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Robbie Maddison Sets New Longest Motorcycle Jump Record



Robbie Maddison, billed as Australia's Evel Knievel has set a new world record for the longest motorcycle jump. He successfully cleared 351 feet which was 29 feet longer than the record he previously set in Las Vegas New Years Eve. This new record comes only weeks after he punctured his stomach and opened a large cut on his hip in practice.

The massive jump was performed on a modified Honda CR500, held in Calder Park, Melbourne. He flew nearly 66 feet into the air and landed successfully to set the new world record.


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Suzuki Wants Production Fuel Cell Motorcycle

Suzuki and the British firm Intelligent Energy have announced an extension of their agreement to develop hydrogen fuel-cell motorcycles. The intention is to create a production-ready hydrogen-powered bike in the near future.

suukiwntsproductionfuelce_1
Suzuki Crosscage Concept
Hydrogen fuel-cell concept bike
The collaboration between these two companies produced the Suzuki Crosscage, a hydrogen cell powered concept bike with similar performance to a 125cc machine. With the hydrogen powered Crosscage, the only emissions are pure water.

Phil Caldwell, director of business development at Intelligent Energy was quoted by MCN as saying:

“This is an important next step for our collaboration with Suzuki as we move from a very successful concept toward a range of commercially viable fuel cell motorcycles,” “We have developed an excellent relationship with Suzuki over the past two years and this agreement further strengthens our partnership.”

Henri Winand, chief executive of Intelligent Energy added “Our fuel cells are efficient, robust, and emit zero carbon at the tailpipe.” “Both Intelligent Energy and Suzuki are committed to the development of cleaner and more responsible vehicles for the consumer. The Crosscage is an example of what can be achieved when invention meets ambition, and we’re looking forward to the next phase in the relationship.”


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Heroes Legend – Paris to Dakar Rally Success for BMW

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Two Dutchmen have won the Heroes Legend classic off-road rally from Paris to Dakar a major off road rally riding BMW's. This year marks the third edition of the event.
Both of the men were riding for the Bert Duursma Motoren dealership team, Jos Bourgondien and Harrie Jacobi won this tough 'rallye-raid' event that started on 8 March near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and finished just last weekend at the Lac Rose in Dakar, Senegal.

Hubert Auriol, former BMW factory rider and two-times Paris-Dakar Rally winner is the organizer for the event.
This year, 165 participants in teams of at least three people - of which 68 were on motorcycles and 46 in 4x4 vehicles – made their way through France, Spain, Morocco and Mauritania, before arriving at the famous Lac Rose, close to Dakar.

Jos Bourgondien and Harrie Jacobi rode close to 7,000 kilometers across tarmac, gravel, dirt, sand and rocks on a classic converted 860cc BMW R 65 GS, and a new G 650 Xchallenge with Touratech Dakar gear, to reach the finish line and claim this important victory for the Bert Duursma team.

For additional details on the event check out the official website here. They've got some great photo's and information. Keep an eye on this one for next year!


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Motorcycle Club Victory

A BC Judge has ruled that a full-patch Hells Angels member and two of his associates are not members of a criminal organization.

Police were looking for a ruling that would put to test a new federal anti-gan legislations. If the Hells Angels were deemed to be a criminal organization, police would have been able to seize their assets.

Justice Anne MacKenzie acquitted David Giles, a full-patch member of the East End Chapter of the Hells Angels in BC, for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. Because of that ruling she could not rule that Giles belonged to a criminal organization.

"The Crown's case on Count Two (criminal organization) against all three depends upon a finding of Giles's guilt on Count One,'' she ruled.

"Count Two is the criminal organization offence and it depends upon the link of the (two) accused to Giles in the commission of the possession offence.''

MacKenzie did find the Hells Angels associates Richard Rempel, 24, and David Revell, 43, each guilty of one count of possession of cocaine and one count of trafficking cocaine.

One of the reasons for the verdict was that Justice Mackenzie could not understand the audio recordings the Crown submitted as evidence, saying the Crown was far-reaching in their interpretation of what they heard on the audio evidence.


