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KTM Adventure 1190 Build

Late last year after a motorcycle tour to Vietnam I decided to take get into more adventure style motorbike riding. For some years I had a road bike and a dirt bike and with work and other commitments didn’t really get the time to ride either as much as I would have liked. I decided that I would look for a bike that would would allow me to do both and without compromise. After doing much research on the internet and riding several bikes I settled on the 2014 KTM Adventure 1190 EDS. All I can say is what a bike, no wonder it has been described as the best all around motorcycle in the world.

This video gives you some idea of the technology that the bike has.

On road the bike is amazing and to give you an idea of the performance the bike does 0 – 100 km/h in 2.7 seconds andthe quarter mile in 10.6 seconds. This video will give you some idea of the performance on road.

I was somewhat sceptical of the off road abilities and have only done some fire trails at this stage and even on the Trail Attack II tyres which are more road orientated the bike handled above my expectations. To give you an idea of the off-road capabilities while this is the R version it gives you some idea. I will be fitting Continental TKC 70 tyres shortly.


Taking Delivery

KTM were running a special when I purchased the bike and I received a touring screen, heated grips, touring panniers and crash bars at no extra cost.

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Before the bike even left the dealer it had its first modification in the form of a Uni-Filter Performance filter kit to give me the necessary protection in the dirt.

The build begins…..

Protection

R&G Racing Bar End Sliders for the road

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R&G Racing Fork Protectors

R&G Racing Frame Plugs – I still need to put the cover on

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Touratech Brake Fluid Reservoir cover

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Stoneguard Paint Protection

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Radiator Guard by Rad Guard

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B&B Off Road Bash Plate – painted black

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Navigation

Quick-Lock GPS Mount by SW-Motech

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Waterproof and shockproof iPhone 6 case by SW-Motech

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Strike Genius BT GPS with Hema Maps

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R&G Racing Easy Grip Tank Traction Pads

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Barkbusters VPS Handguards

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AGV AX8 Dual Evo Helmet

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Performance

Wings Short Titanium Exhaust with carbon fiber heat shield – in addition to adding a great note one of the main reasons for the exhaust was a 4 kg weight saving.

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Comfort

Wings Carbon Fiber heat shields – one of the know issues with the KTM Adventure 1190 is the heat that flows up onto your legs and these were the fix.

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Off Road 

Touratech Mudguard riser raises the height of the front guard for better clearance in mud.

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Side Stand Base by SW-Motech

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Continental TKC 70 Tyres

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Touring

SMH-10R Low Profile Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset & Intercom

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KTM Tinted Tall Screen

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Rear Rack from SW-Motech

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Rotopax Fuel and Water Cells

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THE BEST OF THE BEST IN NSW AUCTIONEERING

Estate Agents Co-operative and Real Estate Institute of Australia have once again hosted the NSW heats of the Australasian Auctioneering Championships. 10 of the top auctioneers in the state fought it out for a place in the National Championships.

The competitors in this year’s heats included:

Andrew Cooley – Cooley Auctions
Briannan Crawford – Cooley Auctions
Clarence White – McGrath Estate Agents
Damien Cooley – Cooley Auctions
Edward Riley – McGrath Estate Agents
Gavin Croft – Bresic Whitney Estate Agents
Joshua Larsen – McGrath Estate Agents
Leon Axford – Axford Auctions
Lucas Cannan – Think Real Estate
Will Hampson – My Auctioneer

The winner in this year’s final was EDWARD RILEY of McGrath Estate Agents (pictured) with the runner up DAMIEN COOLEY of Cooley Auctions.

Edward and Damien will now go onto the National Championships in the hope of securing a place at the Australasian Championship in Melbourne 1 – 3 September 2015.

“Both Edward and Damien I’m sure will do NSW proud at the National Championships,” said Dale Whittaker, Chairman of EAC. “The absolute best in NSW auctioneering came to compete today, so Edward and Damien should be very proud and I look forward to watching them compete in Melbourne.”

“I would like to thank all the competitors for their entry into this year’s competition, I wish you all the best and I think that it is great to see the number of high quality entrants in this year’s heats,” said Neville Sanders, President of REIA.

