20 Questions... Nick Sanders

Unkempt global circumnavigator who first did 100mph on a GS750


Unkempt global circumnavigator who first did 100mph on a GS750



What's the most embarrassing bike you lusted after in your youth?
The Virago cruiser. I thought it would make me look cool.

The worst bike you ever owned?
A 1980 Suzuki GS 750. When I took it back for the third time for repairs the dealer gave me my money back and told me to fuck off.

What would you ride if money were no object?
An R1, which is what I ride.

Your favourite stretch of road?
A stretch east of Bombay that winds through canyons and is covered with monkeys. The next best road is the one that brings me home.

The best thing ever done on a bike?
Round the world in 31 days. Over 800 miles in a day and you feel special. 1200 and you feel like a god. 1500 and you turn into dog meat.

The maddest thing you ever did on a motorcycle?
Riding with a lingerie model as pillion during my Moto Challenge. The vibrations were making her feel horny and she kept sliding into me, then she slid round and straddled me. I couldn't get my pants off.

The worst thing that has ever happened to you on a motorcycle?
Not being able to get my leathers off (see above). And going through a car windscreen when I was 18.

What is the most miserable time you've had riding a bike?
Riding an Enfield Bullet around the world. I rode 38,000 miles at 40mph, overtaking nothing except children on bicycles.

Who's your all-time biking hero?
Joey Dunlop was a super ordinary bloke with exceptional talent, and I also like Niall Mackenzie because he called me a mentalist.

What would you do with your last gallon of fuel?
Ride to the nearest knocking shop and get my end away.

What did you first do 100mph on?
It was that ridiculous GS750.

The fastest you've ever ridden?
178mph on my R1 in the USA.

What's your pet hate in motorcycling?
Pretentiousness, smugness and people who say they are going to do something and don't.

What's the most you'd spend privately on a bike?
Nothing now, it's all sponsored.

What's the one piece of essential equipment you need on your bike?
A Scottoiler and Punctureseal.

Two-stroke or four-stroke?
Oh god, I don't know; aren't two-strokes smoky?

What achievement by a rival are you most envious of?
You have to admire the Ewan McGregor project, despite the marketing and PR backup.

What trends in your field are just below the horizon right now?
I want to put a sense of humour into world biking.

If you could switch careers, what would you like to do?
Be a porn star, or anything involving money and sex.

How much are you paid?Are you worth it?
In 2002 I made £120k. My wife loved me. A year later, I had nothing and she left me. And yes, I'm worth it.

Nick Sander's book Loneliness of the Long Distance Biker is available in bookstores.

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