Paul cornering the Pegram Genesis, wearing a helmet and jeans on a race circuit right hander.

Paul cornering the Pegram Genesis, wearing a helmet and jeans on a race circuit right hander.

1.What was your first motorcycling experience?

Aged 13, hiring a 50cc motorcycle and riding it on the streets of Rimini for an hour without mastering the clutch, but also without crashing.

2.What is your current bike?

I have 7: Mk3 and Mk2 Yamaha Tmaxes; BMW HP2 1200 Enduro; Honda Dominator NX650; KTM 450EXC enduro; Mk1 Burgman 650; Pegram Genesis Burgman-based 650 FF.

3.What bike would you most like to ride/own?

To ride, Urs Wagner’s unique TurboMono 1200 190mph Ecomobile. To own: a production Peraves MTE-150 215bhp, 190mph all-electric Monotracer.

4.What was your hairiest moment on a bike?

In a Quasar at 80mph in the fast lane of a dark French autoroute, with my girlfriend asleep behind me, I saw a Renault 5 on its roof in my dipped beam. I managed to put the bike on its side, so I hit the upturned car with the Reliant Robin gearbox and stainless steel underseat tank, shunting the Renault up the road. We ended up facing back the way we’d come, still in the fast lane. I got out with a few bruises, my girlfriend broke her arm and crushed 3 vertebrae, but lived to ride her own bike another day. The drunk car driver was lucky to survive, having gone through the windscreen.

5.What was your most memorable ride?

Long, on the road: The entire week of the 1988 Monte Carlo Motorcycle Rally on a Honda UK Transalp. Short, on the road: Riding the Gurney Alligator up the Ortega Canyon. Long, Off-Road: The 2006 Libya Desert Challenge on my KTM 450.

Short, Off-Road: Testing the 2WD Yamaha 2-Trac WR450 in Morocco.

6.What would be the ideal soundtrack to the above?

Respectively: Blues for Findlay / Gong; Wasn’t Born to Follow / The Byrds; Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick / Ian Dury; Marrakesh Express / Crosby, Stills & Nash.

7.What do you think is the best thing about motorcycling?

It’s like flying on the ground. Slicing past traffic and leaning through corners is what does it for me. Off-road, sliding on the very limit of control is great when I manage it!

8.What do you think is the worst thing about motorcycling?

The risk of death or serious injury. I’ve been very lucky. ‘Big Brother’ comes a close second.

9.Name an improvement you’d like to see for the next generation?

Affordable motorcycles that are safe, warm, dry, comfortable, practical, efficient… and ‘green’… but just as much fun as anything made today.

10.How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who put his money and actions where his mouth was while trying to change people’s perceptions of what a bike can be and do… Or who at least provided some thought-provoking entertainment along the way!

7 thoughts on “Riders’ Lives – Paul Nicholas Blezard (aka Blez)”

  1. I was lucky enough to survive on a motorcycle long enough to realise that developing the right attitude, training and then more training that would help enable me to get a lifetime of enjoyment out of motorcycling. Put another way, I was lucky to fill up my `experience box` before my `luck box` emptied. Do you think motorcycle journalism can do more to drive this message home and conversely, where do you see examples of where it does the opposite ?

  2. Glad you put the Monte Carlo as long memorable ride. Even after all these years, I remember the fear and exhilaration, extreme exhaustion, and highest highs.

    Pity there wasn’t another one!

  3. Precis and pedantic as ever Blez, but seriously you can be very proud of your achievemnets and dreams, many of which are now black and white fact.

    As my friend and fellow biker/writer I value your work. I’m glad you put your money and actions where your mouth is. Long may it last.

    Keep on changing perceptions. Without you, the motorcycling world would be much poorer.

    It is a pleasure to know you.


  4. Dave Gurman we need an edit function! That should say precise not precis…ooops I feel a Blez telling off coming….that’ll be a slapped mis-spelllings wrist for me. Blez is the only one that spots them you know 😉

    1. I’ll let you off this time John! 😉 In an ideal world there’d be some signifier to indicate that your own Rider’s Life is in the TRD archive, which would be clickable to take people straight there if they’re curious to know more about your own impressive achievements on two wheels!

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