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Archive for the 'Travel Stories' Category

June 23, 2009

Biker Chicks with … “Cowbell”

Everyday, we’re seeing more and more women riding motorcycles, and it’s a beautiful thing. No matter what your gender is, there is no better sense of freedom and expression than hitting the open road, track or trail with your bike, twisting the throttle and feeling all of your cares float away….


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Posted @ 10:00 am in Commuting,Ladies Only,Scooters,Travel Stories   
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June 9, 2009

Sleep is for the weak

While we here at YMCA would love to support every racer with a fresh steed, box full of parts and accessories, and a contingency plan big enough so they can say “yes, I would like to Biggie Size my combo!” it’s just not in the budget. That said, we do our best to support as many riders as possible, in whatever ways that we can. For today’s blog, we’re spotlighting a “real world rider” and his race last weekend.

Adam Millson, a mild mannered, expert level Yamaha off-road rider sent us in a race report from this past weekend. The humerous part? There was nothing mild about his weekend. The Pontypool, ON native has been on fire ever since receiving his 2009 contract from PR Specialist, Bryan Hudgin, which  consisted of a handshake and a lanyard. Maybe next year, “Mills.”

This past weekend, Mills headed north for a CMA Harescramble in Barrie, where he piloted his 2006 YZ250 to the top step of the Expert class podium. As a privateer racer, Mills can barely afford a change of underwear following his three-hour race, let alone a PR guy, so he writes his own race reports instead. 

Mills’ (77) grabs the holeshot on his trusty 2006 YZ250.

It was Saturday afternoon and we were headed to the Boyle residence to shoot some wedding pictures for my brother’s wedding. Two hours later, the memory card was full and we were thirsty from all the smiling! So it’s off to the hall for dinner, of course, my speech time was getting closer so I was getting pretty nervous. Fortunately, after building up some courage with some help from friends, the speech went really well. I kept everyone laughing the whole time anyway. I ended up staying much later than planned and was counting down the hours before my race the next day. On my way out, I noticed one of my friend’s had a little too much fun and found a cozy spot to rest on the lawn.  I ended up sleeping on Rob and Kristal’s living room floor at around 2:30am. Aw, the life of a blue-collared racer….

Adam’s son, Travis, is  ready to line up!

I woke up an hour late and had to walk back to the hall to get the car, drive home and have a shower. At this point I was really glad my parents had babysat for us for the evening. I loaded the bike and off I went, feeling like five hundred thousand bucks! (50%). I arrived at the race just in time for sign in (noon). The track was awesome, just like back in the day. Lined up at the far inside behind “Wojo” and watched him holeshot the Pro class, and then I pulled a famous James Stewart holeshot myself and ran away with the whole show. I felt like being sick on the last two laps but managed to hang on for the win!


Job well done, Mills! Not everyone can get the Colton Facciotti treatment and we appreciate the effort!!

If you’re a real world Yamaha rider, like Mills, and want to send in some results and pictures of your weekend outings, send them in to danny_brault@yamaha-motor.ca and I’ll try and put them up!


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Posted @ 12:29 pm in Dirt,Racing,Travel Stories   
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June 8, 2009

Meet and Greet: Team Toyota Yamaha OTSFF Racers

Last week we featured a video tour of the Team Toyota Yamaha OTSFF pits and rig. Today, we’re introducing you to the racers, Kevin Lacombe, Tony Kasper, and Royce McLean. It’s a pretty unique combination we have between these guys.

Lacombe, who finished on the podium in both classes last year, is obviously our flagship rider and is the most capable of taking down the green goblin, Jordan Szoke. Flanking him is Minnesota’s Tony Kasper, an accomplished racer in AMA racing and snocross, and 14-year-old phenom, Royce McLean.

Learn a little more about these racers by watching the video below …

Thanks for watching!


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Posted @ 11:54 am in Racing,Special Events,Sport,Travel Stories   
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June 5, 2009

Cribs: Team Toyota Yamaha OTSFF (Video)

After distracting security guards with shiny things and cute puppies, Bryan Hudgin and I managed to sneak into the pits of Team Toyota Yamaha OTSFF at the opening round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championships in Calabogie, ON. Get a feel for what it’s like to be “factory” by watching the video below …

Along with our road racing team, we’ll also be following Team Toyota/Yamaha/Red Bull/Blackfoot/Fox Racing at some nationals (which kick off this weekend in Kamloops, BC), so stay tuned for some behind the scenes action from those guys as well. And if there is anything specifiic you’d like to see, hear or smell, let us know and we’ll plug it into the script.

Keep your stick on the ice!


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Posted @ 9:39 am in Racing,Special Events,Sport,Travel Stories   
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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!


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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 3, 2008

Commuter stress, scooter style

Don’t give your fellow “scoommuters” a bad name!

By Aaron Dowden, Marketing, Yamaha Motor Canada

Living 17 km from my workplace – Yamaha Motor Canada in the northeast end of Toronto – definitely has its advantages, primarily that I’m able to ride my BW scooter to and from work every day. (They don’t call me BeeWeeMan for nothing!)

Not only does it save me money, scootering is also way more fun than my car to take to work. And with the increasing gas prices of late, I’ve noticed a steady increase of fellow scooter commuters (aka “scoommuters”) on the roads.

For those of you out there who are terrified of car and truck motorists (aka “cage drivers”) – don’t be. I have yet to have any serious problems with cars… Mind you, I play by the rules.

