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Tim O'Brien | Jan 12, 2009

Have you noticed friends, how ‘economic experts’ proliferate in inverse proportion to their usefulness?

These days, you can barely open a cupboard without finding one of the little buggers in there waiting to give you a run-down on how crap everything has become, how crap the year gone has been, how crap the next is going to be and how totally crap-filled is your own “immediate fiscal outlook”.

Turn on the TV and radio? My god they’re awash with these experts.

Now I’d personally prefer to conduct brain surgery on the cat than listen to these dopes, but some people do (listen to them that is).

There’s our problem friends: that’s what’s encouraging them.

But go back six months or so: remember how clever they were? Back then, they had all sorts of advice on how you could make a billion dollars while you were asleep on the couch. Heck, if you couldn’t make another billion while you were grappling with a six-pack, a quiet Bundy and a spot of pool with the lads, you weren’t really trying.

It was all pretty simple.

You just had to line up a stash of someone else’s money, buy a gross or two of shares, fill up a large-ish sack of CDOs and equities, knock together a little property portfolio and, Bob’s your uncle, you could in short order buy an island off Majorca, ride around it on a Bimota or MV Agusta (when the Ferrari was in for a service) and shag at least one, if not two, supermodels on the off-nights when you weren’t planning a major company take-over. (That’s the essential gist of it.)

cows-coming-home

We were all going to be “maximizing the opportunities” and “locking in the gains” and “shagging ourselves to a standstill” (maybe not those exact words) till the cows came home.

Things were looking truly deeply random friends and it was a wonderful world.

nerdExcept they were all wrong; the whole global fiscal shebang was bopping along in one big long conga line into the poo. But how many of the ‘experts’ were onto it? Can’t think of one.

And what’s the point of having experts who are all wrong, all the time? Bit of an oxymoron there wouldn’t you think?

Frankly friends, the world would have been better off if we had passed the global corporate and financial reins in through the door of the looney bin. On the sheer probability of hit-and-miss, the inmates there would have been right at least some of the time.

falling_dollarSeems to The Dirk that there’s not a bank or stockbroking house anywhere without serious skid-marks on the walls, serious smells emerging from the ‘Credibility Department’ and a bunch of decaying corpses hanging out of the drawers where the balance sheets used to be. (Too much white stuff up too many noses, one assumes.)

So, this being ‘another year’, I feel it’s time to issue a blanket warning about this particular breed of gormless idiot: the economic expert. Stop listening to the pricks. They were wrong in 2008, they will be wrong in 2009.

And, for crying out loud, don’t buy into all this gloom crap. Remember it’s the same idiots shovelling the shyte on this, who were shovelling a different line in shyte six or so months ago.

That’s all from The Dirk on this matter friends. Find a few corners, get the knee down and have a bumper year.

Oh yeah… nearly forgot… here are some tasty highlights from the Harley 2009 model range. Think of it as a community service to lift the gloom.

So, try this gloom-buster for size: the 2009 CVO Dyna Fat Bob.

cvo_fat_bob_profile

A limited edition model hogsters and we’re not sure how many will make it down here. With neat new styling, new pipes and suspension tweaks, and only 2450 slated for production from H-D’s Kansas facility, you’ll need to collar this one quickly if you want to add it to your personal ‘piggery’.

2009 CVO Dyna Fat Bob key specs:

  • Engine: air-cooled, Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110
  • Capacity: 1800cc
  • Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
  • Bore x Stroke: 101.6 mm x 111.3 mm
  • Torque: 134 Nm @ 4000 rpm
  • Compression Ratio: 9.15:1
  • Fuel Tank: 18.9 litres
  • Consumption: 4.44 l/100km (hwy) / 6.53 l/100km (city cycle)
  • Colour Options: Sunrise Yellow Pearl with Platinum Quartz; Black Diamond with Fire Quartz; Denim Granite with Electric Blue Fade

There’s also the 2009 V-Rod Muscle.

2009-harley-davidson-v-rod-muscle

Spent a bit of time recently poring over one of these: one edgy-looking machine friends - the V-Rod Muscle (and its stable-mate, the Night Rod Special). All V-Rods now come with ABS as standard.

With five-spoke lightweight alloys, forward foot controls, ‘hunkered-down’ lines and huge side pipe, think of the 2009 V-Rod Muscle as a V-Rod that has swallowed a bucket of steroids. Tough as.

2009 V-Rod Muscle key specs:

  • Engine: Liquid-cooled, 60° V-Twin
  • Capacity: 1246cc
  • Fuel System: Fuel Injection
  • Bore x Stroke: 105.0 x 72.0 mm
  • Torque: 115 Nm @ 6500 RPM
  • Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
  • Fuel Tank: 18.9 litres
  • Consumption: 5.6 hwy / 6.9 (city cycle)
  • Colour Options: Vivid Black; Dark Blue Denim; Red Hot Sunglo (New); Brilliant Silver (New)

If the Marlon Brando ‘Wild One’ look is more your thing, the 2009 Harley-Davidson 1200 Nightster is worth a serious eyeball – with ‘old-school’ fork gaiters, chopped rear guard and two-tone paint, there’s more than a nod to ‘60s street style in its stripped down lines.

09_xl1200n_r

To these eyes it is one of the more nicely-balanced machines among the current H-D stable (but as some correspondents to this column have pointed out, The Dirk’s sense of style is completely up his arse).

2009 1200 Nightster key specs:

  • Engine: air-cooled Evolution V-Twin
  • Capacity: 1200cc
  • Fuel System: Fuel Injection
  • Bore x Stroke: 88.9mm x 96.8mm
  • Torque: 100 Nm @ 3250 RPM
  • Compression Ratio: 10:1
  • Fuel Tank: 12.5 litres
  • Consumption: 4.13 hwy / 5.6 (city cycle)
  • Colour Options: Vivid Black; Two-Tone Brilliant Silver Denim/Black Denim; Two-Tone Mirage Orange Pearl/Vivid Black

Lastly, for now, the 2009 Sportster XR 1200. You won’t find one of these in the States, the XR 1200 is made for the naked-bike markets of the UK, Europe and – yes – Oz.

harleyxr1200

With wide track-style bars, performance cams, lightweight cast wheels, hollow cast aluminium swingarm, upswept straight shot exhaust and styling inspired by the XR 750 flat tracker (except it’s got brakes), the XR 1200 may be a sign of H-D seeking to broaden its buyer demographic.

Not that it needs to friends, Harley Davidson had a record year in Australia last year, selling more bikes here than ever before in its history.

2009 Sportster XR 1200, key specs:

  • Engine: air-cooled Evolution V-Twin
  • Capacity: 1202cc
  • Fuel System: Fuel Injection
  • Bore x Stroke: 88.9mm x 96.8mm
  • Torque: 100 Nm @ 3250 RPM
  • Compression Ratio: 10:1
  • Fuel Tank: 13.25 litres
  • Consumption: 3.99 hwy / 6.36 (city cycle)
  • Colour Options: Vivid Black; Pewter Denim; Mirage Orange Pearl

And absolutely lastly, and yet more reason to peer through the gloom that’s got everyone running around clutching their nuts, all 2009 Harley-Davidsons come with two-years roadside assistance.

Might be time to spend a lazy Saturday morning picking through the hog-shop friends. You are aware of course of the well-known fact that purchasing a motorcycle is a proven antidote to a crap-filled personal fiscal outlook. Life is better with another bike; ‘nuff said.

Of course, the gorgeous Dolores doesn’t seem to agree on that latter point. Keeps going to the knife drawer whenever it crops up in the conversation.

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