Harley-Davidson Sportster Stuntster

STUNT man Matt Mingay has travelled the world with his stunt show (Stuntz Inc) and is a feature on the Aussie motor racing circuit. He has featured in many TV adverts and recently, he and Harley-Davidson Australia nutted out a deal to do stunts on the iconic Harley-Davidson Sportster. Matt went about making some modifications to a Nightster.

“I loved the challenge,” said Matt. “I tried to keep the modifications to a minimum. I didn’t want it looking as if I had to modify crap out of the bike to make it do what I wanted it to!”

The Stuntster was fitted with bigger brakes on the front, an extra brake caliper on the rear, Moto X handlebars and heavy duty shocks front and rear. Matt welded a couple of freestyle pegs in strategic positions so he can jump around the bike; and most importantly, he fitted a remote idle adjuster.

The Stuntster was a massive departure from the previous Honda CBR600RR and Triumph 954 Matt had been using for his stunts. The weight difference took some getting use to. The previous stunt bikes weighed around 150 kg; the Stuntster weighs in at around 250 kg. Matt says the Stuntster’s weight has got him the fittest he has been in years — every time he takes the Stuntster out it’s like a full-on workout!

Getting used to the bike didn’t take as long as Matt expected. He rode the bike at the Sydney Motorcycling Expo for its debut performance after only one day’s practice. Modest Matt said it must have been okay; it seemed to impress everyone!

Known for his 180 stoppies and rear wheel on the wall stoppie (particularly on racing track walls), and having cracked a couple of world records with stoppies, ironically, the stoppie is the only trick from his large repertoire he has trouble with. He can do them if the surface is perfect and conditions are right. If the ground is a bit shinny the front wheel locks up. Matt finds no problem with any of the other tricks and can even perform some tricks on the Stuntster that he couldn’t perform on the old bikes. Matt just puts it down to a little bit of give and take!

Matt has a philosophical view to the Stuntster. “The Harley-Davidson Sportster is not only a wicked machine, it is a motoring icon as well. To the young blokes out there who think Harleys are for middle-aged blokes going through a crisis, cruisers and doctors, this bike blows that theory out of the water! On practice days there will be maybe 20 — 30 riders and the Stuntster makes many of them look ordinary and has gone a long way to changing the point of view for many of the other riders about Harley-Davidsons!”

This past year has been the busiest for Matt’s long career. With 30 odd events under his belt for the past 12 months, things are going great and there is no sign of it slowing up. The highlight of his career being hired for the sultry songstress Pink for her Australian Tour, as well as her hubby freestyle legend, Carey Hart, for his Hart Hungary Tour, and getting to hang out with the couple.

Next year Matt also has a couple of large hot rod shows which he says he is looking forward to. “The Harley ties in well with the hot rod scene.”

Matt’s other major sponsor is Holden and stunt driving is Matt’s other passion. This often means he finds himself performing stunt driving and then jumping out of the car and mounting the Stuntster for some stunt riding, and then back in the car. Matt does this Superman feat at 15 of the V8 events throughout the year.

Matt’s movie stunt work in the past year has taken him to Dubai, Kuala Lumpa and Bollywood India. He has also done a couple of local ads here in Australia and says it’s great seeing your commercial come on, saying to onlookers, that’s me!

So deep is his love for stunt work and Harley-Davidson, Matt had his idol Evil Knievel’s signature tattooed on his left forearm.

Matt’s other baby is Stuntz Inc, a clothing line named after his stunt bike team, dealing in everything from T-shirts, hoodies and hats to DVDs. With the line getting bigger and bigger, Matt has been able to put the profits back into the business as well as sponsoring some up-and-coming jet skiers, BMX riders and skaters.

You can check out some of videos and merchandise at www.stuntzinc.com

Words & pics by Chris Nilsson

Great Escape Auction Record

A 1962 Triumph 649 cc TR6SS ridden by Bud Ekins, the American bike racer who performed the famous jump as stunt-double for Steve McQueen in The Great Escape, was one of the star lots in a Bonhams sale achieving a world record auction price of £97,750 — more than three times its top estimate.
 
This outstandingly original Trophy model, which was the subject of competitive bidding across two continents and bought by an American bidder, helped Ekins, who was also a friend of Steve McQueen, win a gold medal in the 1962 International Six Days Trial.

