Tag Archives: Motorbike news

Riders searching for missing man

South East Queensland riders have been out searching for a 66-year-old Sandgate rider who has been missing since Monday when he set out for a “joy ride” to Esk.

Siemon Mulder left Sandgate at 9am this morning to ride his blue Triumph Sprint ST registration 769DW (pictured) to Esk and planned to return home by noon. He has not been heard from since.

Police have confirmed this morning that he is still missing and have called for public help to locate him.

Riders have responded with dozens scouring the region’s popular motorcycle routes over the past couple of days.

Police helicopters have also searched the area by car and helicopter.

“Police and family hold concerns for his safety as this behaviour is out of character,” Police say.

Siemon is about 180cm tall with a slim build, grey short hair and grey facial hair.

Siemon Mulder

He was last seen wearing a black leather jacket, blue jeans and black helmet with a dark tinted visor.

Police say he was a cautious rider, but they are considering he may have had an accident.

They have checked his mobile phone which was last used in Sandgate and say he always uses cash when out on the road.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 44provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day. Quote this reference number: QP1901609506

Searching for clues

If Siemon has run off the road, riders should be searching for skid marks on the road or verge, broken glass and plastic on the road, bent-back bushes and the glint of shining objects in roadside bushes.

Riders searching for Siemon should also take care if they are riding slowly not to hold up traffic, use their hazard lights and take care of their own safety.

It’s a good lesson for all solo riders to tell others where you are going, take your mobile phone, download locator apps or, if in remote areas, pack an EPIRB, beacon or GPS tracker.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MC Holdings buying Fraser MC dealerships?

Fraser Motorcycles is believed to be negotiating to sell its retail concerns to MC Holdings who run TeamMoto, several other motorcycle dealerships, a riding school, repair business and Cassons Accessories.

We contacted both companies and received a “no comment”.

However, several motorcycle industry insiders have told us they have heard the two companies are in negotiations.

MC Holdings is already the biggest motorcycle dealership group in the country.

They currently have 31 dealerships in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

Fraser dealerships

Taking over the eight Fraser dealerships in NSW, Melbourne and Perth would give the company enormous buying power which could mean better prices and more influence over importers.

Some critics say MC Holdings is squeezing our “mum and dad dealerships” and heading toward a monopoly where they could charge whatever they want.

However, the motorcycle industry is in a slump and most dealerships are only too keen to do deals.

Motorcycle Holdings went public in May 2016 with a share price of $2.80. It hit a high of almost $5 in late 2017 but dropped to a low of $1.08 in May.

MC Holdings share price history
MC Holdings share price history

They have kicked up a little to $1.66 this month and could go higher on the speculation of a Fraser buyout.

Fraser Motorcycles is part of the Fraser Group of companies including NF Importers which imports rider gear, bike accessories and Ducati motorcycles.

There is no suggestion that NF Importers is being considered by MC Holdings.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Two riders die in overnight crashes

Police in NSW and Queensland are investigating two crashes in which riders died early last night (20 August 2019).

In one incident, police say a motorcycle was travelling eastbound along the Warrego Highway three kilometres from Minden about 6.30pm when the rider “has attempted to overtake two trucks and has lost control”.

“As a result, the motorcyclist has collided with one of the trucks and was pronounced deceased at the scene,” police say.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Rider dies in Tweed Heads crash

Just across the border, an 18-year-old male rider died when his moped collided wth a Holden Colorado about 6pm in the southbound lanes on Ducat Street.

The teenager was knocked off the moped and was struck by a northbound Toyota Prado.

He died at the scene.

Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District attended and established a crime scene.

The 42-year-old male driver of the Holden, and the 46-year-old female driver of the Toyota were uninjured.

They were taken to Tweed Heads Hospital for mandatory blood and urine tests.

The road was closed for about five hours while the scene was examined.

