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Vancouver Canuck defenceman Luc Bourdon killed in motorcycle crash

Luc Bourdon, a promising defenceman with the NHL's Vancouver Canucks, was killed Thursday afternoon when his motorcycle struck a tractor-trailer in his native northern New Brunswick.

Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said the organization was "deeply saddened" by the loss and extended his sympathies Bourdon's family.

"Luc was an extremely talented player with a bright future," Gillis said in a statement. "He brought great passion to the game and was a valued team member on and off the ice.

"He will be greatly missed."

Kent Hughes, Bourdon's agent, described his client as a winner and a competitor.

"There was no quit in him," said Hughes, who knew Bourdon since the player was 15. "He persevered through a lot. He was a great guy and a great teammate."

RCMP in Shippagan wouldn't confirm the identity of the victim but said the driver of a motorcycle was killed at about 12:30 p.m. AT in crash on a road between Shippagan and Lemeque, N.B.

Bourdon, 21, was the first-round pick of the Canucks, 10th overall, in the 2005 NHL draft.

He split time this season with the Canucks and the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League. Bourdon was a member of the Canadian team that won gold at the 2006 world junior hockey championship in Vancouver and was named to the tournament all-star team.

He helped Canada win another gold at the 2007 world juniors in Sweden.

Bourdon played for Val d'Or, Moncton and Cape Breton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League before turning pro.

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Big shock - Canadian Gas prices predicted to stay high this summer

The National Energy Board’s (NEB) released their summer outlook for Canada’s energy markets. It probably doesn't come as any big surprise but oil and gas prices are not expected to get any lower in the coming months.

According to the report, the price of crude oil is not likely to ease throughout the summer, and will average in the area of US$130 per barrel. NEB said that some of the main reasons include seasonal demand increases, geopolitical risks to supply, low spare producing capacity, and the weakness of the U.S. dollar, which is resulting in more investment money flowing into commodities such as oil. Gasoline prices will also remain high and continue to reflect changes in the price of crude oil.

“Global oil prices continue to rise,” said NEB chair Gaétan Caron. “What happens in world crude oil markets this summer will largely determine the price of gasoline in both Canada and the U.S.”

The report also said that natural gas prices are expected to remain between US$11 and $13 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) this summer; rising natural gas prices could also affect electricity prices this summer, particularly in regions that use natural gas to generate electricity, including Ontario and Alberta.

Time to get yourself one of these fuel misers or maybe even something that you can skip the pumps altogether.

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More photo's of the 2009 Vmax

A few more photo's of the 2009 Vmax has made their way to the Internet. Some numbers being thrown around for specs are that it'll have a 1800 cc v4 with 210 horsepower. They're not official specs from Yamaha which won't be released until June 4th.

Here's a shot from the side.

Here's a shot of from the rear end of the bike:

And a shot of the engine:
With specifications like these the 2009 Vmax may just be able to recapture the honor of being the fastest production bike in the quarter mile.


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More accolades for Ducati Desmosedici RR


Ducati's trophy showcase just got a little more cramped with the announcement of two more awards to add to the heap.

Ducati North America is proud to announce that it has won the prestigious Robb Report "Best of the Best—Sport Bike" award for the second year in a row and has been awarded "Best Superbike" for 2008 by Cycle World Magazine—both for the Desmosedici RR.

The Robb Report "Best of the Best" awards are given to objects of desire on an annual basis; with the Sport Bike category highlighting the pinnacle of performance motorcycle technology. Ducati has been the proud recipient of this honor for two years running; with the award going to the ground breaking 1098 S Superbike in 2007, and now to the Desmosedici RR—the world’s first Moto GP derived production bike.

To top off an already exciting week, Cycle World, the world's largest motorcycle magazine, released its annual "10 Best" list with the Desmosedici RR sitting atop the Superbike category. The Superbike category honors the top echelon of Sport Bike technology, a niche in which Ducati specializes. Ducati has now been the fortunate recipient of this award for the past two years—winning it for the breathtaking 1098 Superbike in 2007, and now, again for the Desmosedici RR.

Unveiled at the Italian Grand Prix in 2006; the Desmosedici RR can be considered the most exotic performance motorcycle on the planet. With 200 horsepower on tap and such precious materials as magnesium, titanium and stainless steel encased in carbon fiber bodywork; it represents the epitome of what a sport bike should be: fast, lightweight and aerodynamic. As June issue of Robb Report reports: "As a complete package of desirability, the Desmosedici RR is without peer."

"Simply outrageous best describes Ducati's Desmosedici RR, a modern marvel of moto tech that defies all rules of logic. Sure, this Moto GP refugee represents complete and total overkill for the street, but even more astounding is the fact this bike need not even exist. With no homologation rule within the sport's premier class, the D16RR provides 200 horses of heart-pounding proof that the storied Italian manufacturer truly is fuelled by passion in its pursuit of performance excellence. We called it "magic in the streets" and "a masterpiece with a warranty." How could we not consider the world's first street-legal MotoGP replica to be anything less than the years best Superbike?" said Cycle World.

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2008 Isle of Man is upon us


Practice runs for the 2008 Isle of Man Superbike TT (tourist trophy) have begun! The event takes place from the 24th of May to 6th of June.

Even if you're not a big fan of motorcycle racing, the TT is something really different and special. One thing that makes it stand out is that its been around since 1907 and the second is that it is run in a time-trial format on public roads closed for racing by an act of the parliament of the Isle of Man. Last year, the 100th anniversary, attracted 60,000 fans to the island and many, many more via television.

The two expected top runners this year are Guy Martin and John McGuinness. Honda's Gary Martin was the fastest in the 2008 TT's timed practice session on Monday, running a 126.020 mph lap on his CBR1000RR. John McGuinnes wasn't too far behind though. The Padgetts Manx Gas Honda rider turned his best lap at 125.960 mph.

