Tag Archives: Motorbike news

Video: dangerous police rider pursuit

Video of a dangerous UK police pursuit of three unregistered trail bikes through city streets has again put police pursuits under question.

The officer pursued the three riders who rode at almost triple the speed limit, on footpaths, through red lights and the wrong way down streets because the bikes were not registered and therefore not insured.

Seems like a flippant reason to endanger the life of the rider, other road users and pedestrians.

It follows three rider deaths in the past year in Australia after high-speed pursuits were started, but then called off.

In the UK pursuit, West Midlands Police caught only one of three riders, Owen Guest, 20, by using a stinger to deflate his Kawasaki’s tyres.

He was charged with dangerous driving and driving without a licence or insurance.

He was given 14 months in a young offenders institute, suspended for a year, and ordered to abide by a curfew and do 80 hours of unpaid community work. He was was also given a two-year driving ban and his bike was crushed.

The video does not show at what speed the riders were illegally riding their bike before the pursuit started, but it seems they went wild once they were pursued.

Dangerous pursuits

A leading police study has found the three most pressing issues for police reform around the world are use of force, policing of violence in families and high-speed pursuits.

A 2009 Australian Institute of Criminology study found deaths in custody at police stations are declining but “deaths in custody” as a result of high-speed pursuits were rising.

While less than 1% of police pursuits results in a fatal crash, 38% of the people killed are innocent bystanders.

It’s much worse in the USA where one person dies every day as a result of a police pursuit. Of those deaths, 1% are police, 55% suspects and 44% bystanders.

Most police procedures acknowledge the judgement of the officer at the scene to begin a pursuit.

However, continuation of a dangerous pursuit is then deferred to a senior officer at the station or headquarters.

They have to make a quick judgement based on how dangerous the pursuit is to the community versus the lethal risk to the community of letting a serious offender escape.

This must be backed by information, not just mere suspicion.

Queensland police figures show only about 3% of pursuits involved imminent threat to life or a suspect escaping after a homicide.

Police have a duty to not only prevent and control crime, but more importantly, they have a duty to protect the community and that includes from their own reckless behaviour and judgement.

Click her to read about a police and media pursuit that encouraged a motorcycle rider to perform stunts for the cameras.

Police pursuit pursuitsTV chopper captures pursued rider performing stunts

Restrictive practices

Despite criticism from police unions, most pursuit policies around the world, including the USA, are becoming more restrictive.

In many jurisdictions, pursuits are only allowed if there is a serious risk to public safety or in relation to a major crime involving death or injury.

However, there is an issue about making these pursuit policies public. Some say they should be public to show transparency while others believe it would give criminals clues on how to evade police.

Those who support pursuits point out that the number of people evading police is rising as a result of more restrictive pursuit policies, despite higher penalties for evading police.

Making the issue more complex is the degree of the pursuit.

Should there be an upper speed limit for police? Should police be allowed to break other road rules in the pursuit?

There have been incidences of police driving at more than 200km/h in a pursuit and on the road side of a major highway.

Another issue is whether police should be criminally culpable in the instance of a death resulting from a pursuit.

To a degree, technologies such as CTV, helicopters and number plate recognition cameras, negate the need for pursuits, anyway.

* What do you think about police pursuits? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian launches closing-down sale

Indian Motorcycle Australia seems to be having a closing-down sale as it moves from company-owned Aussie stores to a system of privately owned dealerships.

The decision to close their Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth stores was announced just over a week ago and now they are offering generous deals on selected 2019 models.

They are offering $3000 off accessories or apparel and free on-road costs on Roadmaster, Chief Vintage and Springfield Dark Horse.

For their FTR 1200 and Scout Bobber the deal is $2000 off accessories and/or apparel with complimentary on-roads .

The deals end on January 31 and are not restricted to their four company-owned stores.

They say there will be a gradual closing down of their stores throughout the year as alternative dealerships are found.

By the end of 2020, Indian Motorcycle in Australia and New Zealand will operate solely with an independent dealer network, except for Christchurch for is independently owned.

