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Updated: 32 min 49 sec ago

BMW R 1200 GS tackles Finke Desert

Fri, 14/04/2017 - 5:00pm

Four new BMW R 1200 GS modes have arrived in Australia as the company announces its new Rallye version will compete in the Finke Desert Race in June.

BMW R 1200 GS Australian pricing (plus on-road costs):

BMW R 1200 GS $21,850 BMW R 1200 GS Rallye $23,050 BMW R 1200 GS Rallye X $27,250 BMW R 1200 GS Tour $27,250

 

Finke Desert challenge Miles Davis with a standard R 1200 GS and the new Rallye X

BMW Motorrad marketing manager Miles Davis will race the Rallye X over the 465km Finke Desert Race in June.

“After riding a pre-production version of the Rallye X in the two GS Safari events last year I knew it was a much more off-road focused bike,” he says.

“I came up with the idea of showcasing this by riding it in Finke and started to get excited about the idea. There are around 500 motorcycles entered in the 2017 event – it sold out in less than a day – and entrants generally ride lightweight 250cc to 500cc motocross machines, so riding a 200 kilogram-plus R 1200 GS is definitely going to be a bit different.”

Preparations are already in full swing, with Davis having completed a pre-run covering the Finke course on a locally-prepared R 1200 GS featuring the sports suspension package that will be standard on the Rallye X.

“The pre run went about as well as I could have hoped for,” added Davis. “It was tough physically and mentally, especially because I did both legs in one day.

“In these conditions it takes 100% concentration to pick the right speed for the different sections of whoops. I won’t really be treating it as a race, it’s an endurance test, so I just need to look after the bike and be as smooth as possible.”

The Finke will immediately be followed by a customer ride programme that will traverse the Simpson Desert’s 1100 sand dunes, running from Alice Springs to Birdsville via Mount Dare.

Read about the new GS Tours and Safaris.

2017 BMW R 1200 GS 2017 BMW R 1200 GS

For 2017, the R 1200 GS Boxer engine receives a new catalytic convertor and ECU to comply with the Euro 4 pollution requirements. Thankfully, power and torque are unchanged at 92kW and 125Nm.

 

It now comes with two Rain and Road riding modes and Automatic Stability Control as standard. Riders can add to the aids with the ex works option of RidingModes Pro with Dynamic and Dynamic Pro, Enduro and Enduro Pro as as well Dynamic Traction Control.

The Pro options are activated by a coded plug.

Riding Modes Pro adds set-off assistant Hill Start Control for convenient hill starts, ABS Pro that works when leaned over and dynamic brake light which draws more attention when braking hard.

Optional Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment “Next Generation” has an automatic self-levelling function that adjusts for loads. The KTM R 1200 Super Adventure has a similar function.

It’s best for two-up riding as it prevents the pillion lurching forward and back and gives greater stability

The ex-works Rallye package has stiffer springs, longer spring struts and extended spring travel.

There are several other minor cosmetic and structural changes to the bike. They include modification to the knee area for better off-road riding, a slightly changed front mudguard, winglets to deflect air and newly designed intake and side fuel tank panel.

Only the GS geeks would notice the difference.

New styles and paint BMW R 1200 GS Rallye X

However, everyone will notice the new paint schemes and styles.

The Rallye and Rallye X come in Lupine Blue metallic paint with BMW Motorsport colours on the sides, a Cordoba Blue frame and black drivetrain.

Tour has Monolith metallic matt side panels, Iced Chocolate metallic front wheel splash guard and fuel tank cover, Agate Grey metallic matt frame, black drivetrain and gold-finished brake calipers.

2017 BMW R 1200 GS Tour

Restyled cooling air ducts and radiator trim elements now come with a galvanised surface or stainless steel on the Rallye and Exclusive packages.

R 1200 GS Rallye and Rallye X

They both feature a Rallye seat with ergonomic shaping for freedom of movement, radiator trim in robust stainless steel, radiator guard, wide enduro footrests and a special frame guard beside your boot to protect from scrape marks.

The Rallye X adds the Dynamic Package, Dynamic ESA electronic suspension adjustment, sports suspension, navigation preparation, cruise control, a low-cut sports windshield and cross-spoke wheels.

For solo riding, the luggage bridge and pillion footrests can be removed and neatly covered with caps that are included.

Rallye and Tour

The post BMW R 1200 GS tackles Finke Desert appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Ducati adventure training and treks

Fri, 14/04/2017 - 5:00am

Now that Ducati’s adventure range of Multistradas and Scramblers are their most popular sellers, they are offering adventure training courses and treks.

They call it Ducati Adventure Riding Experience (D-A-R-E) and it includes off-road training courses by Motor School and expeditions.

It sounds very much like what BMW has been doing with their GS Safaris and off-road training for the past couple of decades.

D-A-R-E training

The training program comes in beginner and advanced levels and will be offered in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

There is no word yet on where they will be held, when or how much they will cost. But if you go to the website and register, they will send you details as they become available.

Riders will be able to use their own Ducati or hire a Multistrada, including the new 950, or the Scrambler Desert Sled or Urban Enduro. No other brand bikes will be allowed.

Ducati Desert Sled D-A-R-E treks

Ducati Australia is also launching D-A-R-E expeditions with treks ranging from two days to 10 days and an annual expedition. 

They will be fully supported with a 4WD truck as back-up.

They also plan a D-A-R-E hard-core expedition, also like BMW’s GS Safari Enduro.

However, on these treks, riders will be self-sufficient and unsupported.

Similarly, there are no details on where, when and how much for these adventures. You will have to register online.

Otherwise, stay tuned here for more updates.

The post Ducati adventure training and treks appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Revolutionary Vozz Helmets return to stores

Thu, 13/04/2017 - 4:00pm

Revolutionary Australian-designed Vozz Helmets which have no chin strap are returning to the shelves after a long hiatus for updates and European approval.

They still cost $888, but the new ECE 22.05 certified RS 1.0 helmets are claimed to be more comfortable, quieter with a more secure seal.

When we tested one early last year we found them too tight around the ears and there was wind noise from the hinges.

Read our review here.

Production suspended

In July 2016, Vozz Helmets managing director Mark Bryant told us they had suspended production in May while they updated the helmet.

He had hoped to have the improved helmets available in October 2016, but the first shipment has only just arrived.

However, Mark now hopes to increase production and distribution.

Improved features

Improvements include a new lining, aerodynamic foils on the locking covers on each side of the helmet, and “superior rubber compounds” to improve seal and minimise wind noise.

The revolutionary “safety release system” where the helmet opens like a clam shell remains.

Mark claims it makes it easier and safer to remove a helmet from an injured rider at the scene of a crash.

The opening system and the lack of a chin strap also means you can put on the helmet with your gloved hands and without having to take off your glasses.

Vozz Helmets now come with two more colour choices (gloss black, matte black, lime green, orange, red, blue, white and silver) in sizes XS to XXL.

