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Live Whacking Archive
click "Live Whacking" button for the latest entries

4 December 2004

Battlestar Honda

Today I finally got to ride a truly extraordinary piece of two-wheeled machinery: the Honda Goldwing.

The Honda GL 1800 is a massive lump of metal. My first thought on mounting the bike was holy shit, this thing is heavy.

My second thought was: this thing costs $40,000, and I'm not insured, so for Chrissakes don't drop it.

Built for luxury two-up touring, the Goldwing bears virtually no resemblance to any other motorcycle I have ever ridden. Let me tell you why......

- Engine: the 1.8 litre six-cylinder motor produces a massive amount of torque that makes even the most powerful superbikes feel absolutely anaemic by comparison. This is the ultimate long-distance motor. The bike just cruises at high speed with absolutely no effort whatsoever. A simple twist of the wrist is all that is need to blast past any other vehicle on the road. Magic.

- Size: huge. And I do mean huge. You need to be seriously careful during low-speed manoeuvring, because at 363kgs - bone dry - you aint ever going to be able to pick this thing up if you drop it. With a passenger on the back, you'll need to put both feet down, all the time when you come to a stop. Tight corners and U-turns on this bike are the stuff of nightmares.

- Ergonomics: the most comfortable motorcycle ever built, and more comfortable than at least 50% of cars on the road. No, I'm not kidding. The rider & passenger seats on this thing are practically lounge chairs. Wide, with deep, supportive cushioning, they simply couldn't be more comfortable. The passenger seat has a high backrest and even armrests. The screen is so tall my body suffered no wind buffeting. My passenger said to me that it was so comfortable and roomy that "I could have started reading a book. It was like being carried on a sedan chair".

This motorcycle is so comfortable you could literally ride it until you ran out of fuel, and then get straight back on and ride until you ran out again.

-Features: Jesus, where do I start? How about the massive in-built luggage compartments and glove boxes? The linked ABS brakes? The switch-adjustable headlights? The brilliant, easy-to-read, tell-you-everything instrument panel? The heated handgrips?

And that's just the bike stuff. It also has stuff you normally only get in a car....

- cruise control, easily operated by a single switch on the right handlebar.

- the programmable radio & six-stacker CD player. This always seemed like a stupid idea for a motorcycle, yet - to my utter astonishment - the sound remains loud and clear even at highway speeds. Colour me amazed. The speakers (including two in the passenger armrests) are so effective my passenger was actually begging me to turn the volume down. On a motorcycle! I guess that tall windscreen is so good at cutting wind noise that listening to music becomes a realistic proposition. Controls are easy to use, with volume control located both on the dash and on the left handlebar.

- an electrically-powered reverse gear. Yes, a reverse gear. With a bike this heavy, you're going to need it occasionally.

How about ride quality? Yes, it's very awkward at low speed. And it isn't built for those ultra-twisty roads sportbike riders love so much. This is a bike for highways and fast country back roads, and really does handle much better than expected, thanks to a low centre of gravity and superb suspension.

The Honda practically defines the word "stable". Bumps go by unnoticed. The bike glides effortlessly though long, fast sweepers. Rider and passenger fatigue is almost non-existent. This bike will eat long distances like nothing else on two wheels...or four wheels for that matter.

With this much weight to haul up, a bike like this needs good brakes, and the Goldwing delivers. Tons of stopping power, great feel, and the security of ABS.

How to sum up the Goldwing? Quite simple: fuckin' awesome. There just isn't anything else like it. All the fun of motorcycling and the creature comforts of being in a car. I can think of no other motor vehicle on earth I'd rather use to go from, say, Canberra to Adelaide in one day.

I want one. Badly. And to all you twats who are thinking "why don't you just buy a car?". If you seriously think that, then you've never ridden this bike. And that's the truth.


...and the blogreaders shall inherit the earth...

A thousand "thank-you"s to reader Jim B., who supplied the answer to my TV mystery.

It turns out that the name of the show in question was "The Fourth Arm".


1 December 2004

I need $20,000... I can buy one of these:

The KTM Duke 990

A litre-class v-twin naked sportsbike. <insert drooling noises>

Somebody buy me one please. Certainly looks tastier than the Aprilia Tuono. And it got a great review in this week's AMCN.


Comedians who suck

Just thought I might mention that I can't stand these two fuckwits:

Ade Edmonsen and Rik Mayall are execrable British comedians who have somehow made a career despite never being even remotely funny.

Unless I've missed out on some gem they created, it seems their entire comedic repertoire consists of jokes about snot, poo, farting and willies. Oh, and they both shout a lot. That's pretty much it.

Actually, I'm probably being unfair. They did other stuff too: here's some of their more, um, intellectual repartee from that supposedly classic comedy show, The Young Ones:

Rick: Hey, wouldn't it be amazing if all this money was real?
Vyvyan: That is the single most predictable and BORING thing that anyone could ever say whilst playing Monopoly!

Vyvyan: Ha! I'm not jealous. I find the idea of spending a night with you completely revolting!
Rick: You know perfectly well what I mean. Just because I was the most wanted and attractive guy at the party last night...
Neil: What do you mean, Rick? You passed out after half a glass of cider.
Rick: Did I? Blimey, that's a bit anarchic! Anyway, it just goes to show you, Neil. Even when I'm unconscious, I can pick up the birds. Erm, I mean, forge meaningful relationships with birds... chicks... tarts... women. Women!

And these were the funny bits.

However, these two are still comic giants compared to Alexi Sayle.


