Posted On 08 May 2024
Comment: Off
This entry is part 25 of 29 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#30

WE LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU, 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!


This month’s winner is Eoin Peters, who learned a lesson from something as humble as one of our neck tubes. We hope he learns something from one of Andy Strapz’ excellent Shoulda Bagz as well. We have one of these and it gets a lot of use both as a kind of courier bag and for trips into the country, when it holds a cut lunch and a small thermos.

Perfect! And don’t worry, Eoin, they’re not woosy “manbags”… Another letter we quite liked was the one from Philip Shaw from Mount Crosby in Queensland. Phil wrote to us in something of a minor rage, but then cooled down after Stu wrote back to him. Not that he didn’t have the right to get angry. We all have the right to object to things people say and write. If only I could get that through to some of our parliamentarians… Here’s a secret: Boris sometimes gets my blood boiling, too. But that’s fine; in fact, it doesn’t boil nearly often enough. PT


G’day Bear, I recently renewed my subscription to Australian Motorcyclist & received one of the Neck Tubes in the mail shortly thereafter. When this thing arrived, I thought to myself, “What a woosy thing to wear. Why, in heaven’s name would someone ever wear something like that?”

Having thought all those things, I put the neck tube into my tank bag.

Last week, a mate & I had some time to kill, so we decided to go for a ride. I really enjoy touring in the winter months. The heated grips keep my hands lovely & warm & the heated seat, well, what can I say. There is nothing more pleasant then feeling your ass being warmed, unless of course it is someone else, doing the warming. In addition to these two items, I also ride behind an acre of plastic, which diverts the cold air away. However, riding in the summer heat can become very challenging. I ride a BMW R1200RT & find that this bike does everything I want from a tourer.

Anyway, I digress, we rode to Canberra, then Jindabyne, Mallacoota & finally Bermagui before returning home to the Illawarra. At Jindabyne, I then pulled on a fleecy throat coat & did the collar of my jacket right up. I thought this might stop the irritation I felt as the jacket collar was rubbing against my throat.

This worked, but it was very restrictive, so I took it off.

I put the throat cover in my tank bag & saw the neck tube looking out at me. I pulled it on, did up my jacket, put my helmet back on & continued riding. I have to eat my words; this is the best thing ever. Thin enough to not be restrictive at all, easily tucks into the collar of my jacket & really comfortable.

So, I just wanted to thank you for this free gift. I have no doubt that it will make my hours touring much more pleasant.

Enjoy the mag, keep up the great work.

Yours Sincerely,
Eoin Peters

Hi Eoin, would you think we’d give you a “gimmick”? LOL! Wait until you wash it with some fabric softener, it gets even better! Enjoy your riding, mate! Cheers, Stuart.

Iron on medium heat, Eoin, or maybe you could just dry it on your heated seat! – The Bear


Dear Stuart, I read issue 27 which got the blood boiling, re motorcyclists not being part of a fraternity.

I usually give or receive a nod from a few other two-wheeled users on the road, apart from scooter riders and cruiser riders who usually don’t nod nor acknowledge. I don’t wish to stop and hug them and swap life histories; it is merely a quick and painless acknowledgment that someone shares my love of riding.

However, now I find that Boris doesn’t like some of us who indulge in this weird behavior. If someone doesn’t like me I won’t hang around to be told twice. I’ll walk away. Please cancel my subscription and refund the balance.

Kind Regards,
Philip Shaw
Mount Crosby Qld


Hi Philip, Think about what you’re saying here.

You want to cancel your subscription just because of Boris? He writes columns like this just to stir people up – most of the time he doesn’t mean it.

Are you also saying you don’t enjoy the rest of the magazine?

Let me know.

Hi Stuart,

I love the rest of the magazine, and congratulations on your expanded role. (Love your informative bike tests.) I followed the Bear over from his last magazine when he set up this one. I have written to Bear and had letters published, and came and said g’day at the Brisbane motorcycle show last year. I don’t make it a habit of writing to magazines, but this one has, dare I say it, a more mature feel about it. I’m 60, so I no longer buy the bike magazines that interested me twenty years ago.

The funny thing is; I emailed re Boris’ previous article about speeding, as I fully agreed. Sometimes we have to speed up to avoid danger, or ride quicker than the surrounding traffic so as not to stay in a blind spot. Apart from that having a good fang is good therapy, as is just riding a bike daily.

(CBF1000; can’t afford a Beamer or Guzzi as mentioned in Boris’ article). Which is why no doubt I’ve blown Boris’ comments out of proportion this time. Having been clinically diagnosed with the black dog but refusing to take medication any more it’s the little things that get me through. If I’ve had a shit day, having someone give me a nod while riding toward me is enough to give me a lift. So that’s why I was fired up at Boris’ latest article.

Um, OK. I’ve finished sooking. Don’t cancel my subscription.

