Motorcyclists are their own worst enemy


The very nature of motorcycling as an individual pursuit where motorcyclists relish freedom and individuality works against riders’ wider political benefit.

It makes it difficult for riders to provide a united front to push our cause and fight against government discrimination, bureaucratic oversights, police harassment and motorist enmity.

Two recent events gave a strong indication of how riders divide, rather than unite.

One was the second Brisbane rally in two weekends against oppressive police social profiling and anti-association laws. Very few attended the second rally.

Dismal showing at rally

Instead of the two groups getting together, there was a splintering of organisers and active spoiling counter-measures which we won’t go into. There’s no answer in finger-pointing. Besides, blame for the resulting embarrassing public image of riders as disorganised rabble must be accepted by each group.

The second incident is a clash between supporters of the two toy runs in Melbourne after MotorBikeWriter published separate stories about them. Which is bigger, which has formal sanction, which is the breakaway? 

Who cares? Is it a competition? No. Attend both, if you like!

So long as efforts are divided, the results will be diluted and riders will continue to have a weak voice.

Toy run motorcyclists

There is no easy fix for the situation.

Motorcycles are varied by nature – dirt bikes, cruisers, tourers, sports bikes, scooters, adventure, retro, etc. Few riders will acknowledge or wave to riders on a different brand or style of bike, so how can they agree on wider issues of political importance such as road rules, road safety, registration, licensing etc?

The organisations that represent riders are also splintered. There are groups that represent racers, groups that represent social riders, groups that represent brands, styles of bike, styles of riding, sex and even religion.

That’s fine. We like to belong to a like-minded group.

I just can’t understand the animosity between the groups. Aren’t we all riders?

Cyclists and anglers aren’t all the same, either. In the cycling world there are mountain bike riders, commuters, athletes, racers, stunters and just kids riding to school. In the fishing world there are those prefer the river, some the beach others the deep sea, then there are sportsmen, recreational fishers and professional anglers. Yet both cyclists and anglers present a united lobbying group and seem to have plenty of media support and political clout.

Fishing and riding

Over the past couple of years vain attempts have been made to form a motorcycle political party, but that idea is thwarted because riders come from a wide spectrum of political views. How can a motorcycle party have a united view on issues such as immigration, economics, unemployment, same-sex marriage, etc?

We don’t need a political party, but a strong, single, well-funded, professional lobbyist and less animosity between rider representative groups and individual riders.

  • What’s the solution? Please leave your comments below.


  1. I think a lobbyist is a sound idea , what really irritates me is those that think that anyone who doesn’t turn up to there doomed VLAD rallies is lazy or stupid , how about considering they don’t share your opinion and have the nouse to realise that your opinion is just that ” yours ” and may be wrong .

  2. Hmmm I see the DC haters and protagonists are out thrusting with all their might as usual at every single opportunity with the same knife used to kill the MRAV. Thank you Rob S for setting things straight, there is no beef between VMC and the IRG over the 2 toy runs.
    John K write your flaming book, don’t forget the proof. It seems to me that the same 2 or 3 blokes keep bringing up the same old same old, in an effort to keep the VMC and IRG divided maybe, I don’t hear DC carry on, like you, nor do I know or care for your reasoning.
    Build yourselves a bridge and get over it, (John K you can stand on it, and look down upon us if you wish) The IRG is likeminded riders supporting the organisation that suits us best. And here is some truths for ya all to ponder, check out all the bike forums, whom throws 99% of the shyte, it’s been happening for years. Why? What’s the net gain? I put it down to the school yard bully syndrome, no room for 2 kids on this block.

