09 December 2019

Motorised curiosities: The Eyre Peninsula railcar



To speed up passenger services on Eyre Peninsula, a surplus SAR-owned Fageol road bus was converted in 1931 to run on narrow gauge rails and sent to Port Lincoln. Although a bit rough-riding, it was significantly faster than the previous Mixed trains and hence well received.

Three additional Fageol buses were then converted, and between them the four provided all passenger services on the Division. Lightweight trailers were built for the Fageols to accommodate the large volume of parcels also carried on the railcar services.



The conversion involved the replacement of the front wheels and axle with a small bogie and the fitting of flanged wheels to the single rear axle. A toilet compartment was also installed. The Fageols were well-known for their uncomfortable ride, a result of their conversion to rail with a single rear axle. Many passengers' anecdotes mention “square wheels”!

Because of their road bus origins, locals began referring to the railcars as buses, and the name stuck. Years later, people would still say they were going into town “to meet the bus”, even when the Fageols had been replaced by the larger Brill railcars. The last Fageol ran in 1961.

Source: Port Lincoln Railway Museum


Ducati's new symphony hits a high note



When the team at Ducati 'go back to the drawing board' it can only mean big things are afoot.

Words: Roderick Eime

Earlier this year, Ducati wheeled out what was claimed to be the world's fastest, most powerful production sportsbike. The motorcycle world took a deep breath and watched closely as the Ducati Panigale V4 smashed records even under critical independent testing.

Essential data such as 1103cc, 157.5kW (214hp) and 195kg (kerb weight) all added up to one frighteningly quick bike on paper. Could this new V4 meet or even exceed the lofty expectations of the world's critical Ducatisti?

Those with even a superficial knowledge of this iconic Italian brand will know that V4 engines do not feature prominently in Ducati's historic model line-up. Apart from a limited run of the RR (Racing Replica) tens years ago, the trademark air-cooled 90 degree V-Twin (aka L-Twin), with its signature throaty howl, has been the basis of Ducati street-legal motorcycles for decades. So what precipitated this revolutionary departure?

The model it replaces, the 1299 which was unveiled in 2014, still employs the traditional V-Twin, while the all-new V4 is derived directly from the MotoGP racer’s Desmosedici V4 with its smaller 1103cc displacement and an eye-watering 14,000rpm red line. Ducati has employed the V4 in MotoGP since 2003.

Riders report this awe-inspiring machine to be among the most powerful, fastest accelerating production bikes ever tested. Independent tests have seen top speeds in excess of 300kmh and 10-second/240kmh ¼ miles. That's damn near 200mph flat out on the old scale.

“The engine is powerful over the entire span of use starting from low rpm,” says MotoGp champion, Casey Stoner, “Power delivery is always full and smooth.”

There's a whole technical dossier devoted to why Ducati made the monumental switch from two big pots to four smaller ones, but the executive summary essentially states that it's all about delivering reliable and useable power. The engine internals are a magical convergence of the right bore and stroke, valve timing, exhaust and (variable) inlet dimensions. All this is governed by a Bosch electronics package (read: ABS plus traction, drift and wheelie control etc) that allows mere mortals to ride the red beast without instantly propelling themselves into the afterlife.

We all know the sound of any motorcycle is as much a part of the experience for a buyer as the mechanical and electronic wizardry. When you hear the V4 around town, it still retains the essential aural tones of its V-Twin pedigree thanks to the clever firing order of the four pistons. The Twin-Pulse ignition system fires the two left-hand cylinders in quick succession, followed by the two on the right.

The new machine required a completely revised frame design, trickier electronics and also employs a counter-rotating crank. For most of us, the unconventional rotation of the crankshaft will have little bearing as we tootle around town, sprinting between red lights, but serious riders will rejoice in enhanced stability and agility such as a lower front profile which tends to keep the wheel on the tarmac, resulting in a very noticeable boost in manageable acceleration.

I can see you already reaching for your shopping list, but before you write Panigale V4 under the heading 'Christmas', you need to know which model to ask Santa for.

If 'base model' is the right term, the Panigale V4 is complemented by two enhanced models. The first, V4 S, has electronically adjustable Öhlins suspension which can be set to either sport, race or street modes along with a lightweight lithium battery (as opposed to lead in base) and forged, weight-reducing aluminium wheels. The premium V4 Speciale further adds adjustable footrests, an Alcantara-trimmed seat, carbon-fibre mudguards, a data analyser system and race fuel cap. Its most notable extra is an Akrapovič titanium exhaust and race kit which Ducati claims to increase power from 163 to 169kW. With just 1500 units of the Speciale built, all pre-sold, it might take more than Santa Claus to make that dream come true.

Critical Data

Engine: 1103 cc (67.3 cu in) Desmodromic 90° V4. 4 valve/cylinder.
Bore / stroke
81.0 mm × 53.5 mm
Compression ratio
14.0:1
Power
160kW (214hp) (claimed for V4 and V4 S)
Torque
124.1 Nm (claimed)

Pricing AUD

V4 $31290
V4 S $40090
V4 Speciale $63,190

02 December 2019

Onya Bike for Motorcycle Adventure Tours in Vietnam



Australian Motorcycle tour operator, Ride the World, has been appointed authorised Australian Agent for OnyaBike Adventures.

Based in Da Nang, Central Vietnam, OnyaBike Adventures is headed by Australian long-time rider, Jeff Burke. His passion and in-depth local knowledge sets OnyaBike Adventures apart from other motorcycle tour operators. The choice of modern Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycles is another crucial difference.

OnyaBike Adventures offer motorcycle adventures for riders, riders with pillion passengers or just a pillions. Pillion rides offer non-riders a chance to enjoy the thrill of a motorcycle adventure. ‘Seat-in-van’ options also exist for partners of motorcycle riders who can choose how long they want to spend on the back. OnyaBike Adventures also delve deeply into Vietnam's complex and colourful culture with carefully selected locations for riding, history, food, and culture for a fully immersive experience.

