Tag Archives: motorcycles

Long Way Up coming to Apple TV+

The latest Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor adventure, the Long Way Up, will be shown on Apple TV+ in the next few months.

In the third and probably final “Long Way” series, the Brits ride Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire motorcycles from Tierra Del Fuego at the bottom of South Africa to LA.

Apple TV+

There is no date for the series to start, but when it does, you can get a free seven-day trial and binge-watch the series.

If you enjoy Apple TV+ you can then subscribe in Australia for $A7.99 a month.

Unlike their previous adventures on BMW GS machines, this one was on Harley’s new electric LiveWire which will be available in Australia in September for a whopping $A49,995 ($NZ53,995).

That’s more than the feature-laden Ultra Limited tourer at $A41,495!

While the specially modified bikes did get the pair to their destination, Ewan admits he ran out of “juice” a couple of times and even had to hitch rides with cars by hanging on to the B pillar.

The admissions came in an interview on the American Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in February 2020.

In the interview, he explains that they chose electric motorcycles because they “wanted to be part of that new wave of transportation”.

“It proved to be amazing and quite tricky at the same time,” McGregor tells Fallon.

“Charging is the issue. There’s no real infrastructure for charging in Patagonia, for instance.

“We’d just knock on people’s doors and ask if we could plug them in.

“They usually do let us. We’d camp in their garden and we’d plug in.”

However, he said charging two bikes at the same time would sometimes blew the houses’s fuses, so they would charge one at a time.

“People were so generous and lovely about it,” he says.

“We’d ride all morning and then if we stopped to look around the town we’d find somewhere to plug in at a restaurant or a cafe or something.”

Out of juice

Charley and Ewan adventure on LiveWire
Ewan on a LiveWire in South America

According to Harley, LiveWire range is about 150km on the highway and about 235km in the city.

So, what did they do when they ran out of “juice”, Fallon asked?

“Hope for a hill,” McGregor replies.

“I got towed a couple of times. I was the only one that ran out.

“Charley never ran out of juice and he’ll tell you it’s ’cause he’s a better rider than me and it may well be the case.”

(We suspect Charley did not do his usual frequent wheelies!)

“But I ran out a couple of times, so I’d just hold on to a car.”

Charley and Ewan adventure on LiveWire
Ewan and Charley pack their LiveWire electric bikes

He explains how this stunt was performed and we assume it was at slow speed and could have been using one of the back-up vehicles.

“If you open the back windows and the front of the car you could get your arm around a pillar and you just muscle along like that for a while,” he explains.

Ewan says the first time he saw this done was in New York when he was about 21 or 22 riding in a yellow cab.

“A Harley-Davidson guy — a Hells Angels guy — who’d run out of gas or his bike was broken down clattered into the side of the cab, grabbed hold of the pillar and he shouted the address of the Hells Angels clubhouse to the driver who just took him there and didn’t ask any questions; just drove there like that.

“I think the Hells Angels owe me $5.26.”

Not sure if we believe that, but it’s a great story.

And it sounds like Long Way Up on Apple TV+ will also be another great series.

It’s been a long time between trips for Ewan and Charley.

From 14 April 2004 to 29 July 2004, they rode across Europe and the USA in Long Way Round and from 12 May to 4 August 2007 they rode from the top of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa for Long Way Down.

With Ewan becoming increasingly busy with Hollywood movies, Charley squeezed in the 2006 Dakar rally for his series, Race to Dakar, and has produced several other travel shows.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

User-pays incentive for electric vehicles

An automotive group is calling for a”fairer” distance-based user-pays road tax system and incentives to encourage more people to take up electric vehicles.

The Motor Trades Association of Queensland call supports the Queensland-based Motorcycle Advocacy Group Facebook group who last month called for rego to be scrapped and a user-pays tracking system for electric vehicles.

Future mobility

MTAQ CEO Dr Brett Dale says the uptake of electric scooters and motorcycles will have a “huge place in the future of mobility”.

“They are undoubtably more environmentally friendly and the uptake should be supported with a focus on safe riding,” he says.

“We all know the future of mobility will be underpinned by electrification and micro-mobility options will be a big part of that future.

“Government needs to support the new clean technology revolution through incentives for all vehicles that contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions.

“A fair user-pays system would appear to be the most equitable and costs should be determined by the volume of kilometres driven, where the vehicle has travelled (city congestion), the emissions and possibly the size of vehicles.”

