Category Archives: Rides

AG200 YouTube vids

Because the AG200 is a bit of a…ahem…lowly steed, when you do a YouTube vid search all you will ever find is poor old AGs towards the end of their lives getting abused. Monster burnouts, monster boghole attempts and all sorts of other antics by mostly bored kids. This seems to be the order of the day for AG200s on YouTube. Not that I don’t enjoy a good monster burnout mind you, but the AG200? Pft! Isn’t there anything more interesting that someone is doing on them?

Imagine my surprise when this bobby dazzler popped up! This is what I’m talking about. If this guy ever comes across this blog, drop us a line!

Until some of you other guys get your trips done, documented and up on the ‘Tube, then this guy is the current World AG200 Touring Ninja!



Lessons learned…

I’m 44 years old this year, you would reckon I’d learn. But as they say on all those dodgy Ebay listings; “My loss is your gain” – yeah right mate! Hopefully someone will get something from this though, as we get older we get complacent and we shouldn’t. Usually we don’t bend, bounce and stretch like we used to and when we do real damage, you don’t heal like you used to, and it seems like we are never the same years after recovery. We also have responsibilities like people who rely on us to be bread-winner and other social moulding!  Anyway…on with the lesson…

It has been a while since I had been on an outing on the AG, I had a few new bits on my test mule and I was interested to get a ride in to see how it changed the bikes feel, if any. It has been a cold winter in country Victoria this year, some would say unseasonally cold but they would be young folk and those with short memories; these are the winters we used to have when I was growing up on the farm in the eighties. Puddle freezing winters! Fourteen years of warmer winters and low rainfall can make people forget, but I digress.

A bit of fine weather enticed me to load up my trusty Falcon ute and do a trip out to the family farm. There I unloaded and my brother and I decided to go for a bit of a squirt around the farm. Usually I use the farm as a base to unload and hit the back roads as the recreational registration allows me. So it was a bit of a warm-up around the farm before I hit the back roads to do some exploring and AG-testing. Didn’t get to that second bit though…

Problems can arise when the risk factor goes up. Of course I had a helmet, goggles, jacket and gloves on but didn’t bother with boots or any leg protection – I was just blasting around a paddock after all. I could argue that this thinking was sound until I decided to have a ride around some dam banks. This changes things completely. The risk goes up and the probability of things going pear shaped go up with it.

The banks were steep and covered with high weeds where in places you didn’t know what was under them and you couldn’t judge the terrain. But I went barrelling on in, confident I could handle a few mounds of dirt. I got to the top of a bank and the bottom of the AG hung up and I lost traction so I thought I would roll it back a bit so I could get a run up to get over the peak of the bank. Before I could even mutter the magic “F” word (Forheavensake!), I was watching myself in slow motion falling over and down the bank on my right side, with the AG following me down!

My right elbow hit first and there was an almighty snap. Ok…my first broken bone! Then the AG came down on top of me and my right foot told me in no-uncertain terms to get this 100+ kg blue, steel pig off it now. After all the sound and motion stopped, I decided to do an audit (as you do when your an engineer 🙂 ), I twisted the right forearm and awaited a new dimension in pain to come from at least one shattered bone. You could imagine my relief when no pain came but I noticed an old, dry branch smashed to bits under my arm! The snap didn’t belong to me!

I now turned my attention to my foot which was still stuck under the right side engine case. The bike was laying down on me past the horizontal and had me pined under it via the said foot. Help was needed to extract myself and this came in form of a brother (also AG200 mounted) who couldn’t stop laughing! We managed to free myself from the situation and it was great to see that I had broken the fall of the bike and it had escaped any damage whatsoever!

AgfootI have had some monumental get-offs in my riding career. Hitting trees, end of main straight high-sides, low sides, but I have never done myself much damage. A bit of bruising here and some leather burn there. I guess I have been lucky. Once again I escaped with a pretty ugly looking foot, bruised elbow and a trip to the chiropractor to give my neck a tweak, oh and those unmistakable facial expressions and body language that health professionals can display to make you feel like a moron without saying a word!

Getting older makes you wonder if it was luck. If I was lucky I wouldn’t of crashed! Sometimes you have to make your own luck, or at least give it a bit of a hand. I could of avoided the damage of this accident if I had followed one simple rule – avoid any technical obstacle with the gear I had on…not perfect but the chances of me having this accident would of reduced to nearly zero if I had stayed away from the dam banks.

And it then makes me wonder about the AG200. If I was on my TTR250, I probably would not of had this accident and even if I did I probably would of had on my full suit of riding gear. I guess it comes back to staying within the AGs capability parameters. I shouldn’t of been on that bike in that location. I ride the AG to get me to places out of the way, economically, quietly and reliably. Doing this stuff on the AG is not dangerous, but it can increase the odds of something going wrong.

So to end the sermon, ride within you and your bikes means. Wear your riding gear. Most importantly in my opinion, use your brain. If you’re by yourself and/or a long way from home, think about your surroundings; do you need to go this fast? Do you need to be on this wet road? Do need to pull this mono? Do you need to do this power slide? Pick your time and place to have fun, and when it comes to the AG, ask yourself if you need any fun! Or is the destination the goal?