Inquiries continue and a report will be prepared for the Coroner.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

  • Our sincere condolences to the riders’ friends and families.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Cheap justice in rider’s roadworks crash

More than three years after a Darwin rider died in a roadworks crash (photo above), the court has dished out cheap justice for the life of the rider.

Queensland company BMD Constructions had faced fines of up to $1.5m for failing to comply with work health and safety obligations over the death of Darwin musician Peter “Pedro” Bonnell.

Instead, NT Worksafe has accepted an enforceable undertaking from the company to spend just $305,000 in activities to improve motorist as well as worker safety.

However, it seems most of the money will be spent on staff awareness of silicosis and mental health issues, rather than motorist safety.

Only $20,000 will be spent on bringing workers up to the Work Zone Traffic Controller (WZ2) qualification standard.

An undisclosed sum will also be spent on creating an “e-learning training package for general awareness of traffic management for the NT construction industry”.

Cheap justice

It seems like cheap justice for the life of a rider and does little to make other roadworks companies liable for shoddy roadworks and traffic management procedures.

Pedro died on April 20, 2016, when his motorbike crashed into a traffic diversion set up as part of the Tiger Brennan Drive duplication roadworks.

Justice moves slowly in roadworks crash death of Darwin rider and well-known musician Peter “Pedro” Bonnell
Darwin musician Peter “Pedro” Bonnell

NT Worksafe alleged the traffic diversion set-up was not in accordance with an approved traffic control diagram and not compliant with Australian Standards.

They also alleged BMD Constructions used interlocking crash barriers without reflective bollards that were not compliant with Australian Standards, and failed in other safety areas.

NT WorkSafe Acting Executive Director Mel Garde said it was appropriate to accept the enforceable undertaking as the traffic diversion set-up was not the sole contributing factor to the incident.

She says several of the activities in the sanction will up-skill the construction industry on traffic management, creating a safer environment for workers and the wider community.

“Traffic management is an important factor in maintaining a safe workplace,” she says.

“There is an obligation to not only protect workers from the hazards of oncoming traffic, but also to protect road users from potential hazards created by the worksite.

“The driving skill and experience of road users will vary widely so it is critical that traffic management plans and traffic diversions are compliant with Australian Standards, so that all road users can safely navigate them.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Wheels and Reels: Best-Known Motorcycle Brands In Movies

(Wheels and Reels: Sponsored post)

There are movies and TV shows, not to mention books and comic books, that define their heroes, villains, perhaps antiheroes by the wheels they use to move around. These wheels, two or four, depending on the necessities of the plot, are sometimes placed inside the story by the courtesy of the show’s sponsors, in a practice called “product placement”. This is why various brands are depicted as the most reliable cars in the world. When it comes to motorcycles, though, product placement is pretty rare. This doesn’t mean motorcycle brands are not present in popular culture – but their brands are there not as a means of raising some funding but due to their meaning, mythos, and image.

Could the Easy Rider Captain America chopper soon become the most expensive motorcycle in the world? reels
Peter Fonda on Captain America in Easy Rider

Harley-Davidson is the brand that shows up most often in movies and TV shows, especially since the success of the legendary “Easy Rider” with the late Peter Fonda in the main role. There’s no telling how much of its popularity is due to its legendary status or clever marketing, but the fact remains: it’s arguably the best-known motorcycle brand in the world, with frequent cameos in various movies, TV shows, books, even comic books. Unfortunately, nobody ever made a list of all the movies that feature Harleys but here are some of the most famous ones: Meat Loaf rides a WLA in the cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, Sylvester Stallone rode an FLH 80 in “Rocky III” and “Rocky V”, James Marshall rode a 1978 FLH-80 in the iconic TV series “Twin Peaks” (and the follow-up film “Fire Walk With Me”), and to have a more recent example, too, Chris Evans rode a Softail Cross Bones (made to look like a WLA) in “Captain America: The First Avenger).

