Recored back in June 2020 when the legendary DJ, Carl Cox, is usually frequenting the Isle of Man TT with his sponsored riders, instead the great man chatted to us while at his house in Melbourne, Australia.
Talking about his motorcycle obsession starting at a young age while still in school, Carl speaks about the baron years, his vast collection of over 80 bikes, where he likes to watch at the TT, what he's been up to in lockdown and the justification behind his self-proclaimed 'Fastest DJ in the World' title! His passion, enthusiasm and laugh are all infectious!
Torqueing Heads: Carl Cox 'Fastest DJ In The World' Exclusive Chat!
Michael Mann: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to Bennetts BikeSocial and the latest episode of Torqueing Heads.
I'm delighted to thank our sponsor, the motorcycle clothing brands, Difi, that's Difi-mc.co.uk. So I'm Michael Mann and joining me today all the way from Melbourne, Australia, it's the man who barely needs an introduction and you know full well that he'll always have a smile on his face, especially being in a nightclub at 3:00 AM. It's Carl Cox!
I'm alright, mate, thank you very much, yeah, are you?
Carl Cox: [00:00:26] Fantastic. Absolutely.
Michael Mann: [00:00:30] Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us. So how's it all been for you?
Carl Cox: [00:00:35] Not a lot of people really know where I came from, how do I fit into all of this, what's going on? You know, why am I still here doing and supporting sidecar racing? And, you know, I could be anywhere in the world, and there I am freezing my nuts off at Creg Ny Baa waiting for the sidecars to turn up, you know, it's... the thing is, I just, I just love all aspects of motorsport. And I have done since I was a child. Growing up in South London the nearest racetrack was always Brands Hatch and I used to go down there and watch the bikes racing down there in the early, very early days of the seventies.
And my biggest passion for me, and I race myself, is drag racing. So down at Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire, I was always taken down there by some friends of mine, to go see race cars, drag cars basically, do the quarter mile and go get down up there to fast as you've ever seen.
And and then I started to do drag racing myself. And in my early days I had a Mark one Ford Capri and...
Michael Mann: [00:01:41] 2.8?
Carl Cox: [00:01:43] It was a, it was a three litre actually. So it was a Mark one with the four speed manual box. And I, and I blew up a few times and I thought 'sod this, this is too expensive'. I'll get back to it at one point in my life to drag race, but I always used to go down there once a month with any type of car. It's called 'run what you brung' and like an old mini, or it didn't matter what it was a long as you got on the tarmac and you went for gold, if that was the exhilleration about it. And I loved it. And but it got to a point where drag racing didn't make any sense anymore. And and I, I got a proper car, which was a Mercedes 560 sec, which I still have it today. And all the parties that I did in the UK up and down the country I drove that car, which I still have today.
And, which didn't break down, and wheels didn't fall off and exhaust didn't fall off and all that kind of stuff used to happen to me in the early days. But meanwhile, while all that was going on before I started getting into cars, my first motorbike was a Yamaha FS1E and this was a great bike, you know, something you could afford when you was just coming out of school.
And my friends also got them as well. And a friend of mine, one friend of mine had an AP 60 Suzuki with the six speed and he'll get two mile an hour more than us, cause he had the six speed, you know. And we went have expansion pipes, clip-ons and all that sort of stuff on our little Fizzies and someone who used to seize up because they got too hot. It could be used for heat seize. The one little tiny piston that... and the gudgeon pins holding everything together. They used to melt inside the cylinder bore, we had such fun with those bloody things. And then I went from that 50cc to a DT175 Yamaha. And then I went from that to LC RD250 and then 350 and after that I stopped riding for years and years and years.
And I started riding again when I got here to Australia in 2003, and I basically went to get my license here in Australia, which did my first bike again, here was a CB250. And then after that Honda, then I went to a VTR 250 that was my kind of my poor man's Ducati... because it was the VTwin 250 and it used to sound like one, and I went from that to a Fireblade.
So the Honda Fireblade. So it's like, whoosh! Okay, how do I want one of these fast and without killing myself. So I went into California Superbike School here in Australia, and when I got back to England after riding here in Australia. I had to take my test again to take the CBT. My first bike back on back riding again was a, a CB125, no a CBR125 a Honda, the Honda. Yeah. And so, here I am; big guy on a little 125 - 58mph, I'm thinking I'm gonna die. I'm on a dual carriageway and all these trucks and lorries are passingme, I'm like, ah, man, this ain't a good idea. Anyway, so I managed to pass my test after two years and then my first bike was the big, the, the, the Repsol Honda Fireblade.
And then after that I was riding that for quite a while, then I've got a Ducati 10, no, 1198 Ducati. And then Hayabusa so...
