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KTM feels the pinch of economic slowdown

KTM is the latest manufacturer to make some adjustments because of the weakened economy. Despite a year full of successes and bold business moves they are still faced with slower demand. The slow demand forces some tough decisions.

To give you a bit of the good before the bad, an example of the successes - how about being the motorcycle of choice for eight of the top ten finishers of the 2009 Dakar. Bold business moves - A 30 million Euro infux of capital through their owner Cross Indistries, and an expansion into a huge market through their new Indian partner, Bajaj. All this, and plans to mass produce electric powered, all terrain endurance bikes within two years.

Remember too that, while layoffs and production cuts may feel bad - and they are, particularly for those who are out of a job - it would be irresponsible of KTM to not try to position themselves for future success when the market rebounds.

They've announced they'll be laying off 300 employees, 150 of which will come from their leasing division and another 150 from the core operations.

KTM chief Stefan Pierer also warned that some of the remaining full-time employees might be switched to part-time as part of the cost shedding plan. Another piece of the plan is to reduce production by 25%.

Despite the current measures, Pierer is still optimistic and expects business will slightly improve next year. He indicates that the motorcycle industry is better able to weather recessions than automobile manufacturers because people opt for motorcycles during such times.


Wesll Corp's 4 wheel leaning system

There's a few manufacturers with 3-wheeled vehicles -- like Piaggio and their MP3, and Can-AM with the Spyder but Wesll Corporation has come out with a working prototype of a machine incorporating a 4 wheeled tilting mechanism. The system allows lean angles exceeding 50 degrees.

The prototype looks like a lightweight ATV but one that's got larger, narrower wheels, and of course - it leans! The 500cc model apparently weighs in at a scant 310 lbs and has a whopping 28" of wheel travel. Impressive numbers indeed.

Wesll Corporation sees the system being used as an alternative option on existing motorcycles. 4-wheeled R6, Ninja, or 1198 anybody?

Wesll Corporation has this to say:

"The Wesll Suspension has solved the complex problems of leaning technology by approaching the problem from the "unsprung" side (i.e., the wheel side) of the suspension. This approach not only solved problems thought to insurmountable, but also provided a system of extraordinary capability in the process."

Apparently, the company owner Tom Wesll won't be making the suspension leaning system available as a kit. He wants to work with the OEM's and hopes that they'll stick with his 4-wheeled system rather than try to switch it to a 3 wheeled system.

Obviously he'll have some major hurdles making this plan a reality. Getting the machines licenced for the road will be a big challenge. It would probably be easier to get Transport Canada approval as a three-wheeled system because there is already a precedent for it.

Even if he did get approval then he'd still have to get the OEM's to work with him. Chances are somebody might step up. Not likely you'd see the wide array of machines with the system he's currently got visualization for on his website. Obtaining the elusive approval would take lots of time, and probably lots of money as well. It would be a lot easier to get the system put into off-road applications.

I wouldn't look to see these on the road any time soon. There's no doubt it looks like a lot of fun.

For more details - including lots of cool visualizations and a video of the Wesll quad prototype in action check out the Wesll website here.


Ducati service manuals on-line too.

It has been brought to our attention that not only does Ducati have the owners manuals online but they've also got the Spare Parts Catalogs as well. Models from 2000-2009 appear to be there.

This would be a very handy thing to have printed off and bound to keep for whenever you need to have some repairs done. Or if you're particularly interested in all the bits and pieces of the Ducati you're riding or interested in it's certainly a very useful resource.

The link to the documentation is here.

There's just a small number of manufacturers doing this. Hopefully Ducati will set a trend for others to follow here!

Image courtesy of


Yamaha to recall 50,000+ motorcycles

Yamaha has issued a massive recall that involves 53,814 motorcycles. The recall is to replace a defect in rear-wheel shock absorbers that caused slight injuries to one rider.

The TW200E models were manufactured between 1987 and 2001 and all sold in Japan, the motorcycle firm said in a statement. So, there should be nothing to worry about here in Canada.

The recall followed six reports of problems with the joint part due to a lack of tenacity, the statement said. The problem could result in a breakdown of the part and a loss of stability.

One rider was slightly injured when a TW200E motorcycle with the defect scraped a guardrail, a Yamaha spokesman said.


Ducati provides 2000-2009 manuals online

Ducati have just gone and become my favorite motorcycle company! To do this all they needed to do was post the owner manuals for their motorcycles from 2000 through 2009 - online on their website. A quick download and you've got a digital PDF copy of the owners manual. Genius!

That in itself may not seem worthy of high praise but the one of THE best things about this resource is that it's absolutely FREE! And, the manuals are available in many different languages too. Fantastic!

Why don't all other manufacturers do this? Who knows. Surely, selling the owners manuals for what seem like inflated prices back to the folks who've bought their bikes can't bring much in the way of goodwill? or big profits? Can it? - I wouldn't think so.

So without further ado, here's the link. Now, if you own a Ducati and lose your manual you won't have to go searching for a replacement. Or, if you're interested in buying a Ducati or in learning more about a particular model you can head on over to the website, download the owners manual and read to your heart's content. Another great thing about a digital copy of the manual is that you can search it easily for keywords.

* Image courtesy of Ducati.

If you're like me you won't trust that such a great resource will continue to be available and you'll download everything you can while it lasts! That could just be me though.

Looks like I've got some reading to do!


New Sportster "Iron 883" from Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson has added a new Dark Custom model to the stable. The "Iron 883" will be hitting the showrooms floors for 2009 and it's the latest Harley-Davidson® Dark CustomTM motorcycle. It joins the ranks of a chosen few such as the Cross Bones, Nightster, Street Bob, Fat Bob, and Night Train.

The price tag to bring home the new Iron 883 will start at $9,569 Canadian MSRP.

The model comes with Harley's "denim" paint which is a matte black which some say uses a "satin clearcoat" so that over time, it'll wear in where the rider rubs it. So the bike will get a unique wear in pattern unique to the rider. Some will like that, others may not.

Some of the key facts and numbers:

- Engine: - Air-cooled, Evolution
- 55 ft. Lbs of torque @ 3,500 rpm
- Fuel economy 45/60 mpg (5.23/3.92 L/100 km)
- Dry weight 548 lbs - Wet weight 565 lbs.
- Solo seat

Here's some additional information from the Harley Davidson Press Release:

The Iron 883 bike keeps up the rebellious tradition with responsive handling, smooth clutch effort, and a durable, carbon reinforced drive belt, while pushing the styling of motorcycling minimalism to the edge.

Decked in black from fender to fender, the new Harley-Davidson® Iron 883 brings the beat of an 883 EvolutionTM engine, backed up by a combo of gritty, old-school garage features like front fork gaiters, drag style handlebar, and side-mount license plate holder.

