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My Life in Bikes Carl Cox

Published: 19 January 2015

The bike-mad superstar DJ talks Fizzies, his 60-strong bike collection and running his own team at the TT

AGE: 51 OCCUPATION: INTERNATIONAL DJ NATIONALITY: BRITISH

How did it all start?

My first bike goes back to the 70s. I had a Yamaha FS1-E when I was 16. I got it from a breakers and it was an amalgamation of four ‘Fizzies’: purple with a yellow and black Kenny Roberts tank, no clutch and bald tyres. I seized it once doing 56mph and left a big black mark going down Reigate Hill, giving me a puncture as well. I eventually I got rid of it, saved up a bit of money and bought a Yamaha DT175.  

You left bikes behind for a while?

My friends had RD250 and 350LCs at the time and unfortunately a couple of them passed away on them. At the time we didn’t really have an idea how to go around corners at speed, just in a straight line and pulling wheelies. I was into my cars as well, so decided to stay on four wheels. I was happy with that up to a point, but every time I saw a bike go by I always looked on in envy. I missed a whole era of riding bikes. I saw it all happening and the bikes changing and evolving, but I left it all alone.

But then the bug bit again?

I moved to Australia seven years ago and a lot of my friends there ride bikes. A mate had a V-Rod. He was an unlikely kind biker and I was curious about what he’d bought. I hadn’t ridden for over 25 years, but he let me have a go and as soon as I rode it the DNA of being a biker came straight back. That was it: I got the bug and began riding again.

Where did you pass your bike test?

You’re allowed to ride anything up to 250 in Australia. I wanted something I felt comfortable to learn on, so got a CB250. I was quite proud of it, but it had no go, so I swapped it for a VTR250 V-twin and passed my test on it.

I was all set to buy a Repsol Fireblade in England but I found out I had to pass my test here, too. I got a CBR125, but failed twice. I passed the third time, but it was good for me because over the years I’d never learned to ride properly, so I was glad to go through the test to ride safely.

My first big bike was a Ducati ST4, then I went back and got the Fireblade and the rest is history.

Now you’ve got a huge collection of bikes?

I’ve got a total of 60 bikes split between here and Australia: a Norton Commando 961 SE, Z1000, 1198S, 748 SPS, S1000RR, RC30 and RC45 in the UK. Over in Australia I’ve got a Desmosedici RR, Panigale, Streetfighter, Diavel, 916 Senna, an ’07, ’08 and ’09 Fiat Yamaha R1 Rossi reps, an F3 Ago, ’09 Blade…

Favourite bike ?

The Desmosedici RR. That’s as close as MotoGP spec as you’re ever going to get.

We understand Rossi’s a Carl Cox fan?

He’s one of the most amazing riders of our time. He loves going out, partying and having a good time with his friends. What’s really cool is he has an understanding of where I’ve ended up in my life and career and vice versa. It’s an equal understanding of what it’s like to be someone under constant attention.

And now you’re involved with motorcycle sport?

I love it so much I decided to get behind a few riders. I sponsor a team in the Ducati Tri-Options Cup: Carl Cox Motorsport in collaboration with P&H Motorcycles. The boys are doing fantastic and getting podium positions. And I’ve got two Kiwi riders: Smith & Shorter Racing. They’re into sidecar racing and these boys are the best in New Zealand.

I’m bringing them over to the TT next year. We’re already building a GSX-R600-engined outfit and I reckon they’ll win the Newcomers Cup. They’re street circuit racers, anyway, so they’re not scared and won’t hold back.

EARLY YEARS

Yamaha FS1-E - “A bitza from a breakers yard”

FIRST BIG BIKE

Ducati ST4 - “Then I knew I was up in the big gang”

PRIZED POSSESION

Ducati Desmosedici RR - "A MotoGP bike for the road”

BEST OF BRITISH

Norton Commando 961 SE - “Quirky to ride, but I love it”

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