Clearing out floor stock with sales offers will help them move the process along faster.

That’s one customer benefit from closing their company-owned stores. Another benefit they claim is that it will increase the spread of dealerships throughout the country.

Company history

 stores Victory-Indian-Perth-Dealership-Artistic-Render.jpgPerth store opened in 2016

The model of a mix of company owned and independent dealers has been operating since they started in Australia in 2008 with Victory Motorcycles.

Indian Motorcycle was added in 2013 after being bought by Polaris. They sold 102 Indian Chief models in their first year.

The traditional brand has experienced substantial growth since, even during the past few parlous years of motorcycle sales, but last year recorded a 3.9% decrease to 803.

That’s still far better than the 11.9% slump in total road bike sales in Australia.

Sales should increase with the launch of the new Challenger range early this year.

Indian ChallengerIndian Challenger

In 2017, Polaris axed the Victory Motorcycle brand, but continued with the company owned stores just for Indian.

However, it was only a matter of time before they switched to the conventional system as used elsewhere in the world.

Polaris Australia boss Alan Collins said customers needed “more locations and more support”.

“Moving to an independent franchised network of dealers is more sustainable for us and our partners as we look to grow in order to meet demand, while also enabling a broader network of support and options for our customers.”

Former Indian Motorcycle executive and now a senior motorcycle industry consultant Robert Pandya said the factory-owned dealership model was needed to establish the new brand in a new market.

Alan says they will double their dealer network in the next two years.

Sydney Indian and Victory store - platforms halogenSydney Indian and Victory store

They say warranties will not be affected.

Customers are invited to call their Indian Motorcycle Australia Customer Service Centre on 0460775949 “for a chat” or contact them via email.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Minimum rider age limit increased

The minimum rider age for South Australians will be raised by two years with some concessions, but they have dodged a plan for mandatory hi-vis vests as in Victoria.

Around the nation it is getting tougher and tougher for young people to get motorcycle licences with Queensland even requiring them to first hold a car licence for a year.

The Australian trend to make it more difficult for younger riders runs contrary to Europe.

In Germany, the minimum rider age has recently been lowered from 16 to 15 while the moped and restricted motorcycle licence (up to 125cc) minimum age in Latvia and Estonia is 14; 15 in France, Czech Republic, Spain; and 16 in Portugal, Romania.

These countries believe that getting teenagers on to motorcycles teaches them a sense of vulnerability and roadcraft before they are let loose on larger bikes or cars.

SA Police Minister Corey Wingard said they would introduce the new bill on graduated motorcycle licensing in the next few months.

Minimum age

The Minister said that last year there were 17 fatal motorcycle crashes in SA with 11 aged under 31 while the youngest was 16.

How does increasing the minimum age have anything to do with those figures, except for maybe that one fatality?

He also says that between 2014-18 young motorcycle riders were over-represented in serious crash data with 10% involving riders aged 15-19, 11% involving riders aged 20-24 and 10% riders 25-29.

So those over 29 represented 69% of serious crashes!

In fact, national statistics from 1995 to 2019 show a steady decrease in fatalities among under 30-year-old riders from 562 in the five-year period from 1995 to ’99 to 312 from 2015 to ’19.

Over the past five years, under 30s have not had the largest number of fatalities, being overtaken for the first time by over 50s with 323 deaths.

This could be the result of tougher licensing laws.

However, it could also be due to the fact that the number of young riders getting licenses has declined while the number of returned riders has increased.

The statistical trends are similar in all states including Queensland and South Australia where under-30s fatalities have halved since 1995.

New rules

The new SA rules will allow various exclusions for students, workers and regional residents.

For example, regional resident aged 16 and 17 can get a restricted motorcycle learner’s permit to travel to tertiary education, vocational education and training or for work.

Also 17-year-olds with a current provisional car licence can get a motorcycle learner’s permit.