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McQueen Heirs Suing Clothing Maker

Heirs of the actor Steve McQueen have asked a court to stop Belstaff, a British-founded clothes company from using his name and likeness to promote its products. Belstaff have been a manufacturer of high-tech, practical apparel for over eighty years. They have an entire motorcycle related line. Ewan McGreggor and Charley Boorman wore Belstaff gear on their Long Way Down adventure and Belstaff even have a "Long Way Down" jacket.

mcqueen2-thumb
McQueen was an avid motorcycle and race car enthusiast. One of his many hobbies included collecting classic motorcycles. By the time of his death, his collection included over 100 motorcycles and was valued in the millions of dollars. Whenever he had the opportunity to drive or ride in a movie, he usually did, performing many of his own stunts. He was part of the Classic motorcycle documentary "On Any Sunday". Considered an iconic actor and nicknamed "the King of Cool", McQueen died of cancer in 1980.

Now, his image and likeness are very carefully managed. If you must get your hands on some official Steve McQueen licensed clothing, fear not! You'll be able to get your super cool, officially licensed t-shirt at all Triumph motorcycle dealerships soon. The t-shirt is in an 'as worn by' style, taking its design cues from the vintage style t-shirt worn by McQueen. featuring the vintage Triumph logo print on the front. The ‘Steve McQueen Special Edition' slogan on the reverse and McQueen's signature on the arm let you know it's authentic. The McQueen story also appears on the inside back of the t-shirt.

The t-shirt is to be launched on the 24th of March, the anniversary of what would be McQueen’s 78th Birthday.

If you're not too familiar with the works of Steve McQueen and the man himself you should really do some online searches. He was one interesting guy!


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Two Motorcycle Shows Coming to Toronto

For the guys and gals living in or near Toronto there is a bit of medicine coming to help you with your spring motorcycle fever! There are two, count'em, two! motorcycle events coming to town.

The National Motorcycle Show is back for its 27th year, in a new venue in the Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place. More than 200 exhibitors will be selling tons of new and used motorcycles, parts, accessories, clothing and much more. The show attracts over 15,000 people each year from all areas of the motorcycle industry. Whether you are looking for dirt bikes or equipment, cruisers, deckers, british - you name it, you'll see a bit of all here.

What started over a quarter of a century ago as a "swap meet" has evolved into a motorcycle event. For one weekend, those that want to buy, sell, trade and converse with others interested in motorcycling all come together under one roof. This is a retail paradise of motorcycle merchandise! From rider training to customizing shops, painters, riding gear, new and used bikes, etc.; this is the place to find what you need to get on the road this spring.

Russ Mitchell of Exile Cycles will be there (BIker Build Off Champion and TV Personality) and so will John WIlliams (5 time World Champion Hill Climber).

Show dates and hours:

Saturday March 29, 2008: 10 am - 9 pm
Sunday, March 30, 2008: 10 am - 5 pm

Admission $15 Adult, Family Pass $40, Children under 12 - Free.

Here's a link to the show: www.nationalmotorcycleshow.com


SUPERSHOW Events presents the Toronto International Spring Motorcycle Show at the Toronto International Centre, Saturday April 5 and Sunday April 6. Featuring dealer displays of new bikes, accessory vendors & superstores, clubs & associations, huge selection of Used Parts & NOS stock for American, British, European and Asian motorcycles, Used Bike Market, Stage Shows and Custom Bike Competition. Best Bike in Show wins $3,500! Shop for bargains on all your spring motorcycling needs; helmets, boots and riding apparel. Plan your summer riding schedule by visiting the Clubs, Charity Rides and Racing displays. Learn about Rider Training & Insurance. This Show has it all! Adults $15, Youths under 12 years $5, children under 6 years free admission. Free Parking. Info: (905)655-5403 or check out the website.

Show dates and hours:

Saturday, April 5, 2008: 10 am - 9 pm
Sunday, April 6, 2008: 10 am - 5 pm

Here's a link to the show: www.supershowevents.com.


