2010 Triumph Speed Triple

Me & My Bike

Photography by Brian Catterson

Name: Billy Morrison
Age: 43
Home: Hollywood, CA
Occupation: Guitarist for Billy Idol

"I come from a pretty solid biking background. My dad was a motorcycle roadracer before he got married. He raced at the Crystal Palace and did the Isle of Man TT twice, in a sidecar and solo. My uncle, Barry Ditchburn, was Mick Grant's works Kawasaki teammate in the Grands Prix. My earliest memories are going to Assen in Holland when I was 8, going to Brands Hatch, Donington, Cadwell, Mallory and all those circuits. So it was kind of inevitable that I'd get into bikes. From the age of 5, I was messing about on two wheels. My mother hated it, but my dad ended up buying me my first bike, a 50cc Yamaha FS180. It was called a 'Fizzy' and looked like a real motorcycle.

"I was a motorcycle courier in London, delivering mail. The life expectancy is about 3.5 years, and I did more than four, so I was doing all right! But I was doing it on Japanese inline-fours-I've always wanted a Triple.

"My wife Jennifer, before she was my wife, came and visited me in London. We'd only been out three or four times, and were hanging out in Camden where there were tons of people. A friend of mine had a blue R1, and I told her I'd give her a ride. I put it into second gear, popped a wheelie and kept it up through third, all the way through Camden High Street, and she's punching me in the head and screaming and I'm thinking this is great! So I end up marrying her, and I go, 'I'd like to get a motorcycle' and she's like, 'Nope.' So I really ruined it for a lot of years!

"But God bless her, she sees the smile on my face when all my friends are on their bikes, and we finally got to the place where she said, 'Get yourself a bike.' The next day I called Matt Capri at South Bay Triumph and said, 'Matt, what can you do a Speed Triple for?' It's custom: satin black, gold logos, Arrow pipes, the ride height lowered an inch, a bit of carbon, no rear fender.

"I'm lucky enough to ride with the Hellfire Canyon Club-a loose collection of musicians and friends. We do Topanga Canyon, Los Virgenes, PCH, Latigo-all that stuff. We go out for hours at a time. It's such a lovely group of guys. No one races; we go at a fair clip, but no one's an idiot and it's really fun. And considering where I come from with my uncle and my dad, it's really fun to get back into that. It's just like riding a bike!"

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