There will also be a night curfew on under 25s from midnight to 5am unless the rider has an exemption which is in line with current rules for p-plate drivers.

Rider advocacy group Ride to Review says the restrictions could have been worse.

Rode to Review Tim Kelly learn licence licensing plans incorrectTim Kelly of Ride to Review

Spokesman Tim Kelly says they worked hard with the government to secure the concessions and to avoid the planned mandatory hi-vests.

Full details of the new Bill have not yet been released, but previous recommendations included: displaying correct plates, restricting pillions, mandatory carriage of licence, zero blood alcohol, a lower demerit point threshold for disqualification and no mobile phones.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) motorcycle spokesman Rhys Griffiths says tougher licensing laws across the nation have put the motorcycle industry under “more pressure than we’ve ever had in the past”.

He says the tougher licensing laws have dramatically increased the price of obtaining a motorcycle licence and may have led to an increase in unlicensed riding.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Good Samaritan Toby Price on Dakar podium

A Good Samaritan act, shortened and cancelled stages and incorrect roadblocks hampered Toby Price in his valiant efforts to win his third Dakar Rally.

Despite all the hurdles, Toby finished on the podium today as the best KTM rider after a strong third place in the 429km 12th and final stage.

 

The event was won by American Ricky Brabec (Honda), the first American to win the gruelling event held for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

Ricky also brought to an end KTM’s winning streak of 18 titles with his 16-minute win over Chilean Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna).

Toby Price Good Samaritan Dakar RallyToby congratulates Ricky

Good Samaritan

Toby had said he was “comforted” by the fact that he virtually sacrificed his third rally win by being the first to stop for fallen rider Paulo Goncalves in the seventh stage.

Sadly Paulo later died and the eighth stage was cancelled in his honour, leaving less opportunity for Toby to make up time. The 10th stage was also cut short when too many riders crashed.

In the wake of these setbacks, Toby’s podium finish is a truly champion effort.

Toby Price Dakar rallyToby celebrates with victory donuts!

Toby wasn’t the only Aussie who did us proud in the Dakar as both a tough competitor and aa Good Samaritan.

Mr Consistency, Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha, Queensland) finished most stages in the top 20 and recorded career best 13th outright and a sixth in one stage.

Rodney Faggotter Good Samaritan Dakar RallyRodney Faggotter

Like Toby, on the 10th stage Rodney stopped to help a crashed rider and was given the time back by the officials.

“I had a solid 2 weeks and rode the most ‘in control’ but also at the best I have ever done,” Rodney says.

“The riders in front of me are the best rally riders in the world and most of them full time athletes. I’m pumped to be near and amongst these guys!”

Fellow Aussies Ben Young (KTM), Matthew Tisdall (KTM) and Trevor Wilson have also done well to keep going. 

Ben Young Toby Price attacks in last-ditch Dakar effortBen Young

Ben as finished 70th with an overall 58th position in his second Dakar.

Trevor finished 62nd today and was 70th overall in his debut. The Brisbane schoolteacher flies back home today and will have a celebration party at the Eaton Hills Hotel tomorrow from 1pm.

Trevor Wilson Dakar RallyTrevor Wilson

Matt finished in last place at 100th and placed last in 96th!

However, even to finish a gruelling Dakar is a massive feat and to have all four Aussie entrants complete the event is a tribute to their heroics.

About a third of the 158 field did not finish due to crashes or mechanical failures.

Five women made it to the finish of the Dakar led by Laia Sanz in 17th place overall, with Dutchwoman Mirjam Pol, South Africans Kirsten Landman and Taye Perry, and Spaniard Sara García also in the general classification.

For the first time the Dakar rally was run in the one country, Saudi Arabia, after being run in 35 countries on three continents since 1978.

Toby aids firefightersToby Price Dakar Rally super marathon stage

Like many Aussie sports stars and celebrities, Toby is raising money for the bushfire appeal.

He is auctioning his starting jersey and pants for firefighters

Toby is also doing his bit for the current critical bushfire situation by auctioning his starting jersey and pants with proceeds going to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

It is open worldwide, just send in your bid in Australian dollars on his Facebook page or Instagram.