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Honda Varadero Pricing Announced!

The Honda Varadero pricing in Canada has been announced. It will have an MSRP of C$13,999!



Here's a quote from Honda:

The Varadero. If you're serious about adventure, then this is the bike for you.

Ready for Adventure Fuel Capacity - When you're out riding in uncharted territory, 25 litres of fuel capacity helps ensure that your adventure can be a long one. And a 4-litre warning reserve lets you know when it's time to start looking for fuel.

Best of both worlds - Because the best adventures aren't always found on smooth roads, the Varadero's 19-inch front and 17-inch back wheel combination gives you the ability to float over rough conditions without sacrificing performance when the road turns to pavement.

Combined ABS - When you're exploring remote locations in varying weather and route conditions, you'll have the confidence each time you grab a handful of brake, knowing that the twin front and single rear ABS disc brakes have got you covered. Having these brakes linked provides even better braking power, regardless of which brake lever you apply, when braking on less than perfect terrain

* Freight, PDI, taxes, license, insurance, and registration are not included. Retailer may sell for less. Retailer order/trade may be necessary. See your Honda Powerhouse dealer for full details. Always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing, and please respect the environment. Obey the law and read your owner's manual thoroughly. Honda recommends taking a motorcycle rider training course.



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KTM RC8 Ready to Race Video Released

KTM has a new wheel popping, power sliding, roasting the back tire video featuring the RC8 1190. The RC8 superbike weighs in at 414 lbs and is powered by a 155 horsepower, 1148cc 75 degree V-Twin.

The video is relatively short - runs approximately 2 min.

Check it out here.



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Harley Davidson Introduces Multi-Color LED Lighting System

Harley Davidson is introducing a new combination speedometer/tachometer accessory that will enable some 600 color-tone options.


600 Color Variation Gauge
The new speedo/tach combination gauge features a multi-color LED lighting system. You can use the trip reset button to adjust the backlighting of the gauge to blend four LED color through a range of more than 600 color-tone possibilities to match the color of your bike or whatever color you want that day.

It combines an analog sweeping speedometer on the top portion and an analog sweeper dial on the bottom for the tach so you can monitor both speed and RPM in one convenient gauge; no need to add an additional handlebar mounted tach. The gauge also features an LCD odometer/tripmeter. It'll mount in the stock dash opening and is a direct plug-in installation.

Sizes are available to replace the original-equipment five-inch and four-inch speedometers on the Harley-Davidson Touring, Sportster, Softail, and Dyna models.

It doesn't appear to be on Harley-Davidson's Canadian website but reports indicate that it'll retail for US$499.95 so expect a price reasonably close to that.



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BMW G650X Country Scrambler Upgrades for 2009

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2009 BMW G650 X Country
The New Year is coming early if you're thinking about buying a BMW G650X Country if we're to believe a German Press release from BMW. According to the information the G650 X Country model is being updated for 2009 but you won't have to wait. You'll be able to get it in time for the 2008 riding season.

It will come with new colours, new suspension (220mm spring travel front and 165mm rear), and a new seat adjustable from 800-825mm rather than the old 840-870mm. The height changes come via modifications to the upside-down fork and the adjustable spring but also through changed seat contours. The brake (5-way) and clutch levers (4-way) are also now adjustable. It comes in a shiny new yellow color too.

The engine is unchanged, with the single cylinder producing 53 hp. Dry weight is reportedly 149.5 kg and wet weight sits at about 161.5 kg.

The frame now has passenger pegs mounted and top box ready mounts.

Base MSRP is listed as $8,200.00 on the BMW website.


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Have Money, Will Travel?

Have some money to burn? How about a trip to Britain, Portugal, Norway, South Africa or just about any other far flung place (except Canada!) on the map to take some BMW Motorcycle training? There's a bit of something for riders of every style; touring, track, and off-road.

