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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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New Short Version of Buell Ulysses

Buell has a new version of the popular Ulysses out and for all those who found the last one a little tall, and that was a lot of people, this one's a little shorter. The model name is the XB12XT, the original is an XB12X. It's got a seat height of 780 mm (28 mm less than on the X model). To get that lower height you get a little less suspension travel. Rather than the 47mm shocks on the X model you get 43mm Showa inverted forks adjustable (compression damping, rebound damping, and spring preload).

They've given it some touring goodies as standard equipment to go along with that T in the name. You get lockable side cases and top box luggage, heated grips, a taller windscreen, a wheel hugger fender on the front and removal of the high fender, and Pirelli Strada sport touring tires. Another minor difference between the T model and the X is that the X has reinforced wheels while the T version doesn't (low front fender, non-reinforced wheels... sounds like Buell is expecting this to be mostly street ridden).

The engine is the Thunderstorm 1203 air/oil/fan-cooled, 4-stroke, 45° V-Twin (not the new 1125 liquid cooled engine). This engine is good for a little over 100 hp and 84ft/lbs of torque at 6400 rpm. New for 2008 the Thunderstorm engine redline is increased to 7100 rpm from 6800 rpm. It's got a 5-speed final drive and is belt driven.

As always with Buell, the fuel is in the frame part of Eric's Buell's mass centralization strategy. The aluminum frame carries 16.7 liters. Interestingly the oil resevoir is in the aluminum swingarm. Dry weight is 465 lbs/211 kg. Fuel economy is quoted as being 47 MPG urban/59 Highway or 5L/100km urban/3.99L/100km city for those metric folks.

Two new colors are available too: Racing Red and Thrust Blue. Comes with a 24 month warranty.

Canadian price is $13,999 (US price is $12,995 so just a $1,004 difference).

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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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Harley's Got an Old-Fashioned New Ride.

Harley Davidson has come out with a new model within the Softail family that looks like it could have been built in the 50's. They've called it the FLSTSB Softail or "Cross Bones" for short. Powered by an air-cooled, rigid mounted 1584cc twin cam 96b engine mated to a 6 speed transmission.

It has a rider adjusted, two-position, sprung solo seat which is nice and low at 676mm or 26.6 inches. Fat tires at both ends mounted on black rim and hub laced wheels. You get a 16" - 135mm wide tire in the front and 17" - 200mm wide tire in the rear. Chopped front fender and a bobtail rear fender. It comes with mini-ape hanger handlebars and an electric tank mounted speedometer.

It will be available in some interesting colors like; Dark Denim Blue, Pewter Denim, Black Denim, Dark Blue Pearl, Olive Pearl, and of course... Vivid Black.

MSRP in the US is $16,795 for Vivid Black, $17,140 if you want color. We'll update with Canadian pricing once it's available.

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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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Vancouver Motorcycle Show (Jan 24-27)

The Vancouver Motorcycle Show is BC's foremost motorcycle show and the only event in the province at which all of the major manufacturers showcase their new models. Visitors are offered an exclusive opportunity to view and receive information on the newest bikes and accessories direct from the manufacturers and their factory representatives and dealers - including Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Harley-Davidson, BMW, Triumph, Ducati, Victory, KTM, and Hyosung. Upwards of 180 exhibitors will be on hand!

DATES & TIMES:
Thursday, January 24 Noon to 9pm
Friday, January 25 10am to 9pm
Saturday, January 26 10am to 9pm
Sunday, January 27 10am to 5pm

ADMISSION:
Adults: $12.00
Juniors/Youth (6-15): $8.00
Children (under six and accompanied by an adult): Free
Family (2 Adults/2 Juniors): $26.00

Link to
show site.


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2008 Running of Dakar Cancelled

2008 would have marked the 30th anniversary of the Dakar rally but instead it will mark the first time in it's history that it has been cancelled. With less than 24 hours until the event was scheduled to start the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) notified the public in a press release this morning that the rally would not be going forward because of security concerns.

According to the ASO on the Dakar website:

"Based on the current international political tension and the murder of four French tourists last 24th of December linked to a branch of Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb, but also and mainly the direct threats launched directly against the race by terrorist organisations, no other decision but the cancellation of the sporting event could be taken by A.S.O."

Some area's along the route have been experiencing great political unrest and violence. On December 24th a French family on holiday were murdered in Mauritania. Local authorities have laid the blame on a terrorist "sleeper cell" linked to a North African faction of al Qaida for the murder of the tourists.

The cancellation will still no doubt come as a shock and huge disappointment to those who were scheduled to participate in the event. The event does generate a lot of economic spin off for the regions it travels through and the event has faced challenges in the past. This isn't the first time they've had terrorist threats... They've also endured land mines, sand storms, and the death of spectators and participants. But the seriousness of the threats this year left the ASO with no alternative.

In their words:

"A.S.O.’s first responsibility is to guarantee the safety of all: that of the populations in the countries visited, of the amateur and professional competitors, of the technical assistance personnel, of the journalists, partners and rally collaborators. A.S.O. therefore reaffirms that the choice of security is not, has never been and will never be a subject of compromise at the heart of the Dakar rally."


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