Available in stores and online

They are available at 20 stores in Australia.

Mark is also selling the helmet online and has some outlets in Europe and North and South America, but is looking for more international outlets.

The helmets no longer require special Australian certification to be sold here after all states agreed to accept European ECE 22.05 certification.

The post Revolutionary Vozz Helmets return to stores appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Moto Guzzi V7 III plays catch-up

Thu, 13/04/2017 - 2:00pm

Moto Guzzi has gone into its third iteration of the modern V7 and added a limited edition Anniversario V7 III (pictured above) to celebrate 50 years of the range.

Australian importers PS Imports have announced that the Moto Guzzi V7 III will arrive in dealerships in June with very attractive price tags.

Indicative pricing at this stage is: V7 III Stone – $12,990; V7 III Special – $13,990; V7 III Racer – $16,490.

That’s as much as $1000 less than current price on the Stone and a $510 saving on the Special and Racer.

Chrome tank

The Anniversario and new V7 III models were unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan in November.

The limited edition model uses the same chassis and engine as the V7 Stone, Special and Racer but with new graphics, chrome fuel tank with their gold eagle logo, lockable billet aluminium fuel cap and a new leather seat.

It is likely to have already sold out.




//

The whole V7 III range has been updated for Euro 4 pollution compliance with new pistons heads and cylinder plus a new exhaust with double manifolds for better heat insulation.

The bottom end has a new crankshaft and sump, with a reworked ventilation system to reduce power loss due to the internal pumping of the crankcase chambers and a reduced capacity oil pump capable of absorbing less power.

Timing is controlled by a traditional system of pushrods and rockers with two valves per cylinder, now arranged in an inclined position.

Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer

Moto Guzzi says power is up 3kW to 38kW, but torque remains the same at a healthy 60Nm.

The Italian brand has fallen further behind other retro models such as the 900cc and 1200cc Triumph Bonnevilles and BMW R nineT, which both come with more power and torque and more equipment.

So all the updates are really about catching up with the herd while the V9 tackles them more head-on.

Meanwhile, the 2017 V9 Bobber and Roamer have longer and thicker seats, higher bars, and higher and farther back footpegs. All these updates are also available as accessories for existing 2016 models.

They also come with a lot more options such as fly and touring windscreens, racks, etc.

Moto Guzzi V7 III updates Moto Guzzi V7 III Special

The V7 III is now a more capable handler with steeper steering geometry, a reinforced headstock and new Kayaba twin shocks with preload adjustment.

Riders and pillions will find it more comfortable with a lower 769mm rider seat, lower and pillion pegs set lower and further forward.

The shaft-driven bike also has a new rear brake master-cylinder and the first and sixth gear ratio are changed for more acceleration but also an easier highway gait.

It now comes with two-stage traction control that can also be switched off. The system can be recalibrated for different tyre circumferences.

Moto Guzzi V7 III Stone

All V7 models come with the Moto Guzzi Media Platform that connects your smartphone to the bike via a dedicated app.

The Bluetooth connection allows you to use your phone to view speed, revs, instant power, instant torque, instant and average fuel consumption, average speed, battery voltage and acceleration. It’s also an extended trip computer.

The “Eco Ride” feature helps to reduce fuel consumption.

The post Moto Guzzi V7 III plays catch-up appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Boost for lightweight hub steering bike

Thu, 13/04/2017 - 12:00pm

Hub centre steering is set for a comeback after a Brisbane company received a $500,000 funding boost to develop their lightweight Motoinno T23 concept bike.

Motoinno stands for their branding company (Motorcycle Innovation) and TS3 for their innovative Triangulated Steering and Suspension System.

It was invented by film animator and self-taught engineer Ray Van Steenwyk who animated the toxic storm scene in the “Mad Max 4: Fury Road” movie.

Hub centre steering has been around since 1910 and is characterised by the steering pivot points being inside the wheel hub.

Ray claims his hub centre steering, together with his unique suspension system, makes riding safer as it separates steering, braking and suspension functions.

He says conventional fork steering creates more problems than benefits, predominantly oscillation harmonics which can cause weaving when you back off the throttle; a major cause of low-speed crashes.

Hub steering benefits

The benefits of Ray’s TS3 are claimed to be:

  • it is stronger, lighter and costs about the same as upside down or conventional forks;
  • it is more stable as it cancels oscillation harmonics by eliminating the high stress load on the hub-centre king-pin;
  • it has a tight turning circle of 54 degrees compared with sports bikes of about 38 degrees;
  • it doesn’t have horizontal or lateral flex like standard forks;
  • the steering geometry doesn’t change when the front dives under heavy braking; and
  • the rider can totally dial out brake dive, or even dial in front lift under braking.

Ray says that in track testing at Norwell and Mt Cotton facilities by numerous riders, the bike was considered more stable, turned in quicker and could not be upset by braking, sudden acceleration or change of direction, even in the middle of a corner.

Revolution in safety

Motorcycle Innovation CEO Colin Oddy says these promising results signal the beginning of a “genuine revolution in motorcycle safety and performance”.  

Colin OPddy (left) and Ray Van Steenwyk with their Motoinno TS3

“We’re now in the process of designing, building and testing an all-new MotoinnoTS3 Shockwave model, employing a more powerful and more sophisticated power plant,” he says.  

“This bespoke, high-end luxury road bike is based on the Ducati 1198cc Testastretta 11º engine – but that’s where the similarity to any other motorcycle starts and ends.”

Future TS3 prototype

The project has been given an injection of $250,000 in funds from private Queensland investor ACAC Innovation, plus a matching $250,000 grant from the Queensland Government through its Ignite Ideas Fund.

?The Shockwave concept bike will feature front and rear swingarms made of carbon composites, plus high-end metals designed to strengthen and lighten the motorcycle’s weight to around 110kg.

“That’s getting on for half the weight of the model from which the engine is derived,” Ray says.   

“With unique styling and patented componentry, the Motoinno Shockwave will set new standards in handling and braking, as well as in power-to-weight ratios for motorcycles.”

Moto2 racing

Motorcycle Innovation plans to test its design in Moto2 racing.

The Moto2 test prototype will be track-tested in Australia late in 2017, before being transported to Spain for testing in the European CEV competition of 2018.

Ray tests the TS3

When we first viewed the concept bike in June 2015, Ray and Colin said they wanted to produce their bikes in Australia using local engineers, technicians and component manufacturers, without resorting to having parts made cheaply overseas.

Ray says that if his design is taken up by motorcyclists and manufacturers, it would mean riders would have to un-learn old skill sets needed to ride around the inherent flaws of telescopics.

“We would rewrite the rider training manual,” he says.

The post Boost for lightweight hub steering bike appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Yamaha recalls triples over loose bars

Thu, 13/04/2017 - 7:20am

Yamaha is issuing a worldwide recall on several three-cylinder models over an issue with the lower handlebar possibly becoming loose.

The stud bolt threads might not have enough thread-locking agent applied to them due to the lower handlebar being improperly painted.

