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May 5, 2011

The Moberg Report: Western Power Tour kicks off!

Yamaha’s Annual Motorcycle Power Tour is on! Coordinator Jamie Moberg checked in with this update and photos from stop #1 on Vancouver Island:

The 1st Stop of the Western Canada Yamaha Motorcycle Power Tour started out with a great response, with fantastic weather and a full day of riding 2011 Yamaha Motorcycles. The Staff of Duncan Motorsports, Vancouver Island, BC, were extremely positive about their Power Tour day and it showed by the turn out of riders … some all the way from Victoria … on a Wednesday!

With a possible total of 88 rides throughout the day, 87 rides went out …  all positive. The Stratoliner Deluxe was the ride of the day as it was booked up for rides before any of the others. A popular choice!

See attached pictures for a better visual on the day.  The guy with the Yamaha Tuning Fork Tattoo owns a Raider S and is a true “Yamaha Man”!

I’ll keep you posted.

Cheers, Jamie Moberg




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Posted @ 9:09 am in Commuting,Cruisers,Special Events,Travel Stories   
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January 27, 2010

Who would you vote for?

Our “My Yamaha Photo Contest” is well underway, with submissions coming in from all over Canada, and in reference to nearly every one of our product lines … still missing some sweet pics of sporty sport boats though.

For those of you who don’t know, the Photo Contest is being run on our Facebook page. It’s easy to enter; all you need to do is become a fan of our page, upload some sweet pics and hit “submit now” on the Contest page …

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Posted @ 1:23 pm in Authors,Commuting,Cruisers,Dirt,Racing,Scooters,Sport   
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December 2, 2009

Keeping your beauty fresh

Tips on Motorcycle Winter Storage
By John Bayliss

Depending upon where you live in this great country, Mother Nature has been very kind to the motorcycling faithful this fall. Especially in Southern Ontario. Just when we thought the riding season was over, the sun came out and temperatures during the day were high enough to extend our riding season. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but winter is coming and it is time to prepare your bike for its winter hibernation.

johnny-b

“Danger” – that’s Johnny’s middle name! Johnny has experience on all forms of motorcycles, and if you keep reading, some wonderful insight on properly storing your bike.

I have owned plenty of bikes over the years, and each fall, I take the time to store them properly so they are ready to go when spring arrives. I’d like to share some advice and tips for winterizing your bike this year. I am not a mechanic, but I am a backyard enthusiast who loves to tinker. I have yet to experience one of my bikes failing to fire-up in the spring … so I must be doing something right. Here is my list of winter motorcycle storage tips:

1. Fill your gas tank with fresh premium fuel that contains no ethanol (Shell premium contains no ethanol … or so says the sign on the pump). I recommend premium because most regular grade fuels contain ethanol and there are a bunch of folks saying it is not the best for power sports applications … especially if you are not using them everyday. More importantly, add the recommended amount of fuel stabilizer. Make sure the tank is completely full for final storage … it will prevent condensation during winter temperature fluctuations.

2. Either take your bike for a short 5 to 10 minute ride or warm your bike up in the driveway and change your oil and filter (this will also insure that the fuel stabilizer has worked its way through the entire fuel system). Refer to your owner’s manual for oil change info.  Unless you have recently changed your oil (1,000 kms or less), it is a good idea to store your bike with fresh oil … it will also save you from having to do it next spring when you are itching to go riding. A bike should not be stored with old, well used oil … its acidity levels will be elevated and could harm your engine internals. Start your bike after the oil change for a minute or so to get the fresh oil circulating.      

3. Once your bike has completely cooled down, if the float bowl drain screws (on non- fuel-injected bikes) can be accessed, drain the float bowls (it is a bit of extra “insurance”). There is no draining required on fuel injected motorcycles, since it is sealed from the outside air.

4. Wash your motorcycle before storing. A coat of wax on the painted parts is a good idea. Always inspect your bike as you wash it. This is a great time to look for damaged, loose or missing parts. If your bike is being stored in a damp environment, consider using some light oil on the chrome bits … just make sure you remove it prior to starting the bike in the spring.

snow road

Sigh …. opportunities to ride your two wheeler are few and far between now. Unless, of course, you have some studs! (And no, I don’t mean in the Chip ‘n’ Dale sense ….)

5. Lube your chain (if applicable) after you have washed and dried your bike. Once again, it is not a bad idea to adjust your chain at the same time … it will save from you having to do it next spring. Please note, chains are not tightened, they are adjusted to a specific tension spec which will be outlined in your owner’s manual.

