Wednesday, 31 July 2013


In my opinion, by attaching pads to the posts of wire rope barriers as a motorcycle & scooter safety measure the road authority accepts the wire rope barriers are so dangerous to riders that they have to modify the barriers to make them less dangerous.

Not sure what that says about liability.

The NSW Motorcycle Council commissioned a study a few years ago that reported that the posts in barrier systems were what did the damage to riders who hit the barrier. Wire rope barrier has the largest number of exposed posts of any type. Don't even think about the risk posed by the concrete and steel ends.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013


Hi Damien,

It is disturbing that there is a current campaign (in rural Victoria at least) for all cars to have their headlights on during the day to be more visible. 

This removes the advantage that motorcyclists have by having their lights on. 

Your thoughts?


Paul Edwards,
Yarragon, Vic
'Morning Paul.

Lights-on promotions  come  and go. These  campaigns  demonstrate that
many  road  safety  campaigns   are   based   on  opinion  rather than
scientific fact.  That's too often true when it comes to motorcycles &

There  is  no  evidence  that  having  headlights  on  in bright light
conditions   reduces   collisions.  Australia  has  more  very  bright
conditions than most places with high volumes of vehicle traffic.

VicRoads  had  at  least  two  opportunities to conduct real lights-on

1.  After  we beat the lights-on law/rule for motorcycles &
scooters  on  roadworthy/legal  grounds  the  industry began to import
"hard-wired"  bikes.  So there were crash figures before lights-on for
bikes and after. VicRoads chose to do nothing.

2.  At  the  Road Safety Reference Group at VicRoads it was decided to
get  fleet  operators  to hard wire their vehicles. Telstra was one. I
argued  that  here  was  another opportunity to study before and after
lights-on  to  see if it really did reduce collisions. They could also
work  out  if  hard  wiring  cost  fleet  operators  more in parts and

Having  ridden  in Australian traffic since 1967 I can tell you I ride
most  of  the  time  in  daylight with my headlight off. I had a light
switch put on my Guzzi.

I can also say it's my opinion that since most motorcycles &  scooters
have  their  headlights  on  having  more  cars  travelling,  town  or
country, with lamps blazing will actually serve  to  hide  motorcycles
&  scooters  in traffic. This is probably more dangerous when the bike
is back lit. If there is a long shadow in front of my bike I make sure
my headlight is off.

There has also been concern that it is much harder to judge accurately
the speed and distance of an approaching single-lighted object. But no
research has been done, to my knowledge, on that.

The   only   serious  look  at  lights-on  for  bikes  I  know  of  is
Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Motorcycle Visibility released in

Recommendation  5  states.  "The  Minister  for  Transport advises the
Federal   Government   that   the  light  specifications  included  in
Australian   Design   Rule  19/01  are  inappropriate  for  Australian

Recommendation 6  states.  "The  Minister  for Transport amend the Road
Safety  (Vehicles)  regulations 1988 to exclude Australian Design Rule
19/01  from  roadworthiness requirements for motorcycles registered in

Recommendation 7 states. "The use of daytime running lights for
motorcycles remains voluntary."

Again,  in  my  opinion, motorcycle & scooter riders on their bikes in
areas where there is an active campaign to have car drivers turn their
headlights on in bright sunshine need to be extra vigilant.

"Sorry  mate.  I  did  not  see  you" is a car driver's  admission  of
negligence or incompetence or both.

Can I put this on the blog and facebook pages? I can remove your ID if
you wish.


Thanks Damien for your comprehensive reply. 

For the record, I've left phone messages with

. David Healy, Vice Pres of Australasian College of Road Safety

. Jessica Trong, TAC

. Ted Moulder, Minister for Transport

None have returned my messages

I also rang the Dept of the Premier. Didn't make it past the switchboard. They told me to ring Ted Mulder. 

Of course you can add it to your blog & FB. No need to remove my ID. 

