Tag Archives: Australia

Free Tassie ferry fares may be coming soon

The Federal Government is soon expected to announce free or discounted ferry fares to Tasmania to promote tourism after the island closed down during the pandemic.

However, it is not clear whether motorcycles will be included in the tourism promotion.

The move was first mooted in May, but the borders have been closed for longer than expected.

Tourism Industry Council Tasmania CEO Luke Martin has been calling on the Federal Government to temporarily extend the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme that covers the gap between the true cost of taking a vehicle on the ferry and the ticket price.

That would make fares attractively cheap or even free.

The proposal has been supported by Premier Peter Gutwein and the Motorcycle Riders Association who had asked riders to email the Premier to show their support.

Hobart-based MRA spokesman Damien Codognotto says mainland and overseas motorcyclists have made “significant contributions to Tasmania’s economy”.

“Over a million Australians are licensed to ride. Encouraging riders to holiday on the Island by carrying motorcycles and scooters free on the ferries makes financial sense,” he says.

Damien says it would be foolish to exclude motorcycle riders from any fare promotional offers.

“On-board riders spend as much as tourists in cars, vans and recreational vehicles,” he says.
“Bikes weigh less and use less space and weigh less than cars, vans and RVs. You can fit four bikes in the space of a car.

“Touring bikes are often two up so a car space can yield up to eight spending tourists. A car can yield up to five tourists but mostly doesn’t.

“By not charging $238 return for bikes you encourage more riders to visit Tasmania. That means more dollars spent on food, drink, cinemas and souvenirs.

“The $238 saved will be spent on the holiday so per square metre, motorcycles are worth more than cars on the ferries.”

He also claims motorcycle riders are good tourists, travelling light and spending well on accommodation, bike hire, retail sales and services.

“Tourists on motorbikes spend more per kilometre than tourists in cars and RVs because they travel light,” he says.

“A bonus is their machines cause less wear and tear on our roads, kill less wildlife and pollute less, even less as electric motors replace petrol engines.”

Motorcycle tourists have often been claimed to be among the most desirable for local businesses, spending more than other motorists.

For example, Tourism Queensland estimates motorcycle tourists spend up to $160 a day in local communities on food, drink, accommodation, fuel and necessities, while caravaners are more self-contained and only spend about $40 a day.

“Hospitality businesses and attractions like MONA, Port Arthur, Bruny Island, the West Coast Railway and more benefit from rider spending,” Damien says.Free ferry fares to Tassie Tasmania

A Spirit of Tasmania spokesperson says the current motorbike fare starts at $69 each way in the low tourist season.

It can rise to $99 in the high season or $109 for a flexi fare. Sidecars and trailers can lift the price to as much as $139 each way.

A discount or free fare would encourage more riders. Not that riders need much encouragement to head to Tassie. Charley Boorman rates it one of his favourite riding destinations.

The Tasmanian Government loves to welcome visiting motorcyclists, but also promotes important road safety messages about roads and riding conditions in Tasmania.

They have produced a Tasmanian Motorcycle Travel Guide video which is given to all motorcyclists when they board the Spirit of Tasmania.

It is one of many motorcycle-oriented tourism videos they have released.

In 2015, they produced a video featuring multi-Australian Superbike Champion Malcolm Campbell and interstate motorcycle club member Lester Knowles riding around the state and pointing out the features and dangers.

Each year the video is updated.

Road safety billboards and posters are also displayed on popular riding routes.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

The 2020 Ride ADV Women’s Only Ride from Singleton to Tamworth Was a Success

Good to See

Women make up an ever-increasing percentage of the motorcycling community and there are many events and organizations that help support getting women to ride. One of them is the Ride ADV Women’s Only Adventure Ride event. Recently, there was a ride from Singleton to Tamworth.

According to MCNews, the recent ride was a success, with plenty of riders coming out to do the 500 km ride. The event saw riders of all skill levels come out from women who had no experience riding in the dirt to veterans. The youngest rider was a 17-year-old student named Abi Chadwick. She’s a great rider, though, and got her start on a PW50 at age four.

Another younger rider, Annika Mountstephens had this to say about the ride:

“It was really cruisey and super fun, I didn’t know what to expect but now I have a taste for this and maybe venturing even further off-road. I got heaps of riding tips from a great bunch of people and I’ll definitely be signing up for some dirt bike training. There were so many fun people on the ride and the Ride ADV crew made me feel welcome, I highly recommend other girls joining even if, like me, you have little to no experience!”


