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Haga and Fabrizio (DUCATI XEROX), 1st and 2nd in the standings, comence battle in Salt Lake

Miller - Salt Lake City (USA) Friday 29th May: the Ducati Xerox Team kicked off their quest for Stateside victory today at the Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City. With track temperatures in the high forties, factory riders Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga completed the first qualifying session in fifth and eleventh place respectively, after battling against some tough competition that included Biaggi, Spies and Checa. Noriyuki and Michel, currently first and second in the rider classification, both remain optimistic for tomorrow despite one or two small problems suffered throughout today.

Noriyuki, who rode at the Miller circuit with a broken collarbone in 2008, has worked a lot today on the set-up of his Ducati 1198, riding with a full tank and race tyres. His team-mate Michel suffered from a technical problem in the crucial final stages of the qualifying session which prevented him from attaining a provisional place on the front row of the grid.

Michel Fabrizio 1m50.4s
“Towards the end of the session I had a problem with the gear box and I couldn’t put the bike into first so had to use second. Having said that, this is a track that I really like and we seem to be all set for tyres so if it hadn’t been for that set back I’d have been able to lap much faster in the final stages I think. So we hope all goes well tomorrow morning and that I am able to improve my lap times.”

Noriyuki Haga 1m50.7s
"I am fairly happy for the moment. Obviously I was here for the first time last year but with the crash and having to race with a broken collarbone, I remember very little and so today I have got to grips with the track again and I have to say that I’m enjoying riding my 1198 here. In the last part of the qualifying session we tried a harder tyre compound but unfortunately it didn’t allow me to improve my lap times, but despite this, I am feeling comfortable on the bike and we have time tomorrow to make further adjustments and pick up our performance.”

TIMES: 1. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1m49.8s, 2. Spies (Yamaha) 1m49.9s, 3. Checa (Honda) 1m50.1s, 4. Smrz (Ducati) 1m50.2s, 5. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 1m50.4s; 6. Hacking (Kawasaki) 1m50.4s, 7. Byrne (Ducati) 1m50.5s, 8. Kagayama (Suzuki) 1m50.5s…. 11. Haga (Ducati Xerox) 1m50.7s

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Arai continues to satisfy motorcyclists

Arai have done well in a 2009 Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study of consumers. 10 brands were tested including; Arai, Bell, Fulmer, Harley-Davidson, HJC, Icon, KBC, Nolan, Scorpion, and Shoei.

In conducting the 2009 Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study, which measures the overall satisfaction of motorcyclists with their new helmet in three key factors: ventilation, face shield, and design and styling, J.D. Power and Associates asked owners to rate the following 11 attributes of their motorcycle helmet:

  • 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;
  • fit and comfort.

More than 4,600 survey responses were tabulated. With a score of 830, Arai ranks highest among the 10 helmet brands included in the study—its 11th consecutive year leading the rankings.

“Arai’s focus on fit and comfort—the most important consideration when purchasing a motorcycle helmet—and its ability to cater to different types of riders have given the manufacturer a consistent edge in satisfying customers,” said Tim Fox, research manager of the powersports group at J.D. Power and Associates.

Other highlights from the 2009 Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study include:

  • Arai, the highest-ranked helmet maker, improves its index score by 11 points compared to last year’s study, and performs particularly well in the ventilation and design and styling factors.
  • Shoei ranks second with a score of 815 and performs well in the face shield factor. Icon ranks third overall with a score of 806.
  • While the percentage of helmet owners who conducted research online before buying has remained relatively steady from 2008 at 36 percent, more and more consumers are buying their helmets online—17 percent in 2009, compared to 14 percent in 2008.
  • Those who purchased more expensive helmets ($200 or more) are more likely to both research and purchase their helmet online. Additionally, more than one-half of these helmet owners researched online prior to their purchase, and 22 percent of them made their purchase online.

About the Study

The 2009 Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 4,600 purchasers of new 2008 model-year motorcycles who provided information about their most recent helmet purchase experience and helmet use. The study was fielded in September and October 2008.


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Zero X Gets a New Look

Zero Motorcycles have just launched the 2009.5 Zero X. It features custom new bodywork and a more advanced brake system.

The new Zero X, and all other motorcycles in their 2009 line, will now be covered under their new two year limited warranty. They are also offering two new warranty plans for those who want increased coverage or the next big product upgrades.

Details from Zero:

The Zero X electric motorcycle is a full sized high performance machine. Built from the ground up using the ultimate electric motorcycle technology and boasting 50 ft-lbs of torque, this stealthy motorcycle will send you racing up hills, flying over jumps, and splashing through streams. Best part is, you can do it all without disturbing nature or your neighbors.

After years of designing electric motorcycles we’re always looking to ‘one up’ ourselves and it shows in the latest modifications we’ve made to the 2009 Zero X electric motorcycle. It’s faster, stronger, and more durable in the most demanding terrain. We’ve upgraded elements of the drivetrain, frame, suspension and more. Inside and out it’s a better motorcycle. We know that’s great… but the part that really excites us is how much more fun you’ll have getting to the places you couldn’t go before.

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Brammo Enertia TTR breaks cover

The Brammo Enertia TTR racer has broken cover! If you were expecting something very 2015 and concept bike looking, think again. This bike looks great and it's going to be featured in the TTXGP Isle of Mann race, scheduled for 12th June 2009.

The bike weighs in at 360lbs and has enough juice to propel the TTR around the Island's 37-mile course at speeds approaching 120mph.

Specifications:

Battery: 8 Twelve-Volt Modules, 8 kWh Lithium Polymer, 100 Volts Peak Battery Bus
Motor: Brushless Design, Permanent Magnet, AC Synchronous
Frame: Extruded Aluminum from SAPA, stock/production rails
Body: Stock/production Enertia body panels
Fairing: Brammo sourced, OE spec
Rear Section: Brammo Design, SLA by SCICON Technologies
Weight: 360 Lbs.

Dimensions:

Wheelbase: 55.5"
Seat height: 34.5"
Ground clearance: 7"
Forks: Brammo-spec, OE-sourced, Traxxion Dynamics AK, Gas Cartridge
Shock: Elka - tunable compression & rebound
Steering Stabilizer: Ohlins
Wheels: Marchesini
Front: 17" Forged Magnesium
Rear: 17" Forged Magnesium
Brakes: Brembo - Brammo-spec
Tires: Dunlop - Brammo-spec, Isle of Man compound

Photo credit to Hell For Leather

For more Brammo information check out our Brammo category.

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Ducati Desmosedici Documentary - Episode 4

Episode four of the Ducati Desmosedici Documentary has been released to YouTube.

This two part episode focuses on tires, more specifically it focuses on the Bridgestone BT-01 developed for the D16RR or mega-sportsbike category.

It's the stickiest original equipment tire Bridgestone have made to-date. The Bridgestone Battalax BT-01's are basically a racing slick with Moto-GP technology along with a few grooves. The BT-01's are specific to the D16RR with a unique tread pattern.





For the other episodes check out the following links:

- Episode 1
- Episode 2
- Episode 3

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Motorcycle Experience - successful 09 season

We received word from Dave Hatch, host of Motorcycle Experience, about the show having wrapped up for the season (along with some details on viewership numbers). Dave is also promoting the 7th Annual Ride To Remember that's coming up on Saturday, June 6th - it's a fundraiser for Camp Trillium and looks like it's going to be a fun event for motorcycle riders and families.

Full details below:

Motorcycle Experience has now wrapped up yet another successful broadcast season on TSN. As you know, there has been a lot of news in the Canadian press these past months, lamenting the fact that overall television viewership is down. Well we can tell you that certainly wasn’t the case with Motorcycle Experience this year, in fact, just the opposite. This spring, as we celebrated our 20th year on the air, our overall audience ratings actually grew by 15%. We are very happy to report that over 1.3 million viewers tuned in from all across Canada to see the show. So…let us just say “thanks” to everyone who tuned us in and helped to make the show once again a major success!

And speaking of success…one final piece of business for this year, don’t forget that you are more than welcome to join us next week at our 7th Annual Ride To Remember. If there is any way you can ride to our annual motorcycle celebration dedicated to raising funds for Camp Trillium, we encourage you to do so. This is always a great event and this year we are remembering our dear friend, Maxime Mercier. Here’s what we have in store for you this year.

Toyota Truck presents 7th Annual Ride to Remember!

Everything is now set to go next week for this popular motorcycle rally. This annual fund raising event for Camp Trillium celebrating all things on two wheels, has so far helped Motorcycle Experience and the local Prince Edward Fire Fighters and their wives donate over $80,000 dollars to Camp Trillium.

This year the Ride to Remember will touch down for one day only at the Picton Airport on Saturday June 6 and once again our partners BMW, Suzuki, Honda, Buell and Harley-Davidson will be inviting licensed motorcycle riders to sample their new motorcycle lineups on a scenic demo ride through Prince Edward County. In keeping with our desire to keep the Ride to Remember a family oriented celebration, this year we’ve added two new and exciting features: the Buell Stunt Riding Show and a massive R2R Classic Car Show. There will also be the popular R2R Silent Auction that now boasts over ten thousand dollars in new motorcycle related items and while visitors check out the great deals they will also be able to enjoy the 6 Live Bands we have performing on site all day, in the Currahs Café entertainment zone.

Many eastern Ontario motorcycle dealers will also be on hand, displaying the very latest in riding gear and accessories. Back by popular demand is the Yamaha Riding Academy. The Riding Academy is a popular mini bike training area for children aged six to twelve! The folks from Yamaha provide the instructors, bikes and all the riding gear, and no experience is required. Soooooo…..

If you want to keep your feet on the pegs and your right hand cranked check out the R2R website at www.ridetoremember.ca for more details, and get set to ride next week up to the Picton Airport for the a day you will never forget!

We look forward to seeing you there…

Dave and Stacey Hatch

Picture courtesy Ride to Remember.


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Part Canada - Solid Buell® presence for the new racing season

CALABOGIE, Ontario (May 25, 2009) – Calabogie Motorsport Park. Under sunny skies with just a hint of a cool breeze making for perfect weather conditions, hundreds of visitors lined the hilly ridges around the pristine Motorsport Park in anticipation of the opening round of the 2009 Parts Canada Superbike Series.

“We’ve constantly improved our lap times this weekend,” Steve Crevier commented at the beginning of the weekend from under the trailer awning of the Deeley Racing/Ruthless Racing Inc. team - powered by Buell. Crevier’s observation proved true right through to the end of the sixteen-lap Superbike final on Sunday afternoon, when the six-time Canadian Superbike champ recorded a lap of 2:02.790 on the Buell® 1125RTM Superbike.

Steve pre-qualified the Buell® 1125RTM bike in eighth place, moved up to seventh through the Pirelli Superpole, and eventually placed seventh in the National Superbike Championship final after running as high as fifth. As he removed his helmet post race, Steve commented “ we’ll take what we got and move on.”

In the Yoshimura Sportbike category, constant improvement and, consequently, lowered lap times were the order of the day for the Deeley Harley-Davidson® Canada pit crew and team riders. “We chopped over a second and a half off of our Sportbike time,” confirmed Steve Crevier.

Steve brought the Buell® 1125RTM Sportbike home in a respectable, and competitive, sixth place upon completion of the twelve-lap final. Dave Estok, qualified in twelfth, and then placed eighth in the race after a hard charge in the closing stages that saw him record his fastest lap of the weekend on lap ten. “I’m feeling a lot more comfortable on the bike. We changed some controls since our test so it fits me better,” said the Florida-native rider. “I am really happy for the team though, we got two Buells® in the top ten, and we have room to improve.”

Darren James was riding injured as a result of a crash while preparing to lay down a fast lap in the middle of the qualifying rounds for the Yoshimura Sportbike category. James has had to bounce back from injury before, and he did it again this weekend. He bettered his qualifying time by over half a second in the race, moving up from sixteenth on the starting grid to thirteenth at the finish. As illustration of his grit, James recorded his best lap of the weekend on the final lap of the race while involved in a vicious three-way dice with Marie-Josée Boucher (Honda CBR600) and Martin Grande (Suzuki GSXR 600). The three riders were separated by a mere 0.500 at the chequered flag. “We really did have a really productive weekend – on track and off. I’m looking forward to Montréal. I’ve got two weeks to heal up,” he said, laughing.

The Deeley Racing/Ruthless Racing Inc.- powered by Buell Race Team will see action next the weekend of June 12 to 14 at the Circuit Icar in Mirabel, Quebec, near Montréal, at Round 2 of the Parts Canada Superbike Series.

For information on the series, detailed results, and how to catch up on the season at the next race, please refer to www.cdnsuperbike.com.

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2009 Isle of Man TT starts May 30th

Okay, for those that don't know about the Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) Race - it's a motorcycle racing event held on the Isle of Man. It's been running since 1907. The race is run in a time-trial format on public roads closed for racing. It's estimated that there are over 200 corners on the Isle of Man Mountain Course and about 60 corners have names.

If you haven't seen it and you like motorcycles believe me... you should try to watch some of it. Watching it is surprising difficult though since it's not aired on TV here in Canada. You can definitely find some YouTube clips like this promotional video for the 2009 race:

The first practice sessions start this Saturday, May 30th. But the big show begins on Friday, June 12 when the the Senior TT and the TTXGP take place. T

The Senior TT is a motorcycle road race that takes place during the Isle of Man TT festival. The Senior TT is the Blue Riband event of the festival and takes place on the Friday of race week. To get an idea of the speeds these guys clock (on public roads!) - the record for the Senior TT is 17 Minutes and 21.99 seconds at an average speed of 130.354 mph set by John McGuinness during the 2007 Senior TT Race. It's absolutely amazing to watch.

The TTXGP is the world's first Zero Carbon, Clean Emission Grand Prix. All the bikes are electric. This is going to be a historic event and one to watch closely!



Here's a link to the Official Isle of Mann TT website.

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Honda Canada sets SH150i scooter price

Honda's newest scooter to hit Canada has a price tag now. It's set at $4,999. So it's not a bottom of the market price-point by any means but you are getting Honda's reputation for quality.

So when factors such as maintenance, longevity, standard features, and resale value are all factored in you get a better idea of how that price fits. It's still not cheap but if you ride it, and ride it often, it should represent a good value over time.

Click image for larger version.


For more details on the Honda SH150i check out our previous post on it.

Image courtesy Honda Canada.

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MW Motorrad Motorsport - Superbike World Championship - Salt Lake City, USA - Preview

Munich. Round 7 of this years Superbike World Championship takes place at the Miller Motorsport Park, near Salt Lake City in USA and hopefully will produce better results for Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport than the last round in South Africa. This is the second year that the Superbike World Championship visits the 4.907 kilometre Miller Motorsport Park in Utah and is the last flyaway race of the year before a busy June and July. After his absence in Kyalami, BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider Troy Corser is keen to get back into action and eager to get good results at a track where he finished runner up in the first race last year.

Ruben
Kyalami was such a big disappointment for me and the team because we all felt we could get some good results there. To be taken out once is bad, but to be taken out twice was incredible! But we have to forget about Kyalami and focus on USA.

Miller racetrack is very different o Kyalami and has hardly any change of elevations. It is fairly flat and the run-offs are big, so it is a safe circuit.

Although Troy and I raced there last year, we are now both on new bikes so will have to start the race weekend afresh. We have no data with our bike at this track and will have to try and get a good set-up as soon as we can. If we can find good set-ups quickly, do well in Superpole and get on to the third or even maybe the second row of the grid that would be a good base for the races.

Troy
Missing Kyalami has given my hand a chance to get better and although I don´t like missing any races, I think it was the right decision because Kyalami is such a physical circuit. It´s going to take a bit of time for the hand to heal fully, but at least Miller is not such a demanding track. That doesn´t mean that it is an easy track, just that it is not so bad as some others.
At Miller, we will have the usual problem of racing at a circuit from which we have no previous data for our bike. It´s our usual disadvantage and we have to try and get a good set-up for the race, a good set-up for Superpole, and qualify better. We have been having to work so hard in the early part of the races so far, because of our grid positions, so it would interesting (and a nice change) to see what would happen if we could qualify on the second or third row of the grid.

Berti Hauser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director)
Another new track for us and a lot of work to do - as usual. We are happy to welcome back Troy and hope that he and Ruben can keep our improvement going in the right direction. Kyalami was a weekend to forget, regarding the race results, but our technicians received a lot of feedback and information from both Ruben and Steve and this helps our good progress to continue. At the moment, our improvement is not reflected in our results in Superpole qualifying and that is something that we have to work on. We have been very close to getting on to the second or third rows of the grid and if we could manage that, I´m sure the results would be better.

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BlogTalkRadio’s Ride! ‘Goes Electric’ with Zero Motorcycles Founder Neal Saiki

Toronto, Canada, May 26, 2009 - Green technology pioneer and CTO of Zero Motorcycles Neal Saiki generated a lot of buzz with his California company’s first electric dirt bike a couple of years ago. The buzz has just kicked into higher gear with the release this month of a new high-performance urban street bike called the Zero S.

Hear Saiki talk about his cutting edge dreams and the trend toward electric-powered bikes on Ride! on May 27, 2009 @ 7 p.m. Eastern Time. Tune in to the live podcast on the BlogTalkRadio network here. (Listen to, or download, the archived podcast later the same day.)

