Australian Road Rider Issue 151

THE NO.1 MAGAZINE FOR TOURING Australian Road Rider is the only Australian magazine to address the technical aspects of riding and celebrate the pure enjoyment of touring. At Australian Road Rider we know that there’s nothing like the pleasure of hitting the open road and exploring our glorious country. Purchase includes the Digital Edition and News Service. Please stay in touch via our Facebook Page.

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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min
thanks greg, i’ll take it from here…

Australian Road Rider has a new editor, me. Mr Leech has vacated the chair and I’ve grabbed hold of it because, well, I could. It’s not the last we’ll see of Greg though; he will continue to write for us, starting with the new Triumph Speed Twin next issue. I like being a bike journo and have ever since Bob Guntrip roped me into being his news editor on Revs Motorcycle News back in the 1990s. Since then I’ve also worked on Two Wheels and Cycle Torque. All of those titles are gone, victims of publishing greed (REVS) or digital disruption (TW and CT). I don’t want that to happen to Australian Road Rider, so I’d like to reach out to you, the loyal readers, to ensure we’re publishing the stories and…

2 min
a bigger rocket

With only 750 being produced and just 25 coming to Australia, Triumph’s Rocket III TFC will be seen about as often as unicorn poo. This new Triumph Factory Custom will, however, be highly collectable, wistfully thought of and possibly considered the peak of giant petrol-powered motorcycles. What it won’t be is the fastest, best-handling or most practical of motorcycles. What it will be is a giant of the motorcycle world, with the biggest production engine — now out to 2500cc — the most grunt and the incredible presence of a machine which is long, tall, wide and heavy. Triumph is trying to describe it as the Ultimate Motorcycle. Featuring premium TFC badging with gold detailing and a beautiful individually-numbered plaque on the instrument mount, each one will be completely unique and never…

5 min
factory spec

The “Factory” moniker has always been reserved for Aprilia’s halo bikes, with the formula always being increased performance, presence and exclusivity using premium parts. The price of the parts bought individually was always more than premium asked for the bike, so if you’re after that level of performance, it offers good value, but you’ll still need to justify the $33,990 to yourself at least. That would buy a Japanese Sports bike and a lot of tyres, but it’s a lot less than some of the MV Agustas and Ducatis. "PERHAPS THE PIT LANE SPEED LIMITER MIGHT BE HANDY IN SCHOOL ZONES…" This year’s bike follows the familiar Aprilia Factory formula and stretches it further. The company has thrown the kitchen sink at it this time, with forged wheels, Öhlins suspension, aerodynamic wings, Arkrapovic…

4 min
back to the future

Many people say electric bikes will be the next big thing in motorcycling, but I sure hope not. Having a living, breathing engine underfoot, something with moving parts that make noise, is a major part of the appeal. No, the next big thing in motorcycling will be two-strokes. Don’t laugh, it’s already happening. Generous historic rego schemes around the country have brought new life to old bikes. In NSW, for bikes 30 years or older, just $46 per annum buys you 60 days of riding wherever you like, whenever you like. It’s the lurk of the century, and the number of two-strokes large and small taking advantage of it is on the rise. And why not? No valves. No tappets. No camshafts. No cam chains or pushrods. Sounds like a restorer’s…

9 min
majestic twins

Before I’d ridden these bikes, I’d written an informative yet somewhat amusing paragraph outlining Royal Enfield’s lengthy history while simultaneously bagging their customer base outside of India as a bunch of hipsters looking for something quirky to be seen fixing at the side of the road. Although it wasn’t a bad read, most of it doesn’t appear here because having ridden the bikes, my pre-conceptions of what Royal Enfield now stand for have been demolished. Having said that, some bits are worth repeating. For instance, Royal Enfield boasts the longest continuous production run of any current motorcycle manufacturer, stretching back to 1901 and manufactured exclusively in India since 1967. This is proper heritage, unlike some other brands whose link to the original marque is in little more than the name. What I…

1 min

The only Japanese LAMS bike that comes close to the Royal Enfield twins is the Yamaha XSR700 with its Steampunk, rather than genuine retro, style. A Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 or, at a push, a Harley Street 500 are probably the most obvious LAMS competition, both of which at least give a nod to the retro vibe, but neither has the classy look of the Indian bike. The other point to consider is that regardless of the LAMS tag, the REs are just great fun bikes to ride and apart from giving away a bit of power and top-end, which means you just have to work them a bit harder, there’s no reason why more experienced riders should turn their nose up at them, perhaps putting pressure on the Modern Classic range…