Cost incentive

He says the expense of electric vehicles is a major impediment to their uptake.

For example, the new Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire will cost $A49,995 ($NZD53,995).

Harley-Davidsoxn LiveWire electric motorcycle year one day
Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle

That’s more expensive than all but the Harley CVO range and Trike Glide Ultra Classic. It is more expensive than the feature-laden Ultra Limited tourer at $A41,495 ride away and Freewheeler Trike at $45,995.

Dr Bell says Canada, China, USA, India, Japan and many European countries provide price subsidies and tax reductions, exemptions and credits to encourage the uptake of EVs.

Motorist taxes

Providing an incentive to buy electric vehicles could have two major ramifications for the community if there is a shift from petrol-powered to EVs.

One would be a power drain on the already stressed electricity grid.

However, some EV manufacturers such as Damon Motorcycles are including or considering a system were the vehicle actually puts stored power back into the grid, propping it up during peak load times.

Damon Hypersport Premier and HS
Damon Hypersport

The other issue is that road maintenance and construction could be impacted by EV users avoiding the 50c-a-litre fuel tax that contributes $13 billion a year.

However, Dr Dale says a user-pays system based on distance would help fill the funding gap.

More benefits

Dr Dale also points out that the MAG call to scrap rego would benefit people with multiple vehicles.

“It makes sense that second vehicles in particular, are not paying premium prices in registration,” he says.

“Certainly motorcycles can fall into that category and a user-pay system is far more reasonable.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Hit-run driver sentenced on scooter crash

A 55-year-old Toyota Hi-Lux driver who hit and injured a woman, 34, riding a Vespa scooter last August before driving off has been sentenced in a Sydney court today.

Paul Andrew Brown was found guilty in May at a hearing in Burwood Local Court on charges of failing to stop and render aid, negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, and not exchanging particulars.

He was sentenced to undertake a 12-month intensive correction order, an 18-month community correction order, both supervised by Burwood Community Corrections.

His licence has also been disqualified for 18 months and he was ordered to pay a $600 fine for not exchanging particulars.

The collision occurred at the intersection of Wellbank and Spring streets, in Concord, about 7.45pm on 14 August 2019.

Police told the court the driver of the utility failed to stop to render assistance to the rider and continued to drive north on Spring Street.

The scooter rider, a 34-year-old woman, suffered serious injuries and was taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Crash Investigation Unit officers found the ute parked in North Strathfield about 2.30pm the next day.

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

Spate of hit-and-run crashes

The incident follows a worrying spate of hit-and-run crashes leaving riders 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

American state relaxes helmet laws

Most riders in the American state of Missouri will soon be able to ride without a helmet if they are aged 26 or more and have health insurance.

That leaves only 19 out of 50 states where all riders must wear a helmet.

This is not the first time Missouri has been attempted to repeal its helmet law.

Missouri voted in May 2019 to repeal its helmet laws, but Governor Mike Parson vetoed the Bill only because of a provision to confiscate licences of people who don’t pay fines for minor traffic offences.

The Governor had no qualms with allowing riders over 18 to decide whether they want to wear a helmet or not.

In fact, Parson supported repealing the helmet rule as a legislator.

So on Tuesday, he signed the proposal as part of wider legislation. The new helmet law will come into effect from 28 August 2020.

American laws

crash accident helmet Sturgis insurance claim

Missouri is not the only American state reversing mandatory helmet laws for all riders. There have been several in recent years including Nebraska which last year finally rejected the idea.

US helmet laws were introduced in 1966 when the feds withheld 10% of states highway construction funds unless they introduced certain safety regulations, including helmet laws.

Within a decade, 47 states had complied.

But in 1975, Congress amended the Highway Safety Act to prevent the use of federal highway funding as leverage against states.

Despite evidence of helmets protecting riders form death and severe head injury, 28 states have repealed their helmet laws with more likely to follow.

It seems strange to Australian riders since we were the first nation in the world to make helmets compulsory in 1961.

Most American states introduced compulsory helmet laws in 1967, but there is a growing movement toward “more freedom” for riders with a strong civil liberties lobby actively fighting the laws.

In recent years, states such as Michigan have relaxed their helmet laws and the latest to consider the move is Tennessee, despite the overwhelming evidence that helmets save lives.

Safety

As Dudley (William H Macy) tells Woody (John Travolta) in “Wild Hogs”: “62 per cent of all motorcycle fatalities could be prevented with the use of an approved DOT helmet.”