An aeronautical engineer by training, Saiki set a World Aviation Record while still in college by creating the first successful human-powered helicopter. The inventor later worked as a project manager at NASA developing high altitude research vehicles.

Saiki spent years designing mountain bikes that have won world and national awards before setting out to develop the ultimate electric-powered motorcycles. The Zero S is designed to deliver 100 km of distance with a top speed of 100 kph (60 mph). It can go 0-to-100 kph in just 5 seconds and weighs only 102 kg (225 lbs).

For more information:
www.zeromotorcycles.com

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Brett McCormick second in Superbike and Pro 600 Sport Bike

Calabogie, ON – May 24, 2009

Team Suzuki / Blackfoot / Picotte Motorsports had a great opening to the 2009 season, with new rider Brett McCormick a close second in the Superbike and in the Pro 600 Superbike Race.

After a promising testing session in Florida in April, this first set of results exceeded the expectations of the team principals, even though Brett himself wanted more, especially in the Superbike race.

Team owner, manager and riding coach Pascal Picotte was more than satisfied with the whole event. “I was close to reliving my own 2003 season, with all of the team’s resources focused on only one rider, so that information gets quickly turned into corrections on the bike and we can immediately see if it improved the bike or not. Working with McCormick, a relative rookie, proved to be an advantage according to Picotte. “The kid is like a sponge, he absorbs all that we say and just goes out and applies it immediately, with no preset ideas to get in the way. Brett is focused on the job, thinks through his comments and tells us in clear terms what he feels on the bike.”

In the Pro 600 Sport Bike race, McCormick finished second to Jordan Szoke, after not matching his own qualifying pace during the race. Second place after a race-long battle with Kevin Lacombe provided little consolation. “We were right with Jordan all week end in terms of speed, but not actually quicker on the 600 – like we were on the Superbike. We just ran out of development time, so I could not quite match his pace. We’ll be ahead next time out!”

In Superbike, Brett took the lead on the second lap and stayed ahead of Szoke for the next 14 of the 16 lap race. “It’s disappointing to lead the whole race and then lose it on the last lap,” the runner-up finisher said. “I was managing the lead a little bit but the bike felt good.” In fact, McCormick was hindered slightly by a lapped rider on the last lap, while second place man Szoke was obviously pushing hard and managed to slip by the Suzuki. A frustrated McCormick was unable to get back in front despite some pretty ambitious passing attempts on the outside of the leader, and ended up 0.133 sec behind at the end.

Overall, McCormick is convinced that victories in both classes are there for the picking. “The green bikes are good, but our team is awesome at every level, with Pascal, Paul Fournier, suspension man Mike Fitzgerald and all of the guys working incredibly hard and having fun in the bargain. We can still find a lot of speed in our bike, and I can’t wait for the next race!”

Picotte saw a lot in McCormick’s riding in the two races. “I suspect that Brett was feeling the pressure a little bit in the 600 race, but it all came good for the Superbike, where he stayed just clear of Szoke for the whole race, and was unlucky with the lapped rider, but also wise enough to remain second rather than risk throwing it down the road with an over aggressive banzaï move. I am pumped, and so is the team!”

Round 2 of the 2009 Parts Canada Superbike Championship is set for June 12-14, at the Circuit ICAR near Montreal.

This weekend’s races will be shown on TSN and TSN HD, on Tuesday, June 16 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern and repeated Saturday, June 20 at 4:00 a.m. Eastern. The event will also be televised on RDS. Check local listings for dates and times.

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Elation and Frustration for RMP Racing at Calabogie

CALABOGIE, Ont. (CANADA) - May 26, 2009 – RMP Racing’s development rider Steven Nickerson (Hamilton Ont.) won a hard fought last lap shootout to take the Honda CBR125R Challenge win at this past weekend’s season opener at Calabogie. Pro Superbike racer, Ross Millson (Hamilton Ont.) battled throughout the weekend to find the grip he needed with his day ending prematurely in the second half of Sunday’s Superbike race.

The team arrived at Calabogie Motorsports Park for Thursday’s practice excited to begin the 2009 season. Both Millson and Nickerson found the Calabogie long-track layout beautiful yet challenging.

The team worked hard to get Millson’s new Suzuki GSX-R1000 set up for the new long track configuration however; having a wet Friday morning practice ate away at valuable track time to refine the dry setup.

On Saturday, Nickerson turned some impressive laps around Calabogie Motorsports Park’s 5.05 KM long track during the morning Honda CBR125R Challenge practice session posting a 2:51.198. During Saturday afternoon’s qualifying Nickerson was able to improve upon his time to secure pole position for Sunday’s race with a 2:50.153.

Millson struggled to find the traction he needed to get the drive out of key corners of the track and managed to qualify 14th out of the 28 rider grid for Sundays feature race. Millson had hoped to be in a position to better his personal best of the sixth place finish he enjoyed in last year's season opener at Calabogie.

Following Saturday’s qualifying session series announcer Frank Wood interviewed Nickerson along side fellow Honda CBR125R Challenge guest rider Greg White and was later joined by Millson. SPEED TV’s motorcycle analyst and AMA pit reporter Greg White dropped by the RMP Racing paddock to tape a segment with Nickerson to air at a later date on SPEED.

After his qualifying session Nickerson and his father took a tour of the Turn 2 Sportbike School’s new home at Calabogie Motorsports Park. At the end of the day Turn 2’s owner George Budacki dropped by the paddock to spend some time with the entire team. Budacki has been a supporter of Millson since 2006 and continues the tradition of assisting with the development of up-and-coming riders through his support of Nickerson.

Sunday morning at Calabogie was picture perfect. Clear blue skies, sunshine and a light breeze greeted spectators as they began to file in for a great day of racing.

The Honda CBR125R Challenge race was first up on the schedule for the RMP Racing team. Nickerson on the number 661 Inside Motorcycles supported machine started from the pole.

After a great start Nickerson, Bodhi Edie and Karl Robitaille began to break away from the rest of the pack. Maximizing the draft, Nickerson, Edie and Robitaille traded positions numerous times throughout each lap. The battle for the win went all the way to the finish line where it briefly appeared that it was too close to call. Upon review of the timing and scoring system the series officials confirmed that Nickerson had his first win of the season.

Rolling out on to the grid for Sunday’s Superbike feature race, Millson was relaxed and eager for the first race of the season.
Millson fell back slightly on the start but worked past several riders in the opening laps. Just prior to the half way point of the race Millson began to battle with a group of riders for eleventh.

Millson entered the carousel pushing hard to close the gap when he lost traction and started to slide. The front end eventually broke lose sending Millson to the ground and he slid off the track.

“We were having a good race just outside of the top ten and I guess I just got a little eager and ran in a little too deep,” said Millson “The rear started to come around, I thought I could save it but as I got things back in line I lost the front and that was it …our race was over.”

Millson was uninjured and there was minor damage to the bike. The right side handle bar was broken, preventing him from rejoining the race.

“It’s not the way we wanted to start the season,” said Millson. “Mark, Blaine and Accelerated Technologies John Sharrard worked so hard to get the bike race ready. Race Tech’s Lenny Albin also flew in from Infineon Raceway to help set up the new Race Tech forks”.

“Overall it was a great weekend for the team” said Millson. “Steven was very impressive and we all had a great time at the track. It was nice to reconnect with some of our fellow racers, sponsors, and meet a lot of new people”

RMP Racing is grateful for the support from team sponsors; Inside Motorcycles, Infinet Designs, Turn 2 Sportbike School, Essential Image, MotoConcepts and CRC Racewear. Additionally Ross Millson would like to thank; Tri-City Cycle and Sport (Suzuki), Zox Helmets, Motovan, Race Tech, Vortex, Hindle and Niagara Powersports.

Up next for RMP Racing is Round 2 of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Circuit ICAR near Montreal June 12-14.
For additional information about RMP Racing's Ross Millson and Steven Nickerson or to learn more about marketing opportunities with the team please visit www.rmpracing.ca.

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New Honda SH150i coming to Canada in June

There's a new scooter coming to Canada. The Honda SH150i is set to arrive in Canadian motorcycle dealerships in June. Honda has created a Canadian micro-site for the SH150i too.

No price indicated on the site yet but several US sites are projecting a MSRP of approximately $4,500 USD. That's sure speculation at this point. Only time will tell.

Update - May 27/09: MSRP is set at $4,999

The SH150i is already a big seller for Honda in Europe, and has been for years.

Some key features:

- 153cc, liquid cooled highway capable 4-stroke engine
- Fuel injected with digital electronic ignition ensures excellent fuel economy and reduced emissions.
- Big 16" wheels
- Standard 35 litre top box
- Wide and low padded seat for rider and passenger comfort
- Fan cooled radiator
- Combined braking system which combines the front and rear brake for better stopping control.
- Honda V-Matic automatic transmission (no shifting required).

Honda also claims the scooter features low-to-midrange torque that provides quick take-offs and sporty acceleration, even with a passenger.

Honda SH150i Canadian micro-site

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Quebec considering banning under 25yr olds from riding motorcycles

Quebec is considering some new rules for motorcycle riders that is sure to be unpopular amongst many motorcyclists - People under age 25 and anyone with less than five years of motorcycling experience might not be permitted to own motorcycles deemed 'high-risk' under a system being studied by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), the provincial auto insurance board.

The SAAQ has posted a list of characteristics of 'high-risk motorcycles' Click the image below for a larger version. Watch out for motorbikes with mufflers placed at the rear and angled upward!

SAAQ indicates that the system would be put in to place strict rules on motorcycle ownership in order to reduce road accident rates in the province. Rising insurance costs are due in large part to riders who experience more accidents. SAAQ claims that younger riders, and particularly those on high-risk motorcycles, represent a large percentage of those experiencing accidents.

So it would seem to make sense but some of those characteristics are pretty broad - like, a rear wheel driven by a chain. Hmmm, most motorcycles are chain driven. Some are shaft driven or belt drive but I don't see how having a chain is a risk characteristic.

The agency's data suggests the risks of accidents is directly linked to cylinder size and the type of motorcycle, so it's divided motorbikes into two categories: high-risk sports bikes designed for speed and performance, and regular motorbikes.

The SAAQ's president, John Harbour, says the tighter restriction will allow riders to work their way up to driving the faster, more powerful models.

"The status quo will remain for those who already ride those motorbikes but the new wave of riders will have gradual access," he said.

Gino Desrosiers, an SAAQ spokesperson, said Monday the agency is looking at France’s registration fee system for motorcyclists and might bring in a similar set-up in 2011.

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CMDRA first race of the 2009 Eastern series (schedules included)

Screamin’ Eagle Harley® Destroyers Rev It Up

CAYUGA, Ontario (May 20, 2009) – Toronto Motorsports Park – The Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing Association’s Eastern Drag Bike Series, presented by Drag Specialties/Parts Canada, held its first round of the Eastern Series on this spring weekend.

Temperamental weather meant that only 2 qualifying rounds were held on Saturday. The remaining qualifiers and finals took place on Sunday, which made for a thrilling, action-packed day.

Under sunny skies, but with challenging strong winds, the fastest qualifier was Dave Bispo, racing for Rocky’s Harley-Davidson®. Dave Bispo and Chris Fox followed suit, supported by Rocky’s Harley-Davidson® and Fox Harley-Davidson®/Buell®, respectively.

While the qualifying rounds saw varying performances, the elimination rounds saw some very close wrangles, with only hundredths of a second setting the racers apart.

The final elimination round showcased two veteran talents: Dave Bispo and Pete Thomson. Pete Thomson raced the strip with an elapsed time of 9.393 seconds hitting a top speed of 137.96 mph. Dave Bispo had a hole shot win over Pete Thomson, reaching a speed of 133.67 mph and an elapsed time of 9.399 seconds with a recorded reaction time of 0.085 seconds.

On June 20, the Grand Bend Motorplex in Ontario will be opening its gates to spectators for the second of the Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing Association’s Eastern Drag Bike Series of the season.

For further information on the series, please refer to www.cmdra.com.

Click the image below for a larger version of the Eastern and Western schedule for the Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing Association.


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Ducati Xerox Team moves to the next continent for round seven

Salt Lake City (USA) Monday 25th May: a busy month for the Ducati Xerox Team that, just back from Africa, now prepares to leave for the fifth continent to feature so far on the 2009 World Superbike calendar: America, and more specifically, Salt Lake City, the appointment that sees the international championship reach the half way mark, the seventh of fourteen rounds.

At the last race which took place at Kyalami (South Africa) just eight days ago, the Ducati Xerox factory riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio couldn’t have ridden their 1198 bikes to a better result, scoring a double one-two in the day’s two races. Fabrizio has moved up to second place in the classification as a result, 85 points behind his team-mate, championship leader Haga. Ducati continues to hold the lead in the constructors championship ahead of second-placed Yamaha.

This, the only Stateside event to appear on the World Superbike calendar, has been streamlined this time around with no AMA competition taking place during the race weekend. The majority of the World Superbike riders, including Noriyuki and Michel, got their first chance to race at this track this time last year and most came away with very favourable opinions of the circuit and its facilities. In 2008 Michel Fabrizio faired very well at this track, “new” to nearly all the riders, and put his 1098 on the podium in both of the day’s races. Noriyuki meanwhile, on board the factory Yamaha, had a more difficult weekend, suffering a crash and a resulting broken collarbone during the practice sessions. Although he bravely put up with the pain to race regardless of his injury, it was not easy an easy race day for the Japanese rider.

Noriyuki Haga (1st in championship, 250 points)

Noriyuki does not have the best memories of last year’s inaugural Miller round, but hopes to consolidate his lead there this year, now he is on board the Ducati 1198.

"I didn’t have a good time at Miller last year, and it was very painful to ride with a broken collarbone but I needed to fight for more points so I went ahead with the races. I hope to have a better time of it there this year and Iìm looking forward to riding my 1198 at Salt Lake. Although Ben will surely be the favourite to win at his home track, I intend to be up there fighting with him for the victory.”

Haga’s Superbike form at Miller:

2008: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – 6th

Michel Fabrizio (2nd in championship, 165 points)

A track that really seems to suit Michel’s riding style, he’ll be looking to improve on the two thirds he scored last year.

"I really got on well at this track, which was new for us all last year. Although I didn’t know the place, I went better there than at many of the other circuits last season, finishing third in both races, it seemed to be something of a “lucky track” for me! Now that I’m second in the championship, I plan to consolidate that position at Salt Lake, by taking the results I scored here last year and improving on them this year."

Fabrizio’s Superbike form at Miller:
2008: Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 3rd

CIRCUIT DATA:

Country: USA
Name: Miller Motorsports Park
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Circuit length: 4.907 km
Pole position: Right
Race distance: 21 laps = 103.047 km

LAP RECORDS: Best lap – Checa (Honda) 1'49.703 (2008). Superpole – Checa (Honda) 1'48.193 (2008).

2008 RESULTS: Race 1 - 1. Checa (Honda) 2. Corser (Yamaha); 3. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) Race 2 – 1. Checa (Honda) 2. Neukirchner (Suzuki); 3. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox)

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Zero S Hits Europe and a World Record is Set at Electricross

Spring has been busy for Zero Motorcycles. They've launched world’s first high performance electric street motorcycle and set a world record at the 24 Hours of Electricross.

The launch of the Zero S has been receiving plenty of attention from around the world!. It has been featured on CNN, Fox News, and recently on the front page of the BBC Technology and Business sections.

To accommodate soaring global interest in electric Zero Motorcycles, they have established a European Union customer service and distribution center. In addition, we now offer localized pricing for most of Europe, Canada, and Australia.

Chief Technical Officer and Founder of Zero Motorcycles, Neal Saiki had the following to say about Zero Motorcycles - "In the off-road world we are happy to report that the 24 Hours of Electricross  was a huge success. Ten teams competed for a full 24 hours and about 500 miles later each crossed the finish.  Not only did we set a world record and put our motorcycles to the ultimate test, we only used about $100 worth of electricity to power all of the racer’s motorcycles."


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Durham Honda Powerhouse customer appreciation day (ON)

Durham Honda Powerhouse in Whitby, Ontario is having a customer appreciation say on May 30th, 2009. They'll be having a charity ride for the "Ride for Dad" and a BBQ as well.  They're going to have gifts, and prizes, and a live DJ.

They'll be showing off all their 2009 models such as the DN-01, the Honda Fury factory chopper, and the Repsol.  All in stock 2008's will feature special one day pricing.

Here's a little more information - click the image for a larger version:


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F 800 GS Wins 2009 Rider Magazine "Motorcycle of the Year"

Some news from BMW about their F 800 GS. We just had a chance to take one for a ride too (we'll be writing up a review soon!) but for now you can see what Rider magazine had to say about the new motorcycle from BMW:

Rider magazine has picked the BMW F 800 GS for its prestigious 2009 MOTY award. It's not often that Rider chooses an adventure bike – but the F 800 GS is that good.

"BMW has been thinking way out of the box lately, and there is perhaps no better evidence than its unstoppable new F800GS adventure tourer.” writes Rider "Far narrower with its upright parallel twin, and like the 1200 [GS] offers a tremendous amount of satisfying performance. Chain final drive, 9 inches of suspension travel, a 21- and 19-inch front/rear spoked wheel combination and plenty of twin-cylinder torque give it much better off-road ability than its boxer brethren, yet the F800GS has enough on-road legs that you can haul down the highway from fill-up to fill-up in satisfactory comfort without stopping.”

