Triumph Motorcycle Prizes Awarded in Wollongong for DGR

Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) hosts Tim and Jane Sim from City Coast Motorcycles were privileged to award a pair of new Triumphs to global top fundraisers, Phill Critcher and Ermond Morelli.

2021 DGR Prizewinners Phill Critcher and Ermond Morelli
Congratulations to 2021 DGR top global fundraisers Phill Critcher and Ermond Morelli (2nd & 3rd place)

Given the event took place in over nine hundred cities and two of the three prize winners hailed from the same location – Wollongong, Australia – it was a double celebration, marked by the presence of Founder Mark Hawwa along with Ramsey Sayed and Mikey Stojcevski from DGR HQ.

“What a fantastic day down here in Wollongong with City Coast Motorcycles giving away two new Triumphs – a Bobber and a Bonneville T120 – to Phill and Ermond for being the two highest fundraisers in Australia and two of the three highest fundraisers, globally,” said Mark.

“It shows just how well Wollongong punches above its weight in regard to the riding community, the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride and people helping other men in need.”

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride Prizewinners
(L to R): ) DGR Operations Manager Ramsey Sayed, 2nd global prize winner Phill Critcher, Team FC’s Ken Smith, DGR Founder & Director Mark Hawwa, 3rd global prize winner Ermond Morelli, Team FC’s Colin Carr, DGR General Manager Mikey Stojcevski and DGR – Wollongong Ride Host Jane Sim

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is a niche event uniting classic and vintage style motorcycle riders all over the world. Participants raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention programs on behalf of charity partner, The Movember Foundation.

Phill and Ermond have participated since 2018 when they established their team of four, The FC’s (Four Cure). It has grown to seven-strong and in 2021 it ranked the third highest fundraising team worldwide.

DGR Fundraising Team "Four Cure"
Distinguished Fundraising Team “The FC’s”

2021 marked the fifth year our family-owned Triumph dealership has presented DGR – Wollongong. In that time the local ride has amassed some $350,000 (AUD) for men’s health. Dealer Principal Tim is humbled by the result:

“It’s been an honour having Mark, Ramsey and Mikey from DGR join us in delivering these magnificent Triumphs, today,” said Tim.

“Jane and I couldn’t be prouder of our local event which gets so much love and support from the Wollongong region.”

Tim and Jane Sim - DGR Wollongong 2021
Tim and Jane lead the 2021 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride – Wollongong. Image courtesy of Jay Dubbs for Keogh’s Vision

Phill Critcher who placed second globally said DGR 2021 was a terrific day for all:

“This time we started at Stanwall Park and finishing at the Mt Kembla hotel really topped it off. The venue and afternoon of good music, drinks and plenty of conversation with fellow riders was great. All I spoke to were impressed with the day.

“Firstly, thank you to our hosts Tim and Jane from City Coast Motorcycles and congratulations on the successful effort they put in to organising this day.

“A big congratulations to the Wollongong participants that put in, yet again, a great fundraising effort.

DGR 2017
The inaugural DGR – Wollongong held in 2017. Since then Ride presented by City Coast Motorcycles has gone on to raise $350,000 (AUD) for men’s health.

“To Mark and his team at Basecamp DGR, congratulations! I hope you guys are proud of the team you have, and the continual growing success of this fundraising event. The international attention this has created is phenomenal. An idea created by a ‘few guys in Sydney’, well done fellas!

“To all the sponsors that support this event, thank you. You are a big part of the success of this totally admiral charity event that I’m sure touches most in society today in some way.

Triumph DGR Partner
Triumph is the Global Sponsor of the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride and has now committed to another five years.

“Finally, to our team “Four Cure” – warm up your engine boys for 2022; we’re off again. I would like to thank the members that didn’t turn up to the presentation at City Coast Motorcycles last Thursday. Our team donation to start the fundraiser, commences at $4,000. Your generosity should be acknowledged.

“Anyone that would like to have a great little ride in good company with some vintage and classic bikes to look at, come and join us all on the 22nd of May and support prostate cancer research and men’s mental health.

Phill Critcher riding Bonneville Bobber
DGR Global Prize winner Phill rides his new Bonneville Bobber

Phill could not wait to take in our beautiful coastal scenery on his new Bobber and reported back within the hour:

“Just got to Kiama and it honestly feels great,” said Phill.

“The only road bikes I’ve ever ridden are the Z900 and Harleys. This is beautiful, I really am so happy with the bike!

