Motorcycle Life

Jan 29 2018 31 mins 103

Join Steve McDowall and Christophe Barriere-Varju as they bring you the latest motorcycle news, international stories that matter and interviews with some of the most prominent and interesting people in the world of motorcycling. Christophe has competed in the toughest race in the world - the Dakar Rally - four times and is the main character in the internationally acclaimed and multi-award winning film "Dream Racer". Steve has over 30 years experience as a rider, is an accredited rider trainer with over 12 years experience as a safety consultant and coach, and has been the most prolific motorcycle contributor on Australian radio for over 6 years. Together Steve and Christophe are an unlikely and entertaining combination who are sure to have you engaged from start to finish, and wanting to come back for more.

Dakar Success Sparks Interest In Yamaha YXZ1000R SS SE
Jan 29 2018 26 mins  
By swapping to the side-by-side vehicle category for the 2018 Dakar, Camelia Liparoti has helped to raise the profile of the fledgling category and the vehicles themselves. The pint sized Dakar veteran competed for nine consecutive years in the quad category, and is acknowledged as one of the most successful female off-road racers ever. She is immediately recognisable by her blonde pigtails and love for all things pink, and is known for her fun loving and quirky nature. But don’t let her girly looks fool you – she is a tenacious and talented racer. In those nine years on quads, she finished the event 8 times in a row. Staying loyal to the Yamaha brand that has given her so much success, Camelia raced a YXZ1000R SS in the 2018 Dakar and finished 5th in the category. The side-by-side vehicles, also referred to as UTVs (utility task vehicle), were given their own class in 2017. This year the category was officially renamed to Side-By-Side (SxS). Lighter, cheaper and in many ways more capable than cars, the category gives competitors a easier entry point into the toughest motorsport in the world. “It’s less tiring than riding a quad,” Camelia says. “And the sensations are great. When we speed over bumpy terrain, it feels like we’re flying because we have got good suspension”. Four times Dakar entrant Christophe Barriere-Varju (Dream Racer) agrees. He says the light SxS vehicles are easier to manage through the dunes and have less chance of getting stuck in the sand than the heavier cars. “You see all the $500,000 cars getting stuck and everyone digging trying to get them out, but then you see the side-by-side pulling along going up and down over the dunes. It’s near impossible to get them bogged.” Christophe was at the Australian launch of the Yamaha YXZ1000R SS SE last year where he got to drive the vehicle, and be a passenger on demonstration runs with US off-road racer Corry Weller. His impression was that the YXZ1000R SS is very quick, nimble and capable of very sharp turns at speed but is also extremely capable over slower and far more technical sections of terrain. “It’s extremely easy to drive,” says 4 times Dakar competitor Christophe Barriere-Varju. And for someone wanting to get into off-road racing the YXZ1000R SS SE is affordable. Lance Turnley from Yamaha says that you can take one off the showroom floor, make it CAMS compliant and have a competitive vehicle for under AUD$40,000. But apart from it’s racing capabilities, the YXZ1000R SS SE is also a very competent option for farmers and recreational riders and drivers. The specifications of the Yamaha YXZ1000R SS SE are impressive: * 998cc 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve, 3-cylinder engine, * 5 speed sequential transmission with paddle shift, auto clutch and reverse, * electronically controlled launch control, * 2 wheel drive or 4 wheel drive, changeable on the move, with 4 wheel drive diff lock, * dual disk brakes front and rear, and * independent double wishbone suspension front and rear with fully adjustable FOX 2.5 Podium X2 shocks. At the time of the launch, Lance Turnley highlighted that one of the key benefits of the Yamaha over its competition is the transmission. “It’s very unique in the marketplace because it’s the only one available with a sequential gearbox”, Lance said. While other vehicles are using a torque converter and CVT transmission, the Yamaha’s separate 5 speed gearbox gives the vehicle far more reliability and this is one o...

Motorcycle Life Podcast 022: Australian Off Road Racer Trevor Wilson
Apr 01 2017 31 mins  
At the age of just 27, Trevor Wilson has achieved more than most people could have dreamed of. The thing is – he’s achieved so much because he DID dream of doing those things! Follow Trevor as he competes in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge this week at or follow him on Facebook. The Brisbane based off road racer was once a high school teacher, but changed his career and started his own business – Blutec Waterproofing – so he could chase his biggest dream of competing in the Dakar Rally in 2018. Trevor says he has been drawn to motorbikes ever since his Dad took him on one when he was 5 years old. “I still remember sitting in front of him on the petrol tank with my feet over the top of the handlebars and riding around the farm.” “As I was growing up on SBS you’d get these 30 minute Dakar Rally highlights and I’d always watch these people flying through the desert and I just have always had this dream and vision of rolling up to the start line of the Dakar Rally. It’s always been the biggest dream of mine.” That dream has driven Trevor through tough fitness training and regular trips to the Stockton Beach sand dunes near Newcastle to learn the skills he needs to tackle the Dakar – the toughest motorsport event in the world. To qualify for the Dakar, Trevor is competing in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge from 1st to the 6th April with the HT Husqvarna Rally team. In this episode of Motorcycle Life Trevor talks to us about his dreams and goals, how he got to where he is now and his preparation for the Dakar. And of course our very own Dakar legend – Christophe Barriere-Varju (Dream Racer) – has some very good questions and advice for the young racer. We also catch up on why we’ve been so slack this year in producing shows (actually we’ve been creating something really special – SMART Rider) and what’s new in the world of Dream Racer TV.

Motorcycle Life – With Steve McDowall & Christophe Barriere-Varju
Dec 19 2016 31 mins  
What happens when Christophe organises a very special guest for our Christmas show? Absolute chaos! Total mayhem! And lots of laughter! It’s our last show of the year and a chance for Australian motorcycle identity Steve McDowall and four times Dakar competitor Christophe Barriere-Varju (yes – French born but now an Aussie) to review 2016. But when Christophe gets Steve to call a surprise guest the script gets thrown away, and the normally sensible show turns into the funniest and most inappropriate show we’ve ever produced – and it’s totally uncut! We’ve spoken to some amazing people in 2016 – Stuart Ball from the Great Australian Ride, R U OK? Ambassador Maria Vamvouklis, National Motorcycle Alliance GM David Cooke, tour organiser Rikki Dryden and of course Tex O’Grady and Bundy. We’ve also spoken to the only woman in Australia racing a 1000cc superbike in the Australasian Championship – Ash De Bakker. We went international talking to adventurer Nick Sanders, Italian Dakar racer Manuel Lucchese and gyro expert David Ryker. And we’ve brought you some interesting technical interviews with Ray Van Steenwyk and Colin Oddy from MotoInno, and Mark Bryant, Founding Director of VOZZ Helmets. But this interview is the first that cracks Steve up so much he just can’t go on. It’s a show you can’t miss! We’ll be taking a break over Christmas and we’ll be back early in January. To all our loyal listeners and readers we wish you all the very best for Christmas, and hope that 2017 brings you all the rewards you dare to dream of.

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