Welcome to our recent Letters to the Editor.
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Issue 174 Oct/Nov 2023
HarleyDavidson Street Bob
Great review with tester’s honest opinion about a great looking Harley but also taking in consideration that people like myself who ride a Harley Softail would love the features on this machine.
– George Micallef
Issue 173 Aug/Sept 2023
Great bike but I still prefer my Softail Deluxe – good to see chrome coming back.
PS how about a regular feature written by a police motorcycle guy – safety & gen info & stories that he/she can share?
Hmm… police stories of safety & shareable stories has been done in the past and often starts well but quickly becomes dry and dull. I’d consider something if approached though… Ed.
A very enjoyable read. A ride I would like to do.
I thought this article was terrific it had lots of colour, context and awesome stuff to see and do. It will be a ride I most certainly will do!
This was a terrific article to read… as someone who is desperate to see the motogp… it gave me some great hints and tips for a trip!!
A good analysis of the WSBK situation , especially the last paragraph – get along to Phillip Island and keep the races down under. I’ve been there 6 times and love it, despite the occasional drenching.
It was an awesome article, to see a story about a travelling pair and their furry friends. I’m looking forward to their future stories.
Really enjoyed the article about a place very seldom visited, Iraq.
– Steve Ellery
Honda CB750 Hornet
Well balanced article with a focus on what’s important in the real riding world. Highlights the point that a bike doesn’t need 200HP for it to be fun to ride.
Another great article from a great storyteller. Keep ‘em coming old mate. It’s one of the reasons I buy this mag.
Issue 172 June/July 2023
As a Triumph Street Scrambler owner who does more dirt than tarmac I disagree with the synopsis of cafe racer. As a Scrambler owner I perhaps would have bought this instead at this price point.
Do love the Street tho’.
Looks and sounds like a great dual purpose built bike, Off Road & On: Road, would like to take a look myself at the GT Explorer with the 30 litre Tank.
– John & Tanina.
BSA Gold Star Launch
Great article on the relaunch of the BSA Gold Star 650. Hope it does come to Australia. Sounds just what I have been looking for as an everyday commuter. I’ll put of buying the RE Interceptor 650, until I can test the BSA!
– Chris McGill
Hmm… you might be waiting a while Chris. I think it’s unlikely the Gold Star will go on sale in Australia until 2025…
Fantastic article. Really enjoyed the article and writing style. Hope it comes to Australia, I would certainly be in the queue to buy one.
– Steve Ellery
Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX
Really well written road test, Thankyou and well done! Good to read thoughtful comments that inform a prospective purchaser.
UNEMCC does Tasmania 172
Left me salivating for another visit.
The Long and Winding Road
The story and pictures were awesome, as someone who is desperate for riding adventures, this one of the best articles I’ve read… please please incorporate more like this ARR..
– David Wilson
– An excellent read which makes me want to visit and ride these state roads.
Issue 171 April/May 2023
I feel for you Seddo. Just a tip for others who might be passed their prime and who suddenly notice floaters. Especially if there is also a flash on the outside of your vision if you move your eyes quickly. That is a sign that the jelly in your eyeball is coming away from the retina and it COULD tear and detach the retina. It’s pretty common for older people and should be checked by an Opthamologist straight away…as in within a couple of days. Cheers.
– Mike Bazan
With regards to your article on Blood Bikes Australia, what your article did not mention is that there is no funding for riders. Everything that a rider requires is paid for out of the rider’s own pocket with no reimbursement.
All the items required – Hi Vis Blood Bikes vest, the box to transport the products in, all fuel for your bike – has to come out of the rider’s own pocket.
As a rider who is retired and has the time to help out I also have to watch my expenses so for me to be a member I would like some funding to be available.
Blood Bikes did originate in England and it is funded under the English National Health System , all the rider’s expenses are paid for by the NHS.
I think Peter Davis from Blood Bikes Australia needs to push harder to get funding for his riders, more organisations will use this in the future because they are using a service that does not cost them anything, a something for nothing that the rider has to absorb.
– Philip Sweet
Hi Philip, you’ve made a very good point – maybe Blood Bikers could use some fund raising efforts in conjunction with its delivery work, but I believe that would add to the administrative workload too! That said, it’s disappointing when people want to volunteer to offer a service to the community but can’t do so because of the cost.
Good article but not conclusive unless you specify best value for money on the the preferred use of the bike. Suggest a follow up with a story on the best bike in the range for the big lap around Australia road only or a bit of off road riding and the different route to take etc.
– Mick Skeen
G’Day Mick. Thanks for your feedback, but I was never trying to be too conclusive – that might come across as picking a winner, the last thing I want to do, there’s way to much variety and styles there to choose from. I do like your idea about the best bike for a lap of the country though, I’ll give that some consideration. – Ed.
