Posted On 14 May 2024
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This entry is part 22 of 25 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#31

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!



G’day Stuart, In your review of the [Triumph Tiger] XRx, you made the statement that ‘It is the bike 85% of “adventure” riders should be buying’. I couldn’t agree more. In 2012 I had made the ‘d’ to buy a Tiger 800. I had visions of a hard-bitten, steely eyed, nomad rider in the wild. At the same time, my legs were pleading with me not to go too ‘tall’ in the saddle. I was going for that Tiger 800XC come hell or high water.

Then sanity set in. I tried the XC on for size. Damn it – still on tip toes with the seat on low setting. Not good.

Also, what the hell do I know about off road riding? Can I justify banging up this $20K bike while I’m learning? And really, am I thinking about off-road, or off-tar? There’s a huge difference between the two. The places I want to see do have a fair bit of off-tar, but I have to travel on a lot of tar to get to that dirt road I want!

So I bought the Tiger 800 roadie and haven’t looked back. My lack of off road skill I have compensated for by sticking to off-tar, and taking it easy as my confidence continues to grow and I get tips and tricks from my off-road riding, rock chewing mates. I did take a few precautions by fitting hand and radiator guards, crash bars and stronger bash plate just in case.

So I reckon your advice is spot on. The roadie works brilliantly for me; I have a bike that’s like a magic carpet ride on the tar, but will take my off-tar excursions in its stride. Nevertheless, it’d be great if you could share your advice in AMM on handling a road oriented bike on dirt/gravel roads.

Thanks again for a great article in a great mag! Keep up the good work.



I’ve asked Stu to look at that story, Tim, and when he’s not away on fabulously well-catered motorcycle launches he will try to put something together. I could do it too, but most of it would consist of advice like, “try not to hold the hand grips so hard that the handlebar tube deforms…”- The Bear


Dear Bear, Can you clear up a bit of confusion for me, please? In Motorcyclist 29, on page 35, you say about bat wing fairings that on a bike as big as the Victory Magnum ‘they have little if any effect’. What did you mean by that?

I am not thinking of buying a Magnum, but I am saving for an Indian and the bike I am looking at is the Chieftain. It has a bat wing fairing too. Should I look at a Vintage instead, or will the higher screen of the Chieftain make more of a difference than the low one on the Magnum?

By the way, I enjoy both your and Stuart’s road tests. It is good to see different approaches.

Weekend Warrior, Vaucluse NSW

Okay, apologies first. That comment should have read that bat wing fairings “have little if any negative effect”. In fact, the fairing on the Magnum works well, even with its small screen. You will find that the higher screen on the Chieftain works even better. No need to switch to a Vintage if a Chieftain is what rings your bell. – The Bear



The word has been bandied around so much by our ‘Talking Heads’ about our ‘Celebrity Sporting Stars’ that I am guessing that you fell into the trap of thinking that a person that does something for self gratification is worthy of the title. True that they have courage and their achievements are noteworthy, but I fail see the Nobility.

However, everybody is entitled to an opinion, and as editor, you decide on the content, but as a customer, I decide if I approve of what you publish, and this time I don’t.

Cancel the subscription please.

Funnily enough, I resigned from the Ducati club for Ducati’s use of the term for a guy that rode a long way. Still looking for a buyer for the bike.


Hi Dean, thank you for your email. I don’t know where you get, “Celebrity Sporting Stars” from, in Motorcyclist? As for the word “hero”, you might be interested to know the definition of the word is – “a person, typically a man, who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” Note the word “or”, it does not mean they have to meet all of the qualities. However, we do feel that anyone tackling the IomTT races meets all three of these qualities.

They are courageous; it is an outstanding achievement just to be able to make the start grid for the IomTT and yes, they are noble for their bravery. If you doubt that, I suggest you do not understand the TT races one bit.

Self-gratification? Hmm? Aren’t all sports people doing it for their own good? I haven’t seen any sports people forced to do their chosen sport before? Good luck with the sale of your bike and the purchase of a new one. Cheers, Stuart


I really enjoyed Boris’ ‘I’m Not Getting It’ in AMM 29, however he is preaching to the converted. If only this article could be published in motoring magazines and newspapers a few numb-brained motorists might be tempted to come out of the dark and swell the ranks of the enlightened.

Just as long as not too many join us or we could end up with Asian-style traffic jams of bikes and scooters.

Jeff Cole
Alice Springs

I know, Jeff. But it’s not the kind of thing that newspapers run. We have to hope that our readers (that means you, too) spread the word by recommending the story to drivers… – The Bear


Fellas, it’s spelt “divine”, not “devine” (page 4, issue #28). Divine magazine, by the way.

