Tuesday, 29 October 2013



Premier Napthine in Victoria today (30/10/2013) launched a state/federal task force to deal with outlaw motorcycle gangs. This provoked serious debate on law & order issues associated with motorcycle riders.

There have been calls for protest rides across the country on Sunday, December 1. And, another Australia Day ride on the nation's capital has been suggested.

Regardless of your opinions on police and/or OMGs, I'd like your comments.

Here are some links related to the issue.


If you want to generate positive publicity on a big run, but aren't too sure about a protest ride, there's always the TOY RUN on Sunday, December 8 in Melbourne. See the links below. 

There are TOY RUNs across the country so do something positive and support your local TOY RUN.

Steve Bardsley from the Victorian Scooter riders' Association with Father Bob in Albert Park (Vic.) promoting this year's TOY RUN.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


In 2006 Norway banned wire rope barriers.

Bureaucrats and businessmen wanted the ban lifted.

Riders wanted the ban to stay.

After considering WRB safety, WRB costs and alternative barriers the roads ministry decided to keep the ban.

Earlier this year a Sydney woman riding to the Supers at Phillip Island died in horrible circumstances at a WRB site on the Cann River Road.

I wrote to VicRoads asking about the "pads" that are being put on some WRB posts presumably at great expense. Is this an admission by the road authority that WRB is more dangerous to riders than is acceptable? 

Does that make the road authority liable for anything? 

Do any of the pad types for WRB posts actually work?

Would the pads have saved the rider's life in the Cann River Road crash?

I passed the information on the WRB ban in Norway on to VicRoads. 

I am very interested in comments on the VicRoads letter below.

Monday, 21 October 2013




The Black Dog Ride to Central Australia 

Jonesy takes a Ducati for a spin in Melbourne 

We take a closer look at the Museum on display at the Harley 110 

Jonesy reveals a secret motorcycle ride to Kurnell in Sydney

We look at the controversial anti-association laws 

Jonesy checks out a Suzuki Hayabusa and ... 

We find out what makes Kwik Mick tick!

Saturday October 26, 2pm on ONE   and Sunday October 27 at 5.30pm 

Repeated the following Thursday at 1.30 or 2am    
Check you local TV Guides for variations



ARE WE NUTS????????????????

THE VICTORIAN SCOOTER RIDERS' ASSOCIATION (VSRA) AND THE INDEPENDENT RIDERS' GROUP (IRG) issued a joint media release against Citilink's proposal to introduce more bike tolls in Melbourne from January 2014.

The MOTOR REPORT ran it.




Sunday, 20 October 2013




One IRG member said. "I thought we were supposed to be developing as a society not going backwards."

Banned people, organisations and places?!? No more than three people wearing the same clothes, choosing the same transport allowed to gather in the same place at the same time? No Bail! Guilt by association! Guilty till proven innocent?!?

What a nightmare! Did I wake up in Australia in 2013.


Saturday, 19 October 2013


We don't like any roads but we especially do not like bike tolls. Victoria was the bike toll free state till a few years ago when weak opposition to Eastlink let them impose road tolls on motorcycles & scooters.

Bike tolls are bad for safety, congestion, pollution and car parking shortages in urban areas.

And bike tolls do not provide any serious income to send overseas.

In any case, riders already more than pay their way, especially in Victoria with the discriminatory TAC antibike tax.

Friday, 18 October 2013


Melbourne's 3AW reaches a big audience.

A lot of car drivers take it seriously. Neil Mitchel, a morning announcer, has made it obvious on air, he hates motorcyclists. This isn't based on science or fact or (probably) even experience.

Have a look at this.


3AW often triggers my gag reflex. The problem is some people take Neil Mitchel's personal problems with bikes seriously and some of those people are bureaucrats and politicians.


This is scary.

What does it take to have your club declared a criminal organisation?

Listen to ride to find out.