Ric Marrero, Marketing Programs & Events Director for Deeley Harley-Davidson® Canada commented: “This bike has so much potential for creative customization and comes with a very attractive price tag which will make it all the more fun to tailor to individual taste.”

The black powder-coated 883 cc EvolutionTM powertrain with black covers takes the Iron 883 bike deep into the heart of darkness. With Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) and performance tuning with a broad torque curve, the Iron 883 delivers plenty of power for the city scene. The pipes on the straight cut shorty dual exhaust flow the distinctive American V-Twin sound.

The black chopped rear fender with its combination stop/turn/tail lights shows more of the 150 mm rear tire and black, 13-spoke cast aluminum wheel, while the front tire also rides on a black wheel. The rest of the Iron 883 bike gets a darker-suited presence with black front forks and fender supports, fuel tank, oil tank cover, belt guard, drag style handlebar, and mid-mount foot controls.

A one-piece, solo classic seat with a height of 25.3 inches fits the lone rider, while a passenger seat and a backrest in complementing black finishes can be added as accessories.

As the latest of the Harley-Davidson® Dark Customs, the Iron 883 bike is stripped down and ripe for custom creativity. Dark Custom motorcycle riders have the youngest average age for Harley-Davidson buyers.

As the latest of the Harley-Davidson® Dark Customs, the Iron 883 bike is stripped down and ripe for custom creativity. Dark Custom motorcycle riders have the youngest average age for Harley-Davidson buyers. Soul mates of the Iron 883 include the NightsterTM, Night Train®, Cross BonesTM, Fat Bob®, and Street Bob® motorcycles. Check out more on Dark Custom motorcycles at

The Iron 883 bike is available in Black Denim and Brilliant Silver Denim colours.

Iron 883 motorcycle features and highlights:

- Rubber-mounted EvolutionTM 883 cc V-Twin black powder-coated engine
- Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
- Black fuel tank with unique graphics
- Black front forks with gaiters
- Black belt guard and front fender supports
- Black, 13-spoke cast wheels, 19-inch front/16-inch rear
- Black low-rise drag style handlebar
- Black mid-mount foot controls
- Black low-profile front fender
- Black chopped rear fender with combination rear stop/tail/turn lights
- Chrome staggered shorty exhaust with dual mufflers
- Side-mounted license plate holder
- One-piece, solo Sportster® classic seat
- 25.3-inch seat height
- Optional Harley-Davidson® Smart Security System
- Classic 3.3-gallon fuel tank

About Deeley Harley-Davidson® Canada

Deeley Harley-Davidson® Canada is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Harley-Davidson® and Buell® motorcycles, Genuine Motor Parts and AccessoriesTM, and MotorClothes® apparel, which are provided through a national network of authorized Harley-Davidson and Buell Retailers. Office and distribution warehouse facilities are located in Richmond, British Columbia, and Concord, Ontario.


Harley Davidon - job cuts and reductions planned

The fourth quarter of 2008 wasn't overly kind to Harley Davidson. The economic slowdown has impacted them, as it has many others. Fourth quarter net income dropped 58 percent. Worldwide retail sales of Harley’s motorcycles fell 13.1 percent, including a 19.6 percent drop in the United States.

In response to the decrease in sales Harley plans to cut 1,100 jobs and decreaase production between 10 and 13 percent from 2008 levels.

Other measures Harley is taking are combining its two engine and transmission plants into one, consolidate paint and frame operations in Pennsylvania and close their parts and accessories distribution center. They will also discontinue their domestic transportation fleet.

For full details, check out the press release issued Jan 23/09:

Harley Davidson Press Release:

Milwaukee, Wis., January 23, 2009 – Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE:HOG) reported decreased revenue, net income and earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to the year-ago quarter. The Company said it plans lower motorcycle shipments in 2009 and made public its overall strategy to deal with the current economic environment.

“We have a strong core business anchored by a uniquely powerful brand, but we are certainly not immune to the current economic conditions,” said Jim Ziemer, Chief Executive Officer, Harley-Davidson Inc. “We have a clear strategy to not only deal with the economic conditions, but also strengthen our long-term operations and financial results. We are executing that strategy with confidence and conviction.”

Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results

Revenue for the quarter was $1.29 billion compared to $1.39 billion in the year-ago quarter, a 6.8 percent decrease. Net income for the quarter was $77.8 million compared to $186.1 million in the fourth quarter 2007, a decrease of 58.2 percent. Fourth quarter diluted earnings per share were $0.34, a 56.4 percent decrease compared to last year’s $0.78.

Revenue for the full year 2008 was $5.59 billion compared to $5.73 billion in 2007, a 2.3 percent decline. Full-year net income was $654.7 million, compared to $933.8 million in 2007. Diluted earnings per share were $2.79, a decrease of 25.4 percent compared to $3.74 in 2007. The full-year results are below the previously provided company guidance.

For the full year, wholesale shipments of Harley-Davidsonâ motorcycles were 303,479 units, an 8.2 percent decrease compared to 330,619 units in 2007.

2009 Shipment Plan, Gross Margins

In the first quarter of 2009, the Company plans to ship between 74,000 and 78,000 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a 3.0 percent to 8.5 percent increase versus the first quarter of 2008. However, for the full year 2009, the Company plans to ship between 264,000 and 273,000 new Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a 10 percent to 13 percent reduction from 2008.

“We reduced our production levels prudently in 2008, helping our dealers achieve lower inventory levels,” said Ziemer, “and we’re going to show similar discipline in 2009. That’s not only critical for the health of our business, but for our dealers’ businesses, as well.”

For the full year 2009, the Company expects gross margins to be between 30.5 percent and 31.5 percent, which compares to 34.5 percent for the full year 2008. The decrease is primarily due to an expected unfavorable shipment mix versus 2008, the allocation of fixed costs over fewer units, and expected unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates versus 2008. Given the volatility of the current economic environment, the Company also indicated it would not provide EPS guidance for 2009.

Strategy for the Current Economic Environment

The Company is executing a three-part strategy that includes a number of measures to deal with the impact of the recession and worldwide slowdown in consumer demand, with the intent of strengthening its operations and financial results going forward.

“Our strategy is focused on three critical areas: to invest in the Harley-Davidson brand, get our cost-structure right, and obtain funding for HDFS to help our dealers sell motorcycles and our retail customers to buy them,” said Ziemer

Investing in the Brand

The Company is reinforcing its support of the Harley-Davidson brand, accelerating its ongoing marketing efforts to reach out to emerging rider groups, including younger and diverse riders. In addition, the Company will continue to focus on product innovations targeted at specific growth opportunities with its strong core customer base and new riders.