Cheers , 


Monday, 29 July 2013


Hello Damien,
Please refer to the attached responses received from my local member.
I would like to respond to Neale Burgess with my comments regarding the Terry Mulder letter.
In addition to expressing my concern that the inquiry’s recommendations are not being fully supported by the Victorian Government, I would also like to question the statement that “60 per cent of speeding motorcyclists do not get fined because speed cameras are not able to identify them”.
I thought that incidents of speed cameras not being able to identify four (or more) wheeled vehicles were much more numerous than motorcycles. Do you have any information, statistics and/or facts on this?
Also, do you know how many members the IRG currently has? Politicians usually take note of numbers (potential voters!).
Please keep up your good work. I get rather upset seeing the continuous ridiculous persecution of motorcyclists by Governments and am very glad there are people like you out there fighting for us. 
Your welcome to put this on your blog if you like.
Kindest Regards,

Sunday, 28 July 2013


Good work Dale!


I have emailed a series of pictures showing damaged rural roads to the Roads Minister Terry Mulder MP (Vic.) via the federal member for Wannon Dan Tehan MP.

I've also contacted the Victoria Police traffic management unit  TMU team leaders to ask if the have lodged complaints with VicRoads.

I noted some trucks driving up to 600 meters on the wrong side carriage way!

We await the Ministers Response:-)

Dale Robert Maggs
Mob 0432 776 458

Got an issue. Do a Dale and go see you local MP. He/she is your representative. Your taxes pay him/her. It's not only your right to complain, it's your MPs duty to listen. The more people who exercise their rights the better our democracy is.



We catch up with Mal Jarrett to find out how the Sydney Motorcycle Expo is shaping up

Kwik Mick fills us in on the National Top Fuel Harley Drag Bike Competition and looks forward to the next round in Darwin

Jen Woods updates us on the recent MRA Blanket Run in Canberra and we find out what happens to the blankets that are donated by local riders

CJ Burns updates us on the state of play with NSW Green Slips

We announce details of the Ducati Concourse coming up in Sydney in September

Plus we look at some upcoming motorcycle events around the country

So don't forget to tune in 7pm-9pm Sydney time on Alive 90.5 FM or listen online on the Alive website and smart phone.

Ride is proudly sponsored by:

Fraser Motorcycles: check out their stores in Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Melbourne and Perth.


Saturday, 27 July 2013


On 28/07/2013, at 9:00 AM, Cate wrote:

I found this on a forum. It seems to NOT be a widely known fact. I'm thinking, if it's true, then we should be advising our riders?  Cate:-)

Vic Roads rego, little hidden cost - 17/05/2013

I thought I'd post this as not a lot of people know about it and it only applies to people who have 2 or more registered motorcycles.

They don't tell you about the TAC tax exemption but I'm in the process of registering another bike with Vic roads and I knew it applies. I asked VicRoads and was told no, but the woman wasn't sure. She said she would find out and come back, which she did and said, yes I am correct!!!

So, many years ago, the Govt and VicRoads and TAC added an additional $50 on all Vic roads registrations on motorcycles. It's hidden in your rego bill. You may recall the outcry, but as all Aussies, we whinge and complain and in the end , do sweet FA about it and let it pass and put up with it .

What VicRoads don't tell you (unless you ask) is that if you register another bike in your name, you don't have to pay the tax on the second bike. It only applies to one bike. You could have 10 bikes , but you only pay the tax once.

A lot of people don't know this, they wont apply it, so in the end, if you register 2 bikes, you will pay the fee unknowingly.

So if you do go into register another bike, tell VicRoads you have another bike registered and to waive the TAC  fee of $50 (now over $70 - DC) they apply on all bikes.

I would also be making sure if you are have another bike registered under your wife's name, or partner, put it in your name as you are paying them that extra for no reason.
G'day Cate.

My understanding, from memory, is that you only have to pay the TAC tax on bikes over a certain number of CC's and only on the first machine registered. Most riders do not know this and getting a refund is very tricky.

The tax is not easy to find on TAC or VicRoads websites. It is only mentioned in the small print on your rego form as a "safety Levy" presumably so they won't get too many complaints for charging as much for an environmentally-friendly vehicle as for a polluting, road-blocking 4WD/SUV. If a business added a charge like this to their bills there would be an upset. If it's not illegal I reckon it's unethical but VicRoads gets away with it.

