Tag Archives: motorcycles

Review: CFMOTO 800MT Touring

Somewhere over the past 17 years that Chinese-made CFMOTO motorcycles have been exported to Australia, they have morphed from cheap and cheerful transportation into good value.

Now, with the launch of their new 800MT range of Touring and Sport bikes, starting at $12,990, they have made another transformative leap — to a desirable adventure machine.

Largely due to their association with Austria’s KTM, CFMOTO motorcycles have improved their build quality while piling on the technology.

But more importantly they now seem to have a better understanding of discerning global markets that view motorcycles as more than mere transportation.

I have ridden just about every CFMOTO model imported into Australia in the past 17 years and have been impressed by how much bike you get for your buck.

In fact, maybe a bit too much bike as they are usually overweight.

Weight is still an issue in the 800MT Touring I have been testing. At 231kg, it’s plump for a mid-sized bike. Most of that heft is up high in the 19-litre fuel tank making it top heavy which is not ideal for an adventure bike, especially when the going is slow and technical.

But my other issues with past CFMOTO models — rudimentary suspension and minor glitches such as riding modes that don’t work and nonsensical instrument info — have been wiped out by the 800MT.

This bike simply entices with its quality of finish, high level of creature features and competent handling.

Look at this impressive array of standard features: cruise control, seat and handgrip warmers, rear wheel hugger, adjustable gear shifter, self-canceling indicators, LED lighting including fog/auxiliary lights, conveniently positioned USB and 12-volt chargers, two riding modes, slipper clutch, cornering ABS, crash bars, a huge iPad-sized TFT screen with comprehensive info, hand-adjustable windscreen, fully adjustable suspension, and even Bluetooth connectivity that provides simple navigation commands on the screen.

I wouldn’t be surprised if in a couple of months CFMOTO Australia doesn’t do a deal where they throw in luggage as they have done in the past with other models.

The 800MT range is their first non-learner model.

The Touring ($14,490) and Sport ($12,990) went on sale in January 2022, initially for customers who joined their pre-order campaign, which included $800 worth of free accessories. 

The campaign just about exhausted their initial shipment but they have since received more containers to crank up the stock levels again.

So far, the most popular model is the Touring model which adds tyre pressure monitoring, centrestand, up/down quickshifter, plastic handguards, luggage racks, alloy bashplate, steering damper and attractive “gold” wire-spoked wheels that accommodate tubeless tyres. They even feature handy right-angle valve stems.

Whew! That’s an exhaustive list of features on top of the already impressive array of standard equipment.

But is it all just frosting on a stale cake?
No, this is a fresh and exciting bike with capable performance, ride and handling for touring our wide, brown land.

That’s not to say there aren’t some drawbacks, apart from the top-heavy weight.

That weight issue should be of particular concern to any rider shorter than me.

At 183cm (6’), I have trouble putting my feet flat on the ground when stopped because of the tall 825mm seat. It’s not just the height, but the width that prevents you getting your heels on the ground.

On a couple of occasions I almost dropped the top-heavy bike when stopped on slippery or unstable surfaces.

You will also have to be careful about where you park the bike as the side stand is too short and it could topple over on a sloped or rough surface.

The 800MT range is powered by KTM’s 799cc parallel-twin engine that has been one of their best units for the past five years.

The twin is a capable unit, although the power band here is fairly narrow and you have to judiciously use the gears for stirring motivation.

It will pull strongly from 3200 revs, but loses breath about 5000, well short of the limiter at 9500rpm.

There is also a jerkiness in the throttle and a surging at constant throttle going about 50-60km/h. I believe there is a software fix coming for this.

The engine has little low-down torque for tricky off-road situations, though the low gearing helps.

However, its overall gearing is too low with the engine spinning at 4400revs at highway cruising speed (100km) in sixth gear.

That’s probably why the fuel economy is a disappointing 5.6 litres per 100km.

It’s not as low geared as the 700 range, but an optional sprocket for higher gearing would be welcome for Australian conditions.

Otherwise, the transmission with up and down clutchless quickshifter feels reasonably slick and functional, while the slipper clutch works well to prevent rear-wheel lockups on handfisted downshifts.

When you work the gears and run the engine hard there is an entertaining, but not annoying, growl from the exhaust.

The engine runs quite hot and there is a blast of hot air blown from the radiator directly on to your shins. While this is expectedly uncomfortable in slow-moving urban traffic, it is even noticeable out on the highway.

