He's back baby! And he is loving life on two wheels more than ever. Always with some great advice and words to keep our feet planted firmly on the ground, join us in welcoming Bernie Hatton to BikeReview with his new column...

After a long spell, and finally some silence (for us lot), Bernie Hatton is back! Our fave contributor from the Rapid Bikes days has opened the laptop and will be writing regular columns, but not on rider training like the old days. Hatto’s new column is about anything!

Bernie was one of our Lead Test Riders for well over a decade, specialising in the racetrack testing…

G’day everyone, it’s great to be back!
I’m Bernie Hatton and I have been in the motorcycle industry for over 40-years, as a retailer, a rider trainer, business owner, racer, test rider and you name it! After selling my motorcycle business, I had earned a break and retirement seemed a good place to start, the pursuit of my need for space and much needed physical, mental, and emotional recovery. Nothing like new surroundings. New challenges to expel the built-up frustrations. I started spinning pedals on a pushbike instead of spinning rubber and the mindless thoughts of frustration I had built up in my system began to go away.

“When you’re living life flat-out you tend to miss most of the good stuff and take everything surrounding you for granted”…

A pushbike allows the opportunity to push hard, cruise, listen to music, nature and immerse yourself into the simplicity of life. Feel the sun, wind, breeze… Time to slow down and take in what life really has to offer you, the simple, beautiful moments available to all of us if we allow it, however, when you’re living life flat-out you tend to miss most of the good stuff and take everything surrounding you for granted. These days I am out of bed at 4.30am, cycling, enjoying nature, a sunrise, riding with a mate, mates, chasing a Strava pb, savouring it all over a coffee. If not then I am probably grabbing some much needed sleep, recovery and dreaming of my next two-wheeled adventure.

I love the pace of the pushbike; however, it did not take long for me to realise two points. First that I deeply love crazy corner speeds and secondly the thrill of riding on pizza cutters in technical downhills feeds my addiction for speed. At least I can legally fly down the Gilles, the coppers leave me alone, the crazy thing is I am quicker than most down and probably taking more risks in doing so.

Donate to Hatto’s Sh&tbox Rally for cancer here

The experience reminds me of racing my brother and mates on three-wheel scooters down the huge hill from the top of Newport plateau, the road used was the incredibly steep Grand View Drive, located on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. That was until Uncle Tony organised our Yamaha pushbikes to replace the Dinkies.

My passion for two wheels has been reignited tenfold recently, the physical, mental fitness and resilience developed on the pushbike has shaped me personally and made a stark difference on the motorcycle. Recently I was lucky enough to pull on my race leathers and have a burn with the NSW Supermoto & Mini Moto Club, who organised a motorcycle, a race entry and told me I was to do nothing but have fun!

It was so cool to feel the change in my body, my breathing and heart rate rising, it is worth noting at this point I had only just put my leathers on lol, I had not even sat on the motorcycle. Once on the motorcycle, I was extremely uncomfortable, rusty, to be honest. I did not like it and the bike did not like me, the motorcycle and I felt so tense so nervous, I persevered with a little resilience and established a little rhythm between the motorcycle and myself.

I got to play on the motorcycle like a little boy, the laughs, the giggles, the sneaky little sledges with the other riders left me feeling like a kid. I was back! Riding, racing, and enjoying others on a motorcycle. I won a couple of races, received applause and accolades, had a few beers and a pizza with may mate and retired to bed and at age 62 I believe the day will go down as an incredibly beautiful moment of my life. I realise just how much the ride had meant had to me, how much my cycling had contributed to the day’s success, those feelings I experienced on the day have aroused me as I write!

I am lucky to have a family of two wheeling friends that care for and love me, I am deeply grateful for my life on two wheels and what I have taken and given for it. Motorcycling is about the pursuit of excellence! Knowing how to extract everything from yourself is as important as using the physics of your motorcycle to its full potential, there is a fine line between success and failure on a motorcycle, a balance if you wish.

I know the pursuit of excellence is vital for a motorcyclist, the belief can and will make me a better rider, I also know that the pursuit of excellence will make me a better human. I love that I still get that strong feeling of stimulation when I simply am putting on my leathers. I love that I can educate, coach, mentor, share my love and interest in with the motorcycling community through BikeReview and motorcycle clubs like the NSW Supermoto & Mini Moto Club.

I love and am incredibly excited about my motorcycle adventure in Vietnam, the opportunity to explore its beauty, the culture, taste amazing food, meet the real people on a motorcycle. I love that I will ride with mates on motorbikes and pushbikes through a beautiful country sharing moments over a coffee and beers, share laughs and giggles, great food and make memories that are mine.

I love and cannot wait to coach our juniors this year and I wonder who will be our next Anthony, Tristian, Brock, Jamie, Mark, who are our next Wayne’s with the next generation? I love the opportunities presented to me for training and development work with new motorcycle mechanic apprentices, I wonder if they will get to work with one of our new Wayne’s.

I love the thought, however, I am incredibly anxious about the opportunity to test my resilience, when I attempt to ride from Perth to Sydney on a pushbike unassisted in March 2025. I love the motivation a motorcycle and pushbike gives me and that we get to share our pursuits of excellence and desire to be better tomorrow. How about sharing yours?
See you on two wheels, Bernie.

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