More on the 'gold movies' thing

Thanks to a reader who pointed out a glaring omission from my "gold movies" lists.

Die Hard: With a Vengeance

Great action flick. Different enough from the first two that it seemed pretty fresh. Lots of gold in it too.


Australian Nanny-Statists march ever onward.....

The ongoing campaign from our local safety nazis has found a new target: motorcycles.

Yes, Alan Mitchell from the Financial Review says motorbikes should be "taxed off the road", because they are nasty things which hurt people.

In NSW, the Carr government is bravely trying to cut the road toll, even at the risk of alienating young motorists. However, its discussion paper has overlooked one simple measure that could result in a significant reduction in the road toll, including among young road users.

NSW and the other states should tax motorcycles and motor scooters off the road.


A heavy tax on motorcycles would be regressive, in the sense that it would fall more heavily on those with low incomes.

However, like the heavy taxation of tobacco products, the equity consequences have to judged against their health outcomes.

History has shown that governments can save people's lives simply by deterring them from getting on motorcycles. A compromise solution may be to phase in the higher tax, to give existing bike and scooter owners time to buy a car in the normal course of replacing their bikes. At least with lower tariffs and the rise of the Korean car industry, the choices for those looking for an alternative means of cheap transport have widened.

Korean cars may be less exciting, but they last longer and, more importantly, so do both their drivers and their passengers.

Don't you love these pricks? They want to wreck my lifestyle for no other reason than they know what's better for me. He doesn't make mention of the fact that 3/4ths of motorcycle crashes are caused by car drivers.

Dear Mr. Mitchell: may shit come to your life, and kiss you. Hopefully in the form of a shattered pelvis.


Speaking of motorcycles and idiots....

The latest issue of Two Wheels has a classic effort from ageing commie Grant Roff. Roff once authored these words of deep political wisdom:

America has been in the news quite a bit recently. It's president, despite knowing that his country consumes about 80 percent of the world's resources and its economic and foreign policy enslaves most of the planet, doesn't understand why it's the subject of terrorist attacks. Here's a tip even Althea could give your George: assist in the more equal distribution of wealth

This month, Roff applies his mighty intellect to the subject of motorcycling travel movies & books.

Old Groffy wasn't too impressed by a book from Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman, showing their motorcycle trip around Asia. Groffy has his fat undies in a twist over the thought of two rich celebrities enjoying a motorcycle journey in the presence of a cameraman. Aside from loathing their temerity over not apologising for being wealthy, Groff hates the fact that they mention that they had to wear their underwear for a few days at a time.

Showing his usual level of moral charm, Groffy - by contrast - loves The Motorcycle Diaries, the flattering movie portrait of communist mass-murderer and Joseph Stalin supporter Che Guevara.

What makes Ewan and Charley's excellent advanture particularly hard to stomach is a comparison between it and the soon to be released movie, The Motorcycle Diaries.


The film is based on Che's actual diary of the adventure which was first published in an English translation in 1995. It's due for release in Australia early next month and is the best motorcycle flick I've ever seen. This is partly because it's so full of humour, but mostly because it's about the discovery and self-discovery that riding a bike encourages in people who are in tune with the road. There's a difference between being able to ride a motorcycle and actually being a motorcyclist - something, I suspect, Ewan and Charley haven't realised yet.

Che was close to finishing his studies to become a doctor when the journey began, and Alberto was already a qualified biochemist. They spent some of the trip doing violunteer work in a leper colony in San Pablo, where they were so popular the lepers took up a collection to help them continue their jounrey.

Perhaps there's a clue here to finding a way to actually enjoy Christmas. Give everyone you know a ticket to The Motorcycle Diaries and do what Che and Alberto did: spend some time helping others.

Awww, nice cuddly Che. Tell me Groff, was this before or after he started machine-gunning "class enemies" and calling for nuclear war against the United States? Was it before or after he helped set up Cuba's prison system which now jails political opponents, gays and AIDS sufferers?

Stick to subjects you know something about Groffy, like wiping your arse.


29 November 2004

Long live Israel

November 29, 1947 - November 29, 2004

This BlogBurst piece is cross-posted by participating websites,
to commemorate a milestone in Israel's history.

November 29, 2004:

Anniversary of the UN vote on Resolution 181

Today is the anniversary of the UN vote on resolution 181, which approved the partition of the western part Palestine into a predominately Jewish state and a predominately Arab state. (It is vital to recall that the UN partition plan referred to western Palestine, to underscore that in 1921 the eastern part was ripped off the Jewish National Home by the British Government and handed over to the then Emir Abdullah.)

The partition plan was approved by 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions.

The 33 countries that cast the “Yes” vote were: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussia, Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, Union of South Africa, USSR, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela. (Among other countries, the list includes the US, the three British Dominions, all the European countries except for Greece and the UK, but including all the Soviet-block countries.)

The 13 countries that chose the Hall of Shame and voted “No” were: Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen. (Ten of these are Moslem countries; Greece has the special distinction of being the only European country to have joined the Hall of Shame.)

The ten countries that abstained are: Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.

On November 30, 1947, the day following the vote, the Palestinian Arabs murdered six Jews in a bus making its way to Jerusalem, and proceeded to murder another Jew in the Tel-Aviv - Jaffa area. This was a prelude to a war that claimed the lives of 6,000 Jews, or 1% of the total Jewish population in 1948. This toll is the per capita equivalent of today’s Canada losing 300,000 lives, or the US losing 3,000,000.