You will have to wear long boots, otherwise it could become intolerable in a Queensland summer. Of course in winter, it’s an advantage.

The 800MT comes with two riding modes: Sport and Rain. The latter dampens throttle response and is handy for slippery conditions such as wet roads or gravel. It helps compensate for the lack of traction control which many adventure riders may miss.

CFMOTO uses Spanish J.Juan brakes (now owned by Brembo) on most of its bikes and they are reasonable performers.

On the 800MT they feature twin discs up front which lack some initial bite, which is not an issue when riding on gravel.

If you hit the brakes hard in a panic stop, the hazard lights automatically flash which is a great safety feature that should be standard on all bikes.

The cornering ABS is also a worthy safety device that prevents the front tyre from slipping out from under you on a bend. 

The ABS does allows minor rear-wheel lockups that may be disconcerting for some but are handy for riding on dirt roads where the tyre tread needs to dig into the gravel.

Ride is on the plush side so it suits our bumpy urban streets as well as B-grade country roads.

Since the suspension is adjustable for compression, rebound and preload, most riders should be able to find suitable settings for their weight and riding style. However access to the rear shock preload adjuster with a C spanner is difficult as it is hidden under the tank and seat.

Steering is ponderous with a 19-inch front wheel and wide bars, but again this suits adventure riding for which it is intended.

Cruise control is a welcome addition and is easy to operate.

It can only be deactivated by hitting the brakes or pulling in the clutch, not rolling back the throttle.

I found it did allow the bike to drift over the set speed by up to 5km/h, even on a flat surface, so keep an eye on your speedo.

The massive TFT instruments have a plethora of information on the home screen which is great. No need to scroll through several screens to get all the info you want.

There are also several other screens for controlling a host of other functions such as the seat and hand grip warmers.

Surprisingly, you can change most of these settings on the fly which can be a distraction. 

You can also hook up the bike to the CFMOTO RIDE app, which is available across iOS and Android platforms. All you have to do is punch in the bike’s VIN to register on the app which also opens up the navigation function.

The 800MT has one of the biggest instrument screens on any bike and it is easy to read in most conditions, expect when the sun is shining directly on the screen.

Riders will find the 800MT has a neutral riding position with a plush seat that should see you comfortably through its 300+km fuel range without a break.

Pillions will also find their wide and flat perch very comfy with generous handles to grip.

The handlebars may be too high for some short riders, but you can easily roll them back for a more relaxed reach. You certainly won’t need bar risers to accommodate riding in the standing position across rough surfaces.

Those bars are also quite wide at 853mm which makes legal lane filtering tricky. 

Perched atop the bars are large truck-style mirrors which give a big and clear view behind but can snag on SUV wing mirrors in traffic.

The windscreen provides moderate protection and can be adjusted 5cm by turning two knobs on either side of the screen. It would have been better if it could be adjusted by just one knob or lever on the left so you can keep your right hand on the throttle grip.

Tall riders may experience some wind buffeting even in the highest position.

At night the LED headlight casts a very bright and white headlight with good dispersion and eyebrow-singeing high beam, especially when used with the auxiliary driving lights, although you will have to disable the auto light function.

Despite some shortcomings, this is now a desirable bike for Aussie adventure riders.

The 800MT competently fulfils its design intention to tour a variety of terrain. Just throw on some luggage and go chase the horizon. 

CFMOTO 800MT Tech Specs

Price $12,990 rideaway (Sport), $14,490 (Touring) 
Warranty 3 years, unlimited km
Engine Liquid-cooled 799cc parallel twin
Power 70kW @ 9000rpm
Torque 77Nm @ 7500rpm
Transmission Six-speed, slipper clutch, chain drive
Suspension  43mm KYB upside-down forks, fully adjustable, 160mm travel; KYB mono shock rear, fully adjustable, 150mm travel
Brakes 320mm twin discs, J.Juan 4-piston radial callipers; 260mm rear disc, J.Juan twin-piston calliper, cornering ABS
Wheels 19×2.5; 17×4.25 cast
Tyres Maxxis tubeless 110/90-19; 150/70/17
Wet weight 231kg
Wheelbase 1531mm
Seat 825mm
Clearance 190mm
Length 2234mm
Width 853mm
Height 1277mm
Fuel 19 litres

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Fight to save Davidson ancestral home

“They may take away our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom … or the Davidson family cottage!”

