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Roland Sands bring military spec toughness

Roland Sands has come out with a proprietary black finish that results in what they say is a military specification toughness.  Sounds like a pretty good idea.

"Our top-secret proprietary two tone black finish results in mil-spec strength & hardness. Billet aluminum has never looked so tough"

Check out the video below:


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Happy Holidays from CMR!

Here's hoping that all of our followers and visitors have a fantastic and happy holiday season!

We're going to be relaxing with family for a couple days - news posts and content updates will continue on Boxing Day.

PS: Entries for our North American Motorcycle Supershow contest are still open though and we've still got 18 tickets to give away! Enter now to increase your odds of winning.

We'll be giving away a lot of tickets between now and the show (Jan 15-17, 2010).

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Canadian Olympian - from bobsled to motorcycle

Helen Upperton, Canada's top bobsled driver and Calgary resident, is a bit of a daredevil. She likes to travel down a twisty icy track at 150 km/hr. Now she's had the chance to go a similar speed on two wheels. She bought her first motorcycle, a 1100 cc Yamaha V-Star cruiser.

An 1100cc bike is not a typical first time rider bike but Upperton isn't a typical rider either. She bought her bike after the 2006 Olympics in Turin Italy as a present to herself for her fourth-place finish.

In a recent interview with driving.ca she said riding her motorcycle at 150 km/hr makes her realize just how crazy bobsledding is! There's so much going on during the bobsled run that you're not really paying attention to the speed as much, but on a motorcycle you're "out there" and more exposed to the wind.

The parents of the 29 yr old Upperton aren't said to be too thrilled about the motorcycle, her coaches haven't really said too much about it, and she's been told by several people that they think the bike is too big for her. She takes it all in stride though and plans to enjoy the off-season from her winter training and competing.

Her teammates, well they just want to go for a ride with her! They've already experienced riding with her at speed.

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Custom bike builder Billy Lane sentenced

Custom bike builder Billy Lane has been sentenced to six years in prison and three years probation for his part in a Sept. 4, 2006 accident that killed Gerald Morelock.

Lane, 39, will also have his driver’s license suspended for life. Toxicology tests showed that Lane’s blood-alcohol content was 0.192 percent (more than twice the state’s legal limit of 0.08 percent) when he crossed over a double-yellow line to pass and crashed head-on into Morelock.

Morelock, a 56-year-old park ranger, was riding a small motorcycle at the time.

Lane was popularized on numerous programs on the Discovery Channel and his Choppers Ink business. He had been facing nine years in prison after he made a plea deal with prosecutors to drop a charge of DUI manslaughter in exchange for pleading guilty to vehicular homicide.

There doesn't seem to be any mention of the sentencing on the Choppers Ink website or how Lane's sentence will affect the business.



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Jay Leno's Garage - Not just cars...

I'd hazard a guess that most people know that Jay Leno is an American stand-up comedian, television host, and huge car fanatic. What they may not know is that he's also a motorcycle guy.

When you combine Jay's love of everything with an engine and the paycheques he's earned over the years, you've got one fantastic collection of vehicles. He buys plenty of interesting bikes and also invites company representatives of the bikes he's showcasing in to talk as well. Then he posts that mini-review to his Garage website as a video. There's some advertising up front but Jay's take on things is usually pretty interesting. He's well informed too.

The garage itself is spread across two low-slung buildings and occupies about 17,000 square feet. Jay has amassed one of the world's great car collections and undoubtedly one of the world's best-equipped garages too; it's custom-built from the ground up. He's got full time staff dedicated to keeping his fleet running. Jay's not a hands off guy though and isn't afraid to get his hands dirty with some repairs.

If you've got some spare time check out Jay Leno's Garage website. Check out all the motorcycle video's posted at Jay Leno's Garage website HERE.

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Zox helmets launches YouTube Channel and Facebook Fan page

Press Release:

Zox has recently launched the YouTube channel Zox TV (www.youtube.com/zoxhelmetstv).

Zox will be posting videos on this YouTube channel, on their website at www.zoxhelmets.com as well as their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/zoxhelmets. These educational videos will present the features of Zox Helmets to enthusiasts as well as provide other information on helmet safety.

Currently they've got nine video's but more will be added on a regular basis:

Episode 1: History of Zox Helmets
Episode 2: DOT, Snell and ECE Safety Standards
Episode 3: How to choose the Right Helmet
Episode 4: Zox Marketing Issues
Episode 5: Zox Full Face Helmets Line-Up
Episode 6: Zox Motocross Helmets Line-Up
Episode 7: Zox Modular/Flip-up Helmets Line-Up
Episode 8: Zox Etna Open Face Helmet
Episode 9: Interview with Pro Racer Genevieve Lesieur .

Check back often to see new episodes of Zox TV!

Zox Helmets has also created a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/zoxhelmets. You can visit our Facebook page and add Zox Helmets as your friend to receive up to date information and pictures of new helmets as well as the results of current Zox Racers. On this page you can also view the videos from Zox TV (posted in the video section of the Zox Helmets profile page). Zox Helmets also has a group page HERE whereby you can post pictures and participate in monthly contests to win a new Zox Helmet.