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride 2022 will be held on Sunday May 22nd. Registrations will open on March 28th at gentlemansride.com

Save the Date for DGR 22 May 2022

Presenting: The BMW R 18 Road Show

R 18 roadshow wollongong

Experience the passion and curiosity of #SoulFuel by joining the BMW R 18 Roadshow when it comes to City Coast Motorcycles in Wollongong, December 16 to 18.

The all new R 18 evokes memories of our proud history and the iconic hallmarks of the BMW brand. Countlessly refined over the years, we’re excited to deliver a modern take on the classic bikes of old. Open up a world of possibility and experience the R 18 for yourself during The BMW R 18 Roadshow.

Choose from four different styles and experience the biggest and boldest boxer engine BMW has ever built.

BMW R 18 Road Show
BMW R 18 Road Show
BMW R 18 Road Show
BMW R 18 Road Show

*** Test ride an R 18 with City Coast Motorcycles during our Road Show and you will be entered in the random draw to win a pair of BMW Two-in-One Tech gloves valued at $300! ***

Don’t miss out, limited places available! Please register your interest below.
NB: Check-in is 30 mins prior to departure
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We’ve Gone to Battle and Need Your Vote!

BMW R 18 Wrap Battle 2021

City Coast Motorcycles has entered the national BMW R 18 Wrap competition for best customisation.

Vote for City Coast Motorcycles and say in 100 words or less what you like about the R 18 and how you would customise it – and you’ll be in with a chance to Win 1 of 10 x $250 BMW Motorrad accessory vouchers! 

PLEASE GIVE US YOUR VOTE HERE

Vote for City Coast Motorcycles

Our entry – Soul Art – pays homage to its inspiration, the BMW R5 by carrying 1930’s cubism along its length. This blends with a salute to the later lowrider line art that turns heads as it turns corners. Striking. Sophisticated. Soulful.

View our R 18 entry pictured above on our BMW Showroom Floor at 262 Keira St, Wollongong. Voting ends 22nd December 2021

PLEASE GIVE US YOUR VOTE HERE


Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions

 

Get Ready for Ride Your Motorcycle Week

Ride Your Motorcycle Week returns from Nov 29 to Dec 5. This year’s focus is getting riders back on their bikes after lockdown as the summer riding season beckons. The event will push for riders to dust off their motorcycles and get going whether they prefer dirt riding, race tracks, commuting or adventuring.

Ride Your Motorcycle Week 2021
Image by Keogh’s Vision Photography

Previously known as Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Week, the change of name is intended to broaden the appeal of the event. Throughout the week advertising will encourage motorcyclists to dust off their bike of choice and get busy having fun.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) Chief Executive Tony Weber explained the intention of the event was to remind riders of the efficiency and ease riding a bike offered, as well as promoting riding’s positive impact on mental health.

“When you’re on the bike, there’s nothing else like it. But life gets in the way. Ride Your Motorcycle Week is just a little extra push to get your bike serviced ahead of riding season, take the bike to work or take the long way home, take day the off and reconnect or just go and have an adventure. This is the week to start doing it.

“COVID has obviously changed the way Australians think about commuting, but the name change is about more than acknowledging working from home,” said Mr Weber.

The event also aims to draw attention to two-wheeled transport as a potential solution in COVID-19 recovery:

“Riding has a real role to play in helping Australia get back to work, offering socially distanced transportation and alleviating congestion and parking issues. As ever, our secondary goal is to capture the attention of policy makers who too often overlook riding in developing transportation infrastructure,” Mr Weber explained.

So what’s in it for you? Just two words: Solidarity and safety…

By joining this National Ride Your Motorcycle Week, you are joining a motorcycle fraternity in which thousands of people are active participants. That’s a lot of people power. The more people who ride, the more we are noticed. And that makes the public road a safer place for all of us.

Rider safety is an industry priority. That’s why before you take your bike out of its winter ’mothballs’, it is important it receives the once-over from your authorised dealer, City Coast Motorcycles. Because no-one (apart from you) knows your bike better and has all the factory-backed expertise to have your machine in tip-top shape for the long summer of riding ahead.

RIDE TO WORK WEEK OFFER

Mention “Ride Your Motorcycle Week” when booking a service at City Coast Motorcycles between November 11 and December 3. 2021 and receive a complementary $20 City Coast Motorcycles gift card. Call 4228 7392 or BOOK HERE.

Q&A: Get to know Maddi Costanzo

Maddi Costanzo is a National Premier League soccer player and now building on her love of sport to mentor and challenge other athletes, including several members of the City Coast Motorcycles MX Team. Read on for our exclusive Q & A.

Maddi Constanza Fitness and Performance Coach
Images by Sarah Jane Photography

Let’s start at the beginning… At what age did you start riding motorbikes and what are you riding now? 

