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Email mark@lawstop.com.au
   
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  Coogee NSW 2034
  Australia

 


 

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Find out about Mark, His Career, His love of bikes, cars and the subsequent joy and pain that comes with it all!

THE BEGINNING...

 

I was born in Helsinki, Finland on 13th February 1947 and my parents, my elder brother and I migrated to Australia in 1958 when I was aged 11.

Through enthusiasm from childhood for all things mechanical and drivable including driving of a full size tractor, with a trailer attached at age 10 to lusting for a licence from 15 onwards.

I was keen enough to make sure I was ready and applied for my licence on the first possible day in 1964 that being my 17th birthday at RTA Parramatta.

I turned up with my brother in his VW Beatle (which I had not been allowed to drive), in school uniform and wearing new shoes – piece of cake!

I always drove a lot – up to 50, 000 km per year so I have covered more than two million kilometres since then…

 

THE CARS...

 

My first car was also a Beatle; a second-hand green 1200 followed by an early Nissan Skyline with the triple Webers and a four-speed manual with over drive….

Then began a series of Volvos from a 144S manual, 142 Auto, ex Hong Kong 144S (a lemon in lemon colour), a company car 244 Manual and the last one a brand new company car 1984 760 Turbo (4 speed manual with electric over-drive).

I just got sick of them and as I always wanted a performance/sports car and bought a mint 1982 Porsche 928S in 1993 only to be sold six years later when passion with motor cycles had taken over! I knew it had to go when it mostly had a flat battery when I wanted to drive it!

Sold that and Sandra & I bought a Subaru MY99 WRX which I wrote off on a back road in Glenorie when a 30cm thick Paper Bark tree visited the back seat through the side and the roof…. What happened?…… I still don’t know but suspect a slow tyre deflation, which let go at a bad time.

We then bought a MY05 WRX STI brand new and whilst it was good car for a Boy-Racer it was hard work for Sandra to drive …. It demanded a lot from the driver and was replaced in 2008 by something more civilised and comfortable, a BMW 135i.

It was a manual and a rocket with mumbo everywhere with 400nm of torque @ 1300rpm, yes 1300rpm and not a diesel!

I would use 3rd gear in roundabouts and street corners yet the same gear would do 185kph!

Best car I have ever owned….

When in 2014 we sold the Bimmer and our third Hilux ute downsizing to one car …. What to get?

Went for top of the line BMW X3 SUV twin vane Turbo Diesel 30D with the auto 8 speed gearbox and 560nm & 195KW.

Haven’t look back since as it is great, tows great and economy is at least twice as good as the petrol Hilux

We found one car was not enough, Sandra now drives a Mazda 2 5 door hatch, a great little run about!

 

THE BIKES...

 

As to bikes I owned about four dirt bikes in the early 70's culminating with a Yamaha MX400, a road registered 2 stroke motor crosser used for motor cross, enduros and trail riding until career and family forced a pause.

Road bikes came on the scene in July 1991 with a 1985 BMW K100RS followed 22, 000 kilometres later by a BMW K1100RS.

Utopia was shattered by a two-day loan of a 1994 Kawasaki ZX-9R B1. The then "must-have" Ninja B2 was acquired in March 1995 and 47, 000 kilometres later, upgraded to the 98 blue ZX-9R.C1 which was sold in late 2003 with 71, 000km. The original battery lasted for 6 years, 8 months!

I have since 2003 been grinning with 1000 plus horsepower to the ton! This happens by owning 3 Suzuki GSXR 1000s and a shared CBR 600 F3 (track bike) but after 13 years sold a favourite "Rothmans" NC30 (VFR400) in 2013.

My last big bike was a K8 GSXR 1000 called the The Hot Black Momma, quite a stand out with Dymag magnesium gold wheels, a full Micron system, front EBC wave rotors, Brembo master cylinder and lots of carbon fibre. I sold it late 2015.

I also own my only Italian bike, a 2011 Vespa 300GTS, which I use for inner city work, and brilliant it is.

Few years ago I sold a CBR250RR, a five-year “project” as well as my 2000 model Honda SP1, a lovely sounding bike but I think irrelevant in these days of stunning in-line-four cylinder bikes that do everything so well! A return of a dirt bike planned for a long time materialized in 2010 as a Yamaha WR250R present for Father’s Day….thank you Sandra!