That's just over 200 km/hr if you're doing the math. On public roads! At points on the course there are spectators mere feet away having a pint on the patio of a pub. It's pretty spectacular. These guys appear to be absolutely fearless. At the speeds they're traveling and on the roads they're on a crash is almost surely to be fatal. You'd never know it by the way they attack the course.

If you missed the first century of the event you should do yourself a favor and try to catch some of this century's events.

More details can be found on the Official Isle of Man website here. Unfortunately for us Canadians, the Internet seems to be about the only way to keep tabs of this event. We haven't seen it airing on TV here at all. Feel free to let us know if it does though!

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Sneak peak of 2009 Vmax


Image courtesy of motoryclenews.com

Motorcycle news has released a sneak peak photo of the new 2009 Yamaha Vmax. Said to offer approximately 200hp. It is expected that the bike will be unvelieved on either June 4th or June 6th if we're to believe the countdown clock on Yamaha's website.

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More Internet rumor - Volkswagon eyes KTM purchase


A few weeks ago we told you that Volkswagen was looking to purchase a small motorcycle company after VW boss Ferdinand Piech had announced that he "…would still like a small, valuable motorcycle manufacturer."

At that time talk was that the Vdub brand was looking towards to Italy and thinking about Ducati. Well, now it sounds like they may be looking at an Austrian company - KTM.

The two companies had previsouly collaborated on the ultra cool KTM X-bow.

It's difficult to say if it's accurate information. Even tougher to say is what it would mean for KTM, the Austrian manufacturer famous for building Dakar-ready bikes and doing things their own way.

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Buell 1125R on the podium at Calabogie


Steve Crevier took his week old Buell 1125R to the 2008 season opener of the Canadian Superbike event to race against a whole lineup of Japanese inline fours. He didn't quite come out on top but finished a very respectable 3rd. Steve is up against GSX-R1000s, ZX10Rs and Yamaha R1's and beating them despite a weight and horsepower disadvantage.

If the win itself wasn’t enough, listen to what Steve had to say:
“It’s quite amazing,” said Crevier, a six-time Canadian Superbike champion. “We only got the bikes last Friday, and the crew has been slaving for a week solid. We even had to use a DOT rear tire because our rim was too narrow for the slick. It got a little mushy at the end but it felt OK.”

The first place Kawasaki had 173 horsepower at 378 pounds, 2nd place Yamaha, 176 hp at 400 pounds and the 3rd place Buell had 134 hp at 409 pounds.

The Buell is at a 40+ hp disadvantage and is also heavier than its competitors by some 5 kg! A testament to both rider and and the new Buell 1125R.

Oh, and incidentally - Canadian Kawasaki Motors Jordan Szoke won both the premier Superbike and Pro 600 Sport Bike races at the 2008 Calabogie opener.

For full details check out this press release.

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Max Burns on tour


Renowned motorcycle journalist, Max Burns, is on tour.

He's doing an official launch of the "From the books of Max" world tour. You may want to try to catch one of presentations if you can.

Basically, it's a partially scripted presentation where I talk about my writing, my adventures, my books, and anything else that comes to mind at the time. I also try to leave room for an open chat at the end. So it's all good fun. Hope to see you there.

Here's a basic schedule:

June 12-15 -- North Lanark Agricultural Society Almonte Fairgrounds, Almonte, ON
June 28 -- New Liskeard, ON.
July 4-6 -- Parry Sound Sportbike Rally
August 15-17 -- Centennial Park, Trenton, ON
August 22-24 -- The Very Boring Rally II, Duluth, MN
August 27 -- Wildwood Motorsports, 1143 Pembina Hwy., Winnipeg, MB

For more details visit Max Burn's website here.

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Honda outlines future motorcycle strategies

A May 21 press release posted on the Honda Worldwide website has outlined the Japanese marque's three-year plan. In a summary of a speech made by CEO Takeo Fukui, the document lists a number of significant changes to the firm's motorcycle production (Read the full release here).


Fukui first reiterated the importance of two-wheelers to the manufacturer's identity, with its success in motorcycle production leading to its thriving automotive achievements. Citing 13 million in annual sales, Honda celebrated the success of its Super Cub which has logged a "cumulative worldwide production of 60 million units (as of the end of April 2008)."

To meet its worldwide motorcycle demand in a more efficient manner, Honda will consolidate future production into its new Kumamoto Factory.

The new facility claims "20% improvement in workforce efficiency" and "reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 20% compared to the existing plant through various efforts including utilization of natural energy."

Fukui also outlined proposed technical improvements to the future Honda motorcycle lineup, which include:

Installation of PGM-FI (Honda's Programmed Fuel Injection) on "all Honda motorcycles sold in Thailand by the end of 2009" and "on most of its motorcycles worldwide by the end of 2010."

Introduction of a Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system on motorcycles which significantly improves fuel efficiency as well as electronically-controlled combined ABS (C-ABS), an advanced brake system which further improves stability while braking.

Installation of its "motorcycle airbag system and ABS (Antilock Brake System) on more products," with plans to incorporate "ABS in all 250cc or larger class models worldwide, except off-road models, by the end of 2010."

Honda also promises "to develop another model which creates a new motorcycle category and market as did the Super Cub." The marque later goes on to state that R&D will "be strengthened with a determination and passion to create the Super Cub of the next generation."

Those are some loftly goals considering the cumulative worldwide production numbers for the Super Cub.


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Lawrence Hacking gets online presence!

Lawrence Hacking, first Canadian to finish the Paris Dakar Rally has a fancy new website. So, all those wishing to keep up with the exploits of this master of two (and now four) wheeled vehicles will have a place to do it.

