About Dave's Place

Welcome

davidcohen.com.au

About the site

pic of dave DC circa 2019

These pages are a collection of original articles and photo sets I've submitted to the Automotive press or posted online over the last 20 years.

Professional works have appeared in:


• Heavy Duty Magazine

• Kiwi Rider Magazine

• Hog Magazine

• Torque Magazine

• NZ Herald

• The Business Times

• Twin Eagle Magazine

• Rip It Up

• Motorbike Writer and numerous other web sites.


Posts

Embedded in the posts are You Tube videos or a Flickr slide show. Mouse over the images to show navigation. Older posts have downloadable medium resolution individual images.

The texts are unedited draft documents, so apologies for the typos and errors in advance.


Services

If you live in South-East Queensland and you'd like your bike photographed or have a photography or video project in mind - drop me a line:
mail@davidcohen.com.au

Site features

Flickr Slide Shows

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Place cursor over image and navigation arrows appear.
Click on arrows to advance or go back. Click on the image to open in Flickr. Use your browser's back button to return to the gallery.

You Tube Playlist

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Click on the menu bars at the top right of the video player and a fly out list appears with all of the videos contained in the playlist. Click on title to play.

About Ultragraphics

Ultragraphics Is a digital design studio owned and operated by Dave. This site is a custom built example of its work. The site deploys original html, CSS and Java scripts. All hand coded.

Click Here
to visit see the full list of services available.

Original Content, Photography, Videos and Texts on this site are © 2022 Ultragraphics and 1320 Media.
All rights reserved.
Commercial use and reproduction is not permitted.
Images and videos are free for private use.
Attribution or a Credit appreciated - so is a back link.

The Extended Story

How I became a long-time Motorcycle Magazine contributor

Whose fault?

motorcycle Kiwi Rider Magazine. 2002 -2011

My Grandfather gave me my first mini-bike when I was three years old.

It had a 125cc, two-stroke Victa lawnmower engine mounted in a rigid frame on eight inch wheels.

The course ran along the side of the house and up the driveway to the back yard, “Until there was no grass left around the clothesline.” Was the terse recollection of my mother, (rather than definite memories of mine).

I clearly remember the bike though. The most vivid image is of burning myself on the exhaust and that the frame was a bit rusty.

But that’s how and when I got the riding bug.

Later in life my mum always looked at me, clad head to toe in black leather, carrying a crash helmet and lamented, ‘It’s all your Grandfather’s fault!’

He was the Senior Engineer at the Port Kembla Iron and Steel Works. A great self-made man, a keen bicyclist and racer in his youth. The old photo albums have him as an Aerial motorcycle enthusiast too.

He had the engineering apprentices at the Steelworks build the chassis from scratch, cannibalised the lawn mower, and I had my first ride.

I have much clearer recollections of how happy I was when he bought me a production mini-bike when I was around eight years old.

picminibike A Deckson 125

It was a Deckson with a Kirby Tecumseh 125cc 4-stroke engine, centrifugal clutch, drum rear brake, a shielded exhaust, and no rust.

I rode it non-stop, well … every time I could get petrol for it and everywhere I could get away with riding it.

So it was that all the way through school I was all about motorcycles. For Technical Drawing assignments in high school, I’d render racing motorcycles.

From a very young age I subscribed to bike magazines and read every page - glowing at the test on my very own Deckson and dreaming of the days I could afford the Cossacks and Urals regularly advertised on the back pages. (If only I knew!)

Early in my teens I traded the minibike for a run-down Honda CL90. I fixed it up and used to bomb around the local sailing club car park - or go off road. When I could afford petrol!

motorcycle The Mighty CL90 - NOT a step-though!

Half-way through high school I got a part time job working weekends at the Sun-Herald newspaper offices as a Copy Boy. I could afford petrol.

I lied about my age to get the gig and it was a formative event.

I worked regular double shifts and occasional triple shifts, so by the time I was old enough to get my car and bike licences, I had saved enough money to pay cash for a cool Holden Station Wagon and a beat up Honda CB450. (With a little bit of help from my folks.)

motorcycle This blew more smoke than a 2-stroke

I either drove or rode to my senior year of High School - and still went to work at the newspaper on the weekends. I took the long way home most afternoons.

Or I’d just abscond from school and go riding instead.

The ratty CB450 was traded on a Yamaha SR500 Single with drop bars and a bikini fairing when I got my first full time job.

When I was 19 I traded the SR500 for a way-hotted-up 120hp Yamaha XS1100.

motorcycle A fast bike in its day

And I only crashed it once!

The late 70’s and early 80’s in Sydney were special times - music, bands, great venues, and summers of high-quality partying. We took all of it in on motorcycles, pretty much every night of the week. Halcyon days.

We all had the biggest, fastest motorcycles we could afford. Some of the boys had Z1000s. Some had GSXs and MACH III Kawasakis.

By then it was all about the lifestyle and riding - and so it has remained.

Career-wise

Over the years after school, I had careers in several fields and happened to be working in a commercial design office when the first Desktop computers appeared in the workplace.

The first lucky break on the way to bike mags was when I became a first generation digital artist and designer.

Not long after I went into business for myself and have been Freelancing for 30 years now. That flexibility contributed to getting magazine work too.

I’ve owned at least one motorcycle pretty much all the time. There were a few years when our kids were little that I went without two wheels, but not for very long. I have usually conducted my business and attended meetings on a bike.

To Print

motorcycle The '95 Thunderbird'

It was a specific bike that led me to my media career.

A Triumph Thunderbird 900 played a significant part in the how and why too

The chapter started in 2001, when the Co-pilot was hired to an Executive position in Auckland, New Zealand.