All OnyaBike Adventures are fully supported by qualified service mechanics, medical staff and a support van.

Critically, OnyaBike Adventures provide Australian riders with the means to ride legally in Vietnam, something other operators cannot always offer. 

Jeff Burke
‘We are excited to partner with Ride the World’, says Burke, ‘because they share the same passion as we do about motorcycling in the best way possible. Through the experience and expertise of Ride the World in the Australian market, we look forward to welcoming Australian motorcyclists and pillions to experience Vietnam in a safe, secure and fun way’.

David Reeves, Ride the World Director and Australian Travel Industry Veteran, adds “OnyaBike Adventures provides a quality product, which Australian riders will find as the new benchmark to discover the charm and beauty that is Vietnam. I very pleased there is an operator who covers all the bases, especially legal documentation. We have all heard of Australian riders having motorcycles impounded because of licensing issues – despite having both an Australian and International Rider’s Permit”.

Reeves also added that many Australians may not be covered by insurance policies when riding in other countries and it is very important to check travel insurance policies very carefully – or contact Ride the World.

For more information about riding in Vietnam or to book your OnyaBike Adventures Vietnam tour email Ride the World at info@ridetheworld.com.au, visit the website at www.ridetheworld.com.au or phone David on 0404 878 958

04 November 2019

My Iron: Harley's entry-level XL883 Sportster



“You can choose your friends but you sho' can't choose your family”

So said the famous US author, Harper Lee, in her modern classic novel, “To Kill a Mocking Bird”. But clearly, Miss Lee had never owned a Harley-Davidson, because if she had, she would know that you can actually choose a family.

The Harley-Davidson family is a welcoming and inclusive social group where all members can feel at home no matter their status or standing.

Entry to the family is as simple as owning and riding one of The Motor Company’s many iconic motorcycles regardless of age or model and one of the easiest entry points is with a Sportster.

The venerable Sportster is one of the longest-running, continuously produced motorcycles and can be traced back to the Model K from the early 1950s, a bike made famous by none other than Elvis Presley when he featured on the cover of the May 1956 issue of the Harley-Davidson publication, Enthusiast.



Today, the Sportster range begins with the stylish Iron 883, a bike that retains all the look and feel of a classic Harley-Davidson at a price point that won’t have you blowing the kids’ inheritance. And when you’re riding a Sportster, you know you are riding a Harley.

When I was a youngster scooting around on cranky kick-start singles, the scary blokes on the big Harleys seemed like they came from another world altogether. Many years later, when I rode my first Harley (a borrowed 1200 Sportster) I was pleasantly surprised to find the machine much easier and less daunting than the beast of my imagination.

The ample power was there on tap any time I asked for it and it handled confidently through the twisty curves and long sweepers. What was inescapable was the feeling I experienced just from riding that Harley. It was so far removed from the bikes of my youth that, despite a long riding sabbatical, I felt like I belonged on that bike and it was part of me.

What this tells you is that there is no reason to delay owning the bike of your dreams and it doesn't have to be the V-Twin monster you might have seen in ‘Sons of Anarchy’.

A lineup of Sportsters. The Iron 883 is behind the Roadster 1200 (front) 

The beauty of the Sportster, besides the price, is that it is a real Harley-Davidson with a proper pedigree that is very approachable for new or returning riders. It’s also a genuine unisex bike with a seat height of just 760mm. I’m the average height for my age (mid-50s) and that height is just perfect. If you are under, say 170cm, then Sportster comes in chrome-laden SuperLow (706mm) for the same friendly price.

Features of the current bike Elvis wouldn’t have enjoyed include 5-speed transmission, blacked nine-spoke allow wheels to match the ‘night rider’ look, security lock and standard ABS if you need them.

2020 Iron 883 in Scorched Orange (supplied)

Other things I have learned in my couple years of satisfying ownership, is that the 12.5-litre fuel tank is good for a full day’s ride of 200km or so and that it will ride perfectly fine without lots of optional trickery. That said, I did add a Stage 1 kit and slip-on pipes 12 months ago and, heck, they’re cool.

Even in standard trim, the Iron is a compact, chunky nugget of a bike that has everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Reviewer: Rod ‘Rowdy’ Eime (www.motorweb.ws) who bought his Iron 883 from Harley-Heaven Adelaide.

28 October 2019

Ford versus Ferrari - a legend of motorsport now on the big screen



#FordvFerrari | This story is one of the true legends of motorsport, portrayed by two of Hollywood's most accomplished actors. Anyone with even a passing interest in motorsport will want to see this movie.

FORD v FERRARI

Director: James Mangold
Produced by: Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, James Mangold
Cast: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas

Official Synopsis: Academy Award®-winners Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in FORD v FERRARI, the remarkable true story of the visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby (Damon) and the fearless British driver Ken Miles (Bale), who together battled corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and take on the dominating race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.

Australian Release Date: November 14, 2019




24 October 2019

First Ride: Harley-Davidson Low Rider S

Web Spin: Harley-Davidson MY20 Low Rider S

Low Rider S in Barracuda Silver (Nigel Paterson)

It’s big news every time Harley-Davidson rolls out a new model and there was certainly plenty of anticipation surrounding the release of the Low Rider S Softail.

To quickly recap the evolution of this model, the Low Rider first appeared in 1977 as a factory experimental (FXS) derived from the 1974 FX Super Glide. It was something of a hybrid, using Sportster forks on a big V-Twin chassis and it was an instant hit.

Following the ‘factory custom’ theme championed by Willie G Davidson himself, the Low Rider progressed to the FXRS in the early ‘80s and then to the FXDL Dyna Low Rider when the then-new chassis was introduced.