My dad got me my first bike when I was six years old, which was a Suzuki DR50 and Dad had a Honda CRF230. We used to ride on weekends around the local bush tracks and school holidays at my grandparents farm out near Parkes. I gave up riding to pursue my football career, as I participated in many sports but excelled in football. Since I currently train so many MX athletes, they have persuaded me to get my second bike and ride again at age 25. I am so excited to see what I will be getting from Dad this Christmas!

Who were your role models as a child?

Growing up I mainly followed football, so my role model was an old Socceroo player Tim Cahill; I am sure people used to see him on the Weet-Bix box. I grew up living on the South Coast, but all holidays were in the country at my grandparent’s farm. We were taught to work hard. Family members such as my uncle and Pop were role models teaching me how to ride bikes, quads, drive tractors and utes as well as how to maintain them like checking the oil and changing a tyre from the age of 11.

Rising through the ranks, what were your biggest challenges training and competing in international soccer?

Going overseas at the age of 11 to play football in Germany, Denmark, Holland, Sweden and then at age 12 to America were some of the biggest challenges. It is a young age to be in a foreign country and needing to take care of myself and be an athlete, but those big life experiences made me who I am today, very independent, driven and focused to succeed.

I missed a lot of social events, birthday parties, sleepovers and just being a kid. When I was growing up I lived in Ulladulla and my parents would drive for three hours to Sydney, multiple times a week to get me to training and camps. I did miss a lot of school and in the school holidays I was in football camps or competing at State and National football tournaments. I understand what it is like to be a young athlete and the sacrifices we have to make to pursue our dream career of being a professional athlete.

I still play at an elite level; getting paid to play is always a privilege and suffering two major setbacks in doing my left ACL, meniscus and LCL in 2016 put me out of football for 10 months while I had surgery. I came back the following season to win the NPL 2 Golden Boot and I put that down to dedication, commitment to wanting the best from each performance and never giving up. In 2019 I was at the top of my game again and in a preseason match I suffered my 2nd ACL tear which was a meniscus tear in my right knee, and I required surgery again.

I am cleared to play and go in the NPL 1 comp. I like to share my story to remind people that we are capable of anything in life if we never give up, we work hard, we recover well, we learn to build a strong mindset and we try our best every chance we get to perform. You never know when it is going to be your last race, game or competition.

What were your highlights?

Definitely travelling overseas is the biggest highlight as an athlete. I also say my two ACL surgeries are highlights even though yes, they were a setback in my athlete career but on a different level they helped me grow as a person in the sense that if I didn’t suffer them, I wouldn’t have started my business so young, learnt about sports psychology, coaching and helped other athletes through the same struggles of suffering an injury.

Another highlight is the new opportunities that have arisen and to now work in MX camps with coaches, as well as the way I connect with all my riders so well. I think therefore I have quite a few of them because they work hard like me, but they can also take a joke and have a laugh with me – we all get along well! Most days I am their trainer but sometimes I am more like the big sister to show support, give advice and have friendly banter with them, especially the older boys. I love seeing their smiling faces and that they all have fun personalities of their own.

In just four years you have become one of the Illawarra’s most sought-after personal trainers and coaches. Where did your inspiration come from?

I am surrounded by great friends that all own different businesses, so I always bounce off their energy to keep growing my own business. I want to be the coach I never had for my athletes and educate them on training, nutrition, mindset and give them real life skills that they can use for the rest of their life.

Along with a mantelpiece crowded with trophies, you now have walls flooded with qualifications enabling you to provide athletes with a holistic approach to their chosen sport. What have you studied?

I left school at 17 and studied my Certificate 3 & 4 in Fitness. I then went on to study a Diploma of Sports Development, Level 1 Strength & Conditioning, Certificate in Sports Nutrition, Certificate in Sports Psychology, Certificate in Human Biology – Muscle & Movement and recently finished my Certificate in Child & Adolescent Mental Health.

You’ve been coaching juniors and seniors on the City Coast Motorcycles MX Team; how does your experience performing on the soccer field translate to training motocross athletes?

Yes, the riders keep me on my toes, but I personally have said this a lot over the last few years, “I love training my MX athletes the most!” They are open and willing to try anything, they work super hard and I love that I need to keep up and continually learn and adapt to help them more. I started training MX riders 3.5 years ago and even though MX and football are very different in terms of how they are performed the basics are always the same: Proper strength training to minimise injury, learning to fuel the body for performance which I say to my riders, “you wouldn’t try win a race on an empty fuel tank so don’t think you can go race on an empty stomach,” as well as sleep quality, learning how to recover after performing, etc it is all the same. When I can, I watch my riders race at the local track at Mount Kembla. I also made the four-hour trip to Cessnock this year to watch them in the King of MX to learn more about their body position on the bike so I can replicate that in the gym.