Liberal helmet laws
Wild Hogs

According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for every 100 motorcyclists killed in crashes while not wearing a helmet, 37 could have been saved had they worn helmets.

Yet, the use of motorcycle helmets in the US continues to decline to about half from 71% in 2000.

So the temptation when you visit America is to try some of that freedom for yourself.

I must admit to having tried it a few times, usually at slow speeds around town, but on one occasion at the speed limit on an Indiana highway.

While I felt very vulnerable, I have to admit it was absolutely exhilarating … but also deafening.

The wind in your hair is one thing, but the wind in your ears is another.

It also blows your hat off! I’m surprised Billy in Easy Rider could ride without getting his cowboy hat blown off.

Liberal helmet laws
Motorbike Writer in Indiana

State laws

When you are again able to fly to the United States, maybe for Daytona Bike Week in March or the Sturgis Rally in August, don’t get too excited about not wearing a motorcycle helmet.

As soon as you get off the plane in California, you will have to wear a helmet to ride. In fact, 20 states, mainly on the west and east coasts of the US, have compulsory helmet laws.

American states with motorcycle helmet laws for all riders are: Alabama, California, DC, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

Only three states (Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire) have no helmet use law.

The remaining 28 states have varying laws requiring minors to wear a motorcycle helmet while six of those states require adult riders to have $10,000 in insurance and wear a helmet in their first year of riding.

About half the states also allow you to ride a low-powered motorcycle such as a 50cc bike or scooter without a helmet.

State Riders Required To Have Helmets
Alabama All riders
Alaska 17 and younger
Arizona 17 and younger
Arkansas 20 and younger
California All riders
Colorado 17 and younger and passengers 17 and younger
Connecticut 17 and younger
Delaware 18 and younger
District of Columbia All riders
Florida 20 and younger
Georgia All riders
Hawaii 17 and younger
Idaho 17 and younger
Illinois No law
Indiana 17 and younger
Iowa No law
Kansas 17 and younger
Kentucky 20 and younger
Louisiana All riders
Maine 17 and younger
Maryland All riders
Massachusetts All riders
Michigan 20 and younger
Minnesota 17 and younger
Mississippi All riders
Missouri All riders (changes on 28 Aug 2020)
Montana 17 and younger
Nebraska All riders
Nevada All riders
New Hampshire No law
New Jersey All riders
New Mexico 17 and younger
New York All riders
North Carolina All riders
North Dakota 17 and younger
Ohio 17 and younger
Oklahoma 17 and younger
Oregon All riders
Pennsylvania 20 and younger
Rhode Island 20 and younger
South Carolina 20 and younger
South Dakota 17 and younger
Tennessee All riders
Texas 20 and younger
Utah 17 and younger
Vermont All riders
Virginia All riders
Washington All riders
West Virginia All riders
Wisconsin 17 and younger
Wyoming 17 and younger

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Is Jawa developing long-range electric?

Former Czech motorcycle company Jawa is now developing an electric motorcycle in India that could have the longest range yet.

There is hardly a motorcycle company in the world that is not developing an electric motorcycle, so it comes as no surprise that rumours have surfaced that the now Indian manufacturer is also working on an electric bike.

But what is surprising is the look and performance of the bike.

Rather than developing something that looks like a sci-fi movie prop, the traditional manufacturer is developing an electric bike with similar design to the modern retro models.

It will also have similar range!

Since the current Jawa 42 model has a 14-litre tank and sips fuel at 37.5km/l, that’s range of 525km.

Jawa Classic Legends
Jawa 42

That would make it the longest range of any electric motorcycle on the market.

Interestingly, Indian startup Mankame Motors is working on an affordable electric motorcycle capable of 250km/h and 480km range to hit the market in 2022.

Mankame Motors EP-1 electric motorcycle with a claimed 480km range vector
Mankame Motors EP-1 electric motorcycle

The current (pun intended) longest range record is 360km which belongs to Zero Motorcycles with the extended battery fitted.

Jawa developing bike independently

Indian auto manufacturer Mahindra bought the rights to make Jawa for the Indian market and in November 2018 they released their Classic Legends models.

Jawa Classic Legends
Mahindra relaunches Jawa in 2018

Mahindra has an electric department that is making various electric vehicles, but Jawa is developing the electric Jawa project totally independently.

It is believed Jawa is outsourcing some of its development which would allow them to cherry-pick the latest developments in battery and motor technology.