Details about Zox:

ZOX – Developed in 2005, Zox helmets offers the powersports industry a wide range of helmets designed with a focus on comfort, fit and style.Motorcycle, MX, Off Road, ATV, Snowmobile and Scooter enthusiasts will find the perfect helmet for their passion with Zox. DOT or SNELL 2005 approved, fiberglass and thermoplastic alloy shell constructions, various removable washable comfort fit liners as well as custom color, style and finishes provides powersports enthusiasts with a unique helmet solution. Zox – Power Ahead.

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WSB racing in the rain (video) and sliding around like a dirt tracker!

We recently came across a video of Japanese rider, Ryuichi Kiyonari racing around a very wet track that we had to share. The announcers aren't talking English, so I can only imagine what they're saying. Probably some emphatic talk about how incredible it is that Kiyonari is keeping the bike upright punctuated with incredulous expletives. Or maybe that's just me!

He's seriously motoring, and sliding around the track on his 1000cc superbike like it was a dirt tracker. Impressive to say the least:


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Michelin teams up with Harley Davidson

Harley-Davidson Motor Company announced that it will add Michelin as an official supplier of replacement tires for its motorcycles. Beginning mid-year, Michelin motorcycle tires will be available at all Harley-Davidson dealerships across North America.

Michelin will produce an original equipment tire called the "Scorcher 31," which will carry both companies’ trademarks on its sidewalls with the signature Harley logo on the shoulder. The introduction of the Scorcher will be Michelin’s first Harley OE application.

The new Michelin Scorcher 31 will be fitted to the 2010 Dyna Super Glide, Super Glide Custom, Street Bob and Low Rider, the tire can also be fitted on a variety of 2006-2009 Dyna models.

Gary Midkiff, vice president of Michelin North America’s two wheel division has been quoted in media saying, “Michelin has specifically engineered this innovative and durable tire to meet the high expectations of Harley-Davidson owners.”

What does that mean for the US made Dunlops that the Fat Bob currently features? According to the list of bikes the Scorcher will be on it's not going to be on the Fat Bob. Regardless, it will certainly take a bite out of Dunlops business with Harley Davidson as many bikes will sport the French made rubber of Michelin.

Tire sizes are 100/90-19 57H for the front, and 160/70-17 73V for the rear. The Fat Bob rolls with a 130/90B16 in the front and a 180/70B16 in the rear. So for now at least it looks like the Dunlops will stay on the Fat Bob.

Michelin does employ many Canadian workers, and has tire producing facilities in Nova Scotia, Canada.

More details on the Michelin tires available on Michelins website HERE.
More Harley Davidson news HERE.

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Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame announces inductees

Motorcycle Hall of Fame Announces Inductees for 2009 - MCC Presents Induction Banquet October 24/09 in Toronto

Press Release ---

The Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame (CMHF), has announced eight individuals and two groups to be inducted at the fourth annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet & Reunion, to be held October 24, 2009 at the Renaissance Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre, Toronto, Ontario.


“The enthusiasm for recognizing exceptional Canadian contribution to motorcycling is growing, and our slate this year continues to portray that excellence”, says John Cooper, President of the CMHF. “Now entering its fourth year, the Induction Banquet and Reunion is becoming THE motorcycling social event of the year.”

Carl Bastedo – Chatsworth, Ontario 2009 Hall of Fame Inductees Motocross Competitor, Organizer, Contributor

CRCA – Canadian Race Communications Association – Shannonville, Ontario Celebrating fifty (50) years of supporting safe motorcycle racing with marshalling services

Bar Hodgson – Ashburn, Ontario Contributor, Competitor, Organizer, Show Producer, Collector

Ivor Lloyd – West Hill, Ontario Competitor – International and Canada Duane McDaniels – Commerce Township, Michigan, US Competitor

Duane McDaniels – Commerce Township, Michigan, US,Competitor Don McHugh – Brampton, Ontario (deceased),Legendary Dirt Track Racer

Ken Morgan – Battersea, Ontario, Contributor, Course Developer, Trainer, Advocate

Jimmy Sehl – Stoney Creek Ontario, Competitor, Team Member, Mechanic

Steel City Riders – Hamilton, Ontario, Celebrating over sixty (60) years of motorcycle racing

John Williams – Markham, Ontario , North American and World Hillclimb Champion

The 2009 Hall of Fame Induction Banquet & Reunion, sponsored by the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC), will be held on Saturday evening, October 24, 2009 at the Renaissance Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre, 801 Dixon Road in Toronto. The event, emceed by Pat Gonsalves, will feature an audio- visual presentation on each inductee, a display of special motorcycles, a silent auction to raise funds for the Foundation and, of course, a gourmet meal.

A cash bar is offered. Tickets are $125, with “deep discounts” for “early bird” purchase and MCC members. Tables of eight or ten can be requested. Everyone welcome! Dress is smart casual/Business Attire. Visit the websites for more details (www.motorcyclehalloffame.ca OR www.motorcycling.ca/halloffame).