If the handlebar is struck hard enough, the paint on the handlebar holder might be damaged and could cause enough of a clearance difference on the stud bolt to allow it to become loose from engine vibration.

Affected models are the 2015-2017 MT-09 Tracer (known as the FJ-09 in some markets), 2014-2017 MT-09 (known as the FZ-09 in some markets), and 2016-2017 XSR900 which was recently awarded a prestigious Red Dot Design Award.

Yamaha MT-09 Tracer

While the loose handlebar recall has been issued overseas, the official Australian recall has not been issued as Yamaha Motor Australia is preparing a list of model and/or VIN numbers for the affected vehicles.

We will add that list to this article when it becomes available.

It is expected that owners will be notified by Yamaha, but we publish these recalls in case the bike has been privately sold. In that case the manufacturer would have no record of the owner.

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS ON RECALLS

Recall notices are issued by the manufacturer through a voluntary industry code under the ACCC.

Despite hundreds of recalls by various automotive manufacturers, none has ever been mandatory.  All have been issued by the manufacturer.

While any recall is not good news for the manufacturer, it shows that they are largely diligent in fixing problems.

If you believe there is an endemic problem with your bike that should be recalled, contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.

To check whether your motorcycle has been recalled, click on these sites:

• Australia

• USA

• UK

• New Zealand

• Canada

The post Yamaha recalls triples over loose bars appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

No charges in ambulance and bike crash

Thu, 13/04/2017 - 6:00am

Police investigations into a crash between a motorcycle and an ambulance that went through a red light have concluded with no charges laid for driver or rider.

The crash happened at a set of lights at 11am on September 28, 2016, in Vermont South, Melbourne, between a Victorian Ambulance Ford Territory and Karen Caruso on her 2015 Ducati 899.

The Major Crash Investigation Unit (MCIU) concluded that the ambulance travelled through a red traffic light, impacting Karen at 43kmh, throwing her 12m and the bike 17m down the road. 

Karen spent five months away from home in both The Alfred Hospital and rehab, and she faces further corrective surgery and continued rehab for some time.

Meanwhile, Ambulance Victoria insurance company, Zurich Insurance, has frozen the claim and is continuing to deny liability for the crash.

However, it has been reported that the ambulance did not come to a stop at the red signal before proceeding through the intersection where Karen was turning on a green signal.

Although emergency vehicles are not required by law to come to a complete stop before proceeding through a red light, they must “take reasonable care”.

Karen has little recollection of the incident apart from engaging first gear and watching traffic in preparation to move off, then waking up in the emergency department of The Alfred.

The following drawing of the incident was submitted to the MCIU by the ambulance driver which shows the vehicle in the right lane. However the MCIU rejected that as false.

Crash investigation diagram of the crash

If the ambulance was in the far left lane, as reported by eyewitnesses, it may have been obscured from Karen’s view by stationary cars in the other lanes.

“I’m disappointed that the MICA driver has suffered no consequences from the crash he caused,” Karen says.

“He drove straight into me; he admitted to not seeing my vehicle.

“It’s his duty of care to ensure the safety of other road users isn’t compromised on the way to a call-out, for both the benefit of road users and in the interest of the patient who was requiring medical assistance to begin with.”

The only solace for Karen is that she has not been fined for failing to give way to an emergency vehicle. 

She could pay the insurance excess and hope for a favourable payout, but it would affect her future premiums, so she has decided to sue Ambulance Victoria.

Meanwhile, investigations continue into a July 2016 crash in Melbourne between a Camry and two motorcycles. Watch the video below.

The post No charges in ambulance and bike crash appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Harley-Davidson trikes coming soon

Wed, 12/04/2017 - 5:00pm

The long wait for Harley-Davidson trikes, including the new hot-rod Freewheeler (pictured above), is finally over for Australian riders.

The Tri-Glide Ultra will cost $50,995 rideaway and the Freewheeler $40,250 when they arrive in Harley dealerships from October 2017.

Harley-Davidson Australia and New Zealand boss Nigel Keough says the lengthy delay has been in securing Australian Design Rule compliance.

Nigel Keough on a Freewheeler trike

It is believed roll-over issues have been the main sticking points, but there were other small issues such as a reversing lamp.

“Australia has a unique set of compliance issues and we’ve been working through them for several years now,” he told us early last year.

“It’s a very important part of our line-up. It won’t represent massive sales, but it’s an important niche.”

Harley Tri-Glide Ultra Demand for trikes

There certainly will be some demand for Harley trikes judging by the ever-growing numbers of custom and conversion trikes turning up at rallies these days.

The ageing demographic of riders also points to a growing demand for something a little more manageable for old legs.

Nigel believes the Harley-Davidson trikes will sell well because they are factory made and tested, not an untested conversion or individual custom build.

While Harley-Davidson has not been able to import their own trikes into Australia, private importers have been able to import them in restricted volumes for several years. However, they are expensive and do not have factory warranty back-up.

Harley has not been prevented from importing their trikes into New Zealand where the Tri-Glide Ultra sells for $52,495 and the Freewheeler for $42,495.

Freewheeler

For Harley to import their own trikes into Australia, they required ADR compliance.

“We’ve invested a lot in this project,” Nigel says.

The company even flew out five US engineers and rented a race track to demonstrate to officials the safety of the vehicles.

Harley-Davidson trikes

Colours and full Australian specifications are not yet confirmed.

Tri-Glide Tri-Glide Ultra

The Tri-Glide Ultra is a full dresser three-wheeler version based on the Ultra but with a new frame.

It comes with the new twin-cooled Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine and includes electric reverse.

Length 2670mm Seat Height 735mm Fuel tank 22.7L Dry weight 546kg Engine Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 107 Displacement 1745cc Torque 152Nm (112ft-lb) @ 3250rpm Transmission 6-Speed Cruise Drive Front tyre 16”/Dunlop® D402F MT90 Rear tyres 15”/Dunlop® Signature P205 Colours Vivid Black; Superior Blue; Two-Tone Black Hills Gold/Black Quartz; Two-Tone Billet Silver/Vivid Black; Two-Tone Mysterious Red Sunglo; Velocity Red Sunglo; Custom Colour Bonneville Blue/Fathom Blue Freewheeler Freewheeler

The Freewheeler is a stripped-down hot-rod trike based on a Road King.

Its rear section is pulled forward making the overall vehicle length 76.2mm shorter than the Tri-Glide.

It is also powered by the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine, but not twin cooled because there is no lower fairing to hide the dual radiators.

Length 2615mm Seat 700mm Fuel tank 22.7L Dry weight 492kg Engine Milwaukee-Eight 107 Displacement 1745cc Torque 150Nm (111ft-lb) @ 3250rpm Transmission 6-Speed Cruise Drive Tyre front 19″/D408F MT130 60/B19M/C 612H Rear tyres 15″/Signature P205/65R15 Colours Vivid Black; Black Quartz; Velocity Red Sunglo; Billet Silver; Custom Colour Laguna Orange

The post Harley-Davidson trikes coming soon appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Most important motorcycle tool

Wed, 12/04/2017 - 12:00pm

What is the most important tool any motorcycle rider can cary with them?