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AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference

The AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) International Women & Motorcycling Conference, presented by Harley-Davidson and Buell, is the USA's premier event for women motorcyclists. MCC's Women Riders Council has worked with the AMA for eight months to negotiate a special role for MCC - adding international flavour - and special benefits for Canadian attendees.

Men are welcome at the conference too by the way!

The results of these discussions were announced jointly by the AMA and the MCC on May 15, 2009.


Benefits:

- EVERY MCC MEMBER will be entitled to the 15% Discount at Eagle Rider, the official motorcycle rental company for the conference as negotiated by AMA.
- EVERY CANADIAN REGISTRANT will receive special Canadian pricing, approximately "AT PAR"? (How does that work? When you go to the REGISTRATION page, the pricing is AUTOMATICALLY REDUCED when you enter Country - Canada. For those who registered early, the AMA has committed to compensating you for the difference.)

For more details keep an eye on the Motorcycle Confederation of Canada (MCC) website here.


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Saskatchewan moving to graduated motorcycle licences

The Government of Saskatchewan announced on May 19th that they'll be introducing a Graduated Driver's Licensing (GDL) program for new motorcycle drivers. The program will come into effect in 2011.

Under the new proposed licencing it will take 36 months to obtain your experienced "M" endorsed licence - more if you have infractions during the first 36 months.

Full details follow...

The Government of Saskatchewan is furthering its commitment to motorcycle safety by introducing a Graduated Driver's Licensing (GDL) program for new motorcycle drivers. The program will come into effect in 2011.

"We're proud to expand the Graduated Driver's Licensing program to include motorcycle drivers," Crown Corporations Ken Cheveldayoff said. "We know concerns over motorcycle safety are top of mind in Saskatchewan. Last year alone, there were 283 collisions involving motorcycles in Saskatchewan, including five deaths and 221 injuries. We believe the GDL program will help build safe driving skills with our new motorcycle drivers."

Currently, there are no requirements for motorcycle drivers to demonstrate any riding skills to legally ride a motorcycle in Saskatchewan. Residents are able to drive a motorcycle with a learner's licence, with only slightly reduced driving privileges, simply by passing a written knowledge test.

The new program will be similar to the province's current GDL program for passenger vehicles in that it will gradually introduce new motorcycle drivers into the driving environment. Motorcycle drivers will move into higher risk driving situations after gaining experience in lower risk situations.

There will be three stages to the proposed GDL program for new motorcycle drivers - Learner, Novice 1 and Novice 2. As riders pass through these stages, they will see fewer restrictions until they graduate to an experienced "M" endorsed motorcycle licence. If a new motorcycle driver displays good driving experience with no incidents or interruptions, they will graduate to an experienced "M" endorsed licence in 36 months. Any incidents or interruptions will delay this process.

"We are confident that this new program will go a long way towards reducing motorcycle-related deaths and injuries in Saskatchewan," Saskatchewan Safety Council Executive Director Harley Toupin said. "The Saskatchewan Safety Council has provided motorcycle safety courses for over 30 years. Riding experience is a key component to reducing crashes by allowing new motorcycle drivers to gain experience under a reduced level of risk."

"The Saskatoon Police Service is pleased to hear about the graduated licensing program for motorcycle drivers," Saskatoon Police Chief Clive Weighill said. "We believe this is a major step to improve motorcycle safety in the province."

"Graduated licence programs save lives and prevent injuries," Cheveldayoff said. "We know our current GDL program for passenger vehicles has been successful in reducing at-fault crashes by 18 per cent among new drivers. We're expecting the same positive results for new motorcycle drivers."

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Ducati North America - seeing growth in the US despite economy

This isn't really Canadian specific news but Ducati North America, by their own account, seems to be bucking the trend of poor sales. They're doing well in the US, and given the hugeness of that market that's a very good sign for Ducati.

And here's the rest of the press release...

New Dealership Openings and Highest Ranking in Customer Prospect Satisfaction Index Contribute to Company Success Nationwide

Cupertino, Calif. (May 20, 2009) – Ducati North America is delighted to announce a significant boost in market share across the United States for the first quarter of 2009. Despite adverse market conditions and a drying up of consumer credit, Ducati is attracting a bigger share of the market than ever before.

"Ducati has come a long way in the last couple of years,” said Michael Lock CEO of Ducati North America. “We have introduced business improvements, developed market leading bikes, dominated international road racing and are very focused on the needs of our growing customer base. All of these factors have greatly contributed to our growing sales and market share success across the U.S."

In 20 of the country’s most important metropolitan markets Ducati stands apart from its competitors by maintaining more than 10 percent of the key Sport and Streetbike sales in each market. Nationwide, the brand captures 5.8 percent of sales in its competing sectors. This historic high has been strongly influenced by the success of the brand’s iconic Monster family and its world-class Superbike family. Additionally, unique promotional and event-based marketing by local dealers have created a powerful presence for Ducati in the following cities:

Ashville, NC
Boston, MA
Buffalo, NY
Denver, CO
Honolulu, HI
Kansas City, KS
Los Angeles, CA
Miami, FL
Milwaukee, WI
Monterey Bay, CA
New York City, NY
Oklahoma City, OK
Omaha, NE
Orange County, CA
Phoenix, AZ
Portland, OR
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Santa Barbara, CA
Washington, D.C

Ducati’s commitment to exceptional customer service is evidenced by Ducati’s dealer network nabbing the top spot in the 2009 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index® (PSI) U.S. Motorcycle Industry Study. Over the last three years, Ducati dealers consistently improved their customer interaction and dealership experience and now lead all brands in overall satisfaction. While other brands are retreating, Ducati continues to improve existing retailers as well as add to its dealer network in key markets including Atlanta, Newport Beach, Sacramento and Newburgh, NY.

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Clarington Honda - Freestyle Motocross Event (ON)

Clarington Honda in Bowmanville, Ontario is having a big party on Wednesday, June 3rd (5:30 pm to 7 pm). It's a live freestyle and motocross extravaganza!

Okay, we made up the extravaganza part, but there's going to be a lot of action and some impressive skills on display. Best of all - admission is free, there will also be a BBQ and refreshments on site too.

Here's a shot of the event banner. Click the image for a larger version.


For more details contact:

Clarington Honda
29 Spicer Square, Bowmanville ON
Tel.: 1 866 950-9954

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Canadian, Don Hatton to attempt Dakar in 2010

We received word from Canadian rider Don Hatton himself that he's planning on tackling the Dakar again in 2010. The event doesn't take place until early in teh new year but it's never too early to be starting to think about the Dakar - especially if you plan on competing in it!

His 2009 Dakar attempt in Argentina and Chile ended earlier than he anticipated due to a navigational issue which lead him to a big crash! What looked like a bump in the road through all the dust was actually a jump; and a big one at that. Hitting it at about 100 km/hr sent him 10 meters into the air - like being dropped off a second story. It resulted in some pretty serious injuries which he's still recovering from.

Here's some of the details from his correspondence with us:

Hi guys just wanted to drop you a quick note to bring you up to speed on what is happening with Team Destination Dakar.

First I would like to thank all the readers who have e-mailed me their kind words and support these last couple years, you have no idea how much your support helps I have had an amazing year, I successfully competed in the Shamrock Rally in Morocco, and the Desert Challenge in Dubai UAE, before competing in the Dakar Rally in Argentina.

I was having a very good ride in the Dakar until a Navigation error caused me to crash out of the rally on Stage four, I have some very serious injuries which I am still recovering from, Doctors are hopeful that I will be riding in the next 4 to 6 weeks.

I have every intention of returning to compete in the 2010 Dakar Rally held again in Argentina, how big of a team we take will be determined by how much sponsorship money we are able to raise. I am also planing on participating in the Egypt Pharoans Rally and the Moroccan Shamrock Rally in October 2009.

I must apologize for my web site I messed it up just before the 2009 Dakar and have not yet found a technician to fix it for me. Thank you again for our interest in my team.

---

So if you're interested in helping Don get to the Dakar for 2010 and promoting your products and services in this worldwide media attention garnering event you should get in contact with Don directly.

Don Hatton dhatton**@shaw.ca . Take out the '**'

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Ducati Streetfighter Launch party! (NB)

Atlantic Motoplex, a BMW - Ducati - and Yamaha dealership in Dieppe, NB is having a Ducati Streetfighter launch party this coming Friday. Special guest - a Ducati Streetfighter!

The Streetfighter is the latest amazing offer from Ducati of Italy - it features a liquid cooled 1099 cc L-twin engine. That engine makes a whopping 155hp - 114kw @ 9500rpm, delivering 85lb-ft 115Nm of torque @ 9500rpm.

Dry weight is just 373lb, or if you opt up to the S model, it drops to 368 lbs. Now, those are soem truly impressive specs.

Better get yourself to Moncton this Friday night to see this new naked superbike for the streets!

Here's a few more details, courtesy of Atlantic Motoplex. Click the picture for a larger version.


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BMW Motorrad Motorsport - Superbike World Championship - Kyalami, South Africa - Qualifing

Munich. Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider Ruben Xaus rode superbly on the first day of qualifying at Kyalami and put his S 1000 RR into the top ten. Ruben’s lap of 1:39.357 was less than 1.3 seconds slower than the provisional pole time of 1:38.103 set by Michel Fabrizio (DucatI), but was just one of his many consistent laps. Ruben’s team mate this weekend, Steve Martin, used today to get familiar with the bike, try different set-ups and gain confidence.

Ruben - 10th, 1:39.357

Considering that this is our debut year, to finish in the top ten on day one is very good, especially when you see how close the lap times are. I’m happy because I have gone 2.7 seconds faster today then when we tested here in December. I think I have also adapted to the bike better now and, as far as I am concerned, everything is improving. And, good news, because finally I didn’t have a ‘black Friday!’

Steve - 24th, 1:42.015

Generally I am quite happy with how the day has gone and there have been no problems. I managed to feel what’s going on with the tyres and try different set-ups. I haven’t raced in World Superbikes for four years, so there are no expectations on me. Since the first time I tested the bike (in spring last year) it has come on in leaps and bounds and it is still getting better. All we’re really missing is time on the bike to try different things and improve it. It’s always hard to do that at the racetrack, especially when you consider how competitive the championship is this year.

Berti Hauser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director)

The team have worked hard and done a good job today. I am very happy with Ruben’s performance, especially as he didn’t have his usual ‘black Friday’. He did consistently good laps and was able to still be fast at the end, which is perfect. Steve has also done a good job and he will improve the more track time he gets. He is giving the team good information and feedback and we are very happy to have him deputising for Troy this weekend.

Steve Martin – The perfect deputy.

Steve Martin was born in Australia, but now lives in Switzerland with Sandra and their two and a half years old son, Axel. In World Superbikes, Steve is a very well-known and popular figure. Currently he is one of the live commentators on World Superbikes for InFront and is heard in USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. But that’s not his only work this year, for he is also taking part in the World Endurance Championship. He insists that he does this championship just for fun, but he did win this year’s Le Mans 24 hours. Now aged 40, Steve raced in World Superbikes from 2001, when he was employed as a test rider (in a race team) and helped develop the tyres for Pirelli before they became the sole tyre supplier to the championship in 2004. Steve won the Australian Superbike Championship in 1999 and was runner-up in the World Endurance Championship in 2008. He has been Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport’s test rider since spring last year and did not have to think too hard when he was offered the job of standing in for fellow countryman Troy Corser in Kyalami.

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World Enduro Canada announces new sponsors

World Enduro Canada is very pleased to announce that Inside MotoX and Off Road Magazine has stepped forward to sponsor the Amateur Enduro Championship at the Canadian Enduro Championships.

There will be East and West Champions awarded in all 6 Amateur classes - A, B, C, Vet, Super Vet and Ladies. The Champions will each receive a trophy and a prize package put together by the staff at Inside MotoX and Off Road Magazine.

For more details on Inside MotoX & Off Road magazine check out their website here.


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New Video from Virtual Riding Television - (BC)

We've gotten word from Jeff Pennock, Executive Producer, Virtual Riding Television that he has posted a new video, from a ride filmed April 21st, 2009.

It's shot in HD from a camera mounted on the front of his 2003 Harley-Davidson, 100th Anniversary V-ROD VRSCA. The same motorcycle that he took with his cross-Canada (and back) trip in 2006. This video though is shot at Cypress Mountain, located in Cypress Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada. The quality of the video is great, the roads are twisty, and you can hear that Harley V-twin muscle. It looks like a fantastic ride!

There's still quite a bit of snow on the ground when this video is taken. Jeff even gets a little clip of a Snow Groomer passing by with a giant half pipe attachment cruising by.

At the end of the video Jeff gets a great shot overlooking Vancouver overlooking Vancouver, British Columbia with Stanley Park and the Lions Gate Bridge can also be seen.

Be sure to check out the latest installment below or go directly to Virtual Riding Television to check out all of Jeff's video's and read about his amazing story.


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Ural Sahara's have arrived!

This weekend I visited Lutz at Kottwitz Werke - his Ural dealership in Nova Scotia. Lutz is enthusiastic about Ural's and I must say - it's infectious.  

His prep guy Rob was also very kind about answering all my questions.  Rob has a few bikes, one of them being a Ural which he say's "is great for extending the riding season into the winter.  You have to up the maintenance but these bikes are very simple so if you're interested in them you'll be able to do some work on it yourself." Both of them agree that the new 2009 limited Edition Sahara is a beauty. I'd have to agree with them.  I want one!

The Sahara is a limited edition Gear-Up so it comes with all the options normally associated with the Gear-Up model such as 2wd of course, sidecar mounted light, sidecar mounted bumper, sidecar step, seat covers, spare tire, sidecar luggage rack, and storage compartment on the tank.  

When I arrived at Kottwitz Werke they had already freed the Russian machinery from it's heavy duty crate but had yet to assemble it all, check the valves, and perform all the other preparation steps they go through. 

Looking at the bike is like looking back in time, except everything is brand new!  Those Brembo front calipers are a bit of an indication that it's a bike of a modern era. You'd be excused for thinking these bikes are straight from the WWII period though because that's when Ural's were were first sent into battle looking not too much different than these new ones.

* Here in this picture you can see the drive shaft coming out of the rear hub.  This is what gives you 2wd power. It's engaged via a lever (just above the rear foot peg in this photo) and best left for when the going gets slippery because it's a straight coupling (both powered wheels move at the same speed when 2wd is engaged).  

Actually, it's rare that you'll see this angle of the Ural Gear-Up because this model is intended to be ridden with the sidecar attached. Leading link forks are very functional on a sidecar outfit but would make steering too sensitive if ridden without the sidecar.  The valve cover is also off of the 750 cc boxer style engine. Checking the valves is part of the preparation at Kottwitz Werke, just to make sure no adjustments are required.

We won't be getting many Sahara Editions in Canada so if you want one - you'd better act fast! The 2009 models feature many upgrades over Ural's previous models such as the stainless pipes, generous use of bearings instead of bushings, and a removable piece (previously welded) over the battery to facilitate access. 

We're going to post a more in-depth and picture filled review of some of the interesting Ural facts we learned over the weekend in the very near future.  Watch the "Articles" page for updates!

Special thanks to Lutz and Rob!


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Ducati Island returns to Miller Motorsports Park in Utah

Ducati does Miller Motorsports Park with style, bringing fan favorite activities back for the second year running.

Cupertino, Calif. (18 May 2009) – Ducati North America announces today the return of Ducati Island to the Miller Motorsports Park round of the world Superbike Championship; with the addition of the “Island Showdown” contest for Ducatisti who ride to the event.

This May 29-31st at Miller Motorsports Park, Ducati Island will feature a host of activities sure to entertain Ducatisti and race fans alike. Between the race action featuring Ducati World Superbike pilots Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga, Ducati Island promises to be the center of off track excitement.  The schedule of events includes:

Silent Auction to benefit Rett’s Syndrome: 

Starting on Friday, May 29th during the WSBK weekend, visitors to Ducati Island at Miller Motorsports Park will be able to bid on various motorcycle memorabilia donated by past and present Ducati racers, as well as Ducati’s partners. Items include official 2001 Ducati L&M WSBK autographed team gear donated by rider Ben Bostrom, a Burton/Ducati snowboard autographed by current Ducati WSBK riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, Ducati Year Books autographed by former Ducati WSBK rider Troy Bayliss, official Ducati WSBK team clothing autographed by Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, and a LoJack motorcycle security system courtesy of Foremost Insurance.

All proceeds from this auction will benefit the International Rett Syndrome Foundation.

Autograph Signings:

Ducati Island will also feature public autograph signings with the Xerox Ducati World Superbike Team’s Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio and Team Foremost Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram. The autograph sessions will take place on Saturday at 12:30pm and Sunday at 10:15am* at the main hospitality area of Ducati Island

*Times subject to change.

Fashion show:

The famous Ducati fashion show will return to Ducati Island for World Superbike weekend. The fashion show will be a high energy display of Ducati’s latest additions to its fashionable clothing line, and is an event not to miss on the Ducati Island stage at 10:30am Saturday and 11:30am Sunday.

