Australian Road Rider Issue 143

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.

Universal Wellbeing PTY Limited
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min
shedding tears

"You learn that the thing you banged your head on half an hour ago is still there and will be again in another half an hour…" Hi folks. I know a whole lot of you guys are into restoring bikes. I’m with you. Some of the very best times I have ever had have been in a shed. Says something about the dubious quality of my friends, but let’s not get bogged down in who shot who. Yep, mucking about with a bike. They don’t have to be especially old, they don’t even need to be especially especial. See what I did there? Anyway, there’s just a cool feel about fettling a bike. And it can teach you things. Like new swear words, new ways to lie to your significant other, and how…

4 min
evel knievel’s wembley jump

Here’s a quote for ya. Take this in… “Seventy per cent were real fans who wanted to be there to see the jump. Twenty per cent wanted to come and if there was an accident, they wanted to see it. But they didn’t want to see me get killed. Then there’s 10 per cent of the population that were looking for blood and/or death.” — Evel Knievel If Evel Knievel’s above statements in reference to his fans were indeed accurate, roughly 20 to 30 per cent of those in attendance at London’s Wembley Stadium on May 25, 1975, got exactly what they paid for. The rest experienced a combination of excitement, immense fear and a touch of queasiness that perhaps only a classic Knievel death-defying stunt can evoke, with the possible…

5 min
simply special

What a charming little bike. I’ve been hanging for a ride on the relaunched V7 Guzzi for years but the planets never aligned, so I was especially chuffed to have one for a fortnight to get to know it well. My test bike was a new Series III Special, a stablemate to the stripped-back Stone and the sporty Racer, all of which share the same basic chassis and engine. Although to untrained eyes they look almost identical, changes from the Series II models are significant. The engine is still OHV and just two per cylinder, but has been redesigned from its lightened crankshaft up to its hemispherical combustion chambers, and looks much beefier with extra finning on the heads and redesigned rocker covers. It also has a new adjustable traction-control system.…

2 min
all aboard!

Here’s one for the, "umm… okay…" file. It seems members of the Indian army have set a new world record — with 58 men riding on a single motorcycle. Must have been a bit light-on for skirmishes and battles on the sub-continent that day. The stunt was performed by the oddly named Tornadoes, a motorcycle display team of the army’s logistics arm, Army Service Corps. Dressed in the colours of the Indian flag (clever that), they flanked either side of the moving 500cc Royal Enfield (of course), covering a distance of 1.2km at Yelahanka Air Force Station in southern Bengaluru city. Says a bit for the Enfield, huh? The act was performed for the Guinness Book of World Records, Limca Book of Records and Unique World Records, according to local media, which is…

4 min
rainy day blues

Sitting on the rickety upstairs balcony of the Royal Mail Hotel in Braidwood, the outlook was bleak. The sky was dark grey, the rain heavy and consistent, and the roads were awash with rivers of fast-flowing water. It was exactly as the weather bureau had forecast. A massive wet front was about to engulf the bottom third of Australia and here we were, already 300km south of Sydney, with our noses pointed further south again. It wasn’t as if we hadn’t been warned, but desperate times had called for a desperate solution. Time had gotten away from us. For one reason or another, our informal touring group hadn’t been on a decent ride all year for the first time in decades. We couldn’t have that and this particular weekend was the only…

11 min
honda’s hero

Next time you stroll up to a Fireblade — or if you’re lucky throw a leg over — spare a thought for the “father” of the series, Tadao Baba. The project leader on the first ’Blade, and many subsequent models, comes across as the sort of nutter we’d all like to spend a bit of time with. We’re talking of a gent with no formal training beyond high school, but who joined Honda when it had been going just 10 years and worked his way up through the ranks. A bloke who started off machining engine cases for CB72s, he managed to turn the sports bike world upside down through sheer bloodymindedness. The first Fireblade really was that important in its day. Why? Because it was the size and weight of a…