You can see there is a lineage that needs to be respected with this bike, so when the name was revived for 2020 in the new Softail 'S' incarnation, there had to be some continuity in design. To this end, The Motor Company has been successful, neatly capturing the original ‘70s feel in the latest chassis.

Let’s remember too, that Low Rider has been here since the full Softail range arrived in early 2018, although only in 107ci. This one is the ‘S’ which denotes the big 114ci Milwaukee-Eight engine and cool, blacked-out paint schemes. The solo seat is standard and only two colour options are available: Vivid Black and Barracuda Silver.

Low Rider S in Vivid Black (R Eime)

“The look of the new Low Rider S is really rooted in the legacy of the Low Rider models of the 1980s, that has a devoted following which has spread worldwide from origins in Southern California, and in the recent Dyna-based Low Rider S model,” said Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson Vice President of Styling & Design, in the upbeat press release. “We’ve applied that coastal style and performance-first attitude to the Softail chassis to create a Low Rider S that’s more powerful and agile than ever, with a heavy dose of tough-as-nails attitude.”

Soon after the bike’s launch in October, I ventured out with Australian Road Rider editor, Nigel Paterson, to see what all the fuss was about. Over the course of an afternoon, we both rode a Barracuda Silver example up and down the twisty Great Northern Road in the hinterland behind the NSW Central Coast, a road very familiar to Sydney weekend riders.

With way more road miles than me on a wider variety of bikes, Nigel approaches all new releases with a healthy cynicism, but Low Rider S seems to have hit a spot with him.

“This has to be the best handling Harley I’ve ever ridden - and the most fun,” he says, and I believe him.

“It has more clearance and is very comfortable. The mid-set (foot) controls are a bit unusual at first, but you quickly get accustomed.”




Nigel is 6-foot in the old scale and I’m shorter at 5’8”, so even though the seat height of 690mm is not particularly low for Harley Softails, it didn’t bother either of us one way or another. Compare 605mm for Softail Slim, 627mm for Breakout through to 755mm for the Street Rod.

The feature that took a bit of getting used to is the twin tank mounted analogue dials, which are an authentic throwback to the Dyna models. I might also ask my Harley-Heaven dealer to rotate the handlebar in its clamps toward me for slightly less stretch to the grips.

For the technically minded, you might appreciate that more ‘sport’ has been applied at the Low Rider S’s front end in the form of a second disc brake on the new 43mm Showa inverted fork. ABS is standard. And there’s greater agility thanks to the steeper rake angle by two degrees (to 28 degrees), which slightly reduces the wheelbase from 163cm to 161.5cm. For comparison, the old Dyna Low Rider used a lazy 32-degree rake on a 164cm wheelbase.

But, as they say in the classics, “the proof is in the pudding” so get yourself into your nearest Harley-Heaven dealer for a test ride.


18 October 2019

Touring the Blue Mountains in a 90 year old Cadillac

Flora and owner, Donald, pictured outside the 100-year-old Palais Royale Hotel in Katoomba (Roderick Eime)

Flora is 90 years old and still runs around the block like she’s a teenager.

She loves to make new friends, go to weddings, visit parks and gardens and be with her sisters, Ava and Ella.

No, Flora is not some miraculous nonagenarian. You see, she is simply an example of what can be achieved with love and careful, regular maintenance.

'The very essence of  beauty, chic, smartness and luxury'
- 1929 advertising tag line

Flora has, however, a proper pedigree. She is a 1929 Cadillac-LaSalle 4-seat Phaeton, a revolutionary car for its time with such modern wonders as the world’s first synchro-mesh manual gearbox, meaning you could change gears in one motion and not crunch between changes. LaSalle was a General Motors brand and known as a “companion marque”, a half-notch below Cadillac in the luxury range.
click to enlarge

A ‘phaeton’ was a term inherited from a type of sporty horse-drawn carriage designed to be lighter and more nimble than the larger ‘sedans’ or ‘limousines’.

LaSalle was only produced from 1927 to 1940, and like so many prestige brands, was affected by the depression but persisted until the war whereupon it was decided to bring LaSalle back under the Cadillac brand entirely.

“When most regular cars could be bought for around $500 in 1929,” owner Donald Millar tells me, “this LaSalle would have been more than $2500, so it was quite a luxury item.”

The 1929 LaSalle was similar to the 1928 model 303. Power was from a 90-degree 328 cubic inch V8 engine. There was a selective transmission with synchro-mesh and 15-inch drum brakes on all four corners.

Donald’s father saw Flora languishing in a Parramatta Road used car lot in 1954 and vowed to liberate her then and there. She’s been in the family longer than Donald.

Ava and Ella have similar stories although Ava, a 1928 LaSalle 5-passenger Coupe, was found in a very poor state sharing a paddock with two donkeys in much better condition.

Today Flora can be hired for special occasions from Blue Mountains Vintage Cadillacs who operate the three rare vehicles. Even a simple tour around the beautiful leafy streets of Katoomba, Leura and Wentworth Falls will allow anyone to get a feeling of what this exclusive enclave would have been like during the ‘Roaring Twenties’.

She’ll love you for it.

Contact: Within Australia 0455 352 976 International +61 455 352 976
or email info@bluemountainslimo.com.au

Website: www.bluemountainsvintagecadillacs.com.au

11 October 2019

A Million Miles on a Harley-Davidson


#webuildriders

Just like cars, you can expect a long service life from your Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

The new Milwaukee Eight engines haven’t been around long enough for any real high mileage tests, but owners of older models have racked up some impressive numbers on their faithful Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Scanning the forums, it’s easy to find owners who have great reports of their ownership experience.

HDTimeLine member, flh canuck says: “As a professional mechanic who worked for years in the automotive trade, I find the Harley-Davidson motorcycle to be an absolute joy to work on and maintain compared to previous Japanese bikes I have owned. I have since owned four different Harley Davidsons since 1998, all purchased new, and each one absolutely trouble-free. A properly maintained modern Harley-Davidson is every bit as well made, if not better, than any other motorcycle on the market but the difference is, it will still be going down the road long after many modern Japanese bikes have been recycled back into Tupperware or Fisher-Price toys.”