The object of the war, launched by the Arabs in the former Palestine and the armies of Egypt, Tansjordan, Syria and Lebanon (with help from other Arab countries), was to "throw the Jews into the sea". As the partition map indicates, however, rather than annihilate the Jewish population, the Arabs ended up with less territory than they would have gained by peaceful means.

In addition to the bloodshed in nascent Israel, immediately after the UN vote, Arabs attacks their Jewish neighbours in a number of Arab countries, the murders in Syria’s Aleppo being the best known.

Bruised and bleeding, Israel prevailed nonetheless. May our sister-democracy thrive and flourish.

(A list of participating sites can be found at Israpundit. Thanks to Joseph for organising this blogburst.)


Again with the gold already

Seems I missed a few classic "gold movies":

The Italian Job

The Italian Job (remake)

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

The Lavender Hill Mob

Pale Rider

Thanks to those who wrote in.


The reason I don't buy Italian motorcycles

Reader Geoff sent me this:

my brother-in-law was on a ride on his Futura, and thought that his leg was getting pretty hot. He looked down, and there was flames coming out of his fairing. A quick stop and dismount for himself and his daughter!! Some one tried to put it out but it relit, but he was close to a fire station, so they came with some big extinguishers and put it out for good. The Aprillia shop says it was an electrical fault, so they may write off the bike and give him another as it is under warranty.

Ahhh....there's nothing quite like Aprilia build quality, as GP racer Colin Edwards discovered last year:

I'll stick with Japanese machinery, thanks. You can keep your Italian "character".

(Photo by Paul Barshon)


Greenies and their beloved murderers

Our humanity-loving friends at the Green Left Weekly have picked a new golden-boy for their adoration: the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

FARC has done the things communist slaughter-monkeys have become famous for. But aside from murder, kidnapping, rape, cultural obliteration, extortion, bombings and terror, they've also got a nice sideline in cocaine trafficking.

The Green Left Weekly classifies these activities as "unique approaches toward creating social transformation."

Such nice little sociopaths......


27 November 2004

The ecstasy of gold

-- Makes the world go round.
- What's that?
-- Gold.
- Some people say love.
-- Well, they're right, too. It is love. Love of gold.

(From "Heist")

I'm with Roger Ebert: there needs to be more gold and treasure maps in movies.

There's just something magical in the lure of gold that few things can replicate. We can appreciate the desire for cash, but it's dull, ugly and utilitarian. Ahh, but gold is something else. Gold is rare. Gold is beautiful. Gold makes you rich.

People might go rob a bank to get money, but they'll go on adventures to get gold. And adventures make great movies. Gold gives characters a reason to go someplace they'd have no reason to go to and do things no normal person would do. Gold makes people crazy. And everybody wants gold.

Gold looks fantastic on a movie screen. It can draw your gaze like nothing else. When a character spots a cute chick, if won't have any effect on you if you don't find her cute. But you always feel a character's fascination with the gold.

It's a gift for screenwriters. A single mention of "gold" can save a dozen pages of exposition. Gold will make people overlook all but the most ridiculous character arcs and all but the most illogical of plotlines. Best of all, gold can make an already great film even better.

Here's a list of decent or great movies to do with the lust for gold. Do yourself a favour and check 'em out


Kelly's Heroes

Aguirre: Wrath of God


Three Kings

Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (20 minutes too long, but stupidly entertaining)

Heist (I didn't like it much, though if you don't mind David Mamet's mostly irritating dialogue, it's certainly worth a look plot-wise)

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Any noteable "gold movies" I've missed?


"Get well, Fidel"

You've probably seen this already, but in case you haven't...

Val Prieto brings us a raving idiot named Walter Lippmann, who wants us to send 'get well' messages to Fidel Castro after his recent trip-and-fall injury.

Val has kindly supplied some sample letters to send to Walter & uncle Fidel. I used this one...

Querido fidel,

Muerete ya, hijo de la gran puta.


Don't forget to send yours.


Help needed from WW2 drama aficionados

Sometime in the early 80's, the ABC showed a British mini-series set in WW2.

It seemed pretty interesting, though at 8-9 years of age I didn't really understand a lot of it. I've been trying to find out what it was called so I can track down a video or DVD of it.

Problem is, I don't know what to look for. I can't remember the names of any of the actors, and as I said, I don't remember what the show was called. I've tried every kind of google search I can think of which would give me a clue, but nothing.

I'm going to describe what I remember about it. If anybody knows the show I'm talking about, please write to me at tex <at> and give me any info you can.

1: The series was about a team of British commandos who go on a mission to destroy a secret German rocket-manufacturing facility. Most of the series dealt with the lead-up and training of the team. I doubt it went for more than six episodes, but I really can't remember.

2: It was done on a fairly moderate budget. Most of the series dealt with the training & planning of the mission. Most scenes happened indoors on ready-made studio sets.

3: The team recruit an ex-circus tightrope walker to perform a critical part of the mission: to do a walk over the security fence on a rope or cable the team would harpoon into place. The fellow was, I think, French.

4: The leader of the Brits I think had short, curly dark hair and a very odd way of speaking. He would speak in a staccato stop-start manner.

5: On the night of the mission, when they are on the plane to parachute to the site, they are told this is not actually a training run, but the real thing.

6: I think one of the members of the team got nabbed by the Germans mid-way through the series during some sort of recon operation.

7: The main German characters spoke in English in their scenes. For some reason, I remember a tall, square-jawed german officer at the rocket facility saying the line "the SS will start breathing down our necks if we get behind with these damned things".

Anyone think they know what this is? It's been bugging me for ages.


Dick's Blog

Richard Neville has a blog.

It's more coherent than his website. And by that I mean it has less words.

