no politics...just ridin'

Stunter Boy

This story was published in Sunday's paper (for some reason they didn't post it on their site) - you draw your own conclusions...

“Speed on the Brain”
By Edmund Burke
Sunday Mail 26/02/2006

A self-confessed speed freak who crashed his motorbike doing a wheelstand at 130km/hr says he’d do it again.

Despite suffering horrific injuries from a 60m slide which left a trail of flesh and skin on the road, Matthew Campbell won’t rule put performing more dangerous and illegal stunts on public roads.

His stance has angered road safety authorities, who only this week held a summit at Qld Parliament House to tackle mounting road deaths.

“He is a bloody idiot and he doesn’t deserve to have a bike or a licence,” said Parliamentary Travelsafe Committee chairman Jim Pearce.

“I feel angry. People with that attitude – tough nuts and hard heads – put at risk other road users who are out there doing the right thing. We don’t need people like him out on the road.”

Police traffic support group Acting Superintendent Rob McCall said: “I would describe what happened (to Campbell) as an act of gross stupidity, which not only endangered the life of the rider but also the lives of other road users. It has to be said that the vast majority of riders respect the law. For those that don’t, it is only a matter of time before they are picked up by police, either for breaking the law or in a body bag.”

Campbell, 26, from Walloon, near Ipswich, was wearing just shorts and a T-shirt when he flipped his 950cc Honda on the Warrego Highway on Boxing Day. Witnesses said he was overtaking two cars on one wheel when disaster struck and he ws sent catapulting on to the hot bitumen.

“I felt like I was sitting on a belt sander and I could feel it digging in,” said Campbell, who was fined and lost his licence for six months after appearing at Ipswich Magistrates Court this month. “I was sliding along and then all of a sudden I started doing cartwheels and then I stopped,” he said. “I had no fingertips. I couldn’t even take my own helmet off. I felt like someone had set fire to me, like I was engulfed in flames.”

His left thighbone snapped, breaking through the skin,and he lost skin and flesh from his hands, his buttocks, his legs, forearms, back and shoulders. But, despite his shocking injuries, Campbell is adamant he will return to riding his bike at high speeds.

“I think about the accident every day. I wake up every morning and I am reminded of it by the pain,” the 26-year-old told The Sunday Mail. “But I love to do it. I want to ride again and, who knows, maybe I will do it again. This is a sport for me. It is in my blood.”

Campbell describes himself and a “stunter” – a member of a dangerous high-powered motorcycle sub-culture that has ballooned in Queensland in the past year. Devotees treat high-powered motorcycles like BMX bikes, pulling stunts at incredible speeds on public roads. “Stunting is a sport. It is hugh in Europe and the US and it has just exploded in Queensland,” he said. “All of my mates are into it. If there were facilities to do it off-road we would use them, but there aren’t.” Campbell insists he is not a hoon, despite admitting riding at almost 300 km/hr on the Bruce Highway.

RACQ spokesman Gary Fites said he did not believe “stunters” would stop using public roads even if off-road facilities were provided. “If these people are doing these stunts on public roads you wonder if that isn’t half the thrill for them,” he said. “This is depressing when you consider 17 to 24 year olds are killing themselves 2 & a 1/2 times as fast as the rest of us.”

Last year 64 motorcyclists died in Queensland. Police say that in 80% of cases the rider was to blame.

The last sentence is interesting - 80% of cases the rider was to blame - yeah right!!!!


