The life story of motorcycle legend Barry Sheene is to be depicted in a movie. Development of the film based on the book “Barry: The Story of Motorcycling Legend Barry Sheene” is said to be well underway in a press release from the producers. Barry has been described as the most charismatic and influential motorcycle champion of all time. His charming but rebellious nature endeared him to people all over the world, and he is widely credited with transforming Grand Prix motorcycle racing into a global phenomenon. He fought with authorities and brought about many improvements in the safety of motorcycle racing and innovations in rider safety equipment. Barry’s career in racing began in 1968, and his long list of triumphs include world 500cc titles in 1976 and 1977. He had two near-fatal crashes during his racing career, but his crash at Daytona in 1975 remains one of the most famous crashes in motorcycle racing history. Sheene crashed his Suzuki RG500 at 290km/h in a private test in preparation for the Daytona 200. Whether the crash was caused by a tyre failure or engine issue is still hotly debated. Images of the crash are still widely distributed across the internet 40 years later. But it wasn’t just the severity of the crash and his injuries that made the crash so memorable, but his remarkable recovery. Despite breaking his left thigh, right arm, collarbone and two ribs, he was racing again seven weeks later. Rumour is too that there’s footage of Barry flirting with nurses, and even trying to pinch the butt of one, while laying in the hospital emergency room. Barry retired from racing in 1984, and moved to Australia a few years later with his wife Stephanie and two children in the hope that the warmer climate would help relieve some of the pain of his injury induced arthritis. Once in Australia he set himself up as a property developer and found his way into TV. He endeared himself to Australians as a motorsport commentator and as Dick Johnson’s side kick in a series of very popular and funny TV ads for Shell in the 90’s. Barry Sheene died on the Gold Coast in 2003 after an eight month battle with cancer. The film is being jointly produced by Will Stoppard from Deep Springs Pictures in the UK, and Rod Morris of IO Films in Australia. The production team have released a teaser video, and more news is being added regularly to the Sheene film website and on the their Facebook and Twitter channels.
Category: Motorcycle News
For over 10 years BMW Motorrad has been running specific off-road training courses to help GS riders improve their skills. The very popular training courses are being run again during 2016, and details of dates and locations have now been released. This year BMW has also introduced a new ladies only course to the schedule. Whilst the courses are oriented towards BMW GS owners, riders on other brands of adventure motorcycles are welcome to attend course days designated as “all-brand” days. And for those who want to attend but don’t have a bike of their own, GS models are available for rent at selected courses. The two day course takes riders through fundamental off-road riding techniques including the correct body position, throttle and clutch control, and cornering and braking skills on dirt. Instructors also teach participants how to ascend and descend hills safely, and how to deal with riding over and around obstacles, creek crossings and sand. The all new ladies only course has been added to cater for the increasing number of females getting into adventure riding. Special guest assistant coach for the ladies course will be Amy Harburg who recently qualified for the International BMW GS Trophy female team. In addition to the standard Level 1 course BMW recently introduced the Level 2 course for riders looking to continue their off-road riding development. Riders on a Level 2 course will learn more advanced skills and face more challenging destinations, and must have taken part in at least one Level 1 BMW Off-road Training Course before attending. BMW Motorrad Australia General Manager, Andreas Lundgren, says “BMW off-road training is the perfect way to increase your confidence, improve your skill-set and take your adventure riding to the next level”. The cost for a 2 day course is $695 which includes lunch, refreshments and T shirt. Hire bikes are available on some courses for $300. Courses begin in April and are scheduled for Dargle (west of Sydney) and Port Macquarie in NSW, Broadford and Pinnacle Valley in Victoria, Conondale in QLD and Adelaide, SA. Dates have been announced fro the end of June, and July to December courses will be announced soon. Further details are available at www.bmwmotorrad.com.au/OffRoadTraining
The Moto Guzzi V7 II Stornello Limited Edition scrambler will be available in Australia in May, but only 10 of the bikes will be imported. Moto Guzzi revealed the bike at the EICMA show last November, and announced then that only 1,000 would be produced in total. With such a small number coming into the country, Moto Guzzi Australia is recommending that anyone interested in purchasing one of the bikes contact a dealer quickly. The Stornello name has a long history in the Moto Guzzi model range. The original Stornello was created in 1960 as a light and easy to ride entry level motorcycle, and the model stayed in production until 1975. The V7 II Stornello Limited Edition is styled on the 1972 Stornello Scrambler 125. The new bike has the same colour scheme – a white tank with red stripes, red frame and black engine. The engine is a 750cc 90-degree transverse V-twin with a claimed power output of 36kW, and is coupled to a six speed transmission. The kerb weight is a relatively light 186kg. The bike has a two-into-one Arrow exhaust system, aluminium mudguards and satin finished aluminium side number plates. In keeping with its heritage the wheels are polished alloy rims with wire spokes. The seat is long and flat, and there are rubber knee pads, off-road footpegs and fork boots to complete the scrambler look. The V7 II Stornello also comes standard with dual channel ABS and traction control. Each bike will have its production number laser inscribed on to the upper part of the headstock. The Moto Guzzi V7 II Stornello Limited Edition will be priced at $16,500 plus on road costs. The bike offers the personality, class leading safety and quality which are hallmarks of the brand, and Australian stock is expected to sell out quickly.