The World's Fastest indian polaris salt flats reels
The World’s Fastest Indian

Back in the early 1900s, Indian was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. It had quite a few popular models, like the Chief (between the 1920s and the 1950s) and the Scout (manufactured until 1946) but this didn’t stop the manufacturer from going bankrupt in 1953. Since then, several companies tried to revive the Indian brand, with various (usually limited) success.

Indian motorcycles show up in quite a few movies, quite often those taking place in the inter-war period. A 1934 Indian Sport Scout is featured in the 2001 war drama “Pearl Harbor”, Mark Wahlberg rides a customized Indian Scout in Ted 2, Jason Lee rides a blue 1933 Indian Chief owned by enthusiast Dennis Brilla of Plantsville in his movie “Good Ol’ Boy”, and Jean-Claude van Damme rides a beautiful 1950 Indian Chief in the 1999 action flick “Inferno” (also known as “Desert Heat”). One of the “revived” Indian bikes also tried to break into show business: in the forgettable “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”, Arnold Schwarzenegger rides a 2002 Indian “Police” Chief (the bike was later sold at an auction for under $10,000).

The Great Escape movie poster motorcycle chase reels
The Great Escape

Finally, let’s take a look at the biggest and perhaps best-known British motorcycle brand in history, Triumph, that had its share of Hollywood spotlight. Triumph Engineering, the company behind the brand, was founded in 1885 and started producing bicycles in 1889, and motorcycles in 1902. The original company went bankrupt in 1983 and the brand ended up with its successor Triumph Motorcycles Ltd, becoming the largest UK-based motorcycle manufacturer.

Triumph bikes have shown up in the movies for ages – one of the first to do so is a Triumph Thunderbird 6T that Marlon Brando rode in the 1953 movie “The Wild One” (it was his own bike). One of the most famous performances by a Triumph bike was Steve McQueen’s iconic escape in “The Great Escape” – he rode a modified Triumph TR6 Trophy in the movie, modified to resemble a German BMW. Clint Eastwood  rode a Triumph Bonneville in “Coogan’s Bluff”, Pamela Anderson rides a Triumph Thunderbird in 1996’s infamous “Barb Wire”, Norman Reedus rides a chopped Triumph Bonneville from the 1960s in the popular post-apocalyptic TV series “The Walking Dead”, and Chris Pratt’s character rides a Triumph Scrambler in 2015’s “Jurassic World”.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Peter ‘Easy Rider’ Fonda dies aged 79

Peter Fonda, the actor who played Wyatt riding a Captain America Harley chopper in the 1969 movie Easy Rider, has died at the age of 79.

The hippy film recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first screening.

It was shot on a shoestring budget in a haze of pot smoke and with a plot that was made up along the way by Fonda and fellow actor/director Dennis Hopper who died in 2013, aged 77.

Fonda’s screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award, the film was added to the USA’s National Film Registry in 1998 and it is listed as one of the top 100 American movies by the American Film Institute.

The veteran actor died yesterday of respiratory failure due to lung cancer at his Los Angeles home surrounded by his family.

Iconic moment

He starred in many films including the cringe-worthy low-grade bikie movie, The Wild Angels in 1966.

It includes his line: “We want to be fee to ride our machines without being hassled by the man … and we want to get loaded.”

Fonda also made a cameo appearance in the 2007 Wild Hogs that lampoons Easy Rider.

The opening scene of Easy Rider features Peter in an iconic gesture of throwing away his watch.

The choppers then fire up and roar into the desert to the accompaniment of Born to be Wild. Truly a classsic cinematic moment that has stirred the hearts of riders this past half century!

It has also started a fad with riders and other travellers to discard their watches and disregard the constraints of time.

A watch is a symbol of “the man”, society and capitalism that constrain us.

Motorcycles are freedom machines that allow us to escape the rigours of timekeeping.

In a hilarious parody of the famous Easy Rider scene, John Travolta and his buddies throw away their mobile phones before a cross-country ride in Wild Hogs.

“You don’t need a GPS to discover America; you need a bike and you need the road, ok? Freedom,” says Travolta.

