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Shediac, New Brunswick to host biker rally

The Shediac Motorcycle Lobster Rally (being held Sept. 4-7 this year)is a special way for organizer, Danny Bourque, to thank the community to that helped him so much he says.

Just about 28 years ago, Bourque was a youth diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare condition where the body stops producing enough new blood cells. Bourque was one of the first Canadians to receive a bone marrow transplant.

The Motorcycle Lobster rally was introduced five years ago, when Bourque and fellow organizer Helen Elliott (who had an aneurysm that kept her from walking for two years) decided they wanted to host an event that sought to recognize how the community rallied around both of them during their health difficulties.

"We decided it was time for me to give back to the community so that's where the idea for the rally came from," said Bourque.

And so a great event was born...

Money raised by the rally goes to the Moncton Lion's Sick Children's Fund, a charity which helps families with seriously ill children by giving needed financial assistance.

Last year about $14,500 was raised for the cause and organizers hope that total tops $20,000 this year. Last year the money helped a child from Sackville, NB who had aplastic anemia.

Highlights of the rally event include a casino and dance under a big tent at Parlee Beach Provincial Park, a burn out competition and a downtown biker party and custom bike display which will shut down Shediac's Main Street on Sept. 5. Bourque said this event is great for the entire family to attend and take part in.

Other events on the rally's schedule includes a poker night, free rounds of pool for registered bikers and a steak or lobster supper.

For more information please visit the Shediac Bike Rally website.

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BMW goes to the Olympics!

The 2008 Beijing Olympics came to a close yesterday following a memorable 14 days of competition and if you’re like many Canadian you’ve been watching as much of the Olympics and the incredible athletes that are gathered together for them. Chances are you haven't paid too much attention to some of the behind the scenes folks who bring you all this coverage. It's a massive effort; the days are long and exhausting.

One of the tools they used in their efforts… none other than a fleet of BMW K 1100 LT machines!

Gustavo, a journalist and motorcycle rider was one of the journalists with the task of riding the BMW’s to help capture all the action. "I've worked for Spanish television for around 25 years, usually riding motorcycles with cameramen sitting behind me covering the action," says Gustavo, "I worked at the Olympics in Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004 and now Beijing in 2008. I ride the motorcycles that are used for filming the marathon, triathlon, and cycling events - 11 events in total. In Beijing I have been part of a team including Chinese, Belgian, French and Spanish people, and we all work together to provide the television footage that will be broadcast worldwide. It's a fantastic experience, but it's very hard work. On days where there is a race to cover, I normally work for around 12 hours, but even on the days off, we test the equipment and do practice runs."

Gustavo indicates that it’s challenging work. Weighed down with a cameraman, plus the wires and technology required to transmit live pictures, the K 1100 LT has to cope with a total weight of up to 500 KG. And when covering events such as 'racewalking', speeds rarely exceed seven mph (11 km/h), meaning bike control is crucial. However, Gustavo feels that the K 1100 LT is a capable machine, even at low speeds.

"Although the BMW K 1100 LT is not the newest model, it is one of the most suited to the task in hand. Because the events that I cover each differ in the style of riding that is needed, you need a very versatile bike that is comfortable at low and high speeds and that can carry heavy weights as well.

"There aren't too many modifications to the bike, apart from all the cables that are needed to transmit the pictures! The main thing to remember is that the bike is much heavier than standard because of all the equipment, so to avoid the unlikely problem of overheating, a second fan has been installed," he adds.

So, the BMW K1100LT is one athlete that has a great chance of being in the next summer Olympics, but it’ll never make it to the podium!

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Motorcycle conversion company hits the road

The motorcycle conversion company Lehman Trikes Inc. is shutting its doors in Canada. They announced last week that they are closing the last of its Canadian operations due to the rising costs of fuel prices.

The former Alberta company, that is now headquartered in Spearfish S.D., indicated that a 25-per-cent rise in fuel and transportation costs made it no longer financially viable to run the Westlock fibreglass plant, which is about 80 kilometres north of Edmonton.

"Keeping this facility operational is no longer economically feasible," chairman Les Brown said in a statement.