Michael Mann: [00:05:07] No messing!
Carl Cox: [00:05:08] There was no messing. And now I have over 80 motorcycles, race bikes, sidecars and I drag race some amazing drag race cars. And basically, Carl Cox Motorsport was born roundabout about 2013.
It all stemmed... it all started from a race team, a sidecar race team in New Zealand called Smith and Shorter Racing. I've started sponsoring them and then basically got to sponsor another sidecar team. And, and everything was starting to accumulate in, in New Zealand where I was taking the sidecar team to the Isle of Man TT, and that's how that all started. And then once we got into that, and then I started sponsoring some of the riders at the Isle of Man TT - Michael Dunlop being one of them. And then then I started with Clive Padgett and sponsoring his team with his riders and, and then the Manx I was supporting Team Classic Suzuki with Michael. And and then we had a New Zealand, Kiwi rider called Jay Lawrence and he entered with Team Classic Suzuki and Carl Cox Motorsport, we linked up together. So he was, he was racing for us last year at the Manx so I've kind of, kind of got into it quite, quite heavily in some ways. And this year I had Shane Richardson and Damo Reeves from New Zealand racing in BSB for Carl Cox Motorsport this year.
And and then on the Isle of Man TT, Michael, Dunlop's getting sponsored by me again, Dave Molineux was, was sidecar racing for me this year and Greg Lambert as well sidecar racing. So two sidecar teams, Michael and Clive Padgett going in as well. So I had a lot going on and of course it's... nothing's happening, including my own racing, for for drag racing, which I actually entered it in a professional series called the 400 Thunder drag race professional series with my new car from the States, which is very, very fast. And it's very competitive. I was really looking to go great guns with this year. And that's all kyboshed as well. So I've ended up cooking banana bread at home and creating a vegetable garden patch. So that's, what's happened to me.
Michael Mann: [00:07:24] So your friend and mine, Michael Neeves, he talked to me about your, your latest drag car investment with its many, many brake horsepower. What's that about?
Is that the one you mentioned?
Carl Cox: [00:07:36] Yeah. So, so basically it's a, it's called a pro mod and they basically professionally race these cars in the States. So these things were very, very fast. And I kind of got into the idea of the kind of racing the I could get into at my level in a sense of entry, which is still not that bloody cheap, but the idea was that I wanted to go faster.
So when I was racing my Ford Capri, which is a very fast car here. Over 200 miles an hour at 6.9 seconds, quarter mile. So that, that is faster than any motor bike can go down that track. Unless it's a bloody drag bike basically. Yeah. It's, it's a very fast car, but to go any quicker to get into a different category, I had to buy a different car, so, and the only car I could buy was a pro mod from the States.
So it took about a year to get it. And I bought it from a race team called, a guy called Jose Gonzalez. And and he basically put this car for the top. He won two pro mod championships with the car. So the fastest it's been as 5.6, 5.4 seconds at 272 miles an hour. So yes, it's very, very fast.
It's one of those things. You look at it and you just shake your head and you, do you normally say to yourself 'I wouldn't like to drive that', but yes, I get into it. It's on YouTube. You can go 'Carl Cox Mustang', you can see me in the car not racing it and kind of just doing test runs at the moment, but it's been I've done an exhibition runs and everything.
Fastest I've been in it so far. It's 6.1 seconds at 234 mile an hour. So it's the fastest I've ever been over a quarter mile distance in anything. So I would like to take the title as the 'Fastest DJ in the World'. That's my title. I can't see any of that DJ mad enough to do it anyway, but I, I really, I, you know, I'd been into drag race and I love it. I watch it religiously. I soak it up. It's one of those things where people don't realise that my hobby is this, but I'm very much involved in, in all aspects of drag racing from a professional series level. And I'm going to be bringing it over to Europe, to drag race a European round and Santa Pod is very much the centre point of professional pro mod racing.
So we were going to come back comfortable to bring it all over - the circus of it, not this year, but next year. Well, it looks like maybe with what's going with COVID -19 into COVID-20, we'll bring it in 2022. So Carl Cox with my drag car and the car drag car team and everything will be on British soil so it will be, it will be likely coming back to, to hallowed ground about how I started drag racing in my early years.
Michael Mann: [00:10:33] Back to Santa Pod. And hopefully there'll be some kind of sash or a crown for you to wear?!
Carl Cox: [00:10:37] Yeah, I'm going to have to, I can't see anyone being any faster than me in this realm. Awesome.
Michael Mann: [00:10:43] You've got a couple of years now to shave some extra point tenths of a second off your best time.