EAC and REIA would also like to thank the major sponsor of the NSW heats, AON. AON is a sponsor of the REIA and was recently announced as the Insurance Partner for Estate Agents Co-operative.

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New South Wales top auctioneers are now set to find out who will be the top auctioneer in 2015

Entry to the New South Wales Heats of the Australasian Real Estate Institutes’ Auctioneering Championships has now closed.

This year sees Gavin Croft who took out the NSW competition for last two years  as well as the runner-up from the 2014 Clarence White back to try to take out the title for the chance to join the other winners from around Australia & New Zealand at the finals which are being held in Melbourne on the 1-3 September 2015.

Gavin Croft from Bresic Whitney Estate Agents  said “Both the NSW heats and the Australasian Championships are always fiercely contested. By the quality of this year’s entrants, it appears 2015 will be no different.”

The entrants in this year’s heats include:

Alex Pattaro – LJ Hooker

Andrew Cooley – Cooley Auctions

Ben Horwood – LJ Hooker

Briannan Crawford – Cooley Auctions

Clarence White – McGrath Estate Agents

Damien Cooley – Cooley Auctions

Edward Riley – McGrath Estate Agents

Gavin Croft – Bresic Whitney Estate Agents

Joshua Larsen – McGrath Estate Agents

Leon Axford – Axford Auctions

Lucas Cannan-  Think Real Estate

Will Hampson – My Auctioneer  Sydney

The CEO of REIA, Amanda Lynch, said: “NSW has a strong and proud history of auctioneering reflected in the record weekend auction clearance rates. One of the finalists could very well be the auctioneer who snatches the Australasian trophy from New Zealand this September as Scott Kennedy-Green did for NSW in 2006.”

Personally I would like to thank all the competitors for their entry into this years competition, I wish you all best and I think that it is great to see the number of high quality entrants in this year’s heats.  It would be good to see a New South Wales Auctioneer make the finals or even better take out the title at the Championships in Melbourne this later year.

We would also like to announce a new major sponsor for the New South Wales heats this year AON. AON is a sponsor of the REIA and was recently announced as the Insurance Partner for Estate Agents Co-operative.

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2015 NSW Awards for Excellence Date Announced

Estate Agents Co-operative Ltd (EAC) and the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) is pleased to announce the New South Wales Awards for Excellence recognising the real estate industry’s top performers from the NSW Affiliate Council Members of the REIA.

The 2015 awards will be held on 27th of October 2015 in Sydney.

The awards are a brilliant way to recognise the professional efforts of agents and property managers.  The awards allow award winners from NSW to also be recognised and compete at the National Awards.

Details on entry to the awards will be released in the coming weeks.

NSW Fair Trading to release data on consumer complaints

Last year NSW Fair Trading received over 40,000 complaints about traders across various industries including retail, motor vehicles, telecommunications, travel and real estate.

Consumers in NSW will soon be able to make more informed choices with Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello today outlining plans to establish a consumer complaints register using data held by NSW Fair Trading.

“This data is currently under lock and key within the bureaucracy and we want to change that by amending the Fair Trading Act 1987 to give the agency the power to publish its complaints data for the first time,” Mr Dominello said.

“Consumers should have the right to know which traders have high numbers of complaints against them so they can take this into account when purchasing goods and services. We want to create a fairer and more competitive marketplace through open data.”

The proposed register would provide information regarding the number of complaints received about individual traders and is expected to act as an incentive for businesses to improve the way they deal with consumer issues and I believe that this is a good idea.

Open data is a key feature of the NSW Government’s ICT Strategy which encourages public sector agencies, where appropriate, to make high-value datasets available to industry and the community. Later this year this will include the Property Sales Information provide to many third parties including Estate Agents Co-operative.

The proposed register would provide information regarding the number of complaints received about individual traders and is expected to act as an incentive for businesses to improve the way they deal with consumer issues.

The Minister will establish a stakeholder roundtable to consider what form the complaints register will take, how regularly it will be published and how the information can be best utilised by consumers, traders and the media.

