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Parry Sound Sportbike Rally Schedule

The 26th annual Parry Sound Sportbike Rally is taking place July 4, 5, 6th in, you guessed it, Parry Sound Ontario.

Registration is only $20 and that get syou a t-shirt, a bag o' goodies, and entry in all events.

It would seem that a schedule has been posted for the event too. Here's the details:

BOCC= Bobby Orr Community Centre.

Friday July 4

Expo & Registration 12pm – 9pm (BOCC)
Dyno (BOCC)
Auction viewing (BOCC)
Biker Café (BOCC)
Video night with Max Burns (worlds fastest indian) (BOCC)
Kick off street music & Show ‘N’ Shine (Main St.)

Saturday July 5

Expo & Registration 8am – 5pm (BOCC)
Dyno (BOCC)
Biker Breakfast 7am – 10am (BOCC)
Auction viewing (BOCC)
Biker Café (BOCC) refreshments and motorcycle themed videos all day.
Poker Run (BOCC)
Suzuki FMX Tour (Salt Dock)
Trials (Fowler Pit)
Biker Dinner 4pm – 6:30pm (hosted by Max Burns) (BOCC)
Live Auction (BOCC)
Thunder Run (Forming up at Louisa St. ending at the mall)
Cheap Awards (Mall)
Saturday Night Band and entertainment (Mall)

Sunday July 6

Supermotard (Salt Dock)


Atlanticade - motorcycle event to rock out this weekend

Moncton, New Brunswick will be motorbike central this weekend (June 25-28) with the Atlanticade motorcycle event taking place.

There's going to be a bike building competition, organized rides, BBQ's, demo rides, and a big ol' downtown street party!

Word has it that Elvis may even show up, well, an Elvis tribute artist at least! It won't just be the v-twins doing the shakin'.

For more details you may want to check out their website here:


Manitoba motorcycle insurance rates called 'extortion'

Manitoba Public Insurance is charging some awfully high rates on motorcycles and they seem to always be on the rise. Some motorcycle dealers in the city are going so far as to call it 'extortion'.

Ted Hector of Thunder Road Motorcycles is one of those dealers voicing their opinion about the Public insurer.

"Do you think $3,000 for a bike is insurance? It's not -- it's bloody extortion,"

"And they've been putting it up over 10 years, every single year. But it's compounded. And it just keeps going. It's absolutely outrageous."

Hector indicated Saskatchewan premiums in some cases are as little as 20% of what Manitoba motorcyclists pay, MPI spokesman Brian Smiley argued comparisons often put "apples to oranges" with differences in coverage provided for damages as well as for fires, thefts and injuries.

MPI's motorcycle rate hikes are "coming back down" due to a change to split costs evenly between owners of motorbikes and other vehicles following collisions, he said.

Thunder Road Motorcycles put together a few insurance quotes from Saskatchewan and for the same bikes in Manitoba. Needless to say - the differences are substantial.

Insurance rates in Manitoba and Saskatchewan for certain models of motorcycles:

- 2008 Suzuki 600 GSXR sport bike -- Sask. $1,205, Man. $3,132
- 2004 Suzuki 250 Marauder -- Sask. $304, Man. $1,847
- 1995 Harley Davidson FXWG -- Sask. $1,119, Man. $2,264
- 1978 Honda CB750 -- Sask. $552, Man. $1,814
- 1938 Harley Davidson ULH -- Sask. $779, Man. $2,352

-- Source: Thunder Road Motorcycles


Ottawa motorcyclists and scooter riders want a break

According to news in the Ottawa citizen there were a few riders in Canada's capital who attended an Ottawa municipal parking management strategy focus group. They wanted to support the call for a city parking strategy that recognizes the needs of two-wheeled vehicles.

Sheldon Cross and Dan Witmer, both from Ottawa's Gearhead motorcycle and scooter shop, proposed that motorcycles and scooters be given free designated parking downtown.

Mr. Cross is the author of an online petition that, as of last night, had 851 signatures.

The petition draws attention to parking regulations in Toronto, which passed legislation in 2005 that made parking free for motorcycles and scooters. However, in Ottawa, under the city's current system, motorcycle and scooter riders pay the same price for parking as car drivers, even though they take up less space in a parking spot. If two bikes are parked in the same space, the one furthest from the meter will be ticketed.

Seems like an inefficient use of space at the very least.

The Ottawa municipal parking strategy's final report will be released in October 2008.


TankGrip sportbike handles

Just thought we'd pass along some details on an interesting new product we came across. Basically it's a handle that connects to the tank area of a sportbike providing a secure place for passengers to hang on.

Surprisingly they actually look pretty good and while I'm usually in the riding position rather than the riding position I'm sure that it wouldn't hurt to have a secure place to hold on to if you did want to go along for a ride. It would probably put a passenger more at ease.

The product would definitely rule out the use of a tank bag.

The company appears to be based out of the Netherlands and the site indicates the products are handmade in Europe. They do have a ".com" web address as well No word on whether this product will be available in Canada.

The website features plenty of pictures and even some video.

The company website indicates that they're looking for partners and investors.


New bunch of motorcycle books have arrived

The postman brought us a few books with a motorcycle theme that we'll be reviewing in the coming weeks. It looks like we're going to be pretty busy!

Here's a list of what's in store:

- Blood, Sweat & Second Gear - More Medicine for Motorcyclists
- Motorcycle Journeys Through the Alps and Beyond - Fourth Edition
- Motorcycle Journeys Through the Southwest - Second Edition
- 101 Road Tales - Clement Salvadori
- Mondo Enduro
- Stayin' Safe - The Art and Science of Riding Really Well
- BMW Racing Motorcycles - The Mastery of Speed

All the books are available for purchase at a discount in our Book Store.


Harley Davidson celebrating 105 anniversary - Canadian Events

Harley Davidson is having a "really" big party in Milwaukee to celebrate their 105th, but they've got some Canadian events lined up too in a few big cities. Tickets in each city are $25.

