Q&A With The Winner:
Lance Lewsader: What got you into motorcycles?
Radio Bloke: I remember the moment EXACTLY… I was at school..must have been 1980…cos I was walking back to class after lunch when I saw it…a brand new Suzuki GS1100S Katana. A guy working on the school roof had parked it next to the school block. I stood looking at it for about 20 minutes….I had never seen anything like it!…I finally went back to class. But then on the way home, on the school bus…he overtook the bus. That was the exact day that I sold my soul to motorbikes. its in the blood.
LL: How old where you when you got into motorcycles?
RB: The epiphany was in 1980…so i was 13. I spent the next few years drawing bikes, reading bike magazines and dreaming about the day I could ride one. I finally got to ride one when I was 15. I wasn’t of legal age, but I was given a chance to ride a Yamaha FS1E round the village..it only served to increase the wonder lust. Luckily my parents bought me a Suzuki ER50 when I turned 16…so that I could get a job! we lived in a village so I had to catch buses everywhere. I got my first job because I was the only interviewee that could get there! so it worked.
LL: What got you into Streetfighters?
RB: After racing MotoX, and 5 seasons of circuit racing…I finally retired in 2004. I treated myself to an original 93 Fireblade. I then rode it to Holland for the MotoGP at Assen in 95. I was in SO much pain from the riding position that the first thing I did when I got back was rip off the fairings and fit some drag bars…so i went from being a power-ranger to a Streetfighter…and strangely my wardrobe started to include camouflage!
LL: Why did you build the bike you did?
RB: I was building a Spondon framed Fireblade…but that kinda stalled. I’d bought the tuned blackbird engine to fit into the frame, but it didn’t fit. I was building the Spondon to go to the TT with Ed and Yantosh this year. it was obvious that the Spondon wasn’t going to be done, so I needed a bike for the TT. I looked at the Bird engine sat on the floor…thought ” its gonna have to be that then!” so the build began with an engine. everything else was from there…even had to buy a frame! long story…I was finished 2 days before the ferry left. I made it to the island and it didn’t miss a beat…handled well and was fast as fook!
LL: Why did you enter this months FOTM?
RB: I saw the link..there was no entries…I was bored one night, so I thought “why not…that’ll kill a few minutes!”
LL: What do you think of your chances for the Fighter of the year award?
RB: To be honest I haven’t seen all the other bikes..some, but not all. I guess its a 12-1 chance! but I doubt its worthy of bike of the year. There’s some cool stuff being built at the moment. I guess some people vote for friends too, and I’m not that well known on here. No expectations…just like FOTM…that way I’m not bothered if I don’t win, but would be chuffed to fuck if I did. Its just a bike I built in my garage…no show winner…just…mine!
LL: You have run on the Isle of Man, seeing as that is every riders dream. What was that like?
RB: I haven’t raced there, but know some lads who did. one didn’t come back. Its a harsh place, but its brilliant too. I first went to the island in 2000 to see Joey Dunlop race before he retired. i wasn’t to know that he would be dead a few weeks later. but I got to see the Legend race. The first time you go, you ride around the roads, between the walls and over the drains and manhole covers…pull over at a pub, …and ask “wheres the track then”…only to be told “you’ve been riding on it for 20 minutes!” That’s when you realize how good these guys are…its not a track…its 190mph through a country village and through the countryside…mad, but brilliant. You sit 3ft away from a bike doing those speeds….then you ride the same track..and later drink LOTS. you HAVE to go
Thanks for everyone who voted…I didn’t think it would get such a positive response…really chuffed to have won.