Sunday, 31 August 2014


On Tuesday at 7pm  on Ride :

  • Barrister Wayne Baffsky reports on the first day of the High Court Challenge to the Queensland Anti-rights laws
  • UMCQ spokesman Mick Kosenko explains the meaning behind the custom painting on the Ebay fundraising motorcycles  
  • We examine Marc Marquez return to form and how Aussie Jack Miller kept his Moto 3 lead
  • Mark Peterson updates us on the Motorcycle Expo on Melbourne in late November
  • We have the latest from Phillip Island as riders prepare for this years Moto GP
  • We discuss a motorcycle crackdown by Police from Dandenong in Melbourne's outskirts
  • Temporary Australians reports from filming on the Putty Road and on the NSW Central Coast and filming at the next round of the Australasian Superbikes at Wakefield Park
  • And we give details of Bikers Against Child Abuse 100 Mile Ride
  • Plus a mixture of news and music
Proudly sponsored by Fraser Motorcycles Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong ,Melbourne and Perth
and Skillmaster Motorcycle Services.
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Saturday, 30 August 2014


Motorcycle Tours in bound from Europe
From Bill Kaylock, an Australian motorcyclist living in France.
Europeans are a diverse group; those from Germany, Holland and Great   Britain will travel. The French and Italians and Spanish are not such big travellers. 

I live in France so I can speak more of the French. The French tend to take riding holidays within French borders. They consider a long ride is about 400km. 

The majority of big bore touring bikes come from the three I mentioned, Germany, Holland and Great Britain. The Distances tourists expect to travel is important. Those that have big bore dual sport (BMW GS models and similar) will have longer distance in mind than others on smaller bikes. Also from talking with riders they want see it all in one trip. 

I believe we need to segment, perhaps just use states. I suggest in marketing that Victoria has a diverse range of landscapes so a trip around Victoria will give a good example of all Australia has to offer. Example, the Great Ocean road, Halls Gap, the Mallee, along the Murray, The Great Alpine Road and then the Gippsland coast back to Melbourne. With detours and side trips a month would easily be filled seeing some of the most spectacular country in Australia.

Money and exchange rates will be an important factor in attracting motorcycle tourists. As Great Britain still has their own currency then at times they will be in a better position than other EU countries.

Which brings us to the cost of travel. Including, motorcycles paying on toll roads, access to parking (Sydney) fuel, food, accommodation
Motorcycle hires. It is expensive and I believe unnecessarily so. There is no real competition. An official attempt to change this would be good. (Insurance and Motorcycle providers)

Compared to Europe Australia is easy to navigate around (expand here). Instead of tour operators a network of destinations could be established.

Police harassment, it happens in Australia, is detrimental to growing motorcycle touring in this country. It is a turn off for foreigners. Don’t try to make excuses, it happens and it is wrong. 

The politicians that want more tourism need to speak with the politicians that spruike law and order. This must be addressed. Australia is regarded as a police state by well-travelled motorcyclists. I can give examples of my own experiences and anecdotally of others.

In my own experience, after four years and around 40,000km on a bike in Europe. Not once stopped by police. Only 2 speed camera fines, one of which was on a motorway near Paris, no excuses, it was announced with a huge sign, however I continued at the pace of the traffic and ended up with a fine. (I am sure that every vehicle in the same proximity as me would have been fined too). 

More importantly, I have overtaken Police cars in traffic and they have given me space. In France the Gendarmes set-up at cross roads for vehicle checks and random breath tests and I have always been waved past on a motorcycle. 

Parking is generally accepted as wherever your bike fits. Only in Florence was I asked to move my bike away from a square. (It was empty when I stopped, on my return half an hour later it was packed with a market).

I have also attached an article I wrote for the DOCV magazine “Desmoto”. It includes some more information on riding in France.


The two basic rules of riding in France are:

- its not close unless you hit
- its only too fast if you crash.

Courtesy is paramount. The horn is used to warn others of your presence (not to abuse anyone) and the bird (the finger, the digit etc) is only waved at Polish Truck Drivers who can't see through the pom pom (or soccer dolls) curtain surrounding their windscreen.

