Category Archives: Uncategorized

Retro Kawasaki Z900RS coming to Australia

Kawasaki Australia has announced that the handsome retro-styled Z650RS will arrive late this year with pricing closer to the release date.

If the Z900RS is any indication, it will be much more expensive than the Z650 on which it is based. The Z900RS is about $4000 more than the Z900, but does have better suspension.

The Z650RS doesn’t seem to have substantially improved suspension with conventional forks up front.

But it is one of the smartest looking retro models that is also learner approved which should ensure it is a big seller in our market.

Like the Z650, it is powered by the same 649cc twin-cylinder engine that also powers the full-cowling Ninja sports, Z Supernaked models, Versys adventurer and Vulcan S cruiser.

Power is no higher than the 38.7kW of the Z650, otherwise it wouldn’t still be learner approved.

The Z650RS also features the same clever spoke-styled mag wheels of the Z900RS that allow tubeless tyres to be fitted and will come in two colour choices, green or black and silver.Kawasaki Z650RS

Kawasaki says the seat height is 10mm higher than the Z650 at 800mm.

We may also expect there could be a cafe version following with a bikini fairing like the Z900RS.

Let’s hope it also doesn’t have two recalls like the Z90RS!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aussie TV host Kate Peck leads racing body

Vivacious Kate Peck, the well-known Aussie motorsport host, motorcycle fan and new President of the Motorcycling NSW is seeking five new board directors with a special callout to female riders.

“We have a strong legion of women already but there is always room for improvement,” says Kate about the NSW-based motorcycle racing representative body which is affiliated with Motorcycling Australia.

“I hope to encourage this participation, in all roles and levels of competition, making sure it is a safe and comfortable space for them to do so by increased diversity in age, experience and ability alongside track access and affordability. 

“Plus clear and affordable pathways for them to enter into the sport. And a place for female within each sport.” 

Kate says she hopes the new board will make the MNSW and it 111 affiliated clubs more visible to the youth market.

“I am determined to create a diverse board of young and old with a variety of experience, balanced in gender and differing backgrounds,” she says.

She is calling for “passionate two-wheeling readers” to become one of five new directors on the MNSW board.

“This is a rare opportunity to help shape the future of motorcycling in NSW,” she says.

To apply, just click here and send an email for the application form. But be quick as applications close on September 14, 2021.Kate Peck

Kate has been on numerous motorsport TV shows and currently hosts and field-produces the coverage of the Australian Off Road Championship and anchors the new Aus Moto Show on Fox Sports and SBS. 

“A lot of my work revolves around Motorsport and racing thus why MNSW was the right fit,” says Kate who is also on the MA Women’s Committee.

She’s not the first woman to take the reins of Motorcycling NSW. That honour goes to Christine Tickner who was a driving force at the Penrith club and Nepean Raceway Dirt Track.

Kate is passionate about her new role and is encouraging more female participation in the organisation.

“After I joined the Motorcycling Australia Womens Committee early this year, I was made aware a position available on the MNSW Board,” she says.

“I can proudly say that the MNSW Business currently has a 75% female workforce however there is still not enough female presence in Motorsport and motorcycling, on any level yet alone at the Board level. 

“Any way I can encourage more participation of women, I will. I would love to see the support and expansion of female classes within the different motorcycle disciplines. If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”

Kate began riding on a Piaggio Zipp 100 scooter to get to Sydney modelling castings. 

“My dad had always been into bikes but that hadn’t had an affect on me as my parents were separated,” she says. 

“Until I was in my early 20s and dad invited me on a three-month motorbike trip to Africa. That was the tipping point for my obsession.”Kate Peck

Her first motorbike was a “true lemon” grey import Suzuki, followed by a KLR 650 and KLE 500. 

“I then began working in the industry, taking on ambassador roles and TV presenting roles working on F1, MotoGP and with Channel 10,” she says. 

Ambassador roles meant free bikes which Kate decided was a smarter option than buying.

Her first ambassador role was with Victory Motorcycles followed by Harley-Davidson, then a long relationship with BMW, a small stint with KTM and now Ducati. 