Ducati Island Showdown:

The Ducati Island Showdown is an exciting contest for Ducati owners who attend the weekend’s races. In order to participate, Ducatisti simply need to ride their pride and joy (Ducati only) and park on Ducati Island. No pre-entry is necessary and all Ducatis- modern or vintage- are eligible. If an entrant returns to their bike on Friday or Saturday to find a selection tag; they will be eligible for Sunday’s Island Showdown where winners in of each of five categories: Superbike, Air-Cooled, Vintage, Modified, and Wildcard will be chosen. One of the five lucky bikes will also be awarded the Motorcyclist Magazine award for the best motorcycle of the event.

Ducatisti Ticket Pack:

Ducati is particularly proud to offer a “Ducatisti Ticket Pack” to the races this year. This exciting package is available here

This discounted ticket package includes the following:

  • 3 Day Grand Stand seat in the Ducati designated area
  • 3 Day Paddock Pass
  • Ducati Parade Lap on Sunday (For first 200 Ticket Package Purchasers)
  • Designated Ducati-Only Parking on Ducati Island
  • Discounted Ticket Package Price is $137.00


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Dream day for Ducati XEROX. A double one-two for Haga and Fabrizio at Kyalami today

Some news from Sunday May 17, 2009; Round 6 at Kyalami, South Africa...

Kyalami (South Africa) Sunday 17th May 2008: A dream finish to the Kyalami weekend for the Ducati Xerox Team, with Haga scoring a double win in today’s races followed across the line by team-mate Fabrizio.

The two Ducati Xerox riders on their 1198 machines got away to a cracking start in the first race and held first and second place for almost the entire race distance. For the first eleven laps it was Michel in the lead just ahead of Noriyuki and Ben Spies, until the Italian made a very small error and gave his team-mate Noriyuki the opportunity to pass. Lap by lap, Noriyuki then gradually built up a gap, leaving Michel and Spies to battle it out for second. Michel, the most consistently fast rider in the practice and qualifying sessions, finished a worthy second and also recorded the fastest lap of the race in the process with a 1m38.548.

In Race 2 Noriyuki again took off from the start line and led the 24-lap race from the offset. Michel meanwhile had to contend with Rea and then Spies in the opening laps before Spies suffered a technical failure, allowing the Italian to move into second position. The two Ducati Xerox riders then continued to increase their lead over the chasing pack, consisting of Rea, Haslam and Biaggi, who battled it out between themselves but were unable to make up what was by the end of the race an 8 second gap. Noriyuki took the win as well as the fastest lap of this second race (1m38.577) just a fraction of a second off Fabrizio’s fastest lap in Race 1.

Noriyuki’s arm injury, sustained last week in Monza’s second race, did not prove to be a problem at Kyalami today.

Today’s points boost moves Fabrizio up into second place in the classification, 85 points behind championship leader Haga (now holding 250 points) and 3 ahead of third-placed rider Spies. Ducati now holds 275 points in the constructors classification, leading the championship by 72 points over Yamaha.

Noriyuki Haga (Race 1 – winner, Race 2 - winner)

“In the first race, having had some suspension problems during Friday and Saturday, I have to say I didn’t expect to be able to keep pace with Michel and Ben. But I made a good start and tried to stick with Michel and then when he appeared to have a small problem, I made my move. My arm was not a problem at all during the racing. I must say I was very glad to see there are less birds here at Kyalami than at Monza! In Race 2 we made a small change to the setting of my bike and I felt more comfortable on it but I knew that Michel was close behind me and in the last laps my braking was suffering, so I had to hold on and am very happy to take another 50 points away with me today and again increase my advantage in the standings.”

Michel Fabrizio (Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 – 2nd)

“Race 1 turned into a great battle between myself and Ben, it’s just a pity that the battle was for second and not first place. Once Nori got past us, he started to build a small gap and was going faster than me in the first split, which meant I couldn’t catch him again. Then maybe I made a mistake telling Nori that I was going strong in the third split because in Race 2 that’s where he really pushed hard and although I was giving it my all right until the end, it was Nori who took the win in the end but we had fun battling it out together. I’ve moved into second place with today’s results though so this leaves me extremely satisfied and I look forward to the next race in Salt Lake.”

RESULTS: Race 1 – 1. Haga (Ducati Xerox); 2. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox); 3. Spies (Yamaha); Race 2 - 1. Haga (Ducati Xerox); 2. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox); 3. Rea (Honda)

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: Riders – 1. Haga (Ducati Xerox) 250 ; 2. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 165; 3. Spies (Yamaha) 162; 4. Haslam (Honda) 116; 5. Rea (Honda) 106; 6. Biaggi 103. Manufacturers – Ducati 275; Yamaha 203; Honda 170; Aprilia 106; Suzuki 105; BMW 59; Kawasaki 27

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Fabrizio (DUCATI XEROX) is fastest in first qualifying at KyalamI


Kyalami (South Africa) Friday 15th May: Ducati Xerox rider Michel Fabrizio, with the bit between his teeth and undoubtedly spurred on by his maiden win at Monza last week, took to the Kyalami track today with a perceptible determination, to top the time sheets in both the morning free practice session as well as this afternoon’s first qualifying. Noriyuki Haga meanwhile concluded this first day in sixth position, having made various changes throughout the session to try to resolve problems with the front suspension.

In the first qualifying session of the weekend, on a track that had cooled significantly since the morning’s practice, five riders ducked under the 1m39 barrier with Michel lapping fastest, with a lap time four tenths faster than that recorded by second-placed Honda rider Jonathan Rea.

The injury that Noriyuki sustained to his right bicep during last weekend’s Monza round remains sore, and prevented him from performing at the maximum level, however the treatment that he is receiving from the doctors at the Clinica Mobile allowed him to ride without particular problems.

Last here in December when he participated in winter testing, Ducati man Michel Fabrizio topped the time sheets on each of the three days, with a fastest time of 1m39.7s, recorded on the third and final day. Team-mate Noriyuki, riding the 1198 for the first time during those tests, registered a fastest lap time of 1m39.9s.

Michel Fabrizio 1m38.1s

“Everything has gone well so far. After the win and second place at Monza I’ve arrived here ready for action. We were fast right from the beginning of this morning’s practice and this made it easier to improve further during the qualifying. We’ll see tomorrow but I’m sure that to remain ahead I need to go a few tenths faster than I have today. I’m aware that I’m 21 points off second place in the championship and knowing this only spurs me on further!”


Noriyuki Haga 1m39.0s

"Physically, I’ve not had too many problems and my arm already feels better this afternoon compared to this morning but it’s getting tired easily and I haven’t been able to put together many consecutive laps. The bike isn’t copying the uneven track surface and this puts more strain on my arm. Anyway, today the bike has felt similar to how it did during winter testing which is a good thing but tomorrow we need to try a different setting to improve on times and get us to the front of the pack.”

TIMES: 1. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 1m38.1s; 2. Rea (Honda) 1m28.5s; 3. Spies (Yamaha) 1m38.6s; 4. Haslam (Honda) 1m38.8s; 5. Nakano (Aprilia) 1m38.9s; 6. Haga (Ducati Xerox) 1m39.0s; 7. Smrz (Ducati) 1m39.2s; 8. Sykes (Yamaha) 1m39.2s

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Lois Pryce on RIDE! - today.

Adrian Blake is featuring Lois Pryce on his blogtalk show - RIDE!. So tune in and listen to the chat with Lois Pryce on May 15th @ 4 pm ET. (www.blogtalkradio.com/ride)

Lois is on the loose again! First she rode from Alaska to the tip of South America and chronicled the wild tale in her first book called, naturally, Lois On The Loose. Still itching for adventure, she followed that with a ride down the length of Africa. They will talk about her recently-published book about that ride, Red Tape & White Knuckles (Random House).

If you missed Adrian's interview on April 29th with Vicki Gray, founder of International Female Ride Day, you can still hear the archived episode. The show profiled the motorcycle racer, riding instructor, coach, entrepreneur, and role model as well as the inspiring event she started. (www.motoress.com)

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Kawasaki Good Times - promotions

Get a free Kawasaki hat at your nearest Canadian Dealership via a coupon link on Kawasaki's "Great Escape To The Good Times" website.

It's while supplies last - they've got about 4,000 hats to give away apparently.

Another part of the promotion involves purchasing a new 2009 Kawasaki; if you do, you instantly qualify for savings of 20 cents per litre on gasoline!* According to Kawasaki you -

Simply use your Preferred Price card at the participating Petro-Canada retail locations and “Let The Good Times Roll.”

*Available on selected 2009 Kawasaki models purchased between November 10, 2008 and June 13, 2009.

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Yamaha "Power Tour" -Yamaha demo's across Canada

Yamaha is bringing their roadshow across Canada, exact locations haven't been listed. They indicate that you should contact your local dealership for further details.

What they have provided is a list of motorcycles that will be available in the different regions of Canada though. Looks like everybody is going to get the new cross-plane R1!

Here's the information:

Beginning this May, Yamaha will be traveling across the country with our latest and greatest motorcycles for you to demo!

Get your gear and come and test ride our Yamaha 1900s, and the new V Star 950 Tourer! We haven’t forgotten about the rest of our amazing motorcycles. Below is a sample of the product that will be available on our tour this year. (Dealer may supply more)

Western Canada:
R1, FZ6R, T-MAX, V Star 950 Tourer, WR250X, 1900 Stratoliner S

Central Canada:
R1, FZ6R, V Star 950 Tourer, V Star 1300 Tourer, 1900 Stratoliner S, 1900 Raider

Quebec and Eastern Canada: R1, FZ6R, T-MAX, V Star 950 Tourer, V Star 1300 Standard, 1900 Roadliner

Check the schedule for the dealer nearest you… this is an experience you don’t want to miss.

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KYMCO Canada goes to the Movies

The month of May marks the launch of KYMCO Canada’s in-theatre ad campaign with one of Canada’s largest cinema chains, Cineplex. This four week initiative will pilot within the province of Quebec and coincide with some of the season’s hottest blockbuster movie releases!

The ad, which airs within the 7-minute period before the start of the film, focuses primarily on the youth market and features a range of 50cc KYMCO scooters. The majority of 50cc scooter riders in Quebec are teenagers, although there is growing appeal among many adults to take up scooter riding as an alternative and fun means of urban transportation.

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Speech by Dr. Christian Landerl - Executive Vice President Development and Model Lines

This is transcription of a speech by Dr. Christian Landerl - Executive Vice President Development and Model Lines at BMW on 05/13/2009. It's a little long but it is chock full of interesting facts about the BMW S 1000 RR.


Ladies and gentlemen,

I should also like to welcome you most warmly to the world premiere of the new BMW S 1000 RR!

By entering the supersports segment, we are of course subject to the same ground rules that apply to everyone in this market segment.

These include the top performance of the motorcycle and excellent functional quality as well as ongoing model improvement measures and model revisions. The ground rules also include successful participation in motor racing.

Based on these ground rules and our own aspirations, we defined the development goals for the S 1000 RR as follows:

• Top engine and performance figures.
• Excellent ridability and throttle response.
• A highly stable chassis with outstanding handling and traction
• A highly compact, dynamic design
• Very low vehicle weight.
• And not least top quality

We attached particular importance to ensuring that the motorcycle’s suitability for every use and its ridability should in no way take second place to a high overall level of performance.

In order to further enhance safety and controllability, innovative rider assistance systems such as ABS and traction control were also to be available as special equipment features.

BMW Motorrad entered entirely new territory in developing the S 1000 RR. It was a task of enormous breadth for the development team to take on. But at the same it was an incredible source of motivation for the staff involved.

In taking on this project, our Head of Series Markus Poschner was also able to make the dream of a lifetime come true: the development of the first BMW supersports machine.

As a former motorcycle racer himself, this role was tailor-made for him. He recruited many young colleagues into his team who are themselves active in motor racing and who were able to feed their high level of expertise into the project.

And we set very high standards for ourselves. From the very beginning we wanted to be among the leaders. In the course of this year, you will provide feedback to us as to how far we have succeeded in achieving this aim.

(Concept of the S 1000 RR)

In creating the conception for this motorcycle, we always put the riders’ needs at the centre of our deliberations. The compact ergonomics, geared towards the front wheel, helps riders control the bike’s high level of power without strain.

For example, the area under the knee grip was designed to be as narrow as possible. The dimensions of various 600 cc supersports bike provided a role model here.

This demanding standard posed an enormous challenge in terms of overall package design. We fought hard for every millimetre of space in order to achieve the optimum.

We also arranged the heaviest vehicle parts as closely as possible around the centre of gravity. One example of this is the positioning of the very compact exhaust system under the engine.

David Robb will be going through the main points of the design with you. I will just say the following: getting the desired dynamics in terms of the basic proportions (short, low front section, high and compact rear) did not make it easy to implement the requirements in terms of cooling, aerodynamics, rider protection and intake air ducting.

Here we benefited from close collaboration with the automobile aerodynamics department. We finally found an optimum after numerous calculation loops and extensive wind tunnel testing.

In this way we were able to reduce the heat exposure to the engine and rider to entirely uncritical levels despite the large front silencer under the engine.

In addition to the air flow around and through the vehicle, very careful attention was paid to the intake air ducting.

By using the impact pressure at the air intake we achieved a significant additional increase in performance at high speeds.

The reward for this very intensive work on the overall package is a very slim, athletically shaped motorcycle in which we believe every detail is just right in both form and function.

I think when you see the real thing later and have a test sit on it, you will agree that we have been very successful here.

(Powertrain of the S 1000 RR)

The fact that you can be successful in road racing with a variety of different engine concepts is demonstrated by our competitors with V2, V4 and also 4-cylinder in-line concepts.

After intensive preliminary tests, the conclusion we came to was: you can be successful with many concepts, the important thing is - whatever you, do it well!

We opted for a 4-cylinder in-line engine. This concept offers the best basis for a light, stable powertrain and enables space to be saved in the intake and exhaust gas area.

The basic engine with its unusual stroke/bore ratio of 0.621 provides the basis for a high-performance power unit with an enormous wide engine speed range.

The engine of the S 1000 RR has valves activated by cam followers in order to ensure precise valve timing right through to the very highest engine speeds. The moving masses in a cam follower valve control system are around 50% lower than a solution using bucket tappets.

The effect: as with the K 1200, the small moving parts generate a high level of valve acceleration which results in a large effective through-flow cross-section, enabling a high level of torque to be achieved.

The cam followers used in the S 1000 RR are considerably smaller and lighter still than those of the K series.

In addition to the cam follower, the mass of the valve is also an important factor: we use titanium as the material for all valves, as well as a light aluminium fibre material for the moving valve-spring caps.

The camshafts are made of forged material and are intricately processed. They are controlled by means of a cogwheel reduction gear and short drive chain. This enables us to achieve very rigid and precise valve operation. The cogwheels on the camshafts can be kept very small due to the pre-transmission.

Ladies and gentlemen, as you can see: we opted for very intricate solutions with the basic engine.

And we went into a similar amount of detail with the engine peripherals:

In addition to the air flow around and through the vehicle, very careful attention was paid to the intake air ducting.

A perfect design of the air box ensures sound induction. We used every millimetre of the vehicle to generate as much volume as possible for the intake system.

In order to optimise the torque curve, we chose the well-known and sophisticated technology of the switchover induction system. Depending on the engine speed, a control motor varies the length of the intake manifolds to two levels.

The appropriate quantity of fuel is fed in via four injection nozzles at the throttle valve strip and above the intake manifold with the aim of ensuring optimum induction. The nozzles are controlled alternately or jointly, depending on the engine speed and power level required.

The throttle valves are controlled via an e-gas system (ride by wire). This provides an excellent way of precisely implementing the level of propulsion as defined by the rider’s input.

The control of injection and ignition is effected using the most innovative digital engine management system currently in existence in the motorcycle field.

The software of the so-called BMS-KP was developed entirely by BMW Motorrad. Its main features are as follows:

• Fully sequential, cylinder-selective injection
• Integrated knock control
• Highly rapid processing of the many sensor signals using state-of-the-art micro-electronics
• An integrated torque regulation system for the traction control DTC
• Idling and cold start regulation
• Compact size, low weight and self-diagnosis capacity.

We also put a lot of effort into the exhaust side in accordance with our aim to achieve high performance.

In addition to the well-known valve technology between the front and rear silencer to regulate exhaust noise, there is also a double valve situated near the cylinder head in the area of the manifold and operated by a control motor.

This opens or closes the connection between two manifold pipes, depending on the engine speed and throttle valve position.

With these valve elements we influence the vibrations in the exhaust-gas stream so as to optimise the torque curve.

In simple terms:

Valves open  increased torque at mid-range engine speeds
Valves closed  increased output at top engine speeds.

You can see the results of these considerable efforts in the output and torque curve:

With 142 kW or 193 bhp at 13,000 rpm, the S 1000 RR is at the top of the segment.
The maximum torque of 112 Nm is reached at 9,750 rpm. The low-speed figures are excellent, too.

In order to relay engine power to the rear wheel there is a 10-plate wet clutch with anti-hopping function, a very compact 6-speed gearbox with transmission shafts arranged on top of each other and a left-sided chain.