Carl Cox: [00:10:50] Well, the problem is I've got to lose a few kilos because less weight is more speed.
Michael Mann: [00:10:54] I don't know, when you've got that amount of speed, you can be wherever, whatever size you want!
Carl Cox: [00:10:58] Yeah, that's right. All you got to do is just turn it up a bit and it compensates, but it's pretty fast. I mean, when you see it on YouTube, it doesn't really give you the scope of how fast it really is. But we, we, we we'll send you some videos of what it looks like going down the back end. And it's like a bullet out of a gun, you know, you know, when you're standing there and you see somebody go past over 200 mile an hour, you can't believe it.
It's like being at the Isle of Man TT, when they, when those bikes go past you just cannot believe that it's some wobbly bit hanging onto the handlebars is going past you at that kinetic speed. It's incredible to see.
Michael Mann: [00:11:33] We did some filming last week on a runway locally, on a disused air base with a, we were doing a car versus bike. I can't really say so much about it because this video will be out before that video. The fella turned up in a 1600 brake horsepower Nissan GTR
Carl Cox: [00:11:52] Woohoo, that's a lot!
Michael Mann: [00:11:54] Yeah. Off the line you think that for the first few yards... is he? is he? And all of sudden, boom, and he's gone. So taking the, taking the facts and figures you just announced into consideration, man, that must be something to watch it!
Carl Cox: [00:12:08] It's it's basically when I let let go, the trans brake button from a standing start once I've got the car up on boost 'cause it's turbo, it basically reached a 60 foot mark just under a second. So as soon as I let it go, 60 foot mark in a second, and that kinetic energy is carried all the way through to the quarter mile. Now the G-Force of that is probably about 3.2 seconds, 3.2 Gs going out.
And then when I pulled the parachutes is probably about 3.5 to four Gs to pull you back. Otherwise I'm going for a ride.
Michael Mann: [00:12:44] That's pretty severe. Now you said your passion for motor sport really grew from, from when you were at Santa Pod when you were a nipper, yeah?
Carl Cox: [00:12:51] Yeah. Yeah, that all started, I mean, I'm, you know, I used to watch a rally rallying and, you know, motorcross, all sorts of stuff on the World of Sports, you know, and on a Saturday when it was Dicky Davis and everybody, you know, I just loved it.
You know, just any aspects of it. I mean, when I was, before I had a motorbike, I was always you know, in, in the woods on pushbike, you know, doing speedway, peddling away, and I'd come back full mud, bike's really though it was all fully muddied up the bike. And I just, I just loved it. I just loved being out on two wheels.
I've always had them who has been enjoyed the fact that the freedom of it all. And, and I mean, my thing about being on these bikes now, and I have an amazing array of them all and supporting someone like Michael Neeves as well as actually Michael Dunlop I had a really great association with him from first meeting and, and him riding with us with all the summers going back and forth to Ibiza and having that kind of camaraderie of riding and everything once I passed my test, it's just been an amazing journey.
But I, I liked doing track days on the motorbike. I really do enjoy it. But I, I don't have the eye for it. So I do role. So say like, Michael, for instance, will get himself on a Phillip Island at maybe 1m41 seconds. And that's on a bike that's twenty-five years old and I'm on a brand new, you know, Ducati or something, and mine's like, you know, 2m4seconds you know, it's a big difference between speed, but even so I could pick that up a bit more, but just learning the bike more and more, getting smooth, just enjoying the track. Ride between my limits and means, come home in one peice that kind of thing.
But if I'm in a car, I lose my mind. You know, I want to go fast at any point and, and not, not like street race or anything like that. It's just want to get on a track and a car. And then I'm flat-stick, I'm into it. I hit all the apexes and I just go for gold every time. And at the moment, I've just been doing some iRacing here for V8 Supercars and and I did it round about three or four weeks ago, where I had my livery on a V8 Supercar with the Mustang. And I've got to basically you have the virtual reality goggles on, get into a simulator, and then drive that car and race it around Bathurst. Now I'm in a scene, I'm in a scene I've never been in before. Virtual Reality I've been in a couple of times, but it's quite disorienting going around a track I've never been round before with some of the, some of the greatest drivers of all time. And here I am on the grid, you know, in virtual reality going round. Well, actually I didn't do too bad. It was, there was some spectacular crashes. Turn one was a nightmare and all that sort of stuff, but I really enjoyed it. You know, getting out there doing the SIM racing is fantastic. I want to get more into that because all the time that I can't move around these days anymore. I think, I think I, you know, iRacing or even just getting into a simulator will float my boat until we can actually get to the tracks wholeheartedly.