Thanks for taking the time to email me back, Stuart.

Kind Regards,
Philip Shaw Mount Crosby Qld

Actually, Philip and Stuart, Boris usually does mean it. And we actually need to be reminded of the things he writes about. You certainly don’t need to agree with him – we’d be a pretty poor excuse for a magazine if we only published stuff that everyone agrees with – but it pays to read his column, and to think about it – The Bear


Hi, Bear.

I had to laugh. There in the Ulysses magazine was a letter from some bloke who has a cap from the Happy Birthday Australia Rally in 1988.

He was wondering if the logo on it was the first appearance of the Ulysses Old Man. Now, for a start he is five years out, because the club was formed in 1983 and I seem to remember that you designed the Old Man even before there was a club.

But also he seems to think that everything revolves around the club.

If I remember correctly (and I was at the HBAR) the logo had nothing to do with Ulysses?

The Old(ish) Man Broken Hill, NSW

True, true. I did that drawing and it is in my style, as is the real Ulysses Old Man, but it is by no means a copy. If you look long enough you’ll find other badges and such that I’ve designed that look a bit like the Old Man (think of the Dumb Bikers Run), but they’re all original – The Bear


As Aust Post declines and profits drop, in its wisdom, it is becoming very strict with postal etiquette and procedures.

For instance, I needed the correct address of a local resident who had a private box; so fronting up to the counter, I asked if I could have the box number.

“We are not allowed to divulge that type of information,” came the curt reply from the other side of the counter.

“So! If I post this letter to a private box without the actual box number on it, you will return the letter as incorrectly addressed?” I asked.

“Yes,” came the immediate reply.

“No wonder you’re going broke,” I retorted, “AustPost and the Police Station are the only institutions where the customer is always wrong,” I cried triumphally.

The Postal Person back pedalled slightly. ”If you hand the letter to me personally, I will place it in the correct box.”

I handed the Postal Pierrot the letter and left totally convinced the inmates are accelerating their demise faster than Cockey Hockey can smoke a cigar.

Barrie Hayman Somewhere, Vic

This has nothing to do with bikes, but Barrie is an old mate (and performer of one of the most spectacular delayed action motorcycle crash injuries ever – I’ve written about it) and the letter is about an all-too-familiar experience… – The Bear


Hi there,

There’s a problem which traditionally only affects short guys and girls, and then there’s Adventure bikes: the seat height of their preferred motorcycle creates issues when doing anything other than riding the bike.

Particularly when:

• Parking at the edge of a road which curves steeply into the gutter.

• Getting the bike back off its side stand when you’ve parked in such a place.

• Waiting at the lights when there’s strong cross winds.

• Holding the bike while a pillion climbs on or off.

The accepted solutions are to reduce suspension preload to increase sag; or slide the forks up through the triple tree and fit alternate length drop/drag links; or sell the bike and buy something smaller so you don’t have to ruin the handling of your pride & joy.

So I came up with my own based on an inflatable bladder installed inside the seat foam which effectively gave me the option of sinking down to the plastic seat base when I need to, so getting my feet 2” closer to the ground. Then once riding again the seat re-acquires its comfort factor by inflating the bladder to my chosen level of firmness – an unexpected bonus on longer trips when I can change the seat’s firmness to give my backside a rest.

I also had to come up with an automatic deflation system so that my feet reached the ground even if I forgot to deploy it. So it works well as a solution which doesn’t affect handling, but is very model-specific in terms of installation (placement of components and electrical connections) and so not an easy retro fit. But it is possible on most bikes which start out with sufficiently padded seats; so I put it on youtube and got a few hits and then thought maybe that level of interest might convince you to consider a short article on the issue.

This is the address I use: and this is what is displayed once there: watch?v=isIYwP7d8QA&feature

The only fl y in the ointment from an article perspective might be my location: Auckland, New Zealand.

The reason I’m writing to you: I just got a copy of Australian Motorcyclist Magazine.

Kind regards,
Tim Masterbikes
Auckland, NZ

Well thank you for thinking of us for the introduction of your invention, Tim. You know many things that are hidden… sorry, just a little Monty Python joke.

So, I suspect that there are several people among our readers who would be interested in this, and if you’d like us to ride your prototype and report on it next time we’re in Auckland, we’ll do our best to do just that – The Bear


Just read letters June issue. Yes you are mistaken: the Devil’s Elbow is not a loop. It’s a very tight downhill left hander that’s very good at catching out new players especially when cold & wet. Uphill wasn’t as bad, but still.

It is part of the old road you used to come around that and line up for the right hander that used to be Readymix Corner, that section’s gone now, though, with the new road.

Craig Baxter Adelaide SA

The Chief agrees, Craig, and so do I on reflection. Well picked – The Bear

About the Author
Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
Page Scroller Supported By Bottom to Top