Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Bikes: Why we ride ADV Bikes. (Because golf sucks - sorry Greg)

So if you are even mildly into motorcycles, you may have noticed from 1968 onwards, a new bike format arrived on the scene. The trail bike. When Yamaha released the then revolutionary DT1 250 two stroke, they said.. "Because one day somebody decided to take a shortcut on a motorbike."

Gregory Howard Sier's favourite bike!

Before that there were road bikes and scramblers. Basically a road bike with an upturned exhaust for higher ground clearance and a set on knobby tyres.

And then somewhere in the 80s... the adventure bike was born.

So just what is an adventure bike? Good question. On another forum there always is a hot debate going on between enthusiasts over just what constitutes  an ADV bike. Basically a fair description would be a bigger version of the original trail bike design; an all road bike, higher ground clearance, larger fuel tank and hence range.. and the ability to carry a fair amount of luggage.

So bikes like the Kawasaki KLR650  at one end up through KTM 990 Adventure to the Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 and topping out with the BMW GS Adventure.

Good all road tourers.. and with the exception of the KLR (single cylinder) all capable of comfortable high speed touring.

So now you know what constitutes an ADV bike.. so why do we ride them?

Well apart from golf sucking (sorry again Greg) the ability to see a different part of the world than where your car will take you and to be at one with the environment is part of that magic.

Take last Sunday morning.. breakfast at Woodford was calling. That old town and I shared some sweet history going back 40 years or so. How to get to Woodford?

Well you could drive up the highway and turn left at Caboolture and head inland.

NW/GF/FO as Doc Neeson used to say. Why not take the long way round and use some roads less travelled?

So with Cruz and Big Daddee (truly) leading onwards we navigated our way out through the old Pine Rivers Shire until we arrived at this road closed sign. Well, it would be closed to your average Commodore. Onwards and upwards we go on this incredibly rough dirt road.... that brought us out at Ocean View on Mt Mee.

What a magic climb... a bit of an adrenaline rush as it was the first time I had ridden Fat Max up such a steep hill.

Wow! This beats the living daylights out of golf! (Sorry yet again Greg!)

From here we hit the bitumen for a nice twisty ride down the other side (past the nice Policeman) and on to Woodford.

God is it great to be alive! And to have this fabulous freedom machine in the shed just waiting for me to decide where and when to go.. well life is a pretty rich feast.

The Super Tenere. Freedom machine extraordinaire.

I know what you are thinking, but no it is not all motorbikes in my life. The bride and I spend a lot of time touring around some weekends on 4 wheels too! She has her Z4 roadster and we have a family hack as well!

But having said that.... there is nothing like coming home covered in dust and feeling completely stuffed after a good day's riding with your biker mates.

So why do I ride an ADV bike?

Because life is short, golf is for pussies (sorry yet again Greg) and.. because I can!

And the buzz has to be experienced to be appreciated!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Photography: Last! At Last! I love it!


[last, lahst] Spell Syllables
  • Synonyms
  • Examples
  • Word Origin
adjective, a superl. of late with later as compar.
occurring or coming after all others, as in time, order, or place:
the last line on a page.
most recent; next before the present; latest:
last week; last Friday.
being the only one remaining:
my last dollar; the last outpost; a last chance.
in his last hours.
ultimate or conclusive; definitive:
the last word in the argument.

I have always been fascinated by the word "last." Now that may sound strange, but I think it goes back to the mid 70s and mid 80s when I was at TAFE and then Uni studying business management and marketing. One of the things we learnt was that the first line in the heading was the "advert" for the advert.

As in:

"At last, a way to get your floors clean with half as much effort!"

Or how about:

"At last, improve the value of your car by this simple trick."

And then in both cases the body copy went on to extoll the virtues of whatever the product was and then had a call to action in the end part. 

Basic rule of advertising: Attention, interest, desire, action. (Ring this number NOW or fill in this form NOW.. only 9 items available etc.

In my MAX Instruments days, I always tried to use "At Last" in my advertising. 

Then there was Warren And Gordon's song... "At Last" (my love has come along)

And what about my new Holden that is on order...  as it is arguably the most advanced car ever built here, one could say....

They saved the best for LAST!

When I was about 12 and we had our family holiday home on Bribie Island, we had a bookshelf full of books.. as we had no TV. I remember seeing a paperback called, "The Last Hurrah" and it said in a splash on the over, "Now a movie starring Spencer Tracy". There it is.. that word "last" again. Always popping into my life.

My mother telling I would come last in my class if I didn't study my maths. (Mother, there are 12 frames on my roll of 120 and the camera counts them for me. That is all I need to know and anyhow, I don't want to be a mathematician!) That bloody "last" word again.. but this time with negative thoughts attached to it.

But back to the word last and its other uses....

One day back in about 1980, I was walking up George Street in Brisbane City and I walked past a hifi store. Out the front they had a pair of big Peterson stereo speakers and they were pumping out ELO's Last Train to London. I stopped and listened in.. wow, what a romantic vision formed in my head. Late on a cold night, a young couple on a railway station somewhere in England (Three Bridges perhaps) and they are sharing one long last kiss as the porter calls last train to London. Imagine the thoughts in the head of the guy singing the song, telling the story. He knows he should go, but he has just met her that very night and it is sweet agony... hanging on to her as the seconds count down to the train's departure..

Of course being a visual person (I am a photographer) all of this is playing out on a screen in my mind to this incredible sound track. 

Naturally, that night those speakers are in my home, hooked up to my magic Sansui AU555 amp (still have it.. 1969 vintage) and are pumping out.. Last train to London.

So from 1980, fast forward to 2014 and I find myself on my last night in Budapest with Debra. Our holiday European River Cruise is over and tomorrow we fly to Munich in Germany on business. Budapest is a very romantic city and Debra and I along with our friends Mark & Libby, Greg and Heidi cannot believe our holiday is nearly over. On this, our very last night all together, like that couple on Three Bridges Station 34 years ago, we are all living very much in the moment, all deliriously happy and we all want this moment to last....


And then...

Along comes The Last Tram to Budapest.

And I have my trusted Fuji with me! What visual poetry to finish the night.

Folks.. I give you... "The Last Tram to Budapest"

Last Tram to Budapest. © Mark Taylor BNE 2014

Let the music play on down the line tonight!