His website is www.lawrencehacking.com Be sure to bookmark it. No doubt Lawrence will be involved in many interesting adventures in the future if his past is any indication.

He has traveled the world as a result of his involvement in motorsports, raced motorcycles in some the most difficult and dangerous conditions on the planet; worked for Yamaha, Honda and Kawasaki; competed in the five-day Targa Newfoundland, co-drove the Baja 1000 as part of a top-shelf Protruck team, and works as a magazine journalist. That's just to name a few things really!

Here's a few tips from Lawrence from navigating his site:

Under Racing you will find magazine and newspaper articles I have written about motorcycles and car racing (in PDF files). Under Media you’ll find articles covering my racing activities on both Two and Four wheels. The photo pages reflect work I have done as a magazine test rider for Cycle Canada and Moto Journal plus there are some great shots of Mongolia and photos of the Targa and Dakar rallys.


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New Vmax arriving in Canada June 4th?


A mysterious counter has sprung up on the Yamaha Motors Canada website. It's not really clear what it's counting down but a little bit of digging seems to suggest that it's the arrival date of the long awaited Yamaha Vmax!

Yamaha Canada have confirmed that two models will be officially released on the 4th and 6th of June. The clock counter shows the moment the announcement for the June 4th announcement will be made in fact.


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Ontario announces accessible motorcycle sticker

From CandianDriver:

The Ontario government has announced that it will introduce a new visible accessible parking permit sticker for motorcycles, which will be placed directly on the license plate, as of May 26, 2008. The new sticker will complement the existing placard permit.

Instead of leaving the permit on the motorcycle, which presents a theft and privacy concern, motorcyclists will now be required to carry the permit with them, and may need to present it if asked by an enforcement officer.

More than 495,000 accessible parking permits have been issued in Ontario, with an estimated 100 used on motorcycles, for such medical conditions as lung and heart disease or arthritis.


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Harley Davidson and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


Harley Davidson's are everywhere! A Harley-Davidson Softail Springer Classic features prominently in the new Indiana Jones movie ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ opening in theaters across the country today.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, the latest in the series of cult Indiana Jones movies stars Harrison Ford and Shia LaBeouf. Co-staring is a 2007 Harley-Davidson Softail Springer Classic customized to reflect the movie’s 1957 period setting.

The bike scene comes during one of the film’s signature action-packed chase scenes, and features Shia LaBeouf ripping through a college campus with Harrison Ford along for the ride as a passenger.

Harley-Davidson Motor Company prepared five bikes for this movie and was closely involved with the on-set handling of the bikes. After the completion of the filming, two of the bikes will be returned to the Motor Company and will be on display in the soon-to-be-opened Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Museum, which opens to the public on July 12 in Milwaukee.


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New Buell Ulysses Police model in US


US law enforcement will have a new bike to add to their shopping list. Buell has equipped the Ulysses for Police duty. No word on if they'll also bring it to Canada.

Might make for some interestingly equipped used Uly's in the future!

Courtesy Buell:

The new Buell Ulysses® Police XB12XP offers government agencies and private security firms a quick and very nimble “special duty” patrol vehicle that is capable of travel over a variety of terrain, from open highways to city streets to unpaved back-country roads.

Based on the versatile Buell Ulysses adventure sportbike, the Ulysses Police features long-travel suspension, generous ground clearance and aggressive tires that allow it to tackle roads too rough or narrow for confident travel in an automobile or on a traditional police motorcycle. On smooth pavement, the Ulysses Police is an agile sport motorcycle. The Ulysses Police can also accommodate a passenger.

Available for order through Buell dealers as of Tuesday, May 27 2008, production of the 2009 Ulysses Police is scheduled to begin in August 2008.

Special features of the Ulysses Police include hard-shell top and side cases, each removable and lockable. The side cases are narrower than the standard Ulysses accessory side cases, allowing for more clearance in tight situations. On the Ulysses Police model, the Buell Triple Tail system functions as a luggage rack with tie-down hooks over the rear seat position, or as a cushioned passenger backrest with grab rails. A tall windshield, heated hand grips, and handlebar deflectors are also standard equipment. An available emergency response kit provides a siren and an LED lighting package in three different color configurations (Red/Blue, Red/Red, or Blue/Blue).

The Ulysses Police is powered by an air/oil/fan-cooled, fuel-injected Buell Thunderstorm 1203cc V-Twin engine that delivers 103 peak horsepower. This engine’s broad powerband and abundant torque gives the Ulysses the ability to proceed at lower speeds over uneven or unpaved roads with less gear shifting, and to deliver instant bursts of acceleration. The Ulysses Police has an EPA fuel mileage rating of 51 mpg urban/64 mpg highway*. A Goodyear Hibrex final drive belt with Flexten Plus technology is durable and never needs adjustment or lubrication.

Premium Showa front and rear suspension is fully adjustable. Rear spring preload can be adjusted for passenger and gear weight simply by turning a dial located below the left side of the seat. Suspension travel is 6.5 inches in front and 6.4 inches at the rear. Ground clearance is 6.75 inches.

The Ulysses Police features a 4.4-gallon fuel reservoir integrated into the aluminum frame. The lower center of mass achieved by carrying fuel in the frame, rather than in a tank located high on top of the frame, enhances rider confidence on and off pavement. The muffler is located below the engine to further lower the center of gravity and centralize mass for improved handling in all situations. Low unsprung weight helps keep the tires in contact with uneven road surfaces for improved control. The 17-inch, six-spoke, reinforced cast-aluminum wheels feature a durable rim design, and Pirelli Scorpion Sync tires deliver good traction on paved and unpaved roads. A dual front fender system provides debris protection for the rider and the bike.

The Ulysses Police will be offered in two color choices: Birch White and Midnight Black.