In the U.S., the Company said its Sportster® motorcycle trade-up program is being well-received by dealers and consumers and is generating new floor traffic during the winter months. The program lets riders who already own a qualifying Sportster motorcycle, or who buy a new Sportster motorcycle, receive back the original Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price value when they trade up to a Harley-Davidson Big Twin or VRSC motorcycle at participating dealerships.

Outside the U.S., the Company will continue to support the product, dealer development and marketing activities which, during the last several years, have helped drive strong retail sales growth.

“Among other things, the Harley-Davidson brand stands for strength and resilience, and we’re managing the business in this economic climate in ways that we believe will build long-term value into the brand,” said Ziemer.

Adjusting the Cost Structure

As a result of motorcycle volume reduction and the Company’s commitment to improve its cost structure, Harley-Davidson plans to:

· Consolidate its two engine and transmission plants in the Milwaukee area into its facility in Menomonee Falls, Wis.
· Consolidate paint and frame operations at its assembly facility in York, Pa.
· Close its distribution facility in Franklin, Wis., consolidating Parts and Accessories and General Merchandise distribution through a third party.
· Discontinue its domestic transportation fleet operation.

The planned volume reduction and restructuring actions are expected to result in the elimination of about 1,100 jobs over 2009 and 2010, including about 800 hourly production positions and about 300 non-production, primarily salaried positions. About 70 percent of the workforce reduction is expected to occur in 2009.

“We obviously need to make adjustments to address the current volume declines,” said Ziemer. “But we are also determined to do that in a way that will make us more competitive for the long term. Our management group will engage with union leaders, through our partnering relationship, regarding these changes.”

On a combined basis, Harley-Davidson expects the volume reduction and changes to operations to result in one-time charges of approximately $110 million to $140 million over 2009 and 2010, and ongoing annual savings of approximately $60 million to $70 million upon completion of the restructuring actions.

Obtaining Additional Funding for HDFS

The Company said it is evaluating a range of options to provide the necessary liquidity for the wholesale and retail lending activities of Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS).

“We’re evaluating options in order to obtain the necessary funding to support Harley-Davidson dealers and customers throughout the year,” said Tom Bergmann, Chief Financial Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. and interim President of HDFS.


Honda monkey bike to be relaunched in Japan

Well - there's not much chance of this one coming to Canada but it's still pretty cool so we'll tell you a little bit about it.

Honda is relaunching the very popular "Monkey bike." It's a little bike with an almost cult like following. Due to tougher emissions regulations nowadays this revamped monkey features fuel injection. Yep!

If you're perhaps 40 or under you may be asking yourself, why are they called "monkey bikes?" - Apparently it's a name given to various small, low-powered motorcycles first made popular by Honda in the 1970s. This style of bike typically has a very low seat height so when you're riding them your're a bit crouched over - making you look somewhat like a squatting monkey. That's how the story goes anyway.

This little Honda Monkey features a 50cc four-stroke, single cylinder - packing a 3.4bhp punch! Impressed? Well, try this - it'll get a cool 252 mpg when traveling at a constant 30 km/hr.

These revamped Honda's look to have classic styling with a few little updates for modern times. It'll be available in 'standard' trim or in 'limited edition' guise (but not here in Canada remember!). The limited edition gets a tartan seat cover and a bit of extra chrome.

I can see why these would be popular. Heading to the cottage? - throw one of these in the trunk for some fun and leisurely zipping around!

Call me crazy. I want one!


2009 Buell suggested retail pricing

Deeley Harley Davidson Canada was kind enough to provide pricing information for the Buell line-up for 2009 to Canadian Motorcycle Rider. The prices represent the 2009 suggested retail pricing as of December 1, 2008.

Models covered include Blast, XB9SX - Lightning CityX, XB12R - Firebolt, XB12Scg - Lightning XB12Scg, XB12Ss - Lightning XB12Ss, XB12X - Ulysses XB12X, XB12XT - Ulysses XB12XT, 1125CR, and the 1125R.

Click the picture for a larger view. For more details on the models that Buell has to offer check out their Canadian site.


Vancouver motorcycle show - Jan 22 - 25th

The Vancouver motorcycle show opens its doors this coming Thursday.

Here's some of the basic details of the event. It's just an overview of what will be taking place so be sure to head on out this weekend.

Event Details:

The Vancouver Motorcycle Show is B.C.’s foremost motorcycle show and the only event in the province at which all of the major manufacturers showcase their new models.

Visitors are offered an exclusive opportunity to view and receive information on the newest bikes and accessories direct from the manufacturers and their factory representatives and dealers – including Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Harley-Davidson, BMW, Ducati, Victory, KTM, and Hyosung.

• Thursday, January 22 – 5 to 9 p.m.
• Friday, January 23 – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• Saturday, January 24 –10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• Sunday, January 25 –10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Adults: $12.00
Juniors/Youth (6-15): $8.00
Children (under six and accompanied by an adult): Free
Family (2 Adults/2 Juniors): $34.00

TRADEX is just 50 minutes from Vancouver along the scenic Trans-Canada Highway #1 and immediately adjacent to the Abbotsford International Airport (YXX) at 1190 Cornell Street, Abbotsford, B.C., V2T 6H5.

1800 additional spaces have been added to available parking plus a shuttle to drop you off at the front door! Ride your motorcycle to the Show and you park for free!

- 37,000 visitors
- 175 exhibitors
- 143,000 square-foot show floor

For more details check out the event website here. Warning - site automatically opens with audio so turn down the speakers!

Comments (2)

Yamaha to halt production

Japan's Yamaha Motor Co Ltd. said last Friday that they'd be halting production temporarily at 11 of their facilities because of the global economic slowdown.

In a news release, they indicated that the stoppage would be for seven to 10 days in February and March.

Affected facilities produce motorcycles, recreational vehicles, marine sports vehicles, industrial robots, and parts.


Spaniard takes home top moto prize in 2009 Dakar

The Dakar Rally, held in South America for the first time in its history, is over. It was an exciting route for spectators and thousands of South Americans showed up on a daily basis to cheer on competitors. It was clear they enjoyed themselves.

All of ASO's work in planning the South American Dakar appears to have been warranted. The route seems to have been a success and proved tough on competitors and equipment. 217 motorcyclists started the Dakar but only 113 made it to the finish line.

Spaniard Marc Coma, riding his factory KTM, took home the top honor in the moto division beating his nearest rival (and team mate) Cyril Depres by nearly an hour and a half. This is the second win for 32 year old Marc Coma, who also won in 2006. A perhaps surprising third place finisher was French rider, David Fretigne. Fretigne was riding a Yamaha WR450 that was certainly outmatched in the pure horsepower department by the larger KTM's of the two top finishers.