(Chassis of the S 1000 RR)

It is essential to overall performance that the chassis is at least on a par with the high level of engine power.

The main frame of the S 1000 RR is an aluminium bridge frame which bears the engine. The frame is welded together from four cast components at our BMW Motorrad plant in Berlin.

This construction enables us to meet the challenge of combining a narrow form with a large air box. At the same time we made extensive calculations and simulations to achieve an optimum in distributing rigidity levels.

The rear frame section is made of aluminium profile tubing and is bolted onto the main frame. This combines low weight with robustness, as is particularly appreciated in practice.

The construction engineering of the swing arm is a key factor in terms of mechanical grip and sound traction. A long swing arm reduces the differences between the different compression positions.

The swing arm is mounted in eccentric sockets. This enables the swing arm mount to be adjusted in height for racing purposes.

The swing arm itself is a sophisticated welding construction made of deep-drawn aluminium sheet-metal shells with a cast aluminium bottom section. This was the best way to fulfil requirements of high torsional and lateral rigidity as well as low weight.

The suspension strut is connected to the swing arm and frame by means of relay levers. The upper suspension strut mount can be adjusted by means of eccentric groove pieces.

The generously sized upside-down form with a stanchion diameter of 46 mm is unique within the segment. The usual diameter is 43 mm. With this larger size fork we achieve much increased brake stability and a clearer response.

The steering head angle is fairly steep at 66.1 ° and the castor relatively short at 95.9 mm, with a relatively long wheelbase of 1432 mm.

The design always focused on achieving easy controllability with light handling and sound stability.

As is usual in this segment, the telescopic fork and suspension strut are fully adjustable. For simplified operation we have marked the adjustment levels clearly from stages 1 – 10.

In addition to this, all adjustment elements are positioned for easy access.
These examples reflect the practical experience of the development team.

The 10-spoke chill-cast wheels are especially light - and very aesthetically appealing, too, in my opinion.

Radially bolted fixed brake clips by Brembo are applied to 320 mm brake discs by means of specially developed brake pads. The system provides excellent performance, a low level of hand force and good controllability.

As is usual with BMW, the front wheel has a floating disc brake.

This brings me to the body. (Body of the S 1000 RR)

The trim has been fitted as closely as possible to the motorcycle. However, due to very intensive work in the wind tunnel, it was possible to achieve very good wind protection to protect the body and upper torso.

For example, nicely designed cut-throughs on the windshield prevent helmet vibration at top speeds.

In order to achieve the challenging weight target of 183 kg dry or 204 kg fully fuelled, an aluminium fuel tank was created in collaboration with the BMW plant in Eisenach - a feature which is unique in this segment.

One example of functional integration and therefore weight reduction is the trim bracket made of die-cast magnesium which also serves as an air duct for the ram-air intake and as a bracket for the headlamp, horn and mirror.

(Electrical system of the S 1000 RR)

Like many other BMW motorcycles, the S 1000 RR uses a CAN (Controller Area Net) bus system to control vehicle functions. The control unit is integrated in the instrument channel to save space and weight.

The instrument panel itself offers more functions than is usual in the segment. In addition to instruments for analogue engine speed, digital speed and gear, the selected drive and chassis mode is also displayed.

In addition, the rider can switch the display to race track mode to receive information on lap times. In conjunction with the lap trigger, available as a special accessory, the rider has precise timings at his disposal for analysis purposes.

Other functions include the use of the adjustable shift indicator as an engine speed indicator for race starts.

The asymmetrical headlamp is based on the principle of maximum effect combined with minimum weight. For this reason the high beam headlamp is significantly smaller than the low-beam lamp.

The direction indicators and the licence-plate holder can easily be removed for use on the race track.

The special equipment program of the S 1000 RR includes the following items:
• Race ABS
• Race ABS with traction control DTC
• HP shift assistant and
• an anti-theft warning system

So for the first time in the supersports domain, ABS and traction control are available in a serial production motorcycle.

There are four modes (Rain, Sport, Race and Slick) which allow the engine configuration and the Race ABS and DTC traction control set-up to be adapted to the race track and tyres in question.

The rider can select the desired program directly using the handlebar grip controls.

Slick mode can only be activated by inserting a plug under the seat. As the name suggests, we only recommend this mode in combination with slick tyres.

In Rain mode we limit engine output to 110 kW or 150 bhp, and the response and power supply of the engine are less pronounced. In all other modes, full engine power is available with varying degrees of direct response.

With DTC traction control, unlike the existing BMW system ASC, the banking of the vehicle is detected by means of a sensor cluster and also accounted for by regulation response.

The system detects a spinning rear wheel and reduces engine torque by means of adjustment to the firing angle and the throttle valves. In Slick mode, wheelies are permitted for five seconds at a time at banking angles of less than 20° while accelerating.

As with assistance systems: DTC supports the rider in difficult situations but cannot redefine the laws of physics.

Race ABS is a completely newly developed system which is lighter than existing integral systems.

With a control unit weighing 1.6 kg and an overall weight of 2.5 kg, the system offers a superb basis for use in the supersports domain. In addition to its low weight, the system is characterised by a further improved regulation response.

In addition to an excellent configuration, this is due to the use of a total of four pressure sensors which allow a more effective distinction to be made than previously possible between unevenness in the road surface and a blocked rear wheel.

The Race ABS can also be adapted to different road and tyre situations using the mode switch.

In the modes Race and Slick the lift-off detection function does not interfere with the rider’s intention to apply the brakes, i.e. only the locking of the wheels is prevented. In Slick mode, highly skilled riders are able to carry out brake drifts by applying the rear wheel brake.

In creating the new Race ABS our aim was to improve ride safety on the road and in uncertain grip conditions, but we also wanted to give sports riders the opportunity to be able to draw on the safety benefits of an ABS system on the race track.

However, both assistance systems DTC and Race ABS can be switched off if special requirements apply.

On the straight, the S 1000 RR has another feature which sets it apart from others in the segment. With the HP shift assistant, familiar from other BMW motorcycles, crucial yards can be gained while accelerating.

And so to conclude, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to summarise once more briefly:

The new BMW S 1000 RR is currently the most powerful supersports motorcycle. In addition to excellent ride properties it offers maximum riding dynamics, superb handling and outstanding high-speed and braking stability. This applies both to the race track and to normal road riding.

In conceiving this model we attached particular importance to safe controllability and a high degree of suitability for everyday riding.

The S 1000 RR is the lightest supersports bike with ABS in the 1000 cc class and has the best power-to-weight ratio in this class.

With its adjustable modes and innovative rider assistance systems Race ABS and traction control DTC, we offer a level of active safety which is quite unique - without any constraints on performance.

The S 1000 R fulfils all current environmental standards with the potential to fulfil future emission regulations with two closed-loop catalytic converters and digital engine management.

We all look forward to tomorrow’s race with great excitement and hope that Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus do well here in Monza.

Thank you very much for your listening and I look forward to interesting talks with you after the presentations.

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Portland, US company - Italian name - made in Canada!

During our latest trip to the local Vespa dealership we came across some pretty cool stuff. More on that in future, but for now we'll tempt you with a riding apparel company called Corazzo.

Trusty Google Translator indicates that Corazzo is Italian for armour. Seems fitting for a company making riding apparel and accessories. If all the skulls and crossbones gear at your local shop have you wondering if there's anything a little more stylish that will keep you looking stylish AND be protected, well - Corazzo is a company you might want to check out.

According to the Corazzo company website:

"Corazzo is proud to design and manufacture our garments and accessories in North America (California and Oregon and Canada), sourcing our raw materials from companies that manufacture in the US, whenever and wherever possible.

Corazzo uses the only the highest quality materials, like real Cordura~ fabric from DuPont, the best Scotchlite reflective material from 3M, YKK Zippers and armor from Knox, the world's leader in impact protection for two-wheeled riders.
"

We've not had the opportunity to test any of the products, seeing as we've just discovered the company, but they do appear to be well made stuff that makes use of quality materials. The friendly shop owners brewed me a coffee while I had a look at all the treasures in the shop. I'm told the Corazzo Under-Hoody is particularly irresistible. Certainly looks like it'd be comfortable on a chilly morning ride!

Image courtesy Corazzo.

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Honda confirms production of new V4 in 2010

We're a little late with this news but Honda Motor Europe's president Shigeru Takagi issued a news release on April 2/09 stating,

"I am happy to be able to confirm today that there is a link to more than one model (referring to the V4 concept) in our future model lineup. The first production machine related to the V4 Concept Bike will reach the market in the first half of 2010. And there will be more to come."

Doubt you'll see the hubless wheel design on the new model. More likely you'll see a larger displacement sport-tourer, in the vein of the current VFR 800. Sportbike inspired styling and handling with slightly more upright ergonomics and less emphasis on lightness at all costs. A sportbike for gentleman if you will, gentleman who still like to go very fast but be comfortable while doing it!

Bring it on Honda! VFR fans have been waiting for this, for long time I might add.

Here's a video clip Honda posted with the news. It runs 3 minutes and 37 seconds and according to Honda "takes us through 30 years of racing with Honda V4 racing motor cycle engines. And then gives us a promising look at the future."


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Victory dealer demo day - Bowmanville, ON

Spoiled Sports is having a Victory Demo Ride at their shop in Bowmanville, on Friday May 29th between 9:00 am & 5:00 pm and again Saturday May 30th between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. Weather permitting.

Full M License required, as is proper motorcycle attire. See their website or call for more details.

Spoiled Sports
1898 Baseline Rd
Bowmanville, ON
L1C 3K3
(905)436-6487


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Suzuki dealer demo - (Blackstock, ON)

Asselstine's in Blackstock, Ontario are having a Suzuki Demo Ride on Friday May 29th between 10:00 am & 4:00 pm, and again Saturday May 30th between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, weather permitting.

Full M License required and proper motorcycle attire. See their website or call for more details.

Check out their website here.

Asselstine Country 905.986.4437
3580 Byers Road, Blackstock, ON, L0B 1B0
Toll Free 1.877.986.4437

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World superbikes, and Haga (DUCATI XEROX), return to race at Kyalami after a six year absence

Kyalami (South Africa) Tuesday 12th May: after a six year absence the World Superbike circus returns this season to the South African track of Kyalami and the Ducati Xerox team packs their bags for another long-haul trip.

Last there in 2002, when then Ducati factory rider Troy Bayliss powered his 998 to victory in both of the day’s races, the current Ducati Xerox factory squad and riders, Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, look forward to the challenge that the only “new” circuit to feature on this year’s calendar will surely provide.

Noriyuki has the added advantage of having raced, and won, Superbike events at this track before. He is one of very few current Superbike riders to have already raced there, between 1998 and 2002; only “veterans” Xaus, Laconi and Corser have raced alongside Nitro-Nori at Kyalami in the past and, of these, only Noriyuki has ever achieved a race win.

Having taken part in the Pirelli development tests here in December, and having registered in the process some extremely fast lap times with the Ducati 1198 bikes, the Ducati factory squad and it’s riders Noriyuki and Michel are all confident that they are ready for the challenge that Kyalami sets them. On the final day of the winter test session, Michel registered a flying lap of 1m39.7s on a qualifying tyre, the fastest lap ever made by a motorcycle at the Kyalami track. After four years on board the Yamaha, Noriyuki rode his new Ducati 1198 for the first time during those winter tests and made an immediate impression by recording the third fastest time overall.

Last weekend at Monza Michel had the best Superbike race weekend of his career so far, winning Race 1 and finishing runner-up in Race 2. Noriyuki followed his team-mate across the line to take second in Race 1 but was unable to fight for the Race 2 victory after he suffered an unlikely incident at the start of the that race; a large bird flew into his right arm while he was riding at a speed of 238km/h, causing the laceration of his bicep muscle and subsequent fall.

Noriyuki Haga (1st in championship, 200 points)

Noriyuki, one of the stalwarts of World Superbikes, is the only current rider able to say that he has won a Superbike race at Kyalami before now, back in 2000.

“My arm is still sore today after my run in with a bird at Monza but I’ll be fine to race this weekend. I have to think back a long way to remember the 2000 win at Kyalami! But I recall that in the other race that day I had a really close battle for the win with Colin (Edwards) and Fogarty. It’s a great track and I’m happy to go back there again. Winter testing went well there, but it was my first experience riding the 1198 so there were a few ups and downs let’s say! Now I’m at ease on the bike and we’re well into the season, it’ll be interesting to go back and see how we fare over the race weekend – it should be fun.”

Haga’s Superbike form at Kyalami:
2002: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – 6th
2000: Race 1 – 2nd , Race 2 – winner
1999: Race 1 – 4th, Race 2 - DNF
1998: Race 1 – 7th, Race 2 – 3rd

Michel Fabrizio
(3rd in championship, 125 points)

Michel, part of the current crop of young Superbike riders, has not yet had the chance to race at Kyalami but was consistently the fastest rider on track in pre-season winter testing sessions held there in December.

"Having at last won a race this weekend at Monza I just want to win again as soon as possible! From what I learned of the track during the winter I can say that I’m really looking forward to this round. The Kyalami circuit is really fun to ride and I did well at the two “new” tracks in 2008 (Salt Lake City and Portimao) so I’d like it if this year’s new track were also to bring me similar luck. We recorded some very fast lap times during the test days and so of course we hope that conditions over the race weekend allow us to maintain that pace.”

CIRCUIT DATA:

Country: South Africa
Name: Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit
Circuit length: 4.263 km
Pole position: left
Corners left: 11
Corners right: 6
Length of race: 25 laps = 106.575 km

Lap records: Fastest lap – Haga (Yamaha) 1'42.178 (2002). Superpole – Edwards (Honda) 1'41.321 (2002).

2002 results: Race 1 - 1. Bayliss (Ducati); 2. Edwards (Honda); 3. Xaus (Ducati)
Race 2 – 1. Bayliss (Ducati); 2. Xaus (Ducati); 3. Edwards (Honda);

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May 23 - Demo a 'Zero Motorcycle' in Arkona, Ontario

Zero Motorcycles, maker of electric powered motorcycles is having a demo event on May 23rd in Arkona, Ontario. They'll be bringing the Zero X Sport and Zero X Extreme. The demo ride is being offered as one of the attractions at the Custom Motorsports, Open House. The event takes place Saturday May 23, 2009 - from 8am to 4pm. Rain date is Sunday May 24th.

The Zero X is a full sized high performance dirt bike. Built from the ground up using the sophisticated electric motorcycle technology and boasting 50 ft-lbs of torque. The Zero X Extreme is adds some extra power. According to the Zero website "We offer an ‘extreme package’ for those wanting to ride even harder and faster. The upgrades include a stronger motor, a stronger/smoother front fork, and a wider Italian front fender to catch the dirt if you like to roost your way around corners."

They won't have the Zero S - the street model. That model will be coming to Canada too but it's not off the production line just yet we're told and the prototype Zero showed off at the Green Living Show last month is back in Santa Cruz, CA now.

Click the picture for a larger version.


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Third installment of the Ducati Desmosedici documentary on YouTube

This episode talks about composite fibers. The kind near and dear to the hearts of Ducatisti all over the world.

That's right carbon fiber! What elements it contains, the benefits it offers, how they make it. Everything you possibly wanted to know about carbon fiber, and a little more for good measure.

D16RR Ep.3 part 1 (English)


D16RR Ep.3 - Part 2 (English)


If you missed the past installments here's the links:

Installment 1
Installment 2

Click here for more Ducati news.

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Zero S - Bringing electric to the streets of Canada - SOON!

Zero Motorcycles is bringing its Zero S street model to Canada. They've reportedly built a network of dealerships already, and will be adding more to the list. Each dealer will have at least one bike on hand for customers to test. Nice! - No waiting for manufacturer or dealer demo days or buying without getting a chance to ride the motorcycle with Zero!

There's already dealers signed up and ready in Penticton and Pemberton, B.C., Calgary and London, Ont., and shops in Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Montreal, Medicine Hat, Saskatoon and Edmonton are in negotiations.

Zero Motorcycles has already booked substantial pre-orders for the Zero S without sharing details or images and now anticipates a soaring demand.

In case you're not familiar with the Zero S, there are some things that make it really interesting. First, it's totally electric. It plugs into a regular 110V outlet and takes four hours and less than $1 to fully power up. You'll be able to go about a 100-kilometre range on a single charge.

This road going version will get up to about 100 km/h with it's four-kilowatt electric engine, which produces 31 horsepower and a steady 62.5 lb-ft of torque. That's not a terribly high top speed when compared to a lot of motorcycles on the street. What makes this bike exciting is how quickly it does get to top speed though - about 4 seconds.

It should be a a fun bike and great commuter tool. Hey, you can always plug it in at work if you're concerned about running out of juice on the way home. Zero plan to facilitate commuter duties and grocery store runs by adding panniers and a top case as options soon.

Price is not quite finalized for Canada yet but expect it to be somewhere around $10,000.

A dual-sport version is also in the works from Zero. It'll have bigger wheels, more aggressive rubber, and longer suspension to make it more dirt-friendly.