It seems to be made up of one post thus far: the coalition are Nazis. He chides us all for being ignorant, TV-watching savages and not paying enough attention to the things he says we should be paying attention to.

No mention of the lovely resistance who are hell-bent on slaughter to prevent the transition to democracy. Par for the course with a modernity-hating hippy like Neville.


The Zionists Did It!!

Robert Fisk's website vanished a week or so ago and hasn't been seen since..

Could the vast neocon/Jew/Halliburton conspiracy be responsible for this?


"Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun"

I'll just throw in an opinion here: summer sucks.

Why do so many people enjoy being hot, sweaty and stinky?

As far as I can see, the only good things about summer are that your clothes dry quicker on the line and the sun doesn't go down until after eight o'clock.

Fuck the rest of it. I hate summer.


Shock discovery: a stupid celebrity

Earlier this evening, SBS showed the 'Concert for Beslan'.

One of the introductions was done by Molly Meldrum, who tastefully decided to wear a T-shirt bearing the image of the mass-murdering terrorist Che Guevara.

Other than his brilliant sense of occasion, Molly - being homosexual - would have been first up against the wall in any Che-designed utopia.



21 November 2004

Vale Janine Haines

Arse :(

Janine Haines, the first Australian Democrats senator and first woman to lead an Australian political party, has died aged 59.

She had been suffering from a long-term neurological condition.

I'm not a huge fan of the Aus Democrats, but Haines was a person I had a great deal of time for. I remember her as very much a member of the now-endangered "sane left". She could discuss policies calmly, rationally, with warmth and good humour. If only we could have other Dems like her.

Rest In Peace, Janine.


Quote of the day

If my auntie had balls she'd be my uncle

- Mick Doohan


Idiot of the day

I present to you the Canadian "ultra-conservative political commentator" Adam Yoshida. A man who has a fearful obsession with homosexuals that borders on clinical insanity.

Go look though his archives, and gaze in awe at his great thoughts. Adam considers gays to be degenerates, child molesters, AIDS-spreaders. He reckons gay marriage would "lead to the legalization of pedophilia" and is morally equivalent to cannibalism and infanticide.

Here's are some of my favourite Yoshida quotes:

Homosexuality is obviously truly an all-consuming fetish. Like a foot fetishist, willing to place themselves in extreme danger to satisfy their bizarre desires

ideally, I think, laws against homosexuality would remain on the books, but only occasionally enforced. The real point of such laws is not to jail homosexuals: something which, after all, costs money. Rather, the point is to demonstrate official disapproval of homosexuality and drive it underground. We shall never be rid of gays altogether: but we can at least shove them back into the closet.

I understand the fundamental truth that the spread of homosexuality is merely the forward edge of a wave of degeneracy which threatens to overwhelm our society. Gay people may be nice and kind, on an individual basis: but as a collective group they are a menace who threatens our values and our way of life.

Gays have been sold to the public as a sad minority, desperately afraid of being murdered in the streets rather than as a tiny, subversive, clique whose final objective is the destruction of the Christian religion, the weakening of the American Republic, and the imposition of a new and fundamentally alien lifestyle upon the American people.

We will never save this country if we surrender to the sodomites at the gates.

What a fucktool.


Decision made

I've decided I'm not gonna buy a car next year after all. Why spend so much money on something I don't want, just for that once-a-month situation where it'd be handy to have a car? No thanks.

I'm going to do something much more interesting with my money: I'm going to buy a second bike: my long desired Honda VTR1000.

Planned modifications:

- Sargent, Corbin or John Moorehouse seat.
- Staintune exhausts. I considered a full system and a HRC jet kit, but that's a lot of money for a modest horsepower/torque gain. Better to upgrade the suspenders if I wanna go faster.
- double-bubble iridium screen.
- braided brake lines.
- suspension upgrade, either a full Öhlins kit or getting a workshop to do a RaceTech upgrade .
- Scott oiler.
- if there is such a thing, an aftermarket instrument panel. The current VTRs have the worst-designed speedo I've ever used.

Sadly, they don't make the yellow ones anymore. If that doesn't change in '05 then I'll go for a red one....

Unfortunately, the next-best VTR colour to yellow - silver - has not been available since 1998. Guess it didn't sell too well. Pity, coz it looked horn.


Jesus thinks you're a jerk

Over in the ALS discussion forum (click on "forum" on the sidebar), some Christian fundamentalist nutter named Jacob Jones is trying to save our libertarian souls from evil. More interestingly, God apparently told him in a dream that I am "The One" who it is his mission to save. Heh, I feel like Neo in The Matrix.

We've all had a good time observing the Jacob's ravings. Apprently it's never occured to him that being an evangelist requires charisma, and being intelligent enough to actually sustain a conversation. Jacob, sadly, has niether quality.

Then again, expecting a creationist to be capable of logical thought was a bit optimistic I guess....

UPDATE: Jacob has just sent me a long e-mail. Apparently he has felt my "yearning" for God's love. Heh. Fucking wanker.


18 November 2004

Quote of the day

Public transportation? That's for losers and lesbians.

- Homer Simpson


Honda's pint-sized gems

Recently I've had the opportunity to test two of Honda's entries in the learner-rider market (bikes of 250cc or less, as required by our licencing laws for the first 12 months of riding). The @125 scooter and the VTR250.

Learner bikes are generally not something I enjoy too much. They're underpowered, cramped, cheaply built and are generally a pain in the bum to ride.

Wasn't I in for a surprise or two....


I often get asked: what is best learner motorcycle? I can now give a definitive answer: this one.