KTM has a history of success in the Dakar with this year being no exception. The Austrian motorcycle company produced "the" motorcycle if you wanted to be successful in the Dakar this year. KTM riders took a whopping eight of the top ten spots. The Yamaha of Fretigne and Portugese rider, Paulo Goncalves, on his Honda were the only riders of non-KTM's to make it into the top ten.

In the moto division, the Volkswagon Toureg was the vehicle of choice for the top two finishers. South-African Giniel De Villiers and German co-driver Dirk Von Zitzewitz took the top spot. US driver Mark Miller and co-driver Ralph Pitchford (South Africa) took the second spot. Third place finisher was the US Hummer team, Robby Gordon and co-driver Andy Grider.

Robby Gordon is perhaps more famous for his Nascar exploits was the only top three finisher in a two-wheel drive in the car division. No doubt the third sport will be bitter-sweet for Gordon. He desperately wants to be the first North American to win the event - I'm sure the same can be said of Mark Miller though!


KYMCO Canada to hold 2008 prices

KYMCO Canada has made a strategic decision in light of economic instability to retain most of the 2008 prices on their model line-up into 2009.

They've done with the goal to "provide some financial stability to our (KYMCO) dealers and customers during this time of economic uncertainty."

Just the Vitality 50 scooter and the MXU 500 ATV have been adjusted. The price adjustments were 4.5% and 1.5% respectively (or $100). Another benefit to consumers in KYMCO pricing for 2009 is that they've cut the prices on genuine replacement parts by at least 15% from the 2008 levels.

The Vitality 50 2-T had a MSRP of $2299.00 for 2009 so it should move to $2399 for 2009.

In a Press Release statement KYMCO Canada stated:

"There are many indicators that signal positive growth for the powersport industry in 2009, particularly in the scooter category. Team KYMCO and its network of dealers have reason to be optimistic despite some of the hardships that are changing the structure of the Canadian market."

Founded in 1963, KYMCO is the world's 5th largest manufacturer of scooters and motorcycles. Based in Taiwan, KYMCO currently exports to over 70 countries worldwide, including Canada. It is known as a leader in its field, acquiring brand distinction and distribution networks on six continents. Due to its innovative technology, quality of craftsmanship and commitment to customer satisfaction, KYMCO continues to be a competitive player in the global marketplace.


Rumor - Kawasaki back in MotoGP for 2009

Well, there's rumor going around on a substantial number of sites that the Kawasaki factory team is back in MotoGP for 2009. After officially withdrawing factory support from the series on January 9th, the CEO of Dorna - the organization running MotoGP - said that Kawasaki must run the 2009 series or he'll sue them.

Apparently, Kawasaki is under contract to compete in the MotoGP series until the end of 2011 but Dorna is willing to let them out of the contract for 2010 and 2011 but race in 2009 they must!

Further rumor indicates that Kawasaki is indicating they've only got engines built for 25% of the championship and don't want to develop the rest. Dorna CEO, Carmelo Ezpeleta, has started working on a solution for that problem too - he's supposedly found an engineering facility in France willing to take on the work from Kawasaki, build the engines, and continue development of the ZX-RR.

The catch with that is that Kawasaki would have to accept the conditions and agree to turn the bikes over to the French firm. Oh my, how the plot thickens!


Honda Fury - Offical pictures released

Well - the email has arrived from Honda PowerSports and the official pictures are there on a site they've given. they've also included plenty of details about the bike as well.

Some of the details:

- 1312cc, 52 degree V-twin engine with a single-pin crankshaft and dual balancers.
- Fuel injected
- shaft final drive
- single shock rear suspension with aluminum swingarm
- Raked-out front and condensed, hard-tail look to the rear end (71.2 inches between the axles)
- 200 series rear tire and a slim 21-inch front wrapped around alloy wheels.
- newly designed exhaust and new camshafts which add to the unique V-twin sound and power-pulse sensations
- Single powerful 336-diameter front disc and a 296mm disc in the rear. ABS will be available.
- Super low 26.7 inch seat height
- Full line of genuine Honda accessories.


Max Award Winners

The Motorcycle Awards of Excellence (MAX Awards), Canada's motorcycle 'Oscars' were presented in over 50 categories including Canadian Racing Champions, Rider Achievement, Media and Sponsorship, showing excellence during the 2008 motorcycle year at North American International Motorcycle Supershow.

Winners were selected by the MAX Awards Committee, with input from the Canadian Motorcycle Association, journalist Steve Bond, track announcer Frank Wood, magazine editor Larry Tate, as well as individuals who send in nominations throughout the year.

Here is the list of the Winners presented at the show. Congratulations to all the well deserved winners:

MAX Awards for RIDERS

Individual Fundraiser, National - David Sweeny, Toronto, ON
Club/Team Fundraiser, National - GTA
Individual Fundraiser, Regional - Mark Ludwig, Thornhill, ON
Corporate Fundraiser, Regional - Riders Plus Insurance
Motorcycle Club - Chrome Divas
Motorcycle Recognition - Freak-N-Leather
Motorcycle Ambassador - Vicki Gray, Toronto, ON
Motorcycle Ride - Motorcycle Ride for Dad
Motorcycle Event - Canadian Biker Build Off
Motorcycle Builder - Alain Tourigny, St.Louis de Blandford
Motorcycle Mechanic - Ted Rose, Toronto, ON
Radio / Web-Radio -
Magazine - Canadian Custom Showcase
Club Newsletter - The CVMG News
Newspaper - Phillip Marchand
Motorcycle Web-Site -
Rider of the Year - Tyson Brust, Toronto, ON
Motorcycle Book - Mark Richardson
Motorcycle Ride Guide - Nova Scotia Ride Guide

MAX Awards for RACERS

Speedway - Jeff Orosz, Caistorville, ON
Enduro - Patrick Beaule, Ste. Julie, QC
Trials - Maxime Gobeil, Alma, QC
Hare Scrambles - Jake Stapleton, Parry Sound, ON
Dirt Track - Don Taylor, Welland, ON
ATV Dirt Track - David Dent, Lyndonville, NY
Road Racing - Jordan Szoke, Brantford, ON
Vintage Road Racing - Stan Nicholson, Kinburn, ON
Motocross (CMRC) - Colton Facciotti, Aldergrove, BC
Motocross (CMA) - Brady Sheren, Surrey, BC
Women's Motocross (CMRC) - Jacqueline Ross, Palm Bay, FL
Youth Motocross - Josh Hamelin, Langley, BC
Ice Racing - Jerry Alcock, Hunters, WA
Mini Road Racing - Peter Lenz, Vancouver, WA
Women's Road Racing - Marie Josee Boucher, Montreal, QC
Supermoto - Dave Arnold, Richmond Hill, ON
National Roadracing Rookie of the Year - Alex Welsh, Uxbridge, ON
International Competition - Miguel Duhamel, Las Vegas, NV
International Competition - Chris Peris, Calgary, AB
International Competition - Women's Cup Challenge Team
Tuner - Mike Crompton, Markham, ON
Tuner - Kurt Biegger, Hamilton, ON
Achievement - Jordan Szoke, Brantford, ON
Achievement - Clint McBain, Alberta
Motorcycle Recognition - Team Cops
Motorcycle Track - Calabogie MotorSports Park
Motorcycle Event - BMW Canada Media Day
Motorcycle Milestone - Don Taylor, Welland, ON
Motorcycle Milestone - CRCA 50th Anniversary
Sponsorship - Parts Canada
Sponsorship - Waste Management Canada
Magazine - Cycle Canada 125 Series
Motorcycle Book - Lawrence Hacking, Georgetown, ON


