Who�s News �������������� November 2010

The Club web site at www.melbsportsbike.net.au accumulated 608 hits during November, down 172 on last month � probably due to the amount of rain during November, the wettest in 18 years with 100 mm in Melbourne. Total visits are 64,862 since April 1996. The counters on the other pages after another month indicate that the Calendar page took 513 hits (total 13,934, down 152) since 28th October 2008 and Great Roads 115 hits (total 3,692).

Membership now stands at 74 (up 1 this month).Official kilometres for the month of November: 3326 km, down 1850 from last month � Towong adding a lazy 2040 km to the last monthly total. Official Club kilometres for the month (people x ride length): 16,720 km, down 30,333 km on last month, indicating some poorly attended rides (due to rain) � and no Towong. The 2010 year total is 296,986 km; average yearly total 324,241 since 2005. We are on track to make the average. The people km per injury is 74,247 so far for 2010 and continuing to improve with each injury free month; long term it is 119,887 km and rising.

Seen at the Social Sip, Mark�s Place in Carlton on Thursday 4th November: Julie and Ben Warden, Ron Johnston, Barb and Cliff Peters, John Rousseaux and Kate Stewart, Trevor and Barbara Rolfe Harris, Dave Ward and Bronwyn Manifold, Ian Payne, Dennis Lindemann, Peter Feistl, John Willis, Peter Philferan, Craig Morley and Chris Pointon. 18 people It was good to see Dave and Bron back in Melbourne for a holiday, Hobart their home now.

The Club Participant of the Year is based on aggregate points accumulated at 1 point per ride, an extra point for leading or being rear rider, and 1 point per magazine article (maximum 2 per magazine). Attending one or more days of a weekend event scores 3 points for leading, 3 for rear riding duties and 2 points for participating.

The count is for the 2010/11 year ending the ride before the 2011 AGM in July. After five months the top ten positions are: Ben Warden (41.5), Cliff Peters (30), Pina Garasi (28), Ron Johnston (25), Misho Zrakic (18), Ian Payne (18), Paul Southwell (19), John Willis (19), Dennis Lindemann (15), and Ha Du (14). The big mover for the month was John Willis who jumped a couple of places. Otherwise the status quo was maintained.

Front Cover: Seymour via Lancefield Ride (21/11/2010), Kinglake West finishing point. Back Row: Rob Langer, Andre Smith. Damir Djikic, Dennis Lindemann, Paul Southwell, Pina Grasi, Geoff Jones, Raj Malhotra, John Willis, Damian Jones, Greg Jeffery. Front Row: Willem Vandeveld, Mirko Strasser, Cliffy Peters, Craig Morley, Chris Pointon, Chris Tran, Ron Johnston. Ben Warden behind the lens. Thanks to Peter Feistl who performs the digital manipulation every month ensuring that the best head shot (out of a series of photographs) appears on the final product, wayward limbs and fingers are removed and the photo is generally made as perfect as possible. Believe it or not, the front cover is two photos combined.

Back Cover (black and white) taken on the Mt Dandenong ride (7/11/2010).Back row: Andre Smith, Jean Eldridge, John Willis, Ian Payne, Pina Garasi, Geoff Shugg. Front row: Paul Southwell, Roman Biaroza, Cliff Peters, Misho Zrakic. Ben behind the lens.

8/11/2010 Ern Reeders to the Google Group: Decoding the Club Mag's descriptions of offs takes some experience.  Most are 'minor cosmetic'. Seems to me ...

Variant no. 1: bike is in tatters; trashed plastics & indicators but still rideable by the owner, who is compos mentis enough to offer excuses (sun in my eyes; where'd that gravel come from?; damn that new tyre; was just overtaken by Misho and thought the bike had stopped dead so I got off; etc etc).

Variant no. 2: bike as above, levers also trashed and rider has to get a pillion ride home after ignominiously dragging the bike to a salvage point.  Aided by others.  Photographed by Ben for publication in the mag (Oh the shame!)