We’ll cheat and say a multi-tool such as a Victorinox Swiss Army knife.

Apart from having a number of useful functions, the tool is small and conveniently folds up into a shape that should not cause any injury to you in a crash, even if you carry it in your jacket pocket.

We have featured Victorinox products before as they are made of quality material and are built to last.

One of their latest is the Cybertool M ($235) which has 32 functions in a medium pocket knife size. Victorinox took the traditional Officer’s knife functions and added tools like a bit wrench to match new standards in the electronics industry.

Victorinox Cybertool M tool available in red or blue

It’s only 91mm long and weighs just 153g, but packs a hefty number of tools and features, including Combi-pliers.

So there shouldn’t be too many roadside maintenance jobs you can’t perform with this tool.

You can even take notes with the pressurised ballpoint pen!

Cybertool M multi tool features

Large and small blades; reamer, punch and sewing awl; can opener; mini, 3mm and 6mmmm screwdrivers; bottle opener; wire stripper; key ring; toothpick; tweezers; stainless steel pin; pliers; wire cutters; wire crimper; scissors; multipurpose hook; corkscrew; slotted 4mm bit; three Phillips bits; three Torx bits; bitwrench; 4mm and 5mm female Hex drive for bits and D-SUB connectors and a Hex 4 bit.

The various bits come in a special fold-out case.

The post Most important motorcycle tool appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Is this the next Suzuki Hayabusa?

Wed, 12/04/2017 - 6:00am

If this is a photo of the next-generation Suzuki Hayabusa there is no indication of an expected turbocharger or supercharger.

The photo comes from a Japanese magazine and reveals a host of styling changes:

  • LED daytime running lights around the headlight;
  • reshaped nose with two big air vents;
  • indicators moved from the nose to the mirrors;
  • a bigger windscreen that drops down over the nose fairing;
  • a reshaped and probably larger fuel tank;
  • wider tail with a lower pillion seat cover;
  • a reshaped fairing with an extra vent in the side;
  • redesigned mag wheels with more spokes; and
  • a fatter, but shorter muffler.

But there is no sign of any forced induction for the engine as tipped after Suzuki president Toshihiro Suzuki recently said they were studying how much turbo technology would cost to put into mass-production.

Not unless they have done a fantastic job of hiding a forced-induction unit!

Instead, there may be more ram air from the larger intakes in the front. This could give the 1300c engine more output than the current 147kW of power and 138.7Nm of torque.

That’s if they stay at 1300cc. It may have been increased to compete with the Kawasaki ZX14R or the new Kawasaki H2 and H2R.

The only thing Suzuki has confirmed is that it will have as many as seven different riding modes.

The new-generation Hayabusa has a slightly sleeker design like the GSX concept clay model they revealed at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.

Suzuki GSX Concept

Another possible change to the Hayabusa could be active electronic suspension. A clue could be the different colour of the front forks.

The only changes to the 2017 Hayabusa are new colours: Glass Sparkle Black and Pearl Blue/Glass Sparkle Black. Prices are unchanged from last year’s model at $20,790 ride away.

The post Is this the next Suzuki Hayabusa? appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Motorcycle sales crash in first quarter

Tue, 11/04/2017 - 1:23pm

Australian motorcycle sales have hit their first downturn in several years with a massive 13.4% decline to 21,794 in the first quarter of 2017.

Road bikes had been performing best of all over the past few years, but were down by 15.5% in the quarter.

Off-road bikes were down 15.3%, scooters again fell significantly (22.3%) and ATV sales were only down 1.3%, according to Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries figures.

The 2017 sales stumble comes after a busy 2016, in which the industry recorded its best annual result since 2009.

Victory for Victory

Ironically, the only motorcycle brand to experience an increase in sales in the quarter was the axed Victory Motorcycles as customers rushed to buy them before they are gone forever.

2017 Victory Octane Harley retains top position

Next best performer was Harley-Davidson which has been the top road bike brand in the country the past couple of years.

Harley was down only 1.1% in the quarter and retained its top-selling status in road bikes with 2261 sales for the first quarter, followed by Honda (-18.1%, 1943 sales) and Yamaha (-18%, 1455).

Bobber bobs up

Next best performer was Triumph which was down only 6.5%, thanks to the popularity of the new Bonneville range, especially the new solo-seat Bobber.

Triumph Bonneville Bobber

The stylish Bobber has been the most successful new model launch in Triumph’s history in the USA and caused such a rush, Avon Tyres has had to ramp up production of its Cobra tyres.

Triumph Australia marketing manager Dale McBride says that since it launched in February, it has been their best selling model with a “healthy order bank still to be fulfilled”.

“Dealer demos aren’t lasting too long as they are sold to eager customers and then being replaced ASAP,” he says.

“We had great reviews from our customers at this weekend’s National RAT Rally.”

Biggest losers

Biggest brand losers were Hyosung -82.7%, Aprilia -78.7% and Moto Guzzi -53.2%.

The sales crash in the first quarter is bad news for the industry and riders.

However, it could lead to a discount war among manufacturers and dealers over the next few months leading up to the end of the financial year as they try to clear floor stock.

We spoke to several dealers and industry figures, but no one wanted to go on the record.

They say it has been a difficult start to the year with extremes of weather – heat, cyclone, floods – and a slowing economy.

Yet motor vehicle sales had a record March!

TOP 10 MOTORCYCLES (excludes ATVs)