Not only is the VTR250 a superb learner's machine, it's a fun mount for any motorcyclist.

Clearly styled after the Ducati Monster, this bike simply doesn't have any bad points. The 249cc v-twin engine is the perfect motor for a bike this size, offering smooth and immediate forward motion. It has enough power to hang with the freeway traffic and the v-twin torque gives it healthy acceleration. Despite its small dimensions, it's comfy even for my 5'11', 115kg frame.

The ride position and ergonomics are perfect. The light weight and quick steering will inspire confidence in an inexperienced pilot. Best of all are the silky-smooth clutch and gearshift making it easy to keep the grunty engine on the boil.

That's the great quality of the bike: it's simply effortless to ride. You don't need to rev the crap out of it, it's comfy, stable and easy to flick around.

Of course, it's built to a cost, but this really only shows itself in the suspension, which is both slushy and non-adjustable. Big deal. It's not like you'll be travelling fast enough on this to be needing race-grade suspension.

Typically for Honda, the build quality and finish are superb, it's by far the best looking & best built bike in the 250cc class.

At $8500 on-the-road, it's nowhere near the cheapest learner bike, but it's by far the best. It's so good, you'll actually want to keep it when you get your first big bike.

(PS: if you get one, be sure to buy a Staintune muffler for it (see picture). It will give you extra grunt, and it makes a wicked noise.)

@125 scooter

The scooter with the unpronounceable name caught my eye while I was getting a tyre fitted during my lunch break today.

I was curious to see what it was like, especially given that I recently tested a Vespa GT200.

Given that I'm way bigger than the "average" scooter rider, I was wondering how it would perform. That's only a tiny 125cc, single cylinder engine in there you know.....

First impressions: bloody comfy, plenty of room and a great seat. Ergonomics are perfect. Build quality and finish are top-notch. This is a great-looking machine up close.

As with the Vespa, I found getting used to the controls a little strange at first. No clutch, front brake operated by the left lever, rear brake operated by the right lever, no foot controls.

This makes low-speed traffic riding very awkward. Unlike a regular bike, where pulling in the clutch disengages the engine and you gradually brake to a halt, on a scooter, the engine is still pushing as you brake, until the automatic clutch reaches its "neutral" position and the brakes you were using against the engine now stop the bike with a sudden jolt.

This is a fault with all automatic scooters, not just this Honda. Frankly, it's a pain in the arse, but I suppose you get used to it.

Once on the move though, this little bugger is a gem. Despite my heavy and very unaerodynamic frame, I was able to push the bike up to 95kph. The salesmen, slightly smaller than me, says he can cruise it at 105kph. Not bad for an engine the size of my foot!

Of course, it struggled on an upward-sloping highway, crawling along at 70. To be fair though, there was a headwind, and as most scooter riders are at least 20kgs lighter than me, this wouldn't be a problem for many people. The @125 has enough power for urban commuting duties.

Like all scooters, the Honda is designed for smooth urban roads. It becomes quite unstable on rough roads, which limits your ability to take it out into the countryside. But you don't buy a scooter to tour on. They're purely city transport. And in that role, they are brilliant.

I loved punting this little Honda around. I was having so much fun I actually extended my test ride and ran out of time to grab some lunch.

How does it compare with the Vespa? With a smaller engine, it just doesn't have the grunt of the Italian machine, but at $6,600, it's nearly two grand cheaper. There are other advantages to the Honda: it has more storage space (enough for a helmet underneath the seat), it's more nimble, has a higher standard of finish and better switchgear.

It will be cheaper to run too. Other than the Honda's superior reliability, the service intervals are at 6000km - twice that of Italian scooters. This will save you hundreds in servicing costs every year.

Yeah, when it comes to cheap scootering, I'd recommend the Honda. It's a brilliant little bike, especially if you're smaller than me.....


Got Sharapova

Perry at Samizdata has a good post on Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova. Essentially, Perry reckons the girl is a sexually alluring megababe and there's no need to feel guilty about saying so (male readers go "duh!" in unison).

Amusingly, in the comments section of the post, some sorry-ass conservative losers are outraged by this, saying it borders on child molestation. Keep a lookout for the comments of one 'Chuck Pelto'.

For fuck's sake you idiots, get a life.


I guess the fish aren't smiling anymore

Richard Neville emerges from his swamp to let us know we're all going to die because Howard and Bush got reelected. And it's all because of the stupid, brainwashed populace:

Could this be true? That the majority of those who voted for George Bush and John Howard are driven by greed, stupidity and a bloody minded, misplaced patriotism. On top of this, maybe they don’t get what’s really happening on Earth. Like the chained prisoners in Plato’s cave, these voters mistake the distorted flickering in front of them for reality.
In the ancient metaphor, shadows emanate from the comings and goings of those who pass between the campfire and the entrance of the cave. For those chained within, the wall is the world.

Actually, we are all prisoners of illusions. Today the cave is our suburban castle, where deceptive images pulsate from plasma screens into our consciousness. Plato’s prisoners could not turn their heads to find a fresh perspective. We can; but don’t. This is the mystery of our age.

He goes on with some incoherent waffle about Fallujah, Picasso and Plato, before getting to the juicy stuff: neocons!

Think of these people as the Flat Earthers of the third millennium.
1. Flat Earth Neocons (FENS) suffer an exaggerated reverence for authority and the trappings of office. They are drawn to uniforms, power and guns. FENS tend to accept (and project) the official version of reality, however unlikely. When this version turns out to be false, as often happens, it is explained away as an “honest mistake”, even if thousands pay for it with their blood, as in the rape of Falluja. Let’s to root out Musab al-Zarqawi … even though he isn’t there.