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6th Annual DEAD ZONE Dual-Sport Motorcycle Ride - June 28th/08


There are only 3 weeks left to register for this famous BC dual-sport motorcycle event. More details here.

The premier annual dual-sport motorcycle event in British Columbia is named after a series of challenging trails in the Onion Lake Riding Area west of Spences Bridge.

There will be two courses to ride:

The "C" loop is for those riders that are new to Dualsporting and for riders that are looking for a scenic ride through some of the areas most beautiful Forest Service Roads and easy secondary trails. This course is also planned with some sections that will test your abilities.

The "A/B" loop is for the seasoned rider. This is a course that will continuously test your abilities through out the day. Bring friends . . .you will need their help!

The Dead Zone event will be based out of the village of Spences Bridge, British Columbia. This is on Highway 1 in the Fraser Canyon, less than 4 hours north of Vancouver and the US border.

Pre-Registration by June 10, 2008 is required. No same-day entries.

DualSportBC promotes safe, legal and low-impact use of trails and forest roads, in harmony with ranchers, loggers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, hikers and other motorized trail users.

Please visit www.DualSportBC.com to learn more about this event and other activities.


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Chinese bikes to be safer and more fuel efficient


Bob Ramsay, President of the Motorcycle & Moped Industry Council (MMIC) and Mr. Bingnan Chen, the Secretary-General of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for Motorcycles (CCCM) located in the Chao Yang District of Beijing, China, for the first time in Canadian motorcycle manufacturing history have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), agreeing to work together to ensure that the manufacture of motorcycles and all terrain vehicles are safe, environmentally-friendly, energy efficiency and comply with the national standards in both countries in order to
serve the interests of the entire industry and consumers in China and Canada.

“Today is a historic day for the MMIC,” stated Bob Ramsay. “Through this MOU on
cooperation, MMIC and CCCM have agreed to serve the interests of their members in a
responsible and transparent manner in order to benefit the manufacturers, distributors and consumers of both countries.” Ramsay is pleased to add, “Both Parties have also agreed to maintain open communication, working cooperatively to address any matters that arise and to respect each other’s positions.”

Secretary-General Chen commented that, “CCCM has agreed to inform all the Chinese
export enterprises about Canada’s relevant laws and regulations as well as its standards and compliance requirements.” Chen also stated that signing the MOU is a great start and compared this signing ceremony to planting a tree “that represents the growth of cooperation and friendship between the motorcycle industry of two countries.”

The key aspect of this MOU of Cooperation is that both Parties will emphasize and
undertake the exchange of policies, laws and regulations, technical standards and
requirements for compliance for motorcycle and all terrain vehicle products and provide information, to each other within the limits of resources and time, on market conditions, trends, motorcycle exhibitions, professional and educational conferences.


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McCuff Industries, Inc. Partners with Gamma Sales, Inc.


McCuff Industries, Inc., the manufacturer of the McCuff “No Splash, No Spill, Motorcycle Fill”, announced today that it has partnered with Gamma Sales, Inc. dba Gamma Powersports to distribute the company’s patented McCuff products throughout its extensive power sport dealer base.

“We are extremely pleased to add Gamma Sales, Inc. to the McCuff’s distribution network,” said Al Castro, CEO of McCuff Industries, Inc. “This partnership now makes the McCuff available to powersport enthusiasts throughout Canada.” Castro further stated, “we have a cross over product that extends beyond the motorcycle industry and Gamma Sales, Inc. gives us the ability to reach the Canadian power sports community ranging from snow mobiles to motorcycle enthusiasts.”

About McCuff Industries, Inc.

McCuff Industries, Inc. is a privately held corporation headquartered in Rancho Dominguez, California. The company focuses on creating products that enhance the every day life of motorists. The company is best known for its patented McCuff “No Splash, No Spill, Motorcycle Fill” which enables motorists to fill up their motorcycles, ATVs, jet skis, and ski boats, amongst other vehicles with all nozzle types, with or without the recovery boot, at the top-off point with one click, every time, without the concerns of spilling gas. For more information, visit McCuff’s web site at www.mccuff.com.

About Gamma Sales, Inc.

Gamma Sales, Inc. is a Powersport Parts & Accessories Distributor serving Canada with corporate headquarters located in Orillia, Ontario. Gamma distributes over 50,000 products that include Motorcycle, ATV, Snowmobile, and Watercraft parts and accessories. Currently the largest wholesale powersports distributor in Canada, Gamma has a strong foothold on the power sports market with it’s warehouse located in Orillia, Ontario. For more information, visit the company’s web site at www.gammasales.com


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Ducati 2008 Tourist Trophy 30th anniversary celebration


On June 6, 2008, Ducati will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Mike Hailwood’s legendary win and the 50th anniversary of its participation in the TT

The 2008 edition of the Tourist Trophy, the classic road race held from 24 May to 7th June around the Isle of Man, is sure to be a special event and a great opportunity to celebrate with Ducati.

Of all the causes for celebration, the most important is undoubtedly the 30th anniversary of 2 June 1978, the date of Mike Hailwood’s unforgettable race to victory on a Ducati 900.

It was an achievement as longed-for as it was unexpected, because Hailwood hadn’t taken part in any official motorcycling competitions for several years. “Mike the Bike” stunned the crowds by beating the odds-on favorite Phil Read on his Honda.

In 1958, exactly 50 years ago, Ducati officially participated in the Tourist Trophy for the first time, racing with a 125 team. The factory team, which in its TT debut claimed second place in both the riders’ championship and the team rankings behind MV Agusta, was made up of legendary riders such as Luigi Taveri, Dave Chadwick, Romolo Ferri and Sammy Miller.

Ducati used the race to launch its Ducati 125 Gran Prix Desmo, the first racing Ducati fitted with the Desmodromic system that immediately proved the value of engineer Fabio Taglioni’s design.