Up early on Sunday and a short ride for me and Cass down to Cleveland to meet up with everyone for the barge over to Stradbroke Island. Loaded the bikes on and then headed up to the cafe for the 40 minute cruise across Moreton Bay. The weather looked like it was going to be alright before riding onto the barge, but looking over to Straddie we could see some pretty dark looking clouds. Got to the island and rode off the barge then, after a smoko stop, headed for Point Lookout. Then the rain came...only a bit but enough to get us wet and in my case partly fill my shoes - I was wearing shorts.
The bikes on the barge
Everyone that went...Taffy was also there and Billy and his missus showed up on a later barge
As we got closer the weather got worse...looked like we were gonna get wet!!
Got off the barge and had a smoke...then headed for Point Lookout
Pulled into where the Staddie Pub used to be - in the middle of re-developing at the moment so the pub is trading out of demountables. Wandered down to Cylinder Beach from the pub carpark and had a look at the beach then headed back up. On the way we passed a couple of Wanga Trees (don't know their real name) with roots growing down from the main trunk that looked like dicks, big mofo dicks! Man, one tree was hung like Johnny Holmes. Was a bit hard to miss em when their growing right next to the path. Anyway, after the girls composed themselves, we headed back to the bikes and took off into Point Lookout for a bit of a look.
The boys wandering along Cylinder Beach
Here's one for the you didn't know they grew on trees!! We found a couple of excellent examples of the local Wanga Tree
Got to the walk that winds around the heads at Point Lookout and Taffy decided to take us riding up the track - the walking track - a bit. Did part of the walk and man, the views were impressive. The view looking south down the main beach was great - the water was a real aqua and we spotted plenty of dolphins further around the point feeding.
View looking south from the walking track around Point Lookout on the ocean side of Straddie
Admiring the view
Cass had to get into the pic as well!!
Walking along the track
After leaving the point we headed back to the pub and settled in for a few drinks while we waited for Billy to arrive. Rained a bit more but then cleared up and turned into a warm sunny arvo. Spent a bit of time on the deck outside the temporary pub and then decided to move on to 'The Local'- a hall with a beer garden and putt-putt out the front - about 5 minutes back up the road for some lunch. Billy and the boss rolled in just as we got settled. Spent a while there then decided to head for Amity Point - this is where a few bull sharks dined on a young chick all of 8 weeks ago. Not too much to see there as its on the mainland side of the island so we headed into the local club for drinks.
We stopped at 'The Local' for lunch - had putt-putt in the beer garden

From here some wanted to head home and some wanted to head back to Dunwich for a beer at another club. After riding into Dunwich and seeing the barge not too far out, we headed to the ramp and joined the queue to get on. About 20 minutes later we were on and into the air conditioned cafe on the barge - then the crowds arrived so I took off back down to stand out on deck - amazing how many cars they fit onto those things. Was a relief to stand on the side of the deck in the shade with just enough breeze to keep you cool and watching the water.
Grizz models a new variation of helmet - the Konehead - while waiting for the barge back
As we came into the ramp at Cleveland we floated past a large cruiser stranded on the mudflats - looked wierd just sitting there leaning to one side. The funny thing was there were people on it waiting for the tide to come in.
Poor bastard - and there were people on it too
Was a good day - haven't been to Straddie for years and the roads over there are good. The weather turned out to be ok and we saw a fair bit of the northern end of the island. Only had one minor incident where Tuffy (not Taffy) layed her bike down pulling up in the pub carpark - no damage done. As far as the island on a bike - it really isn't worth going over if you want to do a longish road ride as there are no sealed roads heading down to the southern end.

At Least They Realised.......

Well at least the organisers of Bikemania realise there were some problems - the following is a media release from the event director....

Organisers of the Bikemania Supershow are celebrating after their expectations of attendance for Brisbane 's first stand alone motorcycle show were blown away by a huge crowd of 38,443 people last weekend.

Mark Harvey, Event Director of organiser Showtime Events, said he had been hoping for around 25,000 visitors over the two days, but the end result was far beyond our expectations.

"This is a great result for the motorcycle industry and proves the growing popularity of motorcycling both as a past time and as a means of efficient, economical transport," said Mr Harvey

"We knew the show was going to be popular and attract good crowds but nothing like what we got. The line-up on Saturday morning was over 500 meters long which unfortunately deterred some patrons from coming in to the show.

"I have organised more than 200 shows over the past 15 years and never before have I seen so many people arrive at a show so quickly. It definitely caught us off guard," said Harvey

"Based on the amount of visitors, I'm pretty confident we can claim the title as the biggest motorcycle show in Australia now, especially given that the enormous crowd was achieved over a two day period," said Harvey

Whilst the show proved popular with patrons and exhibitors reported great results, organisers have already commenced plans for a major overhaul of the event.