Akrapovič Exhaust on Indian Race Replica

FOLLOWING the launch of the FTR 1200, Indian Motorcycle received overwhelmingly-positive feedback for the Akrapovič low-mount accessory exhaust. Based on this feedback, The FTR 1200 S Race Replica will now come standard with this exhaust.

The FTR 1200 S Race Replica is the most premium model within the FTR 1200 lineup. New pricing for the FTR 1200 S with Race Replica paint starts at $24,995 Ride Away. The $1000 price increase delivers an added value when compared to the stand-alone price of the Akrapovič low-mount exhaust as an accessory.

RIP Luigi

I FIRST MET Luigi many moons ago when he first started dating June, a good friend of mine. June had just come out of the other side of a rocky relationship and it seemed as soon as she and Luigi became an item, her whole world turned around for the better. Not long after, the couple were wed and they moved to Dalby where they hand-built the home of their dreams “Eureka” using timber from the land.

Luigi was always a very creative bloke and regular readers may remember his elaborate V6-powered-trike letterbox from way back in an earlier edition of Ozbike magazine.

I bumped into Luigi a few times since the move to Dalby. He never changed. Always a smile and warm handshake, always talking about riders’ rights and his beloved motorcycles; and as a mate of his said to me not long back, “No matter who you were, when you spoke to Luigi, he made you feel like the most important person, and genuinely listened to what you had to say.”

He was one of the most genuine blokes I have ever met. With Luigi, what you saw was what ya got! And we were all the better for knowing him, I reckon.

Sadly, Luigi lost a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Even though we knew it was coming, when we got the news it gutted us all.

The funeral service was held in a chapel in Toowoomba where Luigi took his last ride aboard a Harley sidecar outfit from his home town of Dalby to the chapel. An entourage of motorcycles followed the hearse and it was standing room only as the service kicked off under strict instructions that Luigi had left with Pastor Ed Simms.

All of Luigi’s family and many of his friends were there to pay respects, and at the end of the service, we were welcomed up to sign his coffin with Niko pens supplied.

Bad to the Bone was played during his committal and I think Luigi would have been rapt with the proceedings and going out the way he wanted, in fine style.

At the end of the service, Daniel (Luigi’s stepson, best mate and riding buddy) introduced me to the Pastor who said, “Sorry for your great loss.”

I replied, “Mate, it would only have been loss if I hadn’t known him.”

Goodbye, old mate, save a spot for me at the bar and I’ll see ya on the other side.

With love and respect, CHUCK

Riding Monkey Bikes in Morocco

ORGANISED by The Adventurists (the people behind some of the world’s most exciting adventures including the Mongol Derby, the world’s longest horse race across Mongolia; and The Icarus Trophy, a long distance para-motor race in the skies above southern Africa), the Moroccan Monkey Run is named after the small motorbikes on which the trip is based.

The beauty of using these bikes not only means that there’s no need for a full motorbike license to feel the rush of desert air through your hair, but that huge swathes of the country are opened up to that you’d not otherwise see — you can ride off-road tracks and trails without worrying about having too far to fall if you hit a bump or branch and the bikes are small enough to squeeze down the narrowest of Marrakesh’s streets.

It’s not just the mode of transport that makes this journey — which runs from the Sahara Desert to Marrkakesh via the Atlas Mountains — so unique but also the way the organisers run it. Instead of giving you strict instructions on where you need to be and when, they drop you off at a secret location near Merzouga, a small Moroccan town in the Sahara Desert near the Algerian border, with your bike and encourage you to get lost!

“We believe the world is far too safe and organised that we’ve come to live in ever decreasing circles of freedom. Fear of litigation, greed and a spineless refusal to take responsibility for ourselves have robbed us of one of the most interesting things in life: the unexpected,” said Dan Wedgwood, Director, The Adventurists.

“Monkey Run rails against this. It forces you to be lost, to not know what’s around the next corner, to embrace the unknown.

“You could just rock up, enjoy the launch party, team up with another rider and ride in tandem the length of the country to the finish line and I’m sure you’d have an amazing time. There’s nothing like a little mishap in the back end of nowhere however if you want to experience something truly memorable and force you to embrace your surroundings and the people in it. These are the moments that modern life is missing.”

And so when you finish your adventure a week, and around 1000 miles later at another secret location near Marrakesh, The Adventurists hope you’ve experienced the country in a way few other tourists ever will. If nothing else you’ll certainly have brought a smile to people’s faces as you ride through their towns and villages knee-high to a grasshopper!