City Coast Motorcycles MX Team's Brock Ninness with coach Maddi Constanzo at King of MX.
City Coast Motorcycles MX Team’s Brock Ninness with coach Maddi Constanzo

You provide one-on-one sessions with clients and often attend their competitions. How have you kept them focussed throughout the COVID lockdown?

I do online and face-to-face coaching, I have riders all over New South Wales, a few in Victoria and in America that I coach via Zoom and online programming. With COVID I did a lot of Zoom sessions with local riders as well as a few one-on-one sessions outside and just checked in with messages, etc. They kept up their fitness with at-home training, running and mountain bike riding.

You’re travelling to Sydney four times a week for soccer training, juggling some 40 clients and running a business, not-to-mention putting up fresh social media content daily, yet you still manage to exude energy and positivity at every corner, Maddi, how do you manage your own work/life balance?

Look I’d be lying if I said it was easy and always fun, but it can be a challenge. Just like anyone I have my down days but ultimately my drive is my athletes; I want to be a good support for them and a role model to show you can have anything in life, but you better be ready to outwork everyone else if you want it.

I try to set aside time to see friends, relax and do the things I love but there is a lot of sacrifices especially when running a business. My sleep can suffer, my training goes out the window sometimes so I can get all my athletes in the door to train. But at the end of the day, I want to build a brand, I want to grow and have a successful business that supports riders and other athletes, as well as have a business that can support me and my future family. These keep me motivated to keep pushing my limits, to execute day in, day out. I also say if you want to achieve things in life as well you need to know your WHY. My WHY is always my family, mum, sister and nephew as I want to be able to help them with anything they need and would love to take them on a holiday, one day.

City Coast Motorcycles MX Team's Indi Hooper with coach Maddi Constanza.
City Coast Motorcycles MX Team’s Indi Hooper with coach Maddi Constanza. Image by Josh Lynch Photography

Let’s wind the clock forward to ten years from now; where do you see Maddi Costanzo?

Ideally, I would love to have my own performance centre with a track next to it so it is a one stop shop for riders, I want to grow and expand to having them even in multiple states and have coaches work under the Costanzo brand. I want to travel more being an off-the-bike trainer at MX bootcamps and do collaborations with MX shops such as City Coast Motorcycles and MX coaches. That is the dream lifestyle!

Connect with Maddi Costanzo on Instagram

Connect with Maddi Costanzo on Facebook

Connect with Maddi Costanzo on YouTube

Connect with Maddi Costanzo on Twitter

Check out Maddi Costanzo’s Podcast

Our BMW Winter Service Bonus Returns!

Wínter Service Offer 2021 at City Coast MOtorcycles

Your BMW Deserves the Best, and so do YOU!

Discover the benefits of genuine BMW Motorrad service with our 2021 Winter Special Offer.

Service your motorcycle at City Coast Motorcycles this winter and receive a voucher to spend on genuine BMW accessories or apparel valued up to $150*. THIS OFFER HAS BEEN E-X-T-E-N-D-E-D to August 31, 2021!

Take care of your bike, and experience the difference between OK… and perfect.

Winter Service Special 2021

City Coast Motorcycles BMW Service Centre Benefits

Terms & conditions

*Offer is valid from 01.06.21 – 31.08.21 (‘Promotion Period’). Minimum total service cost of $200.00 including GST, is required to be eligible for this offer. The offer only applies to BMW Motorcycles serviced during the Promotion Period. This offer is limited to 1 voucher per motorcycle, identified via the vehicle’s VIN number. Voucher is non-transferable and must be redeemed by the recipient of the mechanical services, at the same BMW Motorrad dealership which rendered those services. Voucher can be used on genuine BMW Motorrad accessories and/or Gear & Garment. Voucher will be surrendered on redemption and is not redeemable in cash to any extent. Voucher must be redeemed within 5 business days after the service date (excluding any public holidays) after which the voucher will expire and may no longer be redeemed. Offer applies only at participating BMW Motorrad dealers. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Stock may vary between BMW Motorrad dealerships. Excludes fleet, government and rental buyers. Consult your participating BMW Motorrad dealer for further details. BMW Australia reserves the right to change, withdraw, or extend the offer without notice.

DGR Wollongong 2021 reaches $150K for Men’s Health

With fundraising due to close on Sunday June 6th, The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride – Wollongong has passed the incredible milestone of $150,000! Meanwhile, it has been in a tight contest with London for 2nd position out of over 700 cities worldwide.