During the course of its history at the Tourist Trophy, Ducati has led not only Mike Hailwood but many other equally famous riders to victory - riders such as Tony Rutter, who won the TT2 race on several occasions.

Now, for the first time, the Ducati museum in Bologna has allowed eight of its precious vintage bikes -- representing milestones of the past, present and future of the Italian manufacturer -- to grace the famous road route.

The following sensational bikes will be exhibited at the Tourist Trophy 2008:

- 125 Gran Sport “Marianna” 1956, the first bike designed by Fabio Taglioni
- 125 Gran Prix Desmo 1959, the first Ducati fitted with the Desmodromic system
- 250 Twin Cylinder Gran Prix Desmo 1960, one of the first racing bikes used by Mike Hailwood
- 900 SS IOM TT 1978, the bike that Mike Hailwood rode to TT victory
- 888 SBK 1991, one of the first 4-valve twin cylinder bikes ridden by American legend Doug Polen
916 SBK 1994, the first SBK used by Fogarty to win his first World Title
- 999 SBK 2006, the latest Ducati to have earned the SBK World Championship Title with Troy Bayliss
- Desmosedici MotoGP 2007, the bike ridden by young Australian Casey Stoner to win the MotoGP World Championship last year.

These will be on show alongside other Ducatis from private British collections. There will also be a parade of vintage Ducati bikes on the track and special guest appearances by Ducati personalities such as Carl Fogarty, Paul Smart, Tony Rutter, Michael Rutter, Sammy Miller, Trevor Nation, James “Jamie” Whitham and Dave Hailwood, son of the great British champion.

Credit: Words and photo courtesy of Ducati.


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New BMW, Triumph models and other gossip


These Internet rumors have not been researched or substantiated (for the most part) but they are some tantilizing rumors so we thought we'd help them along.

- BMW may revive the C1 covered scooter or if that is too wild they'll look to build another type of scooter to get in on the bustling demand for these highly fuel efficient vehicles. Those engineers are going to have their work cut out for them making this thing look cool. It is an interesting concept though; one that would certainly be appealing to some.

- Some BMW dealers are hinting at a 675cc Triple that will be available in 2010. Say what!? Yes - you read correctly... A BMW Triple. That's three cylinders - just like the Triumph 675. That would be quite surprising development if true. Rumor has it that one US dealership is already taking deposits and reports of hp numbers around 130 are floating around too.

- Michael Schumacher has teamed up with helmet maker Schuberth to produce a race track ready and specific helmet. Now if we could only get the Schuberth helmets in Canada this might be a good seller. This rumor seems to have some truth to it. We were able to find some pictures and information on it. Nice looking helmet! Here's a link.

- Triumph is said to be working on a 675 cc version of the 1050 cc Tiger, to be called the 'Tiger Cub'. A new frame (or at least a modified version of one) will be necessary to allow for longer travel suspension at the rear and an increase in ground clearance, and some longer forks. However, a minor engine retune is all that will be required making this seem like a real possibility.


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Harley's 105th party concert keeps getting better

On Friday Harely Davidson announced that the Foo Fighters will be playing along with special guest Three Days Grace, will be playing on Friday, August 29, 2008, at the outdoor venue dubbed Roadhouse at the Lakefront (located just north of the Milwaukee Art Museum).

Stand-alone concert tickets go on sale at 8:00 a.m. CDT on Saturday, May 31, 2008, at www.ticketmaster.com. Purchasers do not need a Harley-Davidson 105th Anniversary ticket to secure tickets for the Foo Fighters concert. All tickets for Foo Fighters are general admission lawn seating and cost $27.50, plus shipping and handling charges.

In addition to Foo Fighters and Three Days Grace, American icons like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and ZZ Top, as well as rising stars like Daughtry are scheduled to perform during the 105th Anniversary. The Motor Company also plans to feature other popular acts including The Black Crowes, Dierks Bentley, Los Lonely Boys, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Buddy Guy, Cameo and more.

For more information on the events taking place at the 105th Anniversary party you can visit the site here.


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New Ducati 696 hits showroom floors today


The new Ducati 696 Monster is being unveiled at dealerships across Canada today.

The bike is said to be an improvement over last year's 695, with a nine per cent increase in power (up to 80 hp) and 11 per cent more torque, which now stands at 50.6lb-ft.

We'll have a test ride report on this model soon. For now here's a photo. Those Italians sure know how to make a fast looking bike!


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2009 Dakar registration opens today


Registration for the 2009 edition of the Dakar Rally opens today (May 15th/08). You can register online but if you want to be there you better act fast. Previous editions have been sold out very quickly.

The route has been published on the Dakar website. The race starts in Buenos Aires and ends, 6,000 kms further, back in Buenos Aires. The rally takes you through the low lands, twice through mountains, and through the deserts of Northern Chile.

In addition to long distances this event is going to have competitors dealing with a lack of oxygen at high altitude; robbing their engines of a lot of horsepower. Lack of oxygen in the air tends to have some negative effects on the riders too!

This could be the only time the event takes place in Central America so it may be a very popular. Not to mention you've got all those disappointed people who registered but didn't get to take part in the 2008 event due to it's cancellation.

The initial scrutineering takes place in Le Havre, France on November 26-27, before the vehicles are placed on the boat for shipping. The boat leaves from there. The race itself starts in the 3rd of January, and finishes on the 18th of January.