But most interestingly, the companies working on the project have been told to make the motorcycle close to their petrol models, including design, mileage and power.

That’s interesting, because a traditional look and long range would certainly appeal to motorcycle riders.

However, there would be little appeal in the low power of the modern Jawa which has output of just 20kW (27bhp) and 28Nm of torque.

Jawa Classic Legends
Jawa Classic

In fact, the main attractions of electric motorcycles are their speed, acceleration, instant maximum torque and linear power delivery.

Furthermore, the brief to developers is to make power delivery less linear and more like a conventional bike!

Rumours say the bike will be available in 2023, but probably only in the local market.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Women who ride motorcycles need gear too

(Contributed post)

Women’s motorcycle gear is a hot topic nowadays as more women take to two wheels. Yet time and time again, women mention the same issues when looking for gear: poor fit, clichéd pink colours or floral patterns, and a limited range. Most of these complaints are completely justified.

But Karolina from Liberta Moto recognises that the voices of women in motorcycling matter. “When I first started riding a motorcycle, I didn’t know any other women who rode, but now I barely know someone who doesn’t.”

“Girls need better than this”women's gear female riders

“I started riding a motorcycle five years ago and I traveled everywhere around Sydney and New South Wales,” Karolina says. “When you travel long distances, you want something protective and comfortable to support the longer rides. Let’s be honest, motorcycle gear shops that produce mass amounts of riding gear don’t keep your best interests in mind. Especially for ladies!”

In retail shops, she’s used to seeing bulky gear with ornate floral patterns—a stereotypical pattern she’s surprised to still see. The online space offers more options for women, but nonetheless, few brands cater to motorcycle-riding females.

Even with gear that looks nice, it doesn’t always have the benefits of functionality. Karolina recalls: “I remember when I bought my first jacket. It was the best of the worst—bulky, heavy and stiff. At least it was in a beautiful bright red colour. Having to wear this uncomfortable, bulky and unflattering ladies’ riding jacket in the early days, I thought ‘girls need better than this!’

Motived for her community, Karolina decided to provide girls with better gear, and in 2019, Liberta Moto was born.

Creating the Perfect Jacket

“Living in Australia where the summers can be very hot, riding in a heavy leather jacket is the worst feeling; always sweaty and hot as hell. I often ended up riding a bike without wearing a jacket at all, and I felt very unsafe and uncomfortable.” Since retail stores only offered fabric (or plastic) jackets—mass produced and lacking in comfort and style—Karolina decided to make her own.

women's gear female riders
Sugar Glider

She started with the Sugar Glider women’s motorcycle jacket: a versatile, buttery soft leather jacket that looks great both on and off the bike, made with women in mind. Specifically designed for summer, it features large, perforated panels for airflow but also comes with a removable inner layer, providing warmth on colder days.

The Sugar Glider has received high praise from the female motorcyclist community, and is now being sold online and in select stores across Australia and the US.

In order to achieve comfort and avoid a plastic feel, the jacket’s armour is impact reactive, meaning it hardens on impact, but is also soft, like memory foam. It comes fitted with removable CE Level 1 armour for the shoulders and elbows and CE Level 2 armour for the back.

As much as style was a concern, so was safety. “I needed to make sure the jacket was properly equipped with safety features, so I sought advice from professionals in the industry. The design was developed in consultation with a leather garment professional and with a professional in racing industry, a trusted well-known brand that make road and racing suits.”

And Don’t Forget the Boys

women's gear female riders
Men’s jacket

Leveraging the success of the women’s Sugar Glider jacket, Liberta Moto also wanted to provide an option for men. “We recognised that the same issues affecting women in summer were also a concern for men, so we decided to redesign the Sugar Glider specifically to suit men’s body type.”

Just like its sister, the men’s Sugar Glider is exceptionally light, comfortable and highly functional, looks great and keeps you cool during warmer rides. The success of the men’s Sugar Glider jacket has Karolina working on other pieces aimed at men. “We have a number of new products in development, so watch this space!” she exclaims.

New Ventureswomen's gear female riders

But a men’s line isn’t the only new project Karolina has been working on, with Liberta Moto recently launching a range of women’s motorcycle gloves.

Just like the original Sugar Glider jacket, all of the gloves have been designed specifically for women’s hands with a focus on comfort and functionality. “Liberta Moto continues to listen to customers as we strive to bring them impeccably designed and highly functional products”.

