Biking heroes Christmas special (Part 4/6)
MCN has teamed up with none other than the legendary Foggy and a host of other greats to name their biking heroes as part of our Christmas special. We’ll be bringing you some of the best picks from the bumper double issue in the lead up to the big day.
‘Rocket’ Ron Haslam
Grand prix contender, famed factory test rider, founder of one of the world’s best riding schools, father of Leon
James May on Ron
‘He really didn’t seem to care when he crashed’
“It has to be Rocket Ron Haslam, for having enormous sideburns and saying, ‘You’ve gotta get it reet o’er.’ I was a bit of a latecomer to motorcycling because I didn’t really get into it until my 30s, but in the 1970s I used to read various motorcycle publications, and I had a few mates with FS1-Es… but it was Ron Haslam’s sideburns I really remember. And he really didn’t seem to care when he crashed. He’d just say, ‘You gotta get it reet o’er.’ He was Rocket Ron Haslam.”
Jim Moir (aka Vic Reeves) on Ron
‘I liked his sideburns more than anything’
“My first hero was my dad. He raced a Douglas and Nortons in the 1950s and I was brought up watching bikes and listening to him tell tales. He’d take me to Oliver’s Mount or to watch Sammy Miller-type people riding through streams on the Moors.
“My main pictures on the wall were T Rex and Roxy Music, but the wardrobe had racers on it. I’ve made a whole TV programme about one of them, Barry Sheene, but I also liked Ron Haslam; I liked his sideys more than anything. I wasn’t bothered about his results, just his aerodynamic sideburns. Ron and Barry looked like rock stars, like they’d just exchanged their guitar for a motorbike. They had the look and the pop star attitude. I don’t think racers have that anymore.”
16-times TT podium finisher
Matt Helders (Artic Monkeys) on Guy
“He’s like someone I’d know from back home”
“I watched the film Closer to the Edge, and thought it was amazing, not just for the face value of it, but also because Guy is still a truck mechanic. You can tell he’s genuine, and he manages to be this incredible rider who does insane stuff. I’ve never met him in person, but he was at a motorbike event in Newark called Rollerburn that I went to in 2011 before I had a bike of my own.
“I also watched that documentary where he tried to get the record for the fastest bicycle ride and he obviously loves going fast, that’s a good thing to look for in a motorcycle hero. He seems genuine, like someone I’d know from home. He reminds me of an average guy who is nice and having fun doing something they love.”