    1. Just for your info Mick – this was posted on the IRG Facebook Page on July 12th: “Over nearly 4 decades of lobbying I have found that one federal representative organisation and one rep per state does not work. Motorcycling is too divers. A rigid, text book structure tends to attract an elite who are not transparent in their representations and who tend to become entrenched in their positions over long periods. Often they are bureaucrats themselves. They become less and less accountable to the rank & file they supposedly represent. Some of the compromises reached behind closed doors have been disastrous. For example the discriminatory TAC bike tax in Victoria. John Pigot and Nevill Grey did the deal with the government and RACV. The vast amjority of Victorian riders did not know. They had no say. Two public servants in executive positions in national bike organisations did the deal for them. WRONG! A decade after that rip off was imposed on Victorian riders behind closed doors, the 2012 Parliamentary Inquiry recommended that tax be ABOLISHED. The only state rep I see still strongly opposing that injustice is the IRG. Then there was the 2014 lights-on law regulating the use of bike light switches when bikes have not had light switches for 20 years +. What rep in the secretive motorcycle advisory group (MAG) stood up and opposed that ridiculous law?”

      Just one example of many where the vituperative comments of the IRG denigrate others with no basis in fact. I’m sure Dale would be horrified to hear that John Pigot is being accused by Damien of doing “deals” with the government before he passed away. Really? Neville Grey had nothing to do with the Levy. Who says the VMC support the levy when their submissions all called for it to be withdrawn and every MAG member that is also a VMC executive is against it. Where is the evidence and, how exactly do these sort of comments help today? This is where it all has to stop.

  3. The other point being missed here is that if the motorcycle was invented today, it would be banned. 85% of parliamentarians think motorcycling is insane. That’s the political context in which we regrettably exist.

    1. you hit the nail on the head, a very large percentage of politicians would ban motorcycling in an instant if they could. This, in turn, transitions into “policy” , Police attitude then becomes hostile due to encouragement from politicians .Since motorcycling first came into being in Oz the Police have gone on the attack and stayed on the attack . Politicians look on motorcyclists as shit on their boot, and while we stay divided that is all we will ever be. Unfortunately a political party for motorcyclists has never been supported by motorcyclists. The political battle, for a fair go for motorcyclists, and for fair and equal legislation must now take place on social media, it is the only place where we can get the numbers to make the politicians sit up and take note.

      1. It’s a very hard call for one group to represent all motorcycle riders as there are many reasons why people ride. For some it’s a mode of transport, for others it’s a lifestyle.
        It’s been Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs policy for years not to speak to media nor to government. Members that purportedly did were considered rats and many times, as it often turns out, those that did were associates not actual members. This policy is now being used against them. The enforcement agencies, government and right wing media (let’s call them collectively the fearful conservative overlords) have been running a campaign for years advocating all things that are wrong in our society be laid at the feet of OMC members. Regardless of truth, this is now accepted by the community. Evidence and facts have played second fiddle for a long time.

        There are different kinds of motorcycle representative groups. Some focus on fighting for a better deal for riders within the transport framework, others about lifestyle freedoms. The vast majority of riders are not members of OMC. Some may be associated with or even revel in a similar lifestyle as OMC, but they are not OMC members. The lifestyle groups have the idea that all OMC and riders are the same thing united by the simple fact that they all ride motorcycles. This makes attacks against one an attack on the other so they believe the whole riding community should be behind defending these attacks. But they are not all the same and the vast majority of riders know this. This is why there is little support for the activist protests against laws which the majority of riders believe are only aimed at OMC. Those following the lifestyle ideology are at a loss as to why the whole riding community is not behind them and shriek and despair that their idea is not upheld by all. They cannot see it from the other perspective. Before anyone takes offence, this is merely presenting a view that fits with what we see happening these days.

        So in other words, the majority of riders actually believe the filth the overlords spew about OMC which is why they don’t want to be represented as though they are associated with them. They may very well be concerned about the constitutional issues with personal freedoms but are just as wary of being sucked into the Overlording paradigm of OMC criminality and lose whatever rights they’d prefer to be arguing for as a transport mode. You can’t have it both ways – or can you? I’m still searching for an answer to this.

        Perhaps one solution may be for those representative groups that want to fight on in their own way about personal freedoms for their lifestyle should just get on with doing that and cease all the turpitude hurling at the representative groups that focus on the transport mode issues. This only reinforces the Overlordian tale of OMC thuggery. They could be united on similar issues but the vituperative rhetoric must cease if we’re to get anywhere collectively. The tribal nature of individualistic motorcycling means we are never going to agree on everything. There is a motorcycling community – but it is not all one lifestyle. Activism is never going to get populist support until they change their strategies. Nelson Mandela said a famous line about being made outlaw but remember he also called for his countrymen to unite in votes, not violence.