But I mean, I do miss going to, you know, the races, I miss going to see the races at MotoGP, World Superbikes, BSB, of course. And you know, I'd get invited to go and see the races of Formula One as well. And and now V8 Supercars here in Australia, which is brilliant. I absolutely love it.
So at any given moment, I'll try to show my face at as many races as I can and still DJ, of course, enjoying my life, you know, riding my bikes and with my cars and everything. But we're trying to expand as between all of these aspects, but also show the support that I have and love for motorsport it's something that's been in me as a hobby for many, many years, and now it's come to some sort of fruition.
People are understanding that about me getting involved or supporting somebody actually does help.
Michael Mann: [00:16:50] So year on year, your support has got bigger and bigger, hasn't it?
Carl Cox: [00:16:54] I used to until, until, until my disposable income just became non-existent at the moment. So I will be kind of carrying on as much as I possibly can but unfortunately for some, it's not going to happen in the distant future because we're going to be going into a recession now, it's going to happen. We're all going to be pulling up our socks and tightening our belts on everything.
And I think for motor sports, it's going to be exactly the same. For all sports, cricket, tennis, everything. It's going to take a while before we, we're going to get back to how it was you know, before this all started. And for my own kind of like efforts for, for motor sport I'll be basically tightening up the belt and then trying to kind of have as much money for my own self to go racing, because the only sponsor that I have is me. I don't have many major sponsors is I'm a private, basically privatier that is able to, I was able to help others. And I still can up to a point, but it's going to be kind of a situation where it becomes realistic and before I can go forward I've got going backwards to go forward. So it's kind of like getting back to what it was to begin with and then basically build up the Motorsport team once again for the future.
Michael Mann: [00:18:06] So other than baking banana bread over the last couple of months, what else have you been doing? Well, playing virtual V8 Supercars...
Carl Cox: [00:18:15] Brilliant, yeah. You know what, I mean I been doing a lot of live kind of like shows from my house here in, in Melbourne doing streaming shows on, on, on social platforms and and my recording studio that I have here as well. We've been doing most of the big shows in that studio.
So I still reach out to people with, by what I'm doing. I do a show called Cabin Fever. Now Cabin Fever is something of which I felt like when we were locked in that, that's how I felt. But here my garage that I have here in Melbourne, I have over 150,000 pieces of vinyl, which I collect, been collecting over the years of me being a DJ from 1968, all the way through until probably about 2007, just pure utter vinyl of everything you can think of to do with like dance music to do with commercial top 40 records, you know, Vera Lynn to Madonna, to the birdie song to Ritchie Hawtion to Laurent Garnier, I have everything.
So I said to myself that I would do one streaming show and you guys will get it on a Sunday, Sunday afternoon, about four o'clock or five o'clock. And it's a one hour show where I just play vinyl where I mix vinyl, play vinyl and that's it. So the music that comes out of vinyl actually is amazing because a lot of them is that you just can't find, you can't get it on download.
It's. It's one of those things where I actually have a treasure chest of just amazing music of which I basically just get to play and to share. So that's one of the things that I'm doing at the moment is doing my live streaming shows and, and and everyone seems to be enjoying it very much so.
Michael Mann: [00:19:58] That's a 40 year collection you've got!
Carl Cox: [00:20:01] Yeah, it's quite scary. And I can't believe that when I play these records that they actually still play very, very well. I kind of keep them quite preserved as much as I can, but to still pull a record out with the sleeve and to still, you know, you blow the dust off either. You know, we put a needle on the record, and you wait for it to go <scratch noise> and actually it's still plays and you're like it's still got the sound well, when it was recorded back in the day and the depth of it on and how analog it feels. And I'm like, that's a testament to vinyl, you know, end of the day. I mean, you're right, a lot of that music goes back 40 years and I just put a needle on the record today and it still sounds that great.
So I'm really enjoying kind of going back, you know, back in the time of, of, of what, what I loved about music and how I shared that track from the album or that mix or how I put this music together and I still have that behind me. So it's a, it's, it's wonderful to be able to have the ability to, to do live streaming shows with, with the, with the, with the music and the vinyl that I have.
Michael Mann: [00:21:02] It's tremendous. And do you remember your first record, have you still got it?
Carl Cox: [00:21:06] Yeah. Yeah. I mean the actual the first record that I actually ever bought with my own money, not my dad's money, it was I remember buying it in 1976, it's a Tamla Motown record at HMV on Sutton High Street and it costs I think £4.99 at the moment at that time, it was an album and it was a Diana Ross 'Love Hangover' on Tamla Motown records. I still have it. We still play in it. A hundred percent. Yeah. It's a great, great show. And she's a fantastic artist. Diana Ross was actually was supposed to play at Glastonbury this year (2020) . She was going to come back and play and I was I'll really gettin excited about that. And cause I was going to be playing that as well,of course.
