An interview with BMW’s new Factory Sponsored Rider Mattie Griffin, talking all things Motorbike Stunt Riding!
|Occupation:||BMW Factory Sponsored Stunt Rider|
|Honours:||2004 : 15th place in the world Streebike freestyle Championships.
2007: 7th place in the European Streetbike Freestyle Championships.
2008: 5th place in the world Streebike freestyle Championships.
2009: 5th place in the world Streebike freestyle Championships.
2010: Became a BMW factory Sponsored rider.
Hi Mattie, thanks for talking to us today. So, how long have you been Stunt Riding and how did you get into it?
Hi, no problem it’s a pleasure! I have been stuntriding street bikes since 2004, but I have always been riding off road since I was a kid, with a particular interest in trials riding.
What have you been up to this year? Have you been in many competitions?
This year… so far I have been booked for shows most weekends so my weekdays have been taken up with training and organising ferries etc.…
What Bike(s) do you ride for shows & competitions, and what has been your favourite ever bike?
At the moment I ride two BMW F800R’s and recently reintroduced a trials bike back into my performance due to popular demand. I think my favourite bike so far would be the bike I ride now the BMW F80R.
What is next, do you have anything coming up this and next year?
My next performances will be for Bahnstormer Summer Event on 25th June in Bracknell and at the Heritage Motor Centre Warwickshire for Super Car Sunday on the 26th. From there I will travel to the world famous Goodwood Festival of Speed to perform for all the guests and spectators at this hugely popular event.
What do the competitions that you compete in normally involve?
The competitions I would compete in would usually consist of a panel of 5 judges who apply a scale of 1 – 10 points, as well as half points. They will evaluate: style, show, fast and slow tricks. The competition takes place on an asphalt or concrete court 50 meters long and at least15 meters wide.
All the motorcycles used in the competition must have a minimum of 550 cc with at least 2 cylinders. Smaller motorcycles or any other vehicles (eg: scooters, trial bikes, quads or trikes) may not be entered. As for time, the rider is given one minute for warm up and then four minutes for the performance.
Have you always been a Stunt Rider, or have you tried other forms of motor sport?
I have not really tried any other forms of motor sport professionally as I have just always had a passion for motorcycles, I always liked the idea of racing bikes or cars etc. but never got the right opportunity. Either way I am very happy now with what I am doing.
Have you ever been injured?
Yes I have been injured, unfortunately it comes with the job, but thankfully I have never been seriously injured and I don’t get injured very often.
What has been your best memory in Stunt Riding?
Best memory for me would probably have been either coining in 5th place in the World Street Bike Freestyle Championships in Zurich or winning the UK Street Bike Freestyle Championships in Elvington.
How would you recommend somebody get into Stunt Riding?
I would recommend for someone that is getting into stunt riding to take it one step at a time and not to rush anything.
From all of the people that I have spoken to who have gotten hurt when starting out, they have told me: “I have looked at your shows in different locations and at different events over time and I decided to get an old bike to try learn this or that skill… and I have broken my arm or leg etc.” and “The problem is that you make it look so easy what you do..!”. The thing is, I have spent many, many hours every day learning and perfecting these tricks – It’s not something I learned to do over night. But it is very enjoyable sport and I would recommend it to anyone male or female…!!
Where in the UK would you recommend somebody try Stunt Riding?
As with all kinds of Stunt Driving there are a few excellent places in the UK, including a few wheelie schools which can be easily found, but if you decide not to start this way – you could always get permission from a land lord to use their premises to practice. This is not always easy though…I think the most important thing is to always have someone with you just in case you fall.
Where are the best places in the UK for the professionals and for people to watch?
There is always some type of a motor event going on at the weekends in the UK and it is so easy to find these events now with the internet, I carry out shows almost every weekend now in the UK or Ireland.
Have there been any big developments in the sport during your time, and do you see any coming in the future?
Yes during my time of stuntriding there have been huge developments in this sport, and they continue to development every day! This sport has brought people from all over the world together and I believe it has reduced road fatalities as many people who would have been doing this on the public road have now taken to the dis used car parks and industrial estates to get their kicks where there is no risk of harming them self or other road users. I myself don’t even have or feel the need to ride a road bike on the public road any more!!
Brilliant, thanks for talking to us today Mattie – good luck in the shows and competitions this year!