Roads are of varying width and at times vehicles must give way, and motorcycles almost always are given priority. On normal two lane (one each way) roads most cars and trucks will move as far right as they can to allow you to pass, even on double lines , and this includes the occasional Gendarme. Oncoming cars will also move away from the centre line allowing you room.

There are fixed speed cameras and they have huge signs letting you know. On unfamiliar roads its best to stick behind someone doing a comfortable pace, they are probably local and know the camera sites.

Random breath tests are random and never include motorcycles. I have always been waved through as I approach.

Riding a Motorcycle is a right of passage for everyone. At 14 you can ride a 49.9cc bike or scooter. The range is huge, Motards (as we call them in Aus) are popular with the boys and scooters with the girls . (the French aren't sexist, boys are boys and girls are girls , they are different and they like it that way).

When you buy a new bike you get your rego papers, for life. The only time you need to visit the equivalent of the Rego Office is when you sell or trade. The only annual cost is insurance and it starts at around 120 euro for basic cover (even for the Bandit 1200). There are no annual inspections , (its your bike and your life so look after it).

The French Motard (motorcyclists) wave as they pass. With the left hand for approaching bikes and the right foot if they overtake you. 

If there is a downside it is the horsepower restrictions. Bikes like Fireblades and R1s aren't sold in France as their power to weight is too high. The Manufacturers have overcome this by producing 800cc sportsbikes . Naked bikes and dual sports are preferred , the bigger dual sports like Multis are very popular. 

Back to the roads. Jen and I recently rode to Barcelona for the Motogp. We took two days and covered 1300km. we were only on a divided road for about 20km and then the last 40km in to the city. Both days were about 10hrs riding and only occasionally did I get in to top gear. The road surface was always excellent, there is rarely a pothole in France and the Spanish roads are good too.

Yes , I am enjoying living in France


Friday, 29 August 2014


  • 18 hrs · Edited · Like
  • Damien Codognotto Thanks Peter. Please let riders that may come to Vic for the GP, that police will be trying to book riders for any sort of traffic filtering and that novice riders may be liable for hi viz vest offences. I do not have details yet but the threat has substance. There was a local paper in Dandenong that quoted a highway patrol cop on these points.
  • Damien Codognotto True to it's antimotorcycle culture VicRoads conducted a successful trial on permitting motorcycles & scooters to use bus lanes but is stalling on legalising the practice. In Vic bicycles are encouraged to overtake cars on the left and travel between the curb and stationary cars. This has been done safely for years. The Independent Riders Group Can see no reason why it should not be so for motorcycles & scooters too. In Melbourne bicycles have their own stop lines forward of the car stop line and back from the pedestrian crossing (safety boxes). The IRG believes the answer to efficient traffic filtering for all two-wheelers is to extend the bicycle stop line across all lanes at intersections and allow motorcycles & scooters to use that area too. The IRG is strongly opposed to new penalties for lane splitting offences for 2 reasons. 1. Dangerous riding laws already exist. 2. The obvious problem of judging speed. Was the rider doing 28 kph filtering or doing 32 kph splitting??? With 3 demerit points at stake and a hefty fine we see this as a major problem.
    2 mins · Like

Thursday, 28 August 2014


This is a petition against the Hi Viz vest law that, we're told starts on October 1, 2014, in Victoria. Please sign it and share/forward the link.



G'day Damien, just posted this on Facebook; made my blood boil, but it doesn't take much to do that lately!  Cate :-)

Posted on 25 August 2014 By CASEY NEILL

'Bike Clampdown'

- Greater Dandenong Highway Patrol targeting spring because of the warmer weather and October’s Moto GP.

- Checking bikes are roadworthy and warning riders about lane-splitting, riding up service lanes and taking unnecessary risks.
*Read the comments under the article!

Nothing about targeting other road users who regularly deny our existence and wipe us out.
MOTORCYCLE crashes are behind a new police operation targeting riders.

Greater Dandenong Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Scott Roberts said his officers would pull over “just about every motorbike they see” during the next few months.

“There’s been an unfortunate increase in accidents involving motorbike riders,” he said.

“Every time a motorbike rider comes off his bike there’s an injury, and more often than not it’s classified as a serious injury.

