Tag Archives: motorcycles

‘Aussie’ Barry Sheene mementos at auction

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

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

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

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

They include:

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

Bazza history

Barry Sheene
Barry Sheene

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

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

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

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

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

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Another Toy Run falls to COVID

The Melbourne-based Toy Run For the Father Bob Maguire Foundation has been cancelled due the COVID restrictions of 50 people at outdoor events.

It follows the recent announcement that COVID travel restrictions had forced the 43rd Melbourne Toy Run to operate as a virtual event.

In NSW, the 43rd Newcastle Toy Run will collect gifts, but the ride is off, while the Motorcycle Riders’ Association 41st Toy Run in Tasmania will go ahead as a restricted, ticketed event with details sent to ticket holders soon.

Toy Run For the Father Bob Maguire Foundation organiser Cate Hughes says the “tough decision” was made not only because of COVID restrictions but also to protect Fr Bob “who is particularly vulnerable due to his rare illness and age”.

Toy Run procession macka
Father Bob at a previous toy run

However, efforts to raise funds and gifts for the appeal are still going ahead.

Fr Bob or Foundation staff will be at Scotties Garage Toy Run After Party this Sunday afternoon and there are some “mystery rides” still on which will collect funds and gifts for the appeal.

GOMA motorcycle exhibit

There are now three drop-off points: 

  • Morgan & Wacker Harley-Davidson® Melbourne, formerly Northside Harley-Davidson®, 370 Cooper Street, Epping – Monday-Friday: 9:00am-5:30pm & Saturday: 9:00am-3:00pm
  • Bad Boy Bobbers & Customs, 97 Warrigal Road, Hughesdale, Tuesday-Friday 10:00am-5:00pm & Saturday 9:00am-12:00pm
  • Scotties Garage, 71 Miles Grove, Seaford, Saturday 5th December 10:00am-5:00pm; Sunday 6th December 9:00am-7:00pm; and Tuesday 8th, Wednesday 9th & Thursday 10th December 9:00am-2:00pm

“Although very disappointing to have to cancel last minute, I’m quietly confident that the riders, and now members of the public, will show their generosity at our drop-off points, with the added bonus of being able to accept larger toys/items that riders cannot carry eg bicycles, step on scooters etc,” Cate says.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Urgent road repairs a must for rider safety

A massive and potentially lethal pothole on a popular motorcycle road that has been reported to authorities is still not repaired weeks later, says Victorian rider Rodney Brown.

“It was 6.30 on a Sunday morning, dark and foggy, when I came across this road hazard killer,” he says. 

“The water bottle (28cm long and 9cm wide) I placed in it gives you some perspective of this road safety hazard monster, especially for motorcycle riders. 

“This death trap needs to be fixed immediately.”

Rodney reported the pothole on McGeorge Road, South Gisborne, to the local council and VicRoads but says it is still not fixed.

“The road is often used by local motorcycle riders and riders visiting the region who are looking for a scenic ride on a regional road,” he says.

“I rang VicRoads and they referred me on to my local council.

“The council knows about it and only gives these road hazards a quick repair job.

“It has been like this for weeks without any repair.”

Safety issue for riders

Pothole roadworks road hazards inspect
Dangerous road conditions are no laughing matter for riders

Over the past few years we have reported numerous cases where riders have crashed in unacceptable road conditions thanks to poor design, inferior surfacing and a lack of maintenance.

Just this month we reported on a crash were a rider successfully sued over a poorly maintained Victorian road.

Potholes and other road maintenance issues are frequently cited in local and international studies.

A 2018 British Automobile Association survey found that while potholes cause damage to cars, they are a greater injury threat to riders with riders three times more likely to be involved in crashes caused by potholes and poor road surfaces than any other vehicle type.

A 244-page 2016 Austroads report, titled “Infrastructure Improvements to Reduce Motorcycle Casualties”, found that roads need to be better designed, funded and maintained to reduce the risk of motorcycle crashes.