        Fraternal organisations have been around for thousands of years, OMC have only been around sixty. And they are an easy target as their credo is now working against them. Like the gypsies and then the Jews, all the overlords need is for someone to hate and fuel the fires of discrimination with lies after lies.
        Ego plays a big part in the article Mark wrote. If not for one in particular, there would be a lot more unity. But there are others that should be ignored. So let’s deal with the landscape we find ourselves in shall we? Is there a possibility that individual grandstanding and self-importance can take a back seat to working together for the common good? I don’t know the answer to this. It couldn’t be resolved within the MRAV but at least now we have distinct organisations that can work side by side, if the negative comments can be kept a lid on and what happened in the past can be put aside.
        It’s hard to imagine that we’d be enemies against ourselves more than the overlords, ne oppressors, but there are plenty of examples throughout history that would indicate it will always be so. And the differences of the groups are based more on motive, and strategy than the end goal. There is no easy solution as both sides would see it as capitulation of their ideals.
        Indeed strategies may involve many forms of tactic, especially when faced with a hostile mainstream media. But I would say the bigger picture needs to move away from either trying to fight directly against the “OMC as criminals’” tactic that is working so well for the overlords or from making this all about the motorcycle “community” as it’s just not possible to get it all together cohesively. We’re all just the easy target, the scapegoat for the real agenda, the consolidation of power for the government. Until such time as the regular conservative voter sees a threat to themselves, they will never support the rabid fringe which is the “motorcycling” community. I’m not being negative, just painting the bigger picture.

        The UMC guys have woken up to this, their strategies are changing. Look at what Little Mick and the lawyers are doing. Look at Alex Vella, in a suit no less. It’s not about motorcycles clubs, it’s far, far bigger than that.

  4. 2 points:

    – James Greene appears to misunderstand the seriousness of a government criminalising identity rather than conduct. The criminalisation of identity is a hallmark of totalitarianism.

    – The problem with all political action taken purportedly on behalf of motorcyclists is the point you make above; i.e. Motorcyclists’ political views are very probably as varied as the general population and therefore cannot be fairly represented by a ‘motorcycle party’. And curiously, lobbies that restrict themselves to advocating for only motorcycle-related laws never seem to get wide support from motorcyclists.

    1. One thing I must impress upon is that though different groups have different ideas about protests, the sentiment about anti association laws are actually the same. Accusing those that don’t agree with the protest strategy of “supporting the anti-association laws” is unhelpful to the end goal for all. Keep in mind that there are other strategies which I’ll discuss further. There is however nobility in seeking the truth and respecting that the groups won’t agree, but can work in parity. So let’s discuss other strategies, ones that are supported by mainstream groups.

      There are many examples a student of Sun Tzu can use to illuminate a strategy:

      “Thus the expert in battle moves the enemy, and is not moved by him.” Sun Tzu

      Don’t let the overlords choose where the battles are to be fought. The court of public opinion is not in favour of any fringe communities.

      “No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique.” Sun Tzu

      Only very small proportions of riders consider their choice of riding a lifestyle and therefore do not relate to threats of anti-association laws nor support protests about them by the few that do. The resultant poor showing at protests reinforces to the decision makers that those putting them on are not representative of the majority.

      Protests service the need to “be doing something” that passionate people feel. But unfortunately because they so far have been continuing the same tactic of forty years ago, they are being pictured to convince the conservative masses that the riding community are lawless thugs and the mass media continue to espouse this. It convinces the passionate that someone is “doing something”. But what has come of this to date? Not one single law has been changed as a result even with a change in government in QLD – more on this later.

      OMC member do not attend these events in mass. Well in QLD they’d be arrested just for showing up of course but the reality is that OMC don’t really care what the riding community thinks or does. They actually just want your money to fight their legal battles and if that’s not forthcoming you are dead to them. More on this later.

