A South African asking a few questions

Discussion in 'Australia' started by bla-bla black sheep, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. bla-bla black sheep

    bla-bla black sheep BMW 1200 GS LC

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Pretoria, South Africa
    Hi guys,

    I'm currently visiting Australia (Brisbane & Melbourne) and saw very few bikes on the roads. This made me wonder:

    1) is commuting with your bike not safe/recommended/unheard off?

    I also noted that Yamaha is the #1 selling brand, and that the 650 ranges (across the brands) are the popular adventure/dual purpose bike size. Also, that the BMW GS and KTM adventure bikes are not popular.

    In South Africa the BMW 1200 GS/GSA is the popular (best selling) adventure bike, with the KTM 990 following.

    Why is the trend so much different here?

    Last question.

    Do you have off-road training academies which operates in Aus? I see that BMW list one on their website, but am not sure if they are in operation/worth while?

    Thanks

    Herman

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    #1
  2. BergDonk

    BergDonk Old Enough to Know Better

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,329
    Location:
    Snowy Mountains Oz
    Hi Herman and welcome to Oz. Dunno whether I can answer all your questions, but I'll try some from my perspective. Its also hard to compare to SA for me as my only experience there is transitting through J'burg to Gaberone.

    People do commute on bikes in the cities and elsewhere, but certainly not to the extent that they do in Europe and Asia, but I guess its similar to North America. Cars and public transport predominate. Filtering and lane splitting is nominally illegal which may not help. Doesn't stop a lot from doing it though, and if you don't, the commute time doesn't change much. But I live in the bush, so no doubt others are far better qualified to explain why they park the bike in the shed and drive to work. I know that before I retired, I commuted to work in town, 20 kms or 15 mins in 4 wheels because it was quicker and more convenient. By the time I'd gear up to travel, get the bike out of the shed, and then the reverse at work, it'd take twice as long. And my commute always seemed to happen in the twilight dodging roos. Better lights and a bullbar on the ute too.

    The big singles just seem to be better suited to adv riding in Oz for most, and are far more affordable at < $10k for DRs and KLXs whereas the big twins are $20-30k.

    The BMW training is contracted out to Stay Upright who also do off road training under their own name:
    http://stayupright.com.au/ and under the Post Licence Training link

    There is the Academy of Off Road who do good stuff
    http://www.academyofoffroadriding.com.au/

    Trials Experience are excellent
    http://trialsexperience.com.au/

    All/most MA affiliated Clubs with a dirt racing interest have accredited off road coaches available.
    http://www.ma.org.au/

    And there are more for sure.
    #2
  3. BruceC

    BruceC Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    535
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia

    Herman,

    Australian riders generally do not commute. Cultural thing. We have been taught since nappies that a car is the only choice for commuting. So, what you are seeing on the road probably doesn't represent actual sales. Most bikes spend 95% of their lives sitting in garages.

    Dunno how you arrived at Yamaha being top selling brand. Latest figures show Honda is still No. 1. See http://www.mcnews.com.au/NewsArchives/2012/Sales_Quarter3/Sales_2012_Brands.htm

    Check out the following link to see a breakdown of Aus sales by category. There are some anomalies in these lists - the Suzuki DR650 is listed as a trail bike, not an adventure tourer which seems to be its main purpose in life here. It would top the list of adventure tourers.
    http://www.mcnews.com.au/NewsArchives/2012/Sales_Quarter3/Sales_2012.htm

    Riders tend to choose bikes on their needs (dreams???). If primarily road touring with some dirt roads then the various BMW GS win with Suzuki V-Strom also being popular. If more dirt is envisioned then something like the KTM 990, KLR or DR is the choice. If the rider is a frustrated enduro rider then a KTM single is the choice. That is, horses for courses.

    A lot of Aussie riders dream about riding in the desert where a light weight bike with 21" front wheel is a must. Hence the popularity of the 650's.

    Yes, there are adventure touring riding courses available. They are sometimes mentioned in this forum. They can also be advertised in some of the print mags. Given the number of dual-sport bikes about they don't seem to be very popular. Again, a cultural thing - I'm a man and I don't need someone else to tell me how to do this, especially if they're going to ask for money!

    Anyway, enjoy the country. There's lots to see and do mixed in with a lot of bugger-all :D.

    BruceC
    #3
  4. farcall

    farcall Long timer

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,039
    Location:
    Western Australia
    Herman

    Aussies love sport.

    When I'm driving, I try to take out as many riders as I can.

    When I'm riding, drivers have me in their crosshairs. All have failed... so far :lol3 :lol3

    I commute on a bicycle most of the time. Gotta give the drivers better odds of taking me out. :deal
    #4
  5. Beet

    Beet adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,208
    Location:
    VIC. AUSTRALIA
    Hi, my 2 cents worth on one point - have you compared the size of the average South African with that of the average Aussie. After 8 months of travel in Southern Africa including doing heaps of Rallys in South Africa I recon generally speaking you are huge and need the 1200 BMW to carry you's around. No disrespect just my observation. All the best to you and have a great trip.
    #5
  6. GazzaFish

    GazzaFish Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    648
    Location:
    Melbourne, AUS
    I live in Melbourne and I commuter to the city daily on my KTM990 adventure so i'm doing my bit... :D
    #6
  7. bla-bla black sheep

    bla-bla black sheep BMW 1200 GS LC

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Pretoria, South Africa
    Hahahaaa...

    Great, thanks guys. Sorry for laughing, but its for the "Aussies love sport..." bit.

    In SA we are allowed to lane split, which must contribute to the more bikes on the commuter run.