"Fuel and transportation costs keep increasing to the point that we can no longer endorse further activity in Westlock. We wish to extend our sincerest appreciation to all employees for their loyalty and their many contributions made to Lehman's success over the years.

"We wish them all the best in the future."

Chief executive Dan Patterson said the decision to close the plant was difficult.

"While we have experienced 26-per- cent revenue growth over last year, our profitability is down. This action is expected to increase our profitability for the benefit of all shareholders," he said.

Employees at the plant will receive severance packages.

Lehman Trikes makes turnkey trikes, conversion kits and accessories for Harley-Davidson, Honda and Suzuki motorcycles.

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Corbin comes out with Can-Am Spyder accessories

Corbin, the maker of well know makes of fine motorcycle accessories has come out with a full line of the Canadian grown Can-Am Spyder.

There is a modular saddle system, fleetliner saddle bags, rear fender, smuggler trunk, and an upper fleetliner fairing that, according to Corbin, improves upon the manufacturer design.

The fairing moves airflow up and reduces the turbulence in the pocket in front of the rider making for a more comfortable riding position that still keeps some wind on you and should deflect bugs a little better. It looks a little wild to me. Like a brightly colored squid meets I don't know what with that upswept smoked windscreen!

The trunk is reportedly large enough to store a small laptop or other tools you want to carry on your commute or ride to where ever. The seats look like lazyboy chair comfortable and you can get optional backrests too which would provide good support and a more secure feel.

Of course they've also come up with some bags too. Which look to be high quality units that will swallow up a massive 50 liters per side. Should make the Can-Am a perfect machine for exploring a lot of Canada on.

For additional details on the Corbin gear for the Can-Am you can check out their website at: http://www.corbin.com/can-am/index.shtml

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Rally Connex - Beef Run 2008 (Ontario)

The folks at Rally Connex are pleased to host the 2008 Beef Run that's taking place this Saturday August 23rd. Here's some additional details from Rally Connex:

BEEF RUN 2008

Start: Saturday Aug 23
Mission Cycle, 215 Mill St., Angus, Ontario. N44 19.650 W79 53.347
www.missioncycleangus.com

Lots of overnight parking in the Mission Cycle parking lot.

Sign-in at 7:30am
Loading of GPSs, door prize draws, and a pre-ride briefing.
Hit the road at about 8:30am

Day 1 is about 360km long, and will loop through Orillia, head north past Bracebridge and loop over at Dwight, before heading south to Ox Narrows.
Day 2 is about 260km long, heads south through Minden, Norwood, over to Orillia and back to Angus.

Lots of back roads, road allowances, and snowmobile trails. Aggressive knobbies are highly recommended. There has been a lot of rain. Let me know, by e-mail, if you are looking for a less aggressive route.

Go to our public photo album and view pictures from past events, as well as some pre-riding pictures from the Beef Run. http://picasaweb.google.com/rallyconnex/BeefRun08

Reserve your room and meals at Ox Narrows Resort by calling 705-489-3885 and visit their web site www.oxnarrowsresort.com

You can sign up on-line at www.rallyconnex.com

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Site News: We're back!

Well after a busy couple weeks I'm back behind the computer so the updates will get started soon. We've got a Ducati review in the pipeline, more book reviews, and lots more news!

During my travels I was in Honduras for a day. Now, for the most part all I saw in the way of motorcycles in the Western Caribbean were scooters and small bikes. Plenty of Honda Cubs, and Yamaha BW 50's were everywhere. I was told that in Belize that a gallon of gas costs $6 USD. Yes, $6! Public transportation is the main way that people get around.

While at a animal refuge in Honduras I spotted the nicest bike I'd seen though. In the middle of the woods practically. It was none other than a KTM 690 Supermoto! Imagine my surprise! Despite my camera being loaded down with pictures of monkeys, lizards, parrots and other assorted wildlife I had to get a couple pictures of the KTM!

The animal refuge was in a spot way up in the hills so that supermoto must be a real treat to ride in the hills. The roads are small and narrow though and you certainly don't want to come into a corner too hot or that might be the last corner you take. Most of the sides of the road were cliffs! We rode up the hill (and down) in a old school bus from Rhode Island! The engine worked really hard to propel us up the hills.