      In the seventies and eighties the motorcycling community was far smaller and far more singular in makeup. There was only one show in town so it wasn’t hard to get support and great rallies ensued. Also consider that what they were protesting about were motorcycling as a transport issues, there was nothing about anti-association laws back then. As the community evolved, far more joined the brotherhood of the handle bar for many different reasons and today the bulk of members share very little resemblance to the lifestyles of the early years. Our dear friend Boris gets this and points it out regularly. The vast majority of riders today are nothing akin to the OMC lifestyle.

      “If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.” Sun Tzu

      Before you commence any defence, one must know what the war is truly about. Let me tell you a story about the VLAD and CoD group of laws. If you believe that the brawl on the gold coast triggered their creation then I’m sorry – but you have been sucked in by the propaganda.

      It actually all began in 2009 with the introduction of the “criminal organisation Act” by the then Labor government (keep this in mind when you consider that it is the current QLD Labor government now in power doing not much at all about the laws). The first organisation to fall foul of this law were the Finks. They lost their high court challenge to the law in March 2013.

      The Finks paid for their $400K+ defence themselves but the government was intent on pursuing costs upwards of $4m. Every Fink in Australia was now liable and the QLD government was gearing up to take every bike, house and every asset by force. So they did the only thing their legal council could advise – they all quit and joined the Mongols.

      This exposed the flaw in the Labor government’s laws and in a panic the Newman government had the VLAD and CoD laws quickly drawn up and ready for whatever excuse they could find to rush them through a stacked parliament. Come October that year, the Bandidos skirmished on the Gold coast. Nevertheless, the Finks case ended up being squashed as there were no more Finks to prosecute leaving Newman seething at the cost. $20m to bring in the VLAD laws was petty cash. Consider also that the charges against those in the brawl ended up all being dropped.

      “the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” Sun Tzu

      Therein lays the only possible strategy for victory in the fight against anti-association tyranny. It’s in the courts, and it’s going to cost money. Many discussions between the AMC, its member associations, the UMC and the lawyers saw a fighting fund develop but this was small change compared to what is needed. That’s why the mainstream representation isn’t all over the protests, they know from the horse’s mouth that it is not going to help. The Hells Angels spent over a million trying to fight a case with Stefan Kuczborski as the test but it failed only because he hadn’t actually been charged under the VLAD and CoD laws.

      And yes – the “recreational” riders mentioned in that article helping is what I’m referring to.
      Mick Kosenko is trying hard for the Rebels.

      Look closely at how he is being portrayed, the everyman, the family man.
      And we all know what’s going on with Alex Vella – but again – note the suit! One must control the image presented.

      What actually needs to happen is for three patched members to walk into a police station in QLD together. It’s pretty hard to put yourself in the position of being charged as everyone has family , mortgages and responsibility but these men need to have support to be charged under the laws and finally bring it to the high court where the laws can be challenged. This is the advice given to the OMC clubs. So far, no one has stepped up to make it happen, they cannot afford it. For the first time in their history, OMC clubs actually need help from outside and this causes them great turmoil.

      So if you are really serious about wanting to fight these laws, perhaps consider combining the comradery found in protests and commit your money to the OMC clubs and human rights organisations legal costs, something that actually may succeed. You will never change the public opinion that the OMCs are not criminals.

      “To begin by bluster, but afterwards to take fright at the enemy’s numbers, shows a supreme lack of intelligence.” SunTzu

      To win this battle, one must understand it first.

      Please don’t despair at a perceived lack of support for protests by mainstream representation. They indeed are working other strategies and they will not seek to denigrate nor discourage anyone from attending protests that are organised. But these protests have to change if they are to make any difference.

  5. We had anti association laws before v lad. Joh brought them in. The issue is 1% clubs are made criminal organisation not allowed to wear their colours. I remember when the mraq had many social back patch clubs. They got shut down by the outlaws. Karma is a bitch ain’t it. Just saying. ..

    1. roscoe, you really have got it arse about, 1% clubs can still wear colours, there is no law against it. Joh had nothing to do with the association laws, in place at the time were”consorting “laws, repealed after the Fitzgerald Inquiry. the association laws came much later. please tell us the name of the “back patch” social clubs in Queensland, I have lived here for close to40 years , and have been involved with bikes and clubs all that time, and I don’t recall any social clubs that wore a back patch.