Honda Fury chopper photos and details leaked

The Fury, which is the forthcoming factory chopper from Honda, was set to be unveiled tomorrow at a motorcycle show in New York. Honda had set up a special site to notify people about the pictures, and done some interesting viral advertising on YouTube that showed a baby getting a tattoo in one of them.

But the news has broken before the emails have been sent and the official unveiling tomorrow. Hell For Leather Magazine has managed to scoop a photo from the press kit. So this shot is courtesy of them.

The bike looks stylish and features a 1312cc fuel injected and liquid cooled V-twin engine. It's a seriously long bike at 1808.5 mm, or just a shade under 6 feet. You'll probably not want to do the figure eight's of your driving test on this machine!

It's got a fat 20 series rear tire. The back end also gets a hidden mono-shock. Up front you've got a big rake, a custom looking 21" wheel, and a radiator hidden away within the front frame rails.

Unlike Harley Davidson, Honda decided to go with a shaft drive rather than the typical belt drive.

Honda's coming a little late to the chopper party (by a few years!) but it looks like the Fury is a pretty good effort.


Harley Davidson pricing in Canada

Deeley Harley Davidson Canada was kind enough to provide Canadian Motorcycle Rider with a listing of the suggested MSRP's for the 2009 line up of Harley's that we thought we'd share. The pricing was set as of December 1, 2008. Despite the current economic woes, sales were good in Canada and they're expected to continue for 2009.

If you look closely and compare some of these Canadian prices vs. the prices you'll pay for an equivalent Harley Davidson in the US, we're actually paying a little less for some in Canada at the moment!

So, now might be a good time to head on down to the local Harley shop if you're in the market.

Click the picture to see a larger version.


Vectrix to debut entry level model

Vectrix Corporation is set to debut two new models this coming January 16th at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in New York. The two new models are an entry level model, dubbed the VX-2, and an urban commuting model they'll call the VX-1E.

The VX-2 is smaller and more compact electric equivalent of a 50cc internal combustion engine. But weighing in at 429 pounds it's a bit on the heavy side when compared to combustion engined scooters. Most 50cc scooters are under 300lbs. Still it's said to be good for a 40-50 mile range, 30-mph speed capability and features a 48V/20A battery charger that plugs into a standard 110V/220V outlet. All this, and near silent operation of course.

"It's the perfect choice to replace cars for short urban trips," said Mike Boyle, Vectrix CEO. "The shortest car trips are the most damaging in terms of global warming, air pollution and our dependence on foreign oil."

The VX-2 is expected to arrive at US dealers in June 2009 and come with a MSRP price tag of USD $5,195.

The other model that Vetrix will showcase is the VX-1E. The VX-1E will make use of the same platform and drive train as the original VX-1, but comes in at a lower price point, and has urban commuter ergonomics. It also gets slighter slower acceleration and a slower top speed than the flagship VX-1. The VX-1E is expected to arrive at dealers in April, and the MSRP is USD $8,495.

Vectrix's original Personal Electric Vehicle, the VX-1, was first introduced in 2007 as an eco-friendly, zero emission and powerful alternative for commuting and recreational needs. The 2009 VX-1 will have some new graphics in four colors: white/burgundy red, white/metallic silver, white/sapphire blue and white/acid green.

The VX-1 weighs in at 515 pounds, has a 60-inch wheelbase and 30-inch seat height. It is highway legal, with a top speed of 62 mph, acceleration from 0-50 mph in 6.8 seconds, and an average range of 30-55 miles on a single charge.

All vehicles in the Vectrix family are 100 percent electric — no gas, no oil and no emissions — and feature minimal maintenance and simple operation.

There's a fairly large number of dealerships in the US but just one is listed in Canada according to the Vectrix website. So if you're interested in getting your hands on a Vectrix here's the contact information.

All Season Motorsports
1510- 10th Ave. SW
Calgary CA
T: 403-204-1771
Sales Contact: Steve Casey

About Vectrix Corporation

Vectrix Corporation was formed in 1996 to develop and commercialize zero emission vehicle platform technologies focused on two-wheel applications. The single focus of Vectrix has been to provide clean, efficient, reliable and affordable urban transportation. Vectrix two-wheel zero emission vehicles currently are being marketed to consumers and government fleets. Vectrix Corporation has headquarters in Middletown, R.I., engineering and test facilities in New Bedford, Mass., sales offices in the UK and production facilities in Wroclaw, Poland.


Kawasaki KLR 650 - new colors for 09

Okay, not breaking news I know seeing as these bikes are already in the dealerships now. But not everybody is keeping an eye on the manufacturer websites or checking out the dealerships in these cold winter months.

The 2009 Kawasaki KLR 650's have a brand new paint job! I might add that I think the new color schemes are an improvement over previous years. Only the Sun Beam red color carries over from 2008. Gone is the green, and in with the KMT Ebony. They've still got a blue in there but it's got a new name. For 2009 the paint schemes have a lot more of the solid base color and a little less of the stripes and angles they had in 2008. They've kept enough to make it interesting without looking too busy.

In terms of specifications, nothing new to report there. You'll get the same maximum power of 44PS @ 6,500 rpm, and maximum torque of 50N-m @ 5,500 rpm. A curb weight of 196 KG and seat height of 890mm (or 35 inches) means they're not really meant for heavy duty off road use and it helps to be a little long in the leg. But a 23 liter tank, big reliable single cylinder engine, and super broad torque curve mean it'll eat up the miles and be a reliable machine for years to come.

Without further ado I bring you some samples of the new colors. Photos courtesy of Kawasaki Canada.

KMT Ebony (click picture for larger image):

Sunbeam Red:

Oriental Blue:

The KLR 650's have an MSRP of $6,699 for 09. If you can find an 08, they have have an MSRP of $100 lower, or $6,599, according to the kawasaki website.


Next up - Edmonton motorcycle show

The Sportman's Motocycle Show made its first stop in Calgary this past weekend. Next up, Edmonton!

