Australian Road Rider Issue#139 - August 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
different strokes

“Two-strokes are simpler and lighter and produce about twice as much power as four-strokes of similar capacity” Hi, folks. Two-strokes. Now there are two words that will polarise opinion among motorcyclists. There are those who reckon they’re the duck’s guts and those who reckon they’re stinky, noisy and outdated. I’m in the former group but totally get the reasoning behind the latter group’s position. Yeah, they are smelly. It’s just that I love that smell. In fact, if you turn to page 18, you’ll get a rundown of how Suzuki’s race program got hold of performance two-stroke technology. It’s a fascinating story. Anyway. So why the hell is two-stroke technology so out of favour? After all, two-strokes are simpler and lighter and produce about twice as much power as four-strokes of similar capacity. Well,…

1 min
a head of its time?

NEWS FOR ROADRIDERS Glad you asked. Boxer engines got their name because each pair of pistons moves simultaneously in and out rather than alternately, like boxers showing they are ready to go into battle by touching their gloved fists against each other before a fight. Of course, they have become synonymous with BMW for motorcycle applications, but Boxer engines of up to eight cylinders have proved highly successful in cars and continue to be popular for powering light aircraft. Many years ago, Max Friz, BMW’s head designer, reluctantly turned to motorcycle and automobile engines to sustain the company. Within four weeks, Friz designed the nowlegendary horizontally opposed twin-cylinder engine known today as the Boxer engine. The first Boxer engine M2B15 was based on a British Douglas design. The M2B15 proved to be moderately successful…

1 min
tuned for speed

When the world needed to know how to get unheard-of performance numbers out of motorcycle engines, it looked south. Right here, in the Land of Oz. And more specifically, one bloke: Philip Edward Irving. Irving was an engineer and author, most famous for the Repco-Brabham Formula One and Vincent motorcycle engines. He also wrote the books Tuning For Speed and Motorcycle Technicalities and had a tech column in Motor Cycling magazine called Slide Rule. Irving was completely immersed in motorcycles and racing. At 89 (weeks before his death in 1992), he was still tuning engines at Midwest Harley in Ballarat. Business owner Ken James was quoted as saying, “You can’t stop Phil; he just needs to be around engines and make them sing!” Many will know that the Irving Vincent name lives on…

2 min
rain, rain, go away

ARR’S TOP 10 TIPS FOR BUYING WET-WEATHER KIT 1. Guess what? Golfers and sailors wear similar stuff. Don’t limit yourself to the motorcycle retailer. 2. Buy what you need. If you do 2000km a year, you really should look to the cheaper end of the market range. 3. If you do more than 20,000km a year, we’d recommend shopping at the top end of the market range. 4. Do you have carrying capacity? This stufftakes up space. If you’re limited in this area, look to versatile gear that can be worn year round (zip-out liners are good for this). 5. Do you carry pillions in bad weather? A hypothermic passenger is a crook look. Kit loved ones out, too. 6. Leather suits do not hold heat well. You may look a million bucks but race suits…

3 min
stroker genius

Way back in 1953, the race department of East German brand MZ was headed up by one Walter Kaaden, who was literally a rocket scientist who had helped with the Nazi V-2 rocket program. He developed MZ two-strokes combining disc-valve induction with expansion chamber exhausts. The exhausts were essentially Kaaden’s invention and led to incredible results. In 1954, his engines produced around 100bhp per litre and, by 1961, they belted out 200bhp per litre! While MZ could pull the very best racers to ride its quick machines, the company also took on a homegrown communist up-and-comer, Ernst Degner. Then, in 1961, with Degner poised on the brink of stardom, the East German defected while competing at the Swedish Grand Prix. Within hours he was on his way to Japan, where he signed…

4 min
safety in numbers

“The idea was to get the smaller bikes out and have a bit of fun” Ihave a mate, Jamie, who hates riding in groups. He enjoys his own company and is distrustful of other riders’ abilities. Another mate, Havachat, is the opposite. The only time his bike sees sunlight is when there’s a run on. Me? I like it both ways. Steve Doherty from Orange Classic & Cafe Racer in NSW’s central west had invited me to his club’s inaugural Ride Blue Little Day Out, a morning event celebrating small-capacity motorcycles and raising money for the mental health charity beyondblue. Orange is a Little over 300km from Chateau Seddo, so not a huge trip, but any excuse is a good one. I gave the Ducati a scrub, packed my toothbrush and we…