They've got some particularly interesting training in Britain. You can take some rider training that is managed by Kevin and Julia Sanders. They're double Guinness World Record Holders for long distance travel in short times.

bmw_dunk
How Embarrassing!
I hope Simon isn't watching!
Or maybe off-road is more your style. You can take some training in the spectacular 4,000 acre Walters Arena Enduro Park in Wales. It offers almost endless trails and terrains to suit all abilities. You will be taught or guided by an experienced team of BMW Off Road Instructors headed by six-times Dakar Rally competitor Simon Pavey. This year's range of experiences has been extended to ensure there is an off-road experience to suit every type of rider, whether you are a complete off-road novice or someone with previous experience.

Simon Pavey is the chap who helped Ewan and Charley prepare for the Long Way Down journey and Simon also helped Charley prepare for the Dakar Rally. Simon entered the rally too and was the only member of the team of three to finish.

You'll be able to ride G 650 XCountry, G 650 XChallenge, F 800 GS, R 1200 GS or HP2 Enduro. Expect to pay anywhere from $450 to $ 2,200 for the experience. Oh yeah, you'll also have to have completed at least the Level 1 basic course to be allowed on this ride. The Level 1 course is two days and about $900.



    Comments

    MBI Announces 2008 Riders Choice Awards

    Today, MBI announced the winners of the 2008 Riders Choice Awards, which were voted on by thousands of motorcycle riders in 77 countries, recognizing significant achievements and serious lapses in judgment during 2007 by motorcycle and related product manufacturers, persons and organizations. It’s a group of 161 international motorcycle weblog authors.

    mbi
    Motorcycle Bloggers International is an association of riders who write motorcycle blogs. Their members reside in many countries and live in different cultures but they have at least one thing in common—a passion for riding and writing about riding.

    Each year MBI conducts the Riders Choice awards program. Riders around the world are invited to participate by nominating and voting for the awards. New motorcycles or related products, services, events and actions by an individual or organization are eligible for awards in one of several categories.

    This years winners are:

    MBI Riders Choice - Star Awards
    • Object of Lust -- Ducati Desmosedici RR
    • Best Concept Motorcycle or Scooter -- Honda Evo 6
    • Best Manufacturer's Website -- BMW Motorrad
    • Best New in 2007 Scooter -- Piaggio MP3 400
    • Best New in 2007 Motorcycle -- Triumph Street Triple 675
    • Most Environmentally Friendly Motorcycle - ElectricMoto Corporation Blade XT
    • Wish We'd Thought of That -- KTM Bread Toaster
    • Women Riders Booster of the Year -- Lois Pryce (20,000 mile solo ride, Alaska to the tip of South America on a 225cc bike)
    • Thumbs Up -- Ewan McGregor/Charlie Boorman for enhancing the image of motorcycle riders

    MBI Riders Choice - Fallen Star Awards
    • Most Disappointing Motorcycle - Suzuki B-King
    • Thumbs Down -- Loud Pipes Save Lives
    • What Were They Thinking -- Babecage
    • Worst Manufacturer's Website -- Cycleport/Motoport

    The unique thing about the Riders Choice Awards is that nominees and winners are chosen by everyday riders around the world. It wasn’t a collection of professional journalists. There was no restriction on who could vote. You didn’t even have to ride a motorcycle to vote. A system was put in place to minimize duplicate voting.

    MBI membership is open to any motorcycle rider who maintains an active motorcycle-related Internet weblog or news web site with original commentary.

    More information about MBI can be found on the MBI website.


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    New Motorcycle Show on Discovery

    Discovery Channel has a website offering a whole bunch of two wheeled video entertainment. There's a series from Twist the Throttle that covers a wide range of topics from the motorcycle industry with an "insiders only" look at what's going on at some of the industries top brands.

    There's more than four hours of online content. Twist the Throttle brings the viewer inside BMW, Ducati, MV Agusta, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Bimoto, and Alpinestars. You'll get to hear about the history of the brands and how they got their start. It's a must see for any motorcycle enthusiast. You'll be taken inside locked doors at manufacturing facilities, design centers, and R&D departments and go on a ride on the autobahn with the hosts and hear their insights as well as the industry insiders take.