Key Zero S Information:

Weight- The aluminum frame weighs 29 pounds and the entire Zero S motorcycle weighs only 225 pounds
Speed- 0-60 in less than 4 seconds. The Zero S delivers over 31 horsepower using Zero’s patent-pending lithium-ion array
Range - Range for the Zero S is 60 miles
Life Expectancy of Battery - 5 to 6 years with average use
Battery charging time - Full recharge of battery can be done in less than 3 hours while plugged into a standard 110V or 220V outlet
Operating cost - Less than one cent per mile or kilometer
Warranty
- Zero Motorcycles warranties its frames to be free from defects for one full year from the date of purchase. This warranty applies only to the original owner and does not cover finishes, cosmetic defects, labor or shipping.

* Click for larger versions of the pictures.





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BMW S 1000 RR headed for Canada.

The elite BMW supersport motorcycle is set to make its Canadian debut in late 2009.

Whitby - BMW Canada is pleased to announce that the BMW S 1000 RR supersport motorcycle will arrive in Canada in the fourth quarter of 2009.

In development since 2007 and currently competing in the 2009 World Superbike Championship in full racing trim, the world debut of the BMW S 1000 RR will establish a true milestone in the supersport motorcycle category.

Combining an all-new high-performance engine with lightweight construction, sophisticated chassis dynamics and race-engineered brake and suspension components, the BMW S 1000 RR will set a new benchmark for ultra-high performance motorcycles - on both the racetrack and the road.

The 999cc water-cooled, DOHC, sixteen valve four-cylinder inline power unit is brand-new from the ground up, bred for racing, developing a maximum output of 193 hp at 13,000 rpm (rev-limited to14,200 rpm) and maximum torque of 82.5 lb-ft at 9,750 rpm.

With overall weight of just 204 kg including fuel (183 kg dry weight, 206.5 kg with Race ABS) the S 1000 RR will also take its place as the lightest motorcycle equipped with ABS in the supersports category.

The combination sets a new standard in its class with a power-to-weight ratio of just 1.05 kg and, respectively, 1.06 kg (2.31 and, respectively, 2.34 lb) per horsepower without/with Race ABS.

The new BMW S 1000 RR has been designed not only to compete in the World Superbike Championship, but to takesits place among the élite of supersports motorcycles.

“We are eagerly following the solid progress of the BMW Motorrad Motorsports team at the World Superbike Championships and excited to be introducing the S 1000 RR in Canada later this year”, stated Norm Wells, Director of BMW Motorrad Canada. “We are looking forward to having an ultra-competitive product in the supersport category and can already sense the anticipation of motorcycle enthusiasts for the arrival of the the S 1000 RR in this market.”

The specifications of the BMW S 1000 R are a testimony to state-of-the-art racing technology on all fronts – performance, handling dynamics, safety and ergonomics – not to mention the visceral packaging in the sleek S 1000 RR bodywork.

S 1000 R Technical Highlights

Engine
* Cylinder axis tilted 32° forward to optimize centre of gravity and weight distribution
* stroke/bore ratio of 0.621
* Aluminum crankcase and cylinders with nikasil-coated liners
* Wet-sump lubrication using Eaton oil pump and oil cooler
* Titanium valves
* Forged, heat-treated steel 180° crankshaft
* Extra-light (334 gm) forged, heat-treated steel “crack-split” connecting rods
* Fully sequential, cylinder-specific fuel injection with integrated anti-knock control, ultra-fast processing and self-diagnosis
* Variable intake manifold length

Exhaust
* 4-into-2-into-1 system with pre-silencer, two electronically controlled interference-type butterfly flaps and rear silencer
* Two fully controlled, high-density, metal based three-way catalytic converters fitted in the pre-silencers
Transmission
* Six-speed with straight-toothed primary gears in compact case
* Multi-disc “slipper” wet clutch
* 525 O-ring roller chain
* Optional electronically controlled Shift Assistant for seamless and rapid clutchless upshifts

Frame/Suspension
* Light weight aluminum bridge frame - weighing just 11.98 kg - integrating the engine as a load-bearing element for optimum torsional stiffness and minimum weight. Aluminum fuel tank.
* Front upside-down fork with 46 mm fixed tube - with a wide range of adjustment of both the spring base as well as damper rebound and inbound control.
* ,Long (593mm) aluminum rear swing arm and central spring strut with adjustable spring base and adjustable damper inbound and rebound control.
* Ten-spoke pressure-cast aluminum wheels with 120/70 ZR 17 front and 190/55 ZR 17 rear tires

Dynamic Chassis Systems
* Four mode engine management system with Rain, Sport, Race (supersport street tires) and Slick (racing tires) settings
* Optional Race ABS with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) and rear-wheel lift-off detector
* Four mode system fully-integrated with Race ABS and DTC when so-equipped

Brake System
* Floating double 320 mm front discs with two four-piston Brembo fixed calipers with 34 mm pistons and sintered metal pads.
* Single 220 mm rear disc with single floating caliper rear brake and sintered metal pads

Controls/Instruments
* Multi-functional instrument cluster with racing features such as a laptimer and optimum shift speed indicator
* Riding modes selectable via handlebar controls
* New generation light/indicator switch cluster positioned on left handlebar
* Quickly detachable front indicator, licence plate support and rear indicators, for easy conversion to racing use.
* LED rear light cluster with clear lens
* Optional LED directional indicators

The new BMW S 1000 RR will be available in three dramatic standard color combinations:
* Mineral Silver Metallic with swing arms and wheels in Ostra Grey.
* Thunder Grey Metallic with swing arms and wheels in Ostra Grey.
* Acid Green Metallic with swing arms in Eloxy Silver and wheels in glossy Black.

Available as an extra-cost option, the S 1000 R will also be available in the BMW Motorrad Motorsport Team colour scheme as on the Superbike Works racing bikes with paintwork in Alpine White Non-Metallic, Magma Red Non-Metallic, and Lupin Blue Metallic, with swing arms also finished in Eloxy Silver and wheels in high-gloss Black.

While Troy Corser and Ruben Zaus and the BMW Motorrad Motorsport racing team continue their assault on the 2009 World Superbike Championship, the S 1000 RR is now poised to take its place in BMW showrooms, offering an exciting new benchmark in supersport motorcycles.

The BMW S 1000 RR will be introduced to the Canadian market in the 4th quarter of 2009 and promises to be priced very competitively in the supersport motorcycle category .

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Michel Fabrizio (Ducati XEROX) triumphs to take his first Superbike win in Race 1, second in race 2 today at Monza

Monza (Italy) Sunday 10th May:

The Italian public were witness to a first race that finished in the best possible way for the Ducati Xerox Team this afternoon at the Italian circuit of Monza. Michel Fabrizio took his first ever Superbike win and his team-mate Noriyuki Haga followed him across the line to take second. Noriyuki did not have such a fortunate time in Race 2 but Michel meanwhile returned to the podium, this time in second, concluding his most successful Superbike weekend yet.

Race 1 was spectacular right from the opening seconds as, immediately after the start an accident occurred involving several riders as they rode through the first curve, necessitating a red flag and a restart. Nearly an hour later the race began again and both the Ducati riders got off to a flying start. For the first four laps Michel and Noriyuki led the race in first and second place respectively. They were then passed during the fifth lap by an ever faster Spies, yet they were able to hold second and third, both doing their utmost to catch the American rider. Having closed the gap significantly by the last couple of laps, neither rider expected that Spies’ bike would come to a stop just short of the finishing line, allowing Michel to cross the line first, followed two tenths of a second later by his team-mate Noriyuki.

In Race 2 both Ducati Xerox riders made another strong start with Noriyuki in the lead after the first corner but at the very next bend he was hit by a bird that caused an immediate loss of sensation in his right arm. He continued on for another lap despite having lost many positions but the blow that he had taken was so strong that he was unable to break at the Parabolica causing his to come off. The ensuing battle between Michel and Kiyonari allowed Spies to increase his lead, but Michel was not giving up and won the battle with the Japanese rider to finish once again on the Monza podium, this time in second place.

The doctors of the Clinica Mobile saw Noriyuki immediately after his accident and Doctor Corbascio declared that Nori has suffered from a severe contusion to his right bicep, but that there are no fractures, just a laceration of the muscle.

Michel Fabrizio (Race 1 – winner, Race 2 – 2nd)

“I am so happy with today’s results. It’s gone well all weekend so I knew I had the chance to fight for the win and at last I’ve done it! Mid way through race 1 I was having trouble with the gears, especially when Ben passed me, but I didn’t give up and fought till the end. It’s a shame for Ben that the race finished as it did because it makes mine a bit of a false win but I’m very pleased of course. Race 2? Well Ben deserved the win in the first race so I’m pleased he took it instead in Race 2. I had to ride the second bike in Race 2 and for some reason I found it tricky at the start, I didn’t have a great feeling and couldn’t push but after a few laps I just concentrated on reaching the podium again and then it became easier. I thank my whole team for giving me such a fantastic bike this weekend. The double win I’ll leave for the next race!”

Noriyuki Haga (Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 - DNF)

“Right at the start of Race 2 I was hit by a bird on my right arm; it hurt a lot and I lost all sensation, with strong pain and pins and needles in my right arm and hand. I tried to continue to race but it was too difficult to ride and as a result I unfortunately fell. Yes it hurts but I should be back in top shape very soon. Race 1 went much better for me of course and I really enjoyed the racing against Ben and Michel. I though at the end that I would surely end third but then Ben’s bike stopped so close to the finish line and I finished in second as a result. I’m sorry for him as he deserved the win and this year me and him will continue to battle it out. Despite the Race 2 result I still hold a 54 point advantage and so I’m satisfied with that.”

Filippo Preziosi – Ducati Corse Technical Director

“We saw two exciting races today and it’s great that Michel is finally celebrating his first race win after so many second and third place finishes in the past. To take the win in Italy obviously makes victory even sweeter. I’m sorry for what happened to Nori, a very unusual occurrence, but I guess this is racing. We know that we have two extremely strong riders and we are very satisfied.”

RESULTS: Race 1 – 1. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox); 2. Haga (Ducati Xerox); 3. Kiyonari (Honda). Race 2 – 1. Spies (Yamaha); 2. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox); 3. Kiyonari (Honda)

CLASSIFICATION : Riders – 1. Haga (Ducati Xerox) 200; 2. Spies (Yamaha) 146; 3. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 125; 4. Haslam (Honda) 103; Sykes (Yamaha) 90; Biaggi (Aprilia) 81. Manufacturers – Ducati 225; Yamaha 180; Honda 141; Suzuki 89; Aprilia 84; BMW 59; Kawasaki 19

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Site news: Back-end maintenance on "News'" and "Articles" pages

There will be a short maintenance period on Monday (5/11) at 2:00AM PDT for about 10 minutes for maintenance. The "News" page and "Articles" pages may not be viewable during that time unless you've got a cached version of the page.

More details here:

Thanks for your patience - sorry for the inconvenience.

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Extreme Buell - This is "Cool"... literally.

On the 4th March 2009, Buell motorcycles sent extreme rider Craig Jones to Lake Dellen in Sweden to see how fast a motorbike could go on ice. With a small window of opportunity and against the elements including extreme temperatures of -10C, Jones took a specially customised nitrous-injected Buell 1125R and set a world first for the fastest bike on ice.

It wasn't stock but they only had 1.1km to get up to that speed. One of the biggest modifications was nitrous oxide injection providing an estimated extra 50bhp. The studded tires helped quite a bit too I'd say. 

Just how fast did they go?  148 MPH - on ice - on a Buell 1125R.  Buell has set up a new website dubbed "Buell Extreme."  They've got video of the shoot, details of the run and wallpapers for your desktop.

Almost makes you wish it was winter again! No?

Check it out at http://extreme.buell.eu/


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Ural "T" not coming to Canada in same form as US market

We posted some News direct from Ural in Russia about the coming of the lower price point "T" model Ural motorcycle but we've since been in contact with the sole distributor of Ural's in Canada.

The "T" model as they're getting it in the States will not be coming to Canada.

We'll get a regular spec 2wd Patrol with the "T" model color scheme. A name for the bike hasn't been firmed up yet. It will be a full-featured Patrol and nothing has been removed to bring the price down. Accordingly, it won't have the entry level price.

I'm told that we Canadians seem to like our Ural's with 2wd so the decision was made that we'd go with a different version.

It will have the back rack, and the spare tire and the rims will be powder-coated black to match the paint scheme. They've also fitted a color matched fairing too.

Canadian price will be $15,145.

The Canadian distributor will also bringing some olive green (drab green, the factory calls it) Patrol's too. They'll also be fitted with a color matched fairing.

You should be seeing these new Urals in dealerships very soon!

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Ducati XEROX Rider Fabrizio flies to take provisional pole at Monza; Haga third

Monza (Italy) Friday 8th May: the Ducati Xerox Team is pumped up and ready for action, completing today the first qualifying session of the fifth World Superbike round of the season under the Monza sunshine. Factory rider Michel Fabrizio was on the pace from the first practice session of the day, finishing said session in first place before heading out onto a track that reached temperatures of 47°C for the afternoon qualifying session, in which he again pushed his 1198 machine to the limit, to conclude first qualifying three tenths of a second faster than any other rider on track.

Noriyuki also made an extremely positive start to the weekend and took the third fastest time of the day in the afternoon qualifying. Today’s results bode well for the weekend and both Noriyuki and Michel hope that the dry sunny weather is set to continue until the all important race day.

Michel Fabrizio 1m45.4s
“Fastest in both the free practice and first qualifying, yes I’d say it’s all going well so far. This weekend will be hard and Nori and Spies are on the pace but I’d really love to score my first win here at Monza and think that I can do a good job this weekend. In these last two weeks I have really thought hard about what’s needed and what’s needed is a win, to relieve some pressure, to boost by confidence and help take me to that next level. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s sessions.”

Noriyuki Haga 1m45.7s
"It’s gone very well today yes. Unfortunately the track conditions are not as good as they were during testing here a couple of weeks ago but finally we got under the 1m45 barrier and feeling has improved throughout the day even if I hope to find more improvements tomorrow by changing a few things. We’re still not sure about the tyres but it will be interesting to see how we go tomorrow morning. So far, so good I think.”

TIMES: 1. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 1m45.4s; 2. Sykes (Yamaha) 1m45.7s; 3. Haga (Ducati Xerox) 1m45.7s; 4. Rea (Honda) 1m45.9s; 5. Neukirchner (Suzuki) 1m45.9s; 6. Kagayama (Suzuki) 1m45.9s; 7. Spies (Yamaha) 1m46.0s; 8. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1m46.0s

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Motorcycle Experience Episode 12 airs Saturday morning

Toyota Truck presents Motorcycle Experience, Saturday May 09 at 11:30 am*

What to expect this week:
- Dave discovers the CAV at a motorcycle show in Kingston, Ontario
- Former national Sportbike Champion Clint McBain talks about using cargo nets
- Yamaha’s Bryan Hudgin says get out and “start riding” during Scooter Sense
- Dave attends the Canadian press launch of the all new, fully auto, Honda DNO1
- Dave and Norm grab a cold one in Marina Del Ray during their Ultimate Ride

Episode 12 – Air Times on TSN and TSN HD

Saturday, May 09 at 11:30 am*
Tuesday, May 12 at 01:00 am*
Wednesday, May 13 at 12:30 pm*
Sunday, May 17 at 03:30 am*

*All times eastern

Don’t forget the 7th Annual Ride to Remember in Prince Edward County in 4 weeks! Check out the R2R event website for all the details: www.ridetoremember.ca

Saturday June 6 in Prince Edward County … This year we remember Maxime Mercier!

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Ducati Hypermotard used as "Moto-Terminator" models for Terminator Salvation

Cupertino, Calif (May 7, 2009) – Ducati North America announced today that moviegoers and fans of the highly anticipated actioner “Terminator Salvation” will see Ducati’s popular Hypermotard 1100 take new form as Moto-Terminators when the movie hits theaters May 21.

“This movie is all about technology taken to such a high level that it becomes an art form,” said “Terminator Salvation” director McG. “To me that fits as a description of Ducati. The bikes came through like champions.” McG was so fond of the Hypermotard he actually purchased one of the four bikes used on the New Mexico set.

Computer graphics were used to create the Moto-Terminators based on the design and performance of the Hypermotard, however the actual bikes were used for all the stunt riding in the film. Ducati also collaborated with Warner Bros. to develop a custom trailer for “Terminator Salvation,” which shows exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the Hypermotard scenes.

“The Hypermotard is becoming a real celebrity in its own right. This is its second appearance in a major motion picture this year,” said Ducati North America CEO Michael Lock. The Hypermotard was also featured in Warner Bros. Pictures hit comedy “Yes Man,” with Jim Carrey.

The custom trailer for “Terminator Salvation” will be shown in Ducati dealerships nationwide as well as on the Ducati website and Facebook page.

The fourth installment in the blockbuster “Terminator” film franchise, “Terminator Salvation” is a presentation of The Halcyon Company. McG directed the film from a screenplay by John Brancato & Michael Ferris. “Terminator Salvation” was produced by Moritz Borman, Jeffrey Silver, Victor Kubicek and Derek Anderson. Peter D. Graves, Dan Lin, Jeanne Allgood, Joel B. Michaels, Mario F. Kassar and Andrew G. Vajna served as executive producers. The film stars Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, Bryce Dallas Howard, Common, Jane Alexander and Helena Bonham Carter. “Terminator Salvation” is being distributed domestically by Warner Bros. Pictures. Columbia Pictures is distributing the film in most international territories (excluding South Korea and select Middle East territories).