It was not the “inaccuracies” of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 that pricked the ire of FENS, mostly indifferent to notions of truth, but the director’s anti authoritarian sweep. The jokes, the satire, the impudence.

Of course. Nothing to do with the fact that Moore pretty much made everything up, eh? He goes on for a few more paragraphs about the "FENS", media conspiracies, Orwell, propaganda, eating the planet, and all that Nevillian stuff. It just gets nuttier and nuttier.

When will it stop? Only when the rest of the world stands up to be counted, only when this bullying state gets the brand name it deserves, that of a fascist empire … in the making.

So far, it's pretty much standard stuff from Dickface. Yet - amazingly - he actually has a moment of lucidity as he describes turning sixty:

Yes, although I write like a 14 year old hysterical dopehead, the grim truth is that I’m older than I sound and younger than I look.

Well, good thing he's capable of analyzing himself, if nothing else. Though someone who writes lovingly about "moonbeams" in a political essay isn't someone who's on the road to regaining their mental health...


Greenies love terrorists

In their fine tradition of worshipping mass-murderers, the GLW offers these touching words about the passing of Yasser Arafat:


Green Left Weekly offers our condolences to the Palestinian people for the loss of a fighter for freedom.

In another piece, they drop this clanger:

The Palestinian leadership has announced that it intends to hold elections for a new president in 60 days. Marwan Barghouti, whom Palestinians refer to as the “Palestinian Mandela”, is the only Palestinian with the popularity and stature to win the mandate needed to represent his people in peace negotiations, but is currently serving a life sentence in Israel on trumped up charges of terrorism.


Given their love for terrorists, it's no surprise that they compare refugees from communist Vietnam to Nazis:

A local Vietnamese paper claims that the council has officially sponsored a flag-raising ceremony on November 28 for the flag of Washington's defunct South Vietnamese puppet regime, overthrown by the Communist-led Vietnamese national liberation movement in 1975.


The headlines and story are accompanied by a large colour picture of the Australian flag flying next to the flag of a regime that has not existed for almost 30 years.


It seems the council has been conned by that element in the Vietnamese-Australian community which wants a return of the long-defunct pro-US regime.


The government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has had good diplomatic relations with Canberra for many years. There is growing trade and other economic relations between the two countries. Tourism is increasing rapidly.


By its actions, Fairfield City Council could cause a serious diplomatic incident, undermining relations between the two countries.


Fairfield council covers a region of Sydney that is ethnically very diverse. It would be a huge mistake to align the council with that one section of the Vietnamese community that dreams nostalgically of the days it was propped up in power in Saigon by the huge military intervention of the United States.


There are probably also a few veterans of the Third Reich living in Sydney. They can have Nazi flags in their lounge rooms if they want, but it is totally inappropriate for any local, state or federal government body to officially sponsor Nazi flag-raising ceremonies.


The flag of the slave-holders' Confederate States of America is sometimes flown by military buffs or motor cycle gangs, often ignorant of the political implications. But it would rightly be seen as an outrageous insult by visiting African-Americans and most other US citizens if a government body in Australia endorsed and funded a ceremony to raise the Conferate flag.

The greenies worried about "diplomatic relations". Well, that's original. Guess your principles are negotiable when there's tyrannical regimes and murderers to be supported.

The Green Left: the lowest-dwelling scumfeeders in Australia's body politic.


13 November 2004

Disturbing search string of the day

"Judd Hirsch nude photos"

Whoever you are, you need to see a doctor....


Sex on wheels: Aprilia RSV-R road test

The local Aprilia dealer had the Aprilia test fleet at their shop today, and I got to ride two of them. This one was first:

This years RSV-R is - for my money - the sexiest motorcycle ever made (this photo makes it look rather odd and 'angular'). I jumped at the chance to take one for a spin.

First impressions: very much a head-down, bum-up ride position, with a lot of weight on the wrists, yet strangely not that uncomfy. It was certainly a lot nicer to sit on than the "I'm gonna die!!" ZX-10.

Sadly, along with the beauty of the design, we get some typically stupid 'Italian touches', such as an indicator switch which is right next to the horn, so I kept bleeping the other road users instead of activiating the blinker. And then there were the brake & clutch levers, both of which require a tool to adjust. Funny how all the Japanese bikes manage just fine with finger-adjustable levers?

Anyway, I set off and immediately fell in love with the smooth v-twin engine. Big gobs of torque but with a nice smooth throttle reaction. Well done Aprilia! The clutch and gearbox are similarly silky, making gearchanges effortless.

The chassis is 'racing-stiff", but unlike the zx-10, I didn't feel like I was going to crash on every bloody corner. It is a beautifully composed bike through the bends. Top notch work with the suspension too Aprilia!

Riding this on the freeway was a hoot, a twist of the wrist was all that was required to blast past teenage morons in their crappy, riced-up Mitsubishi Lancers, watching as they turned their heads to catch a glimpse of this brilliant silver rocket rushing past them, the thunderous v-twin engine at full blast. Pure sex I tell you.

It's not all good though. The brakes are crap. Plenty of stopping power but zero feel. They might be the most wooden stoppers I've ever used. Added to the fact that I couldn't adjust the bloody lever to fit my hand, I was taking things a lot more carefully than normal.

The RSV-R is simply the sexiest two-wheeler on earth. It goes like a rocket, glides beautifully through the bends and it turns a lot of heads. I was very suprised by its ergonomics and smoothness.

