Sandon James is half of the Sweet Mix Kids, an Auckland DJ duo that plays clubs and festivals here and abroad.
You have a custom-built 1987 Honda XB cafe racer?
Overly enthusiastic, I suggested a bike builder restore one for me and then I forgot. It's one of a kind and supposedly cool, brown and gold with a few silver accents. Lots of black, too, I think that's the engine. One year ago it was delivered. I had no idea how to even move it so sought help getting it into neutral and pushing it into my garage. I thought it would be fun to purchase something out of character. I also thought it was a surefire way of attracting a lovely lass, what with its masculine sound and style, the leather, the oil. Boy, was I wrong. Not one single female has referred to my bike, but every single time I've parked it, middle-aged men come and have a talk, take photos and ask questions I can't answer.
What is a cafe racer?
There seems to be a cool trend around the cafe racer's popularity. I'm guessing they were made for DJs and musicians as we hold most of our meetings at cafes. Unfortunately I ride it only around the city. It took me six months to dare go over 46km/h.
Who else rides your bike?
My mother! She took off on the cafe racer down the road at a flying pace returning an hour later. She enjoyed it but the engine was rather small for her liking. She grew up riding a 750cc.
A Honda 1988 Prelude - that was a dark time for first car ownership, and many long afternoons listening to Danny Watson on ZB, the only station my stereo had.
Your dream vehicle ...
I really like my motorbike. I park next to a Lamborghini, a Ferrari and a Bentley Phantom in my apartment building, but I think my bike takes the cake for originality and coolness. Until it rains. Goal for the next 18 months is a Range Rover Vogue, a hard purchase to make knowing they're half the price in Los Angeles.
Most memorable road trip?
Driving the LA to Las Vegas freeway. It's such stunning scenery with so many oddities along the way. The speed limit is "enforced by aircraft". I travelled this route with a big group of friends in a big black Escalade in the middle of a US tour. I took pictures for a travel story I wrote about the drive.
If you could go anywhere, with anyone in any car?
It's always been a dream to drive NZ with a van and op shop. NZ is the most beautiful place on Earth, and I could refurbish my apartment for under $1000. I'd take my beautiful girlfriend. Only hitch is I don't have a van, nor a beautiful girlfriend.
Protective riding gear?
Someone jogging around Mission Bay overtook me when I was riding my bike recently so I'm rather relaxed about protective gear. I did purposely purchase a proper vintage riding jacket, in black leather, of course. A fine-knit merino jersey doesn't really cut a southerly winter gale when riding down Great North Rd.
What do you think of the ACC levy component of your motorbike registration?
I do understand it's 17 times more dangerous than driving a car, but that's not really applicable when you're only going 18km/h trying to catch the eye of uninterested females.
What's the scariest thing that has happened to you on a motorbike?
Stalling at a Ponsonby intersection.
What's a great day trip out of Auckland?
I'd love to ride around Waiheke. The windy roads down to Man O' War vineyard would be fun. I've always noticed how groups of motorbike riders enjoy a beer mid-ride, and can understand why now. Riding can be tough on the body.
Do you judge people by what they drive?
Never. I appreciate a cheap simple car for the fact that A to B is all that matters. And if my bike ever breaks down I'll be happy to be reduced to a 1000cc Toyota Vitz.
What irritates you most about other drivers/riders?
Smokers. And that they have the window down! They inhale into their lungs but god forbid getting smoke throughout their unregistered Subaru Forresters.