The Queensland antibikie laws came into power at midnight and the first arrests were Odins at Cairns for being at their clubhouse 10:30 today


Ride on Tuesday Night at 7pm
  • We reflect on the Australian Motorcycle GP at Phillip Island

  • Australian Motorcycle Council's Shaun Lennard talks about the impact of the new Queensland 'anti-bikie laws' on the wider motorcycling community in Queensland

  • We examine the potential impact on the motorcycle industry

  • Australian Confederation of Motor Clubs Tony O'Donnell talks about the impact of these laws on the wider motoring community

  • And we look at Episode 9 of Temporary Australians due to air next week
on Alive 90.5 fm with Greg Hirst

Thursday, 17 October 2013


VICTORIAN PREMIER Denis Napthine promised to abolish the discriminatory TAC tax while in Opposition. He tabled our petition against the tax in parliament. He attended protest runs too.

The Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety recommended the tax be abolished.

Shadow Minister for the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) raised the tax in state parliament in 2013.

No response from Napthine & Co.

Independent Riders' Group (IRG)  representative Dale Maggs has been asking Ms Julie Reid, the Premier's appointments secretary for a meeting with the Premier to discuss the TAC tax for months.

Lots of excuses. No meeting.

Neil Brumby of Heavy Duty magazine has written to the Premier's appointment secretary too. See below. Isn't it about time other bike journos considered who makes their incomes possible and supported riders in political lobbying like Brumby does.

On 09/10/2013, at 10:32 AM, Dale Maggs wrote:

Thanks Julie
For the quick chat today:-)
I hope we can lock in a time ASAP to meet with the Premier Re Motorcycle Levy Abolishment 
Dale Robert Maggs
Mob 0432776458
Independent Riders Group

On 24/07/2013, at 12:35 PM, Julie Reid <julie.reid@minstaff.vic.gov.au <x-msg://108/julie.reid@minstaff.vic.gov.au> > wrote:

Dear Dale 

Good to talk to you today - my contact details noted below  
best wishes  
Julie Reid | Assistant Diary Manager
Premier of Victoria, Minister for Regional Cities, Minister for Racing
1 Treasury Place, Melbourne, Vic 3002
phone 03 9092 9740 | fax 03 9651 0122email julie.reid@minstaff.vic.gov.au <x-msg://108/julie.reid@minstaff.vic.gov.au<mailto:julie.reid@minstaff.vic.gov.auwebsite www.premier.vic.gov.au<http://www.premier.vic.gov.au<http://premier.vic.gov.au/
From: Damien Cognotto OAM <d.codognotto.oam@bigpond.com <x-msg://108/d.codognotto.oam@bigpond.com> >
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2013 16:04:26 +1100
To: <denis.napthine@parliament.vic.gov.au <x-msg://108/denis.napthine@parliament.vic.gov.au> >
Cc: MP Hallam Lizzie <Lizzie.Hallam@aph.gov.au <x-msg://108/Lizzie.Hallam@aph.gov.au> >, <independentridersgroup@iinet.net.au <x-msg://108/independentridersgroup@iinet.net.au> >, Dale Maggs <dale.maggs@bigpond.com <x-msg://108/dale.maggs@bigpond.com> >, <richard.dalla-riva@parliament.vic.gov.au <x-msg://108/richard.dalla-riva@parliament.vic.gov.au> >

Ms Julie Reid
Appointments Secretary to the Premier of Victoria.
Denis Napthine MP

Dear Ms Reid.

Mr Dale Maggs is the independent Riders' Group (IRG) Representative for the West of Victoria.

I'm told Mr Dan Tehan, Federal Member for Wannon, felt that Mr Maggs would get a fair hearing from Premier Napthine and encouraged him to seek a meeting. We have watched with growing concern as Mr Maggs requests for a meeting with Premier Napthine to discuss issues effecting motorcycle & scooter riders in this state have failed to secure a date and venue.

In Opposition Premier Napthine was strongly opposed to the Bracks antibike tax levied by the Transport Accident Commission and collected by VicRoads. Premier Napthine issued media releases branding the TAC tax discriminatory and promising to abolish it. He attended IRG protests at state parliament (see attached) and tabled a petition against the unfair tax in the Legislative Assembly.