Yes. the Independent Riders' Group should publicise this to benefit riders by minimising the TAC/VicRoads rip off.

Anyone who has more detailed knowledge of the way the TAC tax is taken and how to get a refund, please pass it on to Cate and Leah for the facebook pages.

As I remember it, the riders who conspired with the Bracks Government to slip in a discriminatory $50 a year TAC tax, with the state budget in 2002(?) had not thought through the consequences. Consultation with stakeholders was all but non-existant.  The TAC tax was in line with departmental policies not to do anything to encourage the use of motorcycles & scooters. Zealots at TAC/VicRoads/Police took that to mean discourage the use of motorcycles & scooters. This unfair tax was warmly welcomed by the bureaucrats and the rider reps who supported it so they could have their own little budget to play with on government committees.

At the start, the TAC rip off was on ALL bikes over 125cc(?). This meant that people with more than one bike paid more. The well-heeled would pay more than low-income riders who could only afford 1 bike. Since many of the riders who made excuses for the TAC tax had multiple machines this would not do at all.

A review of the TAC tax was a sham. Consultation with stakeholders was confined to government picked reps.

I heard that behind closed doors negotiations led to TAC/VicRoads limiting the tax to the first bike only. TAC/VicRoads were not happy but they wanted to keep these particular rider reps on side so the change was allowed. Publicity was minimal. Around this time, perhaps 2005/6, the TAC tax was indexed so it  increased each year in the budget. It is now over $70 a year and rising.

You don't think the establishment would try to tax motorcycles & scooters of our roads?

Some of rider reps kow tow to the establishment. In my opinion this happened with the introduction of the TAC tax. Human nature unfortunately. It's happened before. Look at the reaction of the Federation of Australian Motorcyclists' (FAM NSW) to the problems at Bathurst. The history of the Easter bike races at Bathurst is a long story. I should write a book on it. Maybe Hirsty will give me a hand?

The short story on Bathurst is that in the 1970s, Easter was the Australian bike event. 10,000 riders, from all over Australia, camped on Mount Panorama. The town's folk loved us. The powers that be hated us. The race organisers were gutless and some riders who were not "on the mountain" sold out. Police bused in young storm troopers from all over the state.

Police tried to prevent the MRAs from providing first aid, entertainment and legal advice to the victims of police baton charges and unfair arrests. We did anyway.

Police policy alternated yearly. When they patrolled in pairs and talked to people there was a bit of rowdy behaviour but no real problems. When they brought the riot gear, as in 1979, '81 and '83, and banned journos from reporting activities there was the so-called riot. But, until 1981, the only info most reporters got was police spin. FAM swallowed it hook line and stinker.

One give away on police attitude to bike riders at Bathurst in those days was the registration plates on two new police cars brought in for the occasion. The plates read PIG 1 AND PIG 2!

Have a look at what the rider rep from FAM published in the July 1981 issue of Two Wheels. I doubt Peter Matthews or any of the race organisers were ever on the mountain at night.

The reply is by the Bear, Peter Thoeming.

Bathurst stopped in 1985 when police took their riot gear up the mountain for the last time.

Anyway the point is that the TAC tax was introduced because a couple of riders put their interests and pet theories ahead of what was wanted and/or needed by grass roots motorcycle and scooter riders. No consultation.

The only way to protect against this sort of undermining behaviour is "people power". We need more riders to join the IRG and we need more IRG members to go see their MPs and demand that Premier Napthine honour his promise and adopt the PIMSS recommendation to abolish the TAC tax (even if it is now taken for the first registered bike only.

Go see your MP!

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

The reason the TAC tax started at 125 cc was Australia Post were in consultation with the bureaucrats at the time. AP was screaming blue murder that postie bikes at 110 cc should be exempt.

An exemption was made!   

Dale Robert Maggs
Mob 0432 776 458
Independent Riders Group

Friday, 26 July 2013




Hi all

Just a update on IRG Regional.

