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Jacket protects from bushfire smoke

Italian motorcycle rider protection company SPIDI is working on a smog-proof jacket and mask that could protect riders from the current bushfire smoke spread across NSW and Queensland.

The Spidi Mission Beta is currently just a concept.

However, it seems to be an advancement on their Beta Pro which has a special waterproof membrane and face mask.

How it works

The Mission Beta mask features an air pollution sensor that provides the rider with visual warnings on air pollution via an OLED display on the jacket’s left arm or clutch side. It also vibrates to warn of rising levels.

spidi mission beta concept smoke acket
Warning level display

When the level rises above low, your magic consider using the mask. If it reaches “high” better gear that mask on now!

The sensor system turns on when the jacket is moved and off when it is still so you don’t waste battery.

The mask is designed to work with any motorcycle helmet.

Smoke dangers

Many riders are resorting to wearing face masks or neck socks to protect them from the current bushfire smoke.

Certainly they filter the big carbon particles which can worsen asthma and other respiratory conditions or penetra, cause coughing and shortness of breath and irritate your eyes, nose and throat.

However, they are useless against the finer particles that can penetrate deep into your lungs, causing inflammation that can exacerbate existing health conditions such as asthma, emphysema and heart problems.

In 2017, French company R-PUR developed a face mask to protect against these fine pollutants which are present in urban commuting even when there aren’t bushfires.

R-PUR mask

Spidi says riders are exposed to air pollution around 100 times more than drivers and 10 times more than pedestrians or cyclists.

It’s worth noting that air pollution is the fourth biggest cause of death in the world with 5.5m fatalities a year.

It also apparently can take more than two years off your life expectancy if you are exposed to it on a daily basis.


Driver sends Facebook apology after crash

A driver who “t-boned” a rider in a SMIDSY (Sorry Mate I didn’t See You) crash has sent an apology via a personal Facebook message.

The crash happened on 5 December 2019 when Andrew Anson, 32, of Narooma, NSW, was riding his 2009 Hyosung 250GTR down a hill behind a 4WD which was turning left.

Driver says sorry after SMIDSY crash
Andrew before the crash

“I slowed down and as I was going around the 4WD, this car came out of nowhere and t-boned me straight in the middle,” he says.

Later that same day, driver Maddi Hunter sent her “sincerest apologies” in a personal Facebook message:

Words cannot describe how terrible I feel. This was the first accident I’ve ever been in and it happens to be one of the worst things that can happen.

Maddi Hunter (Facebook image)

Andrew says her apology won’t help save his foot which he could lose.

“Apologies will not help or change the situation,” he says.

“I would expect her to stop and wait if a car is turning; wait until the car is out of sight, then proceed. Look out for motorcycles. Don’t just dart out.”

SMIDSY scenario

The exact scenario of this crash is depicted in a Western Australia perception test for learner riders where a turning vehicle masks a smaller motorcyclist from the view of a driver waiting at an intersection.

Hazard perception test

Andrew, who has been riding about seven months, says he has never had an accident and is a “very careful rider and I don’t speed”.

“All I remember is that car coming out of nowhere, then putting my hand out and hitting the bonnet. I don’t even remember hitting the road,” he says.

“Witnesses tell me I ricocheted into an oncoming vehicle as well.

“The next thing I know I’m on the ground screaming in agony.”

Andrew suffered multiple wrist, rib and leg brakes, but the worst was a shattered ankle where the vehicle hit him.

“It was shattered like a tomato,” he says.

“One of the arteries was severed and I almost lost my foot. I could still lose it.”

Andrew has already had three operations with another scheduled on Monday and “a fair few” to follow.

FB apology

Portion of the personal Facebook message supplied by Andrew

When Maddi left her apology for Andrew, he was advised not to reply, but to wait for the police to contact him.

He says the officer involved is on leave and won’t be back until next week.

Andrew has not yet made a police statement and no charges have been laid.

Maddi told us she didn’t see Andrew’s bike passing the turning vehicle until she “started to pull out”.

“From where I was I could see up the rest of the hill and as far as I could see there was nothing behind him,” she says.

“From my view there was nothing either way so I turned out and as I turned there he was.

“I didn’t see him until I hit him.”

In the text message she says she noticed Andrew swerve.

“I slammed on my breaks (sic) but I believe I hit the back end of your bike with the left side of the car,” she texted.