Future events are planned for 2021. You can check out the Ride ADV website to learn more about these upcoming events. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

KTM Has Swag Discounts for the Holiday Season

I Apologize in Advance for Talking About Christmas Related Thigs in November

If you were to stab a loved one with the turkey-carving knife over a heated argument regarding who builds the best motocross bikes at the Christmas dinner table, would they bleed KTM orange? If the answer is yes, you’ll be pleased to hear that KTM has gone out of their way to make your Christmas shopping easier for you with their ‘KTM Christmas Specials Gift Guide’ and up to 30% off selected KTM PowerWear apparel items.

KTM’s PowerWear apparel collection has a little something special for riders of all disciplines, whether it be street, adventure, or enduro riding. Between November 1 and December 24th, KTM’s Christmas Specials Gift Guide will have an array of products with special discounts for the holiday season when purchasing gear from any authorized KTM dealer. If the product is listed in the Christmas Specials Gift Guide, then it’s safe to assume that you should be looking at big discounts on said product.

Polos, hats, jackets, off-roading gear, mugs, bottles, stickers, and more; will all be receiving big discounts, giving an array of options when picking the perfect gift for that special KTM-loving someone. If you really love them, perhaps the full KTM armoured jacket and pant combo is the perfect give for $244.98 AUD and $195.97 AUD respectively after the 30% discount. On the other hand, if you don’t love them at all (haha) a sticker set and mug should suffice.

2021 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT

For our Australian readers, a copy of the Gift Guide tailored to your location can be found here. Happy holidays (soon).

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

KTM 690 ENDURO R and 690 SMC R Come to AUS and NZ March 2021

Wheelies Are Easy With 690cc

Aaaaaaaah! There’s literally nothing I get more excited for than supermoto news! I don’t own one, and it sure took me a long time to come around to liking them, but supermoto and Hypermotard motorcycles are up there for my favourite type of bikes available. This excitement is what verifies me as the best person to break the news for our AUS and NZ readers regarding the release of the upcoming 2021 KTM 690 SMC R (and 690 ENDURO R – arguably not as cool as the sumo version… fight me).

The 2021 Enduro R provides riders with a large-displacement offroad MX option despite the slim form factor. The bikes come jam-packed with electronic features such as cornering ABS, standard ABS, TC, and ‘sensitive motor slip regulation’. On the mechanical side, some highlights include the new WP XPLOR suspension (I have an entire article as to why this system is awesome), and the 74 horsepower 693cc drivetrain.

The 2021 KTM 690 SMC R takes that same package and tailors it for absolute pure and unadulterated hooning with a full street-setup. Many technical features from the Enduro R make their way over (they’re almost the same bike), but the WP APEX suspension, upgraded Brembo brakes, street tires, and some updated visual elements set this bike apart from its off-road-oriented brother. “Supermoto bikes aren’t just for hooning and wheelies, Chase” many of you may say. If that’s the case… Please explain to me why all of KTM’s press release images for this motorcycle are photos of riders doing burnouts, wheelies, stoppies, and drifts? Ha. Gotcha.

toy run

Both Euro5 spec motorcycles will be available at authorized KTM dealers in both AUS and NZ come March 2021. If I can manage to save enough spare change by then, you bet I’ll be buying one along with you. North American Riders should be able to snag one in December of this year.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcyclist Bids For RACV Board

The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria has long been criticised for being anti-motorcyclist, but now one rider is hoping to change all that by nominating for the RACV board.

John Mulder is a member of both the Classic Motorcycle Club of Victoria and the Australian Street Rod Federation which entitles him to describe himself as a “genuine motoring enthusiast”.

“I’m a strong believer in the principle that the needs of all transport users in our community should be given equal value and the needs of one particular group should not be promoted at the expense of another,” he says.

John’s appointment to the RACV board would not only bring an active motorcyclist’s perspective to the table but also the experience of a company director with a long list of senior executive and non-executive director appointments to his name.

If John is successful in his bid to join the RACV board he would be ideally placed to represent the interests of all Victorian motorcyclists during future policy development discussions.

John and his wife Annie are both part of the Victorian motorcycling community, and living in Torquay at the start of the Great Ocean Road why wouldn’t they be!

His ride of choice these days is a 1977 Harley he brought in from the US 10 years ago and has lovingly restored.

automobile clubs
The ACV’s first run from Melbourne to Mordialloc on December 6, 1903.