Her most recent bike was a Ducati V4 Streetfighter and she and her partner own a Ducati Scrambler. 

However, Kate recently became a mother, so she is taking a short sabbatical from riding, but not from the sport she loves.

She says she hopes to encourage more participation in all roles and levels of competition, especially for women, in a safe, comfortable and affordable environment.Kate Peck

What are Kate’s plans for Motorcycling NSW?

  • Increased development of our members skills in order to ride faster, safer. I’d like to see more coaching and training capacity and programs available at clubs – getting started in competition can be intimidating. 
  • Encourage growth in community, creating life long friendships that have been developed at clubs during coaching and training program or throughout competition.
  • Increased cultural diversity in membership and increased uptake in youth and females. 
  • Increase the family fun appeal of taking part in Motorsport and competition. 
  • Grow the sport for the future – we need the next generation to understand the fun you can have developing these riding skills and taking part in competition with mates. 
  • Now more than ever we need all hands on deck to encourage people to get interested – Clubs have a taken a hit throughout COVID and we need to get behind them and show support. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Switch to motorcycles for emissions zone

Major cities around the world are getting tough on vehicles entering their CBDs with London about to expand its Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) and even some Australian cities considering similar CBD tolls.

A new survey of London riders by motorbike insurance broker Bikesure has found that 72% of motorists are considering swapping to two wheels to avoid the CBD congestion and emissions tax.

London’s Low Emissions Zone charge originally did not apply to motorcycles, scooters and electric vehicles, but when it was replaced by the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) last year, some older bikes copped a £12.50 daily fee.

With UK motorbike sales up 40.3% on the previous ear, it is no surprise that 84% of people will continue to ride in the ULEZ following its expansion in October 2021.

This year 18.6% are set to choose two wheels over four with 9.3% of them favouring an eclectic or low-emission motorbike, moped or scooter over any other vehicle type.

Although a majority of Londoners will continue to ride in the ULEZ following its expansion, commuters are now considering the benefits of switching to electric cars and two wheelers.

The ULEZ expansion has accelerated a majority of Londoners’ intentions to buy an EV (73.4%)  while only 13.5% of people are planning to stick with petrol vehicles.

CBD emissions and congestion zones are becoming common in major cities around the world:

ride to work day traffic congestion car
Singapore traffic congestion
  • Singapore has road-user charges in a CBD zone resulting in a 20% reduction in delays and plans to ban pre-2003 motorcycles throughout the city in 10 years;
  • Milan’s Ecopass charges all vehicles entering a designated traffic restricted zone and bans old cars and bikes that do not meet set emissions standards;
  • A cordon charge in Stockholm has led to 24% fewer commuter trips by car (motorcycles and scooters are exempt), with most people switching to public transport and Gothenburg following the same example;
  • China and Brazil are considering congestion charges in various cities; and
  • Oregon, USA, has trialled a voluntary pay-per-mile distance charge resulting in a 22% drop in traffic in peak hours and a 91% approval by participants.

In 2017, the Grattan Institute suggested congestion charges in Sydney and Melbourne during peak hours and in 2018 the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics recommended congestion charges in major cities saying congestion costs Australia upwards of $16 billion each year.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ride for Kids – Comoto family joins the Pediatric Brain Tumor Charity

When it comes to charities – especially those involving kids – motorcyclists are known for going above and beyond the call to help. The generous riding community that we’re part of has yet another opportunity to band together to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s Ride for Kids charity. Read the press release below to learn more and find out how you can join.

Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Ride for Kids

RevZilla, Cycle Gear, J&P Cycles, and REVER come together to inspire communities and riders to help forge the path to a cure

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Aug. 12, 2021)—The Comoto Family of Brands officially launches its month-long Ride for Kids fundraising campaign this week. Comoto itself expects to donate over $100,000 to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) based on rider participation in the REVER Ride for Kids Challenge, local Cycle Gear store Bike Night fundraising events, and the largest “shop to support” campaign the company has ever done. Comoto will also be hosting the Eastern Pennsylvania Ride for Kids event at its Philadelphia corporate headquarters as part of the annual Ride for Kids taking place across the U.S. To participate in this month-long campaign riders and fundraisers can sign up at RideforKids.org/Ride.