DGR Wollongong 2021

Participants Phill Critcher and Ermond Morelli are on track to come 2nd and 3rd globally out of over 65,000 riders, while their team – The FC’s – is also ranking 3rd. Since City Coast Motorcycles introduced the ride to Wollongong in 2017, almost $350K has been raised to support Movember. This is an outstanding achievement and we could not be prouder of our riding community who have wholeheartedly embraced this niche event for classic and vintage motorcycles.

Below are some images we captured on the day – click on the thumbnail to open the gallery. We are happy for you to share them on social media; please give ride hosts City Coast Motorcycles a nod if you do so.

Professional photographs are available for sale from Keogh’s Vision Photography and The Illawarra Mercury

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Remembering Geoff Sim

The team at City Coast Motorcycles are deeply saddened by the loss of our Founder, Geoff Sim. This tribute shares his life and legacy. 

Remembering Geoff Sim
Geoff Sim, Amaroo Circa 1973. Image by David McGonigal.

Geoff was born in 1948 and spent his formative years in the Sutherland Shire, at West Como, where the Woronora River merges with the Georges. Geoff and his childhood friends pursued a Huck Finn lifestyle in home-made canoes and old rowboats, fishing and hunting mudcrabs in the mangroves. They would push their way through vines and thick bush to a creek and catch yabbies. Along the cliffline they would rockhop like wallabies. These escapades must have played a part in the adventurous lifestyle that was to unfold for Geoff for the rest of his days.

After Como West Primary School, Geoff attended Jannali Boys High, where classmates like Peter Allen and Rob Black led him towards an interest in motorcycles. Geoff duly bought a 250 Honda CB72 in 1966 and that was the start of a life-long passion for all things motorcycling, from touring to adventure riding to racing and a thriving dealership in Wollongong.

Geoff with his first motorcycle
Geoff Sim’s first motorcycle was a 250cc Honda CB72.

Geoff was a naturally fast rider from the get-go, and a succession of speeding fines suggested the road racing circuits might be a cheaper way to obtain his speed jollies. He began racing at the start of 1968 on the 250 Honda and then progressed to a 350 Honda.

Geoff Sim with his 350cc Honda
Geoff Sim with his 350cc Honda.

Shortly thereafter, Geoff bought the ex-Ron Toombs TD1C Yamaha. Upon its retirement, he had it superbly restored by Wollongong’s Richard Johnston, resplendent in the livery and racing number of `Toombsie’ and mounted in a glass case at City Coast Motorcycles as a tribute to one of Australia’s greatest riders.

Geoff Sim racing Bathurst in 1969
Geoff Sim racing the ex-Ron Toombs TD1C Yamaha at Bathurst, 1969.

Geoff’s next race bike was a kitted R5 350 Yamaha twin, sponsored by his partner Robyn. Geoff had a lot of success on that bike, including three memorable scraps at Oran and Amaroo Parks with the young Gregg Hansford, who went on to international stardom.

Geoff Sim and Gregg Hansford
Geoff Sim (22) famously scraps with Gregg Hansford (02).

Geoff also had success on larger production-based machines such as Mach 3 Kawasaki 500, Mach 4 Kawasaki 750, Honda 750, Ducati 750 and Kawasaki 900. One year at Mount Panorama in the Unlimited Production Race, Geoff had a memorable race-long dice for 4th place with `Mountain Maestro’ Ron Toombs, both on Kawasaki 900s. With co-riders such as Peter Stronach and Roy Denison, Geoff achieved some high placings in several Castrol Six Hour races.

Geoff Sim Castrol 6 hour
Geoff Sim (36) rounds up his opponents in the Castrol Six Hour.

Through befriending Kevin Cass in the racing scene, Geoff was availed a business opportunity: In 1973, Geoff opened a Kawasaki dealership named Centrestand Motorcycles near the railway in Crown Street Wollongong, before relocating to Corrimal Street. Geoff expanded his portfolio when he purchased the Corrimal Suzuki business off Wollongong legend Bill Morris. Veteran Bill – whose motorcycling achievements on dirt and tar race tracks, in business, in the race-tuning workshop, and in racing sponsorship would take a book to relate – grew bored with retirement and went back to work for Geoff in highly specialised areas like crankshaft balancing. Upon buying Kevin Cass Motorcycles, Geoff finally settled on the present arrangement, City Coast Motorcycles in Keira Street, which is an authorised dealer for BMW, Triumph and Yamaha.

Geoff Sim spare parts
From humble beginnings, Geoff Sim went on to own three motorcycle dealerships at the one time. Pictured: Geoff at the spare parts counter at Centrestand Motorcycles.

