I grew up in the 60/70’s and still find myself drawn back to that era, when bikes were cool, exciting and simple, starting out on a funky moped before progressing through the ranks to bigger, faster but not always better bikes, cutting my teeth on old triumphs, smoking two strokes, customs… basically anything with two wheels.
We all like to follow our dreams and 2017 culminated in the opening of Union Road Moto-Velo, enabling me to combine my passion for building restoration and all things motorbike. Born out of the last 40+ years of riding, travelling and messing about on motorcycles made me want to create an area where people could, buy a bike, find some interesting clothing, relax and have a coffee or stay a few days in our accommodation geared to the needs of those who ride anything with two wheels, all without the hard sell or corporate blandness.
When not riding I conduct my business at The Beer Engine in Newton St. Cyres, where I have been known to hold forth on my other favorite topics of Exeter Chiefs, food and beer – I am a simple man.
My first involvement with motorbikes came when I met Neil (aka Bingo), I’ll gloss over a brief teenage encounter with a NSU! Neil was, and still is obsessed with bikes so I had no choice but to join in. A few years as pillion showed me I’m not one to hand over control so I did my test and began riding.
Over the years I’ve had a Sportster, Fatboy and ended on a lovely little bonny. These days though my bike of choice doesn’t have an engine. I’m a fair weather cyclist. I love the comradeship and genuine friendship of the cycling and biking fraternity which had brought us lasting friendships, and I’m enjoying meeting more in the rooms and coffee shop.
Bikes Bikes Bikes, if I’m honest I prefer shoes, but when all you hear is about bikes one day you realise if you can’t beat them you might as well join them. Although I’ve done a bit of riding here, in Europe and Africa in the past, these days I’m happy either pootling about in my ’62 split screen camper or ’82 mini cooper, hanging out at the shop and hearing your stories or at home with my mutt Reggie
I moved to Devon via Dubai, Milan and Paris, and my absolute passion is travel, if you have somewhere to discover I need to hear about it!
My obsession for bikes started when I was 5 and my Dad bought me a “Brittains” Triumph 3TA toy bike, by 15 I was at the local quarry. I’ve always repaired and modified my bikes, and love making one-off parts doing as much of the work as possible myself, even down to sign-writing and number plates, the last time I put a bike in to a garage for repair was ’87!
The camaraderie of the biking scene is what I really enjoy, to this end I founded “Yer Tiz” and organise Panther Owners Club rallies here in Devon. It was a chance mention to a friend that I liked Panthers that reminder her that her Father had left her one. In the space of an hour we had cleared enough debris from the barn where it had languished to reveal a filthy green tarp which concealed it from the light of day for the best part of 3 decades. It took 18 months to restore it to working condition, and of course I wanted to get stuck in to everything even lacing the wheels myself.
When I’m not tinkering I follow my strong interest in design and manufacturing materials, especially gold/silver/black smithing.
Hi, I’m Matt.
Having driven a desk designing websites and printed material for the last 10+ years, my mind (and waistline) needed a change of scenery. With a long held enthusiasm for Moto’s – especially Harley Davidson and Indian Motorcycle, URMV is a perfect fit with plenty of opportunities to chat all things bike related.
Also keen photographer, you’ll quite likely see me with camera in hand when I have a moment or two free, and I will be contributing images to the URMV website and social media channels. So if you rock up on an interesting bike – you might just get featured too…