6. Find a safe, secure spot to store your bike. If your bike has a centre stand, it is best to put it on this stand in order to get as much weight off the wheels and suspension as possible. If you own a sport bike, there are various types of stands available that can raise the wheels off the ground. If not, the side stand will have to do. Remember to store your bike in a well ventilated area away from open flames, sparks, electric motors, etc. (as high ozone levels will degrade the rubber in tires). While talking of tires, the very soft compounds used for high performance sport bikes become easily damaged when the ambient temperatures get really cold. Even a gentle bump down a curb can crack the surface of the tire.

7. Remove the battery, and if applicable, check the electrolyte level and top it up to the correct level with distilled water. Put the battery on charge and fully charge it. The battery should then be stored in a warm, dry place. Never store your battery directly on a concrete floor … this could damage or permantely kill the battery. You can use a 2×4 to keep it up off the concrete. The battery should be charged every 4 to 6 weeks while in storage. [Note: Some MF (maintenance free) batteries require a special charger. There are some very good chargers that can be left connected to the battery for the whole storage period. Perfect if you want to connect and forget it until spring.]

8. Since you have warmed the bike up to change the oil, double check to see if the gas tank needs to be topped up again. If so, make sure you use stabilized premium fuel … this will help prevent condensation and corrosion in the tank. If your bike has a fuel petcock, make sure it is in the off position during storage.

9. Cover your bike with a breathable cover to help protect it and keep it clean. Careful of using a non-breathable cover (plastic tarp etc.) which could cause condensation and corrosion.

10. Depending on where your bike is being stored, if vermin are a concern, take the time to tape up the intake opening and exhaust outlet and put some moth balls under the cover … this will help keep the critters away. (I have also been told that dryer sheets do the same thing … keep vermin away … but have never tried them.) Make sure you remove them before starting in the spring.

11. Some folks go the extra step and remove spark plugs, put a small amount of oil (about a teaspoon) into each cylinder and then rotate the engine a few times to prevent rusting. I have never done this, but some folks feel it is very important. If you are storing your bike for more than just the winter this could be a good idea. [Note: Be careful … removing spark plugs can be a tough job on the newer high-tech bikes, and do not put too much oil into the cylinders.]

12. If you are storing a race bike that has water or water wetter in the cooling system, (read: road race bikes) make sure you drain the water from the cooling system and replace it with proper coolant to prevent freezing and a very costly engine repair.

Finally, remember that thieves don’t go away in the winter. Keep your bike locked up at all times and out of view if possible.

[Note: Lots of riders get an itch to go for a ride on that beautiful mid winter day … if you do this, remember to go through most of the storage procedure again. Also, be aware that if you ride through a puddle or wet area you may have just sprayed your bike with salty water … do not put it away without thoroughly washing it again. Otherwise you will be in for a surprise when you pull the cover off it in the spring … the salt will not only corrode your chrome but may also pit any aluminum parts too.]

Thanks for reading! If you have some tips of your own, feel free to share!

Johnny B

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Posted @ 9:30 am in Authors,Commuting,Cruisers,Dirt,Maintenance,Yamaha Insights   
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November 9, 2009

Good girl gone bad

From Meager Scooter Girl to Full-fledged Biker Chick:
True Stories of the Hard-Life by Amy “Cowbell” Campbell

amy_brad
Amy Campbell ain’t no tart – she’s a biker chick!

I live approx. an hour and a half north of Toronto, which is definitely on purpose. For those who know me, know I am not a fan of city life. I recently spent 2 days downtown Toronto for training, and was overjoyed each night to return to my little 2-horse town …..

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Posted @ 4:59 pm in Authors,Commuting,Cruisers,Ladies Only,Travel Stories   
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June 4, 2009

B.A.D Ride XII (Video)

Well, we just finished participating in the 12th Annual B.A.D Ride, and despite the below seasonal temperatures and high winds, there was still an exceptional turnout. With over 1,500 people in attendance, the Distress Centre;”  raised $200,000!


The day began at the AMC Movie Theatre Complex, located at Highway 400 and 7. Participants rode through the Everyone received a grab-bag filled with all kinds of goodies including a t-shirt and bandanna. Participants had the option of raising funds or simply donating to the distress centre

I have to tell you, the coordinators did a fantastic job. First thing in the morning, the tunes were pumping, bikes were shining, and there were lots of smiles. Q107’s own morning man John Derringer and Global Televisions Susan Hay were in attendance to wish participants well on their ride. Once the riders mounted their bikes, the marching band started to play, the adrenaline started flowing and they were off to complete the 165km clearly marked and unescorted ride, passing through picturesque villages, such as Cheltenham, Terra Cotta and Glen Williams, all nestled along the banks of the Credit River.

The end of the route landed at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum where riders enjoyed a fantastic BBQ lunch, live music and the opportunity to bid on some amazing silent auction items that were donated by the various sponsors.