Current highest bid is still $13,001.

Auction closes on tomorrow (18 January 2020) at 5pm (AEST).

If you can’t bid, please donate on this link. Sp far he has raised more than $5000.

Jack Miller's MotoGP helmetJack Miller’s MotoGP helmet

Meanwhile, Aussie MotoGP racer Jack Miller put his 2018 MotoGP helmet up for auction to raise money for the bushfire crisis.

The auction has closed with 22 bids and the winner bidding $18,000.

Jack will sign and send the helmet to the winning bidder.

Two-time MotoGP champ Casey Stoner says he will auction an old race suit for the first time, but no details are available yet.

Meanwhile, Deus Ex Machina founder Dare Jennings is raffling off his 1977 Triumph T140V.

Triumph bushfireDeus Trumpy

Money raised will be split among the Australia Red Cross, Save The Animals and Rural Fire Service.

You have the chance to win it by making at least a $50 donation via PayPal.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

65-year-old rider dies in barrier crash

A 65-year-old man has died after his motorcycle crashed into a barrier on the Richmond Road off-ramp of the M7 motorway in Dean Park, Sydney, about 2.45pm today (17 January 2020).

Police say the rider was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics but died at the scene.

Officers from Quakers Hill Police Area Command attended and established a crime scene.

An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash has commenced 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 rider’s family and friends.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Should drivers ride light motorcycles?

A new survey has found a large majority of European riders believe drivers should be allowed to ride light motorcycles up to 125cc on a full car licence.

In Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory, licensed drivers have been able to ride a 50cc scooter or moped for decades without having to do any sort of extra test.

However, in some states there are restrictions such as not carrying a pillion or riding on freeways or motorways.

Some European countries allow drivers to ride motorcycles up to 125cc and 15 horsepower such as the Honda Grom and Monkey bikes and the Kawasaki Z125 with little or no extra training or licensing.

Jake Dolan on the Honda Grom light motorcyclesHonda Grom

The Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations conducted a survey to see whether this should be extended to all of Europe and found riders largely agreed.

However, they say drivers should take some motorcycle lessons. There is no such requirement in Australia.

Training for light motorcycles

The Adventurists Monkey Bikes Monkey Runs Romania tall returned riders light motorcyclesMake sure the bike suits your needs … and your height!

Several rider representation groups have called for competency training for car drivers to be allowed to ride.

University safety researcher and Triumph Street Triple ride Ross Blackman confirms that many riders believe moped riders should be required to have a motorcycle licence.

“I’m not sure that this is supported by the stats, acknowledging that non-injury crashes are generally not reported,” he says.

“Something that muddies the waters here now is the rise of electric bicycles which, operationally, are similar to mopeds in terms of trip purpose etc.”

CARRS-Q QUT researcher dr Ross Blackman Motorbike online survey moped mopedsRoss Blackman

There have been no changes to the moped rules over the past few decades, despite most states reviewing their motorcycle licensing.

A Queensland Transport and Main Roads spokesperson says a 2012 review of moped licensing found the severity of moped crashes was lower overall compared with motorcycles.

This research determined there was no requirement for changes to licensing requirements.

Crashes involving mopeds within Queensland, 1 January 2013 to 31 May 2019.

Crash severity

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Fatal

3

0

0

0

1

2

1

Hospitalisation

78

78

41

44

65

61

22

Medical treatment

56

52

45

44

34

42

18

Minor injury

10

7

8

10

11

17

6

Total crashes

147

137

94

98

111

122

Compare that with motorcycle and scooter crashes (excluding mopeds).

Crash severity 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Fatal 42 37 54 64 50 41
Hospitalisation 930 932 968 966 935 960

However, we note that there may be significantly fewer people riding mopeds on car licences.

It is impossible to gauge exact numbers given many may only hire them.

Queensland registration statistics also don’t different mopeds from motorcycles.