While creating motorcycle gear for women is Liberta Moto’s chief goal, it’s certainly not their only one. “We are working to expand our collection and support riders in the industry, as well as planning to make educational motorcycling videos on YouTube. Our aim is to build a supportive, educational community.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

CFMoto 300SR price announced

The first fully faired sports model from Chinese motorcycle manufacturer CFMoto, the 300SR, has arrived in Australia.

Importers Mojo Motorcycles say the 300SR is available in Nebula Black or Turquoise Blue for $5790 ride away with a three-year warranty.

In fact, all CFMoto bikes purchased from until the end of the year receive the extended warranty up on the standard two-year factory unlimited km warranty.

The main rivals to the 300SR are the Honda CBR300R at $5749, KTM RC390 ($5995), Suzuki GSX250R ($5790) and Yamaha YZF-R3 ($6299).

CFMoto 300SR featuresCFMoto 300SR

The novice sports bike has low handlebars and an aggressive riding stance and is powered by a 300cc single-cylinder engine with 21kW (29hp) at 8750rpm and 23.5Nm of torque at 7250rpm.

It features all LED lighting and a new colour TFT display with Sport and Eco modes and auto-adjust screen brightness that matches ambient light.

The display offers integrated functions such as rpm, gear, speed and even mobile phone connectivity.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

COVID covers protect motorcycle riders

As Victoria considers stage 4 lockdowns, perhaps they should implement these COVID-19 covers that protect riders from their contagious pillions!

Two types of covers have been officially approved for use on motorcycle taxis in the Phillipines.

However, the government has not approved makeshift covers for other riders as they say they could be dangerous.

But that hasn’t stopped some riders who have invented their own protectors.

Joan Melani Mateo shared this photo on Facebook of the steel and plastic shield made by her husband Noel Alapar.covid covers

The Philippines and some other Asian countries, have limited pillions to married couples and partners only and they have advised them to wear face masks, gloves and helmets.

To prove their re­la­tion­ship, hus­bands and wives are re­quired to present their mar­riage con­tract to authorities while com­mon-law cou­ples and live-in part­ners must have IDs showing they are liv­ing at the same address.

Meanwhile, one Uganda taxi driver who disobeyed the coronavirus curfew has committed suicide in a police station after his bike was impounded.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Chef cooks up custom motorcycles

Brisbane-based French chef Michel Bonet has spent a lifetime cooking as well as cooking up some interesting custom motorcycles including an early supermoto.

The 76-year-old was born in Burgundy and came to Australia in 1968 and spends six months here and six months in his country of birth — that is, until the pandemic!

In this article, Michel tells his story about some of his custom bikes:

Chef customs

Chef Michel Bonet
Chef Michel Bonet

Being a chef and restaurateur can be sometimes be very stressful and irritating. So for someone that loves motorcycles, there is no better way to unwind than to customise your motorcycles. Unfortunately, starting an apprenticeship as a chef in the late ’50s didn’t give much time to learn anything else. Whatever I had to do on my bikes, someone else had to do it for me.

In the ’80s I had a couple of BMW K 100s and it was in a time where motorcycles had no fairing or a basic fairing.

But I thought I could do better than this – someone had to show them how it’s done!

So with the help of Peter Walker from All Bikes (formerly knowns as Universal Cycle) I dressed up the K 100 exactly the way I’d pictured it in my head.

Chef Michel Bonet
Michel’s Silver Dream before his dream went up in smoke!

The Silver Dream was my first attempt as an engineer. But of course this bike wasn’t designed for a full fairing, so it used to overheat.

One day at the petrol station, finishing up paying for petrol, I heard this huge bang. As I looked toward my bike I saw flames billowing out, engulfing the whole thing. Silver Dream went up in smoke.

Supermoto

My second attempt was a slight improvement on the last. This time I wanted to build a supermoto because it was very popular in Europe and not yet in Australia. I remember telling my bikie friends, “This bike would be used for flat track racing in years to come and if good enough, I will sell plenty of them.”

We started with a Honda XL 350 (I had to find a different friend to help me build this one, as Peter had had enough of me) and the result was amazing. The bike looked and felt beautiful. I was picturing myself travelling the world, taking meetings with people wanting to buy my design. But everything always seems bigger and better in your mind. I learnt this when I went to Japan to sell to the Japanese … you’ve heard of that guy who failed selling ice to an eskimo!