We also brought some of our accessorized bikes along for the ride for participants to check out, including a dressed Yamaha V-Star 950, V-Star 1300 and Raider. It’s always nice to see some of the options that you can add to your bike. All in all we had a great day. It just goes to show you that when bunch of bikers get together for ride, amazing things can and will happen.

See you at the next event!

Aaron Dowden

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Posted @ 12:03 pm in Commuting,Cruisers,Custom,Special Events   
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May 27, 2009

Kelly’s Kicks Butt! (With video)

Is there really such a thing as a “free ride?” There is at Yamaha’s Motorcycle Power Tour events! (Although, our goal is that participants will realize the features and benefits of our bikes and eventually purchase one … but in the meantime, the ride’s on us.)

052709_pt_one

On Sunday, May 10, just over 40 riders signed up to test ride some of our finest motorcycles at Kelly’s Cycle Centre in Hamilton, Ontario. Those in attendance got to try out many of our Star series cruisers, including the all-new V-Star 950, sport models like the YZF-R1 with its new cross-place crankshaft, and we also had some scooters on hand for those looking for a fun, safe and quieter ride.

The crew at Kelly’s put some real aggression and enthusiasm into the event, and we were thrilled to see that reflected by the riders who put all of the bikes through their paces in every demo session. In fact, our team was showing off “guns” the size of Ron Burgundy’s after filling up the fuel tanks so much! Kevin, Chris, Orton, and Aaron of the Power Tour staff made sure that the day ran smoothly and on time, and they even captured some of it on film. You can watch it below….

And just to clarify, we’re pretty sure that the comment from the guy in the R1 testimonial (“It has, absolutely, God awful power …”) is actually a compliment. He was probably just a little nervous being behind the Yama-Tube lens (don’t fool yourself, it’s not easy being on the big screen) and mixed up his wording. But who knows, maybe that could be our new catch phrase for the 2009 YZF-R1?!?

Joe from Hamilton isn’t the only rider who had a memorable time with the R1. Click here to read a review of a Suzuki rider who has fallen for the all-new R1.

Anyhoo, we appreciate all of you who stopped by Kelly’s for the demo ride and enjoyed our new models.

So where is the next stop on the Power Tour? Find out by visiting Yamaha-motor.ca. Don’t be shy, get out to your local demo ride and answer the question that everyone is asking, “What kind of Yamaha are you?”

Danny B

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Posted @ 4:03 pm in Commuting,Cruisers,Scooters,Sport   
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January 31, 2008

Forget about the XV 650, girls… the XV1900 rocks!

What a glorious beast is the new XV 1900

By Maggie Hole, Yamaha Motor Canada

As an employee at Yamaha Motor Canada, I must admit I get a lot of great perks, like the opportunity to borrow Yamaha products.

The best ride-like-a-pro-ladies-night-019.jpgjob perk so far, though, has been the recent ‘Yamaha Ladies Night‘, where I got to try out some bikes that aren’t on our employee rental program.

I must say, it was a great thrill to try out the all new 2008 XV1900 (what a beast of a bike!) The power is amazing, yet I felt very confident and comfortable after the first couple of shifts. I loved every minute of it!

You should read what went into the making of the XV1900 from my colleague at Yamaha, John Bayliss – it’s quite a story!

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Posted @ 8:45 am in Cruisers,Custom,Ladies Only   
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January 24, 2008

Birth of the XV 1900 Custom “Raider” – Part 2

From early ‘protos’ to clay models to road tests in America

By John Bayliss

This is the continuing story of “How the XV 1900 was born.”

XV1900 Custom BikeBehind the scenes, extensive costing and engineering studies for the newly developed XV1900 custom bike are completed. If all goes well the project will get the green light and a development code will be issued. In the case of the new XV1900 the code was “06S” and during any and all discussions, the code name will be used until the model is released to the public.

While final detail work is under way, the engineering group will cobble together a running prototype. I used the word “cobbled” because some of the early “protos” look pretty rough. (You need to remember, the protos are for testing purposes… not styling.)

Testers from both Yamaha Japan and Yamaha USA will ride the prototype and provide feedback; everything from functionality to sound to ride comfort will be assessed.

clay1.jpgfianl-clay.jpgMeanwhile, back in Japan, clay models are painstaking carved and sanded in a special studio right at the factory. (See examples of clay models here, left and right.) The clay model will be the final styling phase before measurements are taken for moulds and dies, etc.

I have been present when some minor changes are requested and believe it or not, the “artists” can manipulate the clay model right before your eyes!