Here are some of the key dates to remember for the 2009 Dakar event:

- 15th of May - 30th of June 2008: reception of registration files
- 26th - 27th of November 2008: first phase of technical and administrative scrutineering at Le Havre.
- 31st of December 2008 - 2nd of January 2009: second phase of technical and administrative scrutineering at “La Rural” Palace in Buenos Aires.
- 3rd of January 2009: start of the first stage from Buenos Aires, on the “Plaza de la Republica”.
- 10th of January 2009: rest day at Valparaiso.
- 18th of January 2009: finish in Buenos Aires

For additional details on the 2009 Dakar you can check out the Dakar website here.



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Free BBQ and 10% off deals at Whitehorse Gear in New Hampshire.


Planning to be in New Hampshire soon? Well you may want to stop by Whitehorse Gear if you'll be in the neighborhood on May 17th.

They're having their 3rd Annual Spring Open House event. It takes place May 17th, 2008, 10:00-3:00. Rain or Shine. They're having a free catered BBQ some lively talk, and shopping.

Adventure rider, Mark Jenks, and Ken Condon, track day guru, are both going to be there giving talks. Don't miss them!

Open house special! 10% off on regularly priced items! Don't forget there's no sales tax in New Hampshire. There'll be great free door prizes, lots of bikes from far and wide, and plenty of good people for tire-kicking and bench racing.

For more details visit their site here.


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Northern Stars Cruise-In the Rock - Newfoundland July 17-19


The Northern Stars are having a Cruise-In the Rock event July 17-19 in Cornerbrook Newfoundland.

What's a Cruise-in you may wonder. Well here's how the Northern Stars describe it:

What is a Cruise-In:

A Northern Stars Cruise-In is an international motorcycle rally held annually to help bring members and friends of members to a central meeting point for festivities and fun. The Cruise-In´s were first started in the US in 2000, and the first one for the Northern Stars was in 2004 at Nordegg, AB. 2005 was in Rocky Mountain House, AB. 2006 was in Moncton, NB, and 2007 was in Kamloops, BC.

The Cruise-In is hosted by a Provincial Constellation with help and support from the ISRA, Northern Stars & Yamaha Canada.

During the three or more days of the Cruise-In there are many events. There are Group Rides, Vendor Displays, Merchandise Booths, Bike Games, Show N Shine, 50/50 draws, Silent Auctions, and much more. There is usually a Dinner & Dance on one of the nights, and an awards ceremony on the final evening.

The Northern Stars started primarily as an internet based group, and over time events such as the Cruise-In have brought together people that have only known each other on message forums. You will always hear people saying that it's great to finally put a face to the name. It always means so much more to be able to talk face to face with people that you may have known on the internet for years. People travel great distances to attend the festivities of this Annual Cruise-In. The greatest distance traveled by motorcycle thus far for a Cruise-In is 6500Km one way.

Come join the Northern Stars for the 2008 Cruise-In in Corner Brook, NL July 17-19, 2008. You won't be disappointed.

For more information the event and the Northern Stars check out their website here.


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Atlanticade in Moncton NB - June 25-29th


The 2nd annual Atlanticade is being held in Moncton, NB from June 25th to the 29th. According to organizers, Atlanticade is "the coming together of friends and motorcycle owners and enthusiasts. It is a 5-day festival with the goal of providing exciting events to participate in and most of all RIDE! We are a non-profit event with proceeds going to support the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada."

Last year they handed over a cheque for $10,000 to the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada. A great cause obviously.

Here's a sample of some of the things they've got lined up:

- First ever, "Northeastern Custom Bike Building Championship", which will feature some of the top custom builders in Eastern North America, competing for prize money and bragging rights.

- BIKER-TV host, Heather Ireland and her crew will be on hand, as well as, celebrity custom builder Bob Mckay of TSN Biker Build-Off fame.

- VENDOR VILLAGE where you'll see the latest and greatest in Motorcycle attire and services in the industry.

For more information check out the Atlanticade website.

Mark your calendars! You could also just add the event to your Google calendar directly from our Calendar page too.


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The BMW F650GS (Twin) has arrived!


Okay, so it's not the F800GS but it's got the 798cc engine - slightly modified to produce 71 hp instead of 85 like the F800GS will. But, it's here, and having just taken a look at one in person I can tell you it looks really good!

Nice low seat height, great fit and finish, and love it or hate it - plenty of BMW style.

The dealership I visited had pre-sold the ones they were initially able to get. At an MSRP of $8,990.00 it might be tough to get your hands on one.

For a more detailed review of the bike and more pictures be sure to check out our "BMW F800GS and F650GS Test Drive" article.

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Behold the 2008 Daytona 675 Special Edition

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You can get your Daytona 675, three-cylinder super sports middleweight in the regular neon blue, jet black, tornado red OR, you can get the new 2008 special edition color; phantom black.

The SE features a beautiful black paint job that is offset with gold wheels and matching gold decals and finished off with some black engine covers. It's a sleek, powerful looking machine.

The Daytona 675 has won countless comparison tests and for the past two years has taken both the MasterBike and Supertest ‘King of the Supersport’ crowns.

The Supertest competition is held at the Almeria track in Spain and judged by 15 journalists from publications all around the globe. The competition runs back-to-back tests for sports bikes from all the major motorcycle manufacturers.

The Triumph Daytona 675 took top place in Supertest competition for engine flexibility, throttle response, chassis handling, chassis brakes, equipment and price categories, making it the overall winner for the second year on the run.

Quickly following Supertest success, the Daytona 675 grabbed yet another “Best Supersport” title at the Masterbike test in Jerez, Spain. Masterbike is an independent track-test for sports bikes organized by Motociclismo, the best-selling bike magazine in Spain, with a judging panel comprised of 16 international motorcycle magazines. The Masterbike test is considered one of the most important and influential magazine tests due to its impartiality and fairness.


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Consumer carbon tax means fuel price increases in BC

BC has joined Quebec with the adoption of a consumer based carbon tax. As of July 1st BC motorists will pay start to pay an escalating carbon tax on most fossil fuels.