In December 2012 the all-party road safety committee tabled its' report from the inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety. Recommendation 25: That the motorcycle safety levy be abolished. <image.jpg><image.jpg>

The RSC studied the discriminatory TAC tax carefully and recommended it be abolished. No other transport type suffers a targeted tax like this. If TAC tried to tax 4WDs/SUVs like this the outcry would stop the attempt in its' tracks.

In 2013 the Shadow Minister for the TAC, Luke Donnellan MLA, raised the issue of the TAC tax in the Legislative Assembly again. We have seen no response to his concerns.

The TAC tax was a road safety experiment that failed. It should be abolished. Not only have the tax proceeds been badly managed, as Richard Dalla-Riva found through freedom of information requests, the tax actively works against road safety particularly for low income earners. By adding well over $70 a year to the cost of running a motorcycle or scooter TAC makes it harder for riders to purchase the best protective clothing and keep their machines in best condition.

Premier Napthine should make time to meet with us. 2014 is a state election year and the more than 326,000 Victorians who are licenced to ride motorcycles & scooters want a fair go.

Please schedule a meeting for Mr Maggs and three other representatives of Victoria's motorcycle & scooter community at your earliest possible convenience.


Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group  

 On 17/10/2013, at 6:06 PM, Neale Brumby wrote:
Dear Ms Reid, 
I also would like to express my concerns about the lack of communication on this issue. 
As the publisher of the most widely read Harley-Davidson magazine in Australia I want to report in my January 2014 publication that the Premier is addressing our concerns on a range of issues involving motorcycle riders. 
The comments above are part of them but I am also concerned that motorcycle riders in general are being vilified by the ongoing media and governmental hysteria over ‘bikie gangs”.
The general public are not easily able to differentiate between ‘good and bad’ riders, thus tarring all of us with the same brush.
That’s very  close to discrimination as far as I can tell. 
Please do not misunderstand this view as sympathy for the outlaw clubs. I have none, nor any connection with them. And there is a large number of riders out there who hold the same position. 
I would like to applaud the Victorian government in my magazine report next issue and on our television show, HDTV on Channel 74ME every Monday fortnight. I hope that we get a chance to do so. 
Please schedule a meeting for Mr Maggs asap.

Neale Brumby- EDITOR



PO Box 96 Ascot Vale VIC 3032

Tel:   03 9317 5004

Mob: 0438 007 321

Fax:  03 9317 5006

Web: http:// <http:/www.heavyduty.com.au <http://www.heavyduty.com.au

If you are not happy with gutless politicians who break their promises, go see your local MP and tell him/her that you ride, you pay and you vote and you want the TAC tax gone in line with the PIMS recommendation. And, you want the TAC tax gone by the 2014 Victorian election.


Damien Codognotto OAM
Independcent Riders' Group

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


PLEASE 'Like' this page. Register your details and support the FATHER BOB Foundation's Scholarship Fund.

We need your help to fund the Foundation Scholarship program which is run solely by donations.


Thank you for your support.

91 Victoria Ave
Albert Park Vic, 3206
T: (03) 9681 3255

TOY RUN Sunday, December 8, 2013. All donations go to the Father Bob Foundation.


Until Eastlink tolled riders a few years ago Victoria had been the toll free state where motorcycles & scooters were concerned. When Eastlink proposed bike tolls the response from people claiming to represent road riders bowed down saying that riders would pay their way like everyone else. WRONG! Riders already more than paid their way.



The same representatives agreed with the TAC tax by wanting a say in how it was spent. But that's another, ongoing story.

The original MRA was a people power organisation that put what was good for the riding community in general and its' members specifically, before what suited car drivers.  No other Australian state or territory achieved as much for riders as Victoria did through the original MRA. The original MRA was killed off last April.

The right to travel free of tolls on our roads was won by the original MRA with the West Gate Bridge protest in the early 1980s. It was a win like free, unlimited footpath parking for motorcycles and scooters in Victoria in the mid 1980s. More than 8000 bikes took up car bays throughout Melbourne. The Parliament took that as the action of a serious voting block. Parking law changed.