After the initial stages of testing are completed, another testing “prototype” will be produced, although in a farproto2.jpg more finished state. (See right, and below.) The test unit will be shipped to the US and tested on American roads. (Yep, right out in the public view! But from my own experience most passerbys never seem to notice.)

Every aspect of the test machine is evaluated, including suspension settings geared toward North American roads. Any issues or concerns will be reported back to Yamaha Motor Canada for improvement. Testing takes proto-final.jpg place right up until the first pre-production machines start to roll off the line.

So, if you think that Star cruisers are conceived, designed and built in Japan, think again!

Our friends south of the border can and should take most of the credit for the new XV1900 Custom (“aka) “Raider”.

Let me know if you like hearing the ‘behind the scenes’ development stuff. If you do, I’ll try to dig up some stories of previous models as well as the new ones. JB

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Posted @ 8:45 am in Cruisers,Custom,Industry Insights,Technology,Yamaha Insights   
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January 22, 2008

How the XV 1900 was born

Made in Japan? Not so fast…!

By John Bayliss

On Sept. 10, Yamaha introduced a number of exciting new models for 2008. I would like to take you behind the scenes and provide some insights into how our latest Star cruiser, the XV1900 Custom bike evolved; you might be surprised…

Made in Japan right? Not so fast! Made in Japan yes, but conceived and designed in the USA. Here is how the process works.2008 XV1900 Custom C bike from Yamaha

Yamaha Motor USA (YMUS) has a full staff of product planners who attend key motorcycle events across the country. They talk one-on-one with as many customers as possible.

As they begin to develop a feel and direction for a new model, they contact Yamaha USA’s design company in Southern California, near where YMUS is based.

The design company takes the research info and produces a number of basic sketches of the new idea. The sketches are shown both internally at YMUS and to selected customers. A “whittling down” process will reduce the number of sketches from 15 or so down to the top 3 or 4.

Depending on the model, the planners will then host a focus group study for even more feedback. At this stage YMUS maysketch2.jpg stick to the final design ideas or continue to make changes based on feedback.

sketch-1.jpgAfter much internal discussion, a final sketch direction is chosen. (See left and right here for sample bike sketches.)

The sketch is taken from paper and is duplicated in real life – yes, sir, a full-size prototype model with all the bells and whistles is produced. For the record, these models do not run but can be touched and sat on (very carefully please!) … they are real motorcycles for all intents and purposes – except for the riding part.cad1.jpg

As the old saying goes; “a picture (or in this case a 3D model, see left) is worth a thousand words!”

Once the model is finished (which happens surprisingly quickly), the model is crated and shipped off to Yamaha Japan (YMC).model2.jpg

The YMUS product planners, including their in-house Japanese assistant, travel to YMC for the big presentation. Engineers, upper management and sales staff are all present at this meeting. Can you say “pressure”? Believe me, this is a stressful time for all involved!

During the meeting, the planners review their customer research, current trends in the biz, and describe their ‘target audience’. The bottom line is they make their best pitch for this new idea. Once they have everybody truly excited about the project, they unveil the 3D model. If all goes well, the engineers jump up and start checking out the model in detail!

model1.jpgAfter a period of time, the engineers will begin to assess what they can, and cannot, do. Some of the features of the 3D model may not be possible to duplicate due to mass production restrictions. It is not uncommon for other players/countries to join these presentations, too. Yamaha Europe,Yamaha Australia, and Yamaha Canada are often present, with the hope that we’ll buy into the project.

Stay tuned for part 2 to come in the next few days!

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Posted @ 8:45 am in Cruisers,Custom,Industry Insights,Technology,Yamaha Insights   
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November 20, 2007

Welcome from Andree Lamarche

Andree LamarcheHi, I’m Andrée, and I’m the French translator for Yamaha Motor Canada. I started riding in mid-2005, about three years after I joined Yamaha… but these days, I hardly ever drive my car in the warm months. You’ll find me on a bike most weekdays as well as virtually every weekend!

I most often ride the V-Star 650 that I borrow from Yamaha. (My favourite bike, the V-Star 1100, is usually signed out by coworkers before I can get to it!)

Off the bike, I love to garden and to canoe/portage deep in Algonquin Park at least once every summer; I try to get any of my three kids (the youngest is 17) to go with me, if I can! In another life – predating kids – I used to enjoy scuba diving and parachuting.

My new big adventure? Blogging!! I’m trying it out because I want to keep in touch with customers – and keep up with the changing times. (I’m looking into getting a laptop so I can blog anywhere, anytime!) I’d really like to hear from some like minded ladies on my posts. Enjoy. Andrée

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Posted @ 8:45 am in Authors,Cruisers,Ladies Only,trailer hitch,Yamaha Insights   
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