  6. I ride everyday and I am very happy to support the VLAD laws, 1% clubs are criminal organisations and do nothing for the balance of 99% of riders. I speak to many riders and have never met anyone who has been harassed by police, stirring up these protests is just a smokescreen to distract the general public from the real criminal activities of the criminal clubs. They brought these laws upon themselves.

    1. Well, James, if you could drag yourself away from only reading what the Courier Mail feeds you about the VLAD laws, you might come to understand that these laws have very little, if anything, to do with 1% biker clubs. In fact, motorcycles and/or motorcycle clubs are not even mentioned anywhere in the VLAD acts. But judging from your comments, I would guess that you would never even consider that fact. Therefore, I can only hope that, because you so strongly support the VLAD laws, eventually you, your children, and grandchildren, suffer terribly because you didn’t protest against the VLAD laws today.

  7. I attended the second rally, in the beginning there wasnt one set in qld for the 4th. We couldnt attend the 4th anyway but encouraged people to attend both if possible. Living 5 hours away makes it a long day, but we meet up with the 59ers who were to lead us in,who, within minutes of leaving pulled out because numbers werent high enough for them. Very disapointing as some riders rode for 7 hrs to get there. I also had the feeling, from the UMCQ,after trying to get answers from them during the week before as to if they were supporting the rally on the 11th, as l thought we were all fighter the same battle. Regardless of who organized a rally, we need to support them, not discourage groups from attending them. Unity is not there and may never be there when this behaviour is going on. If groups like the UMCQ and HOG and every other group got of their arses and got every member out on the streets on a regular basis and protest loudly about VLAD…..or sell their bike move over and let someone with guts and spirit get the job done.

  8. There is already a huge Australian motorcycle organization with over 30,000 paid-up members, most of whom ride bikes. One would think such an organization would be fighting hard to repel VLAD laws. One would think such an organization would be fighting hard to make all cities and towns have CBD motorcycle parking rules like Melbourne’s. One would think such an organisation would be fighting hard to ensure motorcyclist viewpoints were taken into account when any road rules were being formulated and enforced. But that huge motorcycle organization does absolutely bloody nothing in any of these areas. That huge Australian motorcycle organization is called the Ulysses Club. What a total waste of time and space they are!! What a terrible wasted opportunity they are! said it all in its article “Is Ulysses Club still relevant?”:

    1. I cannot speak for the Ulysses Club, I’m not even a member. But an observation is that they are a social club, not a political group. You should also note however that they are formally affiliated with and have representation on the MC councils in VIC, NSW and TAS and on the AMC executive. They don’t need to be political directly, that’s what the AMC is for, Nationally. As you rightly pointed out though, the numbers are what counts politically and the Ulysses club numbers are included in the AMC and state wise representative groups. This is one of the main reasons NSW and now Victoria switched to a council structure which directly represents numbers far greater than any single individual association will achieve. And it’s working.

    2. Yes, the Ulysses Club was silent in The Rallies however there were members attending on their own or in small groups.
      AMC however didn’t raise a brow it’s as if the peak group were disinterested although a post was placed on their page to inform the group & their senior Victorian Secretary member & Ulysses Club Delegate was fully aware of the National rallies & would have noted that this was of great importance to motorcyclists!
      I think it’s time for AMC to explain their position.
      Or are they aware of the push to bring in Nationally Consistent Laws to deconstruct MC clubs & are they in private talks with those pushing this major reform & new Legislation?
      I hope not.

      1. Dale – again, how do these accusations help today? the UMC is a member of the AMC. Why don’t you ask the UMC before casting aspersions?

        BTW – posting on someone’s Facebook Page does not constitute an invitation to support an event. Did you send an email, make a call, anything? But you are accusing them to be in private discussions with the government on how to dismantle OMC? What evidence do you have to support this nonsense? As an IRG spokesperson, are you making this statement on their behalf?

        Mark – is there any question about where this is coming from now?

  9. I’m not interested in the politics and egos involved here. All I know is that Shaun Lennard is doing a fantastic job; he is articulate and right across the issues, both locally and internationally, and he has my absolute support as our first parliamentarian in waiting!

