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    • Yep - I had an XB12X and it were grand.

      I also got to hang out with Erik a few times on model launches. The best gig I have had in my 18 year career working for bike magazines was the XB12X launch where we rode from Cairns to the tip of Cape Melville in Queensland - with full factory support.

      And Yep - I don't think they've got it all completely together as far as appealing to the next generation goes - yet, although the Street 500 was the top selling model here in Aus a few years ago. It qualified as a learner bike under the local size and power restrictions scheme for noobs.

      The gossip I'm hearing is the next 2 iterations of the Sportster will be the last of the platform too - but that's only rumour.

    • Me, slouching closest to camera at the launch.

      Robert Dennert, Platform Director VRSC Motorcycles is giving the introduction to the Street Rod prior to the assembled Australasian magazine writers test riding them over the Snowy Mountains.
      I bonded with Robert because we both crashed on the ride. He just dropped his doing a U turn.

      I was being held up through the twisty bits by one of the Journos and got impatient, went around the outside and into a right hander waaay too hot. The bike dropped into the roadside culvert with me still on it and went around the corner upright like a slot car. When it came to the drainage cover it stopped dead and threw me over the bars into a vertical sandstone wall at about 25mph - exactly like one of those velcro 'Bar Fly' suits.

      I was entirely uninjured except for one tiny drop of blood from a split lip where I'd hit the inside of my Shoei.

      The bike had some scratches on the exhaust and radiators but after they got the mud off it I rode it for the rest of the launch.

      Once the H-D crew had established I was all OK all they basically did was laugh at me.

    • Yeah - the shot is by Lou Martin - the doyen of the Aus bike press. I've got a heap of me riding by the Kiwi equivalent, Mr Geoff Osborne too. This is my fave from Geoff. I've got more 'spectacular' shots by him. But this one is about my favourite bike I've ever tested too.

    • Another great shot. So you get paid to ride the newest motorcycles? When I was a teen, that was my dream job. I bought every motorcycle mag and dreamed of being the guy on the bike.

      I actually prefer Lou Martin's shot because of the motion blur on the wheels. And I feel the bike pops more on the darker background.

      Somebody shot some stylin' photos of the LiveWire, but parked (source):

    • I have alot of the friends-experience opinion the HD Bagger is the best long mileage road bike out there. I seriously considered one except I really have such a distaste for the Harley chrome culture that comes with it. So, then, the Honda Goldwing also satisfies the long mileage best bike category but again, I could not live with myself being GW rider. I would say I don't care what people think of me and what I would ride but I must. LOL

    • Harley PR shots. coincidentally the owner of that site is the one that was holding me up on the street rod.

      Yeah the street rod is a much better photograph, but I dig the megamoto more.

    • Ahhh Gwasshopper. You will have truly reached the point of not caring what others think when you buy a KLR 650.

      As for best long distance tourer? BMW R1600GT gets my vote. That's not to say I don't dig a Road Glide too.

    • Mr Osborne has been producing killa images for Kiwi Rider since its early days. It's quite an oeuvre.
      And yep - I've been contributing words and photography to bike magazines in Australia and New Zealand for 18 years. I have tested about around 300 bikes in that time.

    • OK. Some of mine.

      It was too loud for my tastes but the build quality and paint was real craftsman.

      I did test a 100th Anniversary Chrome V-rod but the images are crud. This is the first one I have a decent shot of. Image quality has come a ways since '05 hey.

      These looked pretty good on a monitor back then. Today ... 2006 Street Rod

      2014 Night Rod.

      And now for something completely different. 2018 Street Rod 750. Waaay too big for it but I actually quite enjoyed this bike. Gave it a good thrash. All it needed was the big red shoes and nose to complete the look though.

      One from a ride coverage gig. You do realise that if I posted this on ADV it might break :-)