To find out more about the Moroccan Monkey Run, and other Monkey Runs around the world, head to www.theadventurists.com.

1% Movie Review

WHEN was the last time you shifted your Levi’s off the couch and into a movie cinema for a proper Australian-made bikie flick? Those old enough to remember might recall Stone way back in 1974, and the original Mad Max five years later, but other than that it’s been slim pickings for scoot-jockeys since.

A movie like 1% is long overdue and a welcome respite from the favoured cage flicks gracing our silver screen, but to say it’s just a bikie movie is selling it short. Very short. This is a violent, confronting, and multi-layered rollercoaster that rockets through its 90 minutes leaving a trail of blood, destruction and shattered destinies. Interesting to note those multiple layers were designed to resonate strongly with Shakespearean tragedies like McBeth and King Leah, while also relying on the universal theme of the father’s iron fist versus the empowered but conflicted son. Throw in the Shakespearean village idiot into the mix and like fuel-on-the-fire things are going to get intense.

Matt Nable wrote the screenplay on which 1% was based, and while Matt has been in some big Hollywood blockbusters (ie Riddick), playing a club Prez is already in his play-book. In the TV mini series ‘Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms’ back in 2012, Nable played Jock Ross, the President of the Comancheros MC while they warred with the Bandidos. This time Nable comes back as the Prez again (Knuck), but of the fictional Copperheads MC, but the warring is contained within the club.

After being released from a three-year stretch, he returns to the clubhouse to find it full of new patches and commercially enterprising ideas. VP Paddo (Ryan Corr) has been busy in Knuck’s forced absence. Deeply conflicted in his loyalties, the plot centres around his ambitions to move the club forward with the backing and seemingly equal say of his club barmaid girlfriend Abbey Lee (Katrina).

The club has been raking in cash from its vaguely-alluded-to dealings, and is offered a helping hand to wash it by the leader of the rival Devils MC, played by Aaron Pederson (Sugar), who is incredible to watch being truly evil at every moment.

Paddo is stuck between his loyalties to his simple brother (Skink), and the immovable rock that is Knuck.

Backed by an authentic performance from Josh McConville (Skink), Knuck’s steadfastly loyal partner Simone Kessell (Hayley), and a staunch if under-utilised Eddie Baroo (Webby), it’s a cinematic ticking time bomb with very little left in the tank come the final chilling shot.

1% was filmed entirely around Perth, Western Australia, with the opening credits rolling to the nighttime urban coldness of the Northbridge tunnel while a huge train of bikes snake through it. A directorial debut by Perth local Stephen McCallum, the production’s tight budget meant most of the club members were unpaid, donating their time and motorcycles to be a part of the experience.

“They brought their own personalities to the club and screen, and we couldn’t have done it without them” admitted Stephen. “I wanted a cinematic ‘Kick in the teeth’ with 1% and I think along with help from everyone involved, we have done just that. The audience will definitely be confronted. It’s not an easy watch. People might not like it initially, but brave viewers will be rewarded.”

Go back and reflect on the plot, or go watch it again and you’ll see where seemingly unrelated scenes give away obvious clues as to where this juggernaut and all its secrets are heading.

Stephen would also like to extend his thanks to Perth Harley-Davidson and Frasers Motorcycles for their support in supplying five bikes each, with PH-D also assisting with tailoring the bikes to suit the main characters destined to ride them.

Review by Brad Miskiewicz

Dirty Bird Indian Scout

KURYAKYN incorporated the entire Sprint collection as an in-house build project that turned an otherwise stock Scout into a pure speed-inspired custom. To start the complete overhaul, Kuryakyn designers stripped the Sprint Scout down to its frame. The rear fender was chopped and sculpted for a racier look that feeds off the tight lines created by the bolt-on Sprint Front Fender, Café Fairing, and Chin Spoiler.

Factory belt and countershaft sprocket covers were cut and modified for a rugged semi-exposed appearance.

Satin black Kuryakyn Heavy Industry footpegs and mirror, along with a custom-engraved derby cover, powder-coated factory covers, dirt-track-style bars and wrapped head pipes with Crusher Maverick Slip-Ons all contributed to the Sprint Scout’s aggressively styled demeanour.