Since 1991, PBTF has provided leadership and funding to accelerate targeted therapies for children battling brain tumors. The Foundation proudly equips families with the patient-family education, financial relief, and emotional support needed to navigate their child’s journey.

The PBTF Ride for Kids has inspired communities across the country for more than 30 years. Alongside American Honda, Comoto is joining forces with the Foundation to invite the powersports industry to make the Ride for Kids the biggest motorcycle charity event in the country. For decades, motorcyclists across the country have come together to ride in their respective cities and raise funds to help children with brain tumors–the leading cause of cancer death in children. Due to this ongoing commitment, Ride for Kids is the longest-running, most successful motorcycle charity event in the nation.

To ensure the success of this year’s Ride for Kids, Comoto has actively involved each of its brands within the family. For example, Comoto will be making a direct donation to PBTF of 2.5¢ for every mile logged (up to 1 million miles) in the REVER app throughout the course of the month-long 2021 Ride for Kids Challenge starting August 12th. Riders will have three ways to get involved: Ride with REVER and/or a local Ride for Kids event, donate directly to PBTF, and shop at Cycle Gear, J&P Cycles, and RevZilla (online and in-store) on Sunday, September 12th, when 10% of all sales will be donated to PBTF.

“We are honored to be working alongside American Honda to bring awareness to PBTF’s mission of supporting families affected by this disease. Partnering with PBTF provides an opportunity for us to bring our powersports community together and encourage them to enjoy their passion for riding, while supporting an amazing cause. We at Comoto are proud to have been joined in our efforts by many of our colleagues and vendors* who have pledged additional sponsorship and assistance,” said Ken Murphy, President and CEO of Comoto.

“Having the support of both the Comoto Family of Brands and American Honda means the world to us,” said Bob McNamara, National Director of Fundraising and Community Engagement for PBTF. “Finding a cure to this disease is an ongoing battle. Through this partnership, we have the opportunity to change the outcome for children with brain cancer, while empowering motorcyclists to support us by doing what they love most—riding.”

For more information on the Ride for Kids, and to see how you can participate, please click here.

The post Ride for Kids – Comoto family joins the Pediatric Brain Tumor Charity first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Richard Hammond’s Classic Collection Is Being Put On The Chopblock

Mr. Hammond is in the process of letting go some of his classics in lieu of a better handle on a new venture he’s got in the works – and we’re excited at the lineup he’s placed on the chop block. 

a view of some of Roger Hammond's classic collection, which he will be auctioning off to support a new business venture, called "The Smallest Cog"

According to a report from DriveTribe, the English journalist is working on a new niche of “Richard Hammond’s Workshop,” which will apparently become available on Disney+ in the western hemisphere and Discovery+ UK for the Central Hemisphere. 

The niche in question – a business called ‘The Smallest Cog’ – has required a bit of extra funding.

And what better way to fund a business in a moto industry than by selling moto-related machines?

For Hammond, it’s a slightly hilarious situation. 

a view of Hammond on the Grand Tours show, in a car, turning around and smiling at the camera

“The irony of me supporting my new classic car restoration business by selling some of my own classic car collection is not wasted on me,” he says. “It is with a very heavy heart that they go, as they have a great deal of personal sentimental value – but they will be funding the future development of the business and giving life back to countless other classic vehicles.”

The ‘classic collection’ in question is not lacking, to say the least.

A view of Hammond's 1927 Sunbeam Model 2
The 1927 Sunbeam Model 2

Among the iconic 1959 Bentley S2, 1969 Porsche 911T, and limited edition Lotus Espirit Sport 350 (No. 5/48), sits the 1927 Sunbeam Model 2 – a sports variant of what is otherwise a brilliant part of early motorcycle history. 