Geoff and Robyn went on to have a son, Timothy who inherited the racing genes. Tim was born to love two-wheels; racing motocross, supercross and mountain bikes – all at a national level. Tim began working after school at the family business by cleaning and changing tyres.

Tim and Geoff
Geoff Sim’s son Timothy was literally riding before he could walk.

Geoff taught Tim every facet of running a successful motorcycle dealership. Upon finishing school, Tim continued to work his way through the ranks with Geoff as his mentor; several years ago he took over as the Managing Director and Dealer Principal.

Tim, Wayne Gardner and Geoff
Timothy Sim, Wayne Gardner and Geoff Sim celebrate 30 years of City Coast Motorcycles in 2003. Geoff was one of Wayne’s first supporters.

The high point of Geoff’s racing career was winning the Australian 125cc championship series in 1975 and 1976, conducted over rounds in each state. He was mounted on a TA125 Yamaha provided by Kevin Cass. His second 125 GP crown was a dead heat with Dave Burgess; the only one for first place ever seen at Mount Panorama.

Geoff Sim and Dave Burgess
Geoff Sim (32) and Dave Burgess (19) famous scrap for first place at the 1976 125cc Australian Road Race Championship.

During this period he also took the TA to New Zealand, where he contested 125cc support races in the Marlboro Series, winning at Pukekoe, Gracefield, Wanganui and Timaru, dicing with and defeating future international Grand Prix star, the American Randy Mamola. Randy was the reigning US 125 champion but to be fair he was aged just 16 at the time, not a grizzled veteran of 27 like Geoff. While not a university student, Geoff also participated in 24 hour rallies at the University of NSW MCC alongside his friend, Trevor Fitzpatrick during the mid-to late 70’s.

Geoff Sim was twice crowned Australian 125cc Road Race Champion on his Yamaha TA125.

Geoff’s other great passion was aviation. Initially, this took the form of control-line powered models he and a Como friend Peter Stevenson, both in their early teens, constructed in the laundry. Thankfully by the time Geoff progressed to flying full-sized aircraft, he had become more adept at keeping them airborne than had been the case with the models.

Towards the end of his high school years, Geoff and his lifelong friend Peter Allen joined the Air Training Corps at Mascot and learnt to fly light aircraft. Approaching the age of 30, this pursuit began to assume greater prominence in Geoff”s leisure activities and he retired from motorcycle racing.

Geoff purchased a Lancair kit plane, which he built with the help of several others. While running his motorcycle dealership, they put together the Lancair behind the counter. With light weight and high performance provided by a Lycoming engine, the two-seater Lancair was far sportier than the average Cessna or Piper –  just what an ex-motorcycle racer needed.

Geoff Sim Lancair
Geoff Sim’s adventurous spirit led him to flying. His first pair of wings was a Lancair kit plane.

Geoff also owned shares in a couple of gliders, which he flew in competitions. He became adept at this exacting sport and secured several noteworthy placings in State and Australian titles:

“Years ago we both had Australian altitude records on separate days at Jindabyne. One was absolute height and other was altitude gain in motorgliders. We agreed to claim a record each. Geoff had to have the beard shaved off for that camp as we only had constant flow system with masks,” says friend Ian McPhee.

Geoff gliding at Lake Keepit in 1986.
Geoff Sim gliding at Lake Keepit, 1986.

However, spending all this time up in the clouds never diminished Geoff’s love of adventure motorcycling, a pursuit that took him to India, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, South America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, across Russia from China, and all over Australia including crossing the Simpson Desert.

“I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on our friendship and adventures over the decades and realised that there have been very few people who have directed the course of my life more than Geoff,” says freelance writer David McGonigal.

“In 1975 a group of us were camped by the river below Hill End and Geoff asked me ‘Hey Dave, what bike are you going to buy when the RD350 dies?’ and I replied ‘that bike would go around the world’. The idea was born and I rode the RD around the world between 1976 and 1979 (with a pocketful of sparkplugs).

“I’ve written that riding around the world with a mate is like a marriage without any of the benefits. Yet in 1998 Geoff and I completed a large part of my 7-continent all-time-zones world ride when we rode from Vladivostok to Moscow and beyond. I was on a BMW R1100RT and he was on a Yamaha SRV250 which made us just about even on power vs riding skill.

“Geoff had a prang between Moscow and St Petersburg and it was a battle to get him the treatment to keep him alive and evacuated to Helsinki and home. Buddhists believe that a life challenging experience like that means you own a part of each other’s soul and so it has felt ever since,” said David.

Geoff Sim Himalayas
Geoff Sim traversing the Himilayas.

