Footdown

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 November, 2008, 12:00am

Bike show victory for Vectrix

The Hong Kong Police's Vectrix electric bike was the star of last Sunday's packed Motorcycle Show 2008, say the event's organisers. The little plug-in ride the Post tested in May and which Footdown featured last week is undergoing the force's road trials and was named Bike of Show at the event's concours.

'The judges sought to applaud the police for seriously looking at these environmentally friendly, alternative modes of transport,' says Ian Foster of organiser Auto Cycle Museum. 'The selection for this award was not an easy decision. It was based on the bike's innovative technologies, its benefit to the Hong Kong public and how the bike attracted so much attention from both young and old show attendees.' The concours other award winners were: Best Classic Bike: 1972 Ducati 750 Sport, owned by Ah Kwong of Tai Po Bike Shop. Best Harley Davidson: joint winners were an HD Heritage with a sidecar owned by Lam Shing and a 1979 HD Shovelhead, owned by Ray Cheng. Best USA Custom: a Red Devil bike owned by Ken Chan of Slow King Custom. Best Japanese Custom: Yamaha Dragster 1100cc Custom owned by Kenneth Lui of Cruisers HK Club. Best Japanese Sports Bike: Yamaha R6 owned by Gary Lam. Best Sports Bike from Outside Japan: 2007 Triumph 675 Daytona race bike owned by Jimbo Dawson of Kwik Tigi at Zhuhai International Circuit. Best Off-road Bike: GasGas 300cc owned by Leung Chun-kin of the Hong Kong Trials Club. Best Modified Bike: 1999 KTM660SMC in a RGV250SP frame, built by Simon Vallance in Sai Kung. Best European Scooter: immaculately restored 1959 Vespa GS150 owned by Kai Lui. Best Japanese Scooter: Suzuki AN400 owned by 'Coke'.

There was also a Special Award for Best Biker Girlies, won by the TW Fans' Club.

'They were all stunning beauties,' organisers say. Indeed. The 'biker bird' count was higher this year, and the Honda girls on some scooter or other seemed adept in drawing photographers who appeared to take a long time on close-ups.

There were more models on bright arrays of custom bikes (above and far left) and even three on a BMW. The bikes were also beautiful, however, particularly the Ducati Desmosedici RR and custom scooters (left). There were also new Yamahas, Kawasakis, KTMs, BMWs and Harley-Davidsons but we were none the wiser of their latest stock. The dealers could have sent us a list of their bikes - as the police did - before this otherwise well-organised event. But they didn't, and that's bad news for recession-hit marques in Milwaukee, Tokyo and Munich.

Land Rover goes for birthday record

Land Rover Hong Kong celebrated the marque's 60th anniversary on October 29 with a 60-car Charity City Parade that it hopes will be a world record, says spokeswoman Maggie Wong. It was a pity that the run (above) between the Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club and the Repulse Bay Hotel was held on a weekday, but we hear local Landie fans had a fine trip in aid of the Hong Kong Red Cross.

Star of the charity cavalcade was a newly arrived Defender SVX 60th Anniversary Edition, Wong says. The marque has already donated 60 vehicles to the British Red Cross and sister organisations worldwide.

Other Landies on the run (right)included a Series III, Defender 90 50th Anniversary and a Defender 110. They were joined by a Range Rover 4.6L, Range Rover Classic, Discovery II, petrol and diesel versions of the Discovery 3, a Freelander 2, Freelander 1 and the current Range Rover, Wong says.

'Land Rover owners and families were very enthusiastic about this memorable event,' she says, adding that the organisers are applying for a Guinness world record for the biggest parade of Landies.

'For previous Land Rover Experience trips to China and Thailand, we got 20 to 30 cars, but we measure those trips in terms of distance and difficulty,' Wong says. 'This time [we] and Land Rover brought together the largest number of Land Rovers in the SAR.' Are you a Landie lover? Tell us about your beloved off-roader on cars@scmp.com. Campaign reminds us to belt up or die Britain's Department of Transport has long used shocking images to promote the use of seat belts. Armed with new statistics that show one life could be saved each day if all drivers and passengers belted up every time they got in a car, the department's latest Think! campaign on TV this week shows images of the fatal damage caused to beltless motorists' internal organs in three crashes.

'The campaign comes after research showed that while very few people never wear a seat belt, many drivers and passengers are gambling with their lives by not belting up every time they get in a car,' the department says. 'They are risking death or serious injury, even at everyday speeds like 30mph [50km/h].'

Quite so, and we bet a few medics will also nod knowingly at such findings. But critics here might wonder why local officials don't use similarly gory tactics to drive safety messages home.

A retired policeman told us shock messages could work in Hong Kong and showed us the pictures of bloody heads he used to remind his officers to wear full-face helmets.

You can see the new ad on www.dft.gov.uk, but its script goes beyond the 'clunk-click' school of gentle messaging:

'Richard didn't want to die. But he couldn't stop himself. The collision with the car didn't kill him.

'But he wasn't wearing a seatbelt, so he continued on his journey. When he hit the inside of the car, that didn't kill him either.

'But his internal organs carried on travelling. Until they hit his ribcage. And his lungs were punctured. And his heart was torn. And that's what killed Richard.

'What's stopping you?

'Think! Always wear a seat belt.'