We were living near Newcastle NSW and her relocation package allowed us to take the T’bird with us.

I thought seriously about selling it, but it was very well sorted - and it turned out to be most fortuitous that I didn’t. Instead I crated it up and shipped it on to NZ ahead of us.

The Triumph specialists at Auckland Motorcycles and Powersports (or AMPS) loved the bike from the moment they un-crated it. It was fitted with an Ohlins shock, a Race Tech front end and had been ‘breathed on’ by a brilliant tuner named Rusty.

motorcycle On the road with the RATS

Through that bike I was to fall-in with AMPS and their Triumph RAT group, big time.

Not long after, the shop hired my combination of graphic design experience and motorcycle nous to build their first-ever web site - and to produce their press advertising and floor stock photography on my then-brand-new digital cameras. I owe much to the generosity of the ower, Mr Ray Pratt.

Like most of my lucky breaks, it was just a matter of being in the right place, right time - with a fortunate skill set.

I also made a ton of friends and riding buddies very quickly. The Kiwis are a welcoming lot.

We rode all over the motorcycling magnificence that is NZ in the ensuing years and had many all-weekend parties in far-flung locations that were simply awesome.

One of the directors of AMPS was also the Triumph NZ importer. The inimitable Mr Beckhaus.

He’d seen the work I’d been doing for the bike shop - and the photography.

Not long after I was contracted to do the marketing support and advertising production for a long list of brands - Aprillia to Vespa, Guzzi - and of course my favoured brand, Triumph was in their stable.

I was hanging out at the warehouse – getting design work and web site updates - doing plenty general sifting about and tyre kicking (as you would).

Then they started getting me to shake-down and run-in their various demonstrator and press bikes before they were sent to the magazines or dealer fleets. Roustabout and fleet wrangler.

Every now and then the AMPS crew would get me to shake down a new bike too. Paradiso!

The Breakthrough

motorcycle 130 Pony Trophy

My breakthrough into the magazine editorial sections came sort-of unexpectedly.

As it transpired I was delivering a CD containing Triumph advertisements to the offices of Kiwi Motorcycle Rider Magazine.

I was well known to the KR crew at this point and, as we often did, a bunch of us were talking 'bikes and bull' on their back porch when Editor Ross Mackay asked me, “Can you write too, Big Dave? Have you got something you can put together for us?”

“I do.” I replied.

I was actually writing quite a lot back then as an early adopter of Social Media. But it was called USENET and arrived via email.

Then I was on early versions of Yahoo forums. That was followed by thousands of posts on ADV rider, Kiwi Biker and other newsgroups. Way before Facebook.

I had a fully photographed and well documented two-week tour of the South Island on my Triumph Trophy 1200 already in the can. A commensurate fee was negotiated and that’s basically how it all began.

It was the start of an enduring friendship with ‘The Ed’ and ‘Vege’, the Publisher, that has lasted to this day.

The Wiki says, “In journalism, a Stringer is a freelance journalist, photographer, or videographer who contributes reports, photos, or videos to a news organization on an ongoing basis but is paid individually for each piece of published or broadcast work.”

Between 2002 and 2011 I was a Stringer for KR. Bike tester, touring writer, photographer, videographer and general hanger-on.

I still kept my design business going as well, but I estimate I tested or rode more than 300 bikes in that time, an example of just about every large capacity motorcycle available. A lot of them are archived on these pages.

Published

motorcycle One of the best fun bikes ever

The gigs were incredible. From wringing a brand new Yamaha V-Max’s neck on a closed drag strip to riding Adventure bikes to the top end of Australia.

I covered numerous Burt Munro Challenge events in Invercargill and did a dozen laps of the South Island on a variety of exotic touring machines.

I also had articles and features published in the Triumph RAT Magazine and later on in Harley’s HOG Magazine.

My own fleet of bikes had grown to include the T’bird, the well hotted up Trophy 1200 (with a Daytona Motor) and a Buell XB12X.

I rode a lot. I mean A LOT. All roads, all weathers, and I’m sure there are better gigs in motorcycle-dom, but I suspect there are not many than a lead writer for a bike mag in New Zealand.

Home Time

motorcycle Heavy Duty Magazine . 2009 -

After 11 years in NZ (we were originally only going for 18 months) the Co-pilot got a job offer in Brisbane that called us (well, her) home and closer to family.

And that was another marker in the journey. I had a new magazine gig before we landed back in the Sunshine state.

I’d met the fabulous Mr Neale Brumby (RIP), the former Editor and Publisher of Heavy Duty Magazine at a few press launches. We'd been billeted together on occasion - and we just 'clicked'.

I had supplied a few South Island touring piecs to the mag while based in NZ, but when I told 'Brum' we were moving home his only comment was, “Good - you can work for Heavy Duty now.”

So it was I started regularly reviewing and photographing a wide variety of American Motorcycles for that famous publication.

I’m still a Stringer, but careful not to call myself a journalist. That’s a university qualification that I don’t own.

I call myself a features writer and photographer – and am credited as News Editor too – but really I’m a motorcycle enthusiast with pretty good experience - hundreds of bikes, hundreds of events and a million K’s worth of saddle time I reckon.

The new Publisher of Heavy Duty, Mr Mick Withers, has also become a good pal.

So … now?

I'm fortunate that I get to tell a lot of people’s stories about their bikes in their own words as well as photographing them.

I cover events, rides and still test new bikes. As News Editor I have ongoing access to Factory Press bikes and Dealer Demonstrators.

For testing new bikes my angle/mantra has always been, “If I was interested in buying this bike, what would I like to know about it.”

I plan for that to continue.

Thanks for reading. See ya's on the road.

Dave.
Brisbane, Qld
2022