Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s the original Bol d’Or Motorcycles (see our ‘About page’) were asked to supply motorcycles for the long running series of Heartbeat – a police drama set in the Yorkshire Dales. Over a period of time, several Triumphs were used, plus a Velocette and a BSA.
Some 30 years later, just after the present Bol d’Or opened we received a call to ask if we would lend a 1978 Kawasaki Z1R to a production company who were making a film called ‘Killer Elite’ starring Jason Statham, Clive Owen and Robert de Niro. (This is a film based on a true story as told in the book ‘The Feather Men.)
The film had been made predominately in Australia, but they needed footage to complement what was already ‘in the can’! They decided to film in Cardiff for a few final scenes, so a single street in the city was transformed into a London street, using red buses, black cabs and extras in 70’s clothes. Many other vehicles of that period were also used, including of course, our Kawasaki Z1R.
This had to be ridden down the street fairly fast, parked outside a ‘Post Office’ whilst Jason Statham raced in and effected a robbery – raced out again and off on the bike! This one sequence took most of the day to film – and was featured in the film for approximately 20 seconds!! We were astonished that it took nearly 7 hours to film that one section!
However, we had an amazing day and Jason came to meet and talk to us. He refused to let a stunt man ride the bike and insisted on doing it himself. He is one of the nicest, most down to earth people we have ever met; spending some time talking to Dave and myself about our bike and his own love of bikes in general. We were allowed to take photographs and he gave us an autograph.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to meet the other two main stars of the film, as they were shooting elsewhere, but meeting and speaking with Jason Statham was more than enough excitement for one day! – especially for me!