John says he is happy to speak with anyone from the motorcycling community who has a view on the future of our passion.

“The key matters raised with me to date include the lack of transparency surrounding the Victorian motorcyclist safety levy, the lack of consideration given to motorcyclists in road construction and road maintenance activities, and the cost of registration in Victoria given the modest impact that motorcycles have on our road surfaces compared with other vehicles,” he says.

“When speaking with fellow riders I get the distinct impression that many believe that over recent times our needs have most definitely been compromised by Government policy that is focused more on the needs of drivers, cyclists and public transport users.

“Motorcyclists find this trend difficult to understand when several reputable research studies have confirmed the benefits of promoting motorcycling within our communities.

“The positive impacts on traffic congestion, pollution, and parking in built-up areas are obvious for all to see,” he says.

Voting is now open and if you are an RACV member check your inbox for an email from CorpVote or your mobile for a text message.

Cycle World print

If you have received neither contact CorpVote on 1300 147 797.

The majority of RACV members haven’t chosen to vote in previous elections but if you want your interests represented on such a significant Victorian motoring body, exercise your right and help put John Mulder on the board.  Voting closes on 30 September 2020.

You can view John’s candidate statement at www.johnmulder.com.au

Contact:  John Mulder

Email: [email protected]

Ph. 0419 890471

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Riders Urged To Fill Out Safety Survey

West Australian riders are being asked to complete a survey on road safety prepared by the Motorcycle Riders Association of W.A.

The survey is being organised to coincide with their Motorcycle Safety Week in October 2020.

MRA WA safety officer Dave Wright says they need as many riders as possible to complete the survey, so they have a better understanding of the issues that are important to riders.

“We need as many riders to complete this survey as this will form the focus of the Motorcycle Safety Forum on 10 October 2020.

Click here to complete the survey.

The anonymous survey will take only 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

It starts with a few questions about your age, licence level, type of bike your ride and how often before diving deeper into why you ride.

The survey also asks riders whether they have heard of the internationally awarded Australian motorcycle safety initiative MotoCAP. which tests and rates motorcycle jackets, pants and gloves on safety and comfort.

Riders are also asked for their ideas about the hazards of the the road and how to fix them.

They provide some examples in multiple choice questions, but also leave plenty of room for your own comments and ideas.

Ewan McGregor tonight show

That’s a welcome change from many other motorcycle safety surveys which seem to push an agenda by asking leading questions.

Dave says they encourage participants to make their own comments and suggestions.

“We want riders’ thoughts on these important issues,” he says.

“These can be new initiatives that have never been used in Western Australia, or an action that has been used in the past that you believe deserves to be reinvigorated.”

If you are trouble accessing the survey, please contact David Wright on 0418 954 424 or email: [email protected]

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Riders Urged To ‘Ride This Thing Out’

The fourth annual Australian Ride your Motorcycle to Work Week next month has been changed to simply “Ride your Motorcycle” due to the pandemic.

Obviously that refers to the fact that many riders may not have wrk to ride to or may be working from home.

The initiative was developed and organised by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries with the backing of the industry.

In June, the FCAI urged inactive motorcyclists who haven’t ridden for some time to ride again, especially for commuting, as the pandemic travel restrictions begin to ease across the country.

Now, the focus has shifted again.

Running from September 21 to 27, the 2020 edition of Ride Your Motorcycle To Work Week will see ‘To Work’ temporarily crossed out of the event logo.

Ride Your Bike Week

Instead, the initiative will encourage two-wheeled enthusiasts to ‘Ride This Thing Out’, dust-off their bikes and scooters for good mental health and socially distanced recreation.

FCAI Motorcycle Manager Rhys Griffiths says the week is an opportunity to have some fun, whether commuting or recreating.

“There’s no doubt 2020 has been challenging, but together we can ride this thing out,” he says.

“The pandemic has hit everyone hard and the mental health benefits of riding are well documented. Riding makes you happy and right now, Australians need a break. The biggest smiles are always hidden behind a helmet.”

The event also aims to draw attention to two-wheeled transport as a potential solution in COVID-19 recovery.

“Riding has a real role to play in helping Australia get back to work, offering socially distanced transportation and alleviating congestion and parking issues.”

“Our aim this year is primarily about reminding Aussies how much fun they can have on a bike, but our secondary goal is to capture the attention of policy makers who too often overlook riding in developing transportation infrastructure.”

The Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Week team is monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation in Victoria and other states closely and will provide any updates via the event Facebook page.

All riders should adhere to any and all Government regulations at all times.

The industry initiative also offers an online DIY guide to ensuring your motorcycle is ready for the road.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ride with historic tunnel vision

We don’t usually recommend riders have tunnel vision, unless it’s an unused historic tunnel of which there are many throughout the nation.

If you’re a bit of a history buff, or you just enjoy something unusual on your bike trip, check them out.

You may be surprised to find that there are some close to you and some that you can even ride through like the Boolboonda Tunnel, about 35km west of Gin Gin, Queensland.

There is a short 2km of smooth gravel leading up to the tunnel on the eastern side that is easy to ride no matter what bike you have.

If you are coming through the farm gate on the western side, make sure you close it behind you.

The track is rough and should really only be tackled on an adventure or dirt bike. Try not to scare the cattle.

Once you get to the tunnel, it’s probably best to walk it first to check the condition of the surface.

Use a torch or your phone’s torch. It can be wet and potholed.

Look up and you will see it is also home to a colony of bats, although you will smell them long before you see them.

Put your lights on high beam, take off your sunnies and ride through slowly as it’s one way and there can be vehicles coming from the other end.

There can also be pedestrians in the tunnel.

They also ask you to not disturb the bats.

Search now for unused historic railway tunnels near and get out there and ride them. They’re “cool fun”.

Short history

The tunnel is 192m long which makes it the longest unsupported man-made tunnel in Queensland.

This engineering marvel was built from 1881 to 1884 to service the Mt Perry copper mines.

The line was deviated in 1960 and tracks removed the following year.

It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 24 September 1999.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycle Road Trip Through Australia: 4 Top Destinations

(Article by Mike Ray*)

Few countries promise such fantastic motorbiking opportunities as Australia. With endless kilometres of the open road and some spectacular vistas, it’s little wonder that many people come to the nation to enjoy the ultimate motorcycle road trip.

Recently we’ve seen an explosion in the popularity of motorbiking. Motorcyclists and their clubs have been frequently portrayed in movies and the media generally, giving rise to a “biker culture”. This has gone out to influence anything from the looks of other sub-cultures such as punk and heavy-metal to tv shows like Sons of Anarchy and legendary games like GTA. Its influences have even been felt in the iGaming industry too, where a great deal of online pokies in Australia feature slot games that are trying to embrace this feeling of liberty and give players a taste of adventure. So it’s no wonder that more and more people are answering the call of the open road to feel the wind on their faces and observe different sceneries zoom past their eyes.

But what are the must-see destinations in your Australian motorcycle road trip?

Western Australia – Walpole To Albany

We have already revealed that there’s no shortage of great rides in Western Australia. This vast state is packed full of beautiful destinations for a good bike trip. But there’s little denying the fact that the route from Walpole to Albany offers perhaps the best ride.

This trip takes you all the way down the South Coast Highway, and you’ll get to check out numerous quaint small towns on your way. Keep your eye out for oddities like the Denmark Dinosaur World, but ultimately this bike trip is all about the beach.

By the time you get to the coastal city of Albany, you’ll be ready for the perfect picnic on excellent beaches such as Middleton Beach or the quieter Little Beach. After all, you’ll have travelled well over 100 kilometres from Walpole, so you’ll need a break.

Queensland – The Lions Road

Lions Rd Summerland WayLions Rd

The Lions Road is one of the most famous motorbike rides in Australia, so there was no way that we were going to miss this road from our shortlist.

After all, it’s an endlessly enjoyable ride through nearly about 50km of the stunning scenery that takes you across the Queensland/NSW border. The Lions Road was initially built to help farmers move produce but now also serves travellers exploring the lush forests of the Scenic Rim.

There’s plenty of fun to be had in navigating the twists and turns as you pass through the Border Ranges National Park. Just don’t forget to stop off at top cafes like the Shed Cafe at Rathlogan Olive Grove or the Bean To Cafe in Beaudesert. 

New South Wales – Kangaroo Valley

If you are willing to take your motorbiking up a level, then you should definitely consider heading out to Kangaroo Valley. This twisty route will take you between the imposing Cambewarra and Barrengarry mountains, and the stunning rainforests and surrounding countryside will make the trip a ride to remember.

