rider so not riding for a big part of the year sucks. Also I live in central London so its an hour before I hit the open road.

9. Name an improvement you’d like to see for the next generation?

I think the internal combustion engine is doomed. Bikes will be like horses, an expensive hobby for the weekend if we’re lucky. Enjoy being a noisy outlaw while you can.

10. How would you like to be remembered?

That bloke who rode until he was ninety and never had a serious motorcycle accident in his life.

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