  10. Hi Mark,

    the only splintering is between the MRA faction of Damien supporters now known as the IRG, and everyone else. It’s a common theme throughout the history of the MRA.

    The MRAV elected to pass on lobbying to the Victorian Motorcycle Council in 2011 as it was an independent body from the MRAV and it’s structure was based around pulling together the varying tribes of motorcyclists towards common best interests. It is our best hope.

    The MRAV closed in January 2014 as it could not resolve the infighting with Damien’s faction. Unfortunately there is a lot of bitterness from the IRG camp about this and Karmouche loves to needle them. All I seek to do is make sure the truth is given light amongst the rank mistruths that keep getting brought up. How Damien’s toyrun came about is a case in point.

    I’m sure you’ve heard Damien’s side of the story, perhaps you and I should chat about what actually happened. But there is no animosity from the VMC guys.

      1. Indeed Mark, nothing positive has come about since the eighties. If we don’t heed the lessons of the past we are doomed to repeat them. Advocacy has to change, there is no sense continuing the same way and expecting a different outcome. Just look at the failure of protests these days as an example of what doesn’t work any more. Those looking to maintain the “glory” from yesteryear are the greatest obstacle to a unified approach in a modern, professional, consultative and credible lobby force. And yes, if the motorcycle industry will not back it – what does that tell you?

    1. Er No Grant I don’t love to needle “them”. I want to see a united front. Unfortunately, I got dragged into a legal stoush with Mr Codognotto which involved my giving evidence against him in the County Court detailing an assault that took place between he and the then MRA(Vic) Vice president at the TAC in 2004 (or thereabouts). the evidence was part of an Intervention Order that had been imposed by the Magistrates Court by the then MRA President, which he chose to try and appeal in the County Court. The evidence I gave that day caused him to take a grudge on me. In his words, “I never forgive”. Mr Codognotto caused many problems and much division and made many enemies.

      Mark, Grant has collated and scanned the many documents that are on file. There is enough information to write a good book. Perhaps you might be interested in becoming the author of such a document.

      In NSW, they appear never to have had a problem with representation, like we have had in Victoria. I have been around since 1986. I once though the sun shone out of Damiens arse. Unfortunately, as the years have passed I have come to see his dark side.

      In summary, I tried to get riders to unite when I was associated with MRA(Vic). But the forces were against us…… Sad but true.

      1. There was a time when motorcycle lobby groups where United unfortunately the standards of mixing business & pleasure can often sour even the best of people.
        Many can comment from the side about why there is a divide but only a few know the truth
        & some just love to Lampoon others even when they themselves where to young to let alone ride a motorcycle or hold a licence to be aware of the truthfull facts.
        Damien & John worked on many projects together as motorcycle advocates

        1. Interesting how you mention motorcycle groups being united Dale. The MRA history is littered with infighting between every other state MRA and the MRAA in Victoria within the MRA Australia group and between the MRAA in Victoria and the AMC and before that the Federation of Australian Motorcyclists. One can only presume the mixing business and pleasure you refer to is about the relationship of Damien and his private event and insurance company, John and his Harley Rides business and the MRAA when all three co habituated the one shop. Damien was also the President of the MRAA at the time and there were endless arguments regarding how the funding was arranged which culminated in debt collection agencies, threats and court cases many years later, all which drained members funds. The commentary you mention is actually based on the documented history of the association including Newsletters, meeting minutes and articles assembled by the late John Pigot and other interested members. I suppose these may vary somewhat to the tale as told from a single perspective. But again I ask, this has nothing to do with the current landscape which sees motorcyclists represented by the VMC and the IRG so how does this help riders today?

  11. Ross, that is what you will find at the core of most issues regarding all sectors of society.

    Most people, including riders, have developed this very bad habit of expecting everything to be done for them by some agency or some small group of people. You expect all to be good, safe roads, good roads, educated drivers, etc. but you put that burden on a group of 4-5 people without considering that they, like you, may make mistakes.