Here's the key facts you'll want to know about the event:

The 2009 Edmonton Motorcycle Show Fact Sheet

Friday, January 16th – Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Northlands Agricom, Edmonton, AB

Friday Noon – 9:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Family $35.00 (2 adults, 2 juniors)
Adults $13.00
Junior (6-15 years) $ 9.50
Child Under 6 FREE when accompanied by an adult
*All prices include GST

The Edmonton Motorcycle Show is the Canadian Motorcycle and ATV industries’ official event for the launch of new 2009 models. Featuring the latest products, services and accessories direct from the manufacturers, including Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Harley-Davidson, BMW, MotoGuzzi, Buell, Aprilia, Ducati, Polaris, Triumph, Victory, KTM, Hyosung and BRP. In addition, the Edmonton Motorcycle Show will feature extreme MX Freestyle, Motorcycle Stunt Riders, top Canadian indoor racing, the Yamaha Riding Academy for kids 6-12, a variety of retailers, rider clubs and associations, celebrity racers, informational displays, prize giveaways and vintage motorcycles display.

The Edmonton Motorcycle Show is a co-operative effort between the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council (MMIC), Canadian Off Highway Vehicle Association (COHV) and Canadian National Sportsmen’s Shows.

For more details check out the website here.


Kawasaki officially announces withdrawal from MotoGP

Looks like Kawasaki just made the rumors official today - they're out of MotoGP. It's a very expensive program to run, according to a report by Reuters, Kawasaki had competed in motorcycling's premier class since 2003 with annual costs of around 4 billion yen, which is somewhere around 37 million Canadian dollars near as I can figure.

Here's the press release:

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that it has decided to suspend its factory MotoGP racing activities from 2009 season.

Amid quickly changing business environment, Kawasaki has been promptly taking countermeasures to cope with the situation. As the world economy is not likely to recover in a short period due to the major impact of the financial crisis, Kawasaki decided to suspend its MotoGP racing activities from 2009 season onward and reallocate management resources more efficiently.

Kawasaki will continue racing activities using mass-produced motorcycles as well as supporting general race-oriented customers.
Kawasaki would like to thank all the fans and all those who have forwarded us great help.

Mr.Yoshio Kawamura, the Managing Director of Kawasaki Motors Racing B.V. deeply appreciates the contribution and the dedication brought by staff members of the MotoGP team.


Tentative 2009 Rally Connex schedule

Details are courtesty of Rally Connex

May 9 – Training Day – Cobourg

The morning will be spent with brief GPS training, bike set-up and riding technique sessions. You will then follow a GPS route to the off road training center and rotate through several technical training sessions in small groups. Contrary to previous years, a greater emphasis will be placed on skills training. Lunch will again be provided. Afternoon sessions concentrate on off-road riding technique training and practice, before returning to the start via another GPS route. All sizes of bikes are welcome. This event is the perfect way to shake out the cobwebs from a long winter, and learn some new techniques.

Spring Training Day

Training day is held the day before Mother’s Day. In honour of our mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts and friends, this event will be a fundraiser for the 2009 Weekend to End Breast Cancer. Riders from previous years will know that this is the fourth year that Lynda Burnett and her sister Laura Murray will walk in the 60 km event. Proceeds will be donated to team T.W.I.N.S. (Transforming Walking Into New Strength). There will be pink ribbon merchandise available for sale for Mother’s Day gifts, and Gatorade and Power Bars will also be for sale.

June 4-7 - R.A.P. Round Algonquin Park.

Four days of riding start in Minden and proceed around Algonquin Park. Each day ends at a different motel and your equipment will meet you there. The proven route (downloaded in it’s entirety to your GPS prior to the start) is well timed allowing you to have time each night to relax, have a beverage and chat about your ride with the other participants. Due to the size of the ride and the planned accommodations, registration is limited. Register early to avoid disappointment. Support riders within the group and the support truck are never far away if needed. The ride is best for bikes up to 700cc.

June ?? – Jim Kelly Memorial Trail Ride – North of Barrie

Halton Off Road Riders club - see – Part of the OFTR Trail ride series. Proceeds go to the ISDE Gold fund.

July 12 – Blue Mountain Tour

This GPS Dualsport Tour consists of a long loop, which starts in Orangeville and goes to Collingwood (Blue Mountain) and back.

There will be a lunch stop midway through the ride. The ride is comprised of a mix of gravel, road allowances, and 2 track all day.

The route is not the same route as last year, and has more technical sections than before.

The length of the route is approximately 300km.

Aug 22-23 – Rock Hound Rally

This rally is a 12hour 500km Rally in the Kawartha and Madawaska highlands. Registrants can come up and stay Friday night. The rally begins Saturday, lasts all day, and returns to the same hotel late that evening, with ample time to compare stories all night. On Sunday morning there will be another short timed stage, before returning for the awards presentation in the afternoon, leaving lots of time before heading home. Teams of 3 complete a large loop route throughout the day, covering areas stretching well up into Haliburton and over to Calabogie. There will be timed stages and free areas along the route. The timed stages will have open and closing times. The free areas will consist of gravel areas and 2 track and will leave time for minor repairs, picture taking and relaxing. The timed stages contain the technical areas and are all business. Points will be based on the ability to maintain the appropriate speed averages during each timed stage. This event is ideal for 450cc through 990cc aggressive dualsport bikes. Details to follow.

Sept 26 – 27 - Corduroy Enduro Dualsport

Join in with the crowds at the infamous Corduroy Enduro. The Dualsport tour will take you along trails and back roads to bring you to some of the best spectator points along the enduro route. 2 days of riding and cheering, in the Haliburton highlands will be yours to enjoy. You have the choice to camp on-site or stay at local motels. As usual, this event is fully supported with sweep riders and support truck. This dual sport ride is suitable for bikes 650cc and less, although aggressive 950cc riders can make it through. See


Be among the first to see Honda Fury

Honda have launched a teaser website with a countdown timer that marks the unveiling of their new chopper. The new chopper, dubbed the Honda Fury will be shown on January 16th in New York.

If you can't make it to New York though you can sign up via the Honda teaser website to get more information as soon as it's released.

No pictures of the bike are currently available on the teaser site. We had posted a patent photo and the picture initially shown to dealers in past news articles.


Calgary Motorcycle Show - Starts this Friday

Canadian National Sportsman's Shows are holding the Calgary Motorcycle Show this Friday Jan. 9th, through Jan. 11th. The Calgary event has been wowing the crowds since 2001. This year looks like it'll be no exception, with over 30 major manufacturers of motorcycles, scooters, and off-road vehicles in attendence there is plenty for everyone to enjoy. There's going to be a lot more than just manufacturer displays though - that's just scratching the surface of what you'll see.

