Australian Road Rider Issue#133 - February 2017

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
sausage sizzle

Hi folks, I have just returned from the launch of the Triumph T100 and Street Cup, held in the wilds of Tasmania. Four days, nine bikes and riders, a whole bunch of kilometres. This all got me to thinking that there would be many of you that may not know the logistics and idiosyncrasies of how a distributor gets the sort of coverage they hope for when tossing a new product into their crowded showrooms and franchises. How to get sizzle for their sausage, if you will. Now, I’ve been around this caper for more years than I care to remember (or can for that matter). Yep, man and boy. I’ve seen many changes to the bike industry. Some good, some medium and some horrendous. In years gone by, when the only real…

1 min
did you know?

You probably know that Steve McQueen was an enthusiastic motorcyclist. But you probably don’t know just how enthusiastic he actually was. His love of riding went far deeper than most fans realise … After being honourably discharged in 1950 from the US Marines, he drifted around the country on a 1946 Indian Chief doing menial jobs for people. “I was so proud of that Indian that I rode it over to see a girl I was dating,” he recalled in a later interview. “She said, ‘You don’t expect me to ride around with you on that, do you?’ I surely did. The girl went and the bike stayed.” In 1955, he debuted on Broadway and 10 years later was one of the highest-paid stars in Hollywood, so he could now afford all…

1 min
repeated history?

Ten years ago, common wisdom had it that the Ducati 1098 was the best sportsbike on the planet. It weighed 173kg, made 134kW of power and 134Nm of torque. It smashed the quarter-mile in 10 seconds flat, and looked so damn fine that serious Ducatisti would propose to it and offer to have its babies. A decade later, Bologna’s 1299 Superleggera is set to take this crown again, and against some serious competition. What a difference 10 years makes, huh? Apart from the donk, the Superleggera is made from carbon-fibre. It weighs 154kg and makes 160kW of power and 146Nm of torque. And the floor at EICMA had cracks in it from all the jaws that hit it when the factory unveiled it late last year. But apart from its stunning good…

1 min
chinese whispers

You do know that China produces more than 24 million motorcycles every year, and exports 34 per cent of them, yes? There are more than 200 motorcycle manufacturers in China and their output accounts for a touch over 50 per cent of all the bikes made in the world. And they are coming here. It is inevitable, even though our domestic motorcycle market is about the size of a cake stall at a school fete by comparison to other countries. It’s still a market and some of them are already here. Brands like CF Moto, Crossfire, Suntek and Loncin are being sold to people after a dirt-cheap, almost disposable little dirt or road bike. Yes, they appear to be made of recycled noodle cans, good wishes and bamboo, but people are…

4 min
top six new releases

Last year’s EICMA motorcycle show in Milan played host to the unveiling of a whole bunch of awesome machines. Now that we’re well into the new year, we’re starting to see many of them land Down Under. So in anticipation, we’ve rounded up the six bikes we most look forward to riding in 2017. MOTO GUZZI V7 III Since the first one was sold in 1967, the V7 has remained a pillar in the Moto Guzzi range. Fifty years on, the Italian brand has revealed its latest, the V7 III. The bike is available in four versions; the well-established Stone, Special and Racer and to celebrate the bike’s 50th anniversary, Moto Guzzi has introduced the limited-edition Anniversario. The new models have all been treated to a major upgrade with almost every main component revised…

4 min
coitus interruptus

“That’s the hassle of owning too many old cars and bikes” Economists like to remind us that there is no such thing as a free lunch. The phrase arose from the practice of saloon owners in the US offering free tucker to entice customers through their doors. The food was usually high in salt content, which encouraged patrons to buy more beer at often-inflated prices, thereby more than covering the cost of the ‘free’ meal. The equivalent in the world of motorcycling is that there is no such thing as a cheap Norton Commando. Regular readers will have noticed that things have been quiet on the Norton front in recent columns. Bought locally as an unfinished project, I had my 1970 Roadster on the road with club plates for a little over $9000.…