A chronology of bikes, roads, rallies and anything and everything motorcycle related

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Pretty in Pink

2007 Pink Hibiscus Honda Jazz
For those of you who know me, its no secret that pink is way up there in my list of favourite colours. When I got my M2 my dad even custom ordered me a bubblegum pink helmet.  Pink and motorcycles however, is not a combination that is common on the roads (although I question why).  One of the only examples I know of off the top of my head was the 'Pink Hibiscus' Honda Jazz Scooter from 2007 (which I begged and begged for, but for some reason my dad thought that when the time came to sell it no one would buy it..).

2004 Harley Davidson Sportster $5,500

But since this option is no longer available new, nor is it an actual motorcycle, I decided to do a little google search and see what options are on the market right now for the fearless female who isn't shy about rocking a little pink.

The answer.... Nothing.

I did however find some great examples of people who didn't let this lack of pink on the market discourage them and actually went and customized their bikes themselves.

2001 Triumph Speed Triple $3,490

This idea of customization then raises the question of how much does it cost to get bikes like these all dolled up in pink? In Ontario, a paint job like the pink ones shown here will cost you about $500 in supplies alone.  If your not quite sure you have the talent to do the job yourself yourself, a professional paint job will usually start around $800 and take about a week, although different companies may quote differently depending on the bike.

If you're not prepared to commit to a full out pink bike though, you can also take the route I did and settle with a pink helmet or even a pink leather jacket.

Monday, 20 February 2012

The Great Ocean Road

With reading week fast approaching, there is one thing on students minds: vacation. And who can blame them? Who doesn't love a little sun, surf and relaxation. In my search for a new motorcycle destination to write about this week I came across a highway that seemed to offer all three of those things to riders: The Great Ocean Road. Too bad its half way around the world in Australia though, if it was a little closer I think it would make a pretty great reading week destination. 

The Great Ocean Road
The road starts in Melbourne, although you have to travel 130km before the fun begins. When I say 'fun' I'm referring to the sandy beaches, large waves and surf on one side and breathtaking mountain ranges on the other. You'll also encounter historical ports, whale lookouts and national parks. In total, this two lane highway is 260km long and has a speed limit that never exceeds 80km / hour.

This road isn't just another pretty stretch of highway though. Built in 1919 by soldiers who had returned from World War I, the Great Ocean Road was constructed by hand, using shovels, wheelbarrows and explosives. It is now the worlds largest war memorial, dedicated to the fallen soldiers of World War I.

The nice thing for motorcyclists about this highway is that although it can be a bit of a tourist trap, with lots of cars and RV's, there are lots of passing sections and a few slow lanes that these vehicles can pull into. Another appeal is that even though the speed limit is lower, this road offers all the bends and tight corners that motorcyclists seem to crave. A word of advice though for all you thrill seekers and rebels; a common complaint about this road is the abundance of cops and speed traps, so try to stick to the speed limit!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The Top Ten

It has been brought to my attention that certain readers seem to think they won't find this blog interesting since they don't have an interest in bikes. Initially I was offended, but then decided to take this comment as more of a challenge than an insult. To help appeal to those readers who aren't big motorcycle enthusiasts, I've compiled a list of ten quirky facts about motorcycles that anyone can enjoy.

1. Devil, Satan and Lucifer have all been names of motorcycle manufactures.

2. The worlds fasted motorcycle is the Dodge Tomahawk, which can reach speeds of 560 km/h and uses just a 2 speed manual transmission.
The Dodge Tomahawk

3.The first Harley Davidson motorcycle built in 1903 used a tomato can for a carburetor.

4. The Longest Motorcycle jump in the world is 107.29m long, set by Robbie Maddison in Melbourne Australia. 

5. The worlds biggest motorcycle was built by Greg Dunham, and is 15-foot high, 25-foot-long and is steered from a cage below the handlebars. The bike took three years to build, weighs 6,500 pounds and cost $300,000. 
Dunham and his creation
6. In 2010, in Canada, over one hundred and thirteen thousand new units of motorcycles, scooters and ATVs were sold at an estimated retail value of 1,417,850,000 dollars.

7. The worlds first million dollar motorcycle was a Harley Davidson designed by Jack Armstrong
The Million Dollar Harley
8. Motorcycles and scooters are, on average, about twice as fuel efficient as cars

9. 'Evel Knievel' is one of the worlds most famous motorcycle stuntmen. Some of his notable feats include jumping over 19 cars (1971), jumping over 13 Mack trucks (1974), and jumping over 13 double-decker buses (1975). 
Evel Knievel jumping 13 double decker buses
10. The worlds heaviest motorcycle was built in Germany and weights 10,470 lb.
The Harzer Bike Schmiede

Thursday, 9 February 2012

For all the “Petite” Riders out there..

Standing tall at 5’0, finding a bike that I could comfortably handle without standing on my tippy toes at every stop sign and intersection proved to be a bit of a challenge.  But as more and more people are starting to get into riding motorcycles, including an increase in women, the motorcycle industry is starting to adapt to the trend of the smaller, female rider.

The new Softtail Slim 
For the 2012 lineup, Harley Davidson has shaved down there classic Softtail and introduced the newest member to the Softtail family, the ‘Softtail Slim’. Essentially it's the Softtail, but with all of the ‘fancy stuff’ removed, leaving a vintage exposed steel look.  The pro of this strip down is it gives the bike the lowest seat height for HDs yet, at 23.9 inches (heights range from 24 - 36 inches) off the ground. The one con to this HD though may be its price point, starting at a base price of $15,499, it may be a bit out of some peoples budgets.   

For those of you petite riders who arent ready to drop that amount of money on a new bike, heres a few lower bikes I found that are a little bit more reasonably priced:

Honda Rebel: 26.6 Inch Seat Height, $4999 (new) 
Honda Shadow VLX: 25.6 Inch Seat Height, $5399 (new)

Buell Blast - 25.5 Inch Seat Height - $4795 (new, although no longer in production, so only used ones are on the market)

Friday, 3 February 2012

Bike Weeks, Rallies and Rides

At the end of my last post, The Sunshine State, I included a picture of the ‘bike week’ that takes place annually in Key West.  This made me curious as to what other kind of biking events go on, so I turned to my best friend Google and did a little research. 

Since biking and biker enthusiasm is growing in popularity with people of different ages and demographics, there are 100s of different events that take place around the world for various types of riders everywhere.  Since the results of typing ‘bike week’ into Google provide you with enough information to keep you entertained for a year or two, I’ve narrowed down the top 3 biking events I feel every biking enthusiast should attend.

Jay Leno has been the Grand Marshall for the event since 85'
An annual charity motorcycle ride, held both in southern California and Switzerland, that has raised over 22 million dollars in its 25 years of running.  This money has been donated to Organizations such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Special Olympics of Southern California.  Unfortunately, it was cancelled in 2009 due to the economy, but made a comeback in 2010.   
A bride and her wedding party at Daytona Bike Week 

2.  Daytona Bike Week
The most popular bike rally in the United States, Daytona Bike Week attracts over 500,000 people every year for its 10 day event that includes bike races, concerts and street festivals.  A large part of the appeal is that bikers get the opportunity to ride ‘The Loop’, a short stretch of road that is described as every motorcyclists dream because of its curves and scenery. 

The 25km long parade that took place at the EBF in 2011

3.  European Bike Week
An annual free biking festival that takes place every year in Austria and attracts around 70,000 visitors.  The European Bike Week was started by Harley Davidson and is known for its custom bike shows, concerts, parade, and its mile long stretch of dealers and vendors.