Just a few of the highlights include Canada's top freestyle bikers putting on a show, you'll get to see Orange County Chopper's custom-made I-Robot bike, and none other than Speed TV's Super Bikes host and renowned stunt rider Jason Britton will be on-hand to sign some autographs.

Here's some of the "must know" bits of information:

Roundup Centre, Calgary

Friday Noon – 9:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Family $35.00 (2 adults, 2 juniors)
Adults $13.00
Junior (6-15 years) $ 9.50
Child Under 6 FREE when accompanied by an adult
*All prices include GST

The Calgary Motorcycle Show is the Canadian Motorcycle and ATV industries’ official event for the launch of new 2009 models. Featuring the latest products, services and accessories direct from the manufacturers, including Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Harley-Davidson, BMW, MotoGuzzi, Buell, Aprilia, Ducati, Polaris, Triumph, Victory, KTM, Hyosung and BRP. In addition, the Calgary Motorcycle Show will feature extreme MX Freestyle, Motorcycle Stunt Riders, top Canadian indoor racing, the Yamaha Riding Academy for kids 6-12, a variety of retailers, rider clubs and associations, celebrity racers, informational displays, prize giveaways and vintage motorcycles display.

The Calgary Motorcycle Show is a co-operative effort between the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council (MMIC), Canadian Off Highway Vehicle Association (COHV) and Canadian National Sportsmen’s Shows.

Here's the link if you'd like more information. Warning - audio automatically plays upon launching site.


Now this looks like fun! -- The Slidescooter!

What'll those Italians think of next? There's plenty of people that know the secret pleasure of just how much fun a 50cc scooter can be - Lots!

Italian company, Rimini Moto didn't think people were having quite as much fun as they could be so they put together a kit consisting of a studded fat tire and a ski for the front. Riding in the snow -- on a scooter! Whoah! Now, that's some fun right there. The look on this guys face pretty much says it all I think.

Rimini Moto sell the kit for about USD $650 and includes up to six different front tracks to suit everyone. I don't know what it'd cost to get the kit sent to Canada (if they'd even do it.) But it couldn't be too difficult to rig up something yourself if you were handy.

While not nearly as sophisticated as say an Ad Bovin Explorer system. This one is really very inexpensive. You could probably buy a used scooter and get something like this rigged up for the price you'd pay for the Explorer kit alone, and probably have some cash let over.

It would probably only be good on packed trails and light snow and I don't know just "where" you'd ride it but I'd sure love to try one out.


Motorcyclist dies during the Dakar

Yamaha motorcycle rider Pascal Terry, age 49, died during the Dakar while in the race. He was found 15 meters away from his motorcycle, sitting in the shade in an area of dense vegetation, with his helmet off, and with food and water.

He went missing on Sunday during the second stage of the race, between Santa Rosa and Puerto Madryn.

Local police performed an investigation as to the cause of death and it was determined he died of pulmonary edema. According to the Argentinian military body charged with police duties, his life could have been saved if he would have been treated immediately.

Dakar organizers (ASO) indicate there was an unfortunate breakdown in communications between the local event organizers, the local head office, and the French based head office. The breakdown in communications caused a prolonged delay before a search was held to try to find Terry. Terry had called race organizers Sunday on a Sat phone, to indicated that he had run out of gas but then obtained some from another rider. It's not clear what happened after that call and the time up to his death.

The tracking device was showing his bike in one place but there was reportedly some confusion as to whether he had made it back to the base camp without his bike. This delayed rescue attempts.

Before the race he spoke about his long-held desire to compete in the event.

“I’ve dreamed about being in the Dakar since it started,” said Terry, who had been racing motorcycles for 29 years. “I think it’s going to be great. ... I’m going to do all I can to take full advantage of all the legs of the race.”

His body was found on Wednesday and the ASO have vowed to review their communication procedures.

It's a very unfortunate incident that highlights the dangers of the race. Even with all the modern technology and tracking devices available to us that things like this can happen.


New Ducati Multistrada spotted

Ducati's popular Multistrada is reportedly up for a major redesign. The Multistrada is a popular model because it's a little more upright but features sportbike like handling. It's a bike "designed for everyday-use versatility" according to Ducati.

Well, to add to the rumor, the folks at Motociclismo Spain have come up with a spy shot of the new Multistrada. It's difficult to tell the extent of the redesign because the picture is from the back and the angle obscures almost all of the details! Darn!

The bike is apparently well into development and some dealers have already been shown the sporty new model. It will be a complete replacement of the old model and will reportedly feature the sweet 1098 engine. Insiders say it also features the Ducati DTC traction control system.

The pictures do show a road biased, wide rear sport tire and a big single sided swingarm.

You'll have to wait awhile to see the official photo's (unless they leak before hand). It's said the bike will be shown at the Milan Motorcycle show in November!


Canadian's out of the Dakar

Sadly, it appears the two Canadian's in the Dakar have both withdrawn from the event.

Don Hatton and Pierre Navarro are both listed on the withdrawals page of the Dakar website here.

No word yet as to what the specific reasons were for the withdrawals but we'll let you know as soon as we find out more.

Update: Don Hatton was reportedly injured and airlifted from the stage. He cracked his C4 and thoractic (I don't know what a thoratic is but it doesn't sound plesant!) and had to have surgery. He's apparently going to be OK though.

Still no word about Pierre Navarro though.

Expanding our "who to cheer for" list slightly beyond our Canadian border to the south we've got Jonah Street. He's from the USA and appears to be one to watch. Currently sitting in the number 4 spot in the rankings (as of Stage 4). He's near the top and a contender to be on the podium at the finish.

To learn more about Jonah Street check out his website here.


BMW's 18th consecutive year of sales increases

BMW Motorrad experienced another record year in 2008 in what has been a long series of consecutive increases in BMW bike sales.

BMW Motorrad Canada celebrated its best sales year in history in 2008. They sold 1,760 motorcycles, for an increase of 8% over 2007 sales.

In December, 115 BMW motorcycles were retailed in Canada, a 13% increase over December 2007. No doubt the very popular BMW F650 GS and the BMW F800 GS played a part in this past years stellar performance.

The BMW F650GS, with it's base MSRP of $9,490.00 packs a lot of value and makes owning a BMW reasonably affordable.

The F800GS has been a highly anticipated model that is what some refer to as a smaller (and cheaper!) version of the marque's popular R1200 GS model.


Canadian Embarks on Country-wide Motorcycle Trip to Raise Awareness for Type 1 Diabetes

MONTREAL, Jan. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Michael Cole arrives in Montreal today on his cross country motorcycle trip to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes and funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Cole commenced his fundraising tour in St. John's, NFLD on January 1 and will conclude in Victoria, BC.

"My goal is a world voice for diabetes," states Michael Cole. "I am riding across Canada in January to make my voice heard and to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes."