Western Australia’s Department of Transport also reviewed moped licensing in 2014.

“Discontinuing moped operation on a car licence was not supported due to there being little evidence that moped riders in WA were overrepresented in crashes compared to other powered two wheelers,” a spokesperson says.

“DoT would reconsider moped operation on a car licence should data show that moped riders are overrepresented in crashes in WA, and that there was evidence to support that discontinuing the approach would result in considerable road safety benefits.”

WA registration stats show a 33% increase in moped registrations from 2011 to 2015.

“This could have been attributed to an increase in traffic congestion, lack of available parking, need for economical and convenient transport and that the holder of any valid class of driver s licence is also authorised to ride a moped,” the spokesperson says.

Pros and cons

Repsol Honda Racing Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa race mopedsMoped racing

We can see pros and cons in allowing drivers to ride mopeds.

On the positive side, it’s great for tourist areas where foreigners can hire a moped to get around.

It also allows drivers to experience the thrill of riding and hopefully encourage them to go for their full licence.

The licensing also allows inner-city residents to get around cheaply and conveniently without the expense of a motorcycle licence they may never need.

There is also a host of great light electric motorcycles and scooters hitting the market that qualify under the moped rules.

On the negative side, we see a lot of stupid moped riders doing some dangerous and illegal things on the roads.

An example is filtering. It is illegal to filter unless you are a fully licensed rider, for a start.

Secondly, we see moped riders filter to the front of a queue of traffic at the lights only to hold everyone up when the lights go green because of their slow acceleration.

Unfortunately, the ire drivers feel toward some idiot moped riders filters across to legal and sensible motorcyclists!

  • What do you think? Should moped licensing be extended to other states? Should there be some sort of competency course first? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Toby Price stages last-ditch Dakar attack

Toby Price has staged a last-ditch attack on American Ricky Brabec’s lead in the penultimate stage of the Dakar Rally but failed to make up enough time.

The Australian two-time Dakar winner attacked early and clawed back almost six minutes on the Honda rider who seemed to take it easy.

Toby’s attack placed him fifth on the 379km special stage that included about 80km of sand dunes. It was the second part of a two-day marathon stage with no outside help for the riders.

Top 5 finishers on stage 11

POS. EXP. DRIVE-TEAM MARK-MODEL TIME VARIATION PENALITY
1 5 ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING 04H 09′ 22”
2 2 RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM 04H 09′ 31” + 00H 00′ 09”
3 16 RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM 04H 12′ 10” + 00H 02′ 48”
4 17 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 04H 12′ 15” + 00H 02′ 53”
5 1 RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM 04H 15′ 11” + 00H 05′ 49”

The leading KTM rider is now third overall with only the largely ceremonial final stage to come tomorrow.

That would mean Ricky becomes the first American to win the Dakar and also end KTM’s record winning streak of 18.

Ricky Brabec attackRicky Brabec

Toby had said he was “comforted” by the fact that he virtually sacrificed his third rally win by being the first to stop for fallen rider Paulo Goncalves in the seventh stage.

Sadly Paulo later died and the eighth stage was cancelled in his honour, leaving less opportunity for Toby to make up time.

Toby’s likely podium finish is still a very commendable feat.

“It’s been a good stage and at the moment Honda just needs to protect their lead,” he says.

“The guys are riding fast and riding smart. It’s definitely making it hard for us to try and make up that gap.

“We’re doing our best, we’re trying to keep in the fight. We’ve only got one more day to go. We’re at the end of day eleven.”div class=”videoWrapper”>

(Sorry about the ads. They’re Dakar’s not ours.)

Top 5 outright rankings

POS. EXP. DRIVE-TEAM MARK-MODEL TIME VARIATION PENALITY
1 9 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 38H 33′ 28”
2 5 ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING 38H 47′ 24” + 00H 13′ 56”
3 1 RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM 38H 56′ 02” + 00H 22′ 34” 00H 02′ 00”
4 2 RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM 39H 03′ 21” + 00H 29′ 53”
5 12 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 39H 03′ 37” + 00H 30′ 09”

Other Aussies

Dakar Rally Rodney Faggotter attackRodney Faggotter

Other Aussies have also performed well throughout the rally while more than 50 competitors have dropped out from crashes or mechanical failure.