    Produced by the award winning, Cry Havoc Productions, this independent documentary company has produced Speed on Two Wheels, Ducati: A Story of Passion, Driving Design, and Top Marques (among others). This is some high quality film production available in HD in some areas (Check local listings for availability in your area). The series was filmed during a 36,000 mile journey spanning four countries on three continents to create the most comprehensive documentary series ever produced on the world of two-wheel fun, excitement, and passion. You can tell the two guys on the bikes (Milt and Dylan Weiss) are really enjoying themselves. Even the film crew rave about how amazing the trip is. On several occasions in the Bavarian Alps they talk about it being the "ride of a lifetime".

    In addition to being an excellent bit of television its got the added benefit of being free online right now.

    Be sure to check it out here.


    Comments

    Harley Removed From Citigroup's Top Sell List

    Citigroup removed Harley Davidson from their top pick to sell list, saying it saw evidence that the sales trends have "stabilized somewhat". The stock is also at a five year low. In January, Citigroup had listed shares of Harley-Davidson as on of its top picks - to sell for 2008.

    Sales in the US have been hurt by the subprime lending fiasco and weakened US economy. Clearly there is still potential for more downward movement but the stock is already trading 24% lower than at the start of the year, leading some investors to consider it a "buy low" opportunity. One benefit of the weakened US dollar is that it could pave the way for strong international sales.

    Analysts hope for another positive period similar the company's fourth quarter last year which reported 17.4 percent growth.

    Comments

    Motorcycle Retreat Opens in Cape Breton NS.

    A new motorcycle tourism destination business is opening May 23, 2008 just minutes from the world famous Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia. Located in the beautiful village of Middle River West, the idea behind the retreat began with two Toronto motorcyclists looking for Canada’s best riding destination.

    It is a motorcycle touring social haven with accomodations, art gallery, exstensive hiking and walking trails, internet station, resources and information about your ride on the Cabot Trail not to mention an environment that is built for motorcyclists by motorcyclists.

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    A famous piece of road on the Cabot Trail
    Check your brakes!
    The retreat is nestled on 100 acres of wooded land for you to explore. You'll have three rooms to choose from; the Cruiser, Full Throttle, and Off Road. Features include: shared bathroom, TV with DVD, alarm clock radio, boot dryers, Special hangers for your helmet and gear, ceiling fan, WiFi set up, and more.

    They even offer a shuttle service for a small fee if you want to leave the bikes behind for an evening of fun and perhaps a beverage or two.

    Rates for 2008 are listed at $65 (tax included) a night for two people. They're only 15 minutes from the beautiful village of Baddeck, the home of Alexander Gram Bell (be sure to visit the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site of Canada), and only 8 km away from the incredible Cabot Trail.

    Patrick and Angela have extended an offer of a 15% discount off the regular rate to readers of Canadian Motorcycle Rider. So when booking be sure to mention you heard about them from us! This offer is also listed in the Regional Resources page if you need to reference it quickly in the future.

    For more information about Middle River's - Cabot Trail Motorcycle Retreat check out their website here.


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    Winners of Ducati Motorcycle Contest Announced

    The Italian motorcycle maker, Ducati, has announced it's winners of the first round of the Ducati Superbike Concorso, The competition is for owners of exceptional Ducati Superbikes and took place at Daytona International Speedway last Friday. It is held in conjunction with the popular Ducati Day Daytona festival. This is just the first of several rounds of the Superbike Concorso.

    Seventeen bikes came to Daytona vying for six class prizes and a "Ducatisti Trip of a Lifetime" to the Ducati factory in Bologna, followed by the EICMA International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan.

    Entrants came from as far as Maine and Colorado to enjoy the festivities and see how their bikes compared to the competition.

    Winners in each category were as follows:

    Ducati Passion Award for Superbikes ridden to the event:
    John Avelluto (2005 Ducati 999) and James Wilde (2007 Ducati 1098) who rode in together from Kansas City.