    To avoid this, we must act ourselves and through such organizations like MRA or through public and peaceful protest raise the problems that others may have missed.
    We don`t trust our friends with our bikes, but you prefer to stay home and trust someone with your safety and life because of comfort.

    Mark, the solution is to put a stop to this individualist thinking. Everybody cares about his problems and with time and lack of proper and accurate information and education he/she becomes blinded to the fact that his/hers problem is shared by many others. To be honest, and I am a rider, riders in Australia are very dumb (not stupid, just ignorant of reality and lacks logical thinking) and they put their trust in some politician that never used a bike and when it comes time to fight for your rights….

    But they know how to complain…

  12. Ross the MRA was let to fold it is now a ghost mra member were supposed to become members of VMC this has not happened one of the founders of MRA Damien G formed IRG who supports Father Bob foundation so two great causes that need support. IRG on the 13 December near Luna Park . I intend to support both as I have often been a Marshall

    1. JC you are welcome as a marshal.

      In the interests of correcting a misunderstanding, the MRAV was legally not allowed to hand over MRAV member details to the VMC. The VMC could not legally (or morally) absorb the MRAV membership.

      In lieu of this, when MRAV wound up, the VMC extended one year’s free membership to MRAV members who joined VMC of their own volition. The details of this offer were clearly explained on our website and membership sign up page at the time.


    2. Sorry JC – the MRAV was not “let to fold” – it self destructed from factional infighting. Not uncommon in associations. Look up “founders syndrome”. There is no ghost unless you are referring to the faction that is using the old MRAA emblem. MRAV members were offered VMC individual membership for free for 12 months after the MRAV closed. Some took it up. some didn’t. Damien indeed was one of the founders of the MRA and did a lot of good work including starting the MRA Toyrun. He even got an OAM for this. Damien started the Father Bob Toyrun in 2013 and I hope riders support this run as well as the traditional Toyrun. It should not ever have been made into a competition between charitable events so let’s work on not continuing that idea. I hope you can Marshal for both events!

      1. The MRA was let to fold as the so called factional fighting was over after I vacated the seat of President
        There where 3 consecutive presidents
        John Karamouch
        Kerry Walton
        Grant Delahoy
        And 3 new boards no one opposing decisions& now left to steer the MRA into calm waters
        The boards made precise decisions to wind up the MRA membership plummeted after the President moved a motion to make the Association a social group
        Riders who joined to have their voice listened to and their vote noted where no longer required by the MRA
        That was apparent at the AGM when out of frustration members declined to attend the
        No members where notified in letter that the MRA was to close
        A final insult by the board to save money
        Then as a final act of indulging their own pleasure they gave each other awards
        “MRA Life Member”
        It’s tragic but truthfull
        Most board members now hold privilege positions in AMC or VMC or have jobs in The government !
        Now was that a scam
        To bust the lobby group by a selected few
        You be the judge

        1. So Mark – further invective demonstrating the source of the divide and why it continues. Dale profligates his version of events and slander on social media as often as he has opportunity and I’ve heard it over and over from IRG supporters. Dale is entitled to his perspective and there is naught that can be done to change his view however the evidence does not support his story no matter how many times he reiterates it. But again I ask, how does this continued slander help riders today?
          The factional infighting continued after Dale stepped down as President, Dale fails to mention that Damien was expelled in 2006 for bringing the association into disrepute and thus formed his “IRG” think tank in 2007 which included Dale. They spent years trying to convince everyone that Damien’s expulsion was not legitimate and campaigned even up to 2011 that it be just given back. John was President for three years as the MRAA became ineffectual as Damien and Dale continued to contact the Media as though they continued to speak for the association. By 2009 the board began investigating ways to cease the mixed messages being touted to the public and tried hard to build the bridges with other associations. The name was changed to MRA (Victoria) in 2010. With industry and clubs refusing to support the MRAV and the continued invective from the IRG faction the board put up a motion for a special resolution at the 2011 AGM to wind it up and hand lobbying to the VMC. That motion lost out by a single vote. But at that meeting other people proposed just running the MRAV as a social club and pass on the advocacy to the VMC. 96% of the members present voted yes to it.

