He might be a name in Hollywood, but the day starts the same for John Hensley as it does for almost every other rider… reluctantly dragging himself from his pit.
The insistent bleep of the alarm clock or the frantic panting of his dogs eventually sets off a familiar chain of events in the first two films in his Speed Triple Diaries series.
The films are short and both deliberately low key to – as Hensley puts it – emphasise “how the mundane can become exciting when you’re on your bike.”
The 39-year-old star of Nip/Tuck and The Sopranos explains: “A lot of film makers fall into the trap of trying to present a saccharine sweet image of life on a motorcycle. I didn’t want that.
“I wanted the films to be realistic, accessible and to engage with real riders by being light hearted and not having all the bells and whistles you sometimes get on bike videos.”
Video 1 – Everyday adventure
“I get up… eventually. I’ve got a couple or three hours free so I need a reason to get out on my Triple. I’m always looking for an excuse to explore the roads near my home in LA.
I decided to film my ride to a good friend’s place. The adventure is the same every time even though the ride is not extraordinary.
I’m not being elitist here because his place is open to everyone, but Troy Lee’s headquarters always energise me and make me glad to be alive.
He’s a fascinating guy who used to be a motocross racer but has now created a factory rammed full of painted race helmets. He was a pioneer of that art and makes me realise how much of a lifestyle thing motorcycling is.
Troy’s only question before he embarks on a project is ‘is it cool?’ and I kind of like that. It means he’s following his own path and truth.
Hopefully this introductory video shows how a ride to see a friend can be a memorable experience.”
Video 2 – Any given Saturday
“I’m walking the dogs, a lead in each hand but I know where I really want to be.
Today there’s a track day up at an old, antiquated raceway about an hour or so away from me, so it’s the perfect day.
I could take the direct freeway or the winding twisting roads so there’s no choice really, is there? That’s why I ride.
After calling up a buddy of mine and asking him to get his drone ready for me as I pass, I’m off.
The Speed Triple R is truly remarkable because you can use it for the mundane commute, use it to get where you want to get quick and then, as the vid shows, use it to be phenomenal on the track.
The ergonomics and power are so inviting. It can be a cafe racer or perfectly at home on the track. It’s the devil with three horns.
After tearing up the raceway I head for home at dusk. It’s still 115 degrees Farenheit so I take one road sign at a time, get home, eat a pile of junk and then probably fall asleep on the couch.
But it’s still been a perfect day.”