My wife Marti has been watching all the bike and sled projects being built around here for the past 25 years. She actually learned to ride on one of my old race bikes back in the 80s, in a shopping mall parking lot on a Sunday. For the past 15 yrs Marti’s been riding around on a tricked out ’99 Fatboy, last of the EVOs, that I leaned on for her.
One day this past August, Marti turned to me and said, “I want a pink sportbike, with a matching pink outfit.”
Dual Sport Plus owner Rob Long, General Manager Clint MacBride and their friendly staff welcomed hundreds of adventure enthusiasts to the new location at 581 West Street in Brantford, ON on November 8 for an open house to celebrate the next era of Dual Sport Plus. Former owners Les Clarke and Catharine St. Denis took a break from their No Agenda World Tour, flying up from Arizona to greet new and former customers. Industry stalwarts present included Larry Bastedo, Warren Milner, BMW’s Chris Duff, Honda’s Kim Moore and several others.
It was not long after the first automobiles and motorcycles were produced that drivers and riders were testing the limits of top speed. And with all the recent press on Kawasaki's 300-horsepower Ninja H2R, one of the questions many people have is, of course, "What'll she do?"
At the final round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship this year, held at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Saturday's Superbike race was held in very wet conditions while Sunday's race was in near-perfect sunny and cool weather. Comparing data from the two races provides some insight into how the rider adapts to those conditions, and we can even put some numbers on those aspects.
Over the years, there have been many great road racers that have got their racing careers started, or at the very least moving swiftly, by racing flat track. A few of the more recent are the legendary Hayden brothers and Jason DiSalvo. The Canadian flat track scene has seen a reversal of this trend in the past month, however, as four former and current pro road racers have shown up to have some fun in the dirt.
July was a busy month. First I spent a week in Japan testing for the Suzuka 8 Hour Endurance race. I had a crash, but I also learned the circuit with respectable lap times, came to terms with the challenging Yamaha R1 powerband, and started coming to terms with the special 'Suzuka' Dunlop tires (I use the term started lightly!).
I always get a chuckle when I receive an email with “race-winning data” to look at, as if it is somehow different or special compared to, well…data that didn’t win the race. It makes me smile because quite often there is not much to be learned from such data, contrary to what we logically think would be the case.
When the temperature rises, it is important to avoid overheating and dehydration. A recent group ride took a nasty turn when one of the fellows passed out at 110 km/h. I was out in front and didn’t see the calamity, but the riders who were at the tail of the group said it was one of the most distressing things they had ever seen. After a battery of tests, it was deemed that the rider had simply lost consciousness due to dehydration. Luckily, besides getting to go shopping in a few months to replace his two-month old Triumph Trophy, he only suffered a broken arm.
The new riders of today have no idea how good they have it. With cellphones, laptops, texting, Facebook and so on, communication before, during and after the races is amazing compared to what it was like a couple of decades ago. I’m sure if youngsters Adrian St. Amand or Jordan Molnar could gather around the rocking chairs of grizzled veterans Chris Evans or John Parker, they would hear tales of how it was in the ‘old’ days.