This week, Dan told us about his Apache 125cc, wheelies, and green laning to London.

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So the Sinnis Apache was your first bike?

Yeah, it’s such a versatile bike. It does everything you could want. When you get a bike you don’t know what you’re gonna be doing. You either start learning to ride it quickly on the roads or you just mess around with it, doing burnouts and stuff. I did a bit of both. To me, it was a toy. But it was also my main transport because it was reliable. If I broke it, I could always get the parts to fix it. It was easy to learn how to fix it myself because it’s not a big, complicated engine or anything, no complex brackets. If I dropped the bike, I’d just head to my local shop (On The Wheel in Portslade) and get a new panel for £30.

 

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How did you get into riding?

So, basically, I had an apprenticeship in Brighton. And parking in Brighton’s terrible, so I thought I’d give the car driving lessons up for a bit and go and buy a bike – just something affordable to get me from A to B. I came in, I looked at the Apache and I was like, “I like that – it’s got that dirt bike, rebellious look about it.” So I saved up for it, bought it in cash, then started using it for work; I met a load of people through it, just riding around, then I started going around with them – learning all the tricks and techniques, wheelieing and that. I bumped into a stunt team and they showed me a few things on the track. We used to have a little airstrip near us and I used to practice there – that was like three years ago, near Shoreham airport. I just became attached to my Apache. It was so easy to throw around – perfect for learning how to handle a two-wheeler.

 

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I tried my best to push that bike to its limits. I dropped it and crashed it several times. It just bounced. Bits and pieces would come off from time to time but it was pretty resilient. That’s why I recommend the bike as a starter motorcycle to all my mates who want to ride. It’ll take the battering a bike gets from a beginner. I was doing a rolling burnout on one of the newer Apaches on a track day and I slammed it into a wall – it was a bit scratched but pretty much unscathed. Do that on any big bike and it’ll cost you thousands.

 

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What other bikes do you have now?

I’ve now also got a Yamaha WR because I was into that dirt bike scene. Then, I recently bought a Yamaha MT07. I haven’t tested the MT07 to its limits yet because I’m not used to packing 700ccs of power. With the Apache, you could do whatever and not worry about getting carried away. As soon as you move up to a big bike, you’ve got that responsibility of having to be careful. There was nothing I can do on these new bikes that I couldn’t on the Apache though. And to be honest, it’s still the most fun bike I ride. I took that bike everywhere – one day I went green laning all the way from Shoreham to London. I left at nine in the morning and I don’t think I got back until nine at night. And I only filled up twice. That bike was so economical, you could make a tank last for days and days.

 

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What’s your advice for new riders?

Get an Apache. I tell everyone that. I’ve had four or five bikes to mess around with and to this day, my favourite is the Apache. It’s just instant fun. As soon as you get on it, it’s a laugh. You have to take care of the other bikes because, as soon as you drop them, they break. The Apache was just invincible and so much more versatile in what you could do with it because of this. You want to get a bike like that to start on because it’s light, it’s upright (and you can do wheelies) – it’s just an easy bike to start with for anyone, super easy to control and fun.

 

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