Fonda also rides into town to end the long fight scene.

His closing line is also a classic: “Oh, and guys… lose the watches.”

  • What is your favourite scene from Easy Rider? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Bail refused in scooter hit-run crash

A 55-year-old driver who allegedly failed to stop after colliding with a Vespa scooter rider in Sydney has been refused bail in court today (16 August 2019).

Paul Andrew Brown faced court charged with failing to stop and render aid, negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, and not exchange particulars.

Police say the matter involved an incident at 7.45pm on Wednesday (14 August 2019) when emergency services were called to the intersection of Wellbank and Spring streets at Concord, after a Vespa motor scooter and a Toyota Hilux ute collided.

Hit run bail
Image: Google Maps

“The driver of the utility allegedly failed to stop to render assistance and continued to drive north on Spring Street,” police say.

The rider of the scooter, a 34-year-old woman, suffered serious injuries and was taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where she remains in a stable condition.

Officers from the Crash Investigation Unit found the ute parked in North Strathfield about 2.30pm yesterday (Thursday 15 August 2019).

After a short foot pursuit, police arrested Brown and took him to Burwood Police Station.

He was jailed overnight and appeared in Burwood Local Court this morning where he was again refused bail until his next scheduled court appearance on August 27.

Spare of incidents

The incident follows a worrying spate of hit-and-run crashes leaving motorcyclists injured and dead.

In NSW, the requirement for those involved in a crash to remain at the scene until police arrive was dropped in 2014, even if a tow truck is required.

However, the motorists must report the incident to police and remain at the scene if anyone is injured.

If they don’t, police can charge a motorist with failing to stop at the scene of an accident which is considered a serious offence.

Depending on whether someone is injured or killed in the crash, the motorist responsible could face serious charges with up to 10 years in jail.

Police say motorists leaving an accident scene where someone is injured decrease a victim’s chance of survival.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Holiday riders caught on covert TruCAM

Brisbane riders who spent Wednesday’s Ekka Holiday riding the famed Mt Glorious Rd may find they have an unwelcome TruCAM speeding fine in the mail in the next couple of weeks.

This video was recorded by rider David Englebright, showing police in the bushes using the TruCAM hand-held laser digital camera to record speeding offences.

Holiday surprise

“Being a public holiday in Brisbane a lot of people were out enjoying a drive or ride over Mt Glorious,” he says.

“They will get a rude shock in a few weeks.

“Little did they know a policemen was hiding in the bushes of the far side of Mt Glorious on a downhill selection of road with a TruCAM taking pics of vehicles going down the hill.

Video TruCAM
David on his Triumph

“This is a section where a billy cart would do more than 60km/h.

“This is no deterrent to speeding, just revenue raising.”

While there is no longer any requirement for speed camera detection signs, the Queensland police website clearly states: “It is not the policy of the Queensland Police Service to deliberately conceal speed cameras.”

Covert concerns

This is yet another incident which may spark debate over the lack of speed deterrence in covert operations while others will argue “if you’re not speeding, you have nothing to worry about”.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers says these “sneaky” devices do not reduce the road toll nor stop motorists from speeding.

“Getting a ticket in the mail up to a month after speeding when you can barely remember even where you were back then, has no effect and is quite rightly cynically viewed as revenue raising,” he said.

RACQ technical and safety policy spokesman Steve Spalding says they also prefer a visible police presence.

“Our members have repeatedly told us that over the years, they much prefer to see a police officer use a marked vehicle, not just for speeding, but for all of the other problem behaviours that we see on the road,” he says.

Is covert detection legal?

Police using covert TruCAM laser speed camera impossible
Police using TruCAM laser speed camera in an unmarked car with tinted windows

Well, yes and no. It depends on the state and how the speed detection equipment is deployed.

We asked police in every state for their policies on covert speed detection and most replied.

Victoria Police say mobile speed cameras are “not deployed in a concealed way”, but didn’t answer questions about handheld devices and cops hiding in bushes.

