Canadian Motorcycle News

Canadian Motorcycle News

A couple of brand new Honda’s (CB1100A and VFR1200X) were dropped off here recently and my buddy Gilbert and I couldn’t resist going on a pre ride with both motorcycles over the long weekend.

A lot of folks have been asking me what I thought of the VFR1200X. Well, the big impression with this motorcycle, has got to be the terrific engine. Hands down. I mean, the V4 engine sounds great in this configuration (new cams and ECU programming) and the torque is terrific everywhere up and down the rev range. The fly by wire throttle delivers superb feel and the sound from the single pipe is sweet. The adjustable suspension pieces are a nice touch here and the handling is superb. Everything has been nicely calibrated to allow both single and two up riding. I really like how this bike handled. Linked anti lock braking is standard and totally up to the job while the crossed laced spoke wheels were perfect for the pavement. And they managed „ok” on the hard packed dirt roads we explored. To make your touring life easier, the VFR1200X comes with a really nifty adjustable, on the fly, windscreen, heated grips, hand protectors, a hand 12 volt power socket for your GPS. You can also order the optional hard bag luggage system with internal liner bags. The system is top drawer, however there were a couple of minor gripes. The saddle was a bit of a let down it’s been sculpted to allow for riders with a shorter inseam to be able to reach the ground. Great for shorter riders. not so great for my glutes! After a couple of hours of riding, I found myself thinking that if I owned this motorcycle, I’d probably swap the saddle our for something with more cushion. The other tiny pet peeve? I don’t know if it’s my aging eyes, but I really found the instrument pod a tad lacking. Maybe it was because I was jumping back and forth with the CB1100A. A retro standard motorcycle with two great sweeping analogue gauges. I dunno. Not a huge deal. But I’d love to see a bigger info screen on this puppy. Overall though, I loved the VFR1200X. If you are looking for a bike that can pretty much take you anywhere as long as the road is mostly paved. A motorcycle with lots of room to stretch out and move around. A motorcycle with a great suspension set up that delivers great handling when the road turns twisty. If you like throaty, torque loaded engines with unique character that delivers plenty of power across the width of the power band, then this is the bike for you!

Also, don’t forget that we will be once again throwing a party for fans of our TV show at the end of September and you are all invited to ride out and join in the celebration! That’s right, our Prince Edward County based motorcycle television show will play host on Saturday, September 24 at the Hillier Creek Estate Winery just south of Trenton, Ontario in the heart of the County’s wine region. As you know, our long running TV show, which is shot primarily in Prince Edward County has been on the air for over 27 years, and as the show’s presenter, yamaha r6 fairings I’m looking forward to playing host down in the County from 8:30am to 3:30pm. Once again the Honda Canada demo ride crew will be on hand providing motorcycle demo rides and party favours. Plus this year I’m happy to announce that we’ve partnered up with the local, Eastern Shield chapter of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group and they will be on hand with a large vintage motorcycle display.

Meanwhile in Episode 4, my riding buddy Norm Wells and I ride through the valley of fire east of Las Vegas, Nevada and wind up stealing home plate. Then during this weeks „Red Adventure”, former professional road racer turned expert enduro rider, Toni Sharpless looks at under armour. While on the subject of body protection, our resident riding Instructor Clinton Smout will stop by this week to discuss the riding shoulder seasons. Plus motorcycle journalist, Colin Fraser will roll up with some advice on shopping for a used set of wheels while looking back at a 2007 Harley Davidson Night Rod.

Earlier this week I was out in the Ganaraska Forest just south of Kirby, Ontario, shooting a pile of new Red Adventure riding features with two of my favourite off road riding buddies, Lawrence Hacking and Toni Sharpless. When it comes to off road racing and riding, nobody knows more than Lawrence Hacking. This guy has raced in the International Six Days, the Baja 1000, the Mexican 1000 and the Paris to Dakar. Trust me, when we get together, I always learn something new. As for Toni, we go all the way back to 1990 when she made her first appearance on Motorcycle Experience testing a Yamaha FZR600. The first time I met Toni, I could tell that she had motor oil in her veins. Toni is such a spark and is always a pleasure to hang with. She’s raced professionally as a road racer at such prestigious events as the Daytona 200, the Suzuka 8 hour, the Bol d’Or and the 24 hours of LeMans. Now that’s an impressive resum! More recently she’s been hitting the enduro trail here in Ontario and again, this gal has compiled an amazing wealth of knowledge when it comes to adventure riding. Be sure to check out her feature this week on the show. Anyway, we all had a blast out in the Gani. And speaking of Motorcycle Experience.

On this week’s edition of Motorcycle Experience, we will kick off the show by asking long time viewer, Mark Russell to sample Triumph Motorcycle’s hugely popular tribute to the caf racers of the late 1960’s, the Thruxton. Then Norm Wells and I will continue our Ultimate Ride down in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year we’ve rented a couple of BMW GSs and we’re taking in the amazing scenery out in the Nevada desert. This week on day 2 we tackle the all important question of where to grab lunch.

On Shifting Gears, SMART riding instructor Clinton Smout looks at extending the riding season and Senior Editor Colin Fraser stops by to discuss the art of shopping for a used set of wheels, while looking back at Harley Davidson’s 2007 Night Rod. And during this week’s „Red Adventure” segment Toni Sharpless, will talk about what to wear under your adventure riding Jacket.