From mid-2020, Geoff began to experience the symptoms of a complex medical condition which he faced bravely and stoically. On February 12, he passed away aged 72, too young, but he packed a lot into those years and had lived life to the full.  He will long be remembered for his intelligence, his steadfastness, his generosity, his decency. Along with a legion of cherished friends, he leaves behind his son Timothy and grandchildren, Jasmine and Taj.

Geoff Sim under glider wing

Thank you to Geoff’s brother, Chris for sharing his story.

Your Right To Ride at City Coast Motorcycles

It is a well-kept secret that anyone involved in an accident and not at fault is entitled to a replacement like-for-like vehicle at no cost them. City Coast Motorcycles’ Service Centre has you covered thanks to Your Right To Ride. This motorcycle-only fleet offers accident replacement motorcycles to not at fault parties.

Your Right To Ride

“We’re seeing a major increase in people choosing to ride over drive or catch public transport so it’s important to know our rights and feel supported while out on the roads – or in the parking lot,” says Customer Relations Manager Renee Sofi.

The concept of Your Right to Ride is to take the weight off not at fault riders with a simple step-by-step process. Like-for-like replacement vehicles are delivered to a customer’s preferred address and theirs for the duration of repairs at City Coast Motorcycles or until a settlement payout is received. What’s more there are not any km restrictions.

Percy Peacock described the process as straight-forward and stress-free:

“Great service. Had no transport after being hit by a car and my scooter named Bruce was written off. I was provided with a reliable scooter while I was waiting for the at fault driver to pay the insurance company. Huge reduction in stress following a traumatic incident! Very happy to recommend YRTR to everyone needing a motorbike or scooter following an incident or when it’s being fixed,” said Percy.

Your Right To Ride Brochure

The Your Right To Ride fleet includes a wide variety of two-wheeled road vehicles to enable the like-for-like concept, from Vespas through to learner-legal Hondas to the Triumph Bonneville to the Ducati Monster.

Should the unthinkable happen, be sure to make note of the personal details and insurance claim number of the at fault party then simply go to yourrighttoride.com.au and complete the form.  Claims are usually approved within 24 hours.

Your Right To Ride logo

Mark Hawwa: DGR Social Connections Challenge a “World First”

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) have partnered with Movember for a new community program aimed at better connecting male motorcyclists. We chat with Mark Hawwa – the Founder of DGR, Throttle Roll and Ride Sunday – about this special initiative.

Mark Hawwa - Founder of the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride
Mark Hawwa – Founder of the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) has been going since 2012. How did it start, and how have you seen it change over the years?

I had just come back from a trip to Japan and fell in love with their mix of a classic and custom motorcycling scene. When I got back, I was determined to get a bike that could bring that style back here to Australia, but none of my mates rode that kind of bike, so I started the Sydney Cafe Racers. As the custom style caught on, I started seeing people from around the world get into these groups and we connected over a joint love of custom motorcycles. Then the idea for DGR hit me when I saw a poster of Mad Men’s Don Draper sitting on a Matchless motorcycle in his beautifully tailored suit and thought it was a really interesting way to show a motorcyclist. At the time in Australia, we had a lot of issues with public perception of “bikies”, so it motivated me to spread the word throughout these groups and get everyone riding on the same day on their classic and vintage style bikes to dress dapper and ride together to break down that negative stereotype. That was 3,000 riders in 64 cities, and now we’re connecting 116,000 riders in 678 cities, so quite a lot has changed!

DGR Wollongong
DGR Wollongong. Image by Garry Gao

DGR has a special relationship with its global charity partner the Movember Foundation. How did the idea of the DGR Social Connections Challenge come about?

The relationship with Movember formed in 2016. We were working with various Prostate Cancer Foundations around the world to localise people’s donations and provide them with tax deductibility, but it was a tough job. We connected with Movember and everything just moved forward naturally. We have really similar goals in how to provide support for men and are actively funding a wide range of prostate cancer research and mental health programs to connect men in motorcycling.

The DGR Social Connections Challenge came about with us knowing how dedicated our community through DGR was in fundraising and in changing the way men communicate, so we thought it was finally time to help bring specific programs targeted at all riders to make a difference to them directly. This program isn’t just for people in DGR, but for every single male motorcyclist. We’ve never done anything like this before and Movember was really excited to build out a program that helps us better connect with riders as a part of their “going to where men are” approach to mental health. It really is a world-first and we’re honoured to be able to bring this to the global riding community.

What countries are involved?

Currently, we are accepting pilot programs in Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, and Canada as these are the areas that we can directly offer funding and support. Once the pilot programs go through the Challenge, there is definitely an opportunity for them to scale further and operate in more areas.

Are the grants open to groups as well as individuals?