"We are not entirely happy with the final outcome of the show. There will be some major changes including a rethink on how we use the venue next time," said Harvey

"The Brisbane RNA Showgrounds is a great venue, it's so central and offers great diversity but I don't think we utilized the facility to its full potential.

"Now that we have used the venue in operation mode, we have a better idea on how we can improve this event for both exhibitors and patrons"

Relocating certain sections of the show into new pavilions, extra seating and shade areas, more ticketing facilities and a possible change of dates to a cooler time of the year are some of the changes organisers will be implementing for the 2007 show.

Making sure the show is substantially different in style and content from the typical motorcycle exhibitions that are run in other cities is also an iatrical part of the Organisers vision for the event.

"Our objective is to provide motorcycle enthusiasts with an event that is much more than just a static exhibition. More activities, entertainment and events are definitely on the agenda for next years show"

"We want to give motorcycle riders the opportunity to be part of this event in a much bigger way than by just coming along as a visitor.

"Whether it's through a club display, planned activity or entering their bikes into the competitions, we want bike owners to relish this opportunity. The event is about them and their bikes so it's imperative they become infused with the event.

"We will continue to work hard in making sure our exhibitors and sponsors are getting the results they deserve, but we will work equally as hard to ensure the motorcycle community is well and truly apart of Bikemania.

"Creating a motorcycle festival that embraces all genres of motorcycles is paramount and last weekends Bikemania Supershow is a great start to our vision," said Harvey.

The First Bikemania

Got myself and Cass organized and headed into the showgrounds to check out the first Bikemania - supposedly the best thing since sliced bread so the promoters were advertising. Now I don't want to sound too negative BUT I thought the event set up was piss poor.

First up the day was hot - when Cass and myself got there at about 9:45 (15 mins before the gates opened)it felt like it was already 30 degrees and there was already a queue about 500 mts long stretching up the street and around the corner. We had to stand waiting, sweating in the queue for about 45 minutes just to get to the entry booth. As we waited more and more people kept rolling up and the traffic just kept getting worse. When we finally got to the entry booths I was amazed to see there were only three girls sweating their little ass's off in the booths - obviously the promoters severely under estimated the number of people they were expecting.
The ghosted skull looked unreal on this fender
Anyhow we finally got in and headed into the first pavilion. The first thing that stood out was there were hardly any dealer stands - I wanted to have a look at what was on offer from the bike manufacturers but was disappointed. A few accessory stands selling stuff like clothing, glasses, intercoms, helmetcams and the like, but not as many as I was expecting. We wandered around checking out most of the stands and I ended up getting a pair of sunnies. I was hoping to find someone to do some chroming but there was no one there.

From here we headed over to the pavilion where anyone wanting to sell their bike could have displayed it for a fee - now there is either not a lot of bikes for sale in Brisbane or people just didn't bother with putting their bikes in. I reckon there was a total of about 30 bikes on display. Again, I was expecting a lot more bikes to be on display the way the promoters were building it up.
How low can you go??
After grabbing a drink and chatting to Grasshopper who was waiting outside at the gate for Eddie, we went up to the choppers. Now this pavilion was good - lots of nice bikes on display and some of the paint was awesome. There were a few 300 ass ends which just looked sweet and quite a lot of variety amongst what was on display. I still reckon that the prices are over the top but then again, if you've got the cash, why not? We also checked Eljay out doing his tricks in one of the the corners - man he can control that bike!

Some of the paint on show was awesome
After spending a fair bit of time drooling over the choppers we headed downstairs and realised that we had seen all the displays and stands except for the classic bikes. I couldn't work out where they were and they didn't interest me all that much so we decided to go. There were going to be some guys doing freestyle motocross and after we walked out the gate and back to where the bike was parked, we watched em warm up through a side gate. Pretty cool stuff and man they got some serious air.
After they finished we headed home.
Even a custom sporty and looked hot
Now for a show that had a fair bit of publicity and hype about how good it was going to be, I thought Bikemania was average. Just trying to get in was a joke with only 3 ticket booths - they need to pre-sell tickets and increase booth numbers. A lot of dealers and associated accessory and service shops did not attend. From what I heard it was very expensive to set up a stall there and it was not layed out well. The choppers are what made attending worthwhile, but even they could have been layed out better. And the admission price was a bit rich too - $18 just to get in the gate...eventually.