I'm running a story about Rural Roads & the lack of maintenance due to insufficient funding by VicRoads
Just watch this space. I'll have something for the web page soon 

Here is a earlier piece about poor roads you see not much changes only the dates 


Dale Robert Maggs
Mob 0432 776 458

Independent Riders Group

Thursday, 25 July 2013


The Independent Riders' Group is growing steadily.

The aim is to promote motorcycle & scooter safety and defend your right to ride.

Membership is free. You can withdraw at any time. All we need is your name, post code and email address. Send it to or the addresses below:

Hello everybody!

I have recently established a Facebook page for Independent Riders' Group Northern Register, and am servicing regional northern Victoria for IRG.

IRG represents individual riders who may prefer not to be a member of an organised club or group, riders who belong to a club or group that may or may not already be affiliated with VMC or VSRA, riders of all types of Motorcycles, Trail Bikes, Scooters, and Pillions.

All members participate in various ways, and are encouraged to provide input about rider issues they are concerned about.

As a lobby group, our strength in unity to our cause is vital, as is a show of strength by numbers.

IRG membership is free!

We welcome your support.

We ride, we pay, we vote.
Make a difference today.

All we need is your name, email
address & postcode.

We provide information for North, North Central & North East Victorian motorcycle riders on how to participate and/or contribute to, lobbying for riders rights.

Do you ride a motorcycle, trail bike, or scooter? Are you a pillion? If so, and you are concerned about your safety, or any initiatives in your local area that may impact on your liberties as a rider, please email:

to have your concerns posted on our facebook pages and blog.

Please, spread the word, share any information you like from our 
facebook pages, and feel free to contact us with any of your concerns.

and/or, for Central (Greater Melbourne) & South

Keep informed of current issues affecting our safety and liberties as riders and pillions.  Have your say; keep us posted on any rider specific issues in your local areas.

Stay safe,



The Independent Riders' Group is renewing its' efforts to rid the Victorian motorcycle & scooter community of the discriminatory TAC antibike tax. Watch this space.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013


The Herald Sun
Amelia Harris
Transport Writer

"VICROADS has rejected 99% of compensation claims for damage to cars allegedly caused by dodgy roads. Drivers have filed almost 900 claims against VicRoads in one year. About $1.78 million in claims were made against VicRoads last year ...."

If  VicRoads didn't waste so much on unnecessary signage and inappropriate road furniture, there would be plenty of our money to pay these victims of their failure to provide a safe road environment in all the areas they are responsible for and still be able to fix a few level crossings each year.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

Monday, 22 July 2013

Hi all:-)

I finally got around to setting up the IRG Northern Register Facebook
page as discussed a few months ago with Damien.

The aim is to encourage riders in regional north, north central & north
east Victoria, to keep us informed of issues specific to their local
council areas, as well as issues relevant to all riders.

I would like to think we'll end up with someone to do an IRG Western
Register, and IRG Eastern Register, in the future, and that they will
all serve to help bring IRG to regional areas more effectively.

There is a problem with the display of the IRG Northern Register
Facebook page at the moment, which Leah & I have been trying to sort out
today, but to no avail.  It can only be accessed by signing in as a
Facebook user, which I hope to have rectified in the next 48 hours, when
the page has had time to 'settle in' on the system.

Here it is!

We have 11 'Likes' already!!  Thanks Leah for putting it up on the main
IRG Facebook page this morning, and thanks Dale . . . you were lucky
number 7!



Morning Damien,

Found this on Whirlpool this morning, and have responded with advice for
rider involved in recent accident with a 4wd in Melbourne.  Thought you
might like to read it.


Thursday, 11 July 2013


Thanks Cate.

I'd appreciate it if IRG members would keep an eye on the Coroner and let me know if any motorcycle or scooter rider inquests are coming up and I'll try to get there.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group

Here is the link to the Coroners Court of Victoria hearings for July.

A list for each month can be accessed from:

Generally, anyone can come to an inquest. Sometimes a coroner will
decide to exclude the public, or specific people, from attending. A
coroner may also restrict publication of the evidence, or part of the
evidence.  While anyone can attend, only people granted permission
by a coroner can appear as an ‘interested party’.

Who are interested parties?