          There was only one “member” unable to vote because he’d been expelled, the only member in the association’s history to have been.

          Every meeting was listed in advance in every association Newsletter, two in 2011, two in 2012 and one in 2013. The dates were advertised on the association website, facebook page and email blasts to members. The cost of producing a printed newsletter would have bankrupted the association within four editions so everything went electronic in 2012. Dale ceased being a member in 2012 so unless he actually looked on the public sites of course he wasn’t going to be notified. I personally printed them out and sent them to his mother though. At the 2013 AGM, 10 members who had served on boards and committees for five years or more were voted by the members to be given Honorary Life Membership. This didn’t include Dale as he had not served more than four, had not been nominated and had ceased being a member, his insinuation is repugnant. No board was elected after this, they’d all had enough. A special general meeting to elect a board was advertised and held a month later with the same result. The VMC was established and nobody cared about the MRAV any more.

          Tony Ellis is the only previous MRAV board member on the VMC and AMC boards. Hardly a privilege, he does a heck of a lot of secretarial work. The slander about working for the government I think he’s referring to Wendy Taylor as she’s also on the VicRoads Motorcycle Advisory Group, along with other IRG members. Hardly a governmental position.

          Until such time as Dale ceases his slanderous antics and IRG supporters can shut down the vituperative and divisive commentary, the appearance of disunity will persist. The VMC have nothing to do with it and are just getting on with effective representation.

  13. With respect Mark, there was no clash between the organisers of the two Melbourne toy runs on your toy run article. I would ask you to correct that misrepresentation as it is actually creating an issue rather than helping.

    No one from the VMC executive committee or directly associated with organising the 38th Traditional Salvos toyrun has even made a comment.

    The “clash” was between someone who doesn’t speak for the VMC responding to a long standing adversary who is also the organiser of the toy run featured in your article.

    Painting that as a clash between organisers is patently wrong. The views of Karmouche are his own. He is not associated with the VMC exec or associated with organising the 38th traditional toyrun in any way.


    Rob Salvatore – VMC Chair.

    1. Yes, that person who does not represent the VMC is me. I simply stated that I was going to the VMC Toy Run and that I was disappointed that the IRG have chosen not to join in and support an event which aims to achieve a Guiness World Record this year.

      I am just an ordinary rider. The VMC has my total support and in no way would I wish to do or say anything that would denigrate the excellent work they are doing. They are Quiet Achievers – who don’t trumpet their great work.

  14. Considering the diversity of motorcycle riders I am not sure it’s realistic to expect a truly united front. We range from 17 year olds who would be racers through to 80 year old cruisers. We range from those who enjoy the isolation of riding through to those who revel in the comradary provided by identifiable groups. We range from those who have given their lives to their chosen God through to those who would sell their mothers for an ounce of their chosen poison. We sit on every tier of the socio-economical ladder. We don’t even identify a common enemy as many are thankful for the presence of police on our roads as they assist in keeping us safe while others see the police as agents of a corrupt government. Every group has their legitimate reasons for their beliefs and actions.
    In short riding a motorcycle isn’t sufficient grounds to necessarily identify with other motorcycle riders.

    1. Sorry I don’t. Agree go to any large show or gathering of motorcyclists and you will
      find a group with a single common interest that cuts through any social,l economic
      or political considerations. There are always exceptions unfortunately usually among
      people who have bought a bike for all the wrong reasons.
      But at some point for most of us we have common problems .Even policing , you would
      not have to ride a bike of any kind not to notice we are treated differently to car drivers .
      The lnp in queensland was quite happy have ordinary motorcyclists targeted when the vlad laws came out
      they only backed off when they realised the backlash it had caused .
      As for other legislation, we must stand together against all weather it affects us or not
      It is probably for the membership of the various bike organisations to tell their leadership
      that they will not put up with ego’s getting in the way of business
      The toy runs are just a classic case of the baby being thrown out with the bathwater.
      As for politics ,there is nothing wrong with having a single agenda senator using their
      vote on other issues as a bargaining chip for motorcyclists rights, its been going on
      in the states and federally for decades with such success the major parties are trying
      to find ways to block out one issue candidates

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