They'll have some new 2009 models on hand, special H.O.G. prizing and giveaways, hourly contests, vintage bike displays, surprise guest appearances, muscle movers MDC casino, and more.

Cities they'll be having events in include:

Montreal: Saturday, August, 23rd in 5 pm in Jarry Park:
Toronto: Sunday, August 24th, 5 pm at The Distillery
Winnipeg: Sunday, August 24th, 5 pm at Cowboys

For more details visit the event page on Harley Davidson's Canadian page here.


Motorcycle tourism boosts local economies

This past weekend, the inagural Ring of Fire motorcycle rally in Windsor, Nova Scotia was expected to inject $1 million dollars into the local economy. That's not too bad for one weekend.

The town is normally home to just shy of 4,000 people. The Rally boosted those numbers by approximately 7,000. Participants started rolling in on Friday in the town that's best known for their world-record pumpkins and other agricultural exhibitions.

Two streets were closed off to all traffic except motorcycles. Motorcyclists packed the downtown streets with thousands of motorcycles, four rows deep.

Needless to say local business people were thrilled with the turnout and greeted the motorcyclists with windowshop signs and trying to lure them in with products geared towards them.

Based on the success of this event its just its first year the business people of Windsor will likely get to welcome the bikers again next year.

For more details about the Windsor, Nova Scotia - Ring of Fire rally be sure to check out their website here.


Port Dover thinks they'll be in Guinness Book

Press Release CNW:

We mentioned a couple of days ago that the folks in Norfolk were trying to set a Guinness Book World Record and it looks like they've probably done it. Norfolk County officials tagged almost 12,000 motorcycles at PD13 today, as part of the attempt at a Guinness World Record for the most motorcycles.

"We estimate that more than 30,000 motorcycles visited Port Dover as part of this event, based on feedback from our dedicated team of volunteers who assisted with the count at several checkpoints around the town," said Clark Hoskin, Manager of Tourism & Economic Development for Norfolk County. "Our tag team handed out the majority of tags by noon on Friday the 13th."

Motorcycle enthusiasts arrived from across North America, including New York, California, Quebec, Georgia, Maryland and across the Great Lakes region. Some bikers claimed that they attended the event primarily because they wanted to participate in the Guinness World Record attempt.

"We will be preparing the package for the Guinness World Record organization in the coming days and submitting our information, so the numbers are unofficial right now," Hoskin added. "Port Dover is the first community hosting a motorcycle event where an official Guinness World Record has been attempted."

Port Dover is a key destination among motorcycle enthusiasts, and many bikers look forward to the perennial Friday the 13th biker rally festivities in this fishing port along Ontario's South Coast. The event is organized by the PD13 Committee, a hard-working group of community volunteers.

Bikers who participated have the opportunity to win prizes, by logging their individually numbered tags into the Norfolk County Tourism website at Photos and other information related to the Guinness World Record attempt will also be shared on that website.


Buell Firebolt to rumored to be featured in Transformers 2

Here's a tasty new Internet rumor for you folks. Potential spoilers for the new upcoming Transformers 2 - Revenge of the Fallen. So stop reading now and close your eyes if you don't want to know anything about it! There's going to be a motorcycle Transformer in the new Transformer movie scheduled for release in June 2009 according to the folks at

A leaked call sheet for the upcoming Transformers 2 movie indicates that there is a going to be a Buell Firebolt that transforms into a female robot, Arcee.

I'm no expert but from what I can tell Arcee is a character from the original cartoon series and this character achieved some popularity.

She was even supposed to be in the first movie but was dropped because there wasn't enough time to explain why there would be females in a robotic race. Guess that means it'll be explained in this one.

Some pictures have leaked too. I wonder if Buell will come out with a new special edition paint scheme.

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Simon Pavey readies for Russia to China rally

Simon Pavey, chief instructor at BMW’s Off Road Skills school in south Wales, is going to be putting his considerable off-road abilities to the test. Pavey will be competing in the inaugural Transorientale Rally, a 6,650-mile trek through Russia, Kazakhstan, and China that kicks off in St. Petersburg on June 12.

He's no stranger to tough tests, having competed several times in the Paris Dakar Rally. He even helped Charley Boorman in his attempt, chronicled in the series "Race To Dakar". He also helped get both Ewan McGreggor and Charley ready for the Long Way down and Long Way Round trips.

Pavey has custom prepped BMW G650 Xchallenge for the rally. The motorcycle features a standard chassis and engine, with a Touratech rally kit. Michelin is supplying the tyres, Castrol the oil, and outdoor equipment firm Cotswold providing camping gear.

Perhaps the largest challenge of the rally could come in China, where the riders will encounter sand dunes of up to 2000m in height. If all goes well Pavey should be running past the finishing post in Beijing on June 28.


Port Dover Ontario tries to break world record

This Friday the 13th, a bike event held since 1981 will once again try to cram as many bikers into the lakeside town of Port Dover; normally home to about 5,000 people.

Organizers of Friday's bikers rally in Port Dover are going to count all the motorcycles that come into town this Friday, something they thought was impossible before and just offered estimates of the number of attendees.

Held every Friday the 13th, the event can see 100,000 or more people and bikers from all over Canada and the US and other parts of the world. That's a number they're hoping to smash this year. It's HUGE. So huge that they're trying to break a world record this year and are tagging all the bikes to keep a tally. The record they're shooting for is "largest single-day parade of motorcycles."

Cindy Vanderstar, promotions co-ordinator for Norfolk's tourism and economic development department indicated... "Motorcycle tourism is a huge industry," noting bikers tend to be well off and have money to spend.

"We've got lots of coastline for them to drive around. We're trying to attract them to come here another time."

The drive for a world record has itself created more interest in the event, Vanderstar said.