The Sprint Front Fender, Chin Spoiler and Café Fairing all come fully prepped and ready to paint to fit any custom colour scheme, making it easy to match the deep gloss black base applied to the tank and reshaped rear fender. 

Mustang Seats delivered on a one-off handcrafted seat based on an existing pan for the Scout, with custom stitch pattern, colour and raised back profile drawn up by Kuryakyn designers.

Progressive Suspension also stepped up in support of the project with their high-performance 970 Series Piggyback Reservoir Shocks; and Performance Machine helped finish off the Sprint Scout’s ground-pounding stance with a set of their striking contrast cut Formula wheels.

The Sprint collection by John Shope of Dirty Bird Concepts is the first release in the Kuryakyn Signature Series which showcases skilfully crafted designs from the world’s top custom bike builders. All products will be produced exclusively by Kuryakyn and available through its worldwide dealer and distributor network.

Harley-Davidson Sportster S Road Test

I ARRIVED at the launch of Harley-Davidson’s new Sportster S with a lot of baggage. Sure, part of that is just getting old, but another part, and quite a large part, is that I really do like the old Sportster. I like them so much I’ve spent my own money on them. For me, Sportsters have always been fun. They have a rawness that appeals to me.

The Sportster name has been around for 65 years. Harley-Davidson has sold a lot of them. Alas, the brilliant minds of those who would make the world a better place for us mortals have decided the old Sportster is no more. Ever tightening emissions regulation has put an end to its potato song. But let’s not mourn its passing but rejoice in the pleasure it gave us.

Harley-Davidson’s Australian launch of the new Sportster S was at the Cruise Ship Terminal in White Bay just on the end of the Balmain peninsula in Sydney, which is only five minutes from Ozbike headquarters. 

The people from Harley-Davidson Australia had assembled a fantastic display of old Sportster models including a 1957 XL, a 1977 XLCR, a 1984 XR1000, and a 2010 XR1200X. Just as I was off in some daydream of turning a XR1200X into a XLCR replica, dry-ice smoke began drifting in from the end of the hall and the new Sportster S made its entrance. 

There were two new Sportster S bikes at the presentation. One standard and one fitted with some of the many Harley-Davidson accessories available including a pillion seat and sissy bar. 

We had a live cross to some of the design and technical team in the USA and a presentation on the new engine. Basically, the new motor is the same one as the Pan American just retuned for a cruiser. Harley-Davidson call it the Revolution Max 1250 engine. The words ‘fast’ and ‘light’ were used many times during the presentation as was the phrase ‘performance cruiser’.

Saying the new Sportster S is an evolution of the Iron 883 is like saying Lewis Hamilton’s F1 Mercedes is an evolution of Ben Hur’s chariot. The new Sportster S is really that different to the old model. 

The launch included a swift couple of hours riding around Sydney and then an hour around a closed track at White Bay. It rained for a large part of the launch so all my ramblings are based on a short time with the Sportster S mainly in the wet.

In the flesh the Sportster S is low and long (almost V-Rod-ish in its stance) with obvious references to the famous XR750 in the upswept twin exhausts. That low-slung look means the seat sits 755 mm (just under 30 inches) above the road. 

There are all sorts of electronic do-dads and what-nots designed to stop you hurting yourself. The Sportster S is equipped with different ride modes, Including ones you can customise for yourself. I just left it in ‘sport’ mode because it was the most fun. In fact, ‘fun’ was my main impression of the Sportster S. 

The Sportster S is incredibly easy to ride. Even playing silly buggers in the wet, the corner-sensitive traction-control thing-a-me-bob saves you every time. Do not misunderstand me — the traction-control lets you have a fair degree of fun, and in ‘sport’ mode it will let the rear move around, but it is always there to save your pride and your jeans. 

The same goes for the brakes. Just a couple of fingers are all you need to slow down very rapidly. Too rapidly and the ABS starts chirping although it is pretty unobtrusive. 

Handling follows a similar pattern. There is a little initial resistance to turning in, as you would expect with a long wheel base and a 160/70 front tyre on a 17-inch rim. Once you’re over, however, the Sportster S will just keep leaning until you run off the edge of the tyre. Nothing touches down unless, of course, you are really large and you hit a huge bump mid-corner. Seriously, once you get used to that hesitation to turn, the handling is nothing short of remarkable. Especially when you consider the rear shock has only slightly more movement than a hard-tail. 