Image courtesy Ducati North America.

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Live Stream - World Premiere of BMW S 1000 RR

BMW is letting everybody know that the BMW S 1000 RR is going to have it's world premiere in Monza, Italy this Saturday May 9th at 5 PM CET.

If you're keen to see it happen and can't get to Italy in time - have no fear... It's being streamed on the Internet.

It's a huge ugly URL and it doesn't seem to be working at the moment but that's what they've given.

Hopefully it'll work the day of - Here's the link.

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Helpful YouTube finds - When to change your motorcycle tire

When is it time to change that tire on your motorcycle?

It's a good question and if you ask any individual rider you might get a slightly different answer - for some riders it might be when they can start to see the threads in the tire or it's worn completely bald. You definitely shouldn't listen to advice like that! Not if you value your safety and the safety of others riding the streets with you.

Here's a handy YouTube clip from BuyMoto.com - a parts supply store. The clip is very informative for riders of all experience levels. Did you know about the wear indicator triangle on tires? that cracking is a sign to replace your tires? Well the video includes all those details and more.


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Troy Bayliss to test the Ducati race bike at Monza

Troy Bayliss returns to the track on a Ducati race bike!

The Australian rider, who will follow this weekend’s Superbike action at Monza from the Ducati garage, will test the Desmosedici GP9 from May 12th to 14th at the Italian circuit of Mugello, alongside the team’s official MotoGP test rider Vittoriano Guareschi.

The test has been planned for a while and will be repeated during the year at future official sessions of the Test Team. Ducati can thus count on the feedback of a three times world champion, whose talent and experience will contribute to the continuous development work carried out on the Desmosedici GP9 and GP10.

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Ducati's protector giveaway a success in Europe

Ducati had a promotion that saw them give away a back protector with every new Ducati proved quite successful - They've given away more than 5,000 back protectors on the other side of the pond.

No such campaign here in Canada unfortunately - pssssst, Ducati... We'd like some free back protectors too.

Press Release follows -

Great success for the safety campaign launched by Ducati at last year’s Cologne trade show. More than 5000 back protectors have already been distributed across Europe.

Borgo Panigale (Bologna), 5 May 2009 – Ducati’s safety campaign, to provide every new Ducati customer in Europe with a free back protector, continues to grow. The fact that over 5000 back protectors have already been delivered to new Ducati owners is a clear sign of the validity of this campaign.

Since October 2008 each client that buys a new Ducati in Europe has received a top of the range back protector, ready to be worn on any occasion, whether riding in the city, in the country or on track. Ducati’s initiative is not only designed to heighten a biker’s road safety awareness but is also intended as a way to persuade all motorcycle riders to wear the correct riding gear, which includes the use of a back protector.

Ducati is taking an active approach to the promotion of road safety in its efforts to contribute to the EC’s objective of reducing the number of fatal road accidents by 2010. Ducati has gone as far as to sign the European Road Safety Charter – 25,000 lives to save, a programme that encourages the taking of direct action in order to help reduce the number of victims resulting from road accidents.

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Team Suzuki Blackfoot Picotte Racing - getting quicker

Jacksonville, FL. May 4, 2009

Brett McCormick surprised even himself by putting in the quickest time on his Suzuki GSX-R600 Pro Sport Bike at the official pre season test held at the JenningsGP track, near Jacksonville, FL earlier this week.

“I’m happy about that,” said McCormick of his Sport Bike effort, “especially after the last couple of years, where I’ve struggled a bit with the 600. This team is super-knowledgeable and I’ve learned a lot the past couple of days.”

The 17 year-old lead rider for Team Suzuki / Blackfoot / Picotte Motorsports was also second quickest over the two days on his new GSX-R1000 Superbike, behind current Canadian champion Jordan Szoke on his Kawasaki. True to his character, McCormick was on a flyer on his Superbike at the end of the second day, when he tucked the front wheel in the last corner and was forced to settle for second quickest overall.

No one was more pumped at the results than Team Manager Pascal Picotte. “With one rider only on our team this year, we concentrated all our technical resources on optimising both bikes for Brett. He is learning how to better describe the behaviour of the bikes in each phase of each corner, so that we can work out solutions and improve the package every time out.”

Team Owner, Pat Chambers is confident that the team has a winner on their hands with McCormick. “Brett improved every facet of his game so much over the two days at Jennings that I know he will close any gap in Superbike quickly, as well as continue to improve on the smaller bike. Hard work always pays off in the end and I’m proud of the effort Pascal and his team is putting forth this season. We are all looking forward to a great year of racing!”

As a former rider and Canadian Champion, Team Manager Picotte was also paying attention to McCormick’s riding technique. “I kept watching him in the corners and saw where we can help him get more comfortable on the bikes, and go quicker without him having to drag an elbow like he was doing on his fastest laps. We are going to get him fast and comfortable over a full race distance, so he will have the energy and mental time to manage his tires, and pace himself so that he will be in a position to put in his quickest laps at the end of each race!”

The team plans on at least one more outing before the start of the 2009 season, at Calabogie, near Ottawa, over the May 21 to 24 weekend.

Comments

BMW Motorrad Motorsport – Superbike World Championship – Monza, Italy – Preview

Munich - The fifth round of this year´s Superbike World Championship takes place at the historic Autodromo di Monza and both BMW Motorrad Motorsport riders Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus are looking forward to tackling the 5.793 kilometre circuit.

It is one of the few circuits in this year´s calendar where the team have tested already and so, for once, they will be not be starting at a big disadvantage. Monza is renowned for its high speed straights and close finishes and last year`s first race saw the top four separated by just 0.771 at the flag. Race two´s top three were covered by 0.051, with the winner taking the chequered flag by only 0.009 of a second!

Troy:
At least we have tested at Monza this year, so we will not be trying to play catch-up as much as we have to do normally. Monza has some fast straights and is a track where slipstreaming can play an important part. It´s possible to be in fourth place exiting the Ascari chicane on the last lap and still win if you can take advantage of the draft. But, before we even get to that stage, we have to be in a good qualifying situation. Superpole has not worked out well for us so far and considering that, I think we`ve done well to get the top tens we have. I hope that we can qualify better at Monza and get even better results.

Ruben:
Each time out we learn something new about the bike and get ideas about what to do to make it better. The other teams have a big history compared to us and so I feel we have done very well so far. But that doesn´t mean that we all don´t want more, because of course we do. Our top tens are very good, but Troy and I are racers and we are always want to higher finishes. If we can get a good set-up early on (and I can get rid of my “black Fridays”), and do well in Superpole, then we might have a better chance of good results.

Berti Hauser (Director BMW Motorrad Motorsport):
Monza will be interesting for sure, but at least we have been there before. Even so, the experience we gained in our two day test is relatively small compared to our competitors and so we need to do well in practice and qualifying. Superpole has been a problem for us so far and we haven´t been able to get the bike to perform consistently well enough on qualifying tyres in Q1 and Q2. It would be good to get into Q1 and not have to start from the back of the grid for a change. If we could do that, it would be very interesting to see what would happen.

Comments

Three wins for BMW´s off-road team & Cross Country domination

BMW had a busy day for off-road news so we've combined a couple pieces of news from them into one mega off-road news post!

Here's all the details:

Three wins for BMW´s off road team
05/05/2009

Jeff Goblet won round four of the Belgian Enduro Championship at Flavion, earning him the E2 series lead by four points. Goblet also leads the combined ranking of all classes. The Belgian took victory ahead of his closest rival, Thierry Klutz. 

Simo Kirssi meanwhile owned the Finnish Junior Championship Class A-Open at Hyvinkää. On partly frozen ground, the cross country expert classified overall runner-up behind fellow countryman Eero Remes. Kirssi used the event to prepare for his upcoming WEC home round in June. 

Another win went to Extreme Enduro specialist Gerhard Forster during the DirtDays at Penzberg. Forster competed in the "Oldie" class and literally ran circles around the competition. The second placed rider finished two laps behind Forster. The BMW pilot then dominated the superfinal, handing him the prestigious "Master of Dirt" title 2009. 

Master of Dirt 2009 Penzberg 
1. Gerhard Forster, BMW Motorrad Motorsport 
2. Robert Singer 
3. Hannes Berwein 
4. Thomas Günther 
5. Peter Gambs 

______________________

BMW keeps dominating Cross Country
05/05/2009
 
BMW factory rider Simo Kirssi continues to establish himself as one of the world´s best cross country riders. The friendly Finn is dominating Europe´s biggest off road series, the 2009 German Cross Country Championship, just like he did in the past. 
The BMW Motorrad Motorsport representative won round two of the campaign at Walldorf in convincing fashion, as 5,000 spectators were thrilled by top-notch racing, good weather and a well prepared course which included plenty of Enduro 
elements. 

Kirssi gated alright for the two-hour run, right behind his closest rival, Hungary´s Kornel Nemeth. He quickly used the demanding tree section, with its gnarly up- and downhills, to move past Nemeth. Kirssi opened a gap over Nemeth, but saw 
his lead disappear when he dropped the bike after touching a tree. Motocross expert Nemeth answered by racing back to the front, and that´s exactly how the pair came into the pits for the inevitable fuel stop. The BMW boys showed how they have their duties covered, when Kirssi´s crew managed to send their rider first back in the chase.

The second part of the race then belonged to Kirssi out front. The defending champ extended his lead up to 40 seconds by the time when the chequered flag came out. Even more so, he came home almost four minutes ahead of WEC contender Bartosz Oblucki, who rounded out the podium. Renowned Supercross specialist Alexandre Rouis finished fourth. 

The ever-popular Kirssi was greeted by a long line of fans after the podium ceremony, and certainly had a lot of autograph-signing still to do. 

Simo Kirssi: 
"Walldorf is one of my favourites. The start went well and I followed Kornel a little before moving by in the tree section. I enjoyed the tight layout, that´s where I gained the most ground. The lappers really helped by making room, that made the job easier. I made one small mistake and touched a tree with my shoulder, so down I went. I took it as a wake-up call and rode very concentrated afterwards, feeling like I had full control over the race. The BMW 450 is the perfect bike for 
such a track." 

German Cross Country Championship, Rd. 2 Walldorf 
1. Simo Kirssi (FIN), BMW Motorrad Motorsport, BMW G 450 X, 14 laps 2. Kornel Nemeth (HUN), KTM, 14 3. Bartosz Oblucki (POL), Husqvarna, 14 4. Alexandre Rouis (FRA), Yamaha, 14 5. Bert Meyer (GER), Honda, 14 6. Dennis Schröter (GER), KTM, 14 7. Christian Weiß (GER), TM, 14 8. Andy Boller (GER), KTM 450, 14 9. Stefan Ludwig (GER), Husaberg, 14 10. Stefan Geyer (GER), KTM, 13 

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Lower priced Ural "T" model to arrive in June

News from Russia! We received the latest news from Ural and there's some interesting developments.

UPDATE - We've heard from the sole Canadian distributor of Ural's and contrary to the newsletter from Russia, Canada is getting a different version of the "T". See all the details here.

Ural is going to be offering a lower priced model called the "T" and it's going to be available in June according to the helpful folks at Ural who sent us the information.

According to Ural this new model will offer an unbeatable price tag. "We tried to distill the essence of Ural to one lean and clean package - a functional, affordable sidecar motorcycle with a touch of style and a promise of great adventure."

It'll have a price tag of $9,999 - I'm assuming this in US dollars. We'll have to wait a little longer for specifics on the final price here in Canada. But that gets you the 2 year warranty too.

What you don't get is 2-wd, and this model also lacks some of the accessories you'd get with the more expensive models - like a spare wheel, double or bench seat, and rack for the sidecar to name afew.

* I should say that 2-wd is not available on all Ural models with sidecars so that's not really what makes this model cheaper than the other non-2-wd models. It's the accessories.

Ural have said 2-wd fans will not be forgotten, they've got some upcoming news for them as well. We'd guess it's the news about the Sahara coming to North America that we told you about already.

For now though, here's some pictures of the new T-model. Coming in June!

* click the images for larger versions.

Single - tractor style seat, some flat black paint and nice red stripe for contrast.


Leading link forks means this model is to be driven with the sidecar always attached. Ural offers just one sidecar equipped model (The Retro) with traditional telescopic forks so it can be detached from the sidecar and ridden. Leading link forks makes it much easier to ride with the sidecar though - or so I'm told. I haven't had the opportunity to take one of these Ural's for a test ride YET...


No 2-wd on this model and the sidecar lacks the top luggage rack and spare wheel.

- For more details as they're available keep watching our Ural News category or you can visit the Ural website.


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Sons of Anarchy filming now

A report on the FX network’s site indicates that 'Sons of Anarchy' has reportedly begun filming its second season. Creator Kurt Sutter, has indicated that the follow-up to its successful debut year will air around the same time this year, which should mean it comes online sometime around September.

Shooting for the first of the 13-episode order will wrap up in mid-May according to TV Guide.

The network reported another addition to the cast on the upcoming season. They had already announced that Henry Rollins will appear in a six-episode arc but now Adam Arkin will join the cast this year too.

The SAMCRO* (The Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original) club will run into some dealings with Adam Arkin, who plays a white supremacist for a several episode arc.

* You know, I watched the whole first season and just learned that little piece of information researching this. They frequently say SAMCRO in the dialog of the show. Guess I never really thought about it.

Sons of Anarchy has some 5.4 million people to thank for a second season. That's how many tuned in to watch the outlaw motorcycle gang.

Sons of Anarchy stars Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal and Ron Perlman

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May 9th, 2009 - Training Day - Cobourg Ontario

Get yer GPS ready because Rallyconnex is having a Training Day.

Spring Training – Start Location – Orange Motorsports in Baltimore (just north of Cobourg on Hwy 45)

Sign in starts at 8 am. While the GPSs are being loaded we will do a brief classroom session consisting of a brief GPS training, bike set-up and riding techniques. Note the classroom session has been shortened this year so that we can spend more time on the bikes. You will then follow a GPS route to the off road training center. Dress warm during the morning ride, and then shed a layer or two when we get to the training area.

Once there we will split into small groups based on ability and bike size and rotate through several technical training sessions. Sessions include: emergency gravel braking, handling ruts, log crossings, off-camber maneuvers, single track trail, water crossings, low speed jumps, and the ever popular barrel runs. 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 and there are “stock tire” and “aggressive tire” routes to choose from. This event is the perfect way to shake out the cobwebs from a long winter, and learn some new techniques. As usual, the event is fully supported with sweep riders and support truck. There will be space for any bulky luggage in the trailer.

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 also be pink ribbon merchandise available for sale for Mother’s Day gifts, and Gatorade and Power Bars will also be for sale for donations.

All entries are made through our secure Paypal links on our website. Pre-entry is encouraged, to secure yourself some lunch!

Go to www.rallyconnex.com or email us at rallyconnex@gmail.com

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BMW Motorrad Canada - Continues to shrug off economic crisis

BMW Motorrad is a strong performing division of BMW, even in the current challenging financial conditions. BMW Motorrad posted it's best ever motorcycle sales month.

BMW Motorrad Canada set an all time best monthly sales record of 357 units, up 19% compared to April last year. Year-to-date, sales are up 49% to 593 units compared to the same period last year.

In the automobile department - BMW's new flagship 7 series sales were up too, and their BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe sales - up a whopping 295% compared to last April.

It looks like folks with some extra cash kicking around are doing their part to keep the economy and buying up BMW products like hotcakes.

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DUCATI XEROX Rider Haga's hopes are high - first "Home" race coming up

Monza (Italy), Monday 4th May: eight of the 2009 World Superbike season’s twenty-eight races have already been run and Ducati Xerox rider Noriyuki Haga has powered his Ducati 1198 machine as far as the podium in 100% of the races held so far, winning four of them and finishing second in the rest. Next stop Monza, the first of three “home” rounds for the Italian factory squad and their riders, particularly for Noriyuki who resides in Milan.

Noriyuki has led this season’s championship right from the opening round and now holds a 60-point advantage over the chasing pack while Michel’s strong results at Valencia and Assen mean that he maintains his fourth place on the leader board. At this stage last year, heading into fifth round Monza, Noriyuki and Michel found themselves in sixth and thirteenth place respectively in the classification, so for both riders the situation at this point is already much improved with respect to 2008. At the latest round, held two weeks ago in Assen, Noriyuki took his fourth win of the season and a second place while Michel boosted his points total by finishing the two races in ninth and fourth position.

Last month the Ducati Xerox factory squad completed a successful two-day test session at Monza’s Autodromo Nazionale and thus hopes that the work carried out during those days will come to fruition this weekend.

For Noriyuki the event is as close to a “home” race as he gets as, although there is no Japanese round, he has been a resident of Milan for several years, meaning that support for Nitro-Nori, and his Italian team-mate Michel, will definitely not be in short supply.

It is interesting to note that the track has, historically, been extremely kind to the Ducati factory squad, with riders Carl Fogarty, Neil Hodgson, Régis Laconi and Troy Bayliss having tallied up six double wins between them since 1999.

