As a rider, it’s really important to have a good balance on your bike. French stunt rider Thibaut Nogues takes the word ‘balance’ to a whole other level. As a factory supported MV Agusta rider, he travels the world to show off his skills. We caught up with him at the Monster stunt show during the TT festival.
Thibaut, you’re performing in a very small niche. How did you get started?
I started toying around on scooters when I was in college. I always tried to perform the longest wheelie possible. I participated in the French championship and won. From that moment on, everything became a lot more serious and now I am doing this for 10 years.
You evolved from a scooter to an MV Agusta, that’s quite an upgrade, how did the collaboration start?
Some time ago, I was doing a demo at an event and I was invited by MV Agusta to visit the factory. Right of the bat I had a meeting with the CEO Timur Sardarov. From there on, everything moved very quick. I've been riding them since may now.
What’s the MV Agusta like to ride on and stunt with?
I ride the Brutale for wheelies, for other stunts I use an F3 as my drift bike. An MV is a special bike to ride. It has its own character and the engine has a lot of torque. It’s perfectly suitable for stunts. Luckily both my bikes have the same engine so I can effortless switch between both bikes.
Are both of your bikes stock bikes?
No, absolutely not. We started with a stock bike at the factory and modified it to perfection and my personal demands. That includes engine tuning and a different suspension setup. We finished the Brutale just one day before the show in Assen, I’m actually still getting used to it.
How did you learn stunt riding? Did you have a mentor?
No, I’m completely self-taught. I just try new things. I get inspired by video’s I find on YouTube and just try until I succeed. It’s not easy, but the ‘trial and error’ method is the best way to learn new skills.
How do you prepare for stunt riding?
Stunting on bikes is physically incredibly tough, I really need to be in excellent shape to be able to push the bike and myself. I try to train and ride as much as I can.
What’s up next for you? What’s your ambition in the long run?
I want to ride my stunt bike as long as possible. On top of that, I’ve been working on a different project. Together with a few friends I’ve got the idea to start a drift cup for bikers. It’s not a walk in the park though, drifting is a real specialization and there aren’t that many bike drifters out there. Nevertheless, we remain determined and slowly gain momentum.