The tax will have an immediate impact on starting July 1st, when BC motorists will have to pay an additional 2.4 cents per litre of gas at the pumps but also add a similar price increase to other fuels such as diesel, propane, natural gas, and home heating fuel. The tax will rise to 7.2 cents per litre on gasoline by 2012, at which point it will be reassessed.

BC Finance Minister Carole Taylor says energy saving initiatives are the driving force behind the tax and money collected will be returned to consumers through tax cuts and credits, calling it a "revenue-neutral" carbon tax.

To help get people thinking green and help adjust to the new tax all BC residents will get a $100 cheque in June.


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Inaugural Honda CBR125R Challenge Race


14 year old Aubrey Bailey of Parry Sound, ON notched a dramatic win in the first ever race for the brand new Honda CBR125R Challenge series at Shannonville Motorsport Park near Belleville, ON, May 4.

This event was the non-Championship debut of the new specification series that will have it's full National points-and-pay out event at the opening Parts Canada Superbike event at Calabogie, ON, May 25.

It's going to be an interesting and fun series with all the machines evenly matched.

The Honda CBR125R Challenge was created to showcase Honda’s newest, smallest street sport bike entry as well as feature up and coming Canadian road race talent.

The machinery must be stock with only a few minor modifications allowed. The maximum horsepower is 14 as measured on the Official series Dynojet Dyno, while minimum weight is 240 pounds wet, post-race.

Here's the full schedule for the season:

Date Event Venue:
April 28 Riders School Shannonville Motorsport Park – Shannonville, ON
May 2-4 RACE Warm-up Shannonville Motorsport Park – Shannonville, ON
May 22-25 Round 1 Calabogie Motorsports Park – Calabogie, ON
June 26-29 Round 2 Race City Motorsport Park – Calgary, AB
July 18 Round 3 Mosport Development Track – Mosport, ON
August 7-10 Round 4 Atlantic Motorsport Park – Shubenacadie, NS
August 29-31 Round 5 Shannonville Motorsport Park – Shannonville, ON

For full details on the series keep an eye on the CBR125R Challenge page


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Looking for motorcycle parts or accessories?

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Motovan has their 2008 catalog's online for you to view. The catalog's are filled with an extensive listing of motorcycle gear and accessories.

These catalogs are sent to dealers who can order the parts for you. The good thing here is that the prices are listed so you know exactly what to expect when you head on down to your local shop and ask them for one.

Browse through the catalog, jot down the product name and number, call your local dealer and ask them for it. If they don't have it in stock just ask them to order it.

Who is Motovan you ask?

"Motovan Corporation is Canada’s leading distributor, exporter and manufacturer of Motorcycle, MX, ATV, and Snowmobile parts and accessories.

Motovan focuses on: building and maintaining the largest Canadian dealer network, strong leadership and customer service excellence. These key elements, paired with exclusive Canadian distribution rights on some of the most prestigious brands recognised in the powersports industry (including: Answer, Autocom, Bridegestone, Camoplast, Cardo, DID, Dunlop, Durablue, EBC, Elf, GGB Exhaust, Hindle, ITP, Joe Rocket, Kenda, K&N, Maxima, Maxxis, Michelin, Motion Pro, Motul, MSR, NGK, PIAA, Pinlock, Power Trip, Rapid Transit, Ready Racing, RXR, SBS, Scott, Shock Doctor, Shoei Helmets, Sunstar, Teknic, UFO, UNI, Unwind, Warn,Yuasa.) are what have ensured Motovan's position as the industry leader for the past 25 years.

In addition to distributing some of the industry's most popular names for powersports parts and accessories, Motovan also develops and manufactures many successful proprietary brands, such as:

Zox Helmets (helmets), RoadKrome (Cruiser leather apparel, saddlebags and hard parts), Road Iron (American motorcycle hard parts), Quadrax (ATV accessories), 0-Factor (Snowmobile apparel and accessories), Blade Barz (MX handlebars), Xtreme (MX Clothing and Helmets), MXRx (MX goggles, boots and protection)."

Here's a link to Motovan's catalog's.


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180 hp Harley?


Well - not quite, but a US company, ROEHR Motorcycles, is making a supercharged sportbike using a Harley-Davidson V-Rod 1250 Revolution engine that pumps out 180 hp.

Company founder Walter Roehrich says that he does not have a agreement in place for purchasing the engines from Harley, he just purchases them just like anybody else can. Roehr Motorcycles LLC is in no way affiliated with the Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

The Roehr 1250sc does feature high tech parts that most will recognize such as Ohlins suspension, Marchesini wheels, Brembo brakes. With a dry weight of 425 lbs (near half of which is the engine) it should be a rocket.

Billed as the most powerful American production sportsbike. They're handcrafted in limited numbers. If you've got a ton of cash you can put your deposit down now - they're apparently going to become available this summer.

They're beautiful looking machines. A lot like a Ducati from the front.

Take a look at the manufacturer website here. There are plenty more pictures available!


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Always wear proper footwear.



Somehow I don't think this is what most people think of when they think about 'proper footwear' on a motorcycle. Bata India has come out with motorcycle sandals. Yes, that's right - motorcycle sandals.

According to Bata the "most important features of the MotorSandal are – Fiberglass reinforced plate in the sole, Gear shift protection, Thermo-plastic rubber exhaust heat resistance, Toe bumper and Fluorescent night vision in the back strap. Another interesting feature of this sandal is that it can also be used without the back strap as a slipper depending on the wish of the rider. Those with no motorcycle need not be worried, this sandal can be used comfortably in all day to day activities.