Michael Mann: [00:21:48] So you've had to cancel a lot of your touring plans this year, you were supposed to be in the UK, presumably you're supposed to be at the TT right now weere you, at the Isle of Man?
Carl Cox: [00:21:54] Yeah, I can't believe it. And you guys have the most amazing weather right now. This is not fair. It's just not, I cannot believe how good it is because I have a property on the Isle of Man as well. And I'm really looking forward to staying there. It's actually between Crosby and Ballacraine. My house is right on the track and I was looking forward to going back. And I was like, I couldn't even get anywhere near it, but...
Michael Mann: [00:22:19] Is it near Gorse Lea, Greeba Castle, that kind of area?
Carl Cox: [00:22:25] That's right, yeah, cor, you know, you know, your TT. It's awesome going by, but when do you go past out on your bike when you know, when there's no one there and he kind of get your head down outside, you can only do 40 mile an hour.
Michael Mann: [00:22:36] Yeah.Have you ever done a closed road lap of the Island, by the way?
Carl Cox: [00:22:41] I haven't no, the only time I went round with a closed tracks was where they take you around in the car, you know, when they, and they take the guests round to say, you know, you get to feel the what it's like to go around there at full pin. And it was absolutely awesome. You know, my favorite part actually is going down Bray Hill, going down there, and Ago's Leap and they go all the way down and I'm just like, 'Oh my God', it's just brilliant, I love that.
Michael Mann: [00:23:13] It's exhilarating straight from the go isn't it. As soon as the...
Carl Cox: [00:23:15] The traffic lights get up there, they get a little jump over Ago's Leap, all the way down and you pin it until you get to Quarter Bridge screech on the pin and you turn right and you're like Oh wow. And that's why I appreciate those guys that they ride so well and so hard and fast and you know, Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison. I mean, these two guys for me last year were just phenomenal. And, you know, Dean was basically going out and being fast on his flying lap where Peter would be faster on his second lap.
Yeah. And that was, for me, that's incredible really how they had to get themselves. But yeah, so going back to my events. Yeah. Every one of them are cancelled for the whole of the year. I'm not even sure if I'm going to be DJing again until maybe March 2021. So so I'm going to, I'm here for the long haul at the moment.
I can't see myself going back to Europe at the moment. There's nothing maybe for me to come back for. And I probably end up with an Aussie accent the next time you speak to me.
Oh, g'day mate, how's it going copper! Oh yeah, that'd be right.
Michael Mann: [00:24:31] That's a real shame that everything's been canned really, isn't it. It's just it leaves you with well, at least at least you've got the ability to do stuff from your own house. You've got like immense record collection. And just talk to us a little bit about your motorcycle collection. You've got how many 80 you said, right?
Carl Cox: [00:24:49] Yeah, over 80, 80 bikes. And the mad thing was, I think what happened with me to be honest, when I stop riding I missed all the bikes that came out at that time. There'd be like the Ducati 851 Strada, the Ducati 916. But the, the first Yamaha, what was it, FZR was it a set off, the R1, I think it was Delta box, the Delta box ones. And I mean, I missed all of those amazing bikes. The, the Honda, Honda RC30, RC45 every, every one of these bikes, I don't know what they were like to ride. I know they're halo bikes and hero bikes and everything, and I missed all that preface of racing and everything.
So I, when I first got my first classic bike, which was a Honda Four and then and I remember when the Honda Four's came out, they just sounded like Ferrari's, you know, because they were in-line four engines and they, you know, you revved them up, brrm, brrm! It wasn't like a BSA or an AJS or, or any of those bikes at the time because those British bikes never had electric start. You know, you have to always kickstart them and get them on the compression, you know, get the choke out or advance the timing, all of that and I'm like 'why would I want a BSA when I can just get a Japanese bike?' And it went like hell, you know! I one of my favourite bikes actually was probably the air-cooled GT350 triple, the Suzuki. I think that, and they did a 350, I think they did a 550, a 650? A 750? And they're all air-cooled until they went water-cooled and I just love the sound, you know, two stroke: whoom bum-bum-bum, whoom, bum-bum-bum .