That’s the battle cry of a group of Scots fighting to protect the ancestors cottage of the Davidson see of the iconic American motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson.

The Davidson Legacy Preservation group is a non-profit making group working to preserve, retain and enhance the accessibility of the Davidson Cottage in Netherton, Angus, Scotland UK. 

Group chair Nyree Aitken says they hope to promote the family home and its historical importance to the biker community.

Davidson Legacy Preservation group (from left): Seth Wing (vice chair), Nyree Aitken (chair), Jasper Watson, behind her Kevin Webster, Andy Harper (secretary), Mike Sinclair (founder), David Fraser, Maggie Sherrit (founder) and front is Ian Wallace (treasurer)

“The cottage was put up for sale as the current owners wish to retire but the only offers they have had have been from developers to knock it down and build new houses,” Nyree says. 

“We as a community of bikers, do not want such a significant part of history to be lost.”

The group is hoping to secure charity status before launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise £500,000 to buy the Davidson cottage and employ a project worker to run and maintain the Davidson Legacy for future generations.

Harley-Davidson executive Bill Davidson and boss Jochen Zeitz visited the cottage last summer when filming the Sporter S promotional video. 

Bill comments in the video below of the “awe-inspiring and emotional experience” of visiting his ancestral home. 

“The fact that they have preserved it for riders around the world to come and enjoy and spend time here, pretty awesome,” All says.

“Heritage is so powerful and is really unique to our company which I’m so proud of.”

Nyree says Bill’s comments help to keep them motivated andpgoves their campaign is “truly worthwhile”.

In 2008, Harley-Davidson enthusiasts Mike Sinclair, Maggie Sherrit and Keith Mackintosh found the cottage, by then a crumbling ruin. 

The property was earmarked for demolition to make way for a new housing development. Luckily, those three decided not to let that happen. 

They bought the cottage and set up the Davidson Legacy to save the site as a tribute to the pioneering Davidsons. 

For four years the Davidson Legacy team has worked tirelessly to restore the little house to how it would have looked when Sandy and Margaret left it in 1858 to make the gruelling trip to America.

“The restoration of The Davidson Cottage was a big undertaking and an arduous task even with all the help from local bikers but, in the end, it was all worth it,” Nyree says. 

“Maybe it reflects the long, difficult journey that Sandy and Margaret made with their children, including little William C, who went on to become father to the founders of the world’s best-known motorcycles.”

2022 BMW K1600 Grand America 719 Midnight Edition

Sandy and Margaret Davidson settled in Milwaukee where Sandy found work for himself as a carpenter in a local railroad company.

Their surviving three sons and two daughters also adjusted well to their new lives, and each prospered in their own way. 

His middle son, William C. Davidson (1846-1923) was born in Scotland and grew up in Angus, but he became a man in America. 

“He is pivotal to the story of the Davidson Legacy because he had the attributes of technical skill, an analytical mind and an aptitude for problem solving,“ Nyree says.

“These qualities are often considered typically Scottish as a nation of inventors and innovators. 

“More importantly, they are key to understanding the spirit of enterprise in America at the dawning of the twentieth century.”

William C. Davidson, a Scot and a naturalised American, set about building the very first Harley-Davidson workshop for his sons and now is famously known simply as The Shed. 

“He didn’t know it then, but he had laid the foundations for an iconic, internationally recognised, motorcycle-engineering phenomenon,” Nyree says.

You can find out more on the Davidson Legacy website, including a video of ‘Our Story’ which even includes Jean Davidsons visit and many more by clicking here.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aussie Quad Lock launches smart charger

My Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport features an Aussie-designed Quad Lock sitting proudly atop the handlebars.

It not only securely holds my iPhone so I can use it as a satnav, but also charges as I ride with a wireless charger hooked up via a long lead to the USB outlet under my seat.

However, that charging only works when the bike is switched on and it may not be totally waterproof although it hasn’t faulted yet.

Now the clever guys at Quad Lock have introduced a $A49.95 Smart Adaptor that they claim is waterproof, which is great for those on adventure bikes who may wade through water.

The device has an Ingress Protection (IP) rating or rating of IP66.

The first number measures protection from foreign bodies such as dust with 6 being the highest, while the second from 0-9 measures resistance to water, so it’s pretty good. Click here for more details.

It also features the option to have the device charged anytime the phone is on the mount, or only when the ignition is on or an auto mode.