Which brings us to the biggest change from the old bike. The engine… 

$26,500 buys you the new Harley-Davidson Sportster S, which seems a lot until you think about how much it would cost to make the old air-cooled 1200 cc Sportster put out 120 hp (including rebuilding on a regular basis). I know it is not a 45-degree twin with air-cooling and an iconic potato-potato sound (it does have its own unique sound especially once you’re over 3000 rpm) but it is really quick. 

Surprisingly, that massive two-into-one-into-two exhaust does not get too hot. The rear cylinder head definitely warms your inner thigh at the lights but feels fine when you’re moving. 

I have to point out that the chopped rear-section might look great but in the wet it allows the rear tyre to shower your back in water and road grime. The optional rear pillion seat probably fixes that problem, and anyway, why would you ride in the rain? 

I am not a big fan of judging motorcycles on figures but here is something to think about. The Harley V-Rod weighed 282 kg and produced 115 hp at 8250 rpm, and made 74ft/lb of torque at 7300 rpm. The figures for the new Sportster S are 228 kg, 121 hp at 7500 rpm and 94ft/lb at 6000 rpm.

Honestly, the only similarity with the old Sportster is the name. However, before you pass judgement, go and take one for a ride. Harley-Davidson dealers are more than happy to let you test one. Put it in ‘sport’ mode and I dare you not to smile… 

PS: A couple of years ago, the other American motorcycle manufacturer whose name we shall not mention, built a Sportster rival with around 100 hp and weighing around 250 kg. The same American motorcycle manufacturer also won a lot of Flat Track events. So it could be a complete coincidence that the new Sportster S puts out around 120 hp and weighs 220 kg. Harley strikes back.

The Romanian Monkey Bike Run

LOVE him or loath him, it’s hard to argue with Jeremy Clackson’s verdict of Romania’s Transfaragasan Highway as ‘the best road in the world’. The Adventurists believe they’ve found a way to make ‘the best even better’ by throwing miniature motorbikes into the mix in the latest edition of the Monkey Run series.

The Adventurists are, as their name suggests, responsible for some of the world’s most exciting adventures, ranging from The Mongol Derby (the world’s longest and most dangerous horse race) to Icarus X (a paramotor race across southern Africa).

Two years ago they launched the Monkey Run which saw participants dropped in the Sahara and tasked with crossing the Atlas Mountains and reaching the Moroccan coast on 50 cc Monkey Bikes. After just the right mix of thrills, spills and camels, the success of the Moroccan Monkey Run led to the creation of the Peru Monkey Run, and now, fresh for September 2018, the Romanian Monkey Run.

The Adventurists are keen to show off the miniature bikes’ prowess on some of Europe’s most exciting roads and trails, surrounded by epic vistas, before Brexit means anyone with a British accent isn’t allowed near the Transfaragasan Highway.

Whilst there’s no defined route set for the Monkey Run, riders will saddle up in the city of Sighetu Marmatiei, close to the border with Ukraine, before travelling around 900 km, in the space of a week, to the coastal town of Vama Veche. In true Adventurist style, they’ll be parties thrown at either end so riders can meet fellow participants and then share heroic tales of adventure and compare bruises.

The fact there is no set route isn’t a result of The Adventurists lacking a good road map, it’s at the heart of what they’re all about and they actively promote getting lost and heading off the beaten track.

There’s a few spots we’d recommend everyone tries to hit, such as the Transfaragasan Highway, Dracula’s Castle and Berca Mud Volcano, but beyond that we encourage riders to look at their maps as little as possible. The idea of the Monkey Runs is to give people a true adventure that allows them to get under the skin of the country they’re in in a way that a normal holiday wouldn’t. You could just rock up, enjoy the launch party, team up with another rider and ride in tandem the length of the country to the finish line and I’m sure you’d have an amazing time. There’s nothing like a little mishap in the back end of nowhere however if you want to experience something truly memorable and force you to embrace your surroundings and the people in it. These are the moments that modern life is missing.

We believe the world is far too safe and organised, that we’ve come to live in ever decreasing circles of freedom. Fear of litigation, greed and a spineless refusal to take responsibility for ourselves have robbed us of one of the most interesting things in life: the unexpected. The Monkey Run rails against this. It forces you to be lost, to not know what’s around the next corner, to embrace the unknown.

This drive for genuine adventure is why The Adventurists specifically chose Monkey Bikes, rather than more comfortable or powerful rides.