At the moment five styles of the ‘MotorSandal’ are available in selected Bata stores across the country at an affordable retail price of Taka 900.00. The ‘MotorSandal’ with its exclusive features has already created tremendous customer sensation and attention. Bata Bangladesh has set a target to sell 100,000 pairs of this ‘MotorSandal’ during 2008"

I know it's not 40 degrees and humid many places in Canada at any point. But even if it were I'd still be wearing my motorcycle boots.

Here's a link to Bata India for more information.

Okay - so this isn't really news but it's just so shocking we had to post it!


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Ducati launching superbikes


Think the Ducati's are expensive at your local Canadian dealership? Well - Ducati has recently announced plans to launch superbikes (bikes with a larger than 800cc engine) in India on May 7th.

The bikes will be imported in a completely built state and will be subject to a 60% import duty as a result! These will truly be bikes for the wealthy.

A 7.2-million-strong bike market (which is the world's second-largest two-wheeler market) has prompted leading bike-makers around the world to take a closer look despite the heavy import fees.

Ducati's Global Chief Executive Gabriel Deltorchio will be flying to India on the day of the formal launch in Delhi.

It's not just Ducati that's made the leap - you'll see Harley Davidson, Triumph, Honda, and Kawasaki's in India should ever you decide to take the trip. Kawasaki sells its superbikes through Bajaj Auto, its motorcycle partner in India.

Though size and growth figures are not available, companies like Suzuki, which is launching the Hayabusa 1300 cc bike, and Honda, which is launching the CBR 1000 RR, are anticipating that demand will be huge. BMW had also eyed the India market but eneded up calling off an arrangement, signed several years ago because of negligible sales.

That should make you a whole lot better about the $44,995 CDN price tag for the 1098 R now - doesn't it!


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International motorcycle event to be held in Toronto

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The Motorcycle & Moped Industry Council (MMIC), Canada’s national motorcycle manufacturers trade association is hosting the 2008, International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (IMMA) conference throughout the week of May 5 - 9 at the Le Royal Meridian King Edward Hotel.

“MMIC, as an associate member of IMMA and this years host for the annual conference is looking forward to the opportunity to discuss significant new developments that are happening at a global level pertaining to the technical standards and road safety,” commented Bob Ramsay, President of the MMIC. “With individuals such as Dr. Nick Rogers, Secretary General of IMMA, along with representatives from Asia, Western, Eastern and Northern Europe, and North and South America in attendance, discussion will focus on new and evolving global standards.”

Currently IMMA participates in the work of: ” the United Nations committees on vehicle construction and road safety ” the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ” the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ” the Asian Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) organization ” the European Council of Ministers of Transport (ECMT).

The MMIC, as the national non-profit trade association, originally founded in 1971, represents the responsible interests of major motorcycle and scooter manufacturers, and distributors.


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Motorcycles allowed in HOV lanes in Toronto!

Toronto has just passed a motion allowing motorcycles with only 1 passenger to use the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes. Previously, motorcycles could only use the HOV lane when they had 2 riders on board.

City councellor Case Ootes announced on Wednesday that a motion to let motorcycles and scooters into HOV lanes passed in council. City staff now will amend bylaws to formalize it.

Motorcycle lobby groups made the difference in this case and convinced councillors that allowing motorcycles into the lanes makes sense environmentally and economically.

HOV lane signs will updated in the future but for now, motorcycle stickers will be used to address the change. Toronto will also advise other Ontario jurisdictions with HOV lanes about the change.

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Nova Scotia Motorcycle Rodeo - May 25th


May is motorcycle awareness month and Safety Services Nova Scotia is holding a Motorcycle Rodeo at Exhibition Park to celebrate!

There will be a indoor exhibit area with dealers, manufacturers, suppliers, motorcycle organizatoins, and information sessions.

Some outdoor events will take place too including skill building exercises, a skills competition, and safety training.

Some of the highlights for this year:

- Dr. Simon Walling, Neurosurgeon will be one of our key speakers. He talks about brain injuries and proper helmet wear.

- JP McArdle from Deeley Harley Davidson will be there. His skills on a HD are incredible. He has won many skills competition in the US and Canada. He teaches Police Officers and has trained and rode with the US President’s motorcade.

- The RCMP rollover vehicle will be here.

- The driver distraction display from the Insurance Bureau of Canada may also be here.

Admission is free. So head on over to Exhibition Park on Sunday, May 25th!

For more information call (902)454-9621 or visit www.safetyservicesns.ca

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Women only track day at Mosport - July 6th


Motoress has teamed up with Mosport to offer the track's first ever women only day.

Here's the details of the event from Motress:

MOTORESS PRESENTS --- THE FIRST EVER for women only track day on Mosport's RD circuit, Bowmanville Ontario.

This track day designed just for women provides a totally female-friendly and fun riding experience. Whether you're new to the circuit or not, the sessions will satisfy starter, intermediate or experienced—fun for every level!
You'll receive on track training by experienced female coaches and learn riding tactics relevant to women--practised in Europe by MOTORESS’s sister company RACEGIRL.

Experience the fun of riding within a traffic and pedestrian free environment--developing your skills in a "performance pressure-free" setting. You'll develop your abilities at your own pace —while enjoying the camaraderie of other female riders.

And that’s not all!! Contests, prizes, vendors, demo rides and more! Sign up fast—space is limited. See sign up details here!

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International Female Ride Day - Friday

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This Friday, May 2 is International Female Ride Day. It's a synchronized day worldwide where women motorcycle riders "JUST RIDE"

It's a chance for women to demonstrate their enjoyment of motorcycling and in most cases, passion for motorcycle riding. The campaign was created with the aim of highlighting the number of women who ride and building female rider awareness and to encourage other women to take up the activity.

The event places a spotlight on the female rider and celebrates the countless numbers who do--riders new to the activity or those who have had the pleasure all their lives!

For more details on the event check out the website for the event here.

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