Motorcycling Australia roadside assist

Just a ‘heads up’ to anyone who has had the Roadside Assistance service offered via Motorcycling Australia – Australian Riders’ Division (ARD) . MA (and ARD) are no longer providing a Roadside Assist scheme and now recommend Motorcycling Alliance which is operated by Motorcycling NSW Ltd.

I only found this out when I rang MA to find out why I hadn’t received a reminder for renewal of my roadside assistance subscription.

Unfortunately the ARD website no longer exists and a quick scan of the MA website didn’t provide any info about this either. It would have been far more sensible for that site to remain live, explain the change and then direct people to Motorcycling Alliance! I’ve spoken with a MA staff member and suggested that they need to be more pro-active re publicizing the change.

Hi-Viz to be compulsory for learner riders in Victoria

A chance comment in a conversation with one of the salesmen at my local motorcycle store today led me to follow up on the proposed new Graduated Licensing System laws that will commence in October this year.

Current learner rider restrictions are LAMS approved bike, must display L plates, no mobile phone use, zero blood alcohol, can’t carry a passenger or tow a trailer. Some of the key features that are additional to current requirements will be that learners:

  • wear hi-viz vest or jacket
  • must have the headlight on at all times
  • can’t ride a manual gearshift bike if tested on an auto.

Once licensed, the restricted period will be increased from the current one year to three years. From 2015 tougher licensing requirement will also be introduced.

Full details HERE

Other than the fact that the Hi-Viz and daytime headlights are not evidence based initiatives (much contradictory research exists), it nearly took my breath away when I read that the State Gov’t are spending $2.92 million to implement this scheme FROM THE SO CALLED “Motorcycle Safety Levy“.

An interesting footnote is that when in opposition our current Premier agreed the Levy was unfair and promised to revoke it when in government. Yet another example of a politician breaking a promise – who would have thought!


More sunshine on the GOR

The joys of week day riding – no traffic!

Unbelievably it was 31C today, yet last weekend it seemed as though winter was upon us.

I have no connection with this fella, he just happened to be coming past when I had the camera out.

Inland run

I departed from my usual coastal routes and took a run inland to some of central Victoria’s old goldfields areas. Just on 400 kms in perfect conditions, made all the better by the lack of traffic.

I had intended to head to Maldon via Daylesford, however, changed my mind once the wheels were turning. I took a few photos at both Clunes and Talbot, however, they didn’t actually look that good. Rather than conveying the historic charm and character of the townships, the pics just seemed to convey neglect and decay. Fortunately the former goldfields region now boasts a thriving wine and tourism industry.

After stopping for a Coke in Clunes and a quick lap of Talbot, I headed up to Maryborough for fuel, then headed to Beaufort via Avoca for lunch. The run to Beaufort through the bush to Ampitheatre was really scenic, and a welcome change, after the parched open countryside that preceded it.

Vineyards directory at Avoca. This area is referred to as the Pyrenees wine area.

Only rotunda in Australia with clocks apparently.

Kind of fitting really!

On the last leg home from Ballarat to Geelong I decided to take the Mt Mercer road so that I could take a look at the wind farm there. It has sixty-four turbines. Mt Mercer wind farm. The ZX14 clocked over the 8,000 km mark on the ride and is going like a train. It still has the original front tire (Bridgestone) and the rear Pilot Road 3 fitted 4,400kms ago looks barely worn. I must do some research on the new Pilot Road 4 recently released by Michelin to see if I can mix a front PR4 with a rear PR3.


World Superbikes 2014 Phillip Island

Mrs T and I enjoyed a grand day out on Saturday at the World Supers. Here’s a few pics of some of the stars on track. Lots more to come when I’ve been through the hundreds of pics that I took!

Haslem looks good on the PATA Honda.

Melandri wound up third in Super-pole and second in race one on Sunday.

Guiliano has restored some dignity for Ducati, and finished 2nd on pole.

Sykes came off just near us, ruining his chances for pole.

A highlight of Saturday was the battle between Wayne Maxwell (No 1) and Josh Hook (No 34) in the Australian Superbike race. Those guys were neck and neck and swapped places at the head of the field several times, untill Maxwell binned it on the entry to Lukey Heights.

The stunter was pretty entertaining as well.

Interesting looking newcomer!

For lots more pics of Australian Superbikes, World Superbikes and from around the circuit, click HERE

At the Expo at the track I purchased  one of these Kaoko throttle locks – which I was actually about to buy online anyway. I think that it’s a much nicer gadget than the Vista throttle lock I had bought but never installed.

They got a great review by Web Bike World HERE


Another short ride

I took a mid week run from Geelong along the GOR to Lorne, then headed inland to Forrest via Dean’s Marsh. My plan to ride Turton’s Track and the Otways was thwarted when it started to rain. At least it wasn’t smokey up there.The air quality in Geelong and Melbourne has been the worst for years due to smoke haze from the bushfires.

Straight after the ride I took the ZX14 to JK Motorcycles for its 6,000Km service. JK was telling me that Cameron Donald (a recent IOM winner) was spotted in the Otways after the historic meeting at Phillip Island. He apparently introduced himself to one Geelong motorcyclist  who had no clue who he was!


Fog then hot in the Otways

Marty and I took our usual Otways circuit today. We left reasonably early as the temp was forecast to be 37C here today and warmer inland. We met at 8.30 am and rode carefully in fog for the first few kilometers until the sun broke through. Once the sun came out it warmed up quickly. It was around 31C at Gellibrand and on the inland section of the GOR – then amazingly it dropped down to 20C at Apollo Bay. A wallaby sitting on the edge of the road mid corner at Burton’s Lookout certainly focused my attention! Thankfully it jumped back into the bush instead of into my path.

We had a great run on the twisty stuff on both the GOR and the run from Skene’s Creek up to Forrest, with very little traffic to hold us up – though there was a stack of traffic heading in the opposite direction.

The final leg home from Forrest to Geelong was pretty warm with my bike’s ambient temp showing 37C (98F). I actually wore my Gortex lined textile jacket rather than leathers today and was more comfortable (a relative term in these temps) than I was in leathers yesterday. Despite the last section being so hot, it was still a most enjoyable run of approx 310 kms – and the new Yoshimura pipes were music to my ears!


Short trip on the Great Ocean Road

I took a short run along the GOR from Geelong to Lorne, then up through the bush to Deans Marsh. From there it was further inland to Colac and then back to Geelong along Hwy 1. Although a sunny day was forecast the section along the coast was kinda gloomy – not quite fog but more than simply cloudy. First stop was at Airey’s Inlet for a photo of the ZX14R with it’s new exhausts.

As I approached Urquhart Bluff I saw some powered parachutes cruising along the cliff tops so pulled in and took a few shots.

The ‘fella below spotted me taking photos and cruised by so that I could snap a close up.

The run from Lorne through the curves to Deans Marsh was the highlight of the trip really. I was home before midday with 190kms on the clock and all set for a longer ride tomorrow with Marty. Forecast is for a sunny day and a temp of 35C.