In her apology, Maddi says she tried to call 000, but a witness had already called, so she waited until Andrew was taken away in an ambulance:

I took photos of your bike to show you and also allowed another lady on the scene to call your grandmother off my phone to notify her about the accident. I was told to go home and call the police to report the incident by both the paramedics and also the fire fighters. I proceeded to do this and was at the station giving my statement at 4.50pm.

Driver says sorry after SMIDSY crash
Maddi’s photo of Andrew’s bike (and top of the page)

I was driving my mother’s car so I’ll be asking her to contact the insurance company to help assist with damages tomorrow. If there is any other way that I can help you personally I am more than happy to within my capabilities. I am so so sorry! Literally have been worried all afternoon and night as I wasn’t sure what the injuries entailed. I hope you have a fast recovery and once again I’m so sorry. The last thing I’d want to do is ever hurt someone and especially around this time of year.

‘I will ride again’

“Sorry is not going to help,” Andrew says.

“She should have looked and stopped and waited.

“She’s just assumed there was nothing behind the 4WD.

“She says she saw the car coming down the hill but nothing behind it.

“But I didn’t see her and I normally scan for everything.

“I also have a loud muffler so she should have heard me coming.”

Andrew says he would like Maddi to fix or replace his bike.

“I will ride again,” he says.

“There is no way this will stop me getting on a bike.”


Ducati recalls Hypermotard over engine cutout

A broken battery cable could cause a sudden engine cutout in 2019/20 Ducati Hypermotard models, promoting a safety recall.

Ducati Australia has issued a safety recall through the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for 34 Hypermotard 950 and 40 Hypermotard 950 SP models.

The vehicle identification numbers of the affected bikes are listed at the end of this article.

The official ACCC notice says:

Due to improper assembly, the battery’s negative cable terminal may break. If the battery’s negative cable terminal breaks, the engine may cut off while riding, increasing the risk of injury to the rider and passenger(s), and other road users.

Owners will be sent a letter asking them to contact their Ducati dealer or service agent “as soon as possible” to make an appointment for an inspection, free of charge.

Ducati Hypermotard SP
Ducati Hypermotard SP

2019 recalls

This is the fourth recall in 2019 for Ducati following an issue with faulty gearshifts in Monster and Super Sport models, and fuel fires and oil leaks in various Panigale V4 models.

With just a few weeks to go in 2019, there have been 25 recalls of motorcycles plus two accessories (Harley bags and a Honda Monkey bike rack).

That compares with last year’s 37 motorcycle recalls, the second highest number of recalls in the previous 10 years: 28 in 2017, 39 in 2016, 30 in 2015, 28 in 2014, 20 in 2013, 24 in 2012, 16 in 2011, 14 in 2010 and 23 in 2009.

The most recalls this year was six for Yamaha; followed by 4 for BMW and Ducati; Harley, Honda, Suzuki and Triumph on three (if you count the aftermarket accessories for Harley and Honda); and one each for Kawasaki, Indian, Piaggio and KTM.

That compares with the previous year where Ducati had 6;  Indian, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, KTM and Triumph 3; BMW, Harley, Husqvarna and Moto Guzzi 2, Aprilia and MV Augusta one each.

Even though manufacturers and importers usually contact owners when a recall is issued, the bike may have been sold privately to a rider unknown to the company.

Therefore, Motorbike Writer publishes all motorcycle and scooter recalls as a service to all riders.

If you believe there is an endemic problem with your bike that should be recalled, contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.

To check whether your motorcycle has been recalled, click on these sites:

• Australia


• New Zealand

• Canada

VINs of affected Hypermotard models



Electric Tacita launches at Dakar Rally

Italian electric motorcycle company Tacita will launch their rally edition at the Dakar Rally which moves from South America to Saudi Arabia in January 2020.

But the Tacita T-Race Rally won’t be competing in the 7500km rally, 75% of which will be in power-sapping sand. How could it with just 220km of range in eco mode!

Instead, the bike will be on show at the podium on 4 January 2020 and select events along the way.

It will also take part in the non-competitive 20km Qiddiyah Grand Prix on the final day of the rally on 17 January 2020.

Hardly a great promo for electric bike range!

Tacita electrics

Tacita has two electric T-Cruise cruiser models launched in 2017 costing about $20,000 to $A42,500, depending on battery size.

Tacita T-Cruise electric cruiser
Tacita T-Cruise electric cruiser

Their T-Race series consists of the Enduro, Motard, Cross and now Rally costing up to $37,000 for the 44kW/100Nm motor with an 18kWh battery pack.

