I started riding police motorcycles in 1966. (LE Velocette ‘Noddy bike’, Heartbeat style, around Barnsley) When it broke down (frequently) I used my own BSA 650 Lightning! Seventeen years Road Traffic patrol, police instructor, examiner, royal escort/VIP and the training of police motorcyclists for these roles. Three years undercover as surveillance motorcyclist with the Regional Crime Squad. Last working day spent on motorcycle patrol when I retired in 1995. IAM Examiner since 1992. On retirement I started my own company ‘Advanced Riding Techniques’ of which RiDE magazine said in the July ‘97 issue, “Highly recommended.” (The only one of eight training schools / courses tested that was!) Numerous track days each year, and a Diploma and three awards on the three High Performance Courses I completed at der Nürburgring .

I started riding the four valve BMW Boxers in 1993 when I bought one of the first ... a red R1100RS..  55,000 miles. Then came a black version  on which I did 45,000 miles and then an R1100S but sold this with only 12,500 miles and changed allegiance to the GS fraternity! During all this time I was also running probably the best BMW Boxer ever .. an R100R .  This took me to the Elephant Rally and all over Europe.  I wish I had it now!

Since 1999 I have completed 82,000 miles on an 1150GS in three years, 60,000 miles on an 1150GS Adventure, then 12,000 miles on a 1200GS Adventure. If this wasn't enough my GS650-Dakar had over 50,000 miles under its belt by the time it was finally sold.  This bike took me, along with girlfriend Sue on her own F650GS, on a 19,500 mile six month trip across Russia, Siberia, Mongolia, across the Gobi desert and into China where we were arrested. Returned in to Mongolia  by the border officials we returned through Russia, the ‘Stans’, blagging a lift across the Caspian Sea to Azerbeijan to return through Europe.  Full story here

My current motorcycle is an F800GS on which I’ve done over 142,000 miles in eleven years. This ‘bike has taken me down through Spain and in to Morocco, offroading on the pistes of the Atlas mountains.  Then in 2009 off again through Europe, with girlfriend Sue, this time on her Yamaha TTR250, through Turkey, Iran and into Pakistan.  We were heading for the Himalayas but the journey was cut short when Sue was hit by a car on the Karakorum Highway in northern Pakistan and had to be flown home with a nasty compound fracture of her upper right arm. Full story here

Mick Wheeler

“Don’t argue with a fool, they will drag you down to their level, then beat you by experience”