    Us Saffers are big, aren't we? Heheheee... But not all of us! And jip, Saffers tend to disregard formal training as well - my opinion is that it was worth every cent I spent on it.

    I tend to agree, horses for courses, therefore I love my SE at the moment. Had a BM 650 Dakar, 1200GS and KTM 950 Adv S before the SE.

    I love your country, find it a great place with nice friendly people (the few I interacted with).




    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    #7
  8. bla-bla black sheep

    bla-bla black sheep BMW 1200 GS LC

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Pretoria, South Africa
    We were in Melbourne a few days, and I just loved it. The country side out to the Yarra valley is mamzing!!

    I would give a liver to go ride there on a adv bike.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    #8
  9. farqhuar

    farqhuar Human guinea pig

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,624
    Location:
    Melbun, Oztralia

    The Yarra valley also offers other attractions which may end up costing you that liver anyway. :wink: :1drink
    #9
  10. bla-bla black sheep

    bla-bla black sheep BMW 1200 GS LC

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Pretoria, South Africa
    The WINE!!!! Whahahahaaaa...


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    #10
  11. Goosefeather

    Goosefeather Captain Slow

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    963
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    Hey - he's from South Africa, where "safe commute" has a somewhat different meaning . . . you don't run the risk of being car-jacked (or bike-jacked for the pedants) in Australia . . . "safe" in that respect
    #11
  12. crash n bern

    crash n bern Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,470
    Location:
    Brisbane Oztrailia
    It's hard to get a real picture in a few days of observation. Have a look at how many motorcycles are parked in the city rather than what you see on the roads. That would be a better indicator.

    I commute on a bike every day (that I work) and I struggle to get a bike park, mainly because I travel outside of commuter times.

    And I ride an SE as well, although if I head into the desert I would take my 625 because I'm to frail to wrestle a 950 in deep sand.
    #12
  13. bla-bla black sheep

    bla-bla black sheep BMW 1200 GS LC

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Pretoria, South Africa
    Thanks for the honest answers guys.

    Is the biking industry a growing industry is AUS? Meaning, is there plenty of work opportunities? In SA the market is declining, as biking is seen as a luxury, plus we have plenty of Chinese/ Eastern bike brands emerging, which are cheap to buy and easy to discard when broken.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    #13
  14. Precis

    Precis Maladroit malcontent

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,614
    Location:
    Cruising the main, Aus
    You might also take into account the mind-numbingly stupid level of speed-trapping (and the ridiculously low speed-limits) that are over-zealously policed in this country.

    Buying, owning, licensing, operating, fueling and insuring a bike that has 70% of its performance outside legal limits gets old really quickly.
    It costs nearly $2 every day, just in road tax, to own a bike bigger than 500cc.

    I get stopped and hassled by The Filth far more on my bike - and no, I'm not a Hog-riding pirate: in my scruffy diesel ute (bakkie): never; on my dusty ADV-bike: about once a month, on average.

    If I have to go into the city, I tend to go by bike as I hate crowds & traffic jams - but Melburnian tin-top drivers are just as lethal as Jhb taxis - the difference is, Aus drivers aren't usually TRYING to kill you - they do so carelessly because they're either stoned, on the phone or dozing behind the wheel.

    Industry-wise, if you're a factory-trained technician, you'll not battle to find a job. It might not always be exactly where you want it, but once you've got a name for yourself, you can shift aropund a bit.
    Don't forget to watch out for dropbears!
    #14
  15. Aquatic

    Aquatic Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,193
    Location:
    Buddina, Sunny Coast, Australia
    Precis is spot on!

    The cost of riding a bike here is WAY more than RSA.

    SA driver are more aware of bikes. Here drivers are just not aware!!

    Yip, no cruising at $1.40 here. The cops WILL catch you!

    If you make it up to the Sunshine coast, give us a shout. Die bier is koud!

    #15
  16. MODNROD

    MODNROD Wheat and Sheep

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,636
    Location:
    Midwest, West Oz
    +lots.
    It gave me the shites so much that I now ride a 250cc Piaggio scoot down the highway (a 125 scoot before that was a BIT small! :lol3), and the hotrod 10sec old Vmax has cobwebs and dust.....literally.

    Bikes here seem to be seen as anti-social and a money-spinning venture for the govt, rather than viewed as a reasonable commuting/transport choice.
    #16
  17. bla-bla black sheep

    bla-bla black sheep BMW 1200 GS LC

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Pretoria, South Africa
    With your vast country and long distances between towns/cities, I would thought the BMW 1200 GSA would be a popular touring bike with dirt road capabilities. Is adventure bike touring not a fav pastime?

    With the amount of 4wd vehicles on the roads, surely the outdoors is a popular place for you Aussies?

    I think a fully loaded 1200 GS/990R (which I will choose :-) ) riding across the country side, sharing the great outdoors with good mates must be an awesome experience.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    #17
  18. bla-bla black sheep

    bla-bla black sheep BMW 1200 GS LC

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Pretoria, South Africa
    .

    Ag nee man, was daar gister. Het by Carounda (sp?) gaan swem


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    #18
  19. Dakar83

    Dakar83 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    259
    Location:
    Perth WA
    It sure is! Check out OzBen's ride report
    Ie http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10646560
    #19
  20. Aquatic

    Aquatic Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,193
    Location:
    Buddina, Sunny Coast, Australia
    Oh well. Next time.
    Ons is in Buddina. So 20min noord van "Caloundra".
    Is julle op vakansie? Of op n "LSD"?
    #20