Chef supermoto
Michel’s supermoto

However, to this day, I still love that bike, especially the colours green and yellow and the Kangaroo. Something else I had to fight hard for was that paint job – needless to say, I lost that friend too. This poor bike had many more dramas to come to his life … just ask Phill Beaumont.

Bimota resto

Chef Michel Bonet
Bimota YB6

It took me long enough but I learnt a valuable lesson – leave the bikes alone and stick to cooking. So the next bike I bought was a Bimota YB6 Tuatara and leaving it alone was the best thing I did.

Until 33 years of loyal service later, not to mention 70,000km, as you would expect,  she needed and upgrade – a new lease on life – and this time I got it right.

Thanks to me new friend Paul Dale who spent countless hours bringing the Bimota back to its most basic form. It feels better and easier to ride as I don’t have to lean over the tank.Chef Michel Bonet

And here we are and maybe I’m not done as a salesman yet! Because on my next trip to Italy I just might drop into the factory and you never know, they may like the design for future bikes.

As I’m past 76 years  now and even though it’s easier to ride and easier to service, we all know that a 33-year-old motorcycle is always going to be in need of a lot of TLC, which basically means I’m going to need many more friends!

Paul has saved all the parts and bits and pieces because one day I’d like to donate the Bimota to a Museum in Italy. After all, only 60 of these Bimotas were made in 1987 and at the time it was the fastest production bike in the world and not to mention, the most expensive. Can you imagine how many of my other bikes and free fine dining experiences I had to trade in to get my hands on it?

BMW epilogue

I wish my story ended there but I’ve started working on my BMW K 100 RT in France (yes, I have friends in France too…well, for now I do).

BMW K 100 RT

As you can see the fairing has come off and I painted it the colour of my first motorcycle! But it is still a touring bike, as I use it for touring two-up. When one day I won’t be able to ride it anymore, I will do a real cafe racer.

(If you are interested in reading about Michel’s interesting life story and try some of his favourite recipes, you can buy his book, “A Boy From Burgundy” for just $20 including postage by clicking here.)

Now tell us your motorcycle story! Just send photos and details to [email protected]

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

‘Free’ vehicle check service offered

A major Australian insurance company has launched a “free” check on the history of used motorcycles and other vehicles so you don’t buy a lemon.

If you are buying a used motorcycle, you should check to see if it is stolen, has money owing on it, has been written off in a crash or has been damaged in a flood or storm.

Buyers used to check the state-based REVS (Register of Encumbered Vehicles) or VSR (Vehicle Securities Register).

Since 2012, this has been nationalised in Australia under the Personal Property Security Register website which now costs $25.

There are several private websites that offer similar services, but they can be quite expensive and may offer information that is not relevant to your purchasing decision.

Be wary if you simply Google-search for “PPSR” as you will also find private suppliers.

These are only useful if you want a more in-depth report that may show things such as odometer regularities, or “clocking” where the seller winds the odd back.

‘Free’ service

Now Budget Direct insurance company has launched a “free” service.

It says it’s a “car search”, but it also works for motorcycles as Budget Direct does insure motorcycles.

This service may save you a couple of bucks, but you need to know that you have to supply your email and phone number.

After I did a search as a test, Budget Direct contacted me via email for an insurance quote.

I then tried to manually unsubscribe from their email service several times, but it kept throwing up an error.

I have not yet been contacted by phone, but I suspect that may be coming.

So while the service may be free from payment, there could be an associated hassle.

PPSR check

There are several scams that make buying a second-hand motorcycle a risk. Click here for some of the most prominent scams.

At least you can be assured with an official PPSR check that you do not end up buying a lemon, a stolen bike or one that will be repossessed by a finance company because the previous owner still owed money on it.

To make a PPSR check, you will need to supply the vehicle identification number (VIN). Never buy a vehicle from anyone unless they provide the VIN.

You can find the VIN on a registration notice or on the bike’s steering head, front frame or on the bottom of the engine.

It could be on a special plate, or stamped or etched into the frame or engine.VIN PPSR Cheap and easy check on used motorcycles

Turn the handlebars to the left and look on the right side of the frame where the steering head goes through the frame.

In a car, a VIN could be in a number of different places: Wheel arches, dashboard, boot, under the spare tyre, doors, door frames, and in the engine bay.

PPSR can also be accessed for various other personal property such as cars, boats, caravans, pant, machinery, shares and even works of art.

You can also search non-material items such as accounts, intellectual property, investment instruments, or licences.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com