Me & My Bike: Hog what doctor ordered
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What do you ride?
My Harley-Davidson 2009 Super Glide Custom has a 1584cc, twin cam 6-speed engine.
The current bars are mini apes, which give it a distinctive look at the front end; the factory pipes have been replaced with a two-into-one exhaust that gives it a gutsy no-nonsense sound; the foot controls have forward extensions because I'm pretty tall, and the bike came with saddlebags.
Why a Harley?
I liked the simple, classic design of this bike. Though it's a 2009 it has a 70s Harley look to it in the styling.
Some features, like the front fender, speedometer, the badge and leather strap on the tank give it a cool retro feel. I bought the bike about eight months ago from Action Sports Direct in Mt Maunganui.
In general, I'm a big fan of American culture and history and Harley-Davidson is definitely a big part of that.
Any other bikes?
Before the Harley I had a Suzuki Boulevard for about four years. That was a fun, reliable bike but I'd go for weeks at a time without riding it.
What got me riding all the time was that, earlier this year, a bunch of us actors who have bikes got together and started going on trips on the weekends. Riding in a group takes it to a new level in terms of enjoyment.
Then you've got the arm wrestling, shooting pool, etc. There are about 16 of us and we try to ride at least one Saturday a month. There are a range of bikes — Triumphs, Hondas, Suzukis, everything. Apart from that I ride the bike every day I can, even if it's just taking a scenic route to and from work.
An oil change a while ago has been about the extent of it. That's the good thing about late model bikes — the technology is such that they just go.
What do wear when riding?
On the open road I always wear a leather jacket and leather gloves. I also have the jeans with the kevlar woven into the fabric. Boots are a good idea, as is a helmet.
How is riding in Auckland?
Owning a bike in Auckland is great. You can beat the traffic on the motorways, there are plenty of places to park and in minutes you can be out of the city on a beautiful country or seaside road.
Any close calls?
I haven't had any dangerously close calls with cars when riding, touch wood. I've seen some horrendous moves though; people passing blind on the open road is just unbelievable.
Being on a bike you're much more aware of the road and other vehicles around you so to an extent you create your own safety.
I find motorists are generally okay. In a big group it's a different story, because there's so much more noise and you're a lot more visible, so it's definitely safer.
Definitely a chopper style ... drag bars, low seat, super long forks, fat rear wheel.
Who taught you to ride?
I had to learn to ride in a hurry for a job about five years ago. I think I lied in my audition interview and then I got the part and had to rush off and get my basic handling.
I did a course with Rider Training NZ in West Auckland, which was great and also I learned from friends who ride.
Shortland Street colleague Pua Magasiva also rides? Who is the better rider?
Pua and his brother Robbie are fellow riders. Pua rides a Triumph Street Triple, a different beast to mine. I won't say who's the better rider but his bikes have had a few more scrapes than mine, put it that way.
Do you drive, too?
I do, an SV6 Commodore. I'm a bigger fan of cars than I am of bikes.
Favourite ride out of Auckland?
Auckland to Raglan and back one Saturday a few months back. I think 13 of us did that one.
There was fog like pea soup south of Bombay, then the cruise through the Waikato was sensational. My dream ride is probably through the northern US and Canada.
It would be the most incredible countryside to take a couple of weeks riding through.
Favourite bike movie scene?
The car and bike chases in the first two Mad Max films always get the heart racing.
● Shortland Street’s annual cliffhanger one-hour special screens on December 19 at 7pm.