She estimated her office has received 1,000 calls from bikers from as far away as British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Florida, England and Ireland. Many of them want to come, she said, specifically because a record-breaking attempt is underway

If you'd like more details about the event check out the PD13 website


MV Agusta denies Harley-Davidson buyout in works

The President of MV Agusta, Claudio Castiglioni, has said there is no truth in rumours that his firm is being bought out by Harley-Davidson.

Castiglioni told MCN that "there are no negotiations in progress with Harley-Davidson" following reports in Italian newspaper Il Messaggero that a buyout was imminent.

Rumors about potential financial partners, or new owners have been rampant lately and MV Agusta have been said to be in talks with Indian car makers Tata and Mahindra. Nothing has been confirmed so far though.

The largest stake in the firm is owned by investment firm GEVI SpA, while Castiglioni retains around 20 percent of the firm. Last year the firm sold the Husqvarna subsidiary to BMW, but MV Agusta is now believed to be actively looking for a major new investor to ensure its security in the future.


Valentino Rossi unveils new scream helmet

Moto GP is the big kahuna, the top dog in motorcycle racing events. Successful riders are rich and famous and even known to whine a bit. Turns out some of them have a sense of humor as well!

Current series point leader and seven-time Grand Prix World Championship title winner Valentino Rossi has a habit of debuting a new helmet design at the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello. Rossi unveiled his new design and let's just say, he was pretty easy to spot on camera and maybe just a little intimidating to have coming up behind you.

The top front of the helmet features a roughly life-size portrait of The Doctor himself in the middle of a scream. When in race tuck you can see Rossi poking out behind the windscreen. If the GP guys had mirrors it certainly might be enough to throw the lead riders off their game seeing that coming up behind them.

Nice one Rossi! Hilarious!

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ABS equipped Honda CBR 600RR

In a press release today, Honda has announced the world’s first electronically-controlled “Combined ABS” for Super Sport motorcycles, aimed at combining ABS and CBS systems into one system that applies the basic advantages of both, while specifically addressing the requirements of a Super Sport context.

The ABS equipped CBR is part of Honda's plan to add ABS to all its production models in the next two years - news that was made public in Honda's May 21st press release.

The CBR600RR is fitted with a completely new brake-by-wire Combined ABS system, which uses a computer control unit to ensure the correct balance of front and rear brake use and also to decide exactly when the ABS should cut in.

The system is designed to delay the ABS until until the last possible moment, to make it as unobtrusive as possible.


OPP on the offensive about street racing legislation

More news about the Ontario street racing legislation:

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Commissioner Julian Fantino has been quoted in the press as saying that motor vehicle fatalities are down 34.4 per cent so far this year, with speed-related fatalities down 41.9 per cent.

The statistics have been released in response to criticism that the new street racing legislation introduced in the province last September isn’t working.

“The media and some uninformed members of the public seem to believe that the street racing legislation is unjust and doesn’t really slow traffic down,” Fantino said. “Our statistics prove otherwise.

The number of fatal collisions, the number of fatalities and the number of people killed in speed-related crashes are down dramatically, and are continuing to drop. I attribute that good news to increased enforcement, higher visibility of our patrol units and the public finally getting the message that speed kills.”

The OPP continues to make daily use of its new Cessna aircraft for aerial traffic enforcement in the Toronto area and will be expanding its use to other parts of the province throughout the summer.


Aprilia Mana promised to Canada

Some new Aprilia's are on their way to Canada. According to reports it is said that Canadian Scooter Corp, the distributor for Aprilia's in Canada has indicated that they'll be bringing the 90° V twin engine, Mana 850 to Canada. It's still not listed on Aprilia's Canadian website.

Now - one thing in particular make the Mana a little special. Its got a unique selectable mode, semi-automatic transmission they call the sportgear transmission. Okay, so that may not be terribly exciting to a great number of motorcyclists but if you're traveling in stop and go, bumper to bumper traffic, an automatic motorcycle might be a really good thing. No more working the clutch.

Riders can choose from two gear selection modes:

- Sequential mode: The rider decides for himself when to change gear, either using the conventional pedal or a switch on the handlebars. A servo mechanism shifts the main pulley to change between the seven gear ratios amazingly quickly. During deceleration, if the rider omit to change gear manually, the control system intervenes to change down automatically, preventing engine speed from dropping below the set threshold and providing another valuable aid to active safety.

- Fully automatic mode (Autodrive): Sophisticated electronics assume control over everything, and the CVT transmission keeps the engine running at maximum torque speed for optimum pickup and acceleration. The Sportgear transmission offers a choice of three mappings:

1. Touring: for minimum consumption and maximum usability.
2. Sport: for top performance with blistering acceleration
3. Rain: for use on wet or slippery roads

The area where the tank is on many motorcycles is actually a storage area on the Mana and will fit a full face helmet and the tank moves under the seat. The engine delivers 76 horsepower at the crank and in excess of 53.7 ft-lb of torque (at 5,000 rpm.

Stopping power should be stong as the bike features 4 piston radial calipers 320 mm discs in the front and a single 260 mm rear disc.

Along with the Mana they'll also be bringing the Stelvio - a BMW GS competitor.

The Mana should list for approximately $11,995 and the Stelvio at $17,595


Thousands charged under new Ontario street racing law

The province of Ontario made headlines and the disapproval of many motorcycle riders and other motorists when they passed a new street racing law last fall - the toughest in North America.

The legislation gives police the power to seize cars and licences on the spot if they charge drivers with street racing or stunt driving.

As of May 20th, 2008, police had laid 5,139 street racing or stunt driving charges since the law was enacted on Oct. 1, 2007. According to reports by CBC News though - the majority of people charged under the new laws are never convicted of the crime.

CBC interviewed a motorcycle rider who mentions he's the perfect example - he was charged but not convicted.