Interested parties are actively involved in the inquest.
They may make submissions, examine witnesses and read documents.

To become an interested party you must show the coroner that you have a
particular interest in the case and a reason to appear.

Interested parties may include:

•family members
•a doctor who treated the person who has died
•anyone who has relevant information
•a person who, in a coroner’s opinion, may be involved in some way with
the death or fire.

Interestingly, I heard on the news earlier, another truck driver, who
supposedly witnessed the accident this morning, saying that the
motorcyclist ran up the back of the truck.  I'm a little confused, as to
how that could happen, unless the truck had pulled out in front of him
without warning?  Hmmmm . . . hate to sound cynical, but truckie's stick
together too, just like we used too!



VicPol Media Release . . . early hours of this morning . . . tragically,
another one of us clobbered . . . would seem by this description that
the truck driver wasn't looking when he entered the Princes Fwy from the
Monash Fwy??  Another one to keep an eye on with the Coroner?

FRIDAY, 12 JULY 2013 05:03

Police are currently at the scene of a fatal collision in Dandenong
South that has claimed the life of a motorcyclist.

It’s believed the motorcyclist was travelling eastbound on the Princes
Freeway around 4am and has collided with a truck coming off the
southbound exit of the Monash Freeway.

The male rider, aged in his 20s, died at the scene.

The truck driver is uninjured and is assisting police with their enquiries.

The Princes Freeway is closed in both directions with diversions in
place at the South Gippsland Highway.

Police will prepare a report for the Coroner.

Provisional road toll:

2013 - 123
2012 - 143

Belinda Batty
Media Officer

Friday, 5 July 2013


The Manning Valley Branch are conducting an Event in September on the weekend of 20th-22nd .This will be a "RIDE THRU THE OLD BAR" which is a ride through the bar  at Old Bar Tavern. The Tavern is owned by Dernley Medalist John Nicholls and is an ideal venue being only 2Hrs North of Newcastle.
Camping is available on the Friday and Saturday Nights with a hot breakfast being available on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Being the inaugrual event we are limiting numbers to 250 Bikes and only participants will be able to purchase the Inaugural Cloth Patch on the day.
Preregistration is advised and registration forms are available online or contact the Secretary Mick Simpson 0401871792 or Warwick Rhodes on  0411 093 951

Mick Simpson # 53922
Ulysses Club Manning Valley Branch
Ph 65539051 / 0401871792

Cogito ergo zoom!
think, therefore I GO FAST


Thank you for signing the GOPetition to Abolish Registration Labels in Victoria (  The Petition is now closed as the Victorian Government has announced that the labels will be abolished from 1 January 2014.
Kind regards,
0409 12 53 53

Updated to include Motorcycles

Dale Robert Maggs
Mob 0432776458

Independent Riders Group


Hello Border Bike Fest Supporters and Club Secretaries
Just letting you know the Border Bike Fest is on the 27 October 2013 this year. Located at the Gateway Lakes, Lincoln Causeway, Wodonga Victoria.
The event  committee has been hard at it again and everything is humming along nicely. You can view the web site at for further information and relevant updates.
Please have a look at the attachments regarding the event. There are two press clippings form The Border Mail ( Wodonga Albury ) as well as a the 2013 poster and Trade Booking Site form.
You may know a trader that may be interested in participating, please pass it on. The Trade Booking Site form has all the information needed to complete a registration and payment details
The event is in its sixth year and is a joint effort between the Albury Wodonga Branch of the Ulysses Club Inc., Wodonga Lions and the Classic Enthusiasts Motorcycle Club of NSW Albury Branch. Over the past five years this event has raised, $20.000.00 for local charities. The Border  Bike Fest is well on its way to becoming a major local event for motorcycling on the border.
We are getting 2000+ spectators through the gate. Last year we gave away 2000 show bags to spectators as they came through the gate. The show bags contained give aways / information from our major supporters. 
Blacklocks Motorcycles, Lavington, have again donated a Honda motorcycle as out major prize in our raffle followed by 2 nights accommodation at Carawatha Gardens Holiday Apartments in Bright Vic and  an Introductory Flight with Smartair  Albury NSW 
Just to mention briefly some of those supporters were: City of Wodonga, Hume Building Society, Apex Tool Group, QBE Insurance, Blaclkocks Motorcycles and the Motorcycle Council of New south Wales.
Our Albury Wodonga Branch of the Ulysses Club Inc. will be running a ride on Saturday 26th. A riders brief at 9.50am and a 10.00am departure from the Gateway Lakes. The ride will take in some of the best roads in the region and lunch at one of the local hotels. So make it a club ride and come up for the weekend.
Please don't hesitate to contact me for further information regarding this years event.
Rex Beard
Albury Wodonga Branch
Ulysses Club Inc.
Mobil: 0407 233 312