And this thing was just incredible. And then I remember watching the movie Mad Max and they premiered the Z1000 and you know, the 'Kwaker' and then The Goose did this big licky up the road, you know, I mean, a thousand CC, and my friend had a mini and the engine was an 850cc, and they've got 1000cc on a bike and you're like, Oh my God. I fell in love with these bikes and I couldn't get my hands on them so, and also I wasn't interested in them anymore because I, I stopped riding. So. I think my collection was based on what I'd missed and and then I'll get on them a ride and then understand what it's like to own them, feel what it's like, and to be able to have the ability to race some of them as well because some of them are in race form too, like my GSX-R750 and, and I've got a race RC30, I've got a Harris Suzuki XR-69 and yeah, quite a few really nice tasty race bikes, I've got a Katana as well in the, in the fold. So, you know, these bikes are absolutely phenomenal. I don't race them actually. I'll do exhibition laps when I go around and then hope that I don't bin any of them, cause I need to be ready to race on them. But apart from that, you know, I think that my collection, I love Ducati's, I love MV Agusta's. Obviously they're very Italian in their way. But I also, and I, I appreciate the style of them and what they are, what they stand for, but also I do have a plethora of Kawasaki's, Yamaha's BMW's... the list goes on, yeah.
Michael Mann: [00:28:19] What determines whether you keep them or whether you sell them?
Carl Cox: [00:28:26] Yeah, so they all have to be a collectible, so they are kind of numbered bikes. So, you know, if they, if the Ben Bostrum one, they made 155 of them and then I'll have one of them already numbered and signed off on. So I've got one of 155.
And my Desmosedici, they were only supposed to make a thousand of them, but they made 1500 of them because of demand and my one is 1189 of 1500. So all numbers or signed off, so I have a two Rossi replica bikes, one he signed and one which was actually signed by the company, which is numbered.
And then tanother one which he actually physically signed which I'm very happy about the 2008/2009 version of the Yamaha R1. And then they made the new one, the cross plane crank version, I got a Rossi replica in that so I got two of these 46's at the time when he had the, the the FIAT Yamaha livery on those bikes, so these are the kinds of things that I'm looking for in, in my bikes. From my latest bike actually, in fact, I've got two latest bikes, actually three latest bikes, but the two that I really, really have, I mean, I have the the, the Honda RCV213. And and that's here at moment, which is absolutely phenomenal bike to have, to own, to ride on. I never want to drop that thing ever.
And and the latest bike is, is the MV Agusta Claudio; the, the last of the F4's which is... they're only making 100 of them. I've got one of them. And and I only rode it last week and it's absolutely delicious. I just want to eat it. It's just the carbon fibre wheels alone are just delicious. The whole bike is, is phenomenal.
And so I have a Tamborini and I have a 675 Serie Oro, and I have the, the F4 that Claudio. So that's kind of like my bookend of the Tamborini, the Serie Ora. And now the Claudio.
Michael Mann: [00:30:30] So you're an MV aficionado. And tell me, so you, you talked earlier about your, the, so the Fizzie was your first bike, have you still got that, have you still got your first ever bike?
Carl Cox: [00:30:39] No. Well, actually, I mean, my Fizzie was a, was a bit of a bitsa...
Michael Mann: [00:30:43] Is that becasue you wanted to go faster on it?!
Carl Cox: [00:30:45] ..ha ha! Well, my tank was purple and my my side covers was Kenny Roberts yellow.
It was a bit of a bitsa yeah, I mean, you know, at the time, you know, you know, a lot of people crashed these bikes and you get bits from all over the place. So but as soon as I kind of got my bike into some sort of order, and then I wanted to go faster and then eventually I'll stepped it up to the 175, it was when you could still actually ride that bike on L plates on a driving licence. But of course when a few people had a few accidents on the Yamaha LC, that's where the government changed the the laws on if you've got to ride anything more than a 250 you got to pass your test so you can ride the 350. But then also the minute that the bike, you could only ride on an Ls was a 125. So I was kind of out the game once that all started cause I didn't end up with a... No, I, I didn't get the 350, I ended up with a 250 and then after that I stopped riding. So, but I do have in my collection two LC RD 350s and one 250. So I'll get, I'll get back on that bike and it's like, 'where's the rest of it?'. When you're at school, you're like, it's the biggest bike in the world. Today, it's a...
Do you know what, the funniest thing, when I got my 350, we got it from Japan. It's gorgeous, blue and white, it's it's it's a beautiful beast. I was looking for the electric start.
You should stop because now you've got to kick it over. Like I haven't kicked a bike over since I was at school. So I was like 'where's that then?'. And I found it kickstart was like this big. Anyway, so you know that two stokes don't have much compression, but they were like zing, zing, zing,zing. And I look back and I'm like, Oh, the environment I'm like, Oh my God, people are going to hate me, you know. Anyway, I went up and down, out on it, up and down the block and it's still got some mumbo. I mean, even in second gear it still wanted to do a wheelie. So yeah, it's fantastic bike still. That's my halo bike for me, where I'd end up if I stopped racing, was that the the 250, not a 350 but the 350 had better brakes. They had two disks instead of one.