Cole, 46, has lived with type 1 diabetes for 38 years. Diagnosed when he was 8 1/2 years of age, Mike's ambition for this cross Canada motorcycle trip is to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes, and raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. His goal is to raise $100,000 for diabetes research and to complete the ride within three weeks.

"On behalf of JDRF Montreal, we are pleased to welcome Mike as he passes through," says Denis Lalonde, Regional Manager, JDRF Montreal. "Mike's Canada-wide fundraising and awareness campaign is much appreciated by the over 200,000 Canadians living with type 1 diabetes."

During this 7,000km ride across Canada, Michael's stops will include Halifax, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Sudbury, Sault St. Marie, Thunder Bay, Kenora, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary,Edmonton, Jasper, Kamloops, Vancouver and Victoria.

Details courtesy of: CNW Press Release


Marc Coma wins first stage of 2009 Dakar

Spaniard, Marc Coma racing under the Team Repsol KTM banner, has won the first stage of the 2009 Dakar. Coma finished the stage with a commanding 22 minute lead over the second placed rider, Jacek Czachor.

Tire problems seemed to be the common issue many riders faced on the first stage but Coma luckily made it through unscathed. Many other riders ended the stage on ruined rubber, or in many cases, on their rims. Such was the fate of famed rider, and one of the top contenders, Cyril Despres. He crossed the line with the rim bare on his rear wheel, 41 minutes behind Coma!

Stage 1 saw the competitors making their way from Buenos Aires to Santa Rosa de la Pampa which consisted of 371 km's of special stage.

For full details of the first stage check out the Dakar website here.

Stage 2 of the Dakar took competitors from Santa Rosa de la Pampa > Puerto Madryn with 237 km's of special stage. The stage was mostly quick but Marc Coma lost some of his lead, due is part to a radiator problem. Frans Verhoeven won the day taking his first ever special stage in the Dakar.

Coma is still has a 13.47 lead over Verhoeven. Provisional third place on the podium went to Jonah Street, who was 5th to cross the finishing line.

For full details of stage two check out the Dakar website here.

As for the Canadian content in the Dakar. Well, Don Hatton was 115 of 212 riders at the end of stage 2 (just behind Simon Pavey - BMW off road instructor, off-road skills trainer to Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, and multi-year participant in the Dakar). Stage 2 saw Hatton lose a few spots and he's down to 176th spot. That's out of 192 riders now though. Looks like 20 riders have dropped out after the first day.

Pierre Navarro (who's indicated to be from France but he's living in Quebec, so we'll claim him as a Canadian) may be out it appears. He's listed as being 208 of 212 at the end of stage 1 but he's missing from the stage rankings for stage 2. No doubt that'll be a big disappointment.

Pierre gained a little fame when he helped out a fellow competitor who was mere kilometers from the finish line. Here's a quote from the Dakar website of what happened:

"The first stage was especially difficult for the most experienced bikers, whose day was disrupted by tire problems. It was also hard for Belgian Stéphane Charlier, who ground to a halt 5 km before the end of the special, due to engine problems. But in South America, just like in Africa, solidarity is alive and well on the Dakar. “I managed to finish thanks to Pierre (Navarro) who towed me home using a strap that the Argentines found for us”, explained the rider.

“I found him lying down by the side of the track. I thought he was having a nap, but he told me he thought he had broken his engine”, said Pierre Navarro, the day’s good Samaritan. “I checked my road-book and saw that there were only 5 km left. It would have been such a shame to have to give it all up there and then. That’s also why I’m taking part in the Dakar, for its human values, but I never thought I would end up in that sort of situation on my first Dakar…”"

The Dakar is not won on the first (or second!) day so there will be plenty of time to gain some ground so long as you manage to stay in the event. Go Canada! Go Don!


Honda Fury - Not so electric

Some patent images have surfaced courtesy of Spanish magazine Solo Moto Treinta,that are suggested to be a sign the Honda Fury (the chopper coming from Honda) will not feature an electric drive system or a CVT transmission.

It appears to be what is a fairly conventional chopper style motorcycle. It's rumored that the Honda Fury will be officially unveiled at the New York round of the International Motorcycle Show on January 16th.

It'll likely feature a hidden underseat radiator, a hidden rear shock, and a fuel injected v-twin engine somewhere in the neighborhood of 1300cc.


Red Deer Motorcycle Show - (AB)

Western Canada's largest custom bike show is coming up and we've gotten an update from the organizers.


Entrance fees for the event will be:
$15.00 for a weekend pass
$12.00 day pass adult
$10.00 day pass youth
under 8 free

When asked what kind of things people could expect in the way of exhibitors this is the information we received:

"As far as exhibitors are concerned, we have stock bikes such as Harley Davidson, Victory etc as well as custom builders. This year we have everything from rider apparel to tattoo shops and airbrush artists. We are working on some hot rod shops as well. If it's cool and custom we want to have it at our show!"

It's going to take place in Westerner Park, Alberta between January 23 and 25, 2009.

Location: Westerner Park 4847A-19 Street Red Deer AB, T4R 2N7

Hours are:

Friday --- 12:00PM - 8:00PM
Saturday - 10:00AM - 8:00PM
Sunday --- 10:00AM - 5:00PM

Seems like it'll be a great time for the custom crowd!

For additional details check out the website here.


The ideal adventure touring machine?

The EVA Products BV Nederland is going to be unveiling what might be the ultimate off-road touring machine. It's a 800cc diesel powered motorcycle that'll offer an optional front wheel hydraulic drive system. Some other interesting options are full aluminium luggage travel system, and a desert-sand lifting device.

The in-line three cylinder diesel offers approximately 50 bhp and is both turbocharged and intercooled. What it lacks in horsepower it makes up for in brute torque, a whopping 130Nm of torque from 1800 rpm upwards.

Many motorcyclists may not appreciate not being able to work through the gears because it comes with a CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission). What they may appreciate is that the CVT keeps the bike at at optimal RPM range which improves the fuel economy even further. It's said the machine sips fuel at 2.1 l/100km at 90 km/hr. If you're in a real hurry and pick up the pace to at 175 kmh, it’ll reportedly still get 4.2 l/100 km.

The bike is reportedly going to be shown at the Utrecht Dutch motorcycle trade fair in February.

What does all this cost? Well - that's the kicker! The bike will have an initial price tag of EUR 17,500, which if you did a direct conversion to Canadian dollars would be just shy of $30,000. Ouch! I wouldn't be looking for this bike to show up in Canada any time soon or even in the distant future. If you're interested in diesel motorcycles a little closer to home you may want to check out the HDT Diesel MD670F “Bulldog” that's built in the US.

It's a cool looking machine though, and for those whom money is no object it may be a great adventure touring tool.