Another member, Rob Gray says: “I've got a Road Glide with 94,000 miles on it”

Over on harley-davidsonforums.com, member Thunder~Struck reports: “Had a 100K on my 83 80" Shovel with no rebuild. Just a top end for the unleaded conversion.”

Clearly, with regular scheduled servicing, a new Harley-Davidson should deliver as many miles/kilometres as most cars.

Dave Zien put a world record one million miles on his 1991 Harley Davidson FXR Super Glide

Some people, of course, like to go to extremes and in a feat that took nearly 20 years to complete, former Wisconsin senator and US Marine Corp veteran, Dave Zien put a world record one million miles on his 1991 Harley Davidson FXR Super Glide. Zien began the journey in 1991 hitting the million mark on April 4, 2009. The effort earned him a place in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Not every Harley-Davidson owner is going to run up this kind of mileage, but nevertheless, your Harley-Heaven dealer offers extended warranty and peace of mind for up to three years in addition to the 24-month factory warranty. Choose 12, 24 or 36-month warranty terms, with unlimited kilometres for each term.

The benefits of HARLEY | EXTENDED WARRANTY™ include:
  • Available at point of sale only for Harley-Davidson® motorcycles up to 24 months old which have travelled less than 50,000 km
  • Provides peace of mind riding for up to 3 years in addition to the 24-month factory warranty
  • Choose 12, 24 or 36-month warranty terms, with unlimited kilometres for each term
  • Genuine Harley-Davidson® Motor Parts means genuine peace of mind
  • Repairs carried out by factory-trained technicians
  • Covers parts and labour costs
If you sell your motorcycle privately, the remainder of the warranty period can be transferred to the new owner (note that it is not transferable if the bike is sold to a motor dealer or motor trader)


Click to find new or used Harley-Davidson motorcycles


02 October 2019

World's Fastest Harley-Davidsons

#webuildriders

Some Harley-Davidson motorcycles are born fast. Others have reached incredible speeds with a bit of tinkering. We’ve scoured the record books and come up with these stand-out superquick Hogs.

Harley-Davidson VRSCR (V Rod)

During its 16-year production lifetime, the 1,247 cc (76.1 cu in) water-cooled 60° V-twin was The Motor Company’s fastest production motorcycle. The venerable US motorcycle publication, Cycle World, timed the V-Rod from 0-60mph at 3.5sec. Compare this to most current 114ci Softails which run mid-4sec times in standard trim. But hold onto your hats, because the new electric LiveWire is going to wipe that slate clean with 0-60mph times as low a 3secs dead. (Think Porsche GT3 or BMW M5)




The fastest street legal (sit-on) Harley-Davidson is almost certainly Hiro Koiso’s 2006 Dyna Super Glide FXD/I which is powered by a 135ci JIMS131 Twin Cam engine modified by T-Man Performance to produce around 400hp.

At the famous Bonneville Speed Trials his team set two new FIM world and four AMA national records in 3000cc Blown classes. That included a one-way top speed of 193.596 mph without fairings!

Koisi’s team created a streamlined body fairing kit that allowed him to reach a staggering speed of 260mph over the measured mile. His aim is to go faster still.




Let’s not forget that in 1970, renowned racer Cal Rayborn rode the 90ci Harley-Davidson Sportster Streamliner to set a new land speed record of 265.492 mph on the Utah Bonneville salt flats, a record that remained unbroken until 1975. The streamlined, stiletto-shaped machine was equipped with a Sportster engine that ran on 70 per cent nitro-methane.

Twenty years later, drag racer Dave Campos smashed the motorcycle land speed record with a specially built 7-metre-long bike called the Easyriders Streamliner. This wild machine was powered by two 1500cc Harley-Davidson engines and reached an eye-watering 519.609 km/h (322.870 mph). This record stood for 16 years.



In drag racing, Australian Nitro Harley racer Adam Layton is aiming to break the world record for nitro V-Twin Harleys. The Australian record is the 6.3s time of Mark Drew, while the world record is 6.1s.

While you may not be aiming to break any world records, your Harkey-Heaven dealer can help you with performance parts to put some hurry-up in your Harley-Davidson.

26 September 2019

Genesis: Korean Revolution




Hyundai’s new luxury brand, Genesis, aims to disrupt the luxury automotive sector.

Words: Roderick Eime

It’s the marketing strategy they teach at university. Create a breakaway brand with a new set of core values to capture a market unreachable with the current brand. The template for this is well established since Toyota’s launch of Lexus in 1989.

The premise being that while the parent brands enjoyed solid respect for reliability and value, they did not portray luxury and aspiration in sufficient quantity to challenge the big European brands such as BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

So perhaps today we can call Hyundai Korea’s Toyota? After all, it is now, the fifth largest car manufacturer in the world and has rapidly developed an international profile with modern, cosmopolitan styling and superior quality control thanks in the main through use of imported European talent such as stellar German designer Peter Schreyer and more recently, Belgian Luc Donckerwolke.

The Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) of 2019 is a whole other animal than when launched here in Australia in 1986. The dinky little Corolla-beating Excel took the country by storm, briefly outselling all other passenger cars, but Hyundai’s move into larger, more luxurious vehicles has taken somewhat longer despite winning prestigious awards and with quantum leaps in design, perception and build finish.

The name Genesis entered the Hyundai lexicon in 2008 with the premium passenger sedan, the Hyundai Genesis. But it wasn’t until 2015 that Genesis became a marque of its own, with the eponymous luxury sedan repackaged and uprated as the Genesis G80. Similarly, the larger Hyundai Equus became the G90, to rival the likes of BMW 7-series, but it seems doubtful the LHD-only model will find its way to Australia any time soon.