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Honda

NBC110

527

863

-38.9%

Harley Davidson

FXSB

352

304

15.8%

Harley Davidson

XG500

322

395

-18.5%

Honda

GROM

294

0.0%

Yamaha

YZF-R3A

279

384

-27.3%

Kawasaki

Ninja 300

268

453

-40.8%

Honda

CRF450R

260

94

176.6%

Kawasaki

KLX110

258

257

0.4%

Harley Davidson

VRSCDX

254

171

48.5%

Yamaha

MT07L

250

392

-36.2%

TOP 10 ROAD BIKES

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Honda

NBC110

527

863

-38.9%

Harley Davidson

FXSB

352

304

15.8%

Harley Davidson

XG500

322

395

-18.5%

Honda

GROM

294

0.0%

Yamaha

YZF-R3A

279

384

-27.3%

Kawasaki

Ninja 300

268

453

-40.8%

Harley Davidson

VRSCDX

254

171

48.5%

Yamaha

MT07L

250

392

-36.2%

Honda

CBR500R

221

170

30.0%

Yamaha

MT-09

219

174

25.9%

Harley Softail Breakout Pix: Greg Smith iKapture

TOP 10 CRUISERS

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Harley Davidson

FXSB

352

304

15.8%

Harley Davidson

XG500

322

395

-18.5%

Harley Davidson

VRSCDX

254

171

48.5%

Harley Davidson

FXDLS

167

0.0%

Kawasaki

Vulcan S

148

171

-13.5%

Harley Davidson

FXDB

133

214

-37.9%

Harley Davidson

FLSTFBS

83

115

-27.8%

Yamaha

XVS650/A

83

133

-37.6%

Ducati

Diavel

81

67

20.9%

Harley Davidson

FXDWG

75

86

-12.8%

TOP 10 SCOOTERS

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Piaggio

Fly 150

97

113

-14.2%

Suzuki

ADDRESS

88

97

-9.3%

Honda

WW150

81

101

-19.8%

Piaggio

ZIP 50

77

69

11.6%

Vespa

GTS 300

58

65

-10.8%

Vespa

PRIMAVERA 150

54

55

-1.8%

Honda

NSC110

53

103

-48.5%

Piaggio

Typhoon 50

46

48

-4.2%

Vespa

GTS 250

42

41

2.4%

Honda

MW110

41

50

-18.0%

TOP 10 LAMS 

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Honda

NBC110

527

863

-38.9%

Harley Davidson

XG500

322

395

-18.5%

Honda

GROM

294

0.0%

Yamaha

YZF-R3A

279

384

-27.3%

Kawasaki

Ninja 300

268

453

-40.8%

Yamaha

MT07L

250

392

-36.2%

Yamaha

WR450F

247

529

-53.3%

Suzuki

DR-Z400E

223

234

-4.7%

Honda

CBR500R

221

170

30.0%

KTM

500EXC

176

141

24.8%

Yamaha R3

TOP 10 SPORTS TOURERS

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Yamaha

YZF-R3A

279

384

-27.3%

Kawasaki

Ninja 300

268

453

-40.8%

Kawasaki

Ninja 650L

131

113

15.9%

KTM

RC390

92

101

-8.9%

Honda

CBR650FL

74

98

-24.5%

BMW

R 1200 RS

47

47

0.0%

Kawasaki

Ninja 1000

46

45

2.2%

Yamaha

MT09TRA

40

61

-34.4%

Suzuki

GSX-S1000F

29

12

141.7%

BMW

S 1000 XR

29

45

-35.6%

TOP 10 ADVENTURE TOURERS

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Honda

CRF1000

191

270

-29.3%

Suzuki

DR650SE

139

135

3.0%

BMW

R 1200 GS Adventure

92

92

0.0%

BMW

R 1200 GS

89

88

1.1%

Honda

CB500XA

74

78

-5.1%

Kawasaki

KLR650

73

79

-7.6%

KTM

1190ADVR

48

64

-25.0%

Ducati

Multistrada 1200

44

38

15.8%

KTM

690ENDR

40

60

-33.3%

Triumph

Tiger 800 XC

40

99

-59.6%

TOP 10 NAKED

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Honda

GROM

294

0.0%

Yamaha

MT07L

250

392

-36.2%

Yamaha

MT-09

219

174

25.9%

Honda

CB125E

140

192

-27.1%

Yamaha

MT03LA

127

45

182.2%

Triumph

Bonneville T120

89

29

206.9%

Triumph

Thruxton

78

29

169.0%

Yamaha

MT10

77

0.0%

Kawasaki

Z300

63

113

-44.2%

Honda

CB500FA

56

65

-13.8%

Honda CBR500R

TOP 10 SUPERSPORT

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Honda

CBR500R

221

170

30.0%

Honda

CBR300R

131

158

-17.1%

BMW

S 1000 RR

78

60

30.0%

Ducati

959 Panigale

70

89

-21.3%

Kawasaki

Ninja ZX-10R

54

84

-35.7%

Honda

CBR1000RR

49

87

-43.7%

Suzuki

GSX-R1000

48

30

60.0%

Yamaha

YZF-R1

41

59

-30.5%

Ducati

1299 Panigale

36

53

-32.1%

Triumph

DAYTONA 675

36

35

2.9%

TOP 10 TOURING

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Harley Davidson

FLHXS

101

87

16.1%

Harley Davidson

FLHTK

63

57

10.5%

Harley Davidson

FLHR

46

38

21.1%

Harley Davidson

FLTRXS

38

33

15.2%

Harley Davidson

FLHXSE2

37

40

-7.5%

BMW

R 1200 RT

32

33

-3.0%

Yamaha

FJR1300

24

26

-7.7%

Honda

GL1800

22

22

0.0%

Triumph

T/Bird LT

21

23

-8.7%

Indian

Roadmaster

20

8

150.0%

 

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Troy Bayliss Classic suspended

Tue, 11/04/2017 - 12:00pm

Increased operating costs and an underwhelming turnout for the Troy Bayliss Classic in Taree in January 2017 have forced organisers to suspend the event in 2018.

For the past five years Troy Bayliss Events has been attracting a good crowd with a host of superstar guest riders from around the world to the small Taree oil and dirt track.

However, it doesn’t seem to be enough to keep the crowds coming back year after year to watch the same small-capacity trail bikes going round and round in the blazing January heat.

Earlier this year we suggested they bring out the big Indian and Harley-Davidson flat track bikes from America for an induction of some thunderous big-capacity racing.

Harley and Indian flat trackers

Another suggestion is to host a novelty scrambler race among the various production scramblers on the market from BMW, Ducati, Benelli and SWM even though they are all different capacities.

The Dust Hustle in Brisbane is a popular event each year because it has several novelty races with “inappropriate bikes” such as big Harley choppers and cafe racers.

Dust Hustle

Another problem with the Troy Bayliss Classic is staging the event in January when it is scorchingly hot. The venue has little sun protection and it becomes intolerable standing in the sun and dust all day.

Brisbane’s Ellaspede Dust Hustle is held in spring, which is a much more pleasant time.

Brisbane’s Ellaspede Dust Hustle

However, Troy would have trouble attracting the superstars from overseas as it is right in the middle of their various racing seasons.

But is that really necessary? Half of the superstars are unknown to the crowd, anyway.

The organisers say that this year’s event attracted more than 670,000 views, but even our video of a rider hitting a mattress that fell off a ute has had almost the same number of views in the past week.

There has been a suggestion that the event be moved to a capital city where it would attract more people.

However, Troy has a sentimental attachment to his home track.

“We could move the event to another state or track and gain significant tourism support, but Taree Motorcycle Club is where I started racing and is the home of the Troy Bayliss Classic,” he says.

“It will be held at the Old Bar circuit, or it won’t take place at all.” 

Meanwhile, organisers are hopeful the event will be staged in 2019 and have called for more support and sponsorship.

  • What would make you attend (or return to) the Troy Bayliss Classic? Leave your comments below.

The post Troy Bayliss Classic suspended appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Ruptured Budgie Rally hosts wedding

Tue, 11/04/2017 - 6:00am

A Sunshine Coast couple are so smitten with the Moto Guzzi Club of Queensland Ruptured Budgie Rally, they are planning to marry there next month. Even though they don’t own a Guzzi!