The latter “smart” mode keeps the device switched off until input voltage rises above 13.5V and turns off when input voltage drops below 12.5V to avoid draining your battery drain.

You can easily switch between modes using the toggle. 

It also has in-line fuse and reverse polarity protection in the rare event of a fault. It can be hooked up to a USB outlet or your 12V bike battery.

I love the convenience my Quad Lock offers, but I recommend you also fit their vibration dampener as motorcycle vibrations can cause the camera in some iPhones to stop focusing and it’s not covered by your phone warranty.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Charley Boorman launches podcast

“Long Way” star Charley Boorman is this week launching a ‘mindful’ motorcycle podcast called “The Nod” during the UK’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

The Nod could be a reference to the greeting that motorcyclists give each other as they pass – sometimes a wave, sometimes a symbol or hand gesture or sometimes a nod. Click here for tips on doing the motorcycle wave.

Charley, who famously rode around thew world on three major journeys depicted in book ad TV series with Star Wars actor and longtime pal Ewan McGregor, is this time joined by bike builder Ant Partridge and mean’s health advocate Ben Bowers.

Their new motorcycle culture and mental health podcast is being launched through Motorcycle News and Bauer Media with audio episodes on Apple and Spotify and video episodes on the Motorcycle News YouTube Channel. 

Each episode will feature a guest and we suspect Ewan will be near the top of the list.

While he is not yet confirmed, those who will feature include include former F1 driver Damon Hill, Briths actor Grace Webb, artist D*Face and six-time British Superbike champion, and MotoGP and WSBK racer Shane (Shakey) Byrne.

The show will centre around the love of motorcycles, but also also delve into themes of wellbeing and mental health as they look to normalise and empower conversations. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

DGR goes from Himalayas to sea level

Over the past 10 years, the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) raising awareness and funds for men’s health issues has literally gone from the top of the world to sea level for at least two participants.

In 2018, Sunshine Coast riders Carl Burroughs of Woombye Dental Group and Scott Macken of Scooter Style Noosa donned their finest and rode Royal Enfield Motorcycles to the highest inhabited village in the Himalayan mountains.

“It was a spectacular day, blue sky, snow on the ground and we all dressed up the best we could to get into the DGR spirit,” says Carl.

“This trip epitomised why DGR is so important. A couple of the lads on the Indian trip were struggling with personal mental health issues and the trip allowed them to feel supported and ended up helping them make some great choices which have resulted in a vast improvement to their lives” Carl Burroughs stated.

This year Carl and Scott will host the Sunshine Coast DGR starting in Noosa on May 22.

If you have a classic motorcycle or vintage scooter, you can register for their ride by clicking here or you can sponsor Carl by clicking here.

Details about the route will be revealed when you register.

There will be a post-ride event at The Apollonian Hotel at Boreen Point from 11.30am with a band, competitions, Show ’n’ Shine and prizes in various categories such as best-dressed men, women and. kids.

So far 136 riders have registered and $18,087 in funds raised. Their target is 250 riders and $50,000 in funds raised for Movember.

All funds donated will go to DGR and the prostate and mental health charities they support.

Registration is free, but participants are encouraged to raise money and go in the running for several fundraising prizes.

Now in its tenth year, DGR has raised over $31m and the ride has spread to more than 115 countries from its humble start in Sydney in 2012.

The grand prize this year consists of one-off models from Gibson guitars and Triumph motorcycles that celebrate the link between musical and motorcycle rockers.

The 1959 Legends Custom Edition Gibson Les Paul comes with Triumph design details, while Triumph has unveiled a 1959 Legends Custom Edition T120 Bonneville with Gibson design references.

The guitar has a hand-coach-lined pickguard inspired by the Bonneville’s trademark engine fins, and etched pick-up covers, branded truss rod cover and reissue switch backplate.

Gibson’s Triumph tribute

Triumph’s Bonneville T120 Gibson tribute features a hand-painted sunburst paint scheme like the Gibson with black painted guitar neck and headstock shape, edged with hand-painted coach lining, plus a host of branded touches.

Triumph Bonneville T120 Gibson edition

The one-off models are prizes for the best fundraisers at this year’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.

The collaboration makes a lot of sense as many old rockers love their Bonnevilles and probably suffer from prostate issues!

And late last year Triumph Motorcycles announced it will continue its nine-year association with DGR for five more years.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Triumph recalls Speed Triples on brake issue

Triumph Australia has urged owners of its 2021/22 Speed Triple RS and Speed Triple RR motorcycles to bring their bikes in for a brake check “as soon as possible”.