Until the opening of the stunning, split-level concept store in Sydney’s Pitt Street, all the news was devoted to ‘if’ and ‘when’ as launch dates were pushed back again and again. As it turned out, integrating the Genesis brand into the existing dealer network and still retaining its exclusivity proved a challenge. Hence, the disruptive factory-owned concept store approach was developed, turning our whole automotive retail culture on its head.

The ultra-modern Genesis Studio is located in the former Billabong store right in the beating heart of Sydney’s premium CBD retail precinct, rubbing shoulders with Bally, Tiffany & Co, Chopard and Mont Blanc. It is revolutionary in how the brand interfaces with customers. New studios are also planned for Melbourne and Brisbane.

“We’re leading - which is both interesting and difficult - because it’s nice to be a pioneer, but in many ways we’re paving the way,” said then Genesis Australia brand chief, Peter Evans, in a 2018 interview.

Instead of pushy, incentive-driven salespeople, customers will be met by polite, fashionable front line staff who do not have direct experience in the automotive retail sector, coming instead from roles with other luxury brands. Servicing is done remotely, with staff collecting your car and providing a loan car while the scheduled service is performed. Scheduled servicing, by the way, is included for five years, along with a class-leading five-year warranty with every new vehicle.

Genesis reflects the Korean ethos of being brave but strategic and you can be sure we’ll hear a lot more of this brand as new models arrive.




https://issuu.com/rodeime/docs/ceo_genesis/s/147286

EagleRider's New Guided Motorcycle Tours in Alaska





Since 1992, EagleRider Motorcycle Rentals and Tours has been expanding to iconic riding destinations throughout the USA. With over 200 rental locations and over 50 guided tour options, EagleRider had covered almost every great riding area in the USA, except one – Alaska, the last frontier. But wait no longer. EagleRider is now offering three guided motorcycle tours in Alaska, this amazing, wild territory.

With Harley-Davidson or Yamaha motorcycles options available, Alaska riding is definitely a lifetime adventure. The three new Alaska guided tours include: the Alaskan Summer Motorcycle Tour riding through places such as Anchorage, Valdez, Fairbanks, and Talkeetna or Alaskan Adventure Tours riding from Seattle to Anchorage or Anchorage to Seattle through Alaska and Canada along the famous ALCAN Highway through the Yukon Territory and British Columbia.

“Between the wide-open wilderness and the abundance of wildlife, experiencing the Yukon and Alaska on a motorcycle is about as good as it gets. This adventure is the perfect combination of safe and supported and radically awe-inspiring,” say’s Erik Seversen, EagleRider’s Director of Business Development who lived and rode in Alaska for two summers.

With sights including mountain glaciers, arctic tundra, wooded forests, the aurora borealis, and deer, moose, bear, buffalo, otters and eagles, the EagleRider Alaska tours are indeed a very special experience.

To see details on EagleRider’s Alaska and existing tours, check out www.eaglerider.com/guided-motorcycle-tours

10 August 2019

The Classic Rally Phenomenon

From Australian Road & Track Magazine - Winter 1992
Artwork produced by Brian Caldersmith for the 1992 video sleeve.

Mototorsport does a full circle and returns to an era of challenge, camaraderie, chivalry and low budget.

Top level motorsport has exploded into a fury of stress, excess and enormous expense. Formula One drivers could practically pay the Third World debt with their spare change!

What's left for those of us who want to race, have fun and not take a triple mortgage to do it? Of course there are always club sprints, motorkhanas and sundry events, but they can get a little wearisome after a while.

Enter the classic rallies, currently springing up all around the country. Now common in Europe, the wave really began here with the 1988 Hallet Nubrik Grand Prix Rally, and has spawned the now mandatory Repco Mountain Rally and others like the Targa Tasmania.

Usually about four to six days long, these events combine all the action and thrills of navigational sections and competition events, and culminate in gala fib-telling occasions.

What sort of car do you need? Some events have boundaries like the pre-1975 Repco. The Grand Prix Rally will consider almost anyone with a 'special or unique car of some sort. When they get thirty MGBs applying, however, they have to pull a few out of the hat. It's quite common too to see humble Morries and Holdens mix it with the exotic Ferraris and Porsches, often embarrassing the more expensive machinery. Factory and dealer teams appear regularly as well as company directors, pro race drivers, doctors, accountants, janitors and council workers. Everyone can get in there and have a go. More often than not these events gain enough interest to attract substantial TV and newspaper coverage, and can always be seen in glossies like this one.

The costs can vary. Take an average two-person team and their accommodation, travel, food, etc.. Targa Tasmania: probably around $5-6,000 easily (that's a dear one!). Grand Prix Rally: say about $2,500. Now, the Repco is a real bargain at under $2,000, and tends to attract those who find the sometimes snobby GP Rally out of their league. The hidden costs are a little unpredictable but obviously must include provision for repairs, car preparation, your ‘accustomed manner', and so on.

Both the Grand Prix Rally and Targa Tasmania will undergo (I hear) substantial changes for their next events. Neither can be expected to get cheaper, but the Repco organisers have hit on a formula straight away - and it works. Volunteers make a heroic effort to stage the event, keeping costs down straight away, and the competitors just love the testing navigation.

So if you have a smart car in the garage and don't know what to do with your next holiday, throw in the wife and kids and go on a rally!




Related story: Jaguar Drivers' Club Repco Mountain Rally at CuriousJag (with video)

See the National Museum of Australia's Historic Vehicles in Action



Brabham racing car, Royal Daimler, Aeroplane Jelly T-Model Ford truck will take to the track

A hundred years of automotive history will be in action when a selection of iconic vehicles from the National Museum of Australia take to the track at Wakefield Park Raceway in Goulburn, New South Wales, on 17 August.