The marriage of Sue Stanley and Don Cameron (pictured above) from the Sunshine Coast will be a highlight of the 24th annual rally from May 19-21 at Mingoola, 56km west of Tenterfield on the Bruxner Highway.

“The Ruptured Budgie Rally was Sue’s very first rally and our first rally together and we fell in love with the venue and the people,” says Don.

“The people are just so accepting, even though we don’t ride a Guzzi.

“We ride a VTX1800 Honda with a camper trailer, but we’ve been sort of been adopted by the Guzzi club.

Don and Sue’s rig

“They don’t care what you ride, just so long as you do ride.”

Old-school rally

The Ruptured Budgie Rally, considered one of the last of the old-school motorcycle rallies, attracts riders of all types of motorcycles from around Australia.

Don and Sue will be married by Bruce Jones, a member of the MGCOQ, while club vice-president John Hoogstraten will be best man.

“The Guzzi club has more special plans for the weddding than we have,” says Don. “We just wanted someone to say our vows at the venue, but they have organised flowers, a pergola in case it rains, special rally badges with wedding rings and the property owner’s daughters will be Sue’s flower girls.”

MGCOQ spokesman Ian Taylor says they expect up to 400 people to attend the rally.

The rally features camping by the river with firewood supplied, fully catered food and bar from Friday dinner to Sunday breakfast, and usual and “unusual” rally awards.

Cost of entry is $25 each which includes the rally badge. Children under 15 enter free.

Ruptured Budgie ‘best’

on says he has been to a lot of rallies, but the Ruptured Budgie Rally is the best.

“It’s a five-million-star venue,” he says. “The nearest street light is 56km away. It’s a back-to-basics rally tat’s really peaceful with bloody nice people.”

Organisers say it is a motorcycle-only rally, with “absolutely no cars” allowed on site.

They also do not allow dogs, cats, BYO alcohol, glass, “dickheads or attitudes”.

Origins of the rally name

Our original article called it the Busted Budgie rally, but we were quickly corrected with the proper name.

That got us wondering how it inherited that name.

MGCQ secretary Robin Jones says it was suggested by club member Peter Thompson more than 24 years ago.

“He is still a member and will be at the rally, although his version of how the name arouse can differ depending on how many beers he has drunk,” Robin says.

“My recollection is that the Budgie part relates to how Australian Guzzi riders affectionately refer to the Moto Guzzi eagle as a budgie.

“The Ruptured part is there to suggest that most Motor Guzzis and their riders are not perfect, shiny and new, but are a bit used and abused.

“Plus the words  just sound good together.”

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Rider confusion over tinted visors

Mon, 10/04/2017 - 4:00pm

Australian and European helmet standards allow tinted visors that filter only half the available light, yet car windows can be much darker, filtering as much as 65%.

In a strange twist, you can wear sunglasses that filter more than 90% of light.

Furthermore, the interpretation of the helmet laws seems to vary in each state, making it irritatingly confusing for riders.

It also creates an anomaly where motorcycle police wear tinted visors, yet it may be considered illegal for “citizen riders”!

While we haven’t heard of any fines for riders wearing tinted visors, we asked Australian Motorcycle Council Helmets Committee Chair Guy Stanford for his take on the laws regarding tinted visors:

Guy ad his tinted Vozz helmet

Riders have been using dark visors since helmets were mandated for use in 1972.

In 2010, changes to the NSW road rules changed the definition of a helmet, providing micro-management of helmet labels and what accessories can be added.

These changes spread to some other states, so we now have different road rules in different states.

Use of dark visors is permitted only in Western Australia. In Queensland it is ok under AS/NZS 1698 helmet, but not under ECE 22-05 helmet. All other states require helmets to remain in compliance with the point-of-sale requirements.

Firstly, let’s look at what is a “dark visor”. There is a technical definition, based on Visible Light Transmitted (VLT). A perfectly clear visor will transmit nearly 100% of daylight, whereas a visor with 20% VLT is “dark”, i.e. the lower the VLT, the darker the visor.

Both helmet standards (AS/NZS 1698 and ECE 22-05) require that when offered for sale, the visor must comply with standards that limit VLT of the visor to 50%. This is not very dark at all. For example, car side windows are much darker, being permitted to be tinted to 35% VLT.

The Australian standard for sunglasses (AS/NZS 1067:2003) allows for sunglasses down to 8% VLT. That’s very dark, but there is no restriction on wearing very dark sunglasses when driving a car.

The problem for riders comes from current road rules that require helmets to continue to be in identical condition as they were when in the box at the shop. This also includes labels and instruction books.

There are several visor standards of relevance and all provide for tests to ensure that when impacted by a high speed rock or piece of gravel, the visor does not break in sharp “shards” that could cut you, particularly in the eye.

For ECE 22-05 helmets, visors at point of sale must comply with the ECE 2205 visor requirements. For AS/NZS 1698:2006, visors at point of sale must comply with AS 1609. Neither allows a dark visor below 50% VLT.

Two USA standards exist that are used for dark visors, one from the American National Standards Institute, ANSI Z.87, and one from the Vehicle Equipment Safety Commission of the US Department of Transportation, VESC-8. 

Both of these test for impact, shatter, optical distortion, colour transmission, in a similar manner to AS 1609 and ECE 22-05.

The ANSI Z.87 standard allows for dark visors down to 14%VLT and VESC-8 allows down to 20% VLT.

Sunglasses are regarded as an accessory for use when driving and similarly, a dark visor is an accessory for a helmet where sunglasses may not be practical at all.

For example, when entering an underground car park or tunnel, a rider can instantly flip the dark visor out of their vision line, rather than stop, remove and stow away a pair of sunglasses.

The Australian Motorcycle Council has made strong representations to have helmet laws amended to remove the present impediment to use of dark visors in almost all states.

We applaud Western Australia for their commonsense and practical helmet laws that allow use of dark visors.

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Pakistan leather gets a second chance

Mon, 10/04/2017 - 12:00pm

We panned a leather jacket we received from Pakistan in August 2016 and warned riders against buying cheap motorcycle goods over the internet.

Read our scathing report here.

The “offending” Pakistani leather jacket

However, another Pakistan motorcycle leather goods company then got in touch with us and pleaded to give the country’s goods a second chance.

They also said they would soon be starting a line of chrome-free “green” leather goods made without using toxic chromium in the tanning process.

Meanwhile, they pressed us for sizes to send samples of their goods.

I tried to explain that it would not be a fair review if they knew they were sending gear to a journalist for review as they would make an extra-special high-quality product.

Your average punter may not get the same treatment.

But here’s the thing; even considering they knew the goods would be reviewed by a professional “moto noter”, it’s simply not up to standard.

The company sent boots ($US56), gloves ($US18) and a two-piece leather race suit ($US98 jacket and $US93 pants). All prices are delivered to Australia.