He had been stuck on Toronto's Don Valley Parkway and not far from his exit. So he decided to creep slowly between the sitting cars on his motorcycle, admittedly not the best of decisions. Soon thereafter, he saw the flashing lights of a police cruiser. The officer impounded the bike immediately and charged him with stunt driving.

The towing fees were near $1,000. Add on the legal fees and he was up to approximately $2,000. He ended up having to sell the motorcycle to cover the bill. In the end he was charged with a much lessor offence of an illegal lane change and fined $600.

Clearly what he did was illegal, but should it have been deemed "stunt driving" and worthy of a $10,000 fine?

Some say the new legislation gives a little too much power to authorities and too much leeway as to what "stunt driving" entails. Is standing on the pegs of your motorcycle stunt riding? Yes and no - it depends on the situation.

The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General provided some conviction statistics to CBC News and the numbers show the conviction rate is low; only about 33 per cent. Those drivers still had to pay towing fees and legal fees if they challenged the charge though. The costs to the taxpayer are high too with low conviction rates.

There are costs involved. It's expensive to tie up the court system with unnecessary charges and taking officers off the street to attend court.

Street racing and stunt driving are dangerous to the participants and bystanders as well. It's not uncommon to hear about street racers and innocent bystanders being either seriously injured or killed. I think everybody agrees that It's in the public's best interests to get these activities off the street. Is this the right tool for the job though?

As of April 1, 1,080 street racing cases had gone to trial, with 325 convictions. According to the ministry, 526 cases were reduced to speeding, while 229 were either withdrawn, dismissed, or stayed.

Most fines for those convicted ranged from $2,000 to $10,000, but some fines have been as low as $200.

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Nova Scotia biker event raises big bucks

This past Saturday (June 7th) was the 28th annual Ride for Sight and it drew participants from the four Atlantic provinces. If you don't know what it is - The Ride for Sight is the longest running motorcycle charity fundraiser in Canada and the single largest private fundraising initiative for vision research in the world.

To-date, Ride for Sight has raised more than $16 million in support of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the only organization in Canada whose sole mandate is to fund research for blindness caused by retinal degenerations. A very worthy cause.

The chairwoman for this year's event was Ms. Fraser-Parks has been participating in the event since 1996.

"Friends brought me to my first one and I just fell in love with the cause," she said just after parking her motorcycle and turning off the engine.

"Taking part in the ride enables me to combine something I love doing — driving bikes — with something worthwhile, which is helping find a cure for a variety of retinal diseases that cause blindness."

Ms. Fraser-Parks mentioned that as a diabetic she realizes there is a possibility she could become blind.

"Experiencing what I have and knowing what I might face puts things into perspective."

Each of the bikers who participate raise funds all year, and their pledges are recorded in donor books that are turned in when they register for the ride.

"Last year we brought in $37,000 and I hope we can blow that figure out of the water this year," she said. "I think we can because the weather is a lot better today than it was last year. We’ve attracted bikers from the three Maritime provinces and Newfoundland."

The full tally hasn't been made yet but she pointed out that bikers who registered early Friday evening had already brought in $10,700.

"A lot more bikers have joined us since then, and to those pledges we will add the proceeds that we raise through the auction, which is getting bigger and better every year."

There are more events scheduled for other parts of Canada soon.

Alberta - Calgary (June 13 - 15)
Alberta - Edmonton (June 13 - 15)
Central Ontario (June 20 - 22)

For more information about Ride For Site visit their website here.


Bike sales way up in Southern Ontario

Some Canadian dealerships are seeing huge increases in the numbers of people visiting the showrooms. They're not just looking either, they're buying.

Rick Hudson, the owner of Hudson Motorcycles in Tilbury, mentions in an article in the Chatham Daily News that by his estimation, sales to first-time buyers at his dealership have increased about 400 per cent since the spike in fuel costs.

Even people who own fuel efficient cars, hybrids even, can save on fuel with some motorcycles. The Honda CBR 125, which costs just over $3,000, gets about 80 miles to the gallon which makes it a perfect city commuter bike.

For a lot of people who've wanted to try out motorcycling; the soaring costs of fuel may have just been the impetus they needed.

Bob Funke, of Bob's Motorsport Ltd. in Chatham, has seen a rise in sales of scooters and other commuter bikes too but hasn't seen quite the spike that Hudson has. He's seeing more gains in the service department. People who had motorcycles and haven't had them on the road for one reason or another have been dusting them off and bringing them in to get them road ready again.


Watch out for fake plastic police!

Okay so this really isn't motorcycle news but we're on the road and things like this may affect a certain few of us so we thought we'd include it.

Speeding on Knight St. in Vancouver BC has gotten so bad that the police have resorted to having 8 life size pictures of a policeman holding a radar which they have placed along the road. Actual policemen may stand a short distance behind the figure in some cases and in other cases they're not.

I guess they're pretty realistic looking too - earlier this week a tow truck driver pulled up beside one of the figures and started talking to it!

Vancouver police traffic Staff Sgt. Ralph Pauw indicated that the decoys are being used on Knight St. because it is one of the worst corridors for traffic fatalities and injuries, he said, adding there were 25 fatalities in Vancouver last year and seven so far this year. Vancouver police have recorded motorists speeding along Knight Street at up to 115 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.

"The average ticketed speed is 84 km/h," Pauw said. "We're just trying anything that works to reduce those numbers."

The cardboard cops are part of a police initiative called Operation Silhouette, which will run for the next six months in various locations around the city.


More new models in Yamaha's Canadian line up

Just days after the big news of the release of the 2009 V-Max, Yamaha took the wraps off another couple new models. With gas prices rising and more consumers looking for cheaper alternatives Yamaha made a smart move and introduced two new scooters; a maxi-scooter, the T-Max 500 and a larger model of tremendously popular BW 50, which bumps the displacement up to 125.

The largest displacement of the new scooter models is the new T-Max 500. The T-Max has been available in Europe for some time now (around 8 years) but gets an major refresh for 2008 (lighter, new styling, and sporty updates).

