Nick Sanders: in his own words

Published: 07 January 2002

Lee: I’m planning a trip to Australia myself. Do you get insurance and where from?

NickSanders: At the borders, I don't always have insurance, as it's not always easy to get, but by and large I think it's important so I get it at the borders.

Gsxer400: What is the best bike?

NickSanders: Funnily enough, I’m not the right person to answer that seeing as I'm going around the world on an R1! Bikes with catalysts aren't good because they don't run on leaded fuel. Triumphs are good. I like the speed triple range. You can go for a Varadero or TDM, but the ride will be more boring. Don't think if it's a BMW it's right necessarily. They might look like they can go round the world, but they are ridden by people who generally wouldn't try it.

Dpc: How will you modify the R1 to help it cope with the trip?

NickSanders: Well, I'll stick some stickers on it, so I know someone is going to pay for it. The main modification to any of my bikes involves the sponsors! It's an R1, that's what it's there for to look like an R1. If I want to ride a bike with a bigger tank, then I'd choose another bike. The whole point of what i do is to push the boundaries a little bit.

Dpc: Nick, what sort of tyres are you going to put on RTW R1? They don't half eat them

NickSanders: That depends how you ride them on my opinion. Everybody says that but if you ride in a way without pushing the rear tyre, why shouldn't they last as long? But I usually go for a hard compound. The Battlax range has been good in the past

Chrisheap: What was your closest encounter with the law during your trek?

NickSanders: Well, when I was going round the world, I got stopped for speeding in North America for example, but I never actually got a ticket. They were very nice! I remember on one journey a rather large policeman gave me a ticket for weaving through traffic.

Mentaltrev: What sort of pace do you plan/expect to ride at - how many miles per day & how many hours in each day riding?

NickSanders: Erm,well, let me think I shan't bother about distance and speed. I'm busy researching the Motorcycle World Challenge, recceing that, and looking at places I haven't been such as Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. It should be interesting taking an R1 to Vietnam.

Sproket: What's the most unusual site you've seen?

NickSaunders: I once saw a big elephant shit on me Enfield. It totally covered it. Annoying, and I knew it was going to happen!

Daveb: What’s the most memorable place or country you’ve been to?

NickSaunders: Well, the best place I like to go is a beach because I never get there. I like to watch nice totty go past.

Mentaltrev: Do you prefer riding alone or in a group (any size)? Why?

NickSaunders: Well for 20 years I've enjoyed riding alone, but I'm in a position now where I do tours to the Sahara, North America, and around the world, and they all include taking people with me. And what's interesting is that it's very instructive for people. It's nice to see how they develop as bike riders and people.

Brianthurogood: I've been following the men & motors programmes, when is the next trip?

NickSanders: Well, we're working on a new series, and the filming starts next week, and it'll be a thirteen part series, and the broadcasting starts in May.

Tonypea: I've read that you do some power sleeping to keep up with long riding hours, can you tell us how it works

NickSanders: The thing is about power-napping, is that you have to engage in a quick 15 minute catnap before you get to tired, because it's like a battery that discharges too much, and is very hard to recharge. So it’s knowing yourself well enough to know when you are becoming exhausted and then you stop. You ride on some kind of high energy...edginess, for want of a better word. If you keep doing it for weeks like I do, it shreds your nerves somewhat. I mean they torture people with sleep deprivation!

Tinkytot: What does 'around the world' mean? France, Spain, Africa maybe, where then?

NickSanders: Have you not got an atlas? You have to do a minimum of 18,000 miles and go around the world more or less in the same direction. It's not very complicated.

Dpc: Where did you go fastest on your last trip?

NickSanders: I don't know, I think I was somewhere on the Stuart Highway, in the Northern territories, where there isn't a speed limit. I did 147mph on an old Daytona 900. I got to 140 quite quickly, but it took five minutes to do the last 7! The fact is I'm not really very fast, I'm just the fastest man around the world

Dpc: How much do you think you can beat your record by

NickSanders: That's confidential. I'm not really going for the record I'm just mucking around. I'm too fat at the moment.

Tonypea: What stuff do you carry with you (clothing, spares...) and where do you put it?

NickSanders: I carry a handheld computer, a video camera, passport, money, credit card and cash, in a single layer Hein Gericke tank bag. I can't think of anything else. I don't wear underwear so that isn't a problem, and I don't play with mucky women.