    Bella Ducati Award for Superbikes of extraordinary external beauty:
    James Dillard Jr. (1987 Ducati 750F1 Laguna Seca)

    Casey Stoner Award for current model Superbikes:
    Kevin Mendez (2007 Ducati 1098 "Xerox Replica")

    Troy Bayliss Award for 1988 - 2007 Superbikes:
    S. Brian Meserlian (2005 Ducati 749R)

    Cook Neilson Award for Pre-1988 Superbikes:
    Peter Calles (1977 Ducati 900SS)

    Taglioni Award for Competition Superbikes:
    Chris Boy (2000 Ducati 996RS)

    Douglas Frederick and Ann Cederna took home the top prize, a trip for two to the Milan Motorcycle Show and and the Ducati Factory, for their immaculate 1998 Ducati 996 RS. This beautiful orange Ducati was ridden by Troy Bayliss in the British Superbike championship and restored by John Hackett in England.

    The next round of the Concorso will be held online beginning April 7th. Unfortunately entrants must be a legal resident of the United States for the duration of the Ducati Superbike Concorso. It's still worth checking out the site if you're a Canadian though; they've got some beautiful bikes displayed.

    Comments

    Turban Wearing Rider to Continue Legal Action

    Baljinder Badesha is back in the news today, Mr. Badesha, 39, disputed a $110 ticket for riding his Yamaha motorcycle in the fall of 2005 and ended up fighting Ontario's motorcycle helmet law. He lost the case on March 7th, and wasn't sure he'd continue with legal actions. But he has received support from the Ontario Human Rights Commission and many others. He has decided to continue with a challenge to the law in the interest of the entire Sikh community.

    When announcing his ruling on March 7th in Ontario, Judge James Blacklock said "Helmets appear to me more likely than not to substantially reduce the risk of head injuries and death to motorcycle riders."

    "It is certainly clear that in permitting Mr. Badesha and all Sikh adherents who hold his religious view to ride motorcycles without a helmet would not achieve the same level of safety for them," continued Judge Blacklock.

    Comments

    Qatar MotoGP A Success

    casey_stoner
    Casey Stoner
    2008 Qatar MotoGP Winner
    The opening round of the MotoGP series was held under the lights at the Losail circuit in Qatar on Sunday. Defending champion Casey Stoner (Ducati) won the race ahead of rookie Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha). Dani Pedrosa (Honda) finished third. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) finished back in fifth position.

    Stoner started in row two but by the second half of the race he was in top form and rode away with a more than 5 second victory.

    The race was the first MotoGP event to take place under lights, with the event kicking off at 11 PM local time in Qatar.

    Comments

    Daytona 200 Shocker!

    In a ruling only hours after the race, Chaz Davies was named the winner of Saturday's Daytona 200 AMA Formula Xtreme Series race at Daytona International Speedway after Josh Hayes, who finished first in the race, was disqualified on a technical violation. A customary and mandatory technical inspection of the top three finishers' motorcycles found that Hayes' Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR's crankshaft was polished, surface treated, and metal was removed from it.

    Kawasaki's Steve Rapp, the 2007 Daytona winner, was moved from third to second in the official results, with Larry Pegram's Ducati in third.

    The Daytona 200 is a 68-lap, 200 mile (equivalent to about 322 km) motorcycle race held annually at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.


    Comments

    HDT to produce Diesel Cruiser?

    A while back we brought you a story about Hayes Diversified Technology (HDT), a US company that are the largest supplier of military motorcycles to the US Defense Department (according to their website) and their diesel powered KLR. Some additional news has come out about the machine and the company that we thought we'd fill you in on.

    The final specifications aren't available for the BullDog yet but it is said that it weigh less than 400 lbs dry. It's estimated by Hayes to have a range of approximately 600 miles, or about 965 kms. This is slightly lower than our estimated 1000 + km's, but pretty close.