BMW Grand America
Headline should be “Two wheeled 5 Series”… Page 44, “For well-healed” should be “For be for well-heeled”
Absolutely. Had a brain-fade grammar day when I wrote Well Healed – Ed.
Very much enjoyed Phil James’ review of the K1600 Grand America – sounds like quite a machine. The bike is somewhat out of my price range but as an RT owner I was very interested to learn about this big “K”. Lots of great info and opinion in the review and as usual Phil is engaging and has a nice turn of phrase.
– Phil Booth
Issue 170 Feb/March 2023
The Accursed Mountains
Mate did you go and buy a lottery ticket after all that bad luck?
– Craig Mackenzie
Excellent story and shame to hear about the injuries Ian – but it seems you still had an awesome ride. After reading this article I am certainly planning on visiting this amazing country and checking out EuroVelo Route 8. Keep the rubber side down and I look forward to reading about the next adventure!
– Cheers Mike
Great story who would ever want to tour in a cage. This is why we ride
Leave a comment (optional) Very descriptive writing and makes the trip unfold as I go through it as if I was watching a video.
Thanks Geoff I will try the Tallangatta to Bairnsdale road in a couple of weeks on route to the Superbikes.
– Ron Batt
Phil needs to Harden Up
Not a question, a shameful reflection or two.
1) the ‘inventor & pioneer’ of the UJM have replaced CB1100s with 2 (even parallel) pistons. NB the current z900 is still a UJM.
2) Phil James should ‘be chastened’ big time for his bald admission that “your tester struggles with cold weather on un-faired bikes, but … a variable heat Zarkie vest was sufficient. ” You’re kidding Phil, needing electricity to stay warm. Harden up mate.
– Geoff Taylor
Where do I sign up?
Hang on… I just remembered I am 77 years old. Do the guides carry incontenance pads?
– Knoffie p
One of my mates did a not dissimilar trip a few years ago with a different company, and this article has reawakened my desire to get myself fit enough to do this before I get too many more miles on the clock – Adventure before dementia!
Harley-Davidson – Low Rider ST
I don’t like this current trend to have matte colours on bikes. That Gunship Grey looks like undercoat.
An honest well thought out review.Perhaps ergonomics could be addressed with future models as buyers fall into middle aged. Practical applications such as higher seat, higher screens, longer rear rebound and pushing back those foot pegs would push it out of the sports tourer category, but give our senior riders longivety in the saddle. It’s a great looking bike.
Pat’s Vietnam Vespas
While not a scooter rider, I enjoyed this feature, both photos and story.
Well done Pat Joynt for sharing his 2-wheeled passion, and Loose Bruce for his interesting depiction.
I thought rest of the magazine well worth the purchase price, too. Thanks Nigel.
Yours in the wind, B. Linnell.
Some ‘How To’ stories requested
Be great to see stuff about how to:
Get a youngster on a bike affordably
Going Trials riding
Going Off-road riding
Going racing – drag, speedway and sounds like you are doing track days
Long term costs of owning bikes – ask readers? Eg MV’s look great but are they reliable?
Is a KTM1290 SA cheaper to own for 3 yrs than a BMW GS1250?
Thanks – Ron
G’Day Ron, some great ideas there. We’ve done a little bit on economic bikes and saving money, maybe we should do more. Trials, off road riding and racing aren’t really in Australian Road Rider’s wheelhouse… and plotting the long-term cost of owning one bike versus another brings in so many variables it’s unachievable on our budget.
That said, I’ll definitely give some thought to how we might be able to shed a bit more light on the cost of running bikes. – Ed.
Issue 169 Dec/Jan 2022-23
Potholes & Mudholes
Excellent article highliting the issues councils have. Councils remain under funded for the areas that they have to cover.. From an ARR that returned from Phillip Island late Oct.22.. there are many riders out there who have suffered bent rims etc…Fair to say be aware..
– Stuart Cameron
Loved your rating on these two bikes, felt the same. I had a Zephyr 550 which had a beautiful engine and we had travelled together over many years. The Z650RS echo’s that bike with design and it’s simple features…yes pity it doesn’t have the inline air-cooled engine in the restricted format. Well done Kawasaki… the twin is still a great looking bike.
– Simon Fawkner
I own this bike. Very impressed. Much better after remapping which I was able to do at home via the relevant app. Just connected phone to bike and 20 minutes later all done. No need to take it to dealer. It’s definitely a keeper.
Touring Tips part 2
Just one observation – firstly thanks for the useful tip about Lithium Ion batteries being affected by cold conditions. I wasn’t really aware of that. The suggested remedy of using a portable jump starter though seems a little silly because they also use a Lithium battery! Unless you keep it in your sleeping bag with you, it’s going to be just as cold as your bike… – Matt
Well yes Matt, you may well be right if you leave your booster battery in the cold with the bike… so the sleeping bag is a good idea, although it’s also pretty easy to warm up a booster battery than it is one installed in your bike. Add to that two weakened batteries are vastly more likely to crank your bike anyway, and I still think it’s a very valid way to get around the problem. – Ed.
