Australian Road Rider Issue#135 - April 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
a shift in power

I reckon ABS has been the single biggest development in bike safety and user-friendliness in the last 25 years. Hi folks. I recently had cause to ride the new Yamaha MT-09. In fact, the event was the Australian launch. The local press contingent did laps for half a day at the track and a few hundred kays in and around Albury and its wonderful roads around the Hume Weir. Twisties, bumpies, extreme heat. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. Look for the full launch test of the MT-09. Big news on this front is that the bike comes equipped as standard with some relatively basic, by 2017 terms, electronic rider aids. There are two-mode (three if you consider ‘off’ a mode) traction control and three engine maps. There’s also a powershifter and ABS. Oh,…

1 min
just like a bought one

Now that KTM has officially entered the 2017 MotoGP season, the Austrian motorcycle brand plans to release a production version of its RC16 race bike to the public. Customers will be selected by KTM based on their riding ability and will be restricted to track-only use. The civilian RC16 will be limited to around 100 units, and the bike’s V4 engine will make around 240hp. Okay, that’s a little less than the MotoGP-spec machine’s 270hp, but still plenty enough to scare the living daylights out of most riders. “We want to build at least 100 pieces and also offer this product at a very affordable price,” said KTM CEO Stefan Pierer. “We want to be as close to the MotoGP bikes as possible.” As with most things regarding MotoGP, exact bike specifications and…

3 min
#001 of a kind

We live in a time where motorcycles are in abundance. We’re spoiled for choice really. Nowadays, bike makers seem to release a new motorcycle every other month, but where did it all start? We’ve rounded up six of the most prolific bike manufacturers in the game to have a look at the first time they decided to slap an engine onto a bike frame and call it their own. DUCATI In many circles, the word Ducati represents the cutting-edge of motorcycle manufacturing, both on-track and on the road, but it took a fair bit of work to earn that reputation. The first bike to ever wear a Ducati badge was built in 1946, and was known as the Cucciolo. The bike featured a 48cc four-stroke engine, two-speed gearing and produced almost two…

3 min
team norton

Local duo Josh Brookes and David Johnson have joined the factory Norton team for this year’s Isle of Man Senior and Superbike TTs. Both riders are set to compete on the all-new SG6, a hand-built bike derived from the recently launched V4 SS road bike. Former World Superbikes racer Josh Brookes is no stranger to the TT. He achieved fastest newcomer in 2013, and placed seventh with a 129.859mph lap the following year. After a two-year absence, Brookes is looking to build on his TT success for 2017. “Firstly I want to come back to the TT. After SMR said I couldn’t ride at the TT for the last two years I’ve been desperate to get back and race at the island. I like the history of the Norton and it will…

4 min
birthday girl

“It was an unreliable pile of junk and I loved it” One of my all-time favourites is turning 60 and I’m in the mood to celebrate! The Harley-Davidson Sportster was released in 1957 as a lightweight sports model to take on the British parallel-twins, and has never been out of production. In a sea of modern bikes pretending to look old, a brand-new Sportster is the real McCoy. The Sportster can trace its lineage directly to the famous 750cc WLAs that mobilised the US infantry during WWII and countless outlaw motorcycle gangs in the years afterward. Like many side-valve Harleys, WLAs ran four gear-driven single-lobe camshafts (one for each valve) which were retained when the WL was modernised with unit construction and a swingarm chassis — both firsts for Harley — in…

9 min
western retro

“It’s one of things you might dream about in a steam-punk movie” Swinging through the bends in the hills north-east of home in sunny Melbourne, early morning, with the easy beat of a giant V-twin, comfortably settled in the leather seat, enjoying the cool morning air. It’s a pretty good place to be. The bike is brand-new. You can feel the engine clearing its throat and the gearshift action easing as the miles build up. There’s a way to go — another 10–15,000km should see it run-in. The owners might want it back before then. Polaris’s Indian Chief Vintage was, from the day of its launch nearly three years ago, the most popular, if not the most capable, model and you can see the appeal. Much is visual. Put it beside a touring-equipped Springfield…