After holding the event in the Toronto area for the first four years since being founded, the October, 2010 Hall of Fame Induction event will be held in the Vancouver area, in British Columbia. This will allow friends and families of anticipated western inductees to join in the celebrations. Nominations can be made at any time, and are reviewed annually for up to five years or until selected for induction. Builders, contributors, rights advocates, volunteers and organizations, as well as competitors in all disciplines are eligible for consideration. Forms are available from the MCC which administers the Hall of Fame.

Founded by Bar and Hedy Hodgson in 1999, the Canadian International Motorcycle Heritage Museum Foundation exists to preserve and protect Canadian motorcycle history for the benefit of the motorcycling community. They founded the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2005, with the first inductions made in May of 2006.



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Who rents motorcycles and scooters in Canada?

We've been getting a few email from folks lately asking about motorcycle and scooter rentals in various parts of Canada. Rental availability in Ontario and Nova Scotia are provinces we've gotten requests about in the past couple of days.

So, if you rent motorcycles or scooters, or know of a company that does please get in contact with Canadian Motorcycle Rider and let us know. That way we can post some details and perhaps send some business your way!

Email us here.

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Considering a new bike? - Better check out insurance first

Motorcycle insurance is always a contentious issue amongst motorcyclists. How much do you pay? What coverage do you have? It's a regular, and frequently 'heated' topic of debate on most motorcycle forums.

Insurance is just one of those things that you've got to have if you want to come to the party. So it's something that everybody knows a little bit about.

Unless you've got very deep pockets and don't care about paying thousands of dollars for insurance you should call around and find out how much it will cost to insure a bike BEFORE deciding to purchase it. It's been said there aren't any un-insurable risks. It just costs more!

The Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) have published a list of motorcycles that they consider "high risk." What does this mean? Well - we've not spoken with the SAAQ to ask them but we can only guess that it means that if you want to insure one of these high-risk motorcycles in Quebec that you're going to pay dearly for the privilege.

Here's a link to the list - it's a PDF.

What's surprising is that if you look at this list, there's plenty of very powerful bikes that aren't on the dreaded "high-risk" list. The Yamaha FZ1 ins't on the list for example. This 1000cc bike packs about 150hp - more than plenty of the bikes on the list. It is a little more upright though and perhaps typically ridden by more mature riders.

There are some bikes on the list you might not expect - a BMW K1200S for example. BMW's sportsbike isn't a typical crotch rocket ridden by somebody that just got their licence. Maybe it's stolen more?

Having had the recent experience of obtaining insurance for a 2006 VFR I know when I called ahead to see what insurance would cost the person at the insurance company said, one moment I'll have to get the list of bikes we don't insure. Hmmm, glad I checked ahead. The VFR isn't on the list but it would be pretty bad to find out a bike is going to cost you a small fortune to insure.

Different provinces have different systems. Some have public insurance, some have private. Here in Nova Scotia we're free to shop around. That works for me. I recently moved from Winnipeg, and in the province of Manitoba they've got a public system called Autopac. I looked into insuring a 2002 Suzuki GS 500 hardly a super fast sportbike, when I was there for a year. What was the quote? Just about $2200. For that - I could have re-purchased the same bike in a little over three years with the premiums!

So, be educated, be wise. If you're shopping for a bike - call around and ask for quotes on some models you're considering before you buy. What you find out might just help you make the right buying decision.

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Virtual Riding Television website

Here's an interesting Canadian motorcycle website called "Virtual Riding Television." It's a site created by a guy who obviously loves motorcycles, the site is self-funded and well, I'll just repost some of the comments from the site so you can get an idea of what it's about. It's definitely worth checking out!

Take some time to check it out! Here's the link: http://www.vridetv.com

Here's how the site came into being - described by Jeff himself:

After seven years of recovery from my near fatal motorcycle accident, I decided to not only start riding again but to actually ride across Canada. In April of 2006, we mounted a high definition video camera to the handlebars of my motorcycle intending on taping our trip. We wanted to have our journey captured to view it for years to come. While on our trip we heard the same question from people on a daily basis, "what's that thing on your handlebars". (Referring to the camera). We explained that we were traveling across Canada and taping our adventure. The second question was, "how can I see it?". This happened repeatedly, almost every time we stopped. People of all ages would come up to us and express interest, share stories and give us ideas of where to ride next.

We soon realized that the footage we were capturing appealed to a significant number of people and there was a audience waiting to see it. The idea of Virtual Riding Television had begun.

On this trip we captured 166 hours of high definition video footage, shot over 2000 photos, and rode 18,786 kilometers in eight weeks. It was an incredible journey across the second largest country in the world, coast to coast round trip. Canada is an amazing and beautiful country rich in it's diversity. We will continue to explore this vast Nation and it's Provincial Parks, National Parks and World Heritage Sites on two wheels and upload our videos, photos and experiences on Virtual Riding Television.

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Free Canadian "Blue Book" values online

Thinking about selling a motorcycle? Sometimes it's difficult to know just what your pride and joy is worth on the market. Likewise, when you're looking to buy a used motorcycle you want to be sure you're not paying an inflated price.