And while riders are urged to report road defects, that only yields a result if the problem is promptly fixed.

If a council or state authority is informed of an issue and a crash occurs before it is fixed, then the authority is culpable.

That may yield a result in terms of compensation, but it does nothing to prevent the accident from happening.

Rodney says there need to be roving road crews available to attend major roads hazards, especially on weekends.

Rodney Brown Rider's call for ute tarps rejected bike lanes
Rodney Brown

“If not there soon should be road crews established to do so,” he says.

“With all the talk from VicRoads and local council nothing has changed in my 50 years as far as fixing regional roads. 

He says the concerns of motorcycle riders in parliament have been abandoned.

“This (pothole) is just another example where our government doesn’t think motorcycle.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Win passes to GOMA motorbike exhibit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other highlights include:

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

GOMA motorcycle exhibit
Literally a brain bucket!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Riders have say in Australian road safety

Australian riders have long been asking for a bigger say in road safety issues that affect one of the most vulnerable groups of road users … and now it looks like that may be on the road ahead.

Last month’s Joint Select Committee on Road Safety final report, Improving Road Safety in Australia, includes 22 recommendations, including a Select Committee on Road Safety with a National Motorcycle Consultative Committee.

If recommendation 12 to establish the motorcycle committee is approved it is expected to include public applications and invitations to individual riders and rider groups.

The Australian Government is reviewing all recommendations and will provide a response in the first half of 2021.

The Office of Infrastructure told us that since it has not yet been approved, the timeline and logistics of invitations and applications have not yet been formalised.

However, they did point out that the Australian Government “supports effective communication with motorcycle groups and other road user groups”. 

“For example, the Australian Motorcycle Council has attended two separate road safety ministerial roundtables, in September 2019 and October 2020, hosted by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz.

In developing the National Road Safety Strategy 2021–30, the Office of Road Safety held targeted consultation meetings with over 50 road safety organisations, industry and non-governmental groups including the Australian Motorcycle Council.”

If recommendation 12 is approved, we will update riders on how they can apply for a seat on the committee.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Riders breathe easier in new Sydney tunnel

The “next gen” in road tunnels recently opened in northern Sydney with the NorthConnex tunnel boasting cleaner air for motorcycle riders.

The tunnel links the M1 Pacific Motorway at Wahroonga to the Hills M2 Motorway at West Pennant Hills in Sydney’s north. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the 9km tunnel as “one of the most significant and eagerly anticipated road infrastructure projects ever delivered in Australia”.

Riders have long complained about exhaust fumes in road tunnels, especially when traffic grinds to a halt.

It’s a long-term health hazard!

Not quite as bad as having a mattress fall off in front of you as this rider found in a Brisbane tunnel.

However, commuting to work and breathing in exhaust fumes every day in a confined tunnel can have a significant impact on riders’ long-term health.

However, Transurban says the NorthConnex twin tunnel will improve Pennants Hill congestion, safety, traffic noise and air quality.

More importantly for riders, it features the latest ventilation systems that meet some of the most stringent standards in the world for operational in-tunnel air quality, says a company spokesperson.

The higher and wider tunnel design enables greater volumes of fresh air to move through the tunnel minimising the potential for emissions to build up and the gentle gradient allowing vehicles maintain consistent speeds reducing vehicle emissions,” she says.

Classic motorcycles BSA

The tunnel has 142 roof mounted jet fans to push air through the tunnel, complementing the natural air flow generated by vehicles, pushing air into the tunnel in a “piston effect” and providing more airflow when traffic flow is slow.

As part of the Conditions of Approval, the in-tunnel and ventilation outlet air quality has been monitored and reported since NorthConnex opened to traffic last month. 

If you are still concerned with the air you great in the tunnel you can see the live air quality data here.

NorthConnex operations and maintenance team monitor the tunnel 24/7 with 850 CCTV cameras with 100% coverage so any incidents or issues are acted on immediately.