The T-Race Rally is the first and only electric motorcycle to race in the African desert when a prototype competed in the 2012 Merzouga Rally in Morocco.

Tacita will also have its solar-powered recharging trailer on show at the rally.

Tacita T-Race Rally tech specs

  • Electric motor: PMAC
  • Mappings: Eco and Sport
  • Transmission: 5 speed gearbox with hydraulic clutch
  • Cooling system: liquid type, with circuits for electric motor and controller
  • Traction battery: LI-PO Lythium Polymer battery 18 kWh
  • Battery life: 370.000 km or over 2000 cycles to 80% initial capacity.
  • Batteries warranty: five years
  • Max power:  34 and 44kW optional motor with 85Nm/27kW standard motor with 60Nm torque or 11kW with 60Nm
  • Max rpm: 8000
  • Wheelbase: 1490mm
  • Chassis: single-shell frame split in chrome-molybdenum
  • Clearance: 330mm
  • Front suspension: upside-down  telescopic hydraulic fork with advanced axle 46mm diameter; 300mm travel
  • Rear suspension: progressive link with  fully adjustable suspension unit; 280mm travel
  • Front wheel: 1.60 x 21″ – tyre 90/90-21
  • Front brake: floating disk 300 mm diameter with  Brembo calyper and master cylinder
  • Rear wheel: 2.15 x 18″ tyre 140/80-18
  • Rear brake: 220 mm
  • Regenerative braking: 2 maps of engine brake. No engine brake (2-stroke engine style) and regenerative braking (4-stroke engine style)
  • Reverse: finally the reverse for the offroad (and city) use !!! Easy to maneuver in every situation.
  • Body: polyamide reinforced Kevlar
  • Range: 220 km in the Tacita Range Method + reserve power
  • Reserve Power: automatically activated at 5 % of remaining charge,  reducing performance to reach the nearest charging point.
  • Charger: integrated on-board 10A/16A to be used with standard sockets.
  • Charging time: 3 hours with the 16A charging power. 5 hours from  “reserve power” level to 80% at 220 V with the on-board charger from any socket

2020 Dakar Rally

Dakar organiser ASO has signed a five-year deal from 2020 with the tainted nation criticised for human rights violations including the murder of American newspaper reporter Jamal Khashoggi.

The Muslim nation also has a poor record on its treatment of women which could have been an issue with the rally organisers as many women now compete.

However, last year Saudi women were finally permitted to ride motorcycle and drive trucks.saudi arabia women muslim

The rally was moved from Africa to South America in 2009 after threats of terrorism in Mauritania forced the cancellation of the 2008.

It has since been held in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru, but this year was run in Peru only after the other countries failed to reach an agreement with the organisers.

It is believe a bidding war followed with Saudi Arabia, Chile and South Africa with the event eventually going to the highest bidder.

The oil-rich country reportedly offered the ASO $15 million per year, compared with $3 million proposed by Chile for 2020.

Saudi Arabia features 2.25 million square kilometres of desert, plus the Asir mountains where temperatures range from -2 to 30 degrees Celsius in January.

Organisers hope to include other Mid-East countries such as Oman, Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Egypt in following years.

No Aussie Dakar

It is a shame that Australia was not considered.

We contacted the Federal Sports Minister’s office and Motorcycling Australia to find out if they had considered a bid but received no response from the Minister’s office.

Motorcycling Australia Events Manager – Off-Road Matthew Falvo confirmed they had not been approached about running the Dakar Rally in Australia.

Toby Price honour saudi
Toby wins his sixth Finke Desert Race in 2018

However, Australia’s first Dakar winner, Toby Price, who won his second rally this year will be well suited to the Saudi terrain.

Toby, who is also the first Aussie to win the Cross Country Rally World Championship, won the Rally du Maroc in the Sahara dunes of Morocco last year.

His 2018 championship also included rounds in the Middle East dunes in Qatar and Abu Dhabi .

Toby is also the king of the Aussie sands, scoring a record sixth victory in the Finke Desert Race last year.

We organised a petition to get official honours recognition for the double Dakar champion. The petition is now approaching 15,000 signatures.


Committal for head-on rider crash

A daughter of renowned neurosurgeon Charlie Teo will face a committal hearing over a head-on crash with former Comanchero boss William “Jock” Ross in September.

Nicola Annabel Teo, 24, faced the Windsor Local Court yesterday (12 December 2019) were the matter was adjourned until 6 February 2020 for a charge certification committal in Windsor Local Court.


