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Archive for April, 2008

April 30, 2008

Never Say Never 2


Conclusion…….Continued from part 1,

I was prepared to tell my fiancée that if she wanted me to quit riding I would, since I was expected to get married to her in two months. But to my surprise she encouraged me to keep going if that’s what I wanted to do; she’s the best, 100% supportive.first-crash-02.jpg
Over the 8 days I was in hospital I had visits from various friends and family with their well wishes. My best friend Doug even brought me misc. parts of my bike he found still on the side of the road. John Bayliss even stopped by a couple of times to update me on the racing at Mosport.
After finally getting stitched up with 40+ stitches in my knee I was finally allowed to leave the hospital to go home. The doctors wouldn’t let me go back to work right away so I got stuck at home for awhile. This gave me time to talk to various people and piece together the events of that night, talk to insurance companies, and go and have a look at my crashed bike.first-crash-03.jpg

I felt my bike wasn’t in to bad of shape but the insurance company wanted to write it off anyway so I ended up getting a brand new 2002 Yamaha YZF-R6 which I currently still own and ride.

Physically, I’m not too bad. After 8+ months of physiotherapy learning to walk again, I was able to keep my original knee even though it was suggested that a replacement one was a very close possibility. I’m missing some cartilage in my knee and have a nice scar. The knee is quite functional with the occasional aches and pains with weather and fatigue after a long day of abusing it.rehab.jpg
I still suffer from back pain and have regular visits with the massage therapist to relax the muscles with lots of stretching my back in between.
All in all I function pretty well and am able to do most of the items I enjoy but some are definitely out like motocross and downhill skiing because of the type of damage to the knee I sustained.

So what have I learned?

  • Need to wear all of your gear. I was wearing only a jacket, gloves, helmet, with jeans and running shoes at the time. In hindsight, I think that my leather pants may have limited the damage to my leg and the boots definitely would have saved my sprained ankle & broken big toe.
  • Expect the unexpected. It’s amazing just how fast things happen so always be on your toes and keep those eyes busy looking for potential problems
  • Improve my skill set on a Motorcycle. I’m sure I maybe could have done a couple of things different in the way I reacted based on my skill set today. But I was a novice back then so off to riding school and the track for me.

Bryan Fil

We’ll leave you on a positive note with this advance ‘peek’ of our latest 30 second cruiser ad:

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April 22, 2008

Motorcycle Passion In Japan

The Passions alive and well!

I was in Japan in December and I can report the motorcycle culture is alive and well. It’s just a little different. Of course there are recreational riders. There are many large displacement sport bikes and cruisers ridden by enthusiasts. There are also many who ride small displacement motorcycles and scooters because they are economical. They are cheap transportation!

In rural Japan you’ll see abundance of old ‘step-thru’ models driven by elderly people which must have a million kilometers on them. The elderly are thrifty and appreciate how inexpensive small displacement motorcycles can be for transportation.

The motorcycle museums also reflect strongly, the passion the Japanese have for their motorcycles. Having been to the Yamaha head office in Iwata for a week I had the opportunity to view the spectacular collection of motorcycles on display atpic_001.jpg the Communication Plaza, which is located next to the head office. We visited the Plaza daily to “take lunch” at the café on the top floor. On display was a 1955 YA-1, 1966 YDS, a 1969 DT-1, 1971 XS650, well you ge the idea, just about every significant motorcycle Yamaha has ever built. The Yamaha Communication Plaza is open to the public on the weekends. So if you’re ever in Iwata

I also had the opportunity to visit the Honda Collection Hall at Motegi. The Honda collection highlights the Japanese motorcycle industry and even had about a dozen Yamaha motorcycles on display, a YA-1 (that brings the total to 4, for the number I saw during my visit), more YDS’s, a DT-1, Jog scooter, RZ250, TZ125 and a TZ750. pic_007.jpgThey even had a Yamaha grand piano, which was played on the hour by a young Japanese woman. What a beautiful way to view the motorcycle collection. The only thing more stimulating to the ears was the audio display which played the exhaust sound of Jim Redman’s RC166 4 cylinder and Mike Hailwood’s 6 cylinder 250 cc GP motorcycles. Then there was Freddie Spencer’s NS500, the weapon he used during the 1983 GP season to do battle with Kenny Roberts on his YZR500, the sound of the motorcycles was truly music to the ears. Nothing like a 2-stroke on the “pipe”

So, if you’re ever in Motegi…

dme-entrance.JPGOther must see motorcycle collections are the Barber Motorsports Museum in Alabama, and the Deeley Museum in Vancouver. I’m also told the National Motorcycle Museum in England is fabulous, but I haven’t been there yet!