05 July 2019

Will Electric Motorcycles ‘Spark’ a Riding Revival?


While there is nothing revolutionary about electric vehicles, new technology and greater concern for the burning of fossil fuels has seen a new wave of electric motorcycles ready for market.

When the giant Harley-Davidson Motor Company develops a brutish electric motorcycle, you know something is afoot.

H-D’s new LiveWire project is all the indication you need to know electric motorcycles are about to go mainstream. Customers in North America will be taking delivery of their pre-ordered machines from August, while Aussies and Kiwis will have to wait until 2020 for theirs - with a price tag of around $40,000.

LiveWire is clearly aimed at riders who like big, powerful machines. Top speed is cited as almost 180kmh and - hang on! - you can get to legal highway speed in about three seconds. H-D intend to build a network of charging stations throughout the dealerships to cater to the expected 200km range. Charging can be completed in about an hour, so there's plenty of time for a coffee and window-shop while waiting.

And it’s just as well H-D is ahead of the game with LiveWire because breathing down their neck is a swathe of similarly futuristic machines ready to take them on.



Former H-D engineer and motorcycle designer, Erik Buell, has unveiled his first full-size electric machine, the Flow electric motorcycle under his new brand, Fuell. Last year, Buell teamed up with Vanguard Spark, formed by Alfa Romeo F1 principal Francois-Xavier Terny of Vanguard Motorcycles and Frédéric Vasseur, founder of electric Formula E race car company Spark Racing Technology. With this kind of backing, the serially luckless Buell should be a force to contend with. The Flow “urban mobility” electric motorcycle will be a relatively modest performer and priced at around half that of the LiveWire.

Beyond these two, BMW is known to be seeking hybrid drive technology patents, Triumph are again surveying owners while Finnish company, RMK, are preparing a science fiction-styled machine called the E2 which utilises a hubless rear wheel and direct drive motor.



“The future is electric, we’re not far from starting series production,” said Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali who, along with VW Group Chairman Matthias Mueller, upped the ante when he said Ducati would have an electric motorcycle “by 2020”.

And if that wasn’t enough, Chinese electric motorcycle company Super Soco expects to sell three much cheaper, scooter-like electric models in Australia any time now.



So, it would seem the die is set for a serious influx of electric motorcycles sooner rather than later. Just when these machines will finally make their way down to Australasia - and at what price - is the next question.

02 July 2019

Australia's newest luxury car brand: Genesis is launched in Sydney [watch]


A glamourous ribbon-cutting at the first Genesis Studio, in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall, has marked the launch of the Genesis brand in Australia.



The flagship studio was unveiled by Executive Vice President, Global Head of the Genesis Brand, Manfred Fitzgerald.

The launch of Genesis Studio Sydney introduces a new premium customer experience to the Australian market, and will be joined by Genesis Studios in Melbourne and Brisbane next year.

The stunningly designed Studio in the retail heart of Sydney’s CBD is defined by its spiral staircase encircled by a spectacular, bespoke large-scale curved LED screen.





19 June 2019

Lake Perkolilli claypan racing is back



It’s called sacrilege! Desecration! A travesty! Covering precious antique race cars and bikes in sticky red dust and driving them at extraordinary speeds. The drivers of 100 pre-war race cars and motorcycles who will be heading to the isolated claypan of Lake Perkolilli near Kalgoorlie in September this year don’t care what the purists think.

Getting down and dirty with their vintage cars is their greatest reward for bringing the old bangers to life.  The ability to race on one of the world’s oldest motor race tracks is getting old cars restored and fired up again all over Australia.

12 to 15 September ON A CLAYPAN 
NEAR KALGOORLIE, Western Australia

Lake Perkolilli is legendary amongst those who know about the outback origins of Australian motorsport.  The rock hard and billiard table smooth claypan was a Mecca for speed merchants who wanted to claim Australian speed records, and from 1914 through to 1939 many records were set by cars and motorcycles.

When around-the-houses motor racing came to Western Australia and the spectators did not need to trek the 600km to the Goldfields, Lake Perkolilli or “Perko” as it was called was forgotten and virtually abandoned. 

The Lake Perkolilli Red Dust Revival from 12 to 16 September this year will resurrect the old natural track and re-live the glory days of motorsport.  The competitors will get their vehicles (which are all at least 80 years old) covered in thick red dust that seems to get ingrained into the paint so it never comes off.  The dust will seep into everything. “So what?” is their reaction!



They’ll camp in the bush — just like the racers of the 1920s and 1930s who trekked from Perth to test out their cars and bikes on what was called the “Brooklands of the West”.

Britain has its Goodwood Revival on a converted airfield, the USA has The Race of Gentleman on a beach and now Australia has the Lake Perkolilli Red Dust Revival on a claypan in the outback. 

The oldest cars at the Red Dust Revival will be Ford Model T speedsters.  The venerable Model T released to the world in 1909 was not known for speed but when the smart young mechanics of the era stripped them back and hotted-up the engines they were fast and loud. 

There will be Chrysler racers from the 1920s, replicas of the cars which set Australian 24 Hour Speed Records back in 1926 and 1927.  Austin Sevens, the original “Baby” Austins will compete head-to-head with more expensive and sophisticated cars such as Bentleys and Lagondas.

One car is even being shipped from the United Kingdom to be a part of the revival of motorsport at Perkolilli.

About 40 classic motorcycles will also race on the claypan for the first time since 1939. The great marques of the past such as BSA, AJS and Triumph will be well represented as well as obscure brands such as Corah which have been forgotten in time.  The “flat tank” racers with their black racing leathers and big singles or V-twins will add to the spectacle. 

Vintage aircraft will also fly up from Perth to the claypan just like the original era.

