Prince Harry's motorcycle obsession

With motorcycling beset on all sides, it’s good to know we’ve now got not one but two princes on-side. See if you can’t get those speed limits binned, boys

Prince Harry is set to follow in his brother’s footsteps – by getting into motorcycling in no small way. Elder brother and second in line to the throne, William, 27, has been riding for years and now Harry’s caught the biking bug too. Industry insiders say he’s recently taken delivery of a new bike and while some have speculated it’s a Ducati, Ducati UK told Visordown they’re not aware of the purchase. We know William’s a fan of the Italian brand as he had a 1098R until recently and currently rides an 1198S.

Rumours also abound that Harry’s all set to get one-to-one tuition from Australian MotoGP star Chris Vermeulen, but this is unlikely. The pair met at the recent British round of MotoGP and while internet speculation and Australian news service ABC said they were planning to hook up in 2010, so the racer could give the prince some exclusive track tuition, a Palace spokesman told Visordown that sadly, this simply wasn’t true.

We’ve seen Harry on two wheels before when he and William all took part in Enduro Africa late last year. This charity event saw a group of riders on Honda CRFs blasting through miles of African bush, including some tough terrain, to raise money for charity.

A source who’s spent time riding with Harry told Visordown: “Harry isn’t as skilled as his brother when it comes to riding bikes, but what he lacks in finesse he more than makes up in aggression and gung-ho ability. He’s obviously got plenty of raw talent on two-wheels, he’s relaxed on a bike and he can make it do what he wants. He’s not scared of crashing either – he generally gets up laughing after a spill – and knowing him he’ll probably get wheelies mastered at some point. Harry’s a great character in everything he does and riding bikes is no different.”

William’s been quoted in the past saying he likes the anonymity of riding a bike with a helmet on. So don’t forget to nod at any Ducati riders you see.

THE SECOND TWO-WHEELED WINDSOR

Harry’s biking background

- February 2008: Harry’s snapped while serving with the army in Afghanistan riding a beaten-up commuter 125. Reports said Harry and colleagues found the abandoned headlight-less snotter and got it running again for japes.

- June 2008: Passes full motorcycle test. It’s a requirement for the Enduro Africa trip he’s planning to ride on.

- September 2008: The Telegraph reports Harry’s been riding a “175 mph” motorbike, possibly one of brother William’s Ducatis or a Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird.

- October 2008: Harry shows he’s a very competent rider and bloody good bloke to boot when he completes Enduro Africa along with William and Visordown editor, John Cantlie.

- October 2008: Harry’s reported to have ordered a new Triumph Daytona 675.

- July 2009: Harry attends the British Grand Prix and hangs out on the grid where he meets Chris Vermeulen among others. He also gets taken round the circuit on a two-seat Ducati Desmosedici with racing royalty and wild man Randy Mamola. Randy didn’t hold back despite his passenger’s royal status or the damp track.

- August 2009: Insiders say Harry’s taken delivery of a new Ducati but Ducati UK say they’re not aware of it, commenting that they think he’s still a Triumph man. Buckingham Palace refuses to comment.