Have you been to any motorcycle collections worth visiting? Let me know, I’m always looking for more places to visit.

T. Chelli

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April 15, 2008

“Join the Club”

by Chris Anderson

I recently decided to “put my money where my mouth is” and buy a scooter. I’ve always wanted one and when this little beastie came along I couldn’t say no. So, now I’m the proud owner of a 2006 blue BWs scooter. Now what?

I remember reading Max Burns in a Cycle Canada article, where he laments the song of the sidewalk commando. I’m sure you’ve heard it….”I used to have a bike, but I had no-one to ride with…..so I sold it. Gee, I really miss it”.sc1.jpg

Now, that’s never been my style, but I know the fun quotient goes way up the more people you ride with. So I got on the internet and surfed some websites particular to the type of club I needed. It’s amazing how much information there is. I chose a scooter club in Toronto and “signed-up”. Then I bookmarked the page and every couple of days, I check messages and events to see what’s coming up.

The best thing about a club is the knowledge the other members have. Even though I’m a motorcycle / powersports technician, my experience with scooters is limited. There’s other mechanics who are members as well as people from all sc2.jpgwalks of life. I can definitely see the advantage of associating with one’s own kind, especially if you’re trying something new. At the first Meet-Up, I got to shake hands with a few of the organizers and some very cool members. We chatted about insurance, performance issues, traffic, and a bunch of stuff.

If I had purchased a Yamaha Star cruiser bike, I could have joined the Star Riders. Or if I had an ATV, maybe this club in Haliburton where I sometimes ride. The possibilities are endless. So, if you think you’re alone out there, think again. Fun and events maybe just a click away. Why not join the club? I did. cheers CA

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April 9, 2008

Inside a Factory Test Ride 2

PART 2 – Directors Cut – Photo Extravaganza!

Hey Everyone, Huggy here.

When I went back to the “My Pictures” folder to get those from the the Inside a Factory Test Ride piece, I had a lot of other photos from the trip that I thought might interest you. I figured I would post them here and give a brief description of each and you could question/comment on them any which way you liked.

You will have to excuse me though, as I didn’t have this piece in mind when I was ‘snapping’ away back in May, I was merely taking from a personal interest standpoint. Regardless, it will give you some extra shots to look at.

 

 

mt-fuji-train.jpgMt. Fuji is a proud symbol of the Japanese people. An elderly man nudged me when speeding by on the bullet train, pointing it out to me as I was dozing off. I could read the appreciation on his face when I took the picture and displayed it to him. When I tell this story to friends and family, I refer to him as Mr. Fuji.


The view from my hotel room. When real estate is at a premium, you get creative. eco-roof.jpgIt’s a win-win situation.

1. Extra green space for employees to walk around on.

2. The building is much easier to cool in the summer when there isn’t black tar and pavement magnifying the sun and heat.

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Probably the cleanest city I’ve ever been in.

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It’s not exactly “This is My Yamaha, What kind of Yamaha are you?” – but it works.

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When you enter Yamaha Motor Company, you immediately walk into the spectacular Communication Plaza, kind of a Yamaha museum, displaying important models and machines that have helped to shape Yamaha.

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View to the right, including 1967 Toyota 2000GT, the first time we partnered with them by building the twin cam six engine.

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Over 50 years of Yamaha = over 2 floors of product

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The piano sure does get a lot of leg room eh?

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Commuter bikes

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Small engine bikes, including leg-powered models

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For all you gearheads!

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I didn’t leave out you bench racers.

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If you can remember riding these the first time, you’re a true Yamaholic!

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A couple of dandy’s!

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The bike that got us going. Timeless styling eh?

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Rossi’s 2006 weapon

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Chad Reed’s San Manuel YZ

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Rossi in the red and white livery

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Our first foray into 4-stroke Snocross

I wish I could share the rest of the snap shots I hold in my mind but you really must visit Japan some day to really get a sense of their ancient culture and modern day history … until next time

 

cheers

‘Huggy’

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