Posted On 27 Mar 2024
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This entry is part 22 of 26 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#26

WE LOVE TO HEAR FROM WHAT YOU SAY, the letters are among the most keenly read parts of the magazine. Please try and keep letters down to no more than 300 words. Then you can read many, not just a couple. We do reserve the right to cut them and, unless you identify yourself and at least your town or suburb and state, we will print your email address instead. Please address letters to or Australian Motorcyclist Magazine, PO Box 2066, Boronia Park NSW 2111. All opinions published here are those of the writers and we do not vouch for their accuracy or even their sanity!

What you say?


For this issue, the excellent Andy Strapz AA Bagz goes to Beth Ottaway, who just wrote to us to ask where she could get a copy of the Hema Motorcycle Atlas! We’re awarding her the bag as a welcoming present from the entire motorcycle community – I hope that’s all right with you, motorcycling community? Beth, you will find that the AA Bagz is the ideal way of carrying all kinds of things on your bike, and that it will also look good and keep looking good. Andy makes them from the highest quality materials. As we say in the bike business, we use one ourselves!


Hi there, I am new to motorcycle riding, and probably don’t fit the usual profile being a 41 year old mother of three, but I am really enjoying getting out and about on my bike, and meeting other people from the motorcycle community.

I recently discovered Australian Motorcycle magazine which is the kind of bike magazine that interests me and I am inspired to improve my riding to a point where I could undertake an exciting travel adventure like Nick Wood’s journey in Malaysia (Feb 2015 issue), or Robert Crick’s great piece about Tibet. One day! As I am still learning, I would like to start with some trips in Australia, and so I am writing to find out how to purchase the Australia Motorcycle Atlas mentioned in the Bear’s article “Meet You Where?” (Feb 2015 issue again).

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Beth Ottaway
Adelaide, SA

Hi Beth, excellent to hear you getting out there and having fun! I just got back from our NZ tour, which had a number of “new” riders – all of whom had a ball. So this may be something to look at when we do it again next year? We sold out of the Hema Maps Motorcycle Atlas but you will still be able to get it through Hema Maps themselves. Check out – .But bear in mind that a new MC Atlas is coming in March or April. Keep in touch and most of all, have an awesome time riding your bike – Stuart


Good Morning Peter I am somewhat perplexed by the view of your reader about your assessment of new motor cycles as relayed in the editorial of February 2015 . As you state, it would be expected that a later version of a model would be an improvement but this does not diminish the enjoyment of an earlier model or mean that you would never buy a bike.

I currently own a 2003 FJR Yamaha which I still enjoy riding and which continues to more than meet my needs I think that we sometimes get carried away with the latest whizz bang technology. Electronic technology is OK until it goes kaput, as experienced by a friend I had to pick up miles from anywhere. In fact,afternoon, after a ride in the glorious sunshine, around the glorious peninsula where I have the good fortune to live, what do I find but the very first edition of Australian Motorcyclist Magazine.

Not only have I glanced through it in anticipation of a good read, and read a bit, thus far, but it will fill a lonely hole on my book shelf.

I was almost so overcome by your generosity of supplying me with not only the magazine, and not one, but two, of the aforesaid magazine’s advertising stickers. Now I must state here and now that I am not a lover of stickers. I do however have an Australian Street Rod sticker on the rear window of my old Ford Customline, because it helps to inform the general populace of such an organisation.

Knowing how good your magazine is I made a very quick decision to race back out to my shed and adorn the rear of my top box on ‘ol Chief with both stickers. In doing so, I hope that my action will help to inform the general populace of Australian Motorcyclist Magazine.

Now that I have all that bunkum off my chest, thanks Pete. Very much appreciated.

(The Chief)


Hello, Bear.

I have an unusual question for you. I hope that someone with your experience of riding all over the world might be able to help me at least a bit.

How can I get hold of a motorbike to go for a ride when I’m overseas? My job takes me all over SE Asia and will soon be taking me to parts of India as well.

I am often in places like Bangkok over the weekend and it would be a welcome opportunity to explore the countryside.

I’ve found a motorbike rental place in Hanoi, following up your story about riding in Vietnam, but it is not so easy in other cities.

Any help would be appreciated.

Marcus Perrine
Melbourne, Vic

That sounds like a terrific problem to have, Marcus, but I’m not sure I would be looking at riding in or around Bangkok.

I’ve done it, that’s true, but that was years ago and I’m pretty sure things will have gotten worse. But here’s what I would do in your place: first, get an International Driving Permit. You rarely actually need one of these, but rental places and the police love them because they’re multilingual. Then I would rely on the concierge of my hotel to either direct me to a rental shop or to find a “cousin” somewhere who had a bike that could be available. Beware of these latter arrangements because they usually don’t include insurance or other help, but sometimes there is no alternative. Try to get the concierge involved personally in the handover of the bike and have the details of the rental explained to him. He can act as a mediator if there is trouble. Get the “cousin” to deliver the bike to the hotel anyway, rather than going off with him to some shop in a back alley.

Good luck; what you’re doing is certainly risky, but could also be truly rewarding! – The Bear


Dear Bear That could be Dare Bare or Deer Beer.

I do love the mag and buy it as often as possible and read it from cover to glossy cover. January’s issue left me pondering adding in a side trip to Cape York as part of a planned ride from West to East on the trusty Weestrom utilising as much dirt as possible to avoid wearing out my lovely square blocks.

I have to take a little issue though with Lester in Classic Morris griping about inept parking. Lester, I drive a large 4WD when not plying my trade as a riding instructor, which I always reverse park. Ditto for my partner’s 3.5 tonne crafter van. Reason? Well, the main one is because it is far easier and safer to reverse in, you need only check once that no impatient naked apes are attempting to go behind you. Anyone with a large vehicle should be doing this and yes, it should be taught at basic level.

Imagine if you will, said reverse, now leaving. Lordamercy, all hazards are now in front of them while the poor fool trying to leave in reverse has the double jeopardy of ensuring they don’t clean up anyone passing behind them while simultaneously avoiding swinging the front quarter into the adjacent vehicle.

You obviously haven’t thought it out on these terms, Lester, as you don’t drive a real car anyway ( I bet you reverse park your scoot). I do need a 4WD for towing and the bush but when I drive in the city my silky reversing skills make the townies look very average, likewise for the fools who insist on driving forward into parallel parks. So learn to reverse, people, it’s not rocket science and it will make life safer for everyone.

Cheers, live long, ride far.

Don Bracken
Northam WA

About the Author
Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
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