Finding out the fair market value of a motorcycles used to require lots of research or maybe a paid subscription. Maybe you'd scour the Internet classifieds, browse through newspapers, check out some magazines, or ask some friends to try to figure out a ballpark number.

Well, the times they are a'changing and you can now get FREE definitive pricing information - the same source that dealers of new and used motorcycles use - from the Canadian Blue Book on www.CBBTrader.ca.

CBBTrader.ca's parent company is All Seasons Publications Ltd., publishers of the Canadian Blue Book. With over 65 years combined experience in the powersports industry, we want to share, educate and empower you to make informed decisions when buying or selling your powersports vehicle. You can look up Canadian Blue Book retail and trade-in values, list a vehicle for sale or browse vehicles for sale for FREE.

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Motorcycles - A key to movie success?

This isn't news... it's more a general interest blog post. It seems that just about every movie coming out lately that wants to target the male demographic (maybe there's a specific age range too? - I don't know).

Just a few current or upcoming movies featuring motorcycles:

2009 - Terminator Salvation

The newest installment in the Terminator series, featuring Christian Bale will have some new bad dudes. They're Mototerminators!

The film is set in post-apocalyptic 2018. The mototerminators are apparently sent by Skynet to round up the humans. Don't think too much. The bikes supposedly defy the laws of physics with their low-mounted machine guns acting as counter-balancers as the bike leans. It IS a movie.

G.I Joe: The Rise of the Cobra

Yup, they're making a movie based on G.I. Joe and it's set for an August 2009 release. Rumor is (according to Hisstank) is that Snake Eyes will have a Buell 1125R custom fitted with some samurai swords and pistol holders in the place of rear view mirrors.

Thanks to Hisstank for the photo. If true, it'll be the second movie coming in 2009 featuring Buell's. Transformers II is also said to feature a female transforming Buell. It's not in the currently showing trailer though.

Yes Man

This movie features Jim Carrey as Carl Allen, a guy being challenged to "yes" to everything which leads to him learning to ride a motorcycle. Not just any motorcycle mind you, a Ducati Hypermotard. Didn't see this one. I don't think a Ducati Hypermotard cameo is enough to get me interested.

Batman Returns

I guess Christian Bale likes motorcycles. Bale plays the role of Batman and he gets to ride around in the "batpod." But, actually it's not Bale riding the motorcycle. A single stunt rider was the only one able to be able to ride the thing. Looks pretty cool even though it's practically un-ridable.

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.

This one features Brad Pitt, a well known motorcycle enthusiast. He's even building a race track at his new house supposedly! And was recently quoted as saying he loves the anonymity of riding a motorcycle.

The movie is about "a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences." Haven't seen this one yet but it was nominated for 13 Oscars.

I'm sure there's quite a few I've left out so feel free to comment about your favorites. I have no doubt there will be plenty more movies coming out featuring motorcycles as they seem to be riding a wave of popularity in Hollywood at the moment.

I say "how about a good movie ABOUT motorcycles?!"

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Now this looks like fun! -- The Slidescooter!

What'll those Italians think of next? There's plenty of people that know the secret pleasure of just how much fun a 50cc scooter can be - Lots!

Italian company, Rimini Moto didn't think people were having quite as much fun as they could be so they put together a kit consisting of a studded fat tire and a ski for the front. Riding in the snow -- on a scooter! Whoah! Now, that's some fun right there. The look on this guys face pretty much says it all I think.

Rimini Moto sell the kit for about USD $650 and includes up to six different front tracks to suit everyone. I don't know what it'd cost to get the kit sent to Canada (if they'd even do it.) But it couldn't be too difficult to rig up something yourself if you were handy.

While not nearly as sophisticated as say an Ad Bovin Explorer system. This one is really very inexpensive. You could probably buy a used scooter and get something like this rigged up for the price you'd pay for the Explorer kit alone, and probably have some cash let over.

It would probably only be good on packed trails and light snow and I don't know just "where" you'd ride it but I'd sure love to try one out.

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The easy way to shop

There are a few distributors of motorcycle parts and accessories that supply just about all the motorcycle dealerships and shops across Canada. What you see on the shelf may not be what you're looking for though - maybe there's something that will suit your needs better?

Motovan is one of the major distributors that supply parts and as luck would have it; they put their full catalog of products and accessories online every year.

All you need to do is browse through the catalog, find something you like, and then give your local shop a call. Provide them with the Motovan part number and ask them if they've got it or they can order it.

Another great thing about the catalog - the prices are listed! You'll be armed with information and know that you're not paying some marked up price with information from the catalog.

Here's the link: http://www.motovan.com/catalogs_en.html

Happy shopping!

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Webcomics for motorcycle enthusiasts

Tired of the tears and anger you're subject to when you grab the Saturday comics out of the hands of your children?

Well, a fellow by the name of Matt Marino from Colorado has a solution for you. He publishes motorcycle web comics that he hopes will give the motorcycle crowd a good laugh. He tells me that he's a fan of Canada, having spent some time here this past summer.

Looks like he's got some RSS feeds set up so you won't have to miss a single comic if you subscribe.

Here's a link to one of his sites.

