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Tuesday, 19 June 2018


From JUNE 1, 2018 the Independent Riders Group (IRG) is the Motorcycle Riders Association (MRA) in Victoria.

The original MRA was founded on Tuesday, May 16, 1978 in the lounge of the St Kilda Inn Hotel in St Kilda, a Melbourne inner suburb. The MRA grew rapidly and spread across Australia. 

The MRA grew rapidly. It was the right concept at the right time. There were seven branches, 52 sub-branches or registers and around 16,000 members in the late 1980s.

The Victorian Branch was closed in the 2000s. The IRG took over. The IRG was an informal group of concerned motorcyclists connected mainly by the internet. In 2018 the IRG had attracted over 500 members. The IRG membership included much of the original MRA's experience, expertise and contacts.

In May 2018 a survey of IRG members and associates was done to see if the majority wanted to go back to the MRA name which had far more brand power that the IRG. The survey indicated that the overwhelming majority wanted to be members of the "new" MRA in Victoria. 

The MRA in Victoria differs in many ways from the original MRA but the original aims are the same.

1.     Road Safety. 
2.     Fair and sensible laws. 
3.     A better image for riders.

Like the IRG the MRA in Victoria will not charge membership fees but it reserves the right to refuse a membership application or terminate a membership without explanation. Unfortunate but necessary given what white ants did to the original MRA. 

People who support the aims and work of the IRG/MRA and who want the IRG/MRA to represent them can join via the face book page or my email address or the PO Box in Doncaster Heights. We do not want a lot of detail. Just name, post code and email address.

The team that make the IRG/MRA work are not paid. These volunteers pay for events and activities out of their own pockets. Proceeds from sales of memorabilia and donations go to pay some expenses like stationary or venue costs. If there is a surplus it will go to the Father Bob Foundation to further Father Bob's work for the less fortunate in our community.

The new/old MRA has based its' logo and patch on a design from the 1980s. The patch is a circle 8cm across. It features a Tasmanian wedge tailed eagle in MRA colours, black & white. It also features the Australian colours, green & gold.

Patches will be available from July 16, 2018. They cost $25 each. Add $2 pack & post for up to five patches. Send your order the old fashioned way for now with a cheque or money order made out to The Independent Riders Group. Post the order to:

 PO Box 4330, Doncaster Heights, Vic. 3109.

Damien Codognotto OAM


Mobile: 0419 846 855.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018


Channel 7 Melbourne - Nick McCallum report including interviews with victims relatives.
Prime 7 News Border - Albury/Wodonga - Interview with Bill Tilley, Member for Benambra

Monday, 28 May 2018


Saturday, 26 May 2018



Peter Baulch and the VMC/AMC do not speak for me!

For many years Victorian motorcycle & scooter riders were exempt from road tolls due to an agreement with toll companies that goes back to the Kennett Government.

Riders were sold out in the early 2000s by people claiming to represent all riders. They said Victorian riders were happy to pay their way. This rider is not. We already pay much more than our fair share of road costs. 

Toll companies were assured by pseudo bike representatives like Baulch, that there would be no opposition to the companies sorting out their technology so they could toll and pad their profits. The profits do not go back into safer roads, they go to shareholders. A significant number of shareholders and company accounts are not in Australia.

Let’s get one thing absolutely straight, so there is no misunderstanding. Neither Peter Baulch nor the Victorian Motorcycle Council speak for, or represent me in any way. And, there are many other riders who feel that way.

Road registered motorcycles & scooters pay too much already and should be exempt from all road tolls.

Damien Codognotto OAM

Mobile: 0419 846 855.

Friday, 25 May 2018


CH 7

Your item on bicycle safety & research this morning (Mat 26, 2018) was interesting.

From memory, the report claimed that in 63% of collisions involving cars and bicycles, the car driver was at fault. We think that research was done in and around Brisbane.

In Melbourne bicyclists have called for phone blockers fitted to cars to stop drivers being distracted by their phones, tablets, etc. See attached. The Independent Riders Group thinks blockers have problems, not the least of which is the cost of retrofitting the entire Australian car fleet. We would like to see more police motorcycles in traffic using helmet cameras. See attached.

The IRG accepts the 63% figure. We think that if the same research was done in Melbourne traffic the percentage of collisions where the car driver was at fault would be much higher. 

In collisions involving a car and a motorcycle or scooter the car driver is at fault around 70% of the crashes.

Why don’t car drivers see the two wheelers? The short answer is they do not look for bikes because they are not trained to look. Car drivers are conditioned to look for THREATS. But they don’t always look for threats either. They are also conditioned to say I did not see him/her on the bike. This avoids the responsibility of driving safely and being blamed/charged for the driver’s role in the crash.

A longer answer involves the dumbing down of the driving task, the lack of road user education in schools, the increasing isolation of the car driver in a comfortable shell and the huge increase in in-car distractions over the last two decades.

While VicRoads controls the so called "whole of government" response tp Parliamentary Inquiry recommendations, few recommendations will be adpoted regardless of road safety.

Damien Codognotto OAM

Wednesday, 23 May 2018


The Victorian Government released a report which reportedly says car phones and like devices will contribute to an increased road toll if we do not do something to stop their use by car drivers.

I thought they were already contributing.

The issue got TV time on Ch 7's SUNRISE this morning. It got pages of print in the Melbourne Herald Sun.

Top traffic cop Doug Fryer got stuck in on the side of Bicycle Network Victoria who want car phone signals blocked to car drivers.

Four million cars in this state. Putting a blocker in each one would be a big job. Even if, for argument's sake, the blockers only cost $25 each, you are looking at $100,000,000 over a long time. I doubt it will happen.

A much easier, quicker and more cost effective way to crack down on distractions in cars would be more motorcycle cops with helmet cameras as in other states. They would also detect seat belt and child restraint offences. The bonus would be many more unroadworthy cars off the road or sent for repairs.

BUT, motorcycles & scooters never got a mention .... again. Not the RACV, VACC or FCAI or any of the major clubs or representatives mentioned motorcycles or scooters. The IRG got a letter in the Melbourne Herald Sun but that's all.

Damien Codognotto OAM

The Melbourne Herald Sun. May 24, 2018.

The Melbourne Herald Sun. May 18, 2018.

The NEWCASTLE TOY RUN is 41 years old. It is a seriously great motorcycling event. It is one of the few traditional TOY RUNs left in Australia and is by far the biggest attracting 10,000 machines each year.