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February 7, 2008

Welcome from Andre Harris

Hi, my name is Andre Harris (you can call me Dre’); I’m the Events and Show Coordinator in the marketing department of Yamaha Motor Canada.

I’ll be one of the folks blogging here; often I’ll blog about sport bikes, though I’ll cover anything motorcycle-related (especially if you ask me to! 😉

Now, a bit about my background…

I’ve worked at Yamaha Motor Canada for going on five years. I like my job – the company is full of enthusiasts, and I get to travel and meet like-minded individuals. And I get to sample the latest and greatest of a wide selection equipment – from dirt bikes and sport bikes to large-displacement cruisers, even beginner bikes.

And quite often, I’m testing one-of-a-kind equipment, before it even goes into mass production! Cool, eh?

I’ve been riding since 1974 (I’m NOT telling you my age! I was out of diapers, but not old enough to get a mature rider insurance discount 😉
My first bike, way back when, was virtually unheard of in Canada, but it was all I could afford – brand new for $600! It was a Jawa CZ 175 [JaWa the first two letters of the developer’s name- Janecek – and first two from a competitor’s model Wanderer; the CZ for Czechoslovakia.)

I’ve been training novice riders as part of the Humber College Rider Training program for more than 20 years, and instructing in advanced cruiser/touring at the FAST Road Racing School for more than seven years.

I was asked recently if I have a favourite bike; I don’t think so – really, any bike with an attitude (but not too obnoxious!) The MT-01 torque sport bike, Vmax, and Roadliner all come to mind.

My hobbies? If it’s got a motor and handle bars… I want to ride it!

Why am I blogging? ‘Cause I want to share my passion (obsession?), relay my stories and experience – and generally be part of the never-ending quest for what it is about motorcycling that we true enthusiasts like so much!

Dre

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Posted @ 8:45 am in Authors,Maintenance,Special Events,Sport,trailer hitch,Travel Stories,Yamaha Insights   
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January 17, 2008

Welcome from Tim Chelli

Hi my name is Tim Chelli; I’m the Compliance and Product Liability National Manager at Yamaha Motor Canada. I ensure that all Yamaha products comply with the necessary regulations. I also liaise with our lawyers, and handle intellectual property issues.Tim Chelli

But I’m not a lawyer; I’m a mechanic by trade. I started with Yamaha Motor Canada 20 years ago in the service division.

Prior to that, I worked at a large Yamaha dealer, Royal City Cycle, in Guelph, Ontario for more than six years.

My fondness for motorcycles started as a kid when I owned a mini bike. (My older brother had a real motorcycle). I read as much as I could about motorcycles, magazine after magazine.

I am primarily a sport bike rider. Here’s a list some of the Yamaha’s I’ve had over the years:

  • 1972 Yamaha DT2 (my first street legal motorcycle)
  • 1976 XS750D
  • 1977 XS7502D
  • 1980 XS850G
  • 1981 RD350H
  • 1982 XJ650LJ (Turbo)
  • 1985 RZ500RN
  • 1985 FZ750N
  • 1985 RZ350
  • 1988 FZR400
  • 1989 TDR250
  • 1995 VMax
  • 1997 Royal Star
  • 2003 FZ1
  • 2004 XV17PCP
  • 2005 FJR13
  • 2006 XV1900

My favourite bike is the 1993 GTS 1000. I drove one once on an expressway in Japan – now that was an experience I’ll never forget!

I also like sports cars (I’ve owned lots of those, too), mountain biking, and cottage life.

I’m blogging here in the hopes of helping someone rekindle the passion they once had for motorcycling, by sharing the insights I’ve gained in my 28 years in the bike industry. (And if can make someone chuckle, I’ll feel like I contributed, too!)

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January 10, 2008

Welcome from Bryan Hudgin

Bryan Hudgin

Hi, and welcome to the Bike Blog! My name is Bryan Hudgin (“Huggy” to folks at work). I’m a marketing rep at Yamaha Motor Canada, where I’ve worked since November 2003.

What do I ride? Everything, and nothing! Meaning, I don’t have my own bike right now – but I probably rode more than two dozen Yamaha models this past year.