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Get helmet advice from Jay Leno and Arai

Are you in the market for a new helmet? Think your helmet fits properly?

If you're like a majority of riders, you might think you're wearing the right sized helmet but chances are good that you're not.

Jay Leno, the late night guy with the big head - talks one on one with Bruce Porter from Arai. Bruce has figured out that Jay's head isn't so big after all - it's his hair!

There's a lot of information packed into this short video about proper helmet fit and some of the myths surrounding helmet life, answers common questions such as what if I drop a helmet off my bike? Will painting damage the helmet?

It's an information packed video and it's only 10 minutes long. Worth a watch.

Click here for the link.

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Traveling to Alaska - or thinking about it?

If you're planning a trip to Alaska you may want to consider picking up what is said to be one of the best guidebooks around; The MILEPOST.

It's one of publishing's longest running guides. The MILEPOST has been guiding travelers to Alaska since 1949, longer than Alaska has been a state. Alaska became the 49th state in 1959.

Alaska is the largest state in the United States and is bordered by the Yukon and British Columbia. It's got more coastline than all the other U.S. states combined. It's more than twice as large as Texas, the next largest state. Sounds like a perfect place for some motorcycle adventure!

Here's a link to the website that you can check out to see more information on the guide including sample pages. You can purchase the book online at the site but you can get it though our Amazon store at a large discount from the price listed on the website.

Browse through our bookstore for more great deals on books with a motorcycle theme.

Here's a quote from the MilePost:

Field editors who live in Alaska and Canada drive the roads and visit the Inside Passage every year to provide up-to-date, comprehensive information to travelers. When you want to know where you'll find turnouts, gas, food, lodgings or restrooms; where you're likely to see wildlife; what day trips are available from Anchorage; what shore-excursion-length experiences can be found near Juneau; what Alaska glaciers are easy to reach by road; how to visit a Native fish camp; when salmon run on the Kenai River; or what the Talkeetna Moose Dropping Festival is, The MILEPOST tells you.Legendary Alaska trip planner and Alaska travel guide to the highways, roads, ferries, lodgings, recreation, sightseeing attractions and services along the Alaska Highway to and within Alaska, including Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories and the Yukon.


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Paris to Dacre Registration Open

No it's not a typo - that's Paris and Dacre, Ontario. This dual sport challenge explores the backwoods of Ontario on July 12, 2008.

This year will mark the third annual Paris to Dacre Dual Sport Challenge. If you've been in the event before you can take advantage of advance registration up until March 15th, at which point registration is open to everybody. Registration closes on June 21st.

The 2008 event actually starts in Harley, which is near Paris ON, at 4 AM. The route is some 765 km of trails and gravel roads, finishing in Dacre (near Renfrew ON).

The event is organized by Rally Connex in collaboration with the Ontario Dual Sport Club (ODSC) pays homage to to all the Paris-Dakar Rally riders. The one day event simulates what a day in the actual Dakar rally might be like. A special honor is paid to riders who've entered the race from the ODSC club such as local Bob Bergman who finished the rally in 2005 as a privateer.

It's a team event and you'll need at least three riders to a maximum of five. Refueling distances are 150 or less.

The official starter is Helmut "Speedy" Clasen who, as of 2007, is a member of the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

For additional information on the event check out Rally Connex here.

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Princes William and Harry Contemplating Royal Motorcycle Trip

It is said that Princes William and Harry have been contemplating a motorcycle ride across Africa. Inspired by Ewan McGreggor and Charley Boorman's, Long Way Down 15,000 mile journey from John'O Groats to Cape Town the two princes would like to go to Africa and do a bit of riding.


Prince William on a Triumph
But the risks to the two that the journey presents, both closely in line to inherit the United Kingdom throne, and costs have created a lot of controversy. They've been advised not to go ahead with it. The trip would be used to help raise money for the Sentebale charity, which helps orphans and HIV/Aids victims in Lesotho, Africa. The charity was created by Prince Harry.

Charley Boorman spoke with Britain's Motorcycle News magazine and urged them to go ahead with it anyway: "I think they should do it. If they wanted to go and do it anyone can do it. It's not rocket science to do a trip around Africa. I think it would be fantastic and they'd love it."

"It's a shame for them, because they're really into their bikes. Maybe they'll do it another time.".

The trip would cost British taxpayers more than £100,000 because they'd require six royal protection officers to travel with them. If the trip goes ahead it's said to be likely to happen in the summer, after William finishes up a pilot training course at the Royal Air Force.

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Sharapova Gets a Motorcycle

The Russian tennis star, Maria Sharapova has won her 18th career title in the Qatar Open. In addition to the cheque for $414,000 she also picked up a Harley Davidson Night Rod Special. Not that she needs any handouts - at the end of 2006, she was the world's highest paid female athlete and has a career prize money record of US$11,790478 give or take a few hundred thousand. Not bad considering she's only 20 years old!

She was mostly dominating the play in her matches in Qatar and had won her last 13 games. She stumbled a little in her play against Zvonareva, ranked 21 in the world. In the end she took home the trophy and the new ride courtesy of Harley Davidson.