A view of Hammond's 1932 Velocette KSS Mk1
A 1932 Velocette KSS Mk1

The collection also boasts a 1932 Velocette KSS Mk1 motorbike – a supersport clubmansracer that contributed heavily to the earlier days of the Isle of Man

A view of Hammond's 1977 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk I
A 1977 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk1

Hammond also has brought out a very nicely polished 1977 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk1 – a series II, by the look of the larger rectangular taillight. 

A view of Hammond's 1976 Kawasaki Z900
The 1976 Kawasaki Z900

Two more motorcycles round up the two-wheeled contribution to the auctions, both a pair of beauties that Hammond bought for his 40th and 50th birthday: The 1976 Kawasaki Z900 and a very nice 2019 Norton Dominator 961 Street Limited Edition

a view of Hammond's 2019 Norton Dominator 961 Street Limited Edition
2019 Norton Dominator 961 Street Limited Edition

“I’m taking a risk – I’m putting my money where my mouth is. I’m setting up a classic car restoration workshop for real, and Discovery+ will be following my attempts to do so”, says Hammond, on a recent Twitter post. 

Activated carbon (also known as activated charcoal), in its raw form

The Smallest Cog will be landing later this year, date TBA – until then, take a gander at Hammond’s Lineup, and start the bid!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aussie invited to road safety summit

Australian Motorcycle Council chairman Shaun Lennard hopes to address how roads can be made safer for riders at an international motorcycle safety workshop. 

The online event is being hosted by the transport arm of the OECD, the International Transport Forum, in conjunction with the Swedish Transport Administration. 

The invitation-only event of 150 participants was originally due to be hosted in Stockholm, in June 2020, but was postponed due to COVID-19 and later redesigned into a series of online workshops. 

Shaun has been invited to participate in the sessions on road infrastructure, road management and speed management on 17 June 2021. 

“The idea of making roads safer for motorcycles is not new,” he says. 

“There are some great ideas we have either been talking about, or have seen in practice, for more than 10 years. But things continue to be largely ad hoc.

“One good example is the Austroads Guide Infrastructure Improvements to Reduce Motorcycle Casualties. This was prepared and released in 2016. 

“The AMC was closely involved with the development of the guide, and it contains best-practice information. But five years later, it’s still not a default reference point for most Australian road authorities. It should be. I aim to speak about this at the workshop.” 

The workshop also builds on the ITF’s similar event in Lillehammer, Norway, in 2008.

However, Shaun says follow-up and a commitment to actions from the Lillehammer workshop has been lacking and he hopes this will be addressed this year. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Riders line up for Tassie election

Last updated:

Everyone’s favourite riding state of Tasmania goes to the polls on May 1, 2021, and several candidates who are also riders have pledged to support various motorcycling issues

Green candidate for Braddon Tammy Milne rides a Suzuki 650 Bergman, while Independents Jax Ewin rides a Honda CBR500R and Matthew Morgan rides a Ducati ST4.

Apart from Taswegians, the issues, such as the rollout of wire rope barriers, will also affect interstate riders who like to visit and ride a lap of the famous Apple Isle.

MBW doesn’t suggest how you should vote, but the Motorcycle Riders Association of Australia contacted all the candidates with an email address to ask for their views on various issues.

You can read the full party replies on MRAA spokesman Damien Codognotto’s Facebook page. 

“It seems to me that the big three (parties) down here are trying to cover their lack of motorcycle policy by sending ads,” he says. 

“So far we have nothing official related to road motorcycles or scooters from the Libs, Labor or the Greens.

“We have been told by candidates that they are working on putting out something compatible with their transport policies but nothing to April 20. Pretty poor really.”

UPDATE

Labor has now responded with the following:

Tasmanian Labor recognises the significant role of the MRA as a representative voice for the 24,000 road riders across our state.

I am happy to advise you and the MRA membership that Tasmanian Labor agrees that there should be a southern Tasmanian representative on the Road Safety Advisory Committee with a voice for motorcyclists.

In respect of wire rope barriers, a Labor Government will continue to engage with the road riding community to address this important safety issue.