It features a liquid cooled, DOHC, 499 cc four-stroke parallel twin engine. With a maximum horsepower rating of 42 (@7,500 rpm) and torque of 34.2ft-lbs @ 6,500 rpm this maxi-scoot should be a commuters new best friend. Highway speeds should be a breeze.

You'll have no trouble stopping this scoot with its R6 inspired dual 267 mm discs up front and a 267 mm disc in the back. They're mounted on sporty 15" wheels. Front suspension is by way of a conventional motorcycle style 43mm hydraulic fork with 120mm or 4.7" of travel. In the rear there's a single shock swingarm with 116mm or 4.6" of travel.

Wet weight is a claimed 222 kg or 488.4 lbs with a fuel capacity of 15 litres. Yamaha claims that the T-Max will get an estimated 47 mpg or 5 litres per 100 km.

Base MSRP of the T-Max 500 is $9,999 and it should make it's way into Canadian dealerships in July.

The new, larger, BW gets a 124 cc 4-stroke, air-cooled (with fan assist), SOHC, 4-valve, single. The fan-assisted cooling system maintains consistent engine temperatures, even while idling at stoplights or in stop and go traffic to improve efficiency and extend engine life.

The seemingly simple engine packs quite a bit of modern tech inside.

- Light weight aluminum cylinder features a ceramic composite coating on the cylinder bore which insures uniform heat dissipation, reduced friction, reduced weight and an extended service life.
- Four valve cylinder head design utilizes two intake valves and two exhaust valves for maximum breathing efficiency and great power output.
- Both the intake and exhaust valves feature a special "carbon cutter" design which removes any carbon build up from the valve stem, keeping the engine operating at maximum efficiency, even during extended slow speed use.
- 16 bit ECU (electronic control unit) is used to control the fuel injection and ignition systems.

The big wheel, twin headlight - rally inspired styling is still present on the new, larger, BW. The "underbone-style" steel frame is visible and even incorporates and anti-corrosion paint process.

Of course the new scooter also features fuel injection so there's no choke or idle adjustment to fuss with. The fuel mixture s all controlled automatically for maximum performance and reduced emissions.

No gears to worry about either, as it uses a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT); just twist the throttle and go. Yamaha expects that the BW will return an estimated 88 mpg, that's only 2.67 litres per 100 km.

Dual-shock rear suspension provides a plush, comfortable ride wheel travel is 71mm (2.8"). Up front you get a 220mm hydraulic disc brake with single piston caliper while the rear gets a 150mm drum. They're mounted on rugged but lightweight die cast aluminum 5-spoke "mag style" wheels.

You get a 6-litre fuel tank, which should be good for quite a bit of driving time even if you're carrying a passenger on the roomy 2-person seat. The locking seat includes 20l of storage underneath that will fit some, but not all, full face helmets.

Base MSRP of the 125 BWs is $3,999.


A few more V-Max specs

The new 2009 V-Max has arrived and Yamaha Motors Canada has released the pricing information on their website. Drum roll please... MSRP $21,999. Yamaha's US site lists the MSRP at US $17,990.

According to various sources the 1679 cc engine of the V-Max pumps out 200 PS which is the equivalent of right around 197 horsepower.

Despite all the lightweight aluminum on this power cruiser beast it's still not a lightweight. Wet weight is 683 lbs.


Ducati’s middleweight champion sets sales record.

From a press release issued by Ducati North America:

Cupertino, CA - Ducati North America is pleased to announce the 848 Superbike has become the brands fastest-selling model ever.

Unveiled in Milan last November, the 848 was destined to be a sales success. As a lighter, more affordable alternative to Ducati’s 1098 Superbike the 848 has surpassed every sales record set by its sibling in the Superbike range.

Since its release six months ago, over 1,200 848 Superbikes have been sold in North America; accounting for more than 20% of Ducati’s overall sales. The previous record holder was the 1098 Superbike, which revved its way into 1,000 new homes during the same period one year prior. The 18% growth en route to the record is no doubt due to the 848’s user friendliness, affordability and visual similarities to Ducati’s larger displacement Superbikes.

“The 848 has successfully bridged the gap for those aspiring to own a Ducati Superbike as well as addressing the desires of our loyal customer base,” said Jason Chinnock, National Sales Manager for Ducati North America. “In addition, Larry Pegram’s success on the track in AMA Formula Extreme is driving showroom traffic as the 848 proves it’s a serious contender for the title.”

With 14 Superbike World Championships to its name, it is no surprise that Ducati’s Superbikes are the marque’s best sellers. The current generation of Ducati Superbikes includes the 848, 1098, 1098 S and 1098 R models. With powerful L-Twin engines, name brand components and alluring Italian design; they are the ultimate in Sport Bike performance.

For more information about Ducati and the 848 Superbike, please visit


Sportbike Canopy - Say What?

Lots of people are looking at motorcycles and scooters these days as a commuter tool to save some money on their fuel purchases. One major issue for some folks is wet weather. In your car you burn more gas but at least you stay dry right...

Well an inventive chap has created what he calls - the Rocketshield. It's a way to turn your sportbike into an all weather commuter. He's equipped his 2006 Kawasaki ZX-10R with a Rocketshield and claims that the results have far surpassed any of his expectations.

This type of design has been tried before by BMW with their C1 scooter and word is their working on a new version.

The canopy is patent pending design that is quickly detachable and utilizes existing fastening points on the bike. Currently he's custom making individual Rocketshields but is working on a new process that will allow them to be mass produced.

Interesting concept and a pretty slick design. I'd say that if you get one of these - you'd better be prepared to answer some questions and put up with some taunting. It's not for everyone.

Link to RocketShields for more information.


Harley-Davidson in advanced talks to purchase MV Agusta

The daily Messaggero (an Italian newspaper) has reported, without citing any sources, that U.S. motorbike manufacturer Harley-Davidson is in advanced talks to buy Italy's MV Agusta.