At $25,000 though, it's no bargain, and it's really only for serious sports riders: those who like doing twice to recommended speed limit through corners, scraping their footpegs into the bitumen. This is a road-legal racebike: It requires concentration, energy and razor-sharp technique to get the best out of it. It was a great thing to ride for 20 minutes, but this really isn't the kind of machine I want to live with from day to day. It's a personal preference.

This is no slight against the machine though. As a riding experience (even with its poor brakes and irritating 'Italian features'), it craps all over the Kawasaki ZX-10, and is way better than the Honda Fireblade. It's more forgiving, more comfortable and a lot more fun than the Japanese production superbikes.

Keep in mind though, other than the cost and the "impractical" nature of the RSV-R, it does have one huge drawback: it's Italian. Our pasta-eating cousins may be great at motorcycle design, but they still don't have a clue about putting them together. You simply need to take it as inevitable that the build quality of your machine is going to be "patchy" at best. While the RSV-R I rode had a high state of finish and felt solid enough, no Italian bike is going to give you hassle-free ownership.

If you simply want a v-twin sportbike, without the "no compromise" discomfort and expense of production superbike, there are much better places to look than the RSV-R. Personally, I'd grab a Honda VTR-1000. It doesn't have anywhere near the high-tech refinement of the RSV-R, but it's still fast, comfy, great-looking and great-sounding. You also get Honda build quality.

One more thing: the VTR is also eleven thousand dollars cheaper. You could install a trick Ohlins suspension upgrade, a full titanium race-exhaust system with some HRC engine mods, and still be $5000 better off.

But if you want something, fast, sexy, exotic, Italian and fun, the Aprilia RSV-R is without doubt the way to go.


Hooning, Italian-style: Aprilia Tuono road test

While the RSV-R may be the sexiest thing on two wheels, and an utterly sublime piece of no-compromise race machinery, this was the bike I really wanted to ride:

The Tuono is essentially a naked, upright, road-oriented version of the RSV-R. It's bigger, more comfortable, easier to ride, and five grand cheaper.

The 'sports-naked' is my favourite class of motorcycle. I own a z1000, which has all the good points of a sportsbike, and none of the bad ones. You could say that the Tuono is a v-twin version of my bike. And as a v-twin fan, that combination was impossible to resist.

First impressions were very good: it had adjustable levers (praise the lord), the switchgear was easier to use (though still not up to Japanese standards), and superb ergonomics.

The reason I like sports-nakeds - other than comfort - is the upright ride position and the big, wide handlebars. The leverage this gives you makes it much easier to throw the bike into corners, correct your line during a corner, makes it easier to use throttle, brakes, clutch and switchgear and doesn't leave your wrists sore and numb.

Just like on my z1000, these factors make the Tuono an absolute blast to ride, almost like a dirt bike on steroids. I felt comfortable on it instantly. Being road-oriented, it has softer suspension than the RSV-R, but is superb in corners. Unlike the RSV-R, the brakes are excellent and give heaps of feedback. And like the RSV-R, the engine and transmission are superb. Overall, the bike gave me the confidence to ride much faster than I could on the RSV-R.

Downsides are minor. The instrument cluster is very hard to read, even in overcast conditions. Not good, Mr. Aprilia. The kill-switch is badly designed and it has the same idiotic horn/indicator setup as the RSV-R. Bleh.

The bike is also very tall. I'm 5'11, and I couldn't put my heels on the ground while sitting on the bike. Short riders will have serious problems getting on & off the Tuono.

While it handles much easier than the RSV-R, it still doesn't handle as well as my z1000, which feels more compact, has a lower centre of gravity and better feedback through the chassis. Then again, my z1000 doesn't have the booming v-twin engine or wind protection. Then again, my z1000 is five thousands dollars cheaper....

It's pointless to have a direct comparison between then RSV-R and the Tuono. The RSV-R is the high-tech, precision racetrack tool, the Tuono is a fast comfortable roadbike. Both of them excel at their intended purpose, though my own riding preferences push me toward the Tuono. How I wish I could afford one.

How I wish I could afford them both.


Pining for a butcher

Sydney blogger Tara's Mum is having trouble coping with recent events:

I think the man's achievements have been all but overlooked, marred by suicide bombers, skewed by Israeli propaganda and demonised by the ill-informed, narrow minded West.


He had many failings, but I believe he acted in the best way he knew how, within the limits he had. No-one will ever encapsulate the face of the Palestinians as he has. Labels will eventually fade. Often, the truth will be revealed, but most definitely a myth will be created, one that is larger than life. But he was but a man.
As he said, in his own words, ``No one can escape his destiny. I am a Palestinian''.


I am sickened by the comments of the Israelis and our own PM, John Howard. It seems the Israelis - and I shouldn't be surprised - are the first to spew disgusting, degrading and misleading comments about Yasser Arafat. As one of the Israeli ministers said ``he was the Godfather of al-qaeda and Bin Laden'' clearly portrays how even in death, Israel continues to demonise and skew the worlds perception so as to remove any feelings of sympathy, de-humanising all Palestinians. It makes me sick. As for our own puppet Howard, his comments, along the lines of ``he should have done more to curb terrorist activities'' just proves how ignorant and stupid he looks. I'm not surprised by his comments, but just pissed that this Kirribilli dwelling, never got-his-hands dirty, living in the land of luxury WASP has the audacity to give such a sound-bite. Howard wouldn't have lasted a minute in Arafat's shoes.

Democratically elected leaders are 'disgusting', but the mass-murdering, child-killing, thieving, genocide-seeking gangster is this woman's hero.

