Australian Road Rider Issue 144

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
SPECIAL: Save 50% on your subscription!
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min

“There’s a fair whack of tripe in the marketing” Hi folks. Motorcycle categories. They’ve defined the game for as long as bikes have existed. Adventure, Cruiser, Sports, Sports Tourer, Chookie… And of course there are a few sub groups within those as well. They each have their dedicated tribes, too, each with its own uniform, set of rules and culture. As much as we like to think that we are amazingly free of such things, in my experience the average motorcyclist is kinda conservative. We expect value for hard-earned money and guard our way of life fiercely — all with a strong resistance to change. Well, I hate to swash up your buckle, but that is hardly a devil may care attitude, now is it. The fact is, one thing that has,…

9 min
stay on track

The phenomenon of rider training is now pretty firmly entrenched in the Australian road riding landscape. There are courses that cater for the beginner to the experienced and even active racers, usually carried out in the relatively safe environment of the racetrack. Born from all that training activity was the “track” or “ride” day. And why not? After all, this is where you get to thrash around the track, pretty much left to your own devices (of course there are sensible rules). Track day operators report that take-up is at its highest levels, and one of the reasons for this is the move towards riders trailering “track day only” motorcycles to these events. That way, you don’t have to ride home after a big day at the track and paying rego…

4 min

I know a few people, some quite well, who think all coppers are bastards. Their only interactions with the police force have been negative, usually resulting in financial pain or worse. I know a few other people, not as well maybe, who actually are or were coppers. They all seem nice-enough blokes, so who’s right? My first interaction with the wallopers was in February, 1972. My mate and I had taken our girlfriends to see the Steve McQueen movie, Le Mans, in the city. We got a bit silly on our late-night drive home, the worst of which was driving our mums’ Morris 1100s two abreast down a deserted suburban back street. Neither of us noticed the unmarked GTR Torana until it was too late. Not only did it look like I’d…

4 min
barnum and reynolds

When I was a young tacker it was a big deal when the circus came to town. During my primary school years I reckon I went to every circus that came through town with my grandpa. My Pa loved the circus! He would buy us ringside seats and get right into the performance. Every time a new clown appeared, or a performer was about to do something, Pa would dig me in the ribs with his elbow and say excitedly, “Lookit this fella, lookit this fella!” When the lion tamer or animal trainer was on, Pa would yell out “Goodonya Captain!” and clap loudly every time one of the tired old lions did a trick. His other favourite was to shout “Holy Goko” every time something amazing, tricky or unexpected happened.…

12 min
jaffa iron

When the RS (Retro Sport) version of the Z900 came our way, I wasn’t sure I’d have a whole lot to say about it other than Phwoah! Nice paint mate — given that we so recently tested the standard Z900 on which it’s heavily based. Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong. Firstly, Kawasaki has gone to some lengths to make the RS a visual treat and in our eyes it’s the nicest-looking bike in the entire Team Green model range. Designed as a homage to, rather than an exact replica of, the original Z1, from twenty feet away you’d still be hard pushed not to be taken in and I lost count of the number of double-takes this bike garnered as I rode it around town. The paint, of course,…

10 min
to russia with love part one

The burly Russian gets out of the Mercedes — its windows blacked-out, making it impossible to see if he is alone — and approaches me like a big bear stalking his prey. Numerous gold chains dangle from his bull neck. He carries a leather “man bag” and is wearing a two-piece matching leisure suit with three stripes running down the side. You now, all track and field like. I’m standing next to the bike and probably look a little lost. We’ve just crossed from Finland into Russia and the standard of driving has changed. The drivers are crazy, speeding past Big Red, leaving little room for error. “English?” he asks. “No. Australian.” My mind is racing as to what happens now. He looks like Russian mafia, but I can’t see the bulge…