Absolutely anyone is welcome to submit an application. Groups or individuals. We’d also recommend you have a mate or two helping out as this is potentially a 15-month program if you get through to Phase 2, so having a bit of friendly support wouldn’t be a bad idea.

DGR Sydney
Image by James Macintyre

How will the Challenge be carried out?

The Challenge will be carried out in two key phases at this stage. It’ll be broken down as Phase 1.1, Phase 1.2, Phase 2, and Phase 3. A maximum of 25 grants valued at up to AUD $7,500 will be awarded internationally under Phase 1 of this opportunity.

Step 1 asks applicants to submit an Inspiration Statement. The applicants with the most creative and innovative ideas will be invited to pitch their idea. Successful pitches will be considered upon receipt of a signed, short-form Movember funding agreement which will lead them into Step 2.

In Step 2, development funds will be provided to assist in research, engage with the targeted group, design and create an initiative plan over a 9-week period that has the potential to be piloted. This is the core period where we can really give attention to people’s ideas and see if they can work.

From here, the best candidates will be invited into Phase 2, where we really get into the nitty-gritty of the program.  A maximum of ten pilot project grants valued at up to AUD $75,000 will be awarded internationally under Phase 2 to carry out implementation of pilot project plans over a 12-month period.  This is where programs will really scale up and take serious shape to test out the ideas and try to bring riders together in the process.

Continued investment may be forthcoming in Phase 3 for those projects that show the greatest promise for ‘scaling up’ at the end of the pilot period. This is an extended piloting phase, so the continuation is really dependant after Phase 2.

The great thing about this is event programs that are not invited into Phase 3 will be in a position to keep working at their ideas. The support that we’re looking to provide over the course of the next 15 months will give our applicants a huge level of insight into how they can scale and succeed their ideas.

DGR Wollongong 2017
Image by Keoghs Vision Photography

How will the grant applications be judged – what are you looking for?

We definitely have a few things we’re looking out for in this. If the name is any indicator to you, we’re looking for ideas that help connect riders socially, outside of the DGR community. This is a really wide-net to men in motorcycling, so it should be something that connects all men, and especially, those guys that may be a little harder to reach when it comes to connecting. With the focus on connections, we are also looking at programs that strength peer-to-peer support and can allow us to provide positive role models and mentors to all riders, and improve everyone’s knowledge about mental health and suicide prevention.

What’s involved in submitting an idea?

All you need to do to get this off the ground is register online HERE and submit an Inspiration Statement by July 6th. From there, you may get invited into Phase 1.1 to pitch your concept with a few other pieces. You can find a more detailed breakdown of this at www.gentlemansride.com/blog/dgr-scc

How soon will the funds be allocated?

Funding will be provided within the Phase stages by Movember, so successful applicants will be able to allocate those funds to areas that will help them succeed best. The great thing here is Movember will be with them all the way to help identify where these funds might be best placed.

Is this something DGR and Movember plan to do on an annual basis?

Who knows?! This is a first-time for us, so once we get through it, we’ll absolutely be reviewing and seeing just how successful the concept is. In some way, I’d like to though. It’s really important that we’re funding programs where our riders need it most, so this will absolutely be a test of that.

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Wollongong
Some very distinguished Wollongong gents. Image by Keoghs Vision Photography.

Given that the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is a global event, what changes can we expect for 2020 with varying COVID-19 social restrictions worldwide?

Worldwide, we’re looking at a Solo Event for 2020, which will eliminate mass events and have riders taking to the streets on their own to raise funds for the event. It’s a tough one, because some are able to hit the road in groups or alone, and others may not be allowed to ride at all, so we need to find a way to engage everyone. To achieve this, riders around the world will be encouraged to dapper up and either hop on their bikes if they’re able to, or to snap a shot of themselves with their classic and vintage styled motorcycle and join us online. The focus for this year will be to connect riders from all around the world, despite their COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. We want riders to know that we may be socially distanced, but we can still be connected digitally.

We not only need to take people’s local lockdown restrictions into consideration, but we also needed to consider how riders and hosts have been financially affected in losing jobs and security, and how this may have impacted their lives. It’s a three-degrees of separation thing, some hosts either had COVID-19, or knew someone who did, and even have family members who lost their lives because of it. We wanted to be sensitive to those who spend countless hours volunteering to run their ride, who may not be able to get involved. The main thing we’d want people to be aware of here is that we know that some areas of the world might be opened up by the time DGR hits in 2020, but DGR isn’t only a local event – it’s a global movement – and when we have so many folks who are integral in running their rides who have been heavily impacted by this, we need to look out for them and each other.

You can pre-register now or find out more at www.gentlemansride.com.

DGR 2020
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