Michael Mann: [00:33:08] And what about your favorite? What if you have to the favorite from your collection right now? Would it be the 350?
Carl Cox: [00:33:15] I would have to say the Desmosedici. I mean, you don't even have to ride that bike and you just look at it and just, just shake your head and you just think what a nice piece of kit, and then when you do to ride it. You'd have to ride it. It's got no rider aids on it whatsoever. Not like the BMW has got everything. This has nothing. It's you and it. It's got an awesome engine, it's a race bike basically for the road. Actually it's not for the road, because this is it's like driving a piece of wood on the road, it just wants to rip your arms off.
So it's not the most comfortable bike to be on the street with, but I have to say, even though I have some really exceptional motorcycles, I think that the Desmosedici RR is just a beautiful stunning piece of kit.
Michael Mann: [00:34:07] What about the one that alludes you? Are there bikes out that you wish you had or of that are on your eBay watch list, maybe?
Carl Cox: [00:34:17] I think I've got them all. I think of all the bikes that I ever wanted, I think I've got them all. I mean, look, I mean, there's so many like Mike Hailwood replica bikes, there's so much more I could buy into, to be honest. But I think that everything that I really wanted to, to, to, to get my hands on and, and to, and to own and to enjoy, I think I really have some of the best motorcycles ever built that I have in my collection now, today.
Michael Mann: [00:34:52] Oh, you must be proud. Hey, Carl, let's talk about the TT again, just quickly. So you should have been there this year, presumably? And last year you played at the closing party. That must have been pretty immense?
Carl Cox: [00:35:05] The thing is that they've never had the likes of someone like myself to make, to make a party like this.
So I kind of came in because the band that I had cancelled on them. So they were like, ah, we know a DJ that could spin a bit, you know, wonder what he needs. Will he do it for like a beer and maybe like a Ploughman's lunch or something, or what can we do with him, you know. Anyway, so I said look, you've got to treat me like an artist because that's what I do. Listen, you know, I, I pull, you know, I get the punters in and I entertain them in such a way. So yes, I'm a DJ, but the idea was to get people to understand that I'm not a wedding DJ or just some guy that does it on the weekends, this is my profession. So you have to have the crowd control barriers up. You have to make sure that enough security, enough toilets, enough people behind the bars. They weren't ready for anything. Soon as people came in they lost their minds; the barriers went over, the toilets had a big queue. They couldn't handle the amount of people at the bar. It was a disaster, but the actual event itself, the party went off like you just cannot believe and, and had a really great time.
And as you know, poor old Keith Flint had died that year and he was an avid TT supporter as well as being part of a team as well, of the Team Traction Control. And and people loved him, you know seeing him around at the TT now. And he's a musician as well and being a big part of electronic music band.
So me and him were, were really in cahoots in getting involved in the Isle of Man TT in a way that we were. Unfortunately they never got to play the Isle of Man TT, but I managed to play some of their records on the Island at the closing party near the end, which was a fitting tribute as faras I was concerned for everyone to enjoy.
And that was probably the highlight of the of my event. And he went really quickly. I was paying for two hours and it went like that <clicks fingers>. We finished at 11 o'clock at night. Wow. I never normally start until 12 or one. And I was like, I was home. I was in bed by 12, it was like a school disco, like, Oh my God. But it was a phenomenal event and it would have been a shame not to do it again at some point, but I mean, I'm sure well, we'll be able to get back to do this again at some point when this is all over, but it was a great party, it was really, I mean, I never went, I never go to the TT to play my music or anything. I have done it in the past for Honda and like two or three years before I played there, I was always doing a, like a party for all the guests for Honda. So when John McGuinness was racing for them, and Connor Cummins and everyone. So they come down and they really enjoyed my music and the people were going crazy and having a good time at the TT, but I don't go there for the music, I go there for the racing for the bikes and the whole ethos of what it stands for.
So, you know, if I was able to give them a little bit of what I am about as well, people get to understand me a bit more of who I am.
Michael Mann: [00:38:12] So other than your own front garden, where else would you watch some of the TT course?
Carl Cox: [00:38:19] I kind of, when I first started to go around the Isle of Man TT, I got to go to the secret garden, which is just opposite Ago's Leap and that was phenomenal. Cause when I first got there, sat in the front garden, I've got my camera phone out. I stuck my hand out to take the picture and this bike went woosh. I was like, bloody hell. And that was the marshal!
So that was my first taste of seeing someone go past so fast. So my first point was Ago's Leap and then I got myself round to the K tree and that, that was a really awesome place to get, around there. And then I was down a mile, a mile nine; Black Dub. I'll get myself around there.