They have issued a recall notice for the bike blaming a “manufacturer defect”.

The notice says the brake disc may have been fitted incorrectly and “could become loose and interfere with other nearby components preventing the wheel from rotating freely”. 

“This could reduce the expected braking performance,” the notice says.

“A reduction in braking performance could increase the risk of an accident causing injury or death to the rider and/or passenger, or other road users.”2022 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR in red and white

Owners can contact their preferred authorised Triumph Motorcycles dealer to have the work carried out “as soon as possible”, free of charge

The vehicle identification numbers (VINs) of the 200 affected bikes are listed at the end of this article.

This is the first recall for Triumph this year after four last year when there were 46 safety recalls in total, the highest number monitored since 2009 and significantly more than the previous high of 37 in 2018.

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS ON RECALLS

Even though manufacturers and importers usually contact owners when a recall is issued, the bike may have been sold privately to a rider unknown to the company.

Therefore, Motorbike Writer publishes all motorcycle and scooter recalls as a service to all riders.

If you believe there is an endemic problem with your bike that should be recalled, contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.

To check whether your motorcycle has been recalled, click on these sites:

VINs of affected bikes

SMTS3P01SCNAE9934 SMTS3P01SCNAE9985 SMTS3P01SCNAV9061 SMTS3P02SCNAW9085
SMTS3P01SCNAE9935 SMTS3P01SCNAE9986 SMTS3P01SCNAV9062 SMTS3P02SCNAW9086
SMTS3P01SCNAE9936 SMTS3P01SCNAE9987 SMTS3P01SCNAV9063 SMTS3P02SCNAW9087
SMTS3P01SCNAE9937 SMTS3P01SCNAE9988 SMTS3P01SCNAV9064 SMTS3P02SCNAW9088
SMTS3P01SCNAE9938 SMTS3P01SCNAE9989 SMTS3P01SCNAV9065 SMTS3P02SCNAW9089
SMTS3P01SCNAE9939 SMTS3P01SCNAE9990 SMTS3P01SCNAV9066 SMTS3P02SCNAW9090
SMTS3P01SCNAE9940 SMTS3P01SCNAE9991 SMTS3P01SCNAV9067 SMTS3P02SCNAW9091
SMTS3P01SCNAE9941 SMTS3P01SCNAE9992 SMTS3P01SCNAV9068 SMTS3P02SCNAW9092
SMTS3P01SCNAE9942 SMTS3P01SCNAE9993 SMTS3P01SCNAV9069 SMTS3P02SCNAW9093
SMTS3P01SCNAE9943 SMTS3P01SCNAE9994 SMTS3P01SCNAV9070 SMTS3P02SCNAW9094
SMTS3P01SCNAE9944 SMTS3P01SCNAE9995 SMTS3P01SCNAV9071 SMTS3P02SCNAW9095
SMTS3P01SCNAE9945 SMTS3P01SCNAE9996 SMTS3P01SCNAV9072 SMTS3P02SCNAW9096
SMTS3P01SCNAE9946 SMTS3P01SCNAE9997 SMTS3P01SCNAV9073 SMTS3P02SCNAW9097
SMTS3P01SCNAE9947 SMTS3P01SCNAE9998 SMTS3P01SCNAV9074 SMTS3P02SCNAW9098
SMTS3P01SCNAE9948 SMTS3P01SCNAE9999 SMTS3P01SCNAV9075 SMTS3P02SCNAW9099
