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is almost immeasurable. The fact that these Pro guys decided that riding with and against other guys and girls who admire them, who aspire to be like them and who are their harshest critics at times shows that not only are they smart and calculated, but they know where they came from and they know that just one kind word or gesture could elevate a star of tomorrow with having realised it.

Seeing their heroes suck-it-up and put it on the line in the mud at Wollongong meant that only a handful of riders pulled out of the event and they too would try to follow in their footsteps. In return, that did more than just salvage an event, it kicked-off exciting series.

Every single rider put on a display worthy of a trophy and it would be doubtful, despite the conditions, that anyone, fan or rider, walked away disappointed.

Round one of the 2010 The Helmet Warehouse NSW Motocross Championships, powered by High Roller Energy was the culmination of a lot of hard work of those behind the scenes, but more importantly, it was the hard work, the mental toughness, the respect and the support of those behind the 'bars that made the event what it was The beginning of a new-era in grassroots MX.

Round two of the championship hits Port Macquarie's Hastings Valley Motorcycle Club on June 9. For more information, log onto www.motorcycling.com.au. Stay tuned to Cycletorque for more about the 2010 series.

- Paul Jamieson, MNSW

Opposite page: Jay Marmont leads eventual Pro Open winner Lawson Bopping.

Above, top: No matter hard or trying it gets, you can't beat atmosphere.

Above: It was just one of those weekends.

Left: Pro Lites winner Michael Addison battles the mud.

Photos Jamieson & Jamie McKay

CYCLE TORQUE TEST - PAGSTA 250 CRUiSA SERIES

RIDING GEAR: KBC helmet, Spyke jacket, Spyke gloves.

RIDING GEAR: KBC helmet, Spyke jacket, Spyke gloves.

Retö® festes and pofes

THE Cruisa Series II is the latest model update released from Australian based company Pagsta. Don't let the modern name fool you though, this bike has the looks and the price tag that go straight back to the eighties.

Pagsta is based in Perth and the company has been around for a few years now, providing decent warranty and back up service for all its bikes.

The bikes are produced in China and offer a low cost alternative for the learner market.

Various designs coming out of China mean there is a whole range of new options if you are into the cruiser style and have to ride a learner approved machine.

on the stand

Pagsta's Series II Cruisa certainly looks the part and the major components of this machine look to be very well finished indeed. After first checking out Chinese produced bikes a few years ago it would be fair to say there have been huge improvements in the quality of finish, especially the engine and exhaust. The wave disc rotors also look great and add a modern touch to the retro feel. The frame and swingarm also look particularly well built.

Looking at some of the parts my initial reaction is to wonder just how long they will last, such as the rear suspension coils and the controls on the handlebars. Only time will tell.

On the road the bike looks very compact with a low seat height (660mm) - so it should be perfect for anyone who needs that confidence of being able to reach the ground. With a rake of 32 degrees it also has that swept back cruiser feel.

The seat is plush and comfortable and there is a rear back rest available for the pillion. The modern touch continues on the dash with a fuel gauge and LED gear indicator either side of the speedo.

Overall this bike has been styled really well and it seems the people at Pagsta have paid a lot of attention to detail while still keeping the price at an affordable level.

ontheroad

My test started in Newcastle and took me along some back roads up the New England Highway. If ever you were going to get a bump test this was it.

To my surprise the Cruisa got the thumbs up - both front and rear suspension soaking up the endless potholes on offer.

It also felt solid on the road - well planted enough to feel secure and with a dry weight of 158kg certainly light enough to change direction easily.

Handlebar position was quite comfortable also and you really felt as though the controls had been laid out well. U-turns were no problem and the bike felt well balanced turning at low speed.

The 250cc air cooled twin performed as good as it looked and accelerated smoothly, providing plenty of power to take on highway speeds. It did feel most comfortable just under 100km/h, and the gearing didn't leave much left after about 110.

A screen is available as an f accessory but I didn't find it I necessary with the kind of speeds this bike will be doing.

There were no problems with the braking - the front and rear discs providing plenty of stopping power at this level.

I will say though that this bike looks compact on the ground - and for my 180cm Simpll frame it feels compact when you ride. If you are a taller person it is a bit cramped in the leg department which might lead to grabbing neutral occasionally when changing from first to second.

Over the course of a longer journey the bike behaved very well. The 16 litre fuel tank gives it plenty of legs and the Classi seat is as comfortable as it looks.

After a few hundred kilometres my only gripes would be the positioning of the foot pegs and the gear change lever - but perhaps that is just because of my height.

The Cruisa retails from

$4795 + ORC and comes with a 12 month warranty.

As well as day to day commuting without problems it will also be up to longer trips on the weekend.

With a price tag under five grand and the overall quality of this bike the Cruisa is really going to appeal to people who might be looking at a Harley somewhere down the track -why not start out on something with a little comfort and style? ■

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