Issue 168 Oct/Nov 2022
Great Rides Central NSW
Enjoy this type of tour story with short 2-3 day rides and riders on different styles of bikes.
– Kevin Ross
Great story of the riders trip around a wonderful country that I will probably never have the good fortune to visit.
Snow sleet and an SUV
Well written account of a superb cruise by a rider and pillion on a Honda ST 1300.
Enjoyed the read. A well written article that lets your imagination take you on the trip vicariously. I felt for you when you got hit.
– Ivan Scott
I just love reading Chris’s stories and the photos are stunning. I can imagine the smooth roads and magnificent scenery. It’s not as good as being there but it gives you a sense of open spaces.
More stories from Chris please!
– Dayna Starr
Excellent rundown on roads and places in the U.S. Great photos as always with Chris Daly confirming yet again the scenic magnificence of America and the rides to be had. More please!
– Geoff Hill
Top Ten – Performance Nakeds
I have a GSX S 1000, & rate it highly.
The gearbox is sublime, & reliability is a high point with Suzuki. My riding buddies have European bikes, cost so much more & there always spending money on them to make them more rider friendly. In short, jap bikes just work in the real world.
– Graham Gwynne
Rixy – Running Repairs
I felt I Rix was sitting with me at the bar and talking to me about the experience.. well written and so real.
– Name Withheld
Finding New Horizons
Looking forward to the next part on what to take and preparing the bike.
– Eric Krieger
Well written looking forward to the follow up articles as I have been a solo rider for many years.
– Name Withheld
Here in the US I can safely say sales of the [BMW] R18 are definitely not stellar. My local dealer has a over a dozen on the floor, some new 2021. They are marked down 10,000 dollars which is a huge discount especially considering many vehicles sell for over sticker. I remember testing a R 1200 C cruiser when they first came out. It bombed. I love the new wet head boxers and have a 2022 R 1250 R.
– Marc Lampell
Issue 167 Aug/Sept 2022
The article on heated riding gear was very informative.
The equipment can make an otherwise uncomfortable and unsafe ride at least bearable, if not enjoyable, and during such rides the cost of the equipment will be irrelevant. Not that those costs are unreasonable.
I purchased a Kawasaki Ninja 1000 in 2016 and had heated grips fitted for around $500. Three years later I traded it in (so goodbye heated grips) but didn’t bother with heated grips for my new bike.
Instead I bought Five HG3 heated gloves for under $300 which I expect to continue using on my current and any future bikes.
Importantly, the heated gloves are much more effective in that they heat the palm, fingers and back of the hand, compared with heated grips really only warming the palm. The three hour battery life is usually enough to get through the coldest part of the day, and the unheated gloves are usually effective enough for the rest of the day.
The upfront costs of heated gear spread over several years make this equipment a very reasonable investment.
– Brad Cossar
Back in The Day
I was reading about my own road trips of the time. A CB250 with panniers, travelling overnight so you still had your day with mates, Thawing out in a Hospital waiting room. Sleeping under a picnic bench. Ah, the old days…
– Grant Hassell
The article brought back fond memories of my early riding days in the early 1970’s.
I was a member of the Motorcycle Touring Club of WA. Sadly, the Club no longer exists. We rode all over the SW of WA. Camping or staying in members families shearing sheds.
Love that story, reminds me of many like it plus outback rides on road bikes in the 60s and 70s. The Birdsville track, Innamincka, The Dig Tree, done on a BMW R 75/6 with road tyres!
If you write up those stories and send them in with a few pictures, they might just get published – Ed.
BMW R 1250 RT
Good story and test, it made me wish so much that I still had my 2008 RT, bought it new and traded it for a new Tiger 800 in 2012 and which I still have,
The Tiger is a very good bike and with 60k up had been absolutely trouble free.
But gee, I miss my Beemer!
Issue 166 June/July 22
Speed Triple RR
Very good article always, I like ARR opinions and the details of the reviews.
– Name withheld.
Your first track bike
I’ve never ridden my bikes on a track. When I first saw this article I thought it didn’t apply to me and would not be of interest. However, once I got into it I started wondering if I could make a track bike work.
Then I stumbled upon a 2016 959 Panigale for a good price and it looks like I’m underway with giving it a go!
First things to do are the list of prep items…. should be interesting to get a better feel for how the bike has been looked after and make sure it is ready to go. Then actually booking a day will be a thrill and a milestone.
I hope the bike and my riding gear will be up to it, let alone my skills.
Thanks for the inspiration, I’m on track to do something that I thought only “other people” did… and I’m very happy to be on the journey.