Lee:What’s an essential:

NickSanders: I've just bought it. It's a Jornada 720. It's a handheld computer, which allows me to email and send email attachments from anywhere in the world. Basically it gives me complete connectivity. Time is money, ok. No time, no money.

Namezippy: Meet any unusual bikes?

NickSanders: Yes, I often bump into collections of classic bikes in obscure places, hidden away in French barns. Vast collections of immaculate old bikes, wooden sidecars, turn-of-the-century bikes. Always in my films there's a piece about classic bikes. If you think about the passion of motorcycling, it's important sometimes to get away from the sports bike and go back

Posted for tinktot: What’;s the longest you’ve gone without sleep?

NickSanders: Probably three days across the states. Oh, five days actually. I was just catnapping for 5 days. I rode from Denver to San Antonio, to New York, but the most efficient use of time was when I rode from Lisbon to Calais, which is 1521 miles in 23 hours, non-stop.

Mentaltrev: Are you single/attached/married? How do you get away with it with family etc.?!

NickSanders: Erm, dodgy... Well, I'm married. I have three children, and every time I come back from my journeys, I get my wife pregnant, and then I go off again! (only joking). I do get "are you my daddy" sometimes when i come home!

Tonypea: What happens in case of a breakdown or need for maintenance (unless you don't do any maintenace for the whole 18000 miles) in the middle of nowhere?

NickSanders: It's like a formula one race. If something goes badly wrong, that's the end of the budget. I bashed my front wheel in, in Bulgaria, at midnight once, and I had to get a chicken farmer with an oxy-acetylene tank, to weld it. He bashed an aluminium rim with a mallett!

Pjemmison: Have you run out of fuel?

NickSanders: Funnily enough yes. 20 miles out of Calais! Day 1, world record ride!

Dpc: Who’s ya biking hero?

NickSanders: Well, not Carl Fogarty because he's too arrogant and he treats his fans badly. I like Steve Hislop. He's always got a nice thing to say and a smile for all his fans. The fans are the most important people if you are in the public eye especially if they've got big breasts!

Bikeaholic: Is there any bike, manufactured in the last 10 years, you would not take around the world?

NickSanders: It would be a cross between an Enfield and a VFR. I'd bore myself to death... I'd like a Brough superior after the R1, or an Indian, or a chopper! I definitely will go round on an Indian or something... I'd love a chopper!

Spdeamon: What about a honda ?

NickSanders: Well, let me think...don't think so. Probably a Honda 90 step-thru.

spdeamon What about a BMW

NickSanders: Well, yeah. If they paid me. I'm trying to think of anything I wouldn't do, if somebody paid me...

Bikeaholic: Which is the worst bike you,ve ever ridd?en

NickSanders: Let me think... worst bike... I've only ever ridden triumphs and an R1. I really like all the bikes I've ridden. Why ride bikes I don't like

Bikeaholic: On your trip with the family to Spain, why did you take spare tyres with you?

NickSanders: Well I don't know!!!

Tonypea: How does it work out to pass the waters between continents and how do you account that in the time of your trip.

NickSanders: Well, let me see. It's not included in the overall timing, so I use cheap ferries...cheap is my middle name.

Sproket: Nick: What do you eat when travelling?

NickSaunders: Very little. I tend to keep myself sharp by not eating too much. Most bikers are too fat to ride the bike well, and what usually propels them forward at speed is their beer gut.

Firebladebabe: Are any females going on your next trip..

NickSanders: Yes, three

Bikeaholic: Do you stay in touch with the other guys you went to the states with and have any of them joined you for other trips?

NickSanders: Not all the time. It really is a client based project

Sproket: Nick: What bikes have you ridden round the world?(I don't know much about you, I’m afraid)

NickSanders: Daytona 900. Enfield 500

Dant: How much does it cost?

NickSanders: £15225, and if you go to nicksanders.com, you can come with me on the second world challenge, and that's that.

Firebladebabe: You have an web page, but what’s the address for it? You gave me it when we spoke at the NEC, but I lost it! I was the one with the PINK NUTTY TART ruck-sack on

NickSanders: www.nicksanders.com and I remember you.

NickSanders: Thankyou to everyone for all your questions and I hope I managed to answer most of them