High­way canine ca­pers

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By MARK HINCHLIFFE

MO­TOR­BIKE-RID­ING dogs are not just movie make­be­lieve like in Aus­tralia’s hottest new film,

Meet Scram­bles, who will ac­com­pany owner John Skin­ner on a transcon­ti­nen­tal jour­ney around Aus­tralia next month aboard his Tri­umph Scram­bler.

Scram­bles re­cently re­placed Scar­let, Skin­ner’s best mate for 10 years who died of old age.

‘‘ It tore me to Skin­ner says.

The 60-year-old self­con­fessed gypsy says Scram­bles quickly took to his matte-black Tri­umph.

‘‘She rides in a shoul­der bag and as soon as I put the bag down, she jumps in,’’ he says. Scar­let used to ride on the tank, but the prac­tice is now banned in all states.

is set in the Out­back in the ’70s when it was still legal for a dog to ride on a bike’s fuel tank. In the film, Vic­to­rian kelpie Koko plays the lead role as a hitch-hik­ing, bike-rid­ing Out­back wan­derer.

Pro­ducer Nel­son Woss says Koko didn’t once fall off in the mak­ing of the film.

pieces,’’

‘‘Luke Hura trained Koko to ride on mo­tor­bikes just like dogs do on farms all over Aus­tralia,’’ Woss says.

‘‘He never fell off once. We took very good care of him with safety. But the one thing that was dan­ger­ous is he has been trained that when a car or ute stops and opens the door, he will just jump in, so we had to be very care­ful he didn’t sud­denly dis­ap­pear.’’

The film is based on the true story of a dog known for stand­ing in the mid­dle of the road and stop­ping cars to hitch a ride.

‘‘When he heard one that he knew was a mate that would pick him up he would stand in the mid­dle of the road,’’ he says.

Woss says the thrust of the movie is ‘‘all about driv­ing and move­ment’’.

‘‘There is some­thing very iconic about driv­ing in Aus­tralia with your dog.’’ he says.

The four hero ve­hi­cles of the film are a 1968 VE Valiant, a 1969 XW Ford Fal­con ute, a 1974 Honda CB750 mo­tor­bike and a ’70s bus.

‘‘It was so im­por­tant to get the ve­hi­cles right and au­then­tic,’’ Woss says.

Vic­to­rian kelpie Koko plays the lead role as a hitch-hik­ing, bike-rid­ing Out­back wan­derer in

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