What I’d like to see in Road Rider
The current mix of articles in ARR is pretty much spot on, with a broad range of motorcycling interests covered in well written articles.
As we move with current and future trends in the industry, ARR should look to cater for those trends with items on alternative fuel and power source motorcycles, low priced motorcycle options (new and used), small capacity fuel efficient bikes, entry level options for newly licensed riders, while maintaining the current and still relevant variety of content.
Although some of this non-traditional content may not be of interest to some readers, new content that embraces the inevitable future trends will potentially open up ARR to a new reader demographic.
Keep up the great work.
– Brad Cossar
South of Adelaide
Great article. I’m planning my next trip to SA using your info.
A little bit of road surface conditions would be as interesting as the rustic couches and table tops in garage 29.
Well put together read, love these detailed trips to help plan my own journeys and holiday rides.
– Paul H
Issue 165 April/May 22
Back to Bali
Great article and well written. I have ridden around Indonesia a few times it really is an unforgettable adventure
– Steve Sherwell
Issue 164 Feb/Mar 22
Congratulations on one of the really great articles that you’ve written. My Rocket may soon become the anti-hero of the wokes. Makes me smile.
The sound of an ebike going through a tunnel will be so exciting!
Cheers, take care, Reg Wilkinson.
North By Northwest
I reckon Australia has some good rides, but this ride is so much longer, more of everything! Definitely made me want to work out how to do a similar trip.
Would be good to see a short trip summary table: number of days, km per day, rating of riding and few word description/highlights of each day or group of days.
Interesting idea about the two-up day rides and short trip summary. I’ll consider how that could be incorporated into travel stories. – NP
Dog on Tour
Another great ARR story. I’ll be following Jess and Moxies ride on their website etc.
Excellent article in all aspects. I have known Phil for many years and the man has had wide experience in many adventurous world wide forays. A prime example of “Life was meant to be lived”. Thanks RR.
– Jeff Mackereth
A great story. Yes patience equals reward.
– Brad Clements
About time a journalist finally called Harley out for its clandestine dumping of the Sportster.
Nothing against the new bike but it ain’t no Sportser.
The true Sportster didn’t get any grace or respect in its death.
– Fatso Jas
I’ll be very interested in your take on the Sportster S launch report in the next issue – Nigel Paterson.
What a great story. Sorry about the late reply but catching up with my reading while getting through our COVID infection. As I would like to add my thoughts as both my 41 yr old daughter and son-in-law bought LAM bikes in 2020/21 because they couldn’t travel to the UK to see my ex and they went through the unbelievable SA licensing system. They both persevered with it and the son-in-law just upgraded to a MT09 last week. They are turning out to be good riders and I have done Breakie’n’bikes with them and my son at the Bend twice now and now I am thinking about doing the introductory half day rider training on my GS.
On the other hand, my wife who has not riden since the mid-70’s when she had a XL250 could hop on my 1200GS and ride away without any retraining. Is there something wrong in that as I am continually told that the biggest risk group is those of us who return to riding after a long break like I did when I was 60. Luckily I did Mary Lou’s rider training at Strathalbyn when I started again. As prior to that I had a 20 yr break and took up road cycling but after two major crashes and the last one a hit’n’run I am now scared off cycling for good except for the occasional ride on my Mt Bike.
I’m now working on getting my wife to ride pillion on the GS with her two new titanium hip joints as she has only ever riden two up on our tandem race bike years ago. (I can still recall the screams when riding downhill on the Southern Freeway Amy Gillett ride years ago at 75km/h). I once got the Tandem up to 95 km/h downhill but not with her on the back.
So thanks for the last issue’s article on riding two up. By the way we are both 68 this year.
– Bruce Coleman
Nice story on a great bike BUT can you also do the same article on the BMW C400GT Grand Tourer? It’s a great bike for touring not just city riding. Some great touring scooters out there for us older riders in the market.
Great to see some positive feedback regarding scooter testing. If we get the opportunity to ride the BMW, be assured we will. – NP
Issue 163 Dec 21/Jan 22
The Worst Ride
It’s not often I see my home town of Charlton mentioned in your magazine, so I enjoyed the references. As it happens 1977 was when I bought my first motorbike – a Kawasaki Z400, much tamer than the widowmaker. I recall all the small towns mentioned on the road from Melbourne and Charlton, almost all if which are bypassed now. The Charlton roadhouse where your bike spent a week awaiting repairs, however, is still going strong.
A minor point: you have confused Wedderburn with Wycheproof as the next town north of Charlton and halfway to Mildura.
– Brad Cossar
An interesting story of a quirky persona. Piqued my interest on Moto Guzzies too and how a young person was able to travel South Africa. I liked it because hardly do we see articles about Moto Guzzies. Great article!
– Mick Gram
Riding the Nullabor
Well done Chris & Carmen!
You’re a natural for doing ride reports