More pics from the day are here in the top slideshow.

We actually saw Grasshopper and Eddie ride in to the park just as we reached the gate to get in - we then saw Eddie in the line, still a fair way back, about an hour later as we were moving through the chopper pavilion. Don't know how long it took em to get in in the end.



This is how easy it can happen...have a look at this video that was shot from a helmetcam.

Bye Bye Screaming Eagles?

The following article regarding motorcycle noise levels was posted on the Harley-Davidson website by their CEO, Jim McCaslin....

Individuality has been an important part of the Harley-Davidson experience for more than 100 years. Harley® riders express their individuality in many ways. Look at the way the way they make their own motorcycle unique. We love it. But there's a growing issue that's creating a real threat to our rights as individuals - the issue of excessive motorcycle noise.
We've faced many challenges here at the Motor Company, but we feel this may be one of the toughest because of its potential to divide and destroy our sport. We can't ignore it, so we must find a way to come together to address this critical issue. Take a few moments to read the following article, and please do it with an open mind and an eye on the future of the sport we all love. Then lets head out together on a journey that just might make us stronger.

It must be primeval. The way it touches us so deeply, we must have some ancient hardwiring inside us that's a direct feed to our very core. Maybe it's some leftover evolutionary seventh sense that's triggered when we hit the ignition and fire brings our V-twins to life. Or maybe the rhythmic rumble reminds us of some distant thundering herd. The chase is on. And our hearts automatically race not wanting to be left behind. Or our soul goes hungry.

Whatever else it is, this authentic part of the Harley-Davidson experience really is something. And it's something we don't ever want to lose.

Now comes the troubling part. How can the sound that embodies so much of what we love about Harley-Davidson® motorcycles be so offensive to others? And it's even more troubling that those negative feelings are spreading throughout the country and around the world. Some people just don't like motorcycles. Period. We can accept that. But isn't there something we can do to keep their numbers from growing?

Negative news stories regarding motorcycle noise have increased 400 percent over the past 10 years. In the last year, communities across the United States have upped their efforts to curb motorcycle noise. Some communities have instituted outright bans on motorcycles. Even traditional motorcycle rally locations like Laconia, Daytona, and Myrtle Beach have had controversies regarding noise at their events this past year.

Worldwide, motorcycle noise is becoming more heavily restricted. Europe and Japan now require lower than U.S. dB(A) levels for new motorcycles right out of the box. In Australia, for example, a permanent label must be affixed and remain on to signify legal pipes. Annual inspections are also required.

Looking into the science of sound, the perception of sound varies according to multiple factors; volume is the single factor that most often sends hearing from barely noticeable to unbearable. Understandable. That's why many riders are fitting themselves with earplugs for longer rides. But what's really interesting is that the sound impulses we generate ourselves seem less of a nuisance than those generated by others. We're also more indulgent when it comes to a “friendly” sound or noise - music, for example, if you happen to be a musician yourself. So, the "friendly" sounds of our Harleys are not so friendly sounding to those who don't share our passion for riding. We can't change that. But what can we do?

It seems that we, not just the Motor Company, not just the Harley-Davidson dealers, not just a handful of riders, we all, every Hog lovin' one of us, must do everything we can to protect our sport and keep it as strong as it is today. We must take our turn, as more than a century-worth of Harley riders has before us, in guarding our sport.

In those very early days, Harley-Davidson was born as a form of basic transportation. When you added a sidecar or a delivery box to the back, they became utility vehicles. Then the weekend was invented. Well, you were lucky if you got one day off. But you made the most of it and discovered the sheer joy of motorcycling. And you discovered that there were others just like you who carried that dominant riding gene. You were born with it. And proud of it. You owned your own kind of freedom. But even then, there were many who didn't understand.