CHOICE, the Australian Retailers Association and the Business Council of Australia are among the industry groups which will be invited to participate in the roundtable.

Mr Dominello said a Bill would be introduced in the new Parliament which would create a statutory power for NSW Fair Trading to publish its complaints information.

 

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Loose-fill asbestos insulation in residential properties guide released for NSW

In January EAC met with NSW Fair Trading and Workcover to discuss the ongoing issue of Loose-Fill Insulation containing Asbestos.

At this meeting a discussion took place regarding the need to clearly outline to agents, property managers and consumers the steps that they need to take regarding Loose-Fill Insulation containing Asbestos in properties.  EAC has worked in conjunction with WorkCover in the development of a factsheet regarding Loose-Fill Insulation containing Asbestos.

“Agents and Property Managers cannot be expected to make a qualified assessment of whether asbestos is present in a property,” said Geoff Hunter, EAC Industry Liaison Officer.  “That is why this factsheet is so important, to give them clear steps and guidelines on how to deal with Loose-Fill Insulation containing Asbestos, and to make clear their obligation to properly inform property owners of their associated obligations.”

There are a number of obligations imposed on real estate agents by law in relation to Asbestos located in the properties agents are engaged to sell, lease or manage.

These obligations include:

  • a duty of care to the client and workers engaged to carry out work on the property.
  • a commitment to act honestly, fairly and professionally.
  • a responsibility to disclose certain matters to prospective buyers and tenants.

It is reasonable to assume that properties constructed before 1980 may contain Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation.

The problem confronting all agents and property managers is that the presence of Loose-Fill Insulation containing Asbestos is a “Material Fact.”  Therefore, the factsheet outlines the steps that principles, agents and property managers should take in relation to properties they lease and/or manage, or are engaged to sell.

“The protection and representation of NSW agents and property managers is of the utmost importance to EAC, That is why it is so important that we have worked with NSW Government departments on this issue and will continue to do so at every turn.

This factsheet is now complete and ready to be viewed here.

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Should First Home Buyers be able to access their Superannuation to assist in the purchase of a home?

Joe Hockey recently announced that the Government is considering providing first home buyers access to their superannuation to assist them in the purchase of their first home.

When considering whether it would be advantageous to provide these buyers with access to their superannuation, along with what the government is attempting to achieve, you need to take into account several considerations.

The first of these is the current market conditions. The market conditions that we are currently experiencing in Sydney (and in parts of Melbourne) are not indicative of what the property market is like in other parts of New South Wales or other capital cities for that fact.

You need to consider what percentage of the population will be assisted by this policy if implemented? When it comes to first home buyers it is still not known what actual percentage of home purchasers in recent times have been first home buyers. I have read figures that state as low as 14% of purchasers in the market are first home buyers  I wrote about this issue in First Home Buyer Figures Understated.

Then there is the superannuation, it is estimated that an average person at 30 years of age has about $15,000 in their superannuation.

Interest rates also need to be mentioned as well. While the low interest rates are good for those first home buyers that are coming into the market they are not necessarily helping those that are saving for a deposit as the rates being offered by the banks on deposits is at an all-time low.

In addition to the above there is already a First Home Owner Grant scheme in New South Wales which currently provides a grant of $15,000 but only applies to eligible first home owners who purchase a new home or build their home.

Last week I was interviewed by Australian Broker TV on the topic and I have to say that in the process of trying to form an opinion, I discovered what an absolute mine field this topic is.

So what are some of the disadvantages and advantages of the proposal?

Advantages

  • The main advantage is that first home buyers would have access to funds that they would not otherwise have access to for a deposit. In the Sydney housing market where prices are significantly higher than other areas of the state this could assist greatly.
  • Owning your own home is an asset and many believe that it should form part of a retirement plan in any case. The advantage of home ownership come retirement is that you do not have to worry about having to find the money to pay rent along with having enough income to fund your day to day living expenses.