Monkey Bikes are a whole lot of fun and it’s hard to take a serious fall. Because they’re low to the ground they also feel much faster than they are, but in reality they’re slow enough for you to truly appreciate the landscape you’re travelling through. They’re perfect for this trip and they’re bound to breakdown at some point, which means you’ll be forced to engage with the locals and find out what the country and culture is all about.

Get involved:

You can sign up and find out more at www.theadventurists.com/monkey-run-romania

Norton’s New V4 Superbike

NORTON Motorcycles has revealed the first official pictures of the re-engineered V4SV — the most luxurious British superbike ever created.

True to its Isle of Man TT heritage, the re-engineered Norton V4SV has benefited from significant investment and testing during the last 12 months to deliver a quality luxury product befitting of the Norton name. 

The Norton V4SV is currently in the last engineering improvement phase. Each component has been repackaged and revised, none more-so than the in-house developed engine. The new Norton 1200 cc V4 sits elegantly in its handcrafted aluminium tubed frame to deliver a blistering 185 bhp.

With fully adjustable Ohlins front forks and a bespoke Norton Ohlins TTXGP adjustable rear shock, the V4SV is every bit the TT-inspired performance machine.

The Norton V4SV motorcycle is the first model to be shown since the brand was bought out of administration by TVS Motors.

Jack Daniel’s Indian Scout Bobber

TWO iconic American brands have joined forces with Klock Werks Kustom Cycles to celebrate their shared values with an ultra-premium, limited-edition motorcycle. This year, they looked to the Jack Daniel’s Fire Brigade and their impressive gold and black firetrucks for design inspiration.

Jack Daniel’s is the only distillery in the world with its own fire brigade which is staffed entirely by employee volunteers. The Jack Daniel’s Fire Brigade is an impressive showcase of the company’s commitment to quality and a remarkable symbol for the passion and dedication shared by Jack Daniel’s employees.

The employees at Indian Motorcycle share that same passion for their craft and developed this bike as a tribute to the people who are committed to keeping their community’s safe, the state-certified firefighters of Jack Daniel’s, as well as firefighters and EMS professionals everywhere.

The Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Scout Bobber maintains the low-slung, blacked-out and stripped-down attitude of the Scout Bobber, but also boasts several ultra-premium, custom features that create a truly unique motorcycle. As a nod to the “Old No. 7 Brand”, only 177 of these bikes will be built globally making anyone who owns one a member of an extremely exclusive club.

“Our partnership with Jack Daniel’s celebrates American craftsmanship of the highest order,” said Steve Menneto, President, Indian Motorcycle. “This year’s limited-edition bike draws inspiration from the incredible story of Jack Daniel’s Fire Brigade while honouring the passion and dedication of firefighters and emergency medical responders who serve our country.”

Each of the 177 individually-numbered motorcycles are accented with Jack Daniel’s Fire Brigade themes. The bike has subtle two-tone matte black paint, a first for Indian Motorcycle, and is covered in real 24-karat gold graphics on the tank and fenders. The 24-karat gold carries through to the Fire Brigade emblem on the tank and the “Bottles and Throttles Don’t Mix” emblem on the front fender.

Premium gloss black finishes on the fender struts, hand control levers, engine valve covers, and exhaust tips, while a gold coloured Indian Scout badge further showcases the attention to detail given in the design of this limited-edition bike.

Also unique is a one-of-a-kind Montana Silversmith badge that’s individually numbered and coated with real 24-karat gold.

Other custom details include a perforated genuine leather seat with “Jack Daniel’s” embroidery and custom grips, pegs, and shift levers inspired by the “Old No. 7 Brand.”

In addition to the bike’s custom accents, it also features chopped fenders, vented exhaust shields, knobby tires and a sleek headlight nacelle.

“The public’s response to the motorcycles that Indian Motorcycle and Jack Daniel’s have collaborated on has vastly exceeded our expectations year-over-year,” said Greg Luehrs, Director of Events and Sponsorships for Jack Daniel’s. “In celebration of this great partnership and our own Jack Daniel’s Fire Brigade, we are delighted to deliver a bike that honours firefighters and EMS first responders while also reinforcing the message that “Bottles and Throttles Don’t Mix.”

To reserve a Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Scout Bobber visit or call an Indian Motorcycle dealership. The Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Springfield and Chief Vintage models sold out in less than 8 hours, while the Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Chieftain sold out in less than 10 minutes.