There were literally hundreds of motorcycle manufacturers in the early days. Far more than there were automakers. As the number of motorized vehicles grew, so did the issue of noise. The confounded machines were upsetting the still-main-means-of-transportation horses. Farmers complained about machines disturbing their livestock. And the general population became very vocal about their right to a good night's sleep. To achieve social acceptability of their new modes of transportation, the manufacturers developed … the muffler! The auto industry had plenty of space to carry all manner of bulky noise suppression devices. For motorcycles, it was an entirely different challenge. The Motor Company put its engineering staff to work and came up with the best mufflers in the motorcycle industry. So successful, in fact, that they built a motorcycle that became affectionately known as The Silent Gray Fellow. That moniker stuck, and during those early years the entire Harley-Davidson model line became known as The Silent Gray Fellows.

Today, Harley-Davidson motorcycles have more power and performance than our predecessors could have ever imagined, but with all due respect, we love to hear them coming. That doesn't mean louder noise equals even more power, however. It's an interesting misconception. Testing has proven that straight pipes do not necessarily outperform pipes with lower noise levels. Pick the wrong pipes and you can severely reduce your horsepower and/or your torque. And while you're doing it, you'll awaken the sleeping giant of social concern that lives next door to all of us.

So what if you've picked the wrong pipes?

Then you have a very important individual decision to make. We all do. No one expects everyone to change out their straight pipes overnight. But we all must consider changing out our thinking. We need to think about the consequences our actions have on others, before others take action against us. As tempting as it is, maybe we resist cranking up the revs at the next stop signal. Maybe we fall in love all over again with the unique and mesmerizing sound "quality" of our own V-twin, not just the volume. Maybe we think about how we can assure that all those riders coming behind us can enjoy the same level of freedom we do today. Maybe we just take a time-out to remember that this is really something. And it's something we never want to lose.

Think he is preparing Harley owners for the end of Screaming Eagle pipes?? The sound of a Harley is the only thing that I really love about them - if Harley-Davidson restrict the ability for owners to make them louder then I believe they will suffer big time.

Noodle Bar then Kingscliff...

Well I finally caught up with the crew last Friday at the Noodle Bar - haven't seen them for a few weeks due to having the kids. Spent a bit of time chatting with a few of them. Looks like some of the guys are doing the Midnight till Dawn run this Saturday night leaving from Burleigh. Its run by the American MC on the Gold Coast and should be awesome - the weather is perfect for night riding at the moment. I would love to do it but am going out on Saturday night to see Jon Stevens and Ian Moss and probably won't be in a riding state. I think the guys are also planning on going to Bikemania which I am definitely doing.

Anyway once everyone decided to head home, I rode down the coast to Kat's place. Was a great ride with not too much traffic and the weather was perfecto. I got all the way down to near the lights at the Gold Coast airport following a guy on a sporty (doing about 100) when a car pulled up next to me flashing their lights. I didn't even look to see but immediately thought it was cops coz of the way the lights were flashing, so I gunned it - the border was only a little bit further and they won't cross it. Well this car did keep following me so I let her rip on the near empty motorway and got up to about 160 leaving em behind. Wasn't till I got to Kat's place and she pulled in about 10 minutes behind me that I realised it was her!! Doh!! What a dickhead! Major brain slip thinking I could outrun the cops on my bike and they would have got an eyefull of my plate anyway - I'm just lucky it was only Kat. Dunno what came over me but I won't be trying anything stupid like that again.

No Trains

Wow the traffic was bad this morning - I suppose that's what happens when the train drivers decide to call a 24 hour strike at 10pm the previous night. I lane split along Wynnum Rd for about 4kms (didn't hit ANY mirrors for once) and where I couldn't get through I was forced to use the oncoming lane. I would have hated to be driving to work in that - I think there are gonna be a lot of angry people on the road today and a lot more angry people waiting at the train stations around the city!!