Even before I opened the small cardboard box I realised it was not great quality from the size and weight of the package.

There is no getting around the fact that genuine leathers are weighty and bulky.

When I opened the box, the next hint was the distinct smell of rubber rather than leather. It just did not smell right.

Next was the fit. Despite giving my measurements, they just don’t fit right.

For example, the pants are too tight, yet the jacket is too loose around the same waist measurement!

The jacket is also baggy everywhere, but at least the sleeves are long enough, unlike the previous Pakistan leather jacket.

They promised that all their armour is “CE approved as per international safety standard”, yet I could not find any CE labels.

I pressed them for certification and they emailed two testing documents that were too small to read. I asked for bigger copies, but they never complied.

Even if there was a label, there is nothing stopping them from simply counterfeiting them.

However, the foam back, shoulder and elbow protectors are skimpy and far too thin to be CE approved.

The only labels we could find were brand labels and a sticker that says “genuine leather”, but it doesn’t say what sort of leather. It feels very soft and thin.

They told us everything was “full-grain cow leather” except the gloves which were “drum dyed aniline cow leather”.

We believe it is more likely goat leather. We gave it a tear test with our hands and it seemed to hold, but stretched quite a bit.

But here is the most ridiculous thing about the leathers; the knee sliders are right around the side of the shins. They look ridiculous and, unless you have a radical style, totally ineffective.

Besides, the protectors are pieces of brittle plastic that would just melt on contact with the road.

Leather boots

The boots have no support and collapse at the ankle and in the middle of the foot.

They are so ill-fitting they are loose everywhere, except across the toes where they dig into my little toes. I don’t have super-wide feet, either. They are just badly designed.

The inner sole is like a piece of paper and are only stuck in with a small piece of glue on the heel, so they came out first time I removed my feet.

Also, the ankle protector and toe sliders are anchored with screws pointing directly at your foot. Ouch!

Leather gloves

Best of a bad lot is the gloves which seem reasonably well made and are styled like race gloves with a velcro wrist fastener and had plastic “protectors” on the knuckles.

We’re not sure how long the protectors they would last in slide down the road, but we gave them a wood and metal file test and they held up well.

Behind the back of the knuckles there is some soft foam, so they feel soft and comfortable.

Conclusion

Many motorcycle manufacturers have products made in Pakistan and other Asian countries.

In fact, even Indian-owned Royal Enfield in “enemy territory” has their gear made in Pakistan, much to the chagrin of many Indian riders!

However, these known manufacturers have strict quality control and usually abide by European approval standards.

A lot of Asian companies make knock-off products that look identical to the brand-name goods, but they simply don’t stand up to the test.

We haven’t mentioned the company name, but once again, we do not recommend buying directly from any Asian manufacturers.

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Riders are the happiest commuters

Mon, 10/04/2017 - 6:00am

Motorcycle commuters are six times less stressed than other motorists, are late less often and spend less on the journey.

That’s according to two British surveys of 3000 commuters, but it’s obviously relevant in just about any city and nothing we riders didn’t already know.

The most recent study, commissioned by motorcycle insurance specialists Lexham Insurance, found that only 6% of riders found commuting stressful compared with 41% of drivers, 37% who took buses, 35% on trains and 26% on the underground.

It was even 2% fewer than cyclists.

One of the biggest gripes was arriving at work late because of traffic jams and public transport delays, neither of which impact on motorcyclists.

Riders can use bus lanes in London. No wonder they’re happy!

The survey also found that Brits commute an average of seven miles (11km) a day for a working life total of 171,080 miles (275,326km) and spend £48,708.92 ($A80,508.20). About a third of that cost is on snacks while driving, a cost riders don’t incur.

The study follows a similar British survey last year commissioned by another motorcycle insurance firm that found 87.9% of motorcycle and scooter commuters believe they are happier than their colleagues.

Some 67.8% also said they believed commuting to work had a positive effect on their enthusiasm and ability to tackle work.

And why wouldn’t it?

Commuting by motorcycle is not only cheaper and more efficient, especially now with lane filtering (except in WA, Tasmania and NT), but also fun and challenging.

So when you arrive at work, you feel invigorated, rather than bored into a stupor because you have been sitting in a slow-moving car or crowded into public transport like sheep.

And it’s getting worse for other commuters with a Google study last year finding Australian commuter traffic speeds are now down to as low as an average of 29km/h in Sydney, 34km/h in Melbourne, 52km/h in Brisbane and 58km/h in Perth.

While the UK studies are no surprise to riders, it is surprising that more people don’t commute by motorcycle!

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Meet Tex the trike-riding dog

Sun, 09/04/2017 - 1:00pm

Just about every dog loves to dangle its tongue in the wind and Tex the Toowoomba trike-riding dog is no exception. And do you blame him?

Dog lovers Paul and Mel Goodin say their five-year-old mastif/dane has been riding with them in their Touroz trike for about nine months and he loves it.

“We go for a ride every weekend and he’s normally sitting there in the garage just waiting to get in,” Paul says.

“He’s always happy on a ride and he even leans into the corners.”

The couple have always had motorcycles, but cashed in their bikes last year to buy the 1600cc trike so they could bring Tex along on their rides.

“He’d always been in the ute, so we thought he’d love to ride in a trike,” Paul says.

Paul says he built a makeshift “dog box” on the trike to see if Tex liked it and when he did, he strengthened the design with a metal frame and plywood so Tex could drop down out of the wind when he gets cold or tired.

They tried Doggles on him, but they didn’t fit, so they rigged up a pair of safety glasses with some elastic and Tex seems to love them.

“He loves it in there. He even goes to sleep sometimes,” Mel says.

The dog box includes a tether so Tex doesn’t jump out, although they say he has never tried.

The couple usually stop 20 minutes into their ride to let Tex relieve himself and they make regular stops to walk and water him.

“We usually know when he wants to get out as he gets a bit restless,” Paul says.

Tex makes quite an impression on other motorists and the couple say they are always asked by people if they can take photos wherever they stop.

“We even had one driver use both hands to film us with his tablet while we were riding along,” Mel says.

What are the laws on dogs on bikes?

Laws vary around the world on how a motorcyclist can transport a dog or pet.

Dogs are allowed to ride in the UK, USA and New Zealand where they simply have to be restrained.

In Australia, dogs were banned on bikes in 2011, but the rule was amended in 2013 to ban pets being between the rider and the handlebars. That allows them to be behind or beside the rider, depending on their vehicle.

The rule also says the animal must be seated or housed in an appropriate area of the bike, restrained with a tether or cage and the rider cannot lead the animal, while the bike is moving.

The only rider in Australia still allowed to have a dog in front of him is Terry “Tex” O’Grady.

Tex – the human, not the trike-riding dog – was given official dispensation to allow his cattle dog, Bundy, to sit in front of him because of the charity work they do.

Tex and Bundy (and Cash before him) have travelled around Australia for years and raised millions of dollars for various charities.