SMTS3P01SCNAE9949 SMTS3P01SCNAE10000 SMTS3P01SCNAV9076 SMTS3P02SCNAW9100
SMTS3P01SCNAE9950 SMTS3P01SCNAE10001 SMTS3P01SCNAV9077 SMTS3P02SCNAW9101
SMTS3P01SCNAE9951 SMTS3P01SCNAE10002 SMTS3P01SCNAV9078 SMTS3P02SCNAW9102
SMTS3P01SCNAE9952 SMTS3P01SCNAE10003 SMTS3P01SCNAV9079 SMTS3P02SCNAW9103
SMTS3P01SCNAE9953 SMTS3P01SCNAE10004 SMTS3P01SCNAV9080 SMTS3P02SCNAW9104
SMTS3P01SCNAE9954 SMTS3P01SCNAE10005 SMTS3P01SCNAV9081 SMTS3P02SCNAW9105
SMTS3P01SCNAE9955 SMTS3P01SCNAE10006 SMTS3P01SCNAV9082 SMTS3P02SCNAW9106
SMTS3P01SCNAE9956 SMTS3P01SCNAE10007 SMTS3P01SCNAV9083 SMTS3P02SCNAW9107
SMTS3P01SCNAE9957 SMTS3P01SCNAE10008 SMTS3P01SCNAV9084 SMTS3P02SCNAW9108
SMTS3P01SCNAE9958 SMTS3P01SCNAE10009 SMTS3P01SCNAV9085 SMTS3P02SCNAW9109
SMTS3P01SCNAE9959 SMTS3P01SCNAE10010 SMTS3P01SCNAV9086 SMTS3P02SCNAW9110
SMTS3P01SCNAE9960 SMTS3P01SCNAE10011 SMTS3P01SCNAV9087 SMTS3P02SCNAW9111
SMTS3P01SCNAE9961 SMTS3P01SCNAE10012 SMTS3P01SCNAV9088 SMTS3P02SCNAW9112
SMTS3P01SCNAE9962 SMTS3P01SCNAE10013 SMTS3P01SCNAV9089 SMTS3P02SCNAW9113
SMTS3P01SCNAE9963 SMTS3P01SCNAE10014 SMTS3P01SCNAV9090 SMTS3P02SCNAW9114
SMTS3P01SCNAE9964 SMTS3P01SCNAE10015 SMTS3P01SCNAV9091 SMTS3P02SCNAW9115
SMTS3P01SCNAE9965 SMTS3P01SCNAE10016 SMTS3P01SCNAV9092 SMTS3P02SCNAW9116
SMTS3P01SCNAE9966 SMTS3P01SCNAE10017 SMTS3P01SCNAV9093 SMTS3P02SCNAW9117
SMTS3P01SCNAE9967 SMTS3P01SCNAE10018 SMTS3P01SCNAV9094 SMTS3P02SCNAW9118
SMTS3P01SCNAE9968 SMTS3P01SCNAE10019 SMTS3P01SCNAV9095 SMTS3P02SCNAW9119
SMTS3P01SCNAE9969 SMTS3P01SCNAE10020 SMTS3P01SCNAV9096 SMTS3P02SCNAW9120
SMTS3P01SCNAE9970 SMTS3P01SCNAE10021 SMTS3P01SCNAV9097 SMTS3P02SCNAW9121
SMTS3P01SCNAE9971 SMTS3P01SCNAE10022 SMTS3P01SCNAV9098 SMTS3P02SCNAW9122
SMTS3P01SCNAE9972 SMTS3P01SCNAE10023 SMTS3P01SCNAV9099 SMTS3P02SCNAW9123
SMTS3P01SCNAE9973 SMTS3P01SCNAE10024 SMTS3P01SCNAV9100 SMTS3P02SCNAW9124
SMTS3P01SCNAE9974 SMTS3P01SCNAE10025 SMTS3P01SCNAV9101 SMTS3P02SCNAW9125
SMTS3P01SCNAE9975 SMTS3P01SCNAE10026 SMTS3P01SCNAV9102 SMTS3P02SCNAW9126
SMTS3P01SCNAE9976 SMTS3P01SCNAE10027 SMTS3P01SCNAV9103 SMTS3P02SCNAW9127
SMTS3P01SCNAE9977 SMTS3P01SCNAE10028 SMTS3P01SCNAV9104
SMTS3P01SCNAE9978 SMTS3P01SCNAE10029 SMTS3P01SCNAV9105
SMTS3P01SCNAE9979 SMTS3P01SCNAE10030 SMTS3P01SCNAV9106
SMTS3P01SCNAE9980 SMTS3P01SCNAE10031 SMTS3P01SCNAV9107
SMTS3P01SCNAE9981 SMTS3P01SCNAE10032 SMTS3P01SCNAV9108
SMTS3P01SCNAE9982 SMTS3P01SCNAE10033 SMTS3P01SCNAV9109
SMTS3P01SCNAE9983 SMTS3P01SCNAE10034 SMTS3P01SCNAV9110
SMTS3P01SCNAE9984 SMTS3P01SCNAE10035 SMTS3P01SCNAV9111
SMTS3P01SCNAE10036 SMTS3P01SCNAV9112
SMTS3P01SCNAE10037 SMTS3P01SCNAV9113

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Will online swapping kill swap meets?