Now other toll road companies plan to charge Victorian riders tolls in 2014. Those claiming to represent you and me said on the radio and in the press that tolls for bikes are OK. It was always going to happen as technology caught up. We are happy with a user-pays system. Rot!

I'm not happy with paying road tolls of any sort and I don't know any real rider who is happy to be charged a fee for riding anywhere.

The original MRA was killed off earlier in 2013.

Now we have bike tolls.

We still have the TAC tax rip off.

What's next? More restrictions on footpath parking for motorcycles & scooters?

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders' Group


I guess you saw this as well but just in case....

Here is an article that may be of interest re Qld. 

Monday, 14 October 2013


On Temporary Australians we find out what happened at the Harley Davidson 110 year celebration in Melbourne. 

Jonesy checks out the Blue Knights. 

JJJ’s Father Bob explains why he supports MotoV8. 

We catch up with Live to Ride Magazine’s Crossy. 

We discover just how widespread is the issue of judging a book by its cover in the motorcycle scene. 

We ask where is Norm Fraser. 

We discover Jonesy’s real home and ...

We join the Thunder Run at this Harley's 110th birthday celebrations in Williamstown, Victoria.

Saturday October 19, 2pm on ONE    

Repeated the following Thursday at 1.30am    


Policeman sick of motorcycle deaths 

CAMERON Roberts is sick of seeing motorcycle parts strewn across the road.
He does not want to have to speak to yet another driver who has to live with having killed a motorcyclist because of a moment’s inattention.
And he doesn’t want to sit down with yet another family to explain how their loved one became a statistic.
Too many motorcyclists have died on our roads this year and the North East’s top traffic cop is sick of it.
The number of motorcycle deaths in the North East account for almost half of the region’s road deaths.
Six motorcyclists have been killed — 45 per cent of those killed on the roads of the Wodonga, Wangaratta, Alpine and Moira shires.
Albury’s sole motorcycle death this year occurred last week when father-of-two Kim Mitselburg lost control of his bike on Fallon Street late on the Friday night.
Acting Sen-Sgt Roberts said motorcyclists were being killed at a disproportionately high rate this year.
And the scary thing, he said, was that we were just entering motorcycle season.
“October is a higher-risk month,” he said.
“Come October, riders rediscover their bikes.
“We see a rise in road trauma in this period every year.”
Sen-Sgt Roberts implored both motorcyclists and drivers to heed his safety message.
He simply does not want to be required to attend another crash scene where a motorcycle has been crushed and bashed and the rider killed.
He does not want to have to speak to another driver who has ruined not only the life of a motorcyclist but also the lives of all those associated with the victim and, indeed, their own, just because they did not look properly before entering an intersection.
Nor does he want to have explain the circumstances of a fatal crash to a victim’s loved ones.
“Families are so frustrated when they’re told how things occurred,” he said.
“Generally, the thing that caused the crash was so avoidable. There’s really obvious things people can do.”
He asked motorcyclists to ride with the expectation of a crash and he urged drivers to watch out for motorcyclists.
“It’s not about us getting stuck into motorcyclists. It’s about getting motorcyclists to understand they’re not as safe as a car,” he said. “And for drivers, there’s a difference between pulling up at an intersection and checking compared with actually having a look,” he said.
“Motorcyclists think we’re out there to pick on them but we’ve several examples in the North East where the motorcyclist hasn’t been at fault.”
Sen-Sgt Roberts said proper safety gear — gloves, boots, helmets, jackets and pants — could be the difference between life and death.
“The easiest test is, ‘if I fall off how am I going to fare’? I’d suggest it’d be pretty ordinary if you are wearing a T-shirt,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter whose fault it is when you’re sliding down the road.
“You’d want to be wearing something really protective.”
North East Superintendent Paul O’Halloran said police operations targeting motorcycle safety would kick off next weekend and continue throughout the summer.
“It’s about awareness and it’s about community with both cars and motorcycles working together to make sure everyone can be as safe on the road as possible,” Supt O’Halloran said.
In Monday’s paper, the family of Wodonga teenager Dylan Aylward share their safety message after losing the 19-year-old in a motorcycle crash in Emerald Avenue in March. The North East’s top traffic policeman will be available to answer your road safety questions on Monday in a half-hour online forum from 12pm to 12.30pm. Click hereto join the forum. 