Mr Consistency, Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha, Queensland) has finished all but yesterday’s stage in the top 20.

He finished today in 19th place and is ranked 13th outright.

On the previous stage he stopped to help a crashed rider and was given the time back by the officials.

That have him an outstanding best sixth place on the 10th stage.

Ben Young Toby Price attacks in last-ditch Dakar effortBen Young (foreground)

Fellow Aussies Ben Young (KTM), Matthew Tisdall (KTM) and Brisbane schoolteacher Trevor Wilson have also done well to keep going.

Ben finished 58th which would be his best result yet. It puts him at 57th outright in his second Dakar.

Trevor finished in 8oth position and is now 76th outright, while Matt was 94th and is now 96th and last.

Trevor Wilson Dakar Rally Trevor Wilson on debut

For the first time the Dakar rally is being run in the one country, Saudi Arabia, after being run in 35 countries on three continents since 1978.

Toby aids firefightersToby Price Dakar Rally super marathon stage

Like many Aussie sports stars and celebrities, Toby is raising money for the bushfire appeal.

He is auctioning his starting jersey and pants for firefighters

Toby is also doing his bit for the current critical bushfire situation by auctioning his starting jersey and pants with proceeds going to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

It is open worldwide, just send in your bid in Australian dollars on his Facebook page or Instagram.

Current highest bid is still $13,001.

Auction closes on Saturday (18 January 2020) at 5pm (AEST).

If you can’t bid, please donate on this link. Sp far he has raised abouot $5000.

Jack Miller's MotoGP helmetJack Miller’s MotoGP helmet

Meanwhile, Aussie MotoGP racer Jack Miller put his 2018 MotoGP helmet up for auction to raise money for the bushfire crisis.

The auction has closed with 22 bids and the winner bidding $18,000.

Jack will sign and send the helmet to the winning bidder.

Two-time MotoGP champ Casey Stoner says he will auction an old race suit for the first time, but no details are available yet.

Meanwhile, Deus Ex Machina founder Dare Jennings is raffling off his 1977 Triumph T140V.

Triumph bushfireDeus Trumpy

Money raised will be split among the Australia Red Cross, Save The Animals and Rural Fire Service.

You have the chance to win it by making at least a $50 donation via PayPal.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Rider representation ends as group closes down

Queensland riders now have no official representation to government after the Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland has officially closed.

The motion to close was passed at a special meeting of five members on Wednesday night (15 January 2020).

The reason was given as a lack of members seeking election to the executive.

There is now no formal Queensland rider representation available for meetings with relevant ministers and government departments over issues affecting them.

Special meeting

I attended the MRAQ’s special meeting on Wednesday night as a non-member and observer and agreed — at president Chris Mearns’s request — not to publish anything from the special meeting.

Chris agreed to an interview, then demanded we postpone publication for a couple of weeks.

After we disagreed and I implored him of the need to publish immediately, the MRAQ decided to announce the decision on their Facebook page and official website.

The notice of closure follows inactivity on the website and Facebook page since September 2019, including no notice of Wednesday night’s meeting.

Here is the official MRAQ closure announcement:

It is with great regret that notice is herein given that the Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland Inc. will no longer be in operation.
This situation has come about due to the Association being no longer been able to comply with its Rules Of Association and hence not being able to meet the requirements of the Queensland Fair Trading legislation.
The lack of ability to comply with these requirements is a direct result of insufficient persons being willing to offer their service to the Association.
The incumbent departing Executive Committee wishes to thank all of the members who over the almost 40 years of the Association existence worked to represent the interests of motorcyclists. Without
these people the world of motorcycling in Queensland would be a far less friendly place.
Actions in accordance with the relevant laws have been commenced to cease operation of the Association and are currently being implemented.