We’ve met several other riders who take their dogs with them.

There’s John Skinner and his little black dog, Scrambles, who have ridden right across the continent, and Anny Seaton on her 1986 Kawasaki Z1300 with her dog Mandy sitting alongside her in the sidecar.

Every dog we’ve met on a motorcycle, outfit or trike seems to love it. After all, if you have a dog in a car, they love nothing more than sticking their head out of the window into the wind.

Riders should understand that feeling!

Penalties

The RSPCA can issue fines under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act if an animal is injured because it was unrestrained in a vehicle.

Owners face up to six months’ jail and fines of up to $5500. Carrying dogs untethered on the backs of utes can land drivers with fines of $500.

Rules, demerit points and fines differ slightly between states, but penalties are about three demerit points and $425 (more in a school zone).

To find out what rules apply in your state or territory, contact your state or territory transport department:

The post Meet Tex the trike-riding dog appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Italian motorcycles whet collector appetites

Sun, 09/04/2017 - 6:00am

A significant European collection of 16 Italian motorcycles is a highlight of the Spring Stafford Sale on April 23, 2017, that should whet the appetite of any collector.

Bonhams Motorcycle Department secured the bikes for the Spring Stafford Sale from one collector with a passion for Italian brands such as MV Agusta and Ducati. The sale will be held at the 37th Carole Nash International Classic MotorCycle Show in the UK.

The collection includes a perfectly presented 1973 MV Agusta 750S estimated to fetch £60,000–90,000 (pictured above).

Far beyond the reach of many enthusiasts at the time, the 750S was arguably ‘the’ superbike of the 1970s. Few machines could match the 750S on price nor top-end speed, fewer still on stylistic beauty. A fine example of the model described by Bike as ‘one of the most dramatic-looking bikes ever made.’

If a 750S wasn’t rare enough on its own, the collection includes an equally awesome  1976 MV Agusta 789cc 750S America (£50,000-70,000), which produced a solid 75bhp, enough to propel the Italian sportster to a top speed of approximately 135mph. This example is signed by four legends who are inextricably linked to the MV name; the late John Surtees, Giacomo Agostini, Phil Read and Arturo Magni.

Rival marque Ducati plays an equally important role within the collection including a 1973 Ducati 750 Sport (£24,000-28,000), a true landmark machine and rightly one of the most sought-after of all Ducati. Only 1625 were ever made, and a smaller number still reached the UK market. This iconic twin-cylinder ‘café racer’ is an early example presented in beautiful condition.

The sale includes more than 200 collector motorcycles and about 90 lots of motorcycle spares and memorabilia.

One of the most evocative names in motorcycling is that of Brough Superior. George Brough famously added the crucial ingredient of style to his father’s recipe for innovative and reliable machines when creating his rival company, and this machine is a fine and interesting example.

The 1930 Brough Superior OHV 680 Black Alpine (£100,000-140,000) was so named as a reference to the lavishly equipped SS100 Alpine Grand Sports and its distinctive all-black eggshell finish. The history of this marvelous example is known from new, and it has been cherished and well used by its former owners including European tours, classic rallies and even television appearances – ‘JO 1134’ starred in The Big Breakfast alongside Wallace and Gromit in 1996. A matching numbers machine, the motorcycle is presented in fantastic age related condition and with a substantial history file.

A lesser-known marque but equally as charming is the 1912 Williamson 964cc 8hp motorcycle combination (£35,000-40,000) offered with an incredible patina. A heavyweight air-cooled example, it was designed to do business and is a rare survivor of the Coventry based make. It is believed that these air-cooled machines were primarily used for racing, and this example is a regular participant in the London-Brighton Pioneer Run. Formerly part of the Potter Collection, noteworthy features of the machine include a Brooks saddle, Bosch magneto and Binks carburretor.

On the heavyweight theme, the Harley-Davidson EL overhead-valve v-twin – known as the ‘knucklehead’ due to its distinctively shaped rocker boxes- is one of the most striking and easily recognizable motorcycle engines of all time. Far from just a pretty face, the EL performed well too, with Joe Petrail setting a new speed record of 136mph at Daytona beach in 1937. This restored Harley-Davidson 61ci ‘Knucklehead’ (£30,000-35,000) dates from 1942, a time when the Milwaukee factory was increasingly concerned with the production of military models, making this example rare and a true collector piece.

Until the late 1950s, nearly every major UK manufacturer fielded a works team, under the pretence that their riders were winning competitions on regular, unmodified bikes. This was far from true, with factory machines being tuned to be much lighter and peppier – until Ariel came along. To their enormous credit, they created their new HT5, a machine on which riders could genuinely win awards without having to resort to modification. This 1954 Ariel 500cc HT5 trials machine (£8,000-10,000) has received a considerable amount of mechanical attention and represents an opportunity to own a significant and evocative component of Britain’s post-war trial scene.

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Deals on West Coast motorcycle rental

Sat, 08/04/2017 - 5:00pm

If you are planning a ride on the West Coast of North America this northern 2017 spring, MotoQuest has some great “transporter” rental deals.

These cheap “transporter” rental deals come up from time to time with American rental companies who want to transport bikes back in the other direction from one-way rentals.

There are probably also some good deals going at the moment to transport bikes back from the East to West coasts after Daytona Bike Week. And again in September, taking bikes home from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

The MotoQuest deals involve riders wanting to discover the northwest from Long Beach, to San Francisco, Portland or all the way to Anchorage, Alaska.

Deals range from $50 to $75 a day for minimums of six to 10 days riding between Long Beach, San Francisco, Portland and Anchorage. 

Bikes include Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, BMW R 1200 RT, BMW R 1200 GS, BMW F 700 S, BMW F 800 GS and Harley-Davidson Street Glide and Ultra tourers.

Transporter rental deals are available on a first-come-first-served basis and all requests must be submitted through this online form.

These deals allow riders the freedom and flexibility to explore the roads and scenery between the two locations.

The rental specialists can also recommend the best riding routes, pit stops and activities along the way.

The post Deals on West Coast motorcycle rental appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Kawasaki offers free KLR650 luggage

Sat, 08/04/2017 - 6:00am

Kawasaki is currently doing a great deal that makes the versatile go-anywhere 2017 KLR650 adventurer even more attractive.

Buy the bike now and they will throw in a free luggage kit valued at more than $800.

It includes soft saddlebags, matching tank bag and tail bag, so you can carry a lot of gear.

The luggage has a unique rubberised vinyl finish that is durable and water resistant.

If you want them to be absolutely waterproof, you will probably have to pack your goods in a watertight bag inside the luggage.

The tank bag fits to your tank with a stretch “bra” that has flips up so can easily access the fuel tank. On top is a clear map case and there are two power and drink tube ports with hose stays for hydration systems and to connect headphones to your phone or music player.

It also expands from six litres to eight litres of storage space.

When you arrive at your destination, it comes off quickly and there is a convenient handle.

The tail bag also expands.

 

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