Variant no. 3: bike as above but the owner has to get a horizontal ride to the local hospital; club members vacate the scene ASAP to avoid answering questions to which they'd prefer not to give frank answers.  Rider gets lecture from ambos on the way.  Rider gets lecture from nurses in Casualty.  Rider gets threatened with a huge bill from the surgeon until croaking 'It's TAC'.  Rider gets a customer satisfaction questionnaire from TAC.


'Major cosmetic': when the mascara has run so badly you can't be seen in public.

'Write off': this isn't about the bike, it's about you. Two variants ... (a) you're a gibbering wreck for some time, or (b) your insurance standing is now zero and at the next renewal comprehensive cover will cost you a year�s salary. Gotta love riding ;-} 

10/11/2010 Ern Reeders We're not long back from a 'lakes tour' of the country and outback: Menindee Lakes, Lake Eyre, lower Murray lakes and the Coorong and lastly the Blue Lake at Mt Gambier. We saw lots of vehicles with canoes or kayaks on top. The red dirt country's got its hooks into me but this time it was damn well all green and flowering.  Amazing carpets of Sturt Desert Pea around Broken Hill. I pushed the Forester and camper trailer a bit harder this trip and onto some declared 4WD only tracks and came out the other end with only minor damage to the CT.

Pay Pal discussion

Purchasing motorcycle tyres from America is now becoming a realistic option, particularly with the Australian Dollar near parity with the US dollar. I recently ordered 5 tyres (4 rears, 1 front) from Motosport in America. For instance, a Pilot Power 2CT front costs $110, a Michelin Pilot Road 2 (180/55) costs $173.60 Australian.I ordered a Dunlop Q2 190/55 rear for Cliff which was expensive at $199.90. Total shipping and handling costs came to $91.50.As a comparison, the best price I can get on the rear Pilot Road 2s is $270. So importing is basically $100 at least cheaper per tyre.

It was a bit of a process as I had to set up an account with �Motosport�. Not all American sites will send tyres as sometimes they are to be considered dangerous goods. Then I had to set up a PayPal account which requires tricky confirmation procedures where they put a few cents in your bank account and then you tell them how much money they put in. Basically they are trying to convince themselves that you are a genuine purchaser, not a scammer. This takes about a week to do.

As soon as you transfer near $1000 from your bank account to PayPal you trip another flag and the Australian Government forces PayPal Australia to determine your bonafides via the usual 100 point method. The email in part states, �we are required to limit the access on your account and you will not be able to withdraw funds or make payments until we have verified your identity in accordance with Australian Anti-Money Laundering & Counter Terrorism Financing laws.�

PayPal is acting like a bank so it does make sense. It is all done on-line. I had to scan in my passport and drivers licence. I missed the bottom 30 digit number in the passport and was patiently asked to resubmit. In the interim they block transfers out of your PayPal account. You can still receive money.Another few days were lost setting this up.

At the American end they have got the purchasing shopping cart process down pat. Most sites use very similar processes; the applications have roughly the same look and feel. But it took me about two hours to figure out that by clicking on the photo of the tyre I would get to the next level where all the tyre sizes and prices were and how to add to my shopping cart. To them it is obvious.

MotoSport uses an intermediary shipping company called FiftyOne. They organise FedEx to deliver the tyres via Australia Post. Two bundles turned up on the doorstep yesterday, the last one in transit I hope. The tyres were held together with tough packaging tape.You are emailed at various times with tracking information.So far the process has worked well � so long as the third parcel arrives with my last two rears.

Note: as soon as you purchase over $1000 in one transaction, VAT is added (equivalent to GST). So keep your orders below $1000. There has been a lot of discussion in the media in the last week or so about how the local retailers want this $1000 limit reduced as already many people are purchasing over the net and bypassing the expensive Australian retailers. They don�t like it.

Various people are purchasing motorcycle clothing and bling. As a general rule prices are around 50% cheaper. Peter Jones is a keen purchaser and has supplied me with excellent sites.