    Interest in the BullDog has skyrocketed due to a lot of recent press. The company is relatively small though and are focused on building to meet the demands of their military contracts at the moment. They believe that it'll be 2009 at the earliest before they can produce a model for sale to the public. When they do produce them, the first run will likely be limited to 200 machines.

    hayes_bulldog
    Hayes Diesel MD670F
    No word on cost yet but the original model (based on pre-2008 KLR) that was initially intended to be sold to the public but fell through was slated to cost a whopping US $19,000. Hopefully some of that was due to the initial development costs for the diesel engines which have been offset by their military contract success. Time will tell.

    The company is said to be working on some other exciting projects too like 4-wheeled light utility vehicles, remote controlled observation planes, AND a turbo-charged 1400 cc diesel powered cruiser. Now, that should be interesting!

    Comments

    Sikh Man Loses Fight to Ride Without Helmet

    As a follow-up to a story we brought you Feb 18th/08, Ontario Court Justice James Blacklock ruled today that Baljinder Badesha must pay the $110 fine issued to him for riding without a helmet. More importantly the decision comes with a ruling that riding a motorcycle without a helmet involves the "imposition" of significant extra safety risks that would pose an "undue hardship" on the province.

    sikh_bike
    Badesha in his Car Dealership
    Badesha is a devout Sikh and says that it is his "sincere" belief that he is obligated under the tenets of his faith to wear a turban at all times when outside his home and that being forced to wear a helmet violates his constitutional rights to practice his religion.

    Blacklock ruled that despite the interference with his freedom of religion, the law is justifiable because wearing a helmet "meaningfully" reduced motorcycle accident related injuries and deaths. If Sikhs were permitted to operate motorcycle's without helmets they would not be as safe as if they wore helmets.

    "There is a clear increase in the risk of devastating brain injury or death with the accompanying burdens on family members and the public in terms of medical needs," Blacklock ruled.

    Badesha indicated he was not upset by the courts decision and that he understood the safety implications. He still said the law was "100 per cent discrimination" though.

    Citing that the provinces of Manitoba and BC have exemptions that allow devout Sikhs to ride without helmets, Badesha and his supporters vowed to start lobbying the government for an exemption. In his judgement, Blacklock said that even though Manitoba and BC have exceptions that does not mean that Ontario must do the same. The province has a "legitimate state interest" in avoiding the "extra significant expense" associated with motorcycle accidents.

    The Ontario Human Rights Commission is also reviewing the decision. They had sought intervener status in the case on Badesha's behalf.

    Comments

    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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    Jagger Almost Didn't Get Anymore Satisfaction After 1969

    The FBI at 100, will be aired on BBC Radio 4 on Monday and in the radio show, the BBC alleges Hells Angels had a plot to kill Jagger of the Rolling Stones after a December 1969 concert at Altamont Speedway in California. The Stones had hired the motorcycle gang to act as security for the free concert. Jagger was only saved by a bad weather apparently!

    mick_altamont
    Mick Jagger at Altamont 1969
    At the concert, an 18 year old fan who had already had an earlier altercation with the motorcycle gang was seen pointing a gun at the stage at which point a group of Hell's Angels members stabbed him approximately five times and kicked him repeatedly, killing him. The Stones stopped playing when the incident took place but continued their performance soon after, unaware that Hunter had died.

    When Jagger learned about the death he said he would never use the motorcycle gang again. One member of the Hell's Angels was tried for the murder in 1972 but was acquitted after a jury ruled it was in self-defence.

    According to the BBC radio series the gang members were upset by Jagger's treatment and some gang members plotted to kill Jagger at his holiday home in Long Island, N.Y.

    Mark Young, a former FBI agent (according to the Telegraph newspaper) was interviewed on the series. In the interview Young tells a story about a group of Hells Angels getting into a boat to enter Jagger's property from the garden to avoid the security detail at the front of the house. They encounter a bad storm on route all of the men were thrown overboard. The men survive, but decide against another attempt.

    I guess it just goes to show that you can't always get what you want!

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