Also, don’t forget that I’ve been invited to head up to Whitehorse next month to help host their TELUS Ride For Dad event on June 11th. 2004 suzuki gsxr 600 fairings I plan to be there for the whole weekend as this is a super worthy cause and I’m sure that it’s going to be a blast. To date, some 250,000 people have helped to raise over 16 million dollars in the fight against prostate cancer and now you can add me to the growing number of folks who want to help out. There are some 40 communities across Canada hosting a Ride For Dad right now so please sign up and join a ride near you. You’ll be glad you did.

Keep your right hand cranked!A message from Dave Hatch:

Well the wait and winter is finally over! May’s arrival means that it’s officially time to get out and ride and watch Motorcycle Experience on TSN.

This year we have changed our format slightly, added a new official charity for the show and picked up a new riding apparel supplier. First up, lets talk about the new show line up. Here’s what you’ll see on this week’s episode: On this jam packed edition of Motorcycle Experience, we will kick off our 27th season on TSN by sampling Honda Canada’s all new Africa Twin out in Victoria, BC. Then Norm Wells and I will kick start our 15th BMW Ultimate Ride down in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year we’ve rented a couple of GS’s from EagleRider and plan to double down on some amazing scenery and roads out in the Nevada desert. Then, during our brand new „Red Adventure” segment, expert off road racer, Lawrence Hacking, will examine the exploding sport of adventure riding. On Shifting Gears, SMART riding instructor Clinton Smout tackles the sand and gravel and Senior editor Colin Fraser will wrap up the first episode by stopping by to discuss the art of shopping for a used set of wheels, all the while looking back at a 2006 Suzuki 650 bandit.

During many of these segments you’ll note that I’m now wearing the latest riding gear from Olympia Moto Sports. They came on board with us late last fall and, I gotta say, I really like how they design their products. The gear is really well made, fits me perfectly, and I like their price point. I was wearing one of their Expedition suits during the shooting of this year’s Ultimate Ride in Las Vegas and it was a perfect choice for the chilly (5 degrees every day) Nevada desert.

Also new for 2016 is our official charity, the Ride for Dad. I’m heading up to Whitehorse this summer to help host their TELUS Ride For Dad event on June 11th. I plan to be there for the whole weekend as this is a super worthy cause. To date, some 250,000 people have helped to raise over 18 million dollars in the fight against prostate cancer and now you can add me to the growing number of folks who want to help out.

There are 40 communities across Canada hosting a Ride For Dad this year so please sign up and join a ride near you. You will be glad you did.

Keep your right hand cranked!This week you can catch the last airing of Motorcycle Experience for 2015.

You know, since this is our 26th season of Motorcycle Experience, I figure we’ve sampled some three hundred and thirty five brand new motorcycles over the years. Everything from cruisers, standards and tourers to adventure tourers, sport bikes, naked bikes, and scooters. As you know, every season we invite viewers and fans of the show to spend twelve weeks riding and sampling the very latest and greatest motorcycles on offer from our friends in the motorcycle industry. ninja 300 fairings And this year has been no different. Case in point: recently we sampled the very latest in hard chrome cruisers fresh off the Project Rushmore drawing board from the folks at Harley Davidson. The latest big displacement adventure touring tool from Yamaha, the Super Tnr also drew high praise. We then sampled a couple of the very latest six cylinder touring platform motorcycles from the Honda menu while a pair of very cool all new, all ’rounder middle weights from both Yamaha and Honda turned heads along with a couple of all new small displacement sportbikes earning a very big round of applause. And speaking of sportbikes, big displacement, high performance sports machines also took centre stage this year with Honda’s fully amalgamated, super rare CBR 1000RR SP, and BMW Motorrad’s naked roadster, the S1000R put smiles on our collective faces and drew standing ovations. Heck, I’d even throw Harley’s prototype all electric into the mix if it were not for the fact that a motorcycle has to be available for purchase in order to qualify for our bike of the year honours. All in all, at the risk of sounding like I’m bragging, it was a really great year to be a motorcycle journalist. So out of all the bikes we sampled this season, which one was worthy enough to win our coveted bike of the year? Well, tune in to find out who takes home the prize as the winner of our 2015 Motorcycle Experience Bike of the Year!

Also this week OPP Constable Anthony Mann proves that practice does indeed make perfect. While on this season’s Ultimate Ride Norm Wells and I discuss our next Ultimate destination. Then, during our „Winging It” segment Ken Edick discusses why he rides while during „Shifting Gears,” I throw a leg over Harley Davidson’s all electric Livewire.

For those of you joining us at Wings over the County next Saturday, September 26. see you there!

Keep your right hand cranked!


On this edition of Motorcycle Experience, the pride of the OPP gets a taste of the real world, while on this season’s Ultimate Ride we reach our ultimate destination, Perc Rock. Then, during our „Winging It” segment, touring expert Ken Edick creates his own isolation booth and Shifting Gears editor Jenn Martin takes a closer look at high tech rain gear.

But before we get to all that, we’ll be road testing BMW’s S1000R. This sharp edge, fly by wire, real world street fighter was sent into the ring late last year, and at first blush the tale of the tape would suggest that this is a stripped down version of BMW’s hugely successful racetrack ready super sport, the S1000 double R. But that would really be selling this bike short because this thing is impressive. Sure there’s ponies under the fairing in the R (a proclaimed 160 in all) and, yes, the weight is there (it’s three kilo’s more then a double R) but what really impresses here is the usable power delivery and the electronic goodies. It comes with the now de rigueur ABS braking and accompanying ASC (Automatic Stability Control) but you also get the combination knock out punch that comes with selectable, on the fly, DDC electronic power delivery mode designed for both wet and dry conditions. And there’s selectable DDC, electronic suspension set up modes and if that’s not enough leading edge technology for you, you can also order the S1000R with an HP gear shift assist probe. it’s all pretty trick.

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