No doubt Harley Davidson will be happy with the attention that Sharapova draws. But we'll let you judge for yourself. Many young men, previously not interested in tennis, have strangely taken a shine to the sport since Sharapova arrived on the scene. Her long string of wins proves she's not just a pretty face though.

She's off to the United Arab Emirates next to take part in the Dubai Championships.


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Charged for Flashing?

It's not what you think.... We're talking about flashing your headlights to warn oncoming motorists of a police radar spot check. Jim Kenzie did a story on Motoring 2008 about Brad Diamond, host of Motoring 2008, who had been charged under Ontario's Highway Traffic Act that regulates alternating flashing headlights which are typically used on emergency vehicles. Diamond challenged the ticket in court and the case was dismissed because the charging officer had "no evidence," according to the prosecutor.

While not a motorcycle story specifically, it's an interesting one that applies to motorcyclists.

"It's not an offence under the Highway Traffic Act in Ontario," confirms Sgt. Cam Woolley of the Ontario Provincial Police. "Drivers are free to communicate with each other."

If you do flash your lights you may be attracting attention to yourself though and "flashing their lights can mean any number of things" Woolley says. "The driver may be in distress, may need medical attention or may be warning about a situation ahead, such as a collision."

Don't be surprised if you get pulled over. Police may use the situation to investigate whether the driver is okay, check on their insurance, look for outstanding warrants, and check the roadworthiness of the vehicle.

At night though, the scenario may change, Section 168, covers the improper use of high beams at night. Police could certainly use this legitimately if motorists flash their lights at night. Flashing the lights could be seen as a distraction that hampers driver safety.

Section 168 does not apply during daylight hours, says Mig Roberts, a spokesperson for Toronto Police Traffic Services. "Flashing your high beams is not an offence if it's in bright daylight."

You may want to think twice before flashing those lights though. "By flashing, the driver doesn't really know that he or she may be enabling a dangerous driver to continue being a safety hazard," says Woolley.

So if you flash - don't do it at night! If you do decide to flash during the day - be prepared for some potentially unwanted attention.

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Moncton Motorcycle Show a Big Success

The Atlantic Motorcycle and ATV show which took place Feb. 15-17, 2008, at the Moncton Coliseum in New Brunswick was by all accounts a big success! It was the first manufacturer supported motorcycle show in the Atlantic provinces - a sure sign that motorcycling is growing in the region.

The greater Moncton area has a population of about 118,000 but a much larger group are within a few hours drive of the area. Organizers indicate that they believe attendance exceeded the 20,000 people they expected. The three day event was organized by Master Promotions and the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council and took up all 150,000 square feet of space at the Coliseum.

The show brought new bikes from Honda, Suzuki, Harley-Davidson, Triumph, BMW, Ducati, Yamaha, Kawasaki, KTM, Polaris, Arctic Cat, and others setting up their model lines for the coming year. The show also featured all-terrain vehicles, accessories, and fashions.

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2009 Dakar Moves to South America!

Can you say, “Road Trip!” The Dakar is coming to our side of the Atlantic. It’s a long drive but… The Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) the owner of the Dakar Rally have announced that the 2009 Dakar will take place in Argentina and Chile.


The 2008 event had to be cancelled due to direct threats by terrorist organizations. The cancellation was the first in the event’s 30 year history and the 2009 event will be the first time the race will not be in Africa.

The course will be a 9000 km loop including 6000 km of specials between Buenos Aires, Valparaiso, and back to Buenos Aires. This will be the first time the rally will take place in South America. The race will start in Buenos Aires on January 3rd, go to Patagonia, the Andes mountains and venture into the Atacama desert, the world's driest, Lavigne said. The exact route is still being worked out. It will end on January 18th.

Patrice Clerc (President of the ASO) admitted the move away from Africa was "a bit of a gamble" - but not necessarily a permanent switch. In an interview the Press Association he stated, "When in January we were confronted with the cancellation of the race our thoughts naturally turned to South America," he told L'Equipe. "We will not forget the African continent. Africa is where the Dakar has its roots, the race will return there. "It's just a pause with Africa, because unfortunately the security conditions aren't there," Lavigne said.

About 500 competitors had been signed up for the 2008 event which was cancelled less than 24 hours before it was scheduled to begin.
Registration for the 2009 event will start on the 15th of May 2008. Competitors who were registered for the 2008 edition will have priority. Good thing – some competitors are pretty disappointed because of the cancellation. US racer Robby Gordon indicates that he’s been told by the ASO he’ll get back the $360,000 entry fee for his two car team with full crews. But he figures it was a $4.5 million investment by Robby Gordon Motorsports. Ouch!


The Dakar will hopefully bounce back from the events of 2008. Things are looking up already with the announcement of the 2009 event. There are a lot of motivated organizers and racers that are behind it who want to make it a success.

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Site News - Calendar Page Added

Great News! We've added a calendar page to the site. It's a bit experimental at this stage but we're hoping it will be a permanent and helpful addition to the site. Here's a sneak peak at what it looks like or go directly the the calendar page. Be sure to check it often for motorcycle events that are upcoming across Canada.