Up the Creg, obviously you gotta, you got to get yourself up there. You can see the bikes coming towards you. And I remember once seeing one guy, he was coming down, and I went in the pub, we were watching the bikes coming down. Then they've got to change down and do a right down to Hillbury, it's Hillbury is it?
Michael Mann: [00:39:20] Brandish is the left-hander first, then you go up to Hillbury
Carl Cox: [00:39:24] And they go down and so he's coming down, he's coming towards the pub. He changed down and he went to go right. He didn't make it. He stood the bike up. He's down the gears <screeches>, coming towards the pub and all the marshals scattered. And he leant it up against the fence. I was like, bloody hell, this is unbelievable. I just loved it, you know, it's just brilliant.
And got myself down to Hillberry, down to the site down there. Obviously, I've been to start/finish straight. And got ourselves round to Quarterbridge. That's always good down there. They come down to Quarterbridge, turn right then whoa away they go up the hill. So yeah, I always try and get ‘round, you know, find some old dear, "you want a cup of tea, love" and you can sit in their garden. No worries. I mean, this is just brilliant. I just love that. That's the whole essence of what the TT is all about. Not just the, not just the hospitality in the grandstands.
Michael Mann: [00:40:27] What would you change about it? If you get, if you were in charge of the TT now today, what would you, would you change anything?
Carl Cox: [00:40:33] No, I don't think so. I think people love the fact that, that we're all VIP's and if we're out stuck in the wet and rain in the cold, we're all doing it. So if it's sunny and you're really enjoying yourself, I love going around on the bike. I love to be able to get up and move around and really enjoy the Island and to make that even more corporate, but take away the essence of the TT, so I think it's corporate enough. I think the TT is for, for people who are really confused about road racing and everything, that the aspects of what it gives you, because to feel the bike, you could almost touch the riders, smell the race fuel, just the essence of it all is just phenomenal.
And when you get a really good story, when you see the lap times coming down and, and, and the racing, the story of the races of how that, you know, they're losing in certain sectors, but they're gaining in others and all this sort of stuff. It's really engrossing. I mean, you can't hardly talk to me when it's, when the race is on. I've got my earpiece on listening, listening, listening, and I go past here, and you see the helicopter... whum
Made a couple of tenths on them or lost a couple of tenths and all this sort of stuff. You can really hear it. I mean, I remember once being actually we was at a Kirk Michael. Yeah. So we were opposite the pub and it was the first time when I sponsored Michael, but he was running the Suzuki at the time, the GSX-R, the new one when he came out.
And then I see it was coming down through Kirk Michael and I'm sticking my head out and I've got my, my team they with the Carl Cox Motorsports. And so all these people at the pub were bantering us, saying "go on Coxxy!" and all this sort of stuff going on and and Michael came rocking through there and as he went past, he bloody missed a gear as he was going through
Michael Mann: [00:42:22] He won that race. I think, didn't he?
Carl Cox: [00:42:25] Yeah, he won it, it was phenomenal. It was fantastic. And I said, Michael, what happened? He goes, "ah, you know, just missed a gear", nothing, nothing to see is all good.
I was hanging onto him.
Michael Mann: [00:42:40] Were you backing him this year? Cause he he was going to be on a Ducati, wasn't he?
Carl Cox: [00:42:44] A hundred percent. It was going to be awesome. Yeah, I was backing him. Yeah, all the way. And you know, we spoke about what he was going to do. I had to keep schtum of course, about it. You know, some people are really excited about the fact that he's, he's on a, a manufacturer that are not known for going or winning races around the TT.
While I think the Ducati now is podium a very good bike that will hold up to, you know, the stresses and strains of the Island throws up to any motorcycle. I think, you know, maybe Ducati of old were probably bone shakers and things go wrong. But I think that they are built much better these days in a sense of vibration and stability, braking good power delivery, you know, through the gearbox.
And, you know, Michael is a very strong rider and I think if anyone could get the Ducati around now, I think he's probably one of the best, especially at this time of his life as well. He's fit. He's still a really good age. He's hungry. He knows his limits, you know, you don't want him.... he's normally on the kerb or near a wall.
That's where he, that's where he lives. But I think I think he's a very methodical rider and I think he would have done really well with the Ducati this year.
Michael Mann: [00:44:06] Fantastic. Excellent, Carl Cox thank you so much for joining me. You've been an absolute pleasure and remember, of course, Fastest DJ in the World, you won't forget that one! Mega, thanks again, thanks for joining us. I hope you enjoyed the chat. See you next time.
Carl Cox: [00:44:20] Bye for now, bye everybody