“Drivers and riders have been quick to embrace Sydney’s newest tunnel, and we’re seeing traffic flow well in and around Sydney’s newest tunnel,” the spokesperson says.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW headlight lights up your home

A vintage BMW R series headlight is a simple yet elegant piece of styling and now motorcycle tragics can have one in their home as a floor lamp just in time for an illuminating Christmas.

In 2017, Spanish motorcycle accessories company Halley Accessories a stylish and practical motorcycle helmet hanger and has followed up with a helmet wall rack, key rings  and other expensive and esoteric motorcycle-oriented designs.

Halley BMW R floor lamp
Halley BMW R floor lamp and helmet hanger

Now they have added a limited edition Halley R-Lamp floor lamp made from reclaimed vintage BMW R series motorcycles.

The stylish floor lamp also features a stainless steel body and a Nero Marquina marble base.

But wait for it … the price is a whopping €1390 (about $A2250, $US1656).

Halley BMW R floor lamp
Halley BMW R floor lamp

Halley product designer Marc Graells, of Barcelona, is a passionate rider who says he likes to bring his passion into his home.

The backside of each headlight has been restored and painted, but the chrome rings are as found so they have a patina of age.

Barcelona is a European centre for design excellence. Have you heard of the Barcelona chair?

Well, Halley Accessories reflects that design excellence in their products.

“Our commitment to local production and a minimalistic, detail-driven approach to design are key to our project,” they say in their press release. 

“Halley speaks to the unwavering rider, who embodies tenacity and freedom on and off the road; to those with a taste for clean, utility-orientated design and appreciation for great craftsmanship.”

And to those with a fair bit of cash in their wallets!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Tank shape affects rider injuries in crash

The shape of your motorcycle could have a big impact on rider injury in a crash, a landmark Australian study with simulated lab crash test equipment has found.

Tanks with a sharp rise from the seat can increase the risk of pelvic injury, according to the study by Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), an independent, not-for-profit research institute based in Sydney, previously known as the Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute.

The brain and nervous system research centre conducted a three-year in-depth investigation of motorcycle crashes which has led to several other research projects, including the tank study which included simulated lab crash tests with various tank shapes.

This is the first time the interaction between the pelvis and the design of fuel tanks has been studied in this way due to a newly developed test method for physically recreating rider pelvis impacts in simulated crash tests.

“Our crash studies have confirmed previous findings related to the frequency with which the motorcycle fuel tank is a source of groin and pelvic injury demonstrating that there has been little improvement in the crashworthiness over the last few decades,” the study found.

Researchers found that fuel tanks with a lower angle or more gradual rise from the front of the seat to the handlebars were safer and less likely to cause a pelvic injury to the rider during an accident.

They identified that motorcyclists with a more upright posture, such as those riding cruiser bikes, had an increased likelihood of hitting the fuel tank with greater force than those riding bikes where they have a forward-leaning position in the seat such as sports bikes.

About 15% of injuries involving motorcyclists are pelvic injuries, says Dr Tom Whyte, an injury biomechanics engineer and researcher at NeuRA. 

Pelvic injuries from motorcycle crashes can be permanent and result in difficulties with basic activities such as walking, sexual function, or urinating.

They typically occur when the motorbike makes a front-on impact with another vehicle or object and the rider hurtles over the tank and bars.


“In the simulated crash tests, we found differences in fuel tank shape influence the severity of the impact to the pelvis, with fuel tanks rising steeply and abruptly from the bike seat increasing the possibility of injury,” Dr Whyte says.

“There’s likely to be greater protection for a motorcyclist’s pelvis when they are leaning forward. This is because our tests found that there are smaller impact forces between the pelvis and the fuel tank when riders are in this position,” Dr Whyte says.

“The findings show that greater attention to the design of fuel tanks could improve the safety of motorcyclists particularly on motorcycles where riders are more likely to take an upright position while riding,” he said.

