Keanu Reeves roars into Leicestershire on motorbike-themed trip
by Sam C Fisher
Hollywood actor and motorbike enthusiast Keanu Reeves spent the day visiting a Castle Donington company.
Keanu visited Norton Motorcycles Ltd, on Tuesday, for a full tour of the factory and to take on board advice to help with his own firm, Arch Motorcycle Company.
Simon Skinner, head of design and executive director of Norton Motorcycles, which sold its first bike in 2010, spent the day with him.
He said: "We were talking motorcycles - we did not mention films at all. He is a complete and utter bike fanatic.
"His visit was for several reasons - because he is a Norton fan and bike enthusiast, and he wanted guidance from us and to know about the manufacturing techniques we use.
"We are happy to help because we will never tread on each other's toes because we make very different bikes. His are very American and ours are very British."
Keanu came over with two colleagues - Gard Hollinger, co-founder for Arch, and Ryan Boyd, research and development manager for Arch.
Simon added that Keanu was very easy to talk to.
"He's very polite, humble person. We chatted motorbikes for six hours.
"We did not let the staff know he was coming, so they were quite surprised when he turned up. We have some fans here.
"It's a bit of a morale booster when someone like that wants to turn up and spend valuable time looking at our bikes.
"It is a big compliment for everyone and it restores morale.
"It was good because it gave us exposure too.
"He has since sent me an email saying it was an inspiring visit."
As well as giving Keanu a full factory tour, they went out for lunch at The Priest House Hotel, down the road from Norton.
Keanu also spent time riding Norton's new Dominator motorcycle and the new Commando 961.
"And he sat on a motorbike which had just come back from the TT, which came seventh," said Simon.
Simon said Keanu was doing a tour around Europe and spending a couple of days in the UK - where he was also visiting Rolls Royce and McLaren.