Every once and while I’ll see a fellow scooter rider weaving in and out of traffic, driving in the bicycle lanes, or cutting around cars at stop lights. Please don’t do this!! Not only are you putting yourself at risk, but you’re giving your fellow scoommuters a bad name!

Really, scooter commuters are environmentally-friendly, fun-loving, sensible folk on the whole. Automotive drivers tend to get very irritated when scooters don’t play by the rules… and for good reason.

It’s important to remember that scooters only have two wheels with a little bit of metal to hold them together. Most cars wouldn’t think twice about pulling in front of a scooter to prevent it from driving around them.

I don’t know about you, but I like having the use of all of my limbs!

I’d like to hear any experiences, or tips, that other scoommuters might have to help stay safe the cage-drivers world.

– Aaron

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Posted @ 8:45 am in Commuting,Scooters,Travel Stories,Yamaha Insights   
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December 13, 2007

Can the C3 scooter keep up with the BWs?

By Chris Anderson, service shop technician, Yamaha Motor Canada

It’s amazing how a preconceived notion – for example, that one thing is superior to another – can be shattered when one actually experiences it. The following is a case in point.

Twice in the past month, I’ve had to go downtown for appointments and deliveries. BWs 2008To save money, I like to sign out a scooter from my employer, Yamaha Motor Canada instead of taking my car. (In Toronto, scooters and bikes park for free at any meter, and in designated parking lots.)

My first trip downtown, I picked out the 2008 BWs scooter (aka the “BeeWee, right). It’s still a two-stroke unit, but this year it has a catalyzer built in to the exhaust to reduce emissions. It’s always been a favourite of mine because of…

  • Performance: It’ll do almost 70 kph right out of the box.
  • Cargo space: I can drop my full face helmet in the cargo under the seat, lock it and walk away.
  • Fat tires: Perfect for negotiating streetcar tracks.Yamaha C3 2008 scooter
  • Fun: You can’t ride this scooter without smiling!

My surprise came on my second trip downtown, which followed the same route as the BeeWee, but this time I chose the Yamaha 2008 XF50 scooter (right, also known as “C cubed” (C3). It’s new, still 50cc, but four-stroke, fuel-injected and liquid-cooled. It has the same fat tires and lots of cargo room, but I thought, “there’s no way it can keep up with the BeeWee!


What a rockin’ little beastie! The C3 generates the same smiles per km, but it tackles the big hills better than the two-stroke and for some reason, the C3 seat is more comfy than the Beewee, too.

The C3 never went below 53kph going up the same hills that slowed the BWs down to just under 50kph. (I know this sounds slow, but it’s rare to break 65 in downtown traffic.) I only found myself slower than the traffic flow twice, and I was usually able to pass dump trucks and buses no sweat.

Next trip downtown, I’m taking the “C cubed” scooter!


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Posted @ 8:45 am in Commuting,Scooters,Travel Stories,Yamaha Insights   
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November 15, 2007

Riding doesn’t always go without a (trailer) hitch

Expect the unexpected!

By Andrée Lamarche, French translator, Yamaha Motor Canada

The sun was shining, the breeze was refreshing, the road was just too inviting to pass up… Sound familiar? Early one warm morning this past summer, I went out to enjoy a ride on a V-Star 650. No arm-twisting necessary!

VStar 650The fact that a windshield had not yet been installed on the bike I was riding that day ended up contributing greatly to averting a serious accident. After almost two hours of riding and a good many long curves and winding roads, I found myself heading south on a rural highway. (Can you smell the fresh country air? Feel the freedom? Heaven on earth!)

Well, as usual, my helmet visor was up because I like to feel the wind on my face. (My contacts haven’t blown off yet!). Then grains of dirt began to disrupt my perfect world – and my vision. I thought maybe the pickup truck ahead of me had veered a bit off the asphalted surface and disturbed the soft stuff on the shoulder of the road.

Without a windshield and with my visor up, my face had no protection, so I lowered the visor. Bits of grit kept coming up through the bottom of my helmet. I increased the buffering distance between the pickup truck/old trailer unit and my V-Star, blinked a few times to wash my eyes of the bothersome grains.

All of a sudden, there was a sharp cracking noise… and I found myself watching the old trailer slowly moving away from thelamarche.jpg pickup truck. It took a few seconds for me to realize that this very unexpected scenario was really happening… in my lane, a short distance in front of me!!

Luckily, there were no vehicles in the oncoming lane to my left, so I whipped over and watched the trailer dance by me and auger crash into the ditch. There was a huge thump and an impressive cloud of dust.

Look ahead, plan ahead, keep a safe distance

By the time I stopped up ahead and walked back to the crash scene, the driver of the pickup and his passenger were looking at the heap of broken wood that used to be their trailer. We were all unharmed, just a little shaken up and very thankful! (Apparently, the safety chains had broken as well as the receiver.)

In the end, these few seconds taught me in a very real lesson – to look ahead, plan ahead, and keep a respectful safety zone around my bike, out of harm’s way of unexpected flying cigarette butts, gum wads, tire chunks… and runaway trailers!

Guess that’s what the motorcycle course instructors mean when they told us to expect the unexpected!!

Have you had any ‘close ones’ where you learned a lesson in safety?

Ride safe, Andrée

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Posted @ 8:45 am in Cruisers,Ladies Only,Travel Stories,Yamaha Insights   
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November 1, 2007

Welcome to the