South Australia Police say they make “no apologies about using covert, camouflaged cameras to detect dangerous road behaviour”.

WA Police basically told us it was none of our business: “We use various tools to assist in our traffic enforcement capabilities.  We will not be providing details of specific tools or methodologies.”

NSW Police say they “use a range of enforcement strategies to assist in reducing road trauma”. But, like the WA cops, they say it’s none of our business.

“For operational reasons it would be inappropriate to discuss the guidelines surrounding these strategies. If riders and drivers observe the speed limits, then they have nothing to be concerned about,” they say.

Queensland Police are a little vague, telling us the Queensland Camera Detected Offence Program “utilises an evidence-based mixture of covert and marked camera operations”.

MUARC report

Police Covert speed camera
Somewhere in there is a cop with TruCAM!

Motorists, police unions and motoring groups are fighting a losing battle against covert speed detection.

Politicians and police typically cite a Monash University academic and an Auditor General’s report that back covert speed cameras as more effective at reducing general speeding than high-visibility cameras.

Monash University Accident Research Centre professor Max Cameron says high-visibility speed cameras are only good for reducing speed at a black spot.

Mobile speed cameras were originally introduced to reduce speed at black spots. NSW still has very prominently signed fixed and mobile speed cameras, Western Australia is now trialling more visible speed cameras and England is going all-out to make the cameras much more visible.

However, Queensland has removed the signs warning of mobile speed cameras and a report by Queensland’s auditor-general found they are not always deployed at the right time, in the right location, or in the “right mode” (not covert enough).

The report says only 16.3% of mobile deployment hours is covert because police want to avoid perceptions of revenue-raising.

It recommends that a high percentage of covert deployment would prompt a general deterrence to speeding.

Professor Cameron agrees: “… if you’re trying to affect speeding all the time then the best idea is to make sure the cameras aren’t predictable or apparent and to operate them covertly,” the professor says. “The idea of being conspicuous is really in the wrong direction.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Rider hits traffic sign in fatal crash

A 50-year-old male riders has died after his motorcycle hit a roadside traffic sign in rural Nowra, on the NSW south coast.

Police say that just before 3pm yesterday (14 August 2019) “a motorcycle travelling south on Parma Road at Yerriyong was approaching a bend, when it hit a traffic sign pole”.

The rider was unable to be revived and died at the scene.

A crime scene was established by South Coast Police District officers who are “conducting inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the crash”.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

Our condolences to the rider’s family and friends.

Traffic sign hazards

Two Austroads reports in 2014 and 2016 identified there were too many changes in speed zones and too much roadside “furniture” causing a particular hazard to riders.

Despite these reports, wire rope barriers, speed signs and other hazards have proliferated on our roadsides.

While the 2016 report said the road environment accounted for only 2% of motorcycle road deaths in single-vehicle crashes between 1999 and 2003, “certain road elements have the potential to contribute to the actual outcome and severity of the crash”.

It said the first step was to identify roads that pose the highest crash risk to motorcyclists, then perform safety audits.

The report recommended a raft of motorcycle-specific road modifications including:

  • install flexible but durable materials or shields underneath barriers (no mention of wire rope barriers!);Wire rope barrier better roads austroads report
  • install attenuators or energy dissipaters on posts and poles;
  • relocate trees, poles, signs and other roadside objects;
  • recommended maximums for potholes, ruts and cracks before repair is vital;
  • rapid road repair including quick removal of oil, diesel and other spills;
  • fluoro warning signage at known crash zones;
  • better-designed crash barriers (read this Austroads view);
  • improve road surfaces for skid resistance, road camber, badly located drains, rough edges, etc; and
  • add advance stop lines at intersections with filtering lanes for motorcycles to reach the front of traffic.
Most of these recommendations have been ignored by governments at all levels.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

‘Dodgy’ parking bays still not fixed

A council’s failure to fix thin bitumen in parking bays that caused a parked motorcycle to fall over could cost them if other bikes suffer the same fate.