Most importantly though. Have you got an event you want listed? Be sure to submit details of your event to us via our contact page.

calendar

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First Canadian to Finish Dakar - Book Signing

Lawrence Hacking, the first Canadian to finish the Dakar rally, is scheduled to appear on Saturday, March 1, 2008 at 10:30 AM in Georgetown Ontario for an author signing of his book, "To Dakar and Back".

When I spoke to some folks at ECW Press they mentioned that Lawrence hopes to compete in the race again. With the Dakar being scheduled to take place in South America for 2009, there might never be a better chance. But the May registration date is quickly approaching.

Here's the rest of the details on the book signing from ECW's website:

Where:
The Freckled Lion
56 Main Street South
Georgetown, ON
Tel: (905) 873-1213



Details:
Attention adventure fans, motorsport enthusiasts, kids, and kids at heart! What does it take to compete in the world's toughest rally? Find out from Lawrence Hacking, enduro racer and the first Canadian to finish the Dakar Rally.

Lawrence will be talking about his Dakar experiences and signing copies of his new book, To Dakar and Back. The actual Honda XR650, specially modified for enduro racing, will be on display with a collection of race equipment. Free and open to the public

You can purchase his book at ECW Press or other fine book seller locations. Our copy should be in the mail on Monday!

Link to ECW Press and news about the author signing.

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Long Way Down - Long Time Coming To Canada

The DVD's for Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's trip from John O'Groats to Cape Town South Africa, some 15,000 mile journey, are still not available in Canada. You'll have to be satisfied with trying to find episodes from it's airing on BBC 2 in the UK, or reading the book.

Having been a fan of the Long Way Round, and Race To Dakar series' I had picked up a copy of the Long Way Down and seen the series as it aired on BBC 2. The trip had a bit of a different feel this time around. Mind you I still enjoyed it. It's interesting television to me and leaps and bounds better than most of the garbage that's on tv. The book gets into a bit more detail on some of the elements of the trip though so it's worth getting both.

Ewan and Charley have been criticized by many about their adventures and how they take the support crew with them and many other resources that most people doing the same trip wouldn't have such as sat phones, spare parts, fixers for helping with the borders, etc. etc. In watching and reading it there's still a lot of adventure taking place and if given the opportunity to go on that same support backed trip I think many people would jump at the chance! It is what it is - so if you think you'l like it, by all means check it out.

The book had some new interesting features this time. In the appendix in the back they've included trip information such as their route (countries & locations), date, miles travelled and the cumulative total distance for the time. It gives you a real sense of the scale of the journey.

They also include a listing of all the equipement they brought too such as the tools they took along, what spares they brought for the BMW's, spares for the support vehicles, camping equipment they brought, clothing, and details on all the photography equipment. They brought a lot of stuff! Course they did have to film a TV series along the way too.

Spoiler Alert!

Not much a spoiler really because based on the success of the trips it's no big surprise they're probably going to keep doing trips. They both mention that they'd like to do another trip but don't indicate where. Charley mentions he wants to give the Dakar rally another shot too. Based on this year's cancellation - we'll have to see what becomes of it.

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What do Scientology and Ducati have in Common?

Well, chalk it up to a slow news day. This really isn't Canadian news and just interesting enough to print. What DO Scientology and Ducati have in common? Tom Cruise is a big fan of both of them! Yup - Tom Cruise is a big fan of Ducati's and is at the top of the list of people receiving Ducati's Desmosedici RR superbike. Valued at 72,500 USD, only 1,500 of the machines will be produced. They're Moto GP replica bikes made of the best of the best; things like titanium, magnesium, and carbon fibre. Combine that with a 200 hp engine (when in its racing configuration) , dry weight of 377 lbs and you've got what the Motorcycle Bloggers International (MBI), the international association of motorcycle bloggers has declared "Best Concept Motorcycle” of 2006 and “Object of Lust”.

Oh yeah, and they can reach speeds of about 200 mph.


That's one tick for the not so weird side Tom.

Link to Ducati's Desmosedici RR page.

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TSN to Air 6 Episodes of Motorcycle Experience

TSN is set to run six episodes of Motorcycle Experience starting February 16th, with the additional episodes airing Feb 23, Mar 1, Mar 8th, Mar 15, and Mar 23. Saturday at 11:30 am - 12:00 pm eastern time. As one might expect the show features stories about motorcycles, but more specifically it'll have expert advice, new model tests, and impressions on some of the best roads to ride in Canada. The host Dave Hatch will be familiar to many riders.

It's nice to have a Canadian show with Canadian content about motorcycles. Show your support and tune in.

Here's a a link to the show's site.

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Paul Mondor Completes Winter Journey

Paul Mondor, aka "The Iceman", and resident of Victoria BC, has completed the outbound portion of his cross-Canada journey from Victoria to Goose Bay, Labrador via the Trans-Labrador Highway. Yes, that's a pretty far trip, some 7000 km's - but many have done it before, what's so special about that? Paul did it on a motorbike; in January! When asked why? He say's, Why Not! The road is there.