Corinne MacRoberts Wagga Wagga NSW

We knew that. We, err, were just testing – The Bear


Hey Stuart and Peter, It’s taken me a while to write, but thought it worth it. When you guys were at the Melbourne bike show late last year I had quite a chat to Stu about his reviews of the FZ6 and it was this that swayed me to buy one and it’s still going great guns.

We also had quite a chat about the Bolt and sidecar and its true folks, the paint is truly magnificent in the “flesh”. But it was a review of Kriega gear when you were with the other bike mag that made me look into them and now gives me cause to put pen to paper to talk about the way they conduct business.

I have one of their r25 litre back packs and it is the most comfortable back pack I have ever used on a bike due to the Quadlock system and weight distribution.

I have had my pack for about 2 and half years. Late in 2013, I broke a clip, rang them, they put one in the post, sadly the envelope got damaged in transit and arrived empty. I rang again and left a message on the Friday night just before the 2013 MRA Toy Run to let ‘em know. On the Sunday they had a stand at Calder Park so I swung by and told them who I was. The guy on the stand knew about the lost clip, found one in his kit and just gave it to me, no questions, no drama and a stubby holder as well – BONUS.

Now the really good part of this story.

Mid-June 2015 I sent a message asking if they did repairs, as the internal pocket was showing signs of wear and tear. They asked for a few photos. I sent them through and the message they sent back was, send the pack back with a note and they would deal with it under warranty.

All of this SMS dialogue was over a weekend too.

Well, yesterday a brand new Kriega 25 litre pack arrived by mail. This company is selling a great product and backing it up with after sales service. Good service still exists, and I can’t recommend them enough for it!

Adrian Flint Coburg North, Victoria

Stuart uses a Kriega backpack too, Adrian, and he backs your comments 100 per cent – The Bear


Hi team We have been using your excellent maps to explore stuff and want to make you aware of a change of management some 6 weeks earlier at the above hotel. We were going to avoid it based on your critique of the staff, but a lucky chat in St George advised us that the place had changed hands and the new people were getting good reports.

We called ahead and were made very welcome. Great place. Friendly, good value and we would highly recommend a stop over there anytime. The whole town is friendly and lots to see and do.

Peter Gawith
Peachester Qld

What a pleasant bit of news! Thank you, Peter – The Bear


Dear Bear and Stuart Very belated I know but I wanted give you and your readers some feedback on the Paradise Motorcycle Tour of the South Island of New Zealand that we went on in conjunction with your Magazine last February.

The only downside was that Air New Zealand lost my luggage and did not get it to me until 6 days into the ride.

I had however taken advice from the pages of your magazine and wore my riding gear onto the plane and carried on my helmet, all the magazines that I have purchased paid off right there. Having my riding gear meant that I could ride, having no luggage?

Couldn’t really care less. I have never used a hair drier before especially now that I have very little hair but they are great for drying out jocks after a quick wash in the sink.

Transport from Christchurch Airport to the hotel was well organised and I had a cold beer in my hand in no time. Trevor from Paradise came to see us upon our arrival as he heard that my luggage had been lost. From then on Paradise took on the responsibility for tracking down my luggage while Diane and I could go on and enjoy the ride, and enjoy the ride we did.

The roads were absolutely amazing and the scenery just seemed to get more and more stunning by the minute, azure blue glacial lakes, twisting roads and snow-capped mountains at every turn. Even riding down around Invercargill in the horizontal rain while dampening certain parts of the anatomy did nothing to dampen our spirits. I will never forget the ride through the snow at Homer Tunnel, what a wonderful experience. At the end of each day there was a well appointed warm room and great food, some of the rooms were well above our expectations.

The other bonus about this ride was the amazing people that we were lucky enough to meet from different parts of the globe. While most people on the ride were from very different backgrounds there was a very good vibe within the group and close camaraderie. I will never forget Fiona singing an operatic song for us at the tavern, the hair on my neck still stands on end when I think of that.

The riders had varied levels of riding skill but Trevor and Andrea were great guides who were happy to share their motorcycling knowledge in an informative and positive way, they also showed a lot of care and compassion to all of the riders. I was lucky enough for Stuart to give me some scooter riding lessons in a pub car park (how was I meant to know that the bloody things don’t have a clutch), Stuart was hard to keep up with both on the road and in the pub.

I have ridden on many organised rides and covered a lot of miles on my own and have always had doubts about going on a guided tour. After riding with Paradise Motorcycle Tours I will not only go again I recommend other riders to have a ride with these blokes.

Thanks for a great magazine and keep up the good work, we might see you on the road again some day.

Kind Regards
Peter and Diane Simmonds.
Margaret River WA

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