All the loaner bikes I ride are good at what they do, but my roots are with motocross. I like to razz the sport bike guys around the office, saying ‘everyone knows that real athletes race motocross, the rest of you putt around on pavement!” 😉

Bikes I have owned include a series of unfortunate purchases I don’t particularly like to recall. There was red, then yellow, then red, then yellow. What can I say, I was young and naive! Then the first love of my life (or maybe second?) was a 1997 Yamaha YZ 125.

My favourite bike model of all time is the 2001 YZ 250F. My friend owned one in 2002; I hadn’t been on a bike in a couple years, and I was back from university for the weekend. I jumped on my pal’s YZ 250F, and just loved how fat the power was! (I’d never ridden a 4-stroke specifically built for motocross before.)

My favourite trip ever on a bike was probably riding my Mom’s Virago 750 the day after I turned 16. The beauty of the M1 license in Ontario at the time meant that I didn’t need a chaperon to drive with. So I was off to the job site at my summer job (where I was officially a blue-collar redneck).

My hobbies used to be working out, riding, partying…you know, typical early-20s stuff. I’m at that stage now, though, where home renovations, weddings, and paying bills seem to be taking an inordinate amount of my time (and money).

I am choosing to blog on this new Yamaha Bike Blog to… increase my typing words per minute? No, wait … I want to communicate to our customers stuff they might find interesting, or want to get involved with. Hope you enjoy!

-Huggy

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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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November 13, 2007

Welcome from Dave Shepherd

Dave ShepherdHi, I’m Dave Shepherd; I’ve worked at Yamaha Canada for 11 years as a Motorsports Technical Specialist. Basically, I am the “go to” guy for anything to do with motorcycles, of a technical nature. I talk with the Yamaha factory service engineers for various reasons; such as to prepare new model training materials, or take care of any problems in the Canadian market.

I’ve been a professional bike mechanic for more than 30 years (including back home in the U.K. before I immigrated to Canada). I really like working for Yamaha because of their high-quality approach to its product.

In my position, I need to really “know” our whole spectrum of models. So I ride something different every chance I get, from the sportiest to the fastest to the coolest to the most fuel efficient. From the smallest scooter to the heavyweight 1900cc cruisers – if it has two wheels, I’m there!

My first bike was a Yamaha YG1, my first new bike was a Yamaha FS1E (aka “The Fizzy”). I personally don’t believe that a true motorcyclist has a favorite bike – every bike has something that stirs the passion, just in different ways.

When I’m not on a bike, I like to practice judo, go hunting, boating, and hang out with my family.

I’m blogging here so I can stay closer to the market (that means you folks!) and although I will be often blogging about mechanical and maintenance matters, I’ll dip into other subjects relating to bikes too … I don’t want any boundaries!

😉 Dave

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November 6, 2007

Welcome from John Bayliss

John BaylissHi, my name is John Bayliss, but you can call me JB. I’m the product manager for motorcycles and scooters at Yamaha Motor Canada Ltd. Welcome to the Yamaha Bike Blog!

One thing I would like to clear up right off the bat, is although I have been involved in the bike biz for many years (at Yamaha for 20 of them), I do not profess to know everything about motorcycles.

Unlike my snowmobile counterpart at Yamaha, Chris Reid, who blogs at Sled Talk, I don’t have an in-depth knowledge of all the technical aspects of our bikes and scooters. However, between me and my work colleagues also blogging here about bikes, we petty much do know everything about bikes – and what we don’t know, we want to hear from you about!

I am an avid on road and off road rider, plus I also dabble in track days. Most weekends (when I am not working), I usually spend at least a few hours riding or wrenching, especially restoring some vintage bikes of my own.

I own 10 motorcycles, ranging from street and dirt to a R6 track day bike. My fav ride right now is an ’07 Yamaha FZ1.

In the off-season, I can be found snowmobiling, skiing, and playing on the Yamaha hockey team.

I’m looking forward to sharing stories here that people can’t find anywhere else – such as behind-the-scenes peeks at Yamaha product development, long before the bikes hit the market. Hope you enjoy the insights!

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Posted @ 8:45 am in Authors,Dirt,Racing,Sport,Technology,trailer hitch,Yamaha Insights   
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