Head on wrong side crash teo committal
Charlie and Natalie Teo (Facebook image)

A committal hearing is held to determine if the matter should proceed to trial. It provides the defence an opportunity to test prosecution evidence and for the Magistrate to decide if it is a strong enough case to face trial in a District or Supreme Court.

If found guilty, Teo could face a custodial sentence.

Police are expected to provide the court with CCTV footage, witness statements and physical evidence.

They will alleged Teo was driving on the wrong side of the road when she crashed her Toyota Landcruiser head-on into a Ross, 76, near Wiseman’s Ferry, NSW, on 26 September 2019.

Head on wrong side crash
Teo’s Landcruiser at the accident scene

Ross suffered extensive leg and internal injuries.

Teo is currently on conditional bail.

Ross was a former Commanchero president who instigated the infamous Milperra Massacre on Father’s Day in 1984, in which seven people were killed.

Jock Ross head on crash
Image: Channel 9

He was shot and jailed for more than five years. He later left the club and is now a Rural Fire Service captain and grandfather of 12.


Harley-Davidson ready for HD350 motorcycle

Harley-Davidson announced in June 2019 that it would build small-capacity bikes in China for the Asian market and now they are ready to go into production with the HD350 project.

Harley isn’t the only company downsizing, mainly for the Asian market.

A month after the Harley bombshell, Italian manufacturer MV Agusta confirmed they would make 350-500cc bikes and Ducati signed away its naming rights to Chinese scooters.

HD350 project

Harley-Davidson HD350
Harley-Davidson HD350

Even though it’s called the HD350 project, the Harley will have a displacement of 338cc.

HD350 is just a working title and the bike will have another name when it goes to market.

Harley is working with Chinese company with Qianjiang Motorcycle and this week they agreed on the final design for the bikes.

However, they have not yet unveiled the final design.

The images here were released back in June when Harley said they would “embody a distinctive look, sound and feel that will spark powerful connections with riders”.

“The new Harley-Davidson motorcycle and engine will be produced in a Qianjiang facility in China and adhere to the rigorous quality standards and testing processes followed for all Harley-Davidson products,” their June statement said.

Qianjiang, based in Zhejiang, China, bought Benelli in 2005 and makes scooters and motorcycles with brands names such as Qijiang, Generic, Keeway, and KSR.

The factory is now gearing up to start production with Chinese sales starting in late 2020 and India in 2021.

There is no current plan to export the HD350 model outside Asia.

However, is it too cheeky to point out that Harley-Davidson Australia and New Zealand is part of Harley’s Asian division?

China syndrome

The 338cc Chinese Harley won’t be the smallest motorcycle they’ve ever made. How about the 1960s 65cc Leggero and 1970s 90cc monkey bike?

The sub-500cc bike plan is included in the company’s ‘More Roads’ initiative, a strategic long-term plan, says Harley head honcho Matt Levatich.

He says the strategy hinges on making sales outside the US half of the company’s total.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to build more Harley riders in China, one of the world’s largest motorcycle markets, by creating new pathways to our brand,” he says.

“We are just over a year away from launching our first model that will help provide access to millions of customers in emerging markets in the region.”

The small-capacity bike will be built in collaboration in a similar venture to BMW’s alliance with the Indian TVS company to build the G 310 models or the Bajaj Auto deal to build a third of KTM’s bikes at their Chakan plant.


Hayley Bell Named American Motorcyclist Association 2019 Motorcyclist Of The Year

U.K. rider founded Women Riders World Relay, helped unite motorcyclists worldwide.

Begin press release:

For calling attention to the needs of women riders and for creating a worldwide connection among them, Hayley Bell of the United Kingdom has been named the American Motorcyclist Association 2019 Motorcyclist of the Year.

Bell is the founder and president of global business development for the Women Riders World Relay, a movement joined by thousands of motorcyclists from 84 countries to create a “global sisterhood of inspirational women” and to demonstrate to motorcycle manufacturers and makers of riding gear that female riders are a formidable and growing market that deserves their attention.

The AMA Motorcyclist of the Year designation, awarded annually by the AMA Board of Directors, recognizes the individual or group that had the most profound impact on the world of motorcycling in the previous 12 months.

