Get your motor running, even if it’s slow to warm up
I have taken unto myself a motorbike and it is a beautiful and joyous thing. For others it is a sign of my mental collapse and advanced desperation.
There has been a procession of arched eyebrows and the diagnosis of a mid-life a crisis from those who believe I should be confining myself to inspections of nice retirement villages.
I acknowledge that I am north of 50 and a shortish commute to 60, but it is foolish to make sweeping statements about an age group. (Gen Y does it all the time). And I’m having too much fun to worry.
I have bought a Honda Shadow VT750 cruiser, sort of a sofa on two wheels: or as my wife might see it, a new bathroom disappearing down the highway.
A fellow journalist of my vintage – won’t name him but he has written for an age and is never wrong – and I want to start a bikie gang – Hell’s Hacks.
Naturally we will be involved in the drug trade, mostly those related to lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
We won’t flinch from taking on the so-called outlaw bikie gangs, and we won’t show any mercy.
Right from the start they should get used to the fact we will hit hard. For example, mess with us and you’ll get a bad write-up in Sydney Confidential.
Try any more funny business and we’ll go all the way. We’ll block your on-line access to The Australian’s Higher Education Supplement.
Some 35 years ago I had a Yamaha RD350, now considered a legendary bike. I loved it, almost literally to my death.
Being a busy young chap I didn’t have time to get around to such details as actually obtaining a licence, and certainly didn’t get any road training. When I stopped falling off I figured I had mastered the beast.
I hadn’t, of course, and was lucky to survive.
This time I have taken one course and will take at least one more. And I have a licence. My reflexes might not be as sharp as they were 35 years ago, but I am a lot smarter.
In fact I know house bricks which are a lot smarter than I was back then.
Like thousands of other Australians, I am simply taking advantage of the great welcome this continent gives to motor bikers. It is as if it had been purpose built.
We can readily escape the city for glorious countryside on highways which are among the best in the world. And the weather can almost compel you to get your motor running.
Last year was a big one for motorbike sales but the economic slump dragged down figures in the first six months of this year, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has reported.
Even so, about 55,500 motorcycles, scooters and all-terrain vehicles (ATV) were sold in that first six months.
Road bikes were the biggest market segment with 20,722 sales, 13.4 per cent down on the previous year.
Cruisers were the strongest selling road bikes, claiming 22.5 per cent of that market.
Those figures will rise as economic confidence increases and the weather improves. Australia has yet to hit its biker peak.
Just be careful as you set out on the highway looking for adventure next summer. And whatever else comes your way, be nice to the old bloke on the Honda faithfully obeying the speed limit. It could be me.
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