Will online swapping make motorcycle parts swap meets a thing of the past and will riders choose to swap their bikes online rather than sell them and buy a new bike?

At least one online start-up hopes the future will move toward online swapping just as our habits are shifting toward on-line shopping.

Nicholas Robertson who has founded the Australian online site SwapU.com.au believes there is a future in online swapping.

There are already selling sites that also allow you to swap, but they are not geared up specifically for swapping, so there are few items offered  for a swap.

SwapU.com.au is specifically set up for swapping only.

It makes good economic and sustainability sense to swap. 

I have checked out the site and there are several motorcycles and motorcycle parts being offered for a swap, among a range of other items such as cars, furniture, crafts, electronics, etc.

It even includes a “swipe” section which is similar to those dating apps where you swipe right or left depending on your level of interest.

Nic admits his site is in its early stages and is “pretty glitchy in parts”.  

“It is what happens when it is a part-time gig, I guess,” says the former Kawasaki KX125 owner.  

“There are a lot of interesting ways at coming at the swapping experience from the perspective of the customers.  

“Many people want to have more experiences and don’t have a way to get the cash that they want from a sale to buy their new item.  So they swap.  

“Others are just interested in what they might be able to swap for their item.  People swap for a range of reasons.”

Swapping an item on SwapU requires the two parties to agree on the swap and whether any money also needs to change hands.

It’s pretty straight forward for most items.

However, there are legal issues involved in swapping vehicles such as stamp duty, registration, roadworthy certificates, etc.

A close-up of the front half of the 2022 Kawasaki W800

Swappers will have to check the legal requirements in their state and there are details about that on the website.

As usual, buyers and sellers should be aware of online scams and issues such as insurances write-offs, stolen vehicles and money still owning on a vehicle to finance companies or banks.

Click here for more details.

I can see that it would be great for swapping parts as it gives you access to parts that may be on the other side of the continent rather than just what is available at a local swap meet.

And if your part is quite rare, a site like this gives you more chance of finding it.

Swapping vehicles appears more problematic.

However, if it cuts out the middle man and saves you money, then it could be worth a go.

You can find out more details on their “blog” section.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Call for rider views on safety

Victorian riders are invited to attend a motorcycle safety forum next month to pass on to the State Government.

The forum on 19 May 2022 during National Road Safety Week has been organised by the Victorian Chapter of the Australasian College of Road Safety.

They have invited motorcycle riding group representatives and riders to attend. 

College spokesman Dr Tana Tan says the collated input will be submitted to the Victorian Government “for their consideration as they develop the motorcycle safety strategy”.

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Dr Tana Tan

Topics for discussion include:

  • Safe vehicles (motorcycles, cars and trucks);
  • Speed limits;
  • Protective gear standards, legislation, promotion;
  • Training, skills, enforcement, licensing;
  • Infrastructure design, operation and maintenance; and 
  • Other topics that affect motorcycle safety.

Numbers at the forum at the City of Melbourne Bowls Club in Dudley St, West Melbourne, are limited, so register now by clicking here.

College members attend free, but others will have to pay a $15 fee.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Touratech launches 3-in-1 boot

German adventure motorcycle accessories company Touratech has launched a boot it claims is a three-in-one to cover touring, sports and adventure riding.

Touratech Australia does not yet have a date for the arrival of the Touratech Destino Ultimate GTX boots and are currently only gauging interest.

But wait for it — if or when they do arrive, they will set you back almost the price of three boots at $A1492 in sizes 39-47.

For that price they better one good.

Touratech says they have the all-day “comfort of a touring boot, the safety of a sports boot and the robustness of an MX boot”.

So let’s check the claims on these boots, developed for Touratech by Dutch motorcycle clothing company REV’IT!

Comfort

The comfort is provided by a flexible joint system, a SEESOFT protector insert in the tongue and an Apex sole, developed with Vibram.

They claim the sole makes them easier to walk in so you don’t clump around like you are wearing skit boots without the skis.

Touratech also claim the sole has different zones; one for operating the brake lever; another for strength and others for walking comfort. 

The insole is made of washable, open-pored PU foam.

Safety

The Destino boot features a lot of protection as you would expect from an adventure-style boot with what they call a Dynamic Support Frame (DSF).

It is made up of a calf shield, heel cup and a stability frame to prevent twisting with extra impact protection in the toe area.

Destino boots are certified for safety with the highest EC approval level: EN 13634:2017 Level 2.