“For her efforts to promote the motorcycle lifestyle around the world and bring together riders from all nations and backgrounds, conveying the positive aspects of motorcycling and drawing attention to the market potential of female riders, Hayley Bell is the 2019 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year,” said Maggie McNally-Bradshaw, chair of the AMA Board of Directors. “Women riders are an important segment of the motorcycling community and they are a critical building block for the future. Hayley’s efforts not only reaffirm that sentiment, but they help carry it forward at a time when motorcycling needs new riders in the fold.”

Women Riders World Relay participants carried the relay baton for a leg of the journey through their countries, then passed it along to the next group of riders. The relay brought together women from diverse cultures and bridged political differences, even across national borders.

Bell was determined that the Women Riders World Relay demonstrate that female riders “are exactly equal to other riders.” Along the way, the relay drew support and participation from male riders, as well.

The full story about Bell and her accomplishments can be found in the January issue of American Motorcyclist magazine.

The post Hayley Bell Named American Motorcyclist Association 2019 Motorcyclist Of The Year appeared first on News.

Rent a LiveWire in LA or San Francisco

One of the cooler things about bike sharing is the ability to get an extended test ride on many bikes you’re considering buying. Now, the biggest bike-sharing site, Twisted Road, informs us they have a couple of new H-D LiveWires available on the west coast, for a couple hun a day. (Actually the guy in San Mateo is asking $175 a day for his brand new Harley. That’s him, Scott C., in the lead photo.)

The other cool thing about bike sharing is the ability to have the bike pay for itself if you do wind up buying one, like the owner of a new KTM we were chatting with the other day: His new SuperDuke earns its own keep in about four rental days per month. The sharing economy giveth, and the sharing economy taketh away. 


Twisted Road Press Release:

The leading online-motorcycle sharing community offers the LiveWire in San Francisco and Los Angeles

CHICAGO, Ill., December 10, 2019 — Twisted Road, the leading rental service for privately-owned motorcycles in the U.S, today announced they are now offering two Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycles. With more than 2,300 motorcycles for short- or long-term rental, Twisted Road has many classics while others – like Harley-Davidson’s new LiveWire electric motorcycle – are cutting edge.

“These are fantastic additions to our fleet,” said Austin Rothbard, Founder and CEO, Twisted Road. “The owner in the L.A. area is offering the LiveWire for rent exclusively through us, and will even arrange for airport pick up and drop off.”

Twisted Road is unique among motorcycle-sharing services in having a flat, per day charge for all bikes, set by the owner based on how popular or rare the motorcycle is. The LiveWire motorcycles will rent for about $199.00 per day. Like all other Twisted Road bikes, these bikes won’t have mileage restrictions.

“It’s a great way to try out a bike you’ve never ridden before,” said Rothbard, “whether it’s a 21st century electric bike like the LiveWire, that’s perfect for getting around the city, or a vintage beauty like the 1958 BMW R50.”

Twisted Road verifies all potential renters for driver safety, experience, and qualifications. It also offers the best owner insurance protection in the industry, with up to $100,000 of free liability protection and up to $25,000 of damage protection. Owners may choose to increase that liability up to $1 million. After each ride, the rider and owner rate each other, while the rider rates the bike, too. To date 97% of these ratings have been five-star.

Rothbard continued, “We are building the most trusted motorcycle community around–a place for riders to connect with one another over their favorite passion. Riding.”

For more information on Twisted Road and to see all the bikes listed, please visit:


The post Rent a LiveWire in LA or San Francisco appeared first on News.

Jordi Torres joins the MotoE™ World Cup

Sito Pons (Team Join Contract Pons 40 owner): “I am pleased to announce the incorporation of Jordi Torres to the Join Contract Pons 40, our MotoE™ team. After a first year that has helped us to understand the motorcycle and the Championship, in which everything was new, with Jordi we opened a new stage and faced the challenge of fighting to win the MotoE World Cup. As a rider, he has successfully rode the Moto2™ World Championship and the WorldSBK™, being able to win in both categories, and that gives him a degree of maturity, experience and speed needed to try to fight to be MotoE™ World Champion. The team, together with our partners, will give him the necessary tools so that we can fight for it. Welcome to the team Jordi and thanks to our partners who trust once again in our project. Together an exciting season awaits us, and I am sure it is full of success.”

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

MotoE™ calendar change: Le Mans replaced by Valencia

The change also replaces the single race that had been planned for Le Mans with a double header, as the Circuit Ricardo Tormo will host two races once again. That expands the calendar from six to seven races and means the 2020 MotoE™ season will run from May to November, visiting five different venues.

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here