Cate Hughes  

I would like to commend & thank Acting Sen-Sgt Roberts for his comments regarding motorcycle safety and driver inattention. Too often these days, motorcyclists are demonised by the media, and law enforcement agencies, when statistically, and anecdotally, the majority of motorcycle accidents are as a result of driver inattention.
We have seen a marked increase in recent years, in line with the rise of in car distractions ie mobile phones, gps etc. Truck drivers have even filmed from their cabs, looking down into cars, drivers operating mobile devices with Facebook etc. There needs to be a far greater understanding of sharing roads with different users.
eg Motorcycles have a far shorter braking capacity than cars, and can stop suddenly if need, whereas trucks need much longer distances to stop, due to their weight and length. Therefore, a 4 wheeled vehicle can easily run up the back of a motorcycle, if not concentrating when they brake suddenly, and a truck can easily run up the back of a 4 wheeled vehicle, if they jump in front of them as they're slowing to stop at an intersection.
I believe a big part of this lack of understanding is inadequate driver education and experience. Both truck drivers and motorcyclists are largely better trained, and are mostly also 4 wheeled vehicle drivers too, resulting in a greater understanding of all road users.
It is high time we stop slinging mud at each other, and start exercising some long overdue courtesy, and responsibility, when in charge of any vehicle on a road.
Cate Hughes
Spokesperson - Independent Riders Group
IRG Northern Register - Information & support for riders of North, North Central & North East Victoria
PO Box 63, Broadford Victoria 3658
Email: independentridersgroup@iinet.net.au


The more riders who do what Rod's done, the better chance we have of getting something of a fair go for motorcycle & scooter riders.

Ring your local MP and make an appointment. Let he or she know what you want. Your votes give them a job. Your taxes pay their wages.


We ride. We pay. We vote.

2014 is an election year in Victoria.

Mr Andrew Elsbury M.L.C
Shop 3
1 Watton Street
Werribee Vic 3030

Dear Andrew,
      Recommendation: Motorcycle advisory Group (MAG) regularly informs the motorcycle fraternity about the outcomes of its meetings.

I firmly believe that there is a real need for MAG to inform the motorcycle fraternity about the outcome of all of its meetings by making the minutes readily available to motorcycle riders.  Their policy decisions govern the way we ride and directly impact on our lives.  
MAG planning functional Strategies
 I assume and hope that development of the MAG strategic plan is based on The Victorian Roads Safety Committee s (VRSC) Inquiry Into Motorcycle Safety, Dec. 2012 and that this underpins (foundation stone) the agenda of meetings. 

There is a need for MAG to be open and transparent about development of the agendas and of the outcomes of their meetings. I suggest that all relevant documentation and the responses be uploaded to  HYPERLINK "http://www.spokes.com.au" where all motorcycle riders and other stakeholders can access it.
I would like to see government respond in detail about how these motorcycle issues will be addressed rather than respond by saying that the government and/or MAG is ‘looking into it’ or it is ‘supported in principle.’ Some of these motorcycle issues have been talked about for 30, 40 years without any resolution. This is totally unacceptable to me and I hope would be to you as the Minister. 
Gaining Support and cooperation 
If the Government wishes to gain the support and cooperation to implement motorcycle policies, guidelines and practices from stakeholders, especially motorcycles in Victoria, I believe this needs to be done. 
Please forward this letter of concern to Hon Terry Mulder MP, Minister for Public Transport and Roads for his attention and a formal response.
If I can be of further assistance on this important issue, please contact me on .... ... ... .
Yours Faithfully,

Rodney Brown
Member of the Independent Riders Group – IRG

Good letter rod.
There is a Motorcycle Advisory Group meeting at VicRoads next week but you won't hear much about it. Go see your MP and tell him/her you want to know what's being done on your behalf.
Don't forget the TOY RUN on December 8.