For Fleur East’s dramatic X-Factor entrance they wanted a sidecar and with just under three days to go they couldn’t find one, then I found myself involved. The initial plan was to use my Suzuki Hayabusa sidecar outfit and I just assumed I would ride it, but they wanted a rider with model looks, so it was Sidecar in, Sinclair out! Enter Sam Kennedy, he’s got the look. A serious biker, but not an outfit rider so the day before the final we met to train. If you put a Hayabusa outfit in the hands of a solo rider they will soon need my other Hayabusa! Fortunately Sam proved to be an excellent student, so no fears of him careering off the stage.
Fleur’s entrance was based on a Mad Max theme and off stage there is a ramp, some awkward twists and a lot of stop starts involved. Quite frankly, a sexy looking Hayabusa outfit with big wide wheels simply wouldn’t work. What we needed was a Ural! What we needed was Bob the Bear!! Bob rides a 750cc Ural sidecar outfit, as used by the CCCP, Russian military and whenever possible the Mohjahaden. With Fleur’s Beyond the Thunderdome hair what could be more Mad Max than that? As for twists and turns, Urals do those while under machine gun fire! By sitting on the mudguard rather than in the sidecar Fleur could step off both deliberately and elegantly as well as look the part.
Normally Bob’s outfit is full of bears and Ivan sits in the sidecar, but they were all happy to be put into hibernation for Fleur. I must say it was a kick to be part of helping this young girl’s career. Off camera she is very respectful, keen to learn and friendly. Not even a hint of pretentiousness or pride. Having got to know her a little bit as well as watch her, I sure hope she wins!
Just as the Suzuki Hayabusa came second to the Ural in this story, so did Fleur to Ben. Nonetheless, both Fleur and the Hayabusa are still forces to be reckoned with!