Rider apathy

Chris and secretary Steve Clancy spent several minutes after Wednesday’s special meeting complaining about the apathy of riders and the dramatic drop-off in membership.

He said they had spent eight-and-a-half years working hard for Queensland riders and listed their achievements as fighting against the Draconian VLAD anti-association laws and their work to secure lane filtering laws (including the only edge filtering rule in Australia) and more sensible laws on helmet certification and motorcycle controls.

representationChris speaks to VLAD protestors in 2013

Motorbike Writer has covered all these issues as well as acknowledged the work the MRAQ has done to secure motorcycle parking in the Brisbane CBD.

The first AGM in September and another a couple of months later did not attract a quorum of seven members, so the special meeting was called.

There were only five members at Wednesday’s special meeting, but the business of winding up the MRAQ is still legal under Queensland association incorporation rules.

Collapse of rider representation

The collapse of the MRAQ is symptomatic of rider representation throughout the country.

There seems a general apathy among riders to get involved, yet a lot of vocal “keyboard warriors” quick to decry autocratic injustices and a lack of acknowledgement of their existence by authorities.

After the special meeting, Chris expressed concern about future rider representation and said younger riders needed to step up.

His initial reluctance to send out a timely official closure notice could also be symptomatic of an MRAQ that was out of touch with riders.

Could the MRAQ collapse simply be the tip of the iceberg?

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Opinion: Independent Indian dealerships

Riders and owners are understandably concerned about news that Indian Motorcycle Australia will close its Australian company-owned stores and move to a system of independent, privately owned dealerships.

The four stores in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth are opulent, to say the least, with customer service to match.

They match the standards set by main competitor and fellow countryman, Harley-Davidson.

However, the expensive model which began in 2008 with Victory Motorcycles was simply economically unsustainable, especially in these tougher times.

Mrs MotorbikeWriter saddles up for the Victory/Indian shop ride independent 

Independent model

Piaggio tried much the same thing with company-owned Vespa boutiques that failed.

The Indian-owned dealerships probably only lasted under company ownership as long as they did because of rumoured “creative accounting” that borrowed from Polaris ATV sales to make the economic case for Indian and Victory which was axed in 2017.

The company now says moving to an independent model will be an advantage for customers with a more comprehensive network of dealerships across the country.

They have also confirmed ongoing warranty and parts support.

Pause for concernIndian motorcycle independent dealership

But do customers have pause for concern that there will be enough independent dealers?

We asked former Indian Motorcycle executive and now a senior motorcycle industry consultant Robert Pandya for his take on the Aussie move.

“To me it is only logical that a factory-owned dealership model needed was to establish a brand in a market over to a dealer-owned model,” he says.

Robert Pandya Bicycle kids will become motorcyclistsRobert Pandya

“Companies as big as Indian / Polaris are big ships with small rudders.

“The needs of a local market in products, training and culture require local understanding and commitment that simply would never efficiently filter up to the budget police at a corporate HQ, especially one on another continent.”

However he says the longtime Indian Motorcycle brand has “weathered significant storms” since its inception in 1901.

He says it will get stronger in Australia as dealer locations are increased through a more traditional model.

stores Victory-Indian-Perth-Dealership-Artistic-Render.jpgPerth store opened in 2016

“It will also end any issues of parity in factory Vs dealer shops,” he says.

“All dealers that sell reasonable volumes should have the same opportunity for products.”

As Indian launches its new Challenger range on the market, Robert says the challenge for the company is to produce new products that meet consumer wants.

“The product range will need to expand for local dealers to buy-in,” he says.

“If customers took the time to write in to companies in bulk (instead of bitching on some invisible forum) companies will respond to needs that will be better executed by an engaged local dealer.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Toby Price slides in shortened Dakar stage

Toby Price has dropped further off the lead after the marathon 534km 10th stage of the Dakar Rally was substantially shortened for safety reasons following several crashes.

