This was meant to be a 5 Albums I Can’t Live Without column, but Daniel had another idea…
‘See the thing is, what I was thinking would be much more fun for me, and I could really get my teeth into, would be the five motorcycles I couldn’t live without.’
Name Daniel Ash
Best known for I suppose I’m known for using an EBow with a guitar or what’s called a sustainer. I use that extensively. I use it a lot in all the bands, just where it sustains their note.
Current location California.
Really want to be in I’ve got a quote from Steve McQueen, I try to relate to 100%: “I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.” That’s an actual quote from him and I completely agree. Not into big cities.
I like the wilderness and I love traveling on my bike into the middle of nowhere. I do it all the time. Where I live, I just go, there’s a road called the 33, you go up there and you’re in the middle of nowhere in about 10 minutes, and it’s just the mountain range.
Excited about Taking my last ride before I head out tomorrow to do some gigs.
How long have you been obsessed with motorcycles?When I was a kid, when I was 12, whatever it was, I would draw pictures of motorcycles and guitars, but I had a bike. I suppose I had a guitar when I was 15, but I had a bike since I was 12, which actually took the form of a scooter back then, an old Lambretta scooter, but I’ve been obsessed with motorcycles ever since. A serious passion. I’ve got 20 motorcycles on the road that I ride all the time.
I think a lot of guitar players actually love motorcycles. One goes with the other. A lot of people in rock and roll, but usually, it’s the cliché Harley-Davidson thing with rockers, but I’m really into Italian bikes now.
What do you love most about riding?It’s a sense of freedom and I’ve always loved engines. It’s a bit of a cliché really. I suppose it’s a male thing, but there’s lots and lots of women now, more and more they’re getting into riding bikes, but a sense of freedom is incredible on the bike. If you go on a road trip in a car, you’re basically looking at a TV screen because you’re enclosed. As soon you’re on a motorcycle, you are exposed to all the elements immediately. They’re all around you 100%. If it’s cold, you feel it. If it’s warm, you feel it. If it’s wet, you feel it. If it’s dry, you feel it.
If you think about a bicycle and then times it by a hundred, a bicycle going downhill fast, you get an idea of what a bike is because that’s it, you’re exposed to everything, so everything is amplified. Everything is taken away when you’re in a car. You’re in a cage in comparison. Though, it’s not for everybody, but I can’t live without it and other bikers that I know. I have to ride every week, if not, every day. It’s an addiction, but to me, it’s a healthy addiction. It keeps me out of trouble, for sure.
I got 162,000 miles on that. There’s one that I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of because I’ve got so many memories and stories connected to that bike.
It has white wheels, it’s very unusual, the color scheme. This bike I got from a guy…he died young. He was on a motorcycle, actually, unfortunately. People know about it because he’s a celebrity of sorts. His name was Prinz Oliver [Oliver Prinz von Anhalt]. He was actually a prince and he was Zsa Zsa Gabor’s stepson.
I bought this bike down in Venice in LA a couple of years ago. It had just a couple of thousand miles on it because he’d only used it on the racetrack. There’s a story behind that one. Prinz Oliver, I still got the certificate.
It’s an incredible bike. It’s a little 800 and it’s like a little spitfire. It’s got an off-road exhaust system and all tuned up for the racetrack, so that’s a real favorite of mine.
The fastest bike I’ve ever owned. That thing is looney fast. Just bonkers.
I suppose technically, I’m a collector, but I ride the hell out of all of them. They look great, I keep them perfect. Mechanically, they’re all 100% because I ride them all a lot.
I actually got a cop bike and it actually says “Police” on it on the air filter. It’s actually a cop bike, so it’s got a real good engine, my main long-distance bike.
The police engines are more peppy. They’re faster and better than the standard bikes. I got it from a retired teacher. I think it was a gym teacher. He had this bike and he was downgrading a bit because he needed money, and so I grabbed this thing off him. It’s got a great engine.
I’ve got a 2005 Triumph Rocket III, which is the largest bike you can buy, as in on the road, legally. It’s 2300cc, which is basically a car engine in a bike. That again is looney fast. It’s the sort of bike that if Judge Dredd was real, that’s what he would ride.