He left Victoria on Jan 2nd and some 20 days later he's made it to Labrador. He wanted to be the first Canadian to ride from coast to cost in January. He rides a BMW 650 Dakar specially equiped with a sidecar. He's appropriately nicknamed the bike "Frosty". Normally he prefers to ride on two wheels but the sidecar was a necessary addition given the weather and road conditions he was travelling on. The sidecar saved his life at least a couple times he said, once when he slid across the road on a sheet of ice on a large hill. It also allowed him to carry some extra gear and warm up by wrapping a tarp around it with a propane heater inside.

It's really a remarkable and dangerous feat and one that Paul say's he won't do again. Temparatures along parts of the journey forced him to stop every 15 minutes to try to warm up. Many parts of the route he travelled are now closed even.

He's already planning a trip around the world in a few years' time.

You can also follow along his journey along with comments from people from around the world at:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230898

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Not Quite A Dirtbike - Not Quite a Snowmobile

What could it be you ask? It's called a "Snow Hawk". So why talk about a snow machine here? Because two junior models can be equipped with a front wheel kit that allows their use all year round! The Jr models can reach top speeds of 55 km/hr.

The 60cc version has been in production in Canada since 2002, and the 120cc version since just last year.

They've got an 800cc version too but unfortunately no wheel kit is available for that version. The 120cc is indicated to be the ideal first motorized vehicle for kinds or young adolescents. However, even adults can use the 120cc version. If you're over 160 lbs you might need to have a longer track installed for powdered snow.

Specifications:

Engine - Raket 120cc 1 cylinder, 2 stroke
Exhaust: Tuned pipe with silencer
Power: 10 kW @ 9,000 RPM
Cooling: Fan
Front Suspension: Fork 3.5 in. travel (90 mm)
Rear Suspension: Expert Xtreme type 5.25 in. travel (13,5 cm)
Brake system: Disk brake
Overall Dimensions (LxWxH): 77 in. (196 cm) x 29 in. (73,7 cm) x 37 in. (94 cm)
Seat height: 29 in. (73,7 cm) / 27 in. in its lower position (68,6 cm)
Fuel capacity: 1.32 US gal (5 l)
Dry Weight: 100 lb. (46 kg)

Retail Price is right around $2988

There is a video of them in action on the the MotorMax International website (a Winnipeg based dealer). It sure looks like fun!


Link to the manufacturer website.

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Site Update

We've made some changes to the layout of the site that should mean more frequent postings in the News and better categorization of content. Featured Articles no longer get archived and mixed into the News. Featured Articles stay on the main page now and you can access past content by category or date via links in the lower left (sidebar).

Hope you like the changes!

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Give Your Internet Searches A Troy Lee Design.

Add some motorcycle styled inspiration to your daily computer searches with iGoogle! Troy Lee Designs recently joined forces with the team at iGoogle to offer you a search page that matches your attitude! iGoogle, or interactive Google, is basically a customizable homepage that was originally launched in May 2005.

Web users can add web feed to their favorite content and Google Gadgets. So your homepage can be a launch to content on the internet. Troy Lee Designs are one of the most recognized custom helmet paint shops in the world and has developed a theme for iGoogle called Supermoto Mahem.

Here’s a peak:


To get the theme and for more information on iGoogle check out this link:

http://code.google.com/apis/themes/examples/lee.html


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New Model Motorcycle Show - Coming to your city?

Canada's new model motorcycle show is coming! For those in Toronto it has already come and gone but for those in other select cities across Canada you've still got time. All the major manufacturers launched their new models at the show in Toronto (Dec 7-9th 2007). More than 36,000 people attended the show at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. Don't miss it when it comes to your city. Here's a list of the cities and dates along with the official link:

Toronto Motorcycle Show -- December 7-9/07
Calgary Motorcycle Show -- January 4-6/08
Edmonton Motorcycle Show -- January 11-13/08
Vancouver Motorcycle Show -- January 24-27/08
Quebec City Motorcycle Show -- February 8-10/08
Moncton Motorcycle Show -- February 15-17/08
Montreal Motorcycle Show -- February 22-24/08


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Bad News for Manitoba Motorcyclists

Manitoba Public Insurance is going to be paying rebates of 10% on driver's 2006-07 insurance premiums. It's expected to be about $100 per vehicle owner... But, now the bad news, motorcyclists will see jumps of an average of 9% in their rates. Doug Houghton, president of the Coalition of Manitoba Motorcycle Groups states: "Some of the more higher-priced bikes in the urban area, Winnipeg... are either getting little or no increases whereas motorcycles in territories two, three, and four are getting much higher increases" referring to drivers in southern Manitoba outside Winnipeg, northern and central Manitoba.

"Also, the lower priced motorcycle will be seeing higher increases; some of those may see 15, 20% increases."

MPI is beginning to factor in what they refer to as the "true" cost of claims involving motorcycles. In 2004 MPI released a report indicating that the average motorcycle claim costs the insurer about $14,000, which is nearly six times the cost of an average passenger vehicle claim. "Bikers are more likely to be involved in single-vehicle crashes, and they are more likely to be hurt in accidents," the Crown Corporation said.


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