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Boss Hoss Set To Debut Wheelchair Friendly Trike

Boss Hoss a US manufacturer based in Tennessee and producer of some of the largest displacement motorcycles and trikes around is set to unveil a new trike model at Daytona Bike Week, Feb. 29-Mar. 8 at the Daytona Speedway. Boss Hoss differentiates themselves by making bikes and trikes with General Motors V8 engines and semi-automatic transmissions. The heavy bikes and semi-automatic transmissions reportedly impart a very smooth vibrationless ride.

It'll be the industry's first production model for the disabled rider. It'll feature a wheelchair lift built into the chassis and disguised by a fiberglass truck-style trike body. The controls will be hand-operable to accommodate riders who may either not have legs or have the use of them.

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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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Ride Your BIke All Year Long

A while back we told you about a company that produced "Snow Hawks". They're a sort of hybrid between a motorbike and a snowmobile. The company that makes them have 60cc, 120cc and 800cc models. They have a wheel kit that allows you to use the Snow Hawk in the summer too but the wheel kit was only available for the two smaller versions. And it means one more thing in the already packed garage right! So, not really too realistic for the larger folk and those wanting big performance.

Well, Ad Bovin has come up with the solution! They call it the Explorer and it allows you to convert your motorbike into a winter snow machine. Bikes of a range of sizes are compatible with the system. Everything from a small motorcross bike right up to a big enduro will work. Here are some of the features:

rideyourbikellyerlong_1

All Terrain / All Season System: Can be used in snow, mud, sand, or any other surface.
Weight Transfer Adjustment: Quick release pins allow the track system to slide from the front to the back for proper traction depending on the surface.
Track Attack Angle: The ski Adapter permits a height adjustment that gives better traction efficiency for the conditions.
Twin Axis Ski: Snow Hawk extraordinary handling device is integrated into the ski kit to optimize handling of your bike.
Keeps original parts of the bike: Just take the wheels out and use the original brake, disk brake, swing arm, and shock absorber.

Price for all this winter fun:

Track Kit: C$1999
Ski Kit: C$949

More details including a demo video can be found on the manufacturer website here.

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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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World's Biggest Bike

So you think your bike is tough to pick up if you drop it. How about this one! It's 3 metres high, nine metres long, and weighs 14 tonnes.

Ray Baumann, retired stuntman, spent three years building the bike with wheels and tires taken from an 80-tonne Caterpillar digger. It's driven by two large chains and powered by a Detroit Diesel engine mated to a six speed automatic Allison transmission. The bike is used at shows and puts on car crushing demonstrations. It was designed and built in Perth, Australia.

It was designed with its weight down low, to make it a little more challenging to tip over. Baumann indicates it's still a very dangerous ride, "It could roll if we ran over a car the wrong way, so we still have to be very careful."

I guess the kids may enjoy it.

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Honda Varadero Coming End of April

The Honda Varadero is coming to Canada and according to reliable sources it's going to be here towards the end of April/08. Better put in a call to your local Honda Powerhouse dealership though because you won't likely be able to get it at a multi-lnie Honda dealership. We've also told that Powerhouse Dealerships will be the only dealerships allowed to sell them.

2007_Honda_XL1000V_VaraderoIn talking to several Powerhouse dealerships across Canada we're told they've been taking deposits on Varadero's already. Available colors will be silver and black and availability may be limited. Pricing will be in the C$12,000 to C$15,000 range. We're hoping to get more detailed pricing information soon and will update you as soon as we have it.

More:

- A listing of Honda Powerhouse Dealership across Canada can be found here on the last page.
- Link to a more detailed review of the Varadero on our site.

Edit (March 22/08)
: Pricing information for the Honda Varadero in Canada was released on Friday March 21 in a newsletter to people who subscribed on the Honda Canada website. It'll have a base MSRP of $13,999.



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First Moto GP Race Under Lights Upcoming

The track in Doha, Qatar was built in just under a year at a cost of US$58 million and is set to host the first Moto GP race event to take place under lights on the evening of March 9th, 2008. The 5.4 km track is surrounded by artificial grass to keep sand from the nearby desert from creating havoc on the track.

qatarnight
The main straight is over a kilometer in length and there is a mix of medium and high-speed corners. Its got 6 left turns and 10 rights with a width of 12 meters.

Organizers have said the project to light the track is believed to be the biggest lighting project in the world for any sporting event.

Set your VCR's, TIVO's, PVR's, or whatever you record TV with because this will be a history making event! Course you could always just watch it too.

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Ducati Receives Takeover Bid

Ducati Motor Holding SpA has received a buyout offer today from its three controlling shareholders; private equity firms Investindustrial SpA along with BS Investimenti and partner Hospital of Ontario Pension Plan

The offer is reportedly worth as much as $576 million.

The equity firms already own a controlling interest of almost 30% of Ducati will offer 1.70 euros a share for the remaining shares, the investors said in a statement today.

Ducati shares rose a record 20% on the news, up 28 cents after being suspended from trading pending the announcement. The bid is conditional on the investors gaining control of two thirds of Ducati's capital and half of the acquisition will be financed by Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, the investors said. The funds said they plan to delist Ducati's shares following recent market volatility.

Ducati has targeted annual sales growth of 10% by adding more profitable models and boosting revenue via merchandising. They posted their first full-year profit in 2007 after three years of losses.

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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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Man Challenging Motorcycle Safety Regulations in Ontario

Baljinder Badesha, a Sikh, is challenging Ontario's motorcycle helmet law as a violation of his rights. Mr. Badesha is a 39-year-old father of four who immigrated to Canada in 1989 and was an avid motorcyclist in his native India, was charged by Peel police in September 2005 with failing to wear a helmet. He had been riding about a month on his new Honda Shadow.

The ticket is for $110 but the real issue is whether he'll have the right to ride without a helmet. He hasn't ridden since getting the ticket. He lived in BC before, where Sikh's are exempt from having to wear helmets while riding their motorcycles. He indicates he wasn't aware he was required to wear one in Ontario. Manitoba is another Canadian Province with this exemption. It's also the case in the UK, Hong Kong, and India.

He's got some powerful groups on his side, the Ontario Human Rights Commission for one. Scott Hutchison, an attorney for the human rights commission, told a Brampton court, "Telling Mr. Badesha to choose between his religion or participating in the normal life of Ontario is discrimination,"

"Roads and riding a motorcycle are something that is available to everybody in Ontario provided they wear a helmet. But that condition makes it impossible for Mr. Bedesha and everybody of the Sikh religion. That amounts to discrimination."

Mr. Badesha said in a statement that he had a "sincere" belief that he was obligated under the tenets of his faith to wear a turban at all times when outside his home. Government lawyers on the other hand indicate that denying non-helmeted riders access to motorcycles does not violate the Constitution.

Defence lawyer Mel Sokosky said the judge's ruling would apply only to Badesha though. "It's not a blanket exemption unless the Ontario legislature sees fit to make it the law, an exemption for devout Sikhs." "It stands to reason that if he succeeds then all other people in the same situation should also be able to succeed," said Sokosky.

As of the writing of this article the case is ongoing and continues to be a contentious issue.

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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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Harley CrossBones Pricing Announced

crossbones_3
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 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.

Vivid Black is $18,629 and if you want some color you'll have to pay $19,029.

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