Keith Flint: My life in bikes

Flint was a keen biker
Flint was a keen biker

News broke this morning that The Prodigy frontman, Keith Flint, had tragically passed away aged 49.

The singer and dancer was found dead at his home in Dunmow, Essex earlier today, and had produced seven number one albums and a string of top-10 hits with his fellow bandmates.

MCN and Keith Flint

Flint was at the forefront of dance and rave culture for almost 30 years and alongside his music, was famed for his love of motorcycles.

With a biking history ranging from a Yamaha Fizzie, to his very-own Moto2 bike, the London-born star appeared in MCN on numerous occassions; pursuing his own racing career and even successfully running his own teams on both short circuits and on the roads.

In celebration of his illustrious career, we are taking a look back at Flint’s biking history, in an interview first published in 2014.

How did you get into bikes?

Flint celebrates after getting off a bike

“I have two older brothers, one of whom was a Z9 custom biker and the other who was a bit more into his sportsbikes; Powervalves and then progressing to GSX-Rs.

“I used to pay them a couple of quid to take me out for a spin on the back, and we’d ride to all the bike meets. There was never any doubt in my mind as a teenager looking for some freedom that I was going to jump onto a moped as soon as I could and pass my test.

“Bikes mean the same thing to me now. When you’re scratching, it’s that buzz of doing something you love, that freedom. In your mind you know when you’re on it and you’re just flowing.”

What was your first bike?

Flint had a succession of two-stroke Yamahas

“The first bike I ever had was a derestricted R-reg Fizzie (Yamaha FS1-E). That got traded in for an RD80LC, and then an RD400. I had two or three RD400s.

“I’d do them up and get the tanks and frames sprayed up and fit Allspeed exhausts to make them look special. I bought the first one when I was 15, and rented a garage off an old girl on the estate to keep it in.

“I used to take my 50 round there, then ride the RD400 on a Sunday down to Southend and places like that. There was an RD50 in there somewhere, too.”

What was the best bike you ever had?

Flint had his FireBlade sprayed in Repsol colours

“One bike I really regret getting rid of was a really mint GSX1100 EFE. Absolutely f**king mint, and I decided to pump it up with an 1190 big bore kit, loads more bits and pieces and on it, and I f**ked the living daylights out of it.

“I turned it from something really unexpectedly exciting, that was really great fun to ride over to all the French endurance races on, and I screwed it up by thinking that me and my Demon Tweeks catalogue was better than some Japanese designer.

“When I joined the band and started to earn a bit of dollar, I got the 1992 FireBlade when it first came out. Then I got it Repsol’d because I became a massive Mick Doohan fan.

“Nick Morgan (Managing Director of MSS Performance) tuned it for me. He was just down the road from me in Chelmsford. He’s a wicked guy. I sold that to buy another Blade, which TTS tuned and track prepared for me. I used it as a trackday bike.”

What bikes have you got at the minute?

Flint owned a KTM 350EXC

“Right now, I’ve got a KTM 350EXC for some greenlaning, and some little TTR150 bikes that I hoon around the little flattrack we have in the back garden.

“I’ve got a hack for going to the studio too, but I’m in the process of buying some sort of a sunny day rat of a machine for going to the pub on.”

How did you get into racing?

“Back in 1998 I had a go on Sean Emmett’s Reve Red Bull Ducati, and Roger Marshall trained me up to have a bit of a go racing in New Era.

“I did a few rounds there, and had a big crash. It was right in the middle of Firestarter, and we had so much work on that it made sense that I stop; I was trying to embark on a novice racing career while having a huge commitment to the band.”

Flint was a keen track rider

“Then, about four years ago, I decided to get into endurance racing with Hottrax. I’ve always been a fan anyway, and you get good time on the bike, but I love the team aspect of it and all the strategy of it too.

“We were fourth in our first year, won it in the second year, and moved up to National and won it the year after.”

How did that lead to BSS?

The 2013 Team Traction Control launch

“Once we’d won Hottrax and completed our goals there, it seemed natural to move up into another paddock, and we ended up in British Supersport, which is the pinnacle of domestic racing at the minute.

“I bumped into James Rispoli at the Le Mans 24hr, invited him over to do a round on our stock 1000 bike, and we became friends, so we signed him for a full season! Then it all became so very serious so very quickly, and here we are today!”

All at MCN join the wider motorcycling community in extending our heartfelt condolences to Flint’s family at this time. 

MCN News

By MCN News