Details according to Messaggero:

The deal would see Harley-Davidson (nyse: HOG - news - people ) buy out most of the debt of MV Agusta, currently at around 200 million euros -- 130 million euros held by banks and 70 million euros held by suppliers.

The operation would envisage a write off of part of the debt.

Harley-Davidson wants to write off about 35 percent of the debt but the banks and suppliers want that amount reduced to at least 30 percent.

Harley-Davidson could buy 80-85 percent of MV Agusta's capital, leaving businessman Claudio Castiglioni with 15-20 percent.

Castiglioni currently owns 29.6 percent of MV Agusta while 65.4 percent is owned by finance company Gevi.


It's official! The 2009 Yamaha V-Max has been released

It's official! The 2009 Yamaha V-Max has been released after some 10 years in development.

The V-Max started production way back in 1985 and is considered a power cruiser class motorcycle. Previously it was powered by a liquid cooled 1,200 cc V4 engine, with shaft drive, and very distinctive styling that earned it the nick name "Mad Max." It's one of the best selling Japanese motorcycles of all time.

Well, for 2009 the 1,200cc capacity has been uped to 1,679 cc with a reduction in the angle of the V-engine from 70 to 65 degrees. The new engine is more compact front to back allowing the engineers to place the engine in the "sweet spot" of the frame. While no horsepower figures have been provided by Yamaha, there is a huge torque increase with the new model, Yamaha claims a monster 123 ft-lbs (presumably at the crank) while the old Max's rear wheel torque was just about 80 ft-lbs.

A hydraulic slipper clutch reduces rear wheel hop when making hard downshifts or under hard braking. You've got five gear ratios optimized for maximum acceleration and performance; fifth gear is an overdrive gear to reduce engine rpm at highway speeds for a comfortable ride. The final drive is a compact rear shaft.

The exhaust system is a four into one into two into four that retains the Yamaha patented Exhaust Ultimate Power (EXUP) valve while keeping emissions down with a catalytic converter.

Gone is the steel cradle frame, replaced with a lightweight cast aluminium model with detachable sub frame and extra long swingarm to keep the power to the ground. The frame is designed to offer optimized rigidity balance to maximize handling performance. This frame is very rigid or stiff at the head pipe, engine mounts, and swingarm pivot point. In other areas, material is less rigid in order to allow for "tuned flex".

In terms of suspension; up front you get conventional forks but they're a stout 52 mm and fully adjustable for preload, compression, and rebound. They're good for 4.7 m of travel. In the rear you'll get a fully adjustable mono-shock offering 4.3mm of travel. Seat height should allow for all size of rider as 775mm (30.5"). Just in case that low seat height has you thinking it might be good for new riders - think again. If those specs we just posted aren't convincing enough Yamaha offers a warning: IMPORTANT NOTE: The VMAX offers a significant level of power and performance. It is not intended for novice or inexperienced riders.

The 15l capacity fuel tank remains under the rider's seat, with the airbox making its home in the top of the bike where tank resides on many motorcycles.

How do you slow this rocket? In the front you've got 320 mm wave style rotors with massive 6 piston radially mounted calipers. Out back you get a 298 mm, single piston caliper. ABS is now also included to help maximize the safety and ability to slow the bike in all situations.

The wheels are 18" diameter in both the front and back. The rear tire is a huge 200/50 wide. That'll be an expensive one to replace when you smoke it off!

Yamaha has thought to include their immobilizer system on the bike as well. The key needs to be recognized before the bike will start (don't lose it!).

As for colors, as the old Model-T car joke goes - You can get it any color you want, as long as it's black.

No word on pricing yet but we'll let you know as soon as we do.

For more information and to see the full specs of the bike be sure to take a look at Yamaha Canada's website.


Cameron Donald Wins Superbike TT At 2008 Isle Of Man

From a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:

It was an all Suzuki podium in the TT Superbike race on the Isle of Man with Aussie Cameron Donald taking his first ever Mountain Circuit victory, his Relentless Suzuki team mate Bruce Anstey following him home in second place and former TAS Suzuki pilot Adrian Archibald in third - a clean sweep for the K8 TAS Performance-prepared GSX-R1000s.

This also maintains TAS Racing's 100% record at the TT with every rider on their books, since Norman Brown, making a trip to the top step on Glencrutchery Road.

Guy Martin was the early race leader but Donald was relentless in his pursuit of the Lincolnshire rider, taking over at the front on lap four when Martin retired at Sulby. Both Relentless Suzuki riders circulated together from as early as lap three and when they eventually crossed the line at the end of six laps and 226 miles of racing, they were only separated by 10 seconds at the head of the field.

Donald also recorded his fastest ever lap around the 37.73-mile Mountain Circuit on lap six with a time of 17 minutes 30.84 seconds at 129.256mph. In pursuit of Donald, Bruce Anstey also recorded a sub 18-minute lap with a speed of 129.207mph.


Wild Rose Rally & Ride for Wildlife - St. John's NL

Mark your calendar - or just keep track of events via our Events Calendar page.

The 4th Annual Wild Rose Rally & Ride (2008) is happening August 9th & 10th. The aim of the event is to provide a fun two-day event for motorcycle enthusiasts in order to raise funds and awareness for our wildlife and wildplaces. The Motorcycle Rally on Saturday is from noon till 6pm at the St. John's Racing & Entertainment Center (SJREC)in the Goulds.

It will feature a Motorcycle Show-n-Shine Contest, Biker Games, Vendors, Entertainment, Riding Club Dispalys, Food & Beverages (beer garden) and Kid's Activities. Each year custom, handmade trophies are awared for the Show-n-Shine Contest, and lots of prizes are given out throughout the day. Regristration for the Ride(on Sunday) begins at 10am at the SJREC and we get rolling around 11am. The route includes a bit of the Irish Loop, Witless Bay Line, onto CBS and back to St. John's. Please contact East Rider Inc. at for info re vendor and riding club displays for Wild Rose Rally and sponsor/registration info for the Ride.