A life changing moment as I discovered riding with the Dirty Boys can be as much fun as riding on the road with the Bad Boys and I embraced the riding off road with advantages of no traffic nor Police plus improved fitness and have upgraded the Yamaha with more able Husaberg 390 and in 2015 with a 2016 KTM500EXC which is awesome!

I ride the scooter almost daily, dirt bike weekly and road bike only 6-8 times a year for testing bikes and group rides up the Oxley Highway or to Phillip Island.

I did want race bikes on a club level but due to the time and cost necessary to be involved and the danger of injury/ loss of income mean that that desire has been given up helped by regular track days at Eastern Creek and other race tracks. Also my wife will not let me the only exception being the Transmoto 12 hour dirt race at Bateman’s Bay which I have entered as part of a four man Lawstop Team and completed both times!

She did let me buy in early 2013 a shared Mazda MX5 SE (Noddy) being a factory turbo and my Son-In-Law Rob and I have had a great time developing it and enjoying owning a quick convertible that you could afford to “crash” at the track, perish the thought!

 

NO PAIN, NO GAIN...

 

That fear came to head a couple times in recent years. In 2006 during the Snowy Run I came around a corner on the Alpine Way 40km from Thredbo to find a family of about five Emus camped on the road causing me to try avoid them and crashing! A $3300 Ambulance ride, a broken collarbone and six ribs were the cost but I was back to work couple days later and ended up with a metal plate in the shoulder..

More serious was meeting another pair of birds on a sunny Saturday at Mt Victoria on 30th June 2007 when a young mother “Cristle” on green P Plates driving a Falcon decided to ram me from the rear in broad daylight and break my left leg and ankle, eventually in 5 places resulting a ten month stint on crutches. I have ended up with a Barry Sheenesque 21 bits of titanium there and some disability.

She did say the obligatory “I didn’t see you” (what the f*?!)$#) but I never heard from her since but understand that her loss of licence for 12 months and a $600 fine was irritating for a mere “nudge” of a motorcyclist……poor baby!

She also did some serious damage to my beloved ex-Rapid K5 GSXR 1000 which I eventually traded in on the K8.

I am happy to say my mental state as far as riding is concerned is back to normal pace as riding a fast sports-bike well is a confidence issue…

 

MARK'S CAREER

 

I qualified as a Solicitor in 1976 and I always enjoyed and practiced litigation (court work) particularly in the Local Court. I also enjoyed legal work involving machines and vehicles of all kinds and did do work involving products, accidents and claims.

I have been a Sole Practitioner since 1991 with my only partner being my wife Sandra and now practice from the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney (Coogee area) but travel to all courts in NSW as well as some in Victoria and ACT.

I am allowed to appear in all Australian Courts.

Of necessity I was frequently involved in traffic matters including culpable driving, speeding, manner dangerous, drink-drives and negligence. This, Licence and criminal matters is all I now do as a Solicitor Advocate.

These days with automatic/mandatory disqualification and the points system, everyone should get advice every time your licence is at risk or you are not happy with the charge.

I ride bikes daily which not only has given me a great deal of pleasure and allowed my wife Sandra & I to see a lot of Australia, Tasmania (joke) and New Zealand but has also created friendships. The experience makes me understand better the traffic problem I may be asked to solve.

I also follow motor sport avidly on television, my favourites being World Super Bikes, World Super Sport & Moto GP's. I also admit to being AMA Motor Cross and a Speedway fan.

Thus LAWSTOP was born and I was promoting it by small ads in a couple of motorcycling publications but these days most work is by referrals or Google.

Some years ago I wrote a regular quarterly column "BIKE LAW TALK" in the Ulysses Club Magazine "Riding On", Australian Road Rider and as a columnist in www.mcnews.com.au.

Since 2004 I have had a wonderful relationship with the Rapid Bikes Magazine originally owned by Jeff Ware and his wife Heather.

Not only have I written a monthly legal column “Lawtalk” which is partly business as to what happens out there mostly involving cops and courts and partly personal describing the exploits of my riding group the “Bad Boys” & “Dirty Boys”. I have been involved in numerous comparos over ten years including the annual 1000cc sports bike review…..most fun you can have with your clothes on!

The excitement of riding new bikes, the camaraderie of the Rapid crew including Editor Jeff, Peter Galvin and Wayne Gardner, great roads and over-nights in pubs, terrific photos and meeting celebrities & interesting motorcyclists on the road, track and at the drags – awesome!