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Triumph Australia is expecting the 2016 Rat Rally to be its biggest ever. This year’s rally will be held at the Jindabyne Station Resort from 11th – 13th March. The Rat Rally is the biggest social event on the Triumph Australia calendar, and the Snowy Mountains setting will provide the opportunity to experience some of the best mountain roads and local destinations in Australia. Triumph says this year’s event will have even more for participants to be involved in. There will be more demo ride opportunities with test rides available from Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. Among the fleet of test bikes will be the new Bonneville Street Twin and T120 range. The entertainment line up across the weekend will include 80’s rock cover bands, comedians and stunt riders. A barbecue dinner will be held on Friday night and a 70’s and 80’s trivia night is planned for Saturday night. The “Show and Shine” competition is expected to attract the usual stunning display of bikes and a range of prizes will be on offer across a number of categories. Triumph will also have clothing and accessories for sale throughout the weekend. Triumph Australia’s technical manager Cliff Stovall will be available to demonstrate the technical innovations and safety features of the 2016 range, and professional photographer Danny Wilkinson will be on hand to capture photos. Triumph Marketing Manager, Mark Berger says the rally is always a great social event, with plenty of riding, plenty of laughs and great entertainment. “Getting together for riding events with our customers is always a highlight of our calendar; the brand attracts such a passionate range of riders on all different Triumph bike styles from supersports to big bore cruisers, adventure bikes and classics.” While the event is primarily aimed at Triumph owners, the organisers are encouraging people to bring their friends regardless of what they ride. Check in for the rally will be open from 3pm on Friday 11th March at the Station Resort. Tickets are just $150 and include meals, entertainment and a commemorative T-shirt, and can be purchased online before the event. More information is available on the Triumph website.
Electric scooters and motorcycles will feature more in the BMW motorcycle range over the coming years as the company places even more emphasis on the development of electric vehicles. BMW earned the title as the first major motorcycle manufacturer to release an electric model when the C Evolution electric scooter was launched in 2014. Although being very heavy at 265kg, the C Evolution performs well. The water cooled electric engine produces peak power of 35kW, it has a top speed of around 120km/h and a range of 100km. It also has a very reasonable charge time of just 3 hours. The C Evolution has all the right features for an alternative urban machine, but unfortunately hasn’t been the sales success BMW would have hoped for. It has never been imported into Australia and European sales were limited primarily because of the scooter’s cost. With governments demanding environmentally clean vehicles to meet ever tightening emissions requirements, BMW acknowledges that electric vehicles are here to stay. And even though the company is satisfied with the C Evolution scooter, it is working to make it more viable as an alternative form of transport to petrol and diesel powered machines. The C Evolution uses 3 of the same batteries as the i3 electric car, and as sales of electric cars increases the cost of producing the batteries should drop. BMW is reportedly also working to redesign the electric motor of the C Evolution, hoping to reduce its cost but this may come with an impact to the scooter’s performance. Looking to the future, there is also the possibility of an electric version of the C1 going into production. The C1 was an “all weather” enclosed scooter produced in 2001 and 2002. It was designed to offer the convenience of a scooter or motorbike but without many of the associated dangers. BMW incorporated passive safety features into the C1 and claimed that in a head-on collision, it offered a standard of protection comparable to that of a European compact car. Initial sales were good, but drastically falling sales in it’s second year forced the C1 out of production. The same design platform was used in 2009 for the C1-E, an electric scooter concept vehicle. BMW also recently released details of it’s eRR experimental sports bike based on the S 1000 RR.