I DIFFER from your average stunt rider in age, and because I abuse new polished road bikes that many would cringe at the thought of dropping or crashing. I’ll wheelie ’em, stoppie ’em, smoke ’em till the tyres blow, then jump off and onto the next bike. I recently shocked onlookers when, after I’d blown all my tyres and the crowd wanted more, I had to beg my girlfriend for a loan of her Learner Honda 250 Hornet.
All bikes make me smile for some reason; I appreciate two wheels and a motor. Whether it’s a five-year-old telling me about his first wheelie with excitement, or a 75-year-old on a veteran motorcycle still getting out there, I feel close and connected to all bikers and their experiences. All bikers are equal, regardless how old, what bike, what riding skills, how ugly or pretty, bloke or chick, leathers or T-shirt and jeans, open face or full face. Never forget we are a minority, with a passion for riding two wheels, and we have gotta stick together in a world where we are misunderstood by the majority.
I have trouble keeping a licence. I’ve talked my way out of a lot but I’ve been done for enough to make life difficult.
I really think bikers should have the liberty to drive faster than cars—they are lighter, faster, more nimble, and brake better. Bikers also have faster reflexes. I’m frustrated with a system that lets a motorist get off lighter for killing a biker in the city than a biker doing 40 km/h over the limit on a straight road in the country.
My first ride on a bike was when I was eight-years-old at my sister’s school fate. It was a Honda Z50 in a roped enclosure. I also sat on this guy’s Suzuki Wankal Rotary motorcycle. He asked me to look after it for him, which I did. It was mine for that day and I’ve never forgotten it.
I was totally hooked, spending as much spare time as I could at my friend’s Apple orchid, riding a farm bike made from solid square steel, sporting a stationary Briggs & Stratton pump motor, with a variable centrifugal clutch, V-belt drive, tractor-tread rear tyre, and a smooth front with no suspension. It was heavy as shit and I got stuck under it occasionally while learning how to ride it through deep muddy ruts.
At 12-years-old I’d saved enough money from mowing lawns and selling done-up lawnmowers from Nunawading Tip to buy a 1971 Yamaha LT100 for $115. Soon after came my first warning from the cops in an unmarked Ford XC351 interceptor. They had me at the station with mum and dad later that week.
From then it was a YZ80s I raced at Nunawading Motor Bike Club, to YZ125s, TT500s and XR500s I rode at Buxton Narbathon Tree plantations, to my first registered bike, a XT250.
But my first real road bike was a 1981 Kawasaki GPZ1100 B1, fuel injected with Transac 4-into-1 that cost me $1600. This bike would wheelie from a standing start through to 5th gear. I have a time card from 1984 at Calder Park Dragway showing a 11.9 second, 1/4 mile pass at 109 mph. I’m amazed that today, 23 years later, few standard bikes can break into 10 second bracket.
These days I run McRoadrunner Custom Motorcycle Seats where I specialise in the custom reshaping of standard seats for better comfort for you and your partner, for your cruiser or sports bike. I also make one-off custom seats for custom choppers. My seats have been featured in Ozbike: Issue No 301, The Alien Chopper, built by Twin Tech; and in Issue No 292, Shifter’s Deuces, built by Andersons Custom Cycles.
McRoadrunner, Stunt Rider, for hire @ biker events and shows in South East Qld; and McRoadrunner Custom Seats. Call: Steve: 0418-758-277. Check out www.mcroadrunner.com.au
pics by Jules @ Top Gun