16 September 2019
There are many reasons people choose to ride a motorcycle. Whether you’re looking for the freedom that comes with riding the open road, or have a simple need to get from A-to-B, passing your bike test is an entirely personal decision.
For 29-year-old model Christian Williams, who has grown up around and been fascinated by motorcycles all his life, you’d have thought he would have started riding at an early age. However, it was a recent career opportunity that gave him the push he needed to get on to two wheels himself.
“Living in London and being constantly on the move, I wanted a more interesting mode of transport,” he said. “I drive a Ford Capri, which has its exciting moments, but too often I’m stuck in traffic overheating or at the petrol station overspending. The tube is great, but just so boring and I’d prefer to be outdoors learning the streets of London.
“I’ve always been fascinated by bikes; I have grown up around motorcycles and racetracks. My uncle competed in British Superbikes and World Series sidecars. And my cousin Tommy Philip is now racing in the British Supersport championship, so I still get to be around the action. But, it wasn’t until I was 27 and I needed my motorcycle licence for a short film role I was cast in that I finally got on to two wheels.”
As the budding actor soon discovered, there was nothing glamourous about taking his motorcycle test in the middle of winter! But since passing, Christian has embraced the exciting opportunities he’s had to ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles – including the brand new LiveWire electric model.
“I did my training and bike test in freezing conditions with gloves borrowed from the training centre,” he continued. “They had vent holes and I had to keep warming my hands on the bike engine at every opportunity. But, I passed my bike test last year after completing a direct access course in my home town of Islington.
“I didn’t buy a bike at the time, but probably would have if the Harley-Davidson offer of refunding £1,000 of the cost of training had been about at the time. So, I did the film and then the next time I rode a bike was when Harley-Davidson UK & Ireland invited me to try the new LiveWire at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. I was one of the first people in the world to publicly ride the first-ever fully electric Harley… I was so excited but so nervous at the same time!
“As soon as I got on it and started riding though, the nerves just disappeared; that bike is so fast but so easy to ride and so much fun! It really gave me the bug for riding again too.”
Now a more confident rider, Christian isn’t afraid to take part in the odd challenge too, including racing a modified Harley-Davidson ‘flat tracker’ motorcycle at DirtQuake…
“I practiced on a modified Harley-Davidson Street Rod and my first race was on the same model at this year’s DirtQuake,” he explained. “It was such a rush being on the track, competing for the win – I can’t wait to get back on the flat track circuit and. I’ll definitely be there again next year with better skills.
“Since passing my test, a lot of friends ask why I like Harley-Davidson bikes so much. I was first blown away by a Harley when one jumped off a bridge in the film Terminator 2. Since then I’ve become fascinated with Harley’s heritage, the exhaust sound and comfort. Plus they look stunning and fit well with my line of work. My dream bike would be a Roadster or Street Rod customised as a street legal flat tracker.”