“We’ve decided to do something about it.”

Officers will check whether bikes are roadworthy and warn riders about lane-splitting, riding up service lanes and taking unnecessary risks.

“Some of them behave outrageously,” Sen Sgt Roberts said.

“I’m a motorbike rider myself but I don’t take those sorts of risks.

“I saw a learner in the rain scream up behind me and overtake me.

“I just wonder how much longer he’s going to last.”

He said police were targeting spring because of the warmer weather and October’s Moto GP.

“Motorbikes get put away over the winter months. Riders dust them off and get out in the nicer weather,” he said.

“Sometimes they haven’t ridden for a while so they’re a bit rusty with their skills, or they haven’t checked the bike out.

“We just want to minimise the trauma.”

Monday, 25 August 2014


I'm told a letter of mine on traffic filtering is on page 10 of the November Royalauto.




In the 1980s there were half as many bikes on our roads but the number of bikes on PR rides was numbered in thousands. The highest-profile organisation in Australia was the Motorcycle Riders Association. The original MRA was formed in Melbourne on May 16, 1978.

At the end of the 1990s and into the 2000s the MRA declined. Conservatives got into the MRAs administration with a no confrontation attitude to lobbying. This was disastrous for the motorcycle & scooter community.  Today riders are losing what they won back then.

This newspaper clipping was published nearly 30 years ago. Driver Awareness rides were annual events.


Friday, 22 August 2014


Spring is here so lets get out and ride!

ASMA thought we would give you some updates on what is happening this spring.

RoadSafe Barwon has once again offered to Sponsor two Crash Courses for the Motorcyclist in the Geelong Region, (Victoria) this spring.
More Details Below.

ASMA-NZ is continuing to introduce ASM training to New Zealand and its heartening to see a number of authorities want to be actively involved in the provision and spread of training.

If you have ever ridden in New Zealand you will realize that there is awesome riding everywhere.

ASMA will have a small display again at the Start of the Cranbourne GP Run  18th October 2014, So come by and say hello, and be ready for the Wave off at 10am and a great ride to the "island". If you haven't done this ride , put it on your bucket list. It is a great spectacle for all sorts of reasons.
RoadSafe Barwon has secured sponsorship funding for two Courses in the Geelong Region.
The First Crash Course is on  Saturday 6th of October ,Venue to TBA and the second course on Sunday  16th of November.
Riders residing in the Barwon Area can receive a discounted price  for the sponsored course by using Geelongs post code in the promotion section on the ASMA Booking page.

The course will cost $40.00 for non Barwon Residents and $30 for Barwon Residents.

Bookings can be made on the ASMA website at
Copyright © 2014 Accident Scene Management Australia ltd, All rights reserved.
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Thursday, 21 August 2014


August 22, 2014.
Monash Motorcycle Survey 1.
Please pass these emails on.

It seems to me that Michael Fitzharris did not really answer my questions. Professor Lesley Day has not sent me anything to date. Nor has any of the other "study investigators". It also seems to me that being an academic does not necessarily mean you are not prejudiced and/or ignorant of a given group. And, if you question the quality of a persons work most will find an excuse, especially if there is money/career involved. If that's right, our problem is that some peoples' work can effect both our safety and our right to ride in a free country.
I do not think questions about guns, diet and DIY would be asked of any other transport group in Victoria. Can you imagine the stink if you asked bicycle riders if they owned a gun?!?
Monash University Crash Research Centre (MUARC) co-ordinator trevor Allen told the Waverly Gazette that the survey was anonymous and that the controversial questions were standard guages of risk taking behaviour. He said they were put in the survey in 2011. Seems to me that means they judged riders are risk takers. That may be the reason for all the speeding and like questions. The survey started in 2012 and ends this year.
I'm told MUARC did a push bike survey and the tone was totally different.
As for this being anonymous forever, I'm not convinced. They photograph your number plate and each survey has a file number. They have to be linked at some stage to contact the rider don't they?
What I find strange is that with a Parliamentary Inquiry into motorcycle & scooter safety winding up in 2012 and the Motorcycle Advisory Group operating at VicRoads, rider reps did not pick this up sooner.
Anyway, I got more information on this survey from the Waverly Gazette than any other source.
Please pass this on, put it on facebook and so on.
Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group
Sent: Monday, August 18, 2014 4:29 PM

