Peter Starr: The Man Behind “Motorcycle Traveler”
We are excited to announce a new product coming to the Twisted Throttle store this month – a book that will inspire those who wish to travel by motorcycle! Motorcycle Traveler, by Peter Starr, tells the stories of motorcycle travel from many countries and is a must-read for any aspiring 2 wheeled traveler!
Twelve countries in six years provide the back drop for Starr’s motorcycling adventures, which were created as part of his “living a purposeful life” cancer recover program. A great scenario for a man whose story telling has been featured in major motorcycle magazines around the world and for whom motorcycling has been an active part of his life for 58 years. The 10” x 10” Motorcycle Traveler book has 300 pages, over 500 photographs and comes with an accompanying DVD. Covering on and off-road riding, the twelve chapters feature Australia, Canada, Ecuador, Finland, Isle of Man, Israel, New Zealand, Poland, Quebec, Romania, Scotland, Thailand, Taiwan and Wales. The new book is guaranteed to appeal to many riders of all segments of the sport, particularly those who yearn to discover different countries and cultures from the unique perspective of a motorcycle.
We sat down with Peter, to get to know the man behind Motorcycle Traveler!
TT: First of all, who is Peter Starr?
PS: I am a life-long motorcyclist, a former professional racer in Europe, film maker of over 40 films about motorcycle sport and author of two coffee table books about specific aspects of my motorcycle life.
[Working on my first motorcycle film, The Bad Rock, 1973]
TT: How did your love of motorcycles start?
PS: When I was a high school student in Coventry England, my art teacher raced a 350cc BSA Gold Star and on Fridays he would ride to school on a Norton sidecar with his racing bike strapped to the sidecar and park it at school, then ride to the races immediately following school. That whetted my appetite and directly led to my lifelong interest in motorcycle sport.
[Early in my racing career, waiting to race in 1962 at a small English race track]
TT: How did you begin working in the industry?
PS: I am not sure I have ever worked in the industry, more alongside it. When I started making films in 1973 and getting those films shown on television, there was no one else doing this. Thanks has to go to my early sponsors, Penzoil, Hodaka Motorcycles Datsun (Nissan) for believing in me in those early days.
[In 1964 I raced all over Europe, this was the Barcelona 24 hour race. At Montjuich Park, public roads. Notice the Police Station in the background, and the lack of safety fences]
TT: What have been your biggest or most memorable projects?
PS: Certainly the production of Take It To The Limit since it still is only one of two motorcycle films ever to get wide cinema release (1980) and the two International Film awards it received. Perhaps the other was bringing The Stroh Brewery to dirt track racing in 1985 for the televising of the seven Stroh Miles. Other individual films have been memorable such as the film I made about Kenny Roberts and his Son Kenny Jr, called Like Father, Like Son. Many of them have their own significant stories and challenges.
[Buddhist apprentices in remote village in Thailand, they had never seen a large motorcycle before.]
TT: What inspired you to write about your motorcycle travels?
PS: I was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and learned two things (a) life is finite an If I am going to do anything, I have no time to waste, and people with a purpose to their life, live longer and potentially survive cancer better. My purpose was to ride in many countries and communicate the adventures to other motorcyclists who could benefit from my approach to cancer and to aging.
[A high point in Israel, Bethal Mountain]
TT: What was the most interesting place you have traveled via motorcycle?
PS: There are so many from the very different countries featured in my book. Each of the 12 had a different and inspiring reason to visit there and ride, it is so hard to pick one. If I had to pick 4 of the 12 they would be Ecuador, Taiwan, Israel and Thailand.
[The rainstorm to end all rainstorms in Quebec when I was riding the Formula 1 Giles Villeneuve race track]
TT: What overall message do you want to send to all of your readers?
PS: As the Italians put it, “Life is uncertain, eat desert first”. As you get older your opportunities might be declining, but they do not have to stop. In spite of adversities, cancer, heart disease or what have you, remember the Grand Riders of Taiwan and get out and ride, even if it is only around your personal island. Remember that life is precious and it has an expiration date.
[Presenting a certificate of completion with one of the Grand Riders of Taiwan following our first ride.]
TT: Do you have anything else interesting in the works?
PS: I am currently working on two video podcasts, one for by motorcycle website www.motostarr.com and one for my prostate cancer foundation www.survivingprostatecancer.com
You can now purchase Motorcycle Traveler at TwistedThrottle.com!