The findings are being presented to manufacturers in the hope they will consider them in their bike designs.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

New Aussie motorcycle YouTube channel launches

Thailand’s loss is Australia’s gain with expat Aussie Les Nyerges returning Down Under after 27 years in Thailand creating successful motorcycle and travel channels on YouTube.

Les returned to Brisbane earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and hasn’t been able to return.

“I’ve still got a tub of unopened yoghurt sitting in the fridge,” he says.

“And then there’s my Ducati Monster 795 that I’m desperately missing.”

Les Nyerges
Les Nyerges and his Ducati Monster in happier times in Thailand

Les doesn’t know when he will be able to return to Thailand, so he has decided to start an Aussie-based motorcycle and travel lifestyle channel called Living for the Ride.

And I get to star in the very first edition as the founder of Motorbike Writer. 

I can’t say I’m the most inspiring subject with some even going so far as to say it’s four minutes of their life they will never get back!
However, you have to admit the production values are excellent.

A nd so they should be; Les’s Capital TV company in Thailand produced more than 1000 travel shows which have also been aired on cable TV in Thailand and throughout South East Asia. His YouTube channels also have more than 26,000 followers.

In Australia, Les has established Destination Productions and he has a load of ideas for more videos about Aussie motorcycling.

That has to be a bonus for riders starved of great online video content!

One of his upcoming videos is a fascinating look at a former racer who is returning to the sport to try to crack the lap record at Warwick’s Morgan Park track. We won’t give the ending away … 

Meanwhile Living for the Ride also features a good library of SEA riding videos from his other channels, so there is plenty to get you excited about this YouTube channel.

Les hopes it may eventually turn into an Aussie TV show.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aussie hotspots for roadkill 

I have never seen so many kangaroos on and around the road as I have in the Canberra region and this is now reflected in a study of insurance claims on roadkill crashes by AAMI.

It found that the nation’s capital was the top hotspot for animal collisions.

Hitting animals is not just an inconvenience for riders, but can also be fatal.

In another study we published in 2016, a Suncorp study found kangaroos and wallabies the biggest enemy of riders accounting for 70% of all crashes with animals.

Dogs are next with 7.7% of all motorcycle-versus-animal strikes, but it would have been worse years ago before fencing laws.

AAMI’s study of more than 21,000 AAMI animal collision claims between 1 February 2019 and 31 January 2020 found that almost one third of Australia’s animal-related accidents took place on NSW roads.

Top animal collision hotspots per state


#1 State hotspots



New South Wales






Western Australia


South Australia

Port Augusta



Australian Capital Territory


roadkill doctor
Kangaroos in plague proportions

While Canberra’s reign as Australia’s animal collision hotspot continues for a fourth consecutive year, new entrants to this year’s list include Dubbo in New South Wales, Heathcote in Victoria, Roma in Queensland and Kingston in Tasmania.

Kristie Newton from WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service) said the summer bushfires have wiped out an estimated one billion native animals, and the devastating loss of so much bushland has left many displaced and vulnerable.

“As native animals come closer to the road to feed, drivers should be extra vigilant especially near water sources like creeks or gullies where thick fog can occur and reduce drivers’ visibility.”

Top five animal collision hotspots in each state

New South Wales

1.   Dubbo

2.   Goulburn

3.   Mudgee

4.   Cooma

5.   Inverell


1.   Heathcote

2.   Gisborne

3.   Wallan

4.   Sunbury

5.   Woodend


1.   Roma

2.   Goondiwindi

3.   Moranbah

4.   Middlemount

5.   St George

South Australia

1.   Port Augusta

2.   Mount Gambier

3.   Coober Pedy

4.   Morgan

5.   Whyalla


1.   Kingston

2.   Launceston

3.   Cambridge

4.   Hobart

5.   George Town

Australian Capital Territory

1.   Canberra

2.   Kambah

3.   Belconnen

4.   Hume

5.   Symonston

Click here for our tips on how to avoid becoming roadkill.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com