Moto 19 at Tour of Qatar, part three

From Moto 19, Luke Evans, the driver of CW photographer Graham Watson’s motorbike at the 10th Tour of Qatar.

We ran out fuel 300 metres from the line the other day. We were not far ahead of the bunch and there was nothing to do but wheel the bike off the course and tell Graham to leg it to the finish. He didn’t make it.

Problems with motorbikes are the biggest headache in this job. A French moto driver warned me of this and boy, was he right.

This week in Qatar we have rented two bikes, both as different as can be.

The Ducati Monster was twice as powerful as my regular photo bike and half the size. A hair trigger throttle and tiny perch for the big man could easily have resulted in a YouTube megahit. We swapped it just before Graham’s back gave out.

Bike two was a Triumph America, a faux custom which made us look like Henry Fonda and Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider. It was more comfy on the back and by the final day (Friday) I was getting used to the weird tiller-like bars and feet planted right up by the front wheel.

We fly to Oman tomorrow and pick up Kawasaki trail bikes for the Tour of Oman which starts on Tuesday. Looking forward to trying my third bike in a fortnight and hoping this one will be the best.

It will be a pleasure though, to wheel out my own, proper, moto-photo bike a week later for the first Belgian Classic.

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