Thank you Michael.
Perhaps Lesley Day can inform us of the road safety significance of the questions on riders' diet, home maintenance and gun ownership.
It is difficult for non-experts to understand the connection between food, DIY and guns and motorcycle or scooter crashes. It has been suggested that no other transport group would be subjected to questions like these. Ute drivers or bicycle riders or train travellers might have a negative reaction to such queries.
Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group
Sent: Monday, August 18, 2014 2:30 PM

Dear Damien

I am following up on your email regarding the study known as the MICIMS study and your questions.

At the outset, as I noted at the meeting, I am not involved in the MICIMS in-depth study. I do know the study is funded under the Australian Research Council Linkage Scheme and was awarded on October 25th 2010; this was submitted to the ARC in March 2010, and commenced in 2011.

The presentation that I gave on the 23rd July at the Amora (titled: Motorcycle Data: What is out there, how it can be used, and why it is important) was about the data systems available to examine road crashes, particularly motorcycle crashes, and the challenges in how they can be used to monitor road safety trends. I mentioned MICIMS in the context of being one information system that can provide information on motorcycle crashes, along with the hospital, ambulance and crash datasets from VicRoads and the Police.

On the website, the research sits within my In-depth Team, however the study investigators are: Prof Lesley Day, Prof Michael Lenné, Dr Mark Symmons, Dr Peter Hillard, A/Prof Stuart Newstead, and Prof Rod McClure.

Dr Trevor Allen is the study co-ordinator.

A study update is on the Monash website (see below).

I have forwarded your email to Professor Lesley Day in her role as Principal Investigator of the study.


Associate Professor Michael Fitzharris
Associate Director (Regulation and In-depth Crash Investigation)
Accident Research Centre
Monash Injury Research Institute
Monash University

Sent: Monday, 18 August 2014 12:05 PM
To: michael.fitzharris


Dear Sir.

On behalf of our members I would like to ask some questions about the MUARC survey of motorcycle & scooter crash victims and other riders.

At the recent VicRoads workshop the presentation did not include the more controversial aspects of the survey.
  1. How was the survey funded?
  2. How much will the survey cost all up?
  3. Over what period of time will the survey be coinducted?
  4. Will the base data be available for independent review?
  5. How are the following questions related to road safety?
                Section 83.

                9.    Do you have a high fat diet?
                10.  Do you do-it-yourself home maintenance?
                11.  Do you own a gun?

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group


The following is from IRG member Michael.

It is likely they're not talking about all cameras only the front facing ones (that's the way they have misrepresented the data in the past).

Only the cameras in the tunnels are front facing. That's only a handful.

The cameras on the freeways take rear end snaps.

If they simply provided us with the raw data we could judge the validity of their comments for ourselves? Why isn't the data available?

To make a valid comparison you also want to know how many cars were not detected and how many speeders in total (of all kinds) there were.

The police are particularly notorious for being innumerate (unable to count properly)... either that or they're selectively picking stats. Why aren't the police transparent in their dealings with the public?

The solution to all this is to have cameras shoot in both directions? It shouldn't cost much more to take photo's from both front and back? ...certainly not enough to take the much harder route of trying to force
front number plates on riders?

The amount of money the government have wasted on investigating front number plates would have paid for cameras that shoot in both directions many times over?

If the rate of non-detections is as high as they government claims then the extra detections will pay for the cost of the improved equipment? If there is such a strong financial argument then why isn't the
investment being made?

It is highly likely the argument is spurious for all those reasons. ...and thus it is unlikely it would make a significant difference to the road toll (which is the ultimate aim?).

Most of this argument doesn't make sense.

Data wants to be free!


Wednesday, 20 August 2014


August 21, 2014.

Mr Gordon Lewis
Traffic Camera Commissioner

Dear Mr Lewis.

It seems to me that your statistic that 69% of riders who are photographed by your traffic cameras have prosecutions dropped is less than credible if you imply that this is because motorcycles have no front number plates. Can you explain this statistic for our members/readers please.