More information can be found at


The Longest Ride - My 10-Year 500,000 Mile Motorcycle Journey

I just finished up this book a few days ago and was frankly amazed. I am a fan of the Long Way Down/Round series but Emilio's journey makes that look like a trip to the corner store!

The book was not quite what I was expecting to be honest. I hadn't read too much about it before it arrived and I was expecting a novel format book - lots of writing and not many pictures to speak of. It's a hardcover book, and a hefty one at that - with dimensions slightly larger than the size of a printed page and over an inch thick. I thumbed through it and noticed it was full of pictures - hundreds of them, and worried that it was more of a picture book and might not have enough depth to hold my interest. Boy, was I wrong. Emilio is a fabulous story teller and it was tough to put the book down. It's a fascinating summary of 10 years of riding along with tons of pictures to illustrate. A great combination!

The author, Emilio Scotto, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His dream to travel around the world started when he was only eight years old and his mother bought him a world atlas. He said then that he would someday make a route that would pass through all the countries of the world. He began his professional career as a pharmaceutical salesman. Hardly a rich man who could afford to fund a 10 year journey, he couldn't even afford the motorcycle to get himself out on the road. Fate, karma, and a lot of luck helped him to get a black Honda 1100 Gold Wing that would come to be known as the 'black princess'.

That atlas and that motorcycle helped him to, in 1997, earn a spot in the Guinness Book of World Recors as "the person who made the Longest Journey Around the World on a Motorcycle". It's a record that has not been surpassed. In fact, in 2000 Emilio was included in an international list of the 40 greatest explorers of humanity. Right up there with Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, and Neil Armstrong.

In 1985 he set out on a record-breaking world tour and wouldn't return until 1995 after he'd driven the equivalent of a round-trip to the moon. He ended up going around the world twice in fact. The journey started in his native South America, followed by Central America, Mexico, United States, and Canada. Then he moved on to Europe, the Soviet Union, and Africa. He later went to Tunisia, Libya, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone (where he had a dangerous encounter with cannibals!), Liberia, Congo, Zaire Mozambique,... the list goes on and on - He visited 279 countries and territories in all. You may want to have an atlas handy when you're reading this to watch his progress as he criss-crosses the world.

He was shot at, robbed, suffered serious illnesses, and thrown in jail six times. He took 90,000 photographs during the journey, over 200 of which make it into his amazing book.

Since his trip ended in 1995 you may be wondering what Emilio is up to now. He's planning another trip! This time he'll be taking a few more people along with him though. The journey is called Caravaan 2008.

Here's some additional details from Emilio regarding the event:

24 motorcyclists, both male and female, will travel with me around the world along all kinds of roads during approximately 225 days (7 month). The participants will be selected from many diferent countries and will travel approximately 100,000 km's. It'll produce 120 TV shows and one documentary.

CARAVAN is a television project, which has been also created for Internet and Telecom companies.

CARAVAN will use webcams, GPS, satellite communication, chatrooms, text messaging, cellular phones, email, digital video, and digital pictures to communicate with a worldwide audience looking for a new kind of entertainment.


6 continents
32 countries
2,760 cities and towns
2 oceans, 3 seas
1 high altitude lake
1 huge salt desert
10 mountain ranges
23 rivers and deserts

Emilio's goal is to have 24 motorcyclists, 10 all-terrain vehicles, 3 unimogs and 3 trucks be part of the Caravan. Total participants will be 110 including the production team. These numbers are subject to change though because Emilio would like for participants to have to pay nothing to be a part of the event - with costs rising to 16 million they need many sponsors though, so there may be some revisions to the format.

Emilio has sought to offer spots to people who are interested in going and they have been seeking registrants via the website. So far they've got over 2,150 people registered who would like to go along. You must be able to speak spanish. Darn! I'm out of the running!

You can pick up a copy of his book at booksellers everywhere or you can also purchase it, and hundreds of other motorcycle themed books, via Canadian Motorcycle Rider's bookstore here.


Arai is tops of J.D. Power Assoc moto helmet study

Choosing a helmet is becoming more and more difficult because we've got so much to choose from nowadays. If you place high stock in the opinion of other motorcycle owners your choice for a new lid may have just gotten a little easier.

According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study(SM) released today, Arai ranks highest in satisfying motorcycle helmet owners for a tenth consecutive year.

The study measures the overall satisfaction of motorcyclists with their new helmet by examining 11 key areas: quietness; ventilation/air flow; de-fogging; face shield ability to keep wind out; face shield ability to resist scratching; ease of replacing face shield; scratch resistance of shell; color/graphic design; weight; ease of fastening the strap; and comfort/fit.

Arai, with an overall index score of 819 on a 1,000-point scale, performs particularly well in comfort/fit and face shield's ability to keep the wind out. Shoei follows with a score of 816 and receives high ratings in comfort/fit. Icon ranks third with a score of 806, improving by 71 points from the 2007 study.

The study finds that overall satisfaction with motorcycle helmets has increased to an average of 761 in 2008 -- up 26 index points from 735 in 2007. All 11 measures of satisfaction improve in 2008 and are at their highest levels since the study's inception in 1999. Comfort/fit, ventilation/air flow and color/graphic design are the top three measures that most impact overall satisfaction.

"Manufacturers continue to improve on the key attributes that have the greatest impact on overall helmet satisfaction, maintaining the upward trend that began in the 2002 study," said Tim Fox, research manager of the powersports practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Across the industry, satisfaction with all 11 attributes improves by approximately the same amount, indicating consistency in efforts by manufacturers to enhance overall satisfaction."