The Lake Perkolilli Red Dust Revival is run by a group of enthusiasts from the vintage motorcycle and sports car fraternity who just want to experience the thrill of claypan racing.  To administer the event they formed the Lake Perkolilli Motor Sports Club Inc.  Everyone who enters the event with a car or motorcycle automatically becomes a member of this very exclusive bunch of people who can say that they have competed on one of the world’s oldest race track with exactly the same surface as a century ago.

The event is free to attend as a spectator and thanks to the City of Kalgoorlie/Boulder there is camping adjacent to the claypan and the most basic facilities.  And that is how it should be!  Camping in the bush and enjoying the smoke, smell and clatter of old race cars and bikes as they kick up the dust.

For more information go to www.motoringpast.com.au

10 May 2019

All-new BMW 8 Series Coupe and Convertible

BMW Group Australia is proud to announce local pricing and specification for the all-new BMW 8 Series Coupe and Convertible range.



“The legendary BMW 8 series has made its return, and Australian markets will have access to two model variants this time – the all-new BMW 8 Series Coupe and Convertible,” said BMW Group Australia CEO, Vikram Pawah.

“The classic Coupe body caters to customers who are seeking that classic sporting feel, and the Convertible provides an option for those who enjoy a premium open-air grand touring experience.”

“With the latest technology, supreme performance and sophisticated interior design, both variants will set the benchmark within the luxury sports segment and are a clear statement of intent for BMW. These vehicles are a fantastic demonstration of modern day luxury without compromising performance and handling.”

BMW 8 Series Convertible and Coupe range pricing*

BMW M850i xDrive Coupe $272,900*

BMW M850i xDrive Convertible $281,900*

What lies beneath: the new 4.4-litre V8 engine

At the heart of the all-new BMW M850i xDrive Coupe and Convertible sits a 4.4-litre V8 twin turbocharged petrol engine.

An all-new aluminium alloy crankcase increases rigidity while wire-arc sprayed iron features within the cylinder bores to reduce frictional losses. Grafal-coated pistons and material updates to connecting rods, main bearings, head gaskets and chain drive system ensure strength and efficiency. A viscous damper on the crankshaft enhances smoothness.

Both turbochargers are larger than before and feature a twin-scroll design and are individually charge-cooled. Located inside the vee, they are positioned for immediacy of response.

The High Precision direct fuel injection is rated at 350 bar, while VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing work in conjunction with the turbochargers to deliver strong acceleration throughout the rev range.

This thoroughly modern V8 generates peak power of 390kW between 5,500rpm and 6,000rpm, with an M5 Competition-matching 750Nm of torque delivered from 1,800rpm and 4,600rpm.

As a result, the BMW M850i Coupe is able to achieve 0-100km/h in only 3.7 seconds, with a guttural soundtrack to match, thanks to the standard flap-controlled Sport Exhaust system.

Similarly powered, the BMW M850i Convertible completes the standard sprint in just 3.9 seconds.

These impressive outputs are delivered through the latest generation eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission. This is fitted with a wide-ratio gear set (ratio spread increased from 7.07 to 8.59) to ensure relaxed high speed driving and improved efficiency. For those times when ultimate control is demanded, shift paddles allow the driver to manage ratios as required.

SOURCE: BMW Australia media release

04 May 2019

MV Agusta: Rubles to the rescue



As with any Italian opera, there is always one more scene to script and so it is with iconic Italian marque, MV Agusta. Since we last featured MV Agusta in World, Signore

Castiglioni has brought Russian finance on board through Timur Sardarov’s Black Ocean Investment Group to form a new entity, MV Agusta Holding.

This welcome cash influx has allowed the highly desirable, 94-year-old brand to focus on limited production, high-end machines and the stunning MV Agusta Brutale 1000 Serie Oro, unveiled to the public at the EICMA Show in Milan on November 4 last year, is one obvious result.

With just 300 units offered worldwide, this exquisite bike packs the 998cc inline four-cylinder powerplant derived from the company’s World Superbike Championship F4 RC racer. The naturally aspirated engine claims 155kW, making it the most powerful naked sports bike in the world, easily seeing off rivals such as BMW’s S 1000 R and KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R.

This new Brutale is adorned with stunning black, electronically-adjustable Öhlins forks and a competition TTX36 rear shock absorber. Stopping is courtesy Brembo Stylema brakes. Electronic wizardry includes an Inertial Measurement Unit which oversees traction, wheelie, launch and engine brake control. There’s ABS of course and MV’s bidirectional, clutchless quick-shift transmission. The whole works are gift-wrapped in a steel trellis frame decorated with gold aluminium side plates, a gold-painted swingarm and ultra-light carbon fibre rims.

At time of writing, a few were still available. The price? Don't expect change from AU$75,000

As published in WORLD Magazine - Autumn 2019


Bimota: Maestro Tamburini’s ‘Grand Vision’ blurred



More Italian Motodrama




Such is the Bimota saga, which began with the brand’s formation in 1973 when, like a recital from the three tenors, Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini came together to form a marque derived from the first two letters from each of their names: Bi-Mo-Ta.

Initially, the titanic trio worked on heavily customising the top bikes from leading Japanese makes and gradually moved to Ducati and BMW for the current crop of space-age machines.

But Bimota hit a major speed bump when their native-designed ‘V Due’ engine was recalled at the same time as they lost their Superbike sponsor, forcing the company into its first closure in 2003. Since then, the marque has been owned by prominent Scientologists, Marco Chiancianesi and Daniele Longoni who closed the factory in 2017 and moved all the components to Switzerland, or so it is said.

First presented at Milan’s EICMA in 2016, the Tesi 3D RaceCafé (pic above) employs Ducati’s air-cooled 803cc V-twin engine currently seen in the Ducati Scrambler and is limited to 150 units worldwide. The radical appearance is thanks to a distinctive Omega-type frame and its peculiar, hub-steering front suspension with mono-damper Öhlins. The whole package weighs a mere 162kg.