Organisers said their rescue helicopters were all deployed for fallen riders and with strong winds picking up, they decided on a shortened stage.

The Aussie title defender and leading KTM rider finished fourth, some three minutes behind Joan Barreda Bort (Honda, Spain), losing another couple of minutes to outright leader Ricky Brabec (Honda, USA).

If Brabec is victorious, he will be the first American to win the event and break KTM’s streak of 18 wins.

Toby says he is still “comforted” by the fact that he virtually sacrificed his third rally win by being the first to stop for fallen rider Paulo Goncalves in the seventh stage.

Sadly Paulo later died and the eighth stage was cancelled in his honour, leaving less opportunity for Toby to make up time.

Shortened course

Toby Price slips in shortened courseToby tackles the dunes

“Today’s stage was cut short due to safety reasons,” Toby says.

There were a lot of drops throughout the course and I guess when we’re all traveling at such high speeds they do catch you out. I hope there were no serious injuries today and wishing those injured competitors a fast recovery.

“The cancellation of today’s stage has made it that much tougher for us to make up the time we needed. I was hoping to start a little further back tomorrow to make up that time but unfortunately that won’t be happening.

“We’re still in this race and aiming to get to the finish line strong.”

“Now I can really focus on the small number of remaining days to try and close this gap up to the lead,” he says.

Toby is dedicating his race to the loss of his friend, Paulo or “Speedy”.

Toby Price slips in shortened courseToby out on his own

Top 5 rankings

1 9 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 34H 12′ 18”
2 5 ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING 34H 38′ 02” + 00H 25′ 44”
3 12 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 34H 39′ 27” + 00H 27′ 09”
4 1 RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM 34H 40′ 51” + 00H 28′ 33” 00H 02′ 00”
5 17 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 34H 53′ 49” + 00H 41′ 31” 00H 01′ 00”

Other AussiesRodney Faggotter shortened

Today it was fellow Aussie Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha) who stopped to help a fallen rider.

“He’s going to be ok and got him in the chopper,” says the veteran Queensland competitor.

Rodney stopped in the neutral zone and said it seemed they had run out of choppers to ferry the injured riders.

The consistent rider had his first non-top-20 finish with a 39th placing which only drops him one place to 134th outright.

Despite the big dropout of injured riders in the shortened stage, the other Aussie bike competitors are still in the event.

Fellow Aussie Ben Young (KTM) finished 76th and moves up three spots to 6oth in his second Dakar while Matthew Tisdall (KTM) finished 101st and moves up two spots to 97th.

For the first time the Dakar rally is being run in the one country, Saudi Arabia, after being run in 35 countries on three continents since 1978.

Toby aids firefightersToby Price Dakar Rally super marathon stage

Like many Aussie sports stars and celebrities, Toby is raising money for the bushfire appeal.

He is auctioning his starting jersey and pants for firefighters

Toby is also doing his bit for the current critical bushfire situation by auctioning his starting jersey and pants with proceeds going to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

It is open worldwide, just send in your bid in Australian dollars on his Facebook page or Instagram.

Current highest bid is still $13,001.

Auction closes on 18 January at 5pm (AEST).

If you can’t bid, please donate on this link. Sp far he has raised abouot $5000.

Jack Miller's MotoGP helmetJack Miller’s MotoGP helmet

Meanwhile, Aussie MotoGP racer Jack Miller put his 2018 MotoGP helmet up for auction to raise money for the bushfire crisis.

The auction has closed with 22 bids and the winner bidding $18,000.

Jack will sign and send the helmet to the winning bidder.

Two-time MotoGP champ Casey Stoner says he will auction an old race suit for the first time, but no details are available yet.

Meanwhile, Deus Ex Machina founder Dare Jennings is raffling off his 1977 Triumph T140V.

Triumph bushfireDeus Trumpy

Money raised will be split among the Australia Red Cross, Save The Animals and Rural Fire Service.

You have the chance to win it by making at least a $50 donation via PayPal.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com