As I go through old files while preparing to move house, I am finding some interesting material. I attach a 2005 media release.

As I recall the Victorian TAC antibike tax was brought in by the Bracks Labor Government at $50 per bike, per year in 2002. It was slipped in with sham consultation in the  state budget. John Pigot of the MRA in Melbourne and Neville Grey of the Ulysses Club in Adelaide met with officials and agreed to the tax. The majority of riders and bike journos had no idea what was coming.

The TAC tax was supposed to fund motorcycle & scooter safety research and initiatives. After more than a decade there is not a lot to show for the $millions taken from us on top of all the usual road fees and charges we contribute to the system. It is now over $70 a year on most bikes and rising. There may have been a bit of research that VicRoads isn't releasing and there have been some road repairs that should have come out of general revenue.

Over the years, administration of the money has not been transaparent. Required reporting was not done until we made freedom of information requests. At one point it was leaked that there were plans to buy unmarked police bikes with our money to better chase road riders. This was strongly denied but I believe it.

The TAC tax  has had over 10 years to show a real benefit to riders. The experiment failed.

The TAC tax makes riding more expensive so it discourages riders on lower incomes from investing in protective gear and best quality machine maintenance. In road safety terms, that is a negative.

It is true that Labor introduced the TAC tax through a budget back door but the tax has not worked as hoped and it is inherently unfair. There can be no shame in the Victorian Opposition calling for the  

The current Premier, Denis Napthine MP was very much on our side back then. Abolish the TAC tax and ban wire rope barriers. In 2013 he is very much avoiding both issues. That will cost his party votes at the 2014 election. Read what Napthine had to say back then in the media release below.

Roads Minister Mulder also opposed the TAC tax in opposition. So did Ted Bailieau MP. Ted even wore a "NO BIKE TAX" t-shirt for a newspaper shot.
Damien Codognotto OAM, Liberal Terry Mulder MP now Roads Minister and Michael Czajka discuss motorcycle matters.

Denis Napthine tabled our petition in state parliament and told riders and journos on the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne that the discriminatory TAC tax should go. He promised in front of riders and journos if the Liberals got into government the TAC tax would be abolished.

In December 2012 the Victorian Road Safety Committee tabled its' report on its' inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety in state parliament. One of the 64 recommendations was to abolish the TAC tax. The Liberals have little excuse for betraying the motorcycle & scooter community over the TAC tax, even less with a recommendation from the RSC to parliament to support ending this rip off.

Recommendation 25: That the motorcycle safety levy be abolished.

The Independent Riders' Group encourages riders to printout Napthine's media release and  go see their local MPs with it.


  • We catch up with Speed TV's Kevin Magee and discuss some exciting Moto GP and World Superbike racing over last weekend in Europe.
  • We chat to former Federal Speaker of the Hose of Representatives David Hawker and get his views on the new federal bipartisan and positive approach to motorcycling , the implementation in Victoria of only some the recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry and get his reflections on the move toward anti-association laws in Victoria.
  • Plus we speak to Tony O'Donnell, Chairman of the Australian Confederation of Motor Clubs on the future of custom motorcycles in NSW.

So don't forget to tune in 7pm-9pm Sydney time on Alive 90.5 FM or listen online on the Alive website and smart phone.

Ride is proudly sponsored by:

Fraser Motorcycles: check out their stores in Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Melbourne and Perth.