Motorcycle Trader magazine might have closed but that hasn’t stopped its lovable, larrikin journalists from carrying on as an enthusiast group of ‘airhead’ owners and writing about their beloved old BMWs in one convenient place: ParisDakarMelbourne.
More than 10 examples of BMW’s iconic air-cooled, boxer-powered motorcycles reside in the sheds of Grant Roff, aka Spannerman, Guy ‘Guido’ Allen, John Rooth, Rob Blackbourn, Ian Falloon and Chris Harris. That’s a lot of knowledge and nonsense, and you can read all about it on Paris Dakar Melbourne.
The enthusiast blog is the passion project of former Motorcycle Trader editor Chris Harris who started the website and popular social media channels as a place to document progress reports of his unicorn bike, a 1986 BMW R80 G/S Paris Dakar.
Since the closure of Motorcycle Trader mag and COVID-19 lockdown, however, ‘Charris’ has gone up a gear. He’s done this by broadening the editorial scope and pool of writers and turning Paris Dakar Melbourne into an informative and entertaining place for all things early BMW, G/Ss and classic adventure bikes while including reviews, ramblings and special-interest features.
“Paris Dakar Melbourne started out as a personal blog, but I’m not the only airhead enthusiast to have written for Motorcycle Trader. So why not put all our passion in one pot?” Chris says.
Bikes in that pot include R65s, R75s, R80s and R100s in RS, LT and GS guises and in various mechanical condition. As the Paris Dakar Melbourne name suggests, however, one bike will be leading the charge.
“The original adventure bike – the BMW R80 G/S – turns 40 this year, and it now commands global collector status. The original R80 G/S Paris Dakar is my forever bike and the family heirloom. So when it comes to maintenance, no expense is spared and no shortcuts are taken. But my way isn’t the only way.
“Now is the time to expand on the bikes, the writers and the mindsets of Paris Dakar Melbourne. For us by us.”