Jan Zühlke is a pretty tough fella. Too! Because like all real heroes in leather, from Brando to McQueen to James Dean, he’s a really good and nice guy as well. Perfect conditions for pulling off a romantic thing like founding your own motorbike and heritage print magazine. Craftrad is such a brazenly handsome publication that you’re going to want it lying on your coffee table – even if you’re a car-sharer without a drivers’ license. Stories told with lots of love, beautiful photography, good paper. Period. Speaking of stories, when you’ve spent 15 years as a boy scout, you grow up with a love of adventure and a natural wanderlust. You just can’t get that out of your system. Not even if you study “Communication in Social and Economic Contexts” at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. So, dear Jan, let’s have a word and a smoke, then.
Name: Jan Zühlke
Shoe size: 43
Favourite bike: Honda XLV 750 R
You’re travelling at 30 km/h on a country road and have to brake. Your reaction time is 1 second. How long is the braking distance?
I hate maths. Christoph does all the numbers for us. But: If you brake later, you can drive fast longer.
Tell us about a magical place, anywhere in the world!
Last Summer, I was riding my motorcycle from Biarritz back to Berlin and passed through the Ardèche. Somewhere in the mountain scenery, there was an old, shabby viaduct. When I stopped there to smoke a cigarette, it seemed like a very magical place to me.
Which celebrity would you like to go on a joyride with?
Steve McQueen. Coolest guy ever.
Why is riding a motorbike more sexy than driving a car?
Do you know Steve McQueen? Or Marlon Brando? Or James Dean?
Can words change the world?
If those words are followed by actions, yes.
When was the last time you did something good for someone else and what was it?
I recently gave away warm winter clothing to refugees.
Your house is burning, which three objects do you save from the flames?
Very materialistic: My favourite helmet, laptop and phone.
Give us your Christmas present pointer, please!
The CRAFTRAD subscription, of course!
What do you spend too much money on?
I founded a print magazine. So there’s not much money to spend (yet). But probably for cigarettes.
What do you need to relax?
A special cigarette and a good record.
What would you cook for us if we came to visit you at home?
Strammer Max! (fried eggs with ham on bread)
What are you afraid of?
The shift to the right in Europe, Germany, the world.
When was the last time you tried something new and what was it?
My girlfriend tattooed me with a needle and some ink while drunk. Not the prettiest but certainly the most personal tattoo I have.
What would you change if you had the power to?
If world peace is too utopian, then I’d start with our education system. Education is the key.
What should no one know about you?
Which podcasts I listen to to go to sleep.
Which question should we have asked?
What my favourite book is.
Last words: Vrooom
Fotocredit: Nadine Kunath