It also seems to me that if, over the 10 months of your latest survey, the number of riders photographed by your traffic cameras was down 30% and the number of riders was up around 25% then an improvement in rider behaviour is indicated. Is this a reasonable assumption?

A couple of observations. I know of nowhere in the world that requires front number plates on motorcycles & scooters. I know of no manufacturer that designs machines to display front plates. How can you justify a tiny market like Victoria, that no longer manufactures motorcycles or scooters (or many vehicles of any kind) telling the rest of the world how to build bikes?

It was the speed camera industry that put the cameras in facing the wrong way, not us.

Motorcycle & scooter riders more than pay their way on our roads being taxed/charged as much as a large car for registration and CTP and the unfair TAC tax. See recommendation 25 in the report from the 2012 Parliamentary Inquiry. To say that we do not want front number plates on our bikes to avoid fines is wrong. The vast majority of the 326,000 Victorians licenced to ride motorcycles & scooters are law-abiding citizens.

Please note that the Parliamentary Inquiry did NOT recommend front ID for motorcycles or scooters.

It is the opinion of most of the riders we are in contact with that a major road safety improvement, particularly for vulnerable road users, would be more uniformed police on our roads rather than more traffic cameras. Car driver error causes most pedestrian, bicycle and powered two-wheeler casualties in this state.

Damien Codognotto OAM
Independent Riders Group

Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2014 7:59 AM
Subject: RE:Cameras and front plates


Saw your interview last night.  Can you please ask for the figures to be justified?

They said that 69.9% (last time it was 70% - 69.9 sounds more legitimate) of all riders who are booked for speeding get away because there is no front number plate.  That means that only 30% of all cameras are shooting rear plates.  Well all the red light cameras and all the mobile cameras and all the Eastlink/Citilink tolls and most of the cameras mounted in police cars shoot the rear number plate.  I think this just leaves the fixed cameras on the freeways.  This means there must be a phenomenal number of riders speeding on freeways if they make up 70%.  Simplest solution is change the cameras on the freeways to shoot front and back.

Also another reason against front number plates on current bikes is the cost to riders to have them mounted and then put in the electrics for a light.


Sent: Thursday, 21 August 2014 9:08 AM
Subject: Re: RE:Cameras and front plates

G'day C.

As I understand it, and I'm no statistician, the 69% figure represents all motorcycle & scooter traffic photos that are rejected. Only part of that figure is because the camera faced the front of the bike.

And, in the 10 months of the survey total bike photos were down 30% while the number of bikes on our roads went up 25%. That indicates improved rider behaviour.

Unfortunately we do not see improved bureaucratic behaviour by Camera Commissioner Gordon Lewis. It seems to me he has selected statistics to suit the anti-motorcycle culture in VicRoads/TAC/police.

I'll put your request for justification of the camera survey's bike figures on facebook and the blog if you like. I can remove your ID and pass any responses on to you. On the other hand we could plug the Herb & Chilli Festival. 

Good to hear from you.


Thanks Damien

I think if we all ask this same question there is a chance the media or someone might pick up on it.
Please put the post on Facebook.  I will ask the same question on my page.

I am sending this question to 3AW and anyone else I can think of as I personally have no problem with front plates.  I don't want to have to spend the money and I hate misuse of statistics.


G'day again C.

The Independent Riders Group and most motorcycle & scooter organisations I know of have a major problem with front number plates/stickers. The short explanation is front ID does little or nothing for bikes safety inspite of projections by police and the camera commissioner. Front plates will cost riders money to install and can make insurance claims greater so we pay higher premiums. (Swann Insurance). Front plates are a revenue raiser for departments with an antibike culture. No where else in the world, as far as I know, requires front ID for motorcycles & scooters.

If anyone knows a place where front ID for bikes is still required by law, please let me know.

And, maybe worst of all, if they can get front plates made law in Victoria on such obviously "cherry picked" stats, what's next? They are already going for mandatory dayglo vests and boots and a totally unnecessary lights-on law which may change our legal standing after a car smashes into us and the driver says. "Sorry mate, I did not see you."