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Equipped for life of leisure

TEST DRIVE: Bradley Disson, eight, of Kyogle, gets a chance to ride a top-of-the-range three-wheeled motorbike, the Can-Am Spyder.
TEST DRIVE: Bradley Disson, eight, of Kyogle, gets a chance to ride a top-of-the-range three-wheeled motorbike, the Can-Am Spyder. Hamish Broome

SPECTACULAR winter weather brought thousands of visitors from near and far to a jam-packed 4WD Caravan Camping and Marine Show at the Lismore Showgrounds on the weekend.

Kyogle's Bradley Disson was right at home sitting on a $40,000 specced-up three-wheel motorbike, one of several showcase items at the show guaranteed to captivate curious passers-by.

The Can-Am Spyder is manufactured by the world's largest snowmobile manufacturer, BRD, and uses many of the same design principles.

Dean Marsh from the Lismore Ongmac Motorcycle Centre said the bike removed some of the safety concerns from riders who had knee injuries or otherwise weren't confident of handling a big two-wheeler.

"You can't get an easier bike to ride," he said.

"A big Harley touring-type bike is very heavy, if you drop one of those at the lights you can't pick the thing up."

"This has been a huge drawcard for visitors... people might have had a bike 20 years ago and want to try something new."

Speaking of bikes, Flairriders front man Jack Field was captivating young and old fans performing several radical motorbike stunts including a world-record breaking backflip off a 45cm ramp.

The Yamaha Super Tank was also a crowd favourite, attracting seasoned anglers looking for new tricks, alongside fishing newbies.

Errol Gray, bush poet, performed his rhymes about life in the bush.
Errol Gray, bush poet, performed his rhymes about life in the bush.

Like a cross-section of a river bed, it holds 15-tonnes of water and lets the audience see first-hand the response of fish to different fishing tackle cast by demonstrator Brett Thomson.

Whether it was big frogs, little frogs, rattling lures or traditional ones, Mr Thomson had the full bag of tricks covered.

His two tanks visit 65 outdoor shows a year, including the Sydney Royal Easter - and he buys 20 new barramundi for every show - although afterwards he returns the live barra to the farm free of charge.

The 4WD show is also the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter's biggest fundraiser of the year and general manager Kris Beavis said this year was one of the biggest ever, with estimates of more than 15,000 visitors.

"We can't get better weather than this," Mr Beavis said.

"The people coming in just love it. They don't have to travel up the highway, it's literally on our doorstep."

"From caravans worth a bomb to $5 knife sharpeners, the show has everything."

The event also brings plenty of money to the region, with the 206 exhibitors staying for up to a week in Lismore to set up and pack down their stalls.

Brett Thomson from the Yamaha Super Tank at the 4WD Caravan Camping and Marine Show.
Brett Thomson from the Yamaha Super Tank at the 4WD Caravan Camping and Marine Show.

Topics:  lismore 4wd caravan and camping show



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