ABOUT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE

INDIAN Motorcycle is America’s first motorcycle company. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivalled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.au

ABOUT JACK DANIEL’S

OFFICIALLY registered by the US government in 1866 and based in Lynchburg, Tennessee, the Jack Daniel Distillery, Lem Motlow, proprietor, is the first registered distillery in the United States and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Jack Daniel’s is the maker of the world-famous Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey, Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select and Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails.

Jack Daniel’s encourages its friends to drink responsibly and reminds bikers that Bottles and Throttles Don’t Mix.

The Wolverines—a Party in Progress

ONE of Australia’s most successful country rock bands is the Wolverines. You’ll often see them playing at biker rallies; and up in Tamworth, they even have a poker run named after them.

John Clinton, the drummer in the Wolverines, took time out to talk to Ozbike.

I guess the Wolverines started when I went for a Harley ride to the Wiseman’s Ferry pub with my son who was only about 10 years at the time. Darcy was out there doing a one-man-band thing and we had each other on a bit about the old days. He remembered when I was playing at the Persian Room in the ’70s and suggested I would be better off playing drums with him rather running a music shop and selling a lot of sound and lighting stuff to various clubs and pubs; and he said he knew this great keyboard player (Chris) who looked the part.

The three of us ended up having a rehearsal and all of us thought we had something unique—apart from the fact that we were pretty bloody ugly.

So the next thing was that I was installing a huge sign out the front of Tamworth Services Club during the Tamworth Country Music Festival and the general manager made the mistake of showing me around the club where I found this room that wasn’t being used.

“I know a band who could fill this space,” I told him. “The Wolverines.”

After a bit of arm twisting we finished up doing a deal.

The first night we only got about 12 people; on the second there were about 24 people. Also on the second night one of the reporters from the Leader was there and he gave us one hell of a write up, and so the third night we arrived and we couldn’t get in—there were people queued from the entrance to the room right up the stairs, right up through the lounge-room, right up through to where you sign in; the queue effectively jammed up the club.

After we did the Tamworth Festival we got a lot of enquiries about the band and we were in the fortunate position to be able to pick and chose where we played so it was great.

Our first big hit was Sixty Five Roses. It was written by Lee J Collier from Canberra. She had sent it to LJ Hooker who were the sponsors of cystic fibrosis at the time. Their business manager approached us because he had heard us at Tamworth and also heard that we did a lot of stuff raising funds for kids for different causes. We recorded a very radio-friendly version, a typical Wolverines sound, that took it to the top of the country charts, and it went up to about number eight on the man charts. Also in New Zealand it got to the top of the charts. Sixty Five Roses was only one of four singles to go gold in 2001.

One of the things that we realised earlier was that we had to have our own brand of music, and I believe if you listen to any song on our albums, you would pick it as Wolverines. We are daring to be a little bit different, and that carries on not only from the music but also our looks—we are not the bloody best looking mob of blokes that you have ever seen—and I think that’s a lot of the Wolverines attraction.

I guess you would class our music as more country rock, although we like to give it a kick along whenever possible, especially at bike rallies like the Harley Owners Group show we recently did up at the Gold Coast. When we toured the Middle East entertaining our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, we toured with Amy Williamson (John William’s daughter), Brielle Davis and Angry Anderson. Being on the same stage as those people, we all kicked arse.

I am a life member of the Harley Owners Group and proud of it. My son was certainly brought up with an extended family being members of the Harley Owners Group. Many times the Wolverines have combined with the Harley Owners Group to raise funds for kids and also to support their push with muscular dystrophy.

We have recorded six Wolverine CDs to date, and out of the 90 songs on them, at least 65 are originals plucked out of our personal experiences. It’s amazing how much you can pluck out of an experience like riding a Harley that’s really suitable to turn into a song. Like moving on down the highway—it’s a great feeling. Sure, some of our songs are tongue in cheek, but they are pretty close to how you are feeling. For instance, Nobody Rides my Harley But Me has a message about how you feel about your bike. Same with Gonna Ride all Night Long and Hog Heaven. We used to ride up the Putty Road in a group, and we were going a bit hard one day and a mate of mine came off; he and his girlfriend were taken to hospital. It made me wonder where do all the old bikes go, and of course they go to Hog Heaven.

Pics by Giulian Wiggins

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