Further, a Labor Government will commit to a full review of motorcycle and scooter parking in Hobart, Launceston, other local government areas and the airports through comprehensive stakeholder engagement including with councils.

Finally, Tasmanian Labor is completely supportive of the MRAT Toy Run, and will commit in Government to working in partnership with MRAT to develop expanded opportunities for local and touring road riders across the state.

Independent candidates who do not ride motorcycles have made positive responses to the MRAA’s policy concerns.

They include: 

  • Reducing the number of animal strikes on roads;
  • A motorcycle representative for southern Tasmania on the Premier’s Road Safety Committee;
  • Stop the roll out of wire rope barriers;
  • Work with city councils to improve motorcycle parking;
  • Encourage intra and interstate motorcycle tourism; and
  • Review Compulsory Third Party insurance premiums and introduce no-claim-bonuses.

“In 2022 we will be contacting all candidates in the Victorian election,” Damien says. 

“We think rider reps in other states and territories should do likewise.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

‘Aussie’ Barry Sheene mementos at auction

There should be a lot of interest among Aussie race fans for an auction of memorabilia belonging to beloved Brit and adopted Aussie Barry Sheene.

The two-time Motorcycle Grand Prix World Champion and all-round larrikin was well loved in his adopted country where he died in 2003 from throat cancer.

Now some famous Bazza memorabilia is going up for auction at the Bonhams Winter Sale on 11-12 December 2020. The auction also includes many rare and collectable motorcycles.

The many Bazza items on offer would make a great Christmas present for the Aussie motorcycle fan who has everything.

They include:

  • 1976 John Player Grand Prix Senior 500cc race winner’s trophy, estimate £600-800 (about $A630-910). It consists of a sword mounted to a wooden backing. 
  • A Castrol trophy for first in the MCN Super Bike round at Mallory Park 12 September 1976. (£400–600).
  • Plaque for first in the 500cc ‘Gran Prix de Venezuela’ at San Carlos 19 March 1978, 19cm x 14cm; together with three other awards including a Martini ‘rider of the year 1977’ belt buckle inscribed to the rear specifically manufactured for Barry Sheene (£300-500).
  • A stainless steel Gabriel watch awarded at the ‘France de Chimay’ race in 1976 (£300 – £500).
  • Two sets of Suzuki team overalls and bib and brace (£250-350).
  • ‘The Sheene Collection’ leather jacket (£400 – 600/$A$ 720-1100) and a medium fabric jacket with badges and logos (£400-600).
  • A leather holdall featuring his famous number ‘7’, ‘Sheene’ to the end and ‘Suzuki’ logo to the ends and sides (£250 – 350).

Bazza history

Barry Sheene
Barry Sheene

Barry was born in London in 1950, and was back-to-back world 500cc champion for Suzuki in 1976-77 after a spectacular crash at the Daytona 200 in 1975.

He almost died in the crash that would have ended many other riders’ careers, yet he came back stronger than ever and more determined to win.

Barry was also instrumental in many safety developments with track design and racer clothing. 

Between 1968 and 1984, Sheene made over 100 Grand Prix starts, securing 52 podium finishes and 23 victories and remains the last Briton to win a motorcycle Grand Prix race. 

Read this industry vet’s tribute to the late, great Barry Sheene.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Win passes to GOMA motorbike exhibit

How would you like to win one of five double passes to the “one-off, world exclusive” Motorcycle: Design: Art, Desire exhibit at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) running until 26 April 2021?

It’s easy to enter. Just read this article and pick out the bike that you most want to see at the exhibit and then leave the name of the bike in the comments section.

We will pick five random winners and name them next week. GOMA will be in touch to arrange delivery of the tickets.

If you miss out you can buy tickets now on the GOMA website.

Prices range from $18 for a GOMA member to $25 for non-members with concession prices for children, families, seniors, pensioners and season passes. Buying your tickets online in advance will save you waiting at the door with permitted numbers restricted by COVID policies.

It arrives just in time for border openings and school holidays.