Fit

Another feature is the BOA Fit closure system which uses a now-popular hand-operated ratchet dial that pulls wire laces for the optimum fit and release at the touch of the centre button.

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There are no show laces to tie and no bulky and uncomfortable clasps that feature on many off-road boots.

Having the boot tight not only ensures a correct and safe fit, but also prevents mud and dust getting in.

Waterproof

These boots are made of a combination of materials such as SuperFabric, microfibre lining, Omega leather, supple nubuck leather and a Gore-Tex membrane that they claim guarantees “absolute waterproofness with simultaneous breathability”.

Excuse my cynicism here, but I have yet to find any breathable clothing that is also 100% waterproof.

However, there are varying degrees of water resistance indicated by an Ingress Protection (IP) rating.

This rating consists of two numbers. The first from 0-6 measures protection from foreign bodies such as dust, while the second from 0-9K measures resistance to water. Click here for more details.

I can’t find any reference to an IP on their website. It just says “Waterproof Yes”.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

International Female Ride Day in May 

Female riders around the world are being invited to take part in the 16th annual International Female Ride Day (IFRD) on Saturday May 7. 

The ride’s call to action “Just Ride!” asks women to be on their motorcycles or powered two and three-wheelers on the first Saturday of May each year. 

IFRD was created in 2007 by Vicki Gray, a lifetime motorcycling advocate, road, and race instructor.

Her purpose is to profile and highlight the many diverse female riders, build awareness and strive for parity for women in motorcycling.

Many motorcycle manufacturers are promoting the day, including Harley which has long marketed to women as a growth area given they are half the population but represent less than 20% of riders. In Australia it’s as low as 12%.

Another company promoting heavily to women and encouraging them to ride on IFRD is Can-Am, the makers of the three-wheeled Spyder and Ryker roadsters.

Women with the Can-Am Ryker

They have organised rides and ambassadors in Australia, the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

CanAm Global Consumer Public Relations Brian Manning says that because of their focus on growing female ridership, Can-Am is heavily involved.

“We have rides lined up all over the world plus a call-to-action out to our owners to hit the streets that day,” he says from Quebec. 

“We anticipate a lot of love from women coming together to celebrate their  mutual passion for riding.”

One of the biggest hurdles to riding often quoted by women is the fear of dropping a bike and not being able to pick it up.

It’s not an issue with a three-wheeler … and of course it’s not an issue if you learn properly and don’t drop the bike.

Nor is it really an issue if you know how to pick up a big bike as shown in this video.

However, it remains a hurdle that doesn’t exist for the Can-Am Spyder family.

Consequently, Can-Am claims a much higher proportion of female owners than any other brand.

More than 38% of their entry level three-wheeled Can-Am Ryker owners are female.

It’s about double the number of women who ride in the USA and about three times the female involvement in motorcycling in places such as Australia and Europe.

Can-Am’s success is the envy of other motorcycle companies which are gradually realising they should be targeting the forgotten half of the population.

That’s why they are organising rides for IFRD on May 7:

In Sydney, Can-Am Ambassador Helen Chik, editor of the popular lifestyle magazine, Grazia, will be riding her Ryker alongside others to celebrate the day.

  • Helen with her Ryker

    Canada

In Ontario, Olympic Games gold medalist and member of the Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team, Natalie Spooner, will join TV host, Sherry Holmes, for a group ride that’s open to Can-Am owners.

In Los Angeles, Can-Am ambassador, actress and model, Karrueche Tran, will host a ride with Can-Am Spyder and Ryker owners.

In 28 other cities around the U.S., the US Spyder Ryders owners’ group is holding rides to mark the occasion.

In the UK, Can-Am ambassador, Sophie Morgan, will be riding her Can-Am Ryker with others to take part in the day’s efforts.

In Lausanne, Switzerland, the Can-Am team based out of the BRP office there will be taking to the streets to celebrate.

In Germany, the Ladies Riding Class community, which counts about thirty members, will also hit the road for the occasion. 

  • Latin America

In Puerto Rico, singer-songwriter, Calma Carmona, will also participate in a “GRRRL Ride” event behind the handlebars of her Can-Am Ryker.

Can-Am is inviting all women riders to “Just Ride” on May 7 to celebrate IFRD along with these riders. If you do, use #IFRD2022 to be part of the movement! 

Click here for more about the Can-Am Women of On-Road program and the brand’s participation in IFRD.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com