Disadvantages

  • Once the funds have been withdrawn from their superannuation they won’t be available come retirement adding pressure to retirement savings.
  • There is an argument by some that it will bring more buyers into an already heated market and that this will drive up property prices even further.
  • If the superannuation is used to buy a house in the wrong area they could in fact go backwards financially.
  • The proposal somewhat goes against the goal of assisting people saving and funding their own retirement through initiatives such as the Superannuation Guarantee contributions

Having considered the advantages and disadvantages I have to say that there are counter arguments for each and while the government has announced they are thinking about the initiative there is not much detail available at this stage.

Here is some more food for thought

  • Similar schemes are available in Canada, New Zealand and Singapore. In Canada for example the amount withdrawn from superannuation has to be paid back in a certain time period. This obviously minimises the effect on the available superannuation come retirement.
  • What happens with the funds that are withdrawn from superannuation when they sell the home and purchase another, or what about the case when they don’t purchase another home?
  • What will happen when they actually retire how will the funds they withdrew be treated?
  • What happens should interest rates go up and they cannot meet their mortgage repayments, or they lose their job and they subsequently default on the mortgage. In this case they have lost their home and the superannuation that went into the purchase of that home.
  • Just like house prices and capital growth, the performance of your superannuation is not guaranteed and who is to say what amount you are going to end up with come retirement. If the market goes down you could in fact lose more that the amount that was pulled out to purchase the home.
  • What impact would there be on pension costs and the pension available to those that took advantage of the scheme if it was introduced.  (if in fact there is still a pension scheme available for those younger first home buyers by the time they retire)
  • There are sceptics that believe that the Government is trying to be seen to address an issue in an attempt to gain votes, in this case from the younger generation who are not indicative of the normal Liberal voter.

The proposal somewhat fails to address the underlying issue of the current market conditions that have made it harder for first home buyers to enter the market. That issue takes you off into a whole other minefield where you would need to look at the issue of housing affordability, negative gearing and supply and initiatives such as new land releases, higher density housing.

So in summary while I think the idea has merit, I think significant thought needs to go into the detail on how the proposal would operate and what protections are put in place.

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NSW Government vows to crackdown on under quoting – Politics at it’s best!

I am sure that many of you like myself saw the reports in the media on the weekend with the NSW Premier Mike Baird and the Minister for Fair Trading Matthew Mason Cox vowing to crack down on agents that under quote if re-elected at the NSW election being held on 28 March 2015. This was also confirmed in this article on the Liberal Party website.

If we look at the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 (the Act) in this regard:
Section 72 of the Act prohibits an agent from making false representations with respect to the agent’s true estimate of the selling price of a property to either a seller or prospective seller of residential property.

Section 73 of the Act prohibits an agent, by any statement made in the course of marketing a property pursuant to an agency agreement for the sale of a residential property, falsely understating the estimated selling price of the property.

Section 75 of the Act extends the provisions of sections 72 and 73 to ‘estimated price range’ in the same way as it applies to ‘estimated price’.

The maximum penalty for a breach of the provisions is $22,000. It is interesting to note that there have been no fines issued or prosecution of agents for this practice in recent years.

EAC has been in discussions with Fair Trading Officers with regard to, what appears to be, an increase in the incidence of “under quoting” by some agents and the impact of significant price escalation driven by unprecedented consumer demand. This market activity and selling price increases has made the task of estimating future selling prices extremely difficult.

The comments made by both the Premier and the Minister fail to recognise the existing legislative requirements and the impact on consumer expectations of the agents if properly enforced. The greater majority of agents understand their responsibilities. For the few that don’t the law is already in place.

With the election looming I believe that the attack on estate agents was a “knee jerk” reaction and was purely for political gain (read votes) and not in the best interests of consumers or agents. The reality is that many well researched and well prepared estimates of selling prices by agents are often overtaken by buyer competition and market forces, factors outside the agents control and not readily predicted.

EAC enjoys a healthy working relationship with NSW Fair Trading and will continue to work with them to ensure that the interests of the industry and consumers are protected.

EAC Chairman Dale Whittaker is also disappointed with the approach that the government took on the weekend and he believes that the approach that NSW Fair Trading should be taking is to raise the entry level standards for the industry and through quality ongoing training.