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Charley Boorman on Bike Social, adventures for this year and his fave kit

Hi Charley, I last spoke to you nine years ago in the press room at the BMF show! Tempus Fugit. You’ve been busy with motorcycles since then. Tell me about the work you’re now doing with Bike Social?

Bike Social is such a great concept, it’s a hub where you can interact with likeminded people to get more out of motorcycling. You create a profile then hook up with other people and can post things like your favourite Sunday run which others can then use. There’s loads of interesting routes, maps, news, competitions & forums to get involved with. I’m an ambassador for Bennetts who have created Bike Social, and they’ve also launched Bike Nation which is the biggest online motorcycle specialist retailer in Britain so they work really well together.”

What bikes do you currently ride? Do you have your eye on anything to buy?

“I currently ride the BMW GS 1200 Adventure Water Cooled but I have a little collection that keeps growing. I love a bit of everything really, I’ve got an old 1969 Triumph Thunderbird, a couple of dirt bikes and sport bikes. I love off-road riding so I’ve always got my eye open for a bargain or a deal – it’s never anything specific, just what catches my eye. The great thing about second hand bikes is that you can get some really beautiful ones for not a lot of money and they can be very reasonable in price.”

What adventure motorcycling trips do you have lined up this year?

“Hopefully I’m going to Mexico this Summer and then I’m really looking forward to my motorcycle tours in Africa later on in the year. I’m so passionate about Africa and love the idea of introducing people to the continent, to show them that it’s easier to get around than people think! I think people can be cautious of Africa and think it’s quite scary, so it’s a great opportunity to share my love of Africa with them and give them the confidence to go and do their own journey.”

Can you tell me a bit more about the 4×4 tours you’re doing with Moto Adventures?

“The idea of bringing in some 4 x 4s is that a lot of people who want to come on the tour have family as well, who want to come along but don’t necessarily want to come on a bike. We’ve introduced the 4×4’s so that family and friends can share the experience too.”

What are your current favourite items of biking kit?

“My Arai helmet is definitely one of my favourite items, often people buy an expensive bike but don’t buy the greatest helmet and it’s so important to get a decent helmet. Bikes can be fixed but you could really do some damage to yourself if you don’t have the right helmet. I adore my Belstaff touring jacket, it’s a lovely bit of kit. I think another thing that’s really important when riding a motorcycle is that you need gear that really does work well. I wear Arc’teryx waterproofs as they fold up nice and tightly, they also have a long trouser because they’re made for climbing so your ankles don’t get exposed and it keeps you nice and dry and warm.”

Charley Boorman is an ambassador for Bennetts – bike insurance specialists – www.bennetts.co.uk

Photo from Double Red

About the author: Dan Tye

Dan came up with the idea for Adventure 52 after meeting so many like-minded people who love all kinds of adventure activities. He started out as pilot in the RAF, has worked as a ski instructor and has spent the past 12 years as an editor and journalist for motorcycling, aviation and adventure magazines.

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