Most riders don't seem to wear much in the way of protective gear in Honduras. It is quite hot and humid; most choosing to wear very little in fact. It's not uncommon to see people in shorts and sandals. I was happy to see that the KTM rider donned a helmet when he set out. I was hoping to get a chance to talk to him but I had to get back on the bus to leave. Notice there are no mirrors on that KTM. I guess with this thing you'll likely be the fastest thing on the road anyway!

Stay tuned! There's plenty more motorcycle content on the way!

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Book Review - BMW Racing Motorcycles

BMW Racing Motorcycle - The Mastery of Speed

Written by Laurel C Allen and Mark Gardner, BMW Motorcycles reviews the long and interesting history of BMW. Beginning in the early 1900’s and moving all the way to present times. Back in the early days though BMW engineers were focused on airplanes, rather than the motorcycles or cars they’re famous for now.

There was even a period in the early days of BMW when the German company was relegated to making everything from tool boxes to office equipment when the Allies confiscated the assets of BMW. Things changed for BMW in 1923 after Max Friz spent four months designing the R32, the first BMW motorcycle, a 500cc horizontally opposed twin cylinder. Madonna reportedly just bought a fully restored one of this for her husband Guy Ritchie by the way. A lucky guy!

That’s just a hint of the fascinating history of BMW that you’ll read about in the beautifully illustrated book. It will be a welcome addition to the library of any motorcycle enthusiast, particularly those with a love of all things boxer!

It follows the designers of BMW’s machines and their riders. The riders racked up countless victories and secured a well earned and prestigious reputation of quality, and reliability for the Bavarian machines. It didn’t come without cost to the talented riders though. Motorcycling has inherent dangers but perhaps never as dangerous as those early years when racing fatalities were all too common place in the sport. BMW was no exception.

I can’t imagine anybody that likes motorcycles not taking enormous pleasure from the 130 full color illustrations and photos gathered in this 176 page, hardcover book. You’ll not only see and read about the early days of BMW; you’ll also learn what’s been happening in recent years at BMW and get up to date information as details on the 450 cc single that BMW is entering into AMA cross country Championships.

It’s full of interesting facts and details about BMW motorcycles. For example; did you know that in the late 90’s that BMW used what they called a Funduro F650 RR for the Paris Dakar that made 70 hp and actually displaced 700cc? How about in 2000 when an R 900 RR boxer was built to 900cc capacity for the Dubai Rally producing 90 hp? A 900cc boxer!

The audience for this book is likely somebody who either owns a BMW motorcycle or has a keen interest in the BMW marquee. The book is meticulously researched and written by Laurel C. Allen and Mark Gardiner and I can't say enough about those pictures! Laurel is the daughter of a two-time Canadian national championship, a racer herself, and now Senior Editor of Road Racer X magazine. Mark Gardiner was an Ad guy and amateur motorcycle racer when in 2002 quit his job, sold everything, and moved to the Isle of Mann to race in the TT! Whoah! He’s now a motojournalist and author.

The book is available through its Publisher Whitehorse Press for $29.95 USD. The book was published in 2008. It’s also available via the bookstore page of our site at a discount. It's on Page 28 and listed at $19.28 CDN and eligible for free shipping on orders over $39.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Comments

Wharf Rat Rally - Upcoming Events

Organizers of this year’s Wharf Rat Rally say plans for the Labour Day weekend event are running smoothly. The fourth annual event is being held in Digby, Nova Scotia. The weekend event is expected to result in a $2.5 million injection into the region’s economy with the spin-off being even greater. The population of the town quadrouples that weekend.

Many of the people who ride into town for the rally are baby boomers with some discretionary income. They’ve been known to return to the town for family vacations, even purchase real estate.

The event has received national and international media coverage. It received a Motorcycle Award of Excellence award at the International Motorcycle Supershow in Toronto in January. The event was named the best motorcycle rally east of Toronto.

The event is expected to attract 10,00 plus motorcycles and 40,000 participants. It should be a pretty busy spot!

For additional details about the event be sure to visit the Event website at:

http://www.wharfratrally.com/

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