I just attended the media preview of the exhibit of motorcycling through the ages and into the electric future and I can tell you picking a highlight is not easy.

There are more than 100 motorcycles from the 1860s to the present day, drawn from private and public collections across the globe.

The world-exclusive exhibition that takes up the entire ground floor in three big rooms features some important bikes, some major coups and some of my personal favourites.

Other highlights include:

Apart from the bikes, there is also a collection of motorcycle helmets painted by 15 contemporary Australian artists at the entrance to the gallery.

GOMA motorcycle exhibit
Literally a brain bucket!

There are also interactive displays where you casn create your own custom bike.

Scattered among the exhibits are big screens that from a Motorcycles on Screen exhibit within the exhibit.

It features old racing and riding footage plus iconic films classics such as The Wild One (1953) and Easy Rider (1969), cult favourites Scorpio Rising (1963) and Akira (1988), plus recent films Finke: There and Back (2018) and The Wild Goose Lake (2019). GOMA motorcycle exhibit

The Motorcycle exhibition will be accompanied by virtual talks and tours, storytelling events, trivia nights, and  ‘Motorcycles on the Green’ on 27 February and 18 April 2021, featuring more than 60 motorcycles from local community groups, live custom bike builds, DJs and more.

You can also grab a gift from The Motorcycle Exhibition Shop, including exclusive exhibition apparel and accessories by cult brand Deus ex Machina, and bespoke design pieces produced by local heroes Ellaspede. 

As a memento, you can buy the publication The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire is  at the QAGOMA Store or online.

You can also show off your ride by posting with #MotorcycleGOMA.

GOMA Director Chris Saines says the exhibition will appeal “not only to bike and motor sport enthusiasts but to anyone with an interest in social history, popular culture, design and technology”.

The GOMA exhibit has been curated by American physicist Professor Charles M. Falco and US filmmaker Ultan Guilfoyle in collaboration with GOMA.

They were co-curators of the landmark 1998 Guggenheim Museum exhibition in New York, ‘The Art of the Motorcycle’ that ran for three months.

It was subsequently seen in Chicago, Bilbao, Spain, and Las Vegas, with a total attendance of more than two million people.

Prof Falco described himself as a passionate motorcyclist who had his first motorcycle at 15, his first crash at 15.5 and last year rode a 90-year-old motorcycle across the USA.

“For a sustainable future, the world needs motorcycles for personal transportation,” he says.

His co-curator says motorcycles are an example of how “design drives everything”.

Chris says the exhibit will include the earliest 19th century steam-powered motorcycle, right through to electric motorcycles and future designs.

“Over its 150-year history, the motorcycle has undergone extraordinary reinvention, from steam power, to petrol-fuelled internal combustion engines to battery, and from humble backyard creations to custom-made, high-tech chrome speed machines,” Chris says.

“More than just a means of transport, the motorcycle is a design object, with forms and styles that reflect innumerable cultural and societal influences.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

R.I.P. Bill Tuman – Original Wrecking Crew Member Has Passed At Age 99

Gone, But Never to Be Forgotten

It’s with my greatest condolences to inform our readers that one of the original Indian Wrecking Crew member Bill Tuman has passed as of November 16th, 2020 in Bettendorf Iowa.

Tuman was an AMA Hall of Famer, with his racing career beginning as a flat track racer in the 40s and amassing over five AMA Grand National Championship titles; adding to the total of 15 titles that he and the other two Indian Motorcycle riders achieved during the years between 1947 and 1955.

Indian recently revived the riding style with the introduction of their FTR 1200 as well as the FTR 750 of which Tuman was present for the official unveiling of Sturgis in 2016 where he was able to reunite with his former racing partner, Bobby Hill.

Last year, Bill Tuman’s family and friends managed to track down the Big Base Scout motorcycle he used to race in his early days. He was reunited with the motorcycle and shared a heartfelt moment with it when he sat upon it for the last time at age 98.

Bill Tuman will never be forgotten and will remain a staple of Flat Track racing for the duration of the sports existence. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com