Toowoomba tiding trainer Tony Gallagher says although council has dodged paying him compensation, they are now aware of the problem and may not be able to dodge other similar future claims.

Tony told us in June that he watched as his parked 2001 Kawasaki ZRX1200R sank into thin bitumen and fall over in Crows Nest’s main street parking bays.

The incident caused about $1700 in damage to his bike that he uses in his business and ruined his $600 Shoei helmet.

Despite offering to do the repairs himself at a moderate cost, Toowoomba Regional Council insurance officer Josie Hooper told him council is not liable for compensation.Toowoomba riding trainer Tony Gallagher watched in horror as his Kawasaki ZRX1200R sunk into thin bitumen and tall over in a Crows Nest main street parking bay.

Her letters says their investigations found that council was unaware of “the specific characteristic of the road and/or car park you say caused the damage to the motorcycle”.

“Under Section 37 of the Civil Liability Act, a road authority such as Council cannot be held liable for claims that arise out of alleged lack of maintenance, repair, or inspection of a road if, at the time of the damage, the road authority was unaware of the defect which allegedly caused the damage,” she wrote in an official letter to Tony two months after his complaint.

Now Tony has taken to Facebook to publish a video railing against council’s “corruption” and lack of accountability.

Parkings not fixed

In the eight-minute video, Tony points out that although the hole has been patched, council has not done anything to rectify the problem of the thin bitumen in the parking bays.

He says that now council is “fully aware” of the problem they will be liable to pay compensation to any rider who suffers the same fate.

Tony’s bike was parked in a car parking bay, not one of the 16 special motorcycle bands allocated when Crows Nest became a Queensland’s second motorcycle friendly town in 2017.

Tony says council needs to take more responsibility for their facilities.

“It is not unreasonable to be able to park your motorcycle safely in a town that is motorcycle friendly,” he says.

Crows Nest Motorcycle Friendly Town spokesman Ron Anderson told us he is not aware of any other motorcycles falling over in parking bays in town.

Fall from grace

Toowoomba riding trainer Tony Gallagher watched in horror as his Kawasaki ZRX1200R sunk into thin bitumen and tall over in a Crows Nest main street parking bay.
Tony Gallagher

“The bike was parked for at least 10 minutes, maybe 15, before falling over. I saw it fall over,” Tony told us in June.

“The bitumen beneath the sidestand failed and the stand sunk into the ground several inches.”

He says witnesses can prove his bike did not roll off the stand and was parked facing uphill.

Tony contacted council who patched the hole before he left town on the day.

Toowoomba riding trainer Tony Gallagher watched in horror as his Kawasaki ZRX1200R sunk into thin bitumen and tall over in a Crows Nest main street parking bay.
Patch repair

“The staff member who did the repair apologised to me,” Tony says.

“I would argue that they could have reasonably known that there was a fault with the road surface as there have been issues with the adjoining footpath and kerbing.

“As TRC are fully aware of these issues, the quality of the road surface where vehicles park should have been investigated and rectified prior to this incident. As such TRC have breached their duty of care.

“I went back the following Monday on my GPZ and noticed parking bays further up the hill are decaying — not obvious in the park I was in.”Toowoomba riding trainer Tony Gallagher watched in horror as his Kawasaki ZRX1200R sunk into thin bitumen and tall over in a Crows Nest main street parking bay.

The incident occurred on a mild April day, so there was no problem with melting tar.

He returned to the site in June and said there was moisture coming from the patched repair.

Tony says the bitumen is about 10mm thick with mud underneath and suspects an underground water problem.

Many riders put down a squashed soft drink can or some other sort of “puck-style” item for their stand on soft ground.

However, riders would not reasonably be expected to use one on an asphalt surface.

TRC says riders can report road damage to Customer Service on 131 872. Customer Service will create a ticket in the system to have the incident investigated by the relevant team in Council.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com