Charming lass.


11 November 2004

Quote of the day

Mmmmm....unexplained bacon.....

- Homer Simpson


Quote of the day II

Anyway, I wanna go to Macau.... I don't know much about Macau, but its got a cool name...sounds like an exploding piece of fruit or something

- Anon.


The Queen of Cool joins

I'm very pleased to announce that my friend and polymathic uberchica - The Great Cantinera - will be writing guest posts at this site.

Cantinera - if you haven't been paying attention - has shown up here from time to time in the form of quotes I have lifted from conversations with her.

She's 24, from Lake Forrest in California (though now residing in London), libertarian, drugs scholar, frequent rock concert attendee, and probably the only person I know who can seamlessly weave descriptions of her boobies and Friedrich Hayek's Road to Surfdom into the same conversation.

Here's a picture:

Cute, isn't she?

It's kinda hard to describe what she's like in person. Imagine a non-flakey version of the character Katie Holmes played in 'GO'.

I don't have a clue what she's going to write about, or when, or how often, but anyone who describes The Daily Mirror as "something homeless people crap on in The Tube" and opines "My left butt cheek has more of an understanding than some Europeans I encounter" has got to be worth reading.

Oh, one more thing: she loves praise. E-mail me some and I'll forward it to her.

Let's all say welcome to The Great Cantinera!


Wrap his carcass in pork and flush it down the sewer

Arafish finally declared bucket-kicked.

Perhaps any Arafat apologists out there could tell me one thing this thug ever achieved. He repeatedly refused offers to create a Palestinian state, he looted the coffers of his people and gave the world nothing other than decades of slaughter.

Arafat was filth. His followers are filth. His western apologists are filth.

Still, the slimy turd is dead now. We can comfort ourselves by knowing that Arafat achieved nothing. Arafat is dead. His dream of the extermination of Jews remains unfulfilled. Israel is still a liberal democracy with rule of law. The rest of the middle east is a totalitarian, Islamist sewer.

Israel lives. Yasser lies rotting in a wooden box. It's a good day.


Attack of the Jew Machines

Some of the folks at Islamic Sydney forums have let me in on a terrible secret: the US presidential election was rigged. How? The voting machines were controlled by Zionists!

- Diebold, Sequoia, and Election System & Software (ES&S) are three private companies that counted US votings. They are exclusively Zionist Jewish-owned/controlled. Two of these companies are owned by two brothers, Bob and Todd Urosevich .

- Americans can do and vote in their meaningless process as much as they like, as long as the Zionists get to announce the computer voting results!

Of course. It seems it's not only Americans who need to worry. The Illuminati controls the whole world using the media:

We are in the advanced stage of a long-term conspiracy against Western civilization. The conspirators have subverted our social institutions, business, government, law, education and the media. They have managed to enlist the support of many people who equate complicity with "success."

The conspirators consist of dynastic families consisting of Jewish finance (Rothschild) and old British, American and European aristocracy (Rockefeller, Windsor, Cecil) joined by marriage, money, and devotion to Lucifer (Freemasonry.) The top ranks of the Freemasons are the Illuminati. They are based in the City of London.

Scary aint it?


Bike stuff

Saturday should be fun. I'll be doing two bike tests: the Aprilia RSV-R and the Aprilia Tuono.

The RSV-R certainly wins my styling preference, but the Tuono is the one I really want to ride, as it's pretty much a v-twin version of my bike.

In other matters, does anyone have an old GSXR 750 or 1100 they'd like to sell me? I don't care how battered/ugly it is, so long as it is in at least near-registerable condition.

I've got a soft spot for late-80's, early-90's Suzuki sports bikes. They seem to take an extraordinary amount of thrashing and just keep running. I'd love to have a cheap old one just to play around with occassionally.


9 November 2004

Yasser Arafat-related quote of the day

I don't know what's funnier. The fact that he's dying, or the fact that he stole about three billion dollars and hid it, and his fat wife and Hezbollah have no idea how to get at it.

No, don't worry. It'll turn out to be our fault. Americans and the Jews. We'll be the reason Arafat was too stupid to write down his bank account numbers.

- Hog On Ice.

Now go read the post and check out the graphic.


Arafat was a thief as well as a murderer? I'm shocked I tell you

Damian Penny brings us some excellent links showing Yasser's thievery, the myths surrounding his legend, and an atrocious pro-Yasser column by the always appalling Gwynne Dyer.


Arafat post no.3

Perhaps readers can write to me and tell me their ideal demise for Mr. Arafish.......


Choked with a bacon-wrapped dildo?


Drowned in an unflushed Israeli public toilet?

Old sparky?

Gas chamber?

Put into a giant microwave?

Shoved into a pizza oven?

Tied down and eaten by hungry pigs?

Sex with Kerry Nettle?

Grenade in the rectum?

Long, slow death from AIDS?

Target practice for IDF trainees?

If you have any other ideas, feel free to contribute them: tex <at>


Arafat post no.4

Evil Pundit has a great Yasser graphic too.


Iraqi "resistance" getting blown into giant chunks of shit

It appears the fearsome Assholes-For-Allah are getting the shit kicked out of them by the Americans. Beautiful.

C'mon lads, finish the job so the locals can get on with the job of building their new democratic society. We want giant piles of dead terroroist scum lining the streets by Friday!

Looking for older whackings?

Wanna see my previous rants against lefty, commie, peacenick wankers, plus lots of fun stuff about motorcycles, music and movies?................ Click here for the full past whackings index


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