In his role as Ducati ambassador, reigning Superbike World Champion Troy Bayliss will also be present at the track this weekend to support both Noriyuki and Michel and meet with the countless Ducatisti who, in turn, can benefit this year from a dedicated Ducati grandstand, “Ducati Village” and bike park.

Noriyuki Haga (1st in championship, 180 points)

Nori’s recent results at Monza have been outstanding with three wins and a second place finish in the last four races held here in 2008 and 2007, a similar result this year would certainly boost his points advantage.

“We did some testing at Monza recently and it was my first chance to rider the 1198 there. Although we had a few problems, I know these will be resolved for the race weekend. I am already really excited about the Monza race. I am not thinking about the possibility of winning the championship, I just think about each race, taking one weekend at a time. Of course at Monza I hope to win again, especially because it is my home circuit!”

Haga’s Superbike form at Monza:
2008: Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 – winner
2007: Race 1 – winner, Race 2 – winner
2006: Race 1 – 4th, Race 2 – 3rd
2005: Race 1 – 11th, Race 2 – 9th
2004: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – DNF
2002: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – 3rd
2000: Race 1 – DNF , Race 2 – 5th

Michel Fabrizio
(4th in championship, 80 points)

Michel won the Superstock 1000 round here in 2003, the year he went on to take the title in that category, but has not been back on the podium since.

“I am in a hopeful mood ahead of Monza, the first of three “home” races so I want to do well of course. We’ve done some testing there and the results of those tests were very positive. The tyres that Pirelli provided us with performed well and we hope this is the case during the race weekend too. A year ago I finished Race 2 here in fifth place, let’s say that this time around I hope to dramatically improve on that result in front of the Italian fans.”

Fabrizio’s Superbike form at Monza
:
2008: Race 1 – 9th, Race 2 – 5th
2007: Race 1 – 8th, Race 2 – 11th
2006: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – 14th

CIRCUIT DATA
:

Name: Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Country: Italy
Circuit length: 5.793 km
Pole position: Left
Corners left: 5
Corners right: 8
Length of race: 18 laps = 104.274 km

LAP RECORDS
: Best lap – Haga (Yamaha) 1'45.882 (2008). Superpole – Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 1'44.931 (2008).

2008 RESULTS: Race 1 - 1. Neukirchner (Suzuki); 2. Haga (Yamaha); 3. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) Race 2 – 1. Haga (Yamaha); 2. Neukirchner (Suzuki); 3. Kiyonari (Honda)

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Plunging car sales for Honda - Motorcycles sales keeping them profitable

Honda Motor Co. has released its first quarter results and forecast a small profit for 2009. Plummeting car sales have meant substantial cuts. Even the mighty Honda is not immune to the economic conditions further exacerbated by a strong yen. Japan's No 2 automaker indicates their (profitable) motorcycle sales are helping them to fare better than many other automobile makers though.

Business is still pretty good all things considered but to say they are booming would definitely not be the case. Honda saw sales of its motorcycles fall 15.5% in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared the same period the prior year. The motorcycle manufacturer was hit hardest in its own market with the number of units sold in Japan falling nearly 23% over the year before. Although the year to date profits are down 77 percent they're still in much better shape than say, Toyota - who are predicting a big loss this year.

For the financial year to March 31, 2010, Honda expects both an operating profit and a pretax profit of 10-billion yen ($104-million U.S.), narrowly escaping its first loss since the company was founded in 1948, which analysts had expected.

Unlike other major automakers, Honda also has its motorcycle division, which contributed 60 per cent of Honda's operating profit last year.

“Having the motorcycle business is a big strength for us,” Mr. Kondo said.

Honda expects its global car sales to fall 8.7 per cent to 3.21 million vehicles this financial year and motorcycle sales to fall 15 per cent to about 8.6 million.

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Test Our Metal "Demo Ride Day" at Mackie H-D (ON)

Mackie Harley-Davidson is one of the largest exclusive Harley-Davidson Dealerships in the GTA area and they're giving riders a chance to test out a new machine from Harley-Davidson.

WHEN: Saturday, May 9th 2009
TIME: 9am to 4:00pm
LOCATION: Mackie Harley-Davidson® Durham's premier Harley-Davidson® motorcycle dealer, conveniently located off HWY 401 & Thickson Road, at the Whitby/Oshawa border
MORE:
Never ridden a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle? Want to take a different H-D motorcycle model for a ride?

Licensed riders are encouraged to bring proper riding gear and come take advantage of this great opportunity to take one or more of the Harley-Davidson® motorcycles on the demo truck for a ride.

Weather Permitting. First Come, First Serve.

Check out their website here.

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Costco teams up with Vespa Canada for big savings

Well, it looks like your Costco membership just became more useful - and you thought only having to buy toilet paper once a year was good! Vespa Canada and Costco have teamed up with a special offer.

* click the picture for a larger version.

Costco members are now entitled to receive "Exclusive Savings" worth up to $700 with the purchase of any new Vespa or Piaggio scooter.

Here's the basics of the offer -

You've got to be a Costco member and you need to make the purchase between May 1 and June 30, 2009. That gets you:

- A two year extended warranty with a minimum retail price of $400
- Up to $200 towards the purchase of a helmet
- Up to $50 towards the purchase of a pair of gloves
- A $50 Costco Cash card (to be issued by Costco and sent by mail within 2 weeks of the date of purchase).

Visit your local Vespa dealership for full terms and conditions.

Find your local dealership on the Vespa Canada website here.

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Transport Canada - latest motorcycle recalls

Transport Canada posted a recall affecting Yamaha BWS 125's on April 20th/09. Here's all the details:

*Update - We added details of a Ducati 696 recall that we didn't catch when it was released. Details below!

Make, Model, Model Year(s) Affected: YAMAHA, BWS 125, 2009

Transport Canada Recall # 2009115
Recall Date: 2009/04/20
System: Lights And Instruments
Units Affected: 380

Recall Details:


On certain scooters, the taillight bulb does not meet the regulation standards for intensity of illumination for the brake lamp.

A brake lamp which isn't as bright as required could result in following road users being unaware of the driver's intentions, as well as reducing vehicle conspicuity during hours of darkness.

This could result in a vehicle crash causing personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will replace the taillight bulb.

Make, Model, Model Year(s) Affected: Ducati, Monster 696, 2009

Transport Canada Recall # 2009089
Recall Date: 2009/03/26
System: Electrical
Units Affected: 240

Recall Details:

On certain motorcycles, the main wiring harness may contact the vertical cylinder head and become damaged. This could result in a loss of vehicle lighting and/or degradation of engine performance. Failure of the lighting system may result in the following road users being unaware of the rider's intentions, as well as reducing vehicle conspicuity during hours of darkness. This could result in a vehicle crash causing personal injury or death. Correction: Dealers will reposition the wiring harness.

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The Royal Distributing Canadian Enduro Championship - May Newsletter

Here's the latest from the the Royal Distributing Canadian Enduro Championship

May Press Release:

- Blairmore, AB July 4th & 5th
- Penticton, BC July 11th & 12th
- Labelle, PQ September 12th & 13th
- Parry Sound, ON September 19th & 20th

Sponsor News

Suzuki Canada has joined our list of Sponsors! We would like to thank them for getting behind our series and we are looking forward to their involvement this year.

Current sponsor list;
Royal Distributing, Honda, KTM, BMW, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Inside Motorcycles, MXP Magazine, IMX Magazine, Wiesner Insurance, Pirelli, Brian Kurtz Trucking, West Jet, Rekluse

Accommodation update for Blairmore, AB

We received an update this week from the organizers of the Blairmore, AB event. The event will be based at the Crowsnest Center, a convention center near town. If you have not booked a place to stay yet this is the place to call. They have about 30 rooms and some camping available at very attractive rates. Single rooms are $65+tax and double rooms $70+tax. These are very basic rooms and do not have TVs but there is a common room with TV and Internet hook ups.

Campsites in the parking area with power (no water) are $20 per night and tent sites on the grass (no power or water) $10 per night. For campers there is an outside tap at the building to get water and indoors there are washrooms available but no showers.

If you want to book a room or site please call Dawn at 403-562-7314 or email at dawnrigby@shaw.ca and mention you’re with the World Enduro Canada group.

Parry Sound Update

Important news regarding the Parry Sound round of the Canadian Enduro Championships.

The Ontario Camp of the Deaf recently received notice from the Township to suspend all motor racing activity on the property. This property has held Motocross, ATV and Off-Road Truck Racing for years and last year hosted its first Enduro. It comes down to a zoning issue and the owners of the camp are now negotiating with the township to resolve the issue.

The Camp was going to host the final round of the CEC and although we are hopeful they will resolve their issues and fully support their fight to regain control over their land, World Enduro Canada has moved ahead to set up the event in another location. As for the new site for the Parry Sound Grand Prix we will be returning to the great location east of Parry Sound that was the focal point of the two World Championship rounds in 06 & 07. This is a spectacular property, with a wide variety of terrain making it a challenge for the competitors and exciting for spectators. Riders will now be able to ride the same trails and tackle some of the same special tests that the World Champions rode.

In closing we would like to ask everyone to take a few minutes to send a letter to Mayor Conn of Sequin township to let him know how much off road motorcycles can contribute to his communities economy by allowing competition events at the Camp of the Deaf. The Camp with all its facilities, MX tracks, varied terrain and the huge potential for an extensive trail system is something we need in Ontario. With public land getting harder to obtain permission to ride on having a large property like the Camp of the Deaf with owners who openly embrace off road racing is too important to let slip away.

Form letters do little in these situations so send off a short, polite letter to Mayor Conn to express your thoughts. I should point out the Mayor is a nice guy that really enjoyed seeing the World Enduro Championships in Parry Sound. We are hopefull he will understand our point of view and help the Camp to gain the zoning required to resume its racing activities.

Address Letters to;

Mayor Conn
Seguin Township
5 Humphrey Dr
Parry Sound, ON
P2A 2W8

WEC Website

World Enduro Canada’s website has received a total makeover. Please check it out for more detailed information. www.worldendurocanada.com

Transportation
The WEC transportation service has been very well received. At this point there is only a few spots left on the truck heading west for July. If you interested in sending your bike and gear to your away rounds it is important to book a reservation. For more information please contact Trevor Wideman at Brian Kurtz Trucking tjw@kurtztrucking.com or 519-836-5821.

Trevor Wideman
World Enduro Canada

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2010 Ducati Streetfighter to be in dealerships in May 22nd

Just six months after its global unveiling, the 2010 Ducati Streetfighter is on its way to North American Showrooms.

Heralded as “THE bike” for 2009, the Ducati Streetfighter boasts an unprecedented amount of performance for a naked style motorcycle. Loaded with componentry from Ducati’s 2008 World Championship Winning Superbikes, it is guaranteed to outperform any other naked class motorcycle on the market. For the most discerning performance fans, there is an “S” variant available with Ohlins suspension, forged Marchesini wheels, carbon fiber panels, data acquisition and eight way adjustable traction control.

Colors available will include Ducati red and a stunning pearl white for the Streetfighter, and a metallic black in addition to Ducati red for the Streetfighter S.

In anticipation of the Streetfighter’s arrival, Ducati is pleased to announce a priority reservation system for future owners. When a customer places a deposit through the Ducati dealer network, he or she is added to Ducati’s priority delivery list and is guaranteed delivery of the first Streetfighter available. Interest in the Streetfighter is at an all time high with gleaming press reviews about to hit newsstands. This priority reservation system will ensure Ducati fans get seat time on their new Streetfighter as soon the bikes hit dealerships.

To celebrate the arrival of the newest Ducati model, participating dealers will be taking part in a weekend of activities May 22-23rd. Kicking off the weekend on Friday the 22nd, dealers nationwide will hold an evening launch party where attendees can view the Streetfighter and the rest of the new Ducati range firsthand. This will set the scene for the action on Saturday, when dealerships will let their first bike loose for demo rides and activities at the shop. Interested customers can contact their local dealership in order to confirm their participation and schedule a ride on the newest jewel in the Ducati crown.

For more information on the revolutionary new Streetfighter, and for a list of participating open house dealers, please visit the North American events section of Ducati's website.

We'll save you the trouble of finding participating Canadian dealerships - here's the list:

ALBERTA

Revoluzione Cycle Imports, 2600 Portland St SE, Suite 2030, Calgary, AB T2G 4M6, 403-269-2220, www.revoluzione.com/home

BRITISH COLUMBIA

John Valk Motorsport, 278 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Y 3T2, 604-731-5505
www.johnvalkducati.ca

Richmond Motorsport, 21320 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC V6V 2X5, 604-276-8513
www.richmondmotorsport.com

SouthWest Ducati, 3575 Alcan Rd, Kelowna, BC V1X 7R3, 250-807-2697, www.southwestmotorrad.com

NEW BRUNSWICK

Atlantic Motoplex, 950 Champlain St, Dieppe, NB E1A 1P8, 506-383-1022
www.atlanticmotoplex.ca

ONTARIO

Ducati Toronto, 25 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M5V 2P1, 416-703-0808
www.ducatitoronto.com

GP Bikes, 156 Harwood Ave S, Ajax, ON L1S 2H6, 905-428-8983
www.gpbikes.com

Inglis Cycle Center, 466 McCormick Blvd, London, ON N5W 4C5, 519-455-3840
www.ingliscycle.com

QUEBEC

Ducati Montreal, 6816 St-Laurent, Montreal, QC H25 3C7, 514-658-0610
www.ducatimontreal.com

Monette Sports, 251 Blvd des Laurentides, Laval, QC H7G 2T7, 450-668-6466
www.monettesports.com

Moto Vanier, 776 Boulevard Hamel, Quebec, QC G1M 2R3, 418-527-6907
www.motovanier.com

SASKATCHEWAN

Thunder City Power & Leisure, 1250 St John St, Regina, SK S4R 1R9, 306-352-8697
www.thundercity.ca

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Motorcycle Experience Episode 11 will air this Saturday

Toyota Truck presents Motorcycle Experience, Saturday May 02 at 13:00 pm*


What to expect this week:

- Dave takes a closer look at off road riding schools
- Former national Sportbike Champion Clint McBain talks about his weekly motorcycle practice
- Yamaha’s Bryan Hudgin “gets defensive” during Scooter Sense
- Dave’s weekly guest rider samples the Kawasaki 250 Ninja
- Dave and Norm wrap up some of the loose ends during their Ultimate Ride in California

Episode 11 – Air Times on TSN and TSN HD

Saturday, May 02 at 13:00 pm*
Thursday, May 07 at 16:30 pm*
Sunday, May 10 at 00:30 am*
Tuesday, May 12 at 04:00 am*

*All times eastern

Don’t forget to join show host Dave Hatch and all his friends at the 7th Annual Ride to Remember at the Picton Airport in 4 weeks!

Check out the R2R event website for all the details: www.ridetoremember.ca

Saturday June 6 in Prince Edward County … This year we remember Maxime Mercier!

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Explore Atlantic Canada and get a discount at Lakeview hotels

If you're traveling in or to Atlantic Canada Lake View Hotels you might want to check out Lakeview Inns and Suites or Country Inns and Suites. Both offer a special Motorcycle Rate. I'm told it's a good savings so remember to ask for it when booking.

In addition to your discounted rate the hotels offer free movies, free breakfast, and free Internet.

The participating locations are as follows:

Lakeview Inns & Suites
Ph 1.877.355.3500

- Bathurst, NS, 777 St Peter Avenue, Ph: 506.548.4949
- Fredericton, NB, 665 Prospect Street, Ph: 506.459.0035
- Miramichi, NB, 333 King George Hwy, Ph: 506.627.1999
- Halifax, NS, 98 Chain Lake Drive, Ph: 902.450.3020
- Summerside, PEI, 195 Harbour Drive, Ph: 902436.3333

Country Inns & Suites
Ph 1.800.456.4000

- Saint John, NB, 1011 Fairville Boulevard, Ph: 506.635.0400
- Moncton, NB, 2475 Mountain Road, Ph 506.852.7000
- Dartmouth, NS, 101 Yorkshire Ave Extension, Ph: 902.465.4000
- New Glasgow, NS, 700 Westville Road, Ph 902-928-1333

Visit Lakeview online to get more details about these participating locations.

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KTM and Bajaj to introduce 125cc motorcycle 2011

KTM has announced that a result of a collaboration with Bajaj will make its way to Europe in 2011. It'll be a 125cc street going motorcycle. It's slated to enter production in 2010 for the 2011 model year.

Further collaboration is expected - they want to produce a 250cc as well, but this first model is destined for the European market and will be presented at the EICMA international motorcycle exhibition in Milan in November. The Indian spec bike 125cc model will be unveiled at the Delhi motor show in January 2010.

It's reported that the two small-capacity bikes will be liquid-cooled single-cylinder 4-strokes. I don't know if these KTM's will be "Ready to Race" but they'll definitely give KTM access to a huge new market.

Bajaj had announced their intention to collaborate with KTM on a motorcycle back in December. In February, Bajaj Auto International Holding B.V. raised its stake in KTM Power Sports AG from 26.22 percent to 31.72 percent. Bajaj has progressively increased its stake in KTM since acquiring its initial 15.23 percent share in Nov. 2007.

Note - this picture is not necessarily what the KTM-Bajaj 125cc will look like. It's a Bajaj model though!

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