Some of the highlights include the Hampden Bridge that crosses the Kangaroo River but don’t forget to check out the 822-metre Fitzroy Falls. You can only get here by navigating through the single-lane Illawarra Highway, but it’s all part of Australia’s most beautiful valley and is perfect for a good bike trip.

Tasmania – The West Coast

Tasmania is one of Australia’s overlooked gems when it comes to motorbikes. But there are many reasons to head to the island, as everything from the agreeable weather conditions to the well-kept roads and relative lack of traffic make Tasmania a biker’s paradise.

There are many places to enjoy on this island state, but we’d recommend taking a trip down the wild and astonishing West Coast. As soon as you leave Hobart via the Derwent Bridge, you’ll be treated to magnificent waterfalls, old mining towns, and some seriously unique landscapes.

We’d recommend taking a slight detour through the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. This is home to endless mountains, gorges and tranquil rivers, and would make for the perfect stopping off point for yet another relaxed picnic on the road.

About the author

(*Author Mike Ray is a motorbike enthusiast and adventure lover who grew up watching motorbike races and now is on a mission to travel the world and discover awesome places.)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Nothing dead about this ‘dead end’

There is nothing dead about the amazing ‘dead-end” ride to O’Reilly’s and back on the Lamington National Park Rd in South East Queensland.

Despite the Gold Coast hinterland being ravaged by bushfires in September 2019, the scenery along this road is as spectacular and pristine as ever. You wouldn’t even know a bushfire had been through the region!

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endSpectaqcular views

That is not the case with the nearby Binna Burra Lodge which was sadly decimated in the bushfires and has closed the dead-end Binna Burra Rd south of Timbarra Drive.

However, Lamington National Park Rd is still open and is as challenging, varied and spectacular as any of the Alpine roads in NSW and Victoria.

In fact, massive roadworks over the past couple of years have made it even better.

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endRoadworks and retaining walls make the road safer

However, the last few kilometres to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat are fairly bumpy.

It’s a virtual paradise for riders, yet it is relatively unknown by riders outside SEQ and little used compared with some of the other “motorcycle routes” in the region.

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endPlenty of hairpins and twisties!

Maybe that’s because it’s a dead-end as some riders don’t like riding back and forth over the same stretch.

However, it feels substantially different going up to going down and you take different corner lines each way.

You also don’t look back over your shoulder when you ride, so the scenery is different each way.

And it’s such a great ride, that you will probably want to do it again and again!

Mountain road not dead

dead endLamington National Park Rd on the Gold Coast hinterland (Image: Google Maps)

The 35km dead-end road starts in Canungra which is a popular cafe stop for riders. Click here for the Google Map.

Riding south out of town into the beautiful valley you will notice O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard which is a great place to stop for lunch and wine tasting (pillions only!).

About 2km down the road, it crosses one of several metal cattle grids before ascending the mountain.

The cattle grids are often on blind corners and need to be taken at right angles to avoid slipping, especially in the wet.

They are among many other hazards such as narrow one-lane sections, blind corners, rock falls, dangling vines, foreign tourists in clapped-out vans, bumps, potholes, leaf litter, oblivious bushwalkers, occasional cyclists, and moss on the road edge and even in the centre!

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endWatch out for slippery hazards

Despite all those hazards, it is a great road for motorcyclists of all types, so long as you take it easy and/or do an exploratory run.

The speed limit is posted at 40km/h with some 10km/h advisory corner speeds.

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endPlenty of hairpins

We have yet to see police on the road, but being caught for speeding is not the only reason to take care.

Weekdays are a lot less busy than weekends.

The old alpaca farm with its jaw-dropping valley views has now moved to the O’Reilly’s vineyard.

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endOld alpaca farm is now closed

However, just down the road is a short detour to the postcard-perfect Kamarun Lookout. It’s well worth a photo stop!

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endKamarun Lookout

Adventure riders

It’s not a complete dead end for adventure riders as they can turn right just before O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and descend into the next valley via the very rough and challenging Duck Creek Rd.

However, that road has been closed for several years due to flooding and is still closed, awaiting funding from the Scenic Rim Council. Let’s hope it opens again soon.

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endDuck Creek Rd

O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat at the end of the road has a coffee shop, restaurant, clean toilets, paved parking, a bird feeding show and gift shop.

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endFeed the birds at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat

Once you’ve rested up and refilled your tank (with food, not fuel), it’s time to head back down and enjoy the view from the other direction.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com