This Is England star Andrew Shim answers our 20 questions

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Andrew Shim is best known as Milky in the This Is England film and accompanying series’, but he’s also bike mad.


Q1. What are you currently riding?
At the minute a K7 Suzuki GSX-R750 track bike is my steed.

Q2. Which living motorcyclist do you most admire?
As much as it pains me to say it as a massive Rossi fan at the moment it’s Marc Marquez. He’s young, fast and he’s just enjoying what he does regardless of whether people like him or not. You can’t not respect him for that. 

Q3. What’s your worst habit?
Wheelying on the road or treating track days like a race and always going for that overtake that maybe I shouldn’t.

Q4. If you could have one riding super skill, what would it be?
I’d love to be able to drift a bike. It’s only happened by accident so far. I can back it in but when the back end starts to let go something’s usually about to go wrong. I’d love to be able to control it.

Q5. What’s the fastest you’ve ever been on a bike?
I saw 187mph on my friend’s R1 at the old Snetterton on the long back straight before I hit the anchors. I’d love to join the 200mph club.

Q6. When were you last scared on a bike?
Every single lap I ride at Apex motocross track near Birmingham. Every single time I come up to the tabletop it doesn’t look possible and then when I leave it I’m just praying while I’m in the air.

Q7. How many miles have you done in the last year?
About 7000 on the road and 5000 on track. About 12,000 in total.

Q8. What’s the highest mileage you’ve covered in one day?
Probably about 300. My arse was giving up by then.

Q9. What irritates you most?
People who sit in the outside lane and don’t move over to the left like they should do. They do my head in.

Q10. You’ve got two weeks off: where are you going?
An ideal two weeks would be at a couple of tracks like Jerez, Portimao and Brno. Just load the van up and hit a few tracks. That’d be awesome.

Q11. Got one pearl of wisdom for new riders?
Probably just don’t ride like an idiot on the road. Don’t treat it like a race track like I used to when I was younger. There’s no prize for who can get down the A46 the fastest, it doesn’t make any sense.

Q12. Ever fallen off somewhere embarrassing?
I popped a wheelie going up the road in Radford and a van pulled a U-turn. I either had to hit the van or head for the central reservation so I went for that and hit the railings, wedging the bike between the railings and camera pole. It ripped the bike to shreds and I pretty much summersaulted and landed on my feet without a scratch. I was a young idiot so I was only wearing jeans and a t-shirt. It was right outside a row of shops, with about 25 people stood there watching it happen since they heard the wheelie and turned to look. Somebody was shooting a music video as well and the camera guy turned to watch the wheelie and caught the crash as well. I lost the guy’s number so I never got a copy of the video.

Q13. Do you have one indispensable item of kit?
My Arai helmets. When I was younger an Arai was the golden egg that I couldn’t get because they were so expensive. The only one I ever had was a hand me down from Shane Meadows (director of This Is England) and I cherished it even though it was way past its sell by date. I still have it now. Last year Arai agreed to sponsor me, but they’re still my most precious items. I clean them meticulously.

Q14. Which four people would you invite on a Sunday ride?
Gordon Ramsay, I know he’s a biker and he seems awesome. John McGuinness, and if I’m inviting him I presume he’ll be able to get in touch with Rossi and invite him along! Then probably Shane Meadows actually. Get him back in the saddle since he keeps on talking about it.

Q15. Do you have a tool you couldn’t live without?
Probably a hammer. It was always my most commonly used tool for straightening things and smashing things back into place when I was racing. They’re ever so handy when you bend something.

Q16. Do you adjust your suspension?
Kind of, I’m learning a lot right now from Maxton who are helping me a lot to understand what’s going on with suspension.

Q17. You can have one of your old bikes back. Which one?
Probably my first road bike. I’d love to have that little Derbi Senda 50 back. I’d keep it forever ‘cos it was the starting point and it took me everywhere.

Q18. What would you never buy?
That’s a tricky one, bloody hell. I backed out of buying a Ducati recently just because I wanted to use it for the track and I know from experience it costs a lot more to repair a crashed Panigale than it does a Gixxer 750.

Q19. Which corner would you have built on your desert island?
Clay Hill at Oulton Park. It’s a corner of men that is. You can’t see where the bike’s going – you just have to point and shoot and the bike goes light at the top.

Q20. If you ruled the world, what new law would you pass?
I’d make a lane specifically for bikes, just like we have bus lanes now. And I quite like there been no speed limit on certain parts of the Isle of Man.

Quick-fire round

Fast, intermediate or novice group? Fast
Mud or tarmac? Tarmac
Four-stroke or two-stroke? Four-stroke. Just because I’m lazy.
Dark visor or clear? Dark
Gloves in or gloves out? Out
Filter or queue? Filter. All day long
GPS or map? Check the map when I need to.
Dealer service or do it yourself? Do it myself


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Liam Marsden

By Liam Marsden

Former MCN Web Producer