All that tribulation aside, a determined investor can still obtain a late model Tesi 3D on the collector market for around AU$50,000. New ones, although theoretically possible, are difficult to import, so be cautious.

When Bimota will play its grand finale, no one knows. But for now, at least, the value of these rare and desirable technical masterpieces remains solid.



As published in WORLD Magazine - Autumn 2019





07 March 2019

Mercedes-Benz classic 300 SL

The 300 SL, be it Roadster or Gullwing – is one of the most recognisable models in the history of Mercedes-Benz.

First introduced with trademark ‘Gullwing’ doors, and often considered as the first real ‘supercar’, the 300 SL proved hugely popular and so was later developed as an open roadster.

a 1960 Roadster, previously owned by German industrialist, Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, of the Krupp steel dynasty

The evolution of the 300 SL began with imported car impresario, Max Hoffman. When Mercedes-Benz won the Carrera Panamericana (a border-to-border road race across Mexico, held from 1950-1954) in 1952 with a W 194 300 SL coupé, Hoffman seized the moment to approach the marque with a radical idea: take the racing-derived tube frame W194, with its high performance 3-litre engine, and create a road-going sports car aimed at the upper end of the aspiring US sports car market.

Mercedes-Benz, still valiantly trying to shake off the devastation of the war and the weak European market, took him up on the idea, and the 300 SL was born.

This historic 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing sold for more than a million dollars at Sotheby's

Improvements to the 300 SL's usability were made throughout, yet it was still clear that this model was derived from a racing car. As aerodynamics played an important role in the car's speed, the Mercedes-Benz engineers would place horizontal "eyebrows" over the wheel openings to reduce drag. With fully independent suspension, a close-ratio gearbox with straight cut gears and the first direct fuel injection system with four-stroke engine ever offered in a production automobile, the 300 SL was a technological tour-de-force. When introduced in coupé form to the US market at the 1954 New York Auto Show, it became an instant sensation.

The Mercedes-Benz Museum charts the entire history of the world’s oldest car manufacturer. A total of 1,500 exhibits are featured in the museum, including 160 vehicles.

04 March 2019

Ford Mustang shines on debut



The Ford Performance Mustang Supercar has completed its first full weekend of racing in the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship with a successful showing at the Superloop Adelaide 500. Ushering in a new era for Ford and Ford Performance in Australia, Mustang teams Shell V-Power Racing, Tickford Racing and 23Red Racing all showed strong performances, with Mustang claiming its maiden victory and the lap record at the famed Adelaide street circuit.

27 February 2019

Nigel Paterson to edit Australian Road Rider from Issue 151


Paterson has worked on numerous motorcycle magazines, websites and even a motorcycle TV show since he joined the publishing industry at Revs Motorcycle News in the 1990s.

“I’m super keen to get started on Road Rider”, Paterson said. “Greg’s done a fantastic job with ARR in recent years and I’m planning to continue that great work.

“I’ve been a road rider since I was 16 years old and enjoy everything from sports to touring to adventure and even commuting. I’ve worked on a number of bike magazines over the years and I’m really happy to be joining the team at ARR.”

Australian Road Rider has been inspiring Aussies to get out there and see their country and the world from the saddle of a bike, publishing the best road tests, tour stories and feature articles every second month.

Paterson will take over the editor’s role from issue 151. Officially he starts on March 1, but he’s already making preparations and plans for the magazine.

If you have any editorial submissions you can contact Nigel directly on or npaterson@umco.com.au.

It is from issue 150 that we farewell outgoing editor Greg Leech. Greg, otherwise affectionately known to the Australian Road Rider community as Snag, has decided to pass the baton to Nigel to pursue other interests. Snag has been the ultimate professional as editor over the last 3 years leaving ARR in a strong position as the leading voice for the road riding enthusiasts of Australia. Whilst we will be sad to see him go we can still look forward to him spinning a few yarns in his distinct style as a contributor in the not too distant future.

“I have loved every minute of my time with ARR. I believe it is the premier bike mag in the country, but I would say that. Seriously, I wish Nige the best of luck and hope he'll let me write a thing or two!" – Greg Leech

20 February 2019

Australian Road Rider super value subscriptions

All round saving on all of our Australian Road Rider offers!
Whether you're willing to join us for 6, 12 or 24 months
- you'll be saving money and enjoying all things Road Rider.

Grab it while it's hot- you won't get a better offer than this


04 January 2019

New DRIRIDER Adventure boot.



On test in the New England High Country
Roll into the parking lot at any of your favourite bike stops and do a quick survey of riding gear. Who’s wearing what? Boots, jackets, gloves et al. I’m putting $50 on the bench right now that of the dozens of riders and pillions mingling around with their steaming lattes, more than half are sporting a piece of DriRider kit. In fact, I’ll go further and assert that many will be DriRider from head to toe.

There’s a good reason for this. For 35 years, DRIRIDER has protected Aussie riders with such high-quality apparel and accessories as thermals, boots, gloves, luggage and (since 2015) helmets. Designed specifically for our weather conditions and made for a true Australian fit (he says looking at his waistline).

Our latest piece of test kit is the brand new for 2019 Adventure C1 boot. Straight out of the box they look on the money and fit like a glove, secured by three, easily adjustable, quick-release fasteners and Velcro. I like the way they immediately feel safe and confident. Inside is a replaceable antibacterial liner, breathable with reinforced heel and toe area plus an ankle protector to EU standard (CE EN13634).

Mid-cut C2 in brown
The exterior is full grain leather with water-repellent suede upper with tough-as-nails moulded shin plate protection. You can bet they are water-, mud- and cow shit-proof too.

The same essential style is also available in a mid-cut (C2), with both also coming in brown if that’s your thing.

You’ll find them at your favourite gear outlet at an RRP of $299 for the full height or $249 for the middie.

www.dririder.com.au