The study also finds that the helmet industry as a whole improves with regard to perceived value for the money spent on a new helmet, with all brands receiving higher scores in perceived value in 2008, compared with 2007. Helmet owners who spend more money for a helmet perceive a higher value for their money than those who spend less.

The 2008 Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 5,386 purchasers of new 2007 model-year motorcycles who provided information about their most recent helmet purchase experience and helmet use. The study was fielded in September and October 2007.

The final results for the survey ranked helmets in the following order; Arai, Shoei, Icon, Scorpion, Harley-Davidson, Nolan, KBC, Bell and Fulmer.

Here's a link for more information.


2008 Isle of Man Superbike TT Results

Suzuki had a good day at the Isle of Man, as the GSX-R1000 swept the Dainese Superbike TT podium. Australian-born Cameron Donald was the Superbike victor, claiming his first career TT win.

Teammate Bruce Anstey in second, with Adrian Archibald finishing third. The two riders expected to duel for the TT win, Honda's John McGuinness and Guy Martin, had to settle for DNFs, retiring from the races due to mechanical issues.

Martin, who is yet to score a TT victory in his career, started out with a scorching 129.103 mph lap on his Hydrex Bike Animal Honda. As for McGuinness, the 13-time TT winner only turned one lap before his CBR1000RR suffered from mechanical troubles.

With his lead rival out of contention, Martin turned the fastest lap of the race at 129.54 mph on Lap 2.

The TT schedule now takes a day off, with the Scottish Life International TT Superstock Race taking place on June 2. The second Superbike contest will run June 6 in the Dainese Senior TT Race, where the front-runners will try and break the 130 mph mark.

2008 Dainese Superbike TT Results:
1 Cameron Donald (Suzuki) 01 47 05.89 126.826
2 Bruce Anstey (Suzuki) 01 47 16.66 126.614
3 Adrian Archibald (Suzuki) 01 48 37.97 125.034
4 Gary Johnson (Honda) 01 49 12.67 124.372
5 Ian Lougher (Yamaha) 01 49 31.38 124.018
6 Ryan Farquhar (Kawasaki) 01 49 35.70 123.936
7 Keith Amor (Honda) 01 50 34.50 122.838
8 Daniel Stewart (Honda) 01 50 35.73 122.815
9 Carl Rennie (Suzuki) 01 50 57.00 122.423
10 Steve Plater (Yamaha) 01 51 07.34 122.233

2008 Sure Mobile Sidecar TT Results:
1 Nick Crowe/Mark Cox (Honda) 59 22.80 114.372
2 John Holden/Andrew Winkle (Suzuki) 59 42.24 113.751
3 Tim Reeves/Patrick Farrance* (Suzuki) 01 01 07.84 111.096
4 Phil Dongworth/Stuart Castles (Honda) 01 01 10.68 111.011
5 Nigel Connole/Dipash Chauhan (Honda) 01 01 46.90 109.926
6 Douglas Wright/Stuart Bond (Honda) 01 01 50.57 109.817
7 Gary Bryan/Robert Bell (Yamaha) 01 02 36.68 108.469
8 Tony Elmer/Darren Marshall (Yamaha) 01 02 40.93 108.347
9 Roy Hanks/Dave Wells (Suzuki) 01 02 48.08 108.141
10 Greg Lambert/Sally Wilson (Honda) 01 02 54.60 107.954


Motorcycle fatalities spike in Ontario

The 2005 Ontario Road Safety Annual Report (ORSAR) released last month shows that while the number of fatalitis on Ontario's roads declined, the number of motorcyclists killed in Ontario has risen a whopping 57 percent

The largest fatality increase was in the 45-to-65 group. These older riders accounted for half of the fatalities. Motorcyclists requiring hospital treatment after an accident increased by 14 per cent.

When asked to comment on the factors which may have contributed to these increases by World of Wheels reporters, no one was available to discuss it. However, Emna Dhahak, a spokesperson for the ministry, said that some numbers used in the report to compare motorcycle registrations of previous years to the 2005 figures were incorrect. These figures were later updated in the online version.

Independent analysis of the transportation ministry's motorcycle accident data for the past 15 years suggests that one factor in the increased number of motorcyclist fatalities in 2005 could have been the exceptionally long riding season due to good weather that year.

Motorcycle helmets have been compulsory in Ontario for 40 years, but not everybody wears then. 14 per cent of riders who died in the province were not wearing one. The 2005 report indicated that alcohol was a factor in 25 per cent of deaths.

There was a 7.5 per cent increase in motorcycle registrations, which might account for a small portion of the increase as well.

Here's a year-to-year comparison of accident statistics for 2004-2005 in Ontario:

Ontario Motorcycles

- Licensed Motorcycles: 135,028 / 145,194
- Motorcycle drivers killed: 44 / 68
- Motorcycle passengers killed: 3 / 6
- Motorcycle drivers hospitalized: 800 / 866
- Motorcycle drivers in accidents: 1214 / 1351

Fatality factors

No motorcycle licence: 0% / 3%

- Under 25 years of age: 26% / 24%
- Over 44 years of age: 16% / 50%
- Legally impaired (?.08): 13% / 16%
- No safety helmet: 13% / 14%
- Driving too fast/lost control: 49% / 53%
- Single vehicle accident: 40% / 41%
- Day time: 79% / 70%
- Weekend: 47% / 55%

When asked what action was being taken to reduce the accident and fatality toll, Dhahak stated that...

"The ministry will continue to monitor deaths and injuries on motorcycles and to work with stakeholders," "including police, manufacturers, training course providers, insurers, safety advocates and community safety organizations, to review existing policies and public education activities with a goal of improving motorcycle safety in Ontario."

What can we take from this as responsible riders?

- Ride within the speed limits with all your gear! Don't drink and ride!

The increases for over 44 year olds is concerning and the reasons for the rise in this category aren't clear. Perhaps there are a lot of new riders who don't take the proper training in this group.

- Make sure your first bike is appropriate for your skill level folks!