Former MotoGP rider Daryl Beattie.
Former MotoGP rider Daryl Beattie.

Daryl Beattie's start to life in the fast lane

BACK in the 1990s, Daryl Beattie was a tough man to catch on two wheels.

Nowadays he's slowing down to let everyone catch up and teaching skills along the way with his new adventure tour business.

Daryl Beattie Adventures was launched last year and enables riders to experience some of the most remote and spectacular areas of Australia under the guidance of the former MotoGP star.

He manages to fit the tours in between commentary duties with ONE HD, and we tracked him down to talk about his motoring life.

What was your first car?

It was an early '80s Honda Civic hatch, I bought it second-hand. I did the usual and put the mags on it. I had it for about three or four years, when I got rid of it, it was still in good nick.

What are you driving now?

Because I'm doing the tours at the moment I'm driving a Mercedes Unimog.

It has a six-cylinder turbo diesel and an eight-speed manual.

It's a bit out there…it's an ex-army vehicle that I bought from the auctions.

We have been over and back the Simpson Desert a couple of times. It's unbelievable, it may not be the world's fastest thing but once you hit the sand dunes, at 10-11 tonne it goes anywhere.

I ride the Honda CRF450, and day to day I drive my Jeep Wrangler but I hate it. It's a love hate, I hate it because I'd love a new Grand Cherokee but I can't afford it.

What cars did your family have while you were growing up?

We always had Chrysler Valiants. Mum had a Datsun 200SX which I drove a little bit before I got the Civic hatch.

What is your greatest frustration on the road?

Anything up and down the east coast is people sitting on 80 in a 100 or 110kmh zone. It drives me mental.

Do you have any preferred driving music?

I would be the weirdest person as far as music goes…my iPod in the truck has Eminem, then it could have Fleetwood Mac and U2. And I love my country music, If you were to pick anyone in the world to go on a road trip with, who would it be?

I'd like it to be my wife, she hasn't seen much of Australia so I'd love to take her around Australia.

We always talk about road trips, but we never get the time to do them together.

What is your dream car?

I'd love a new Unimog, but they are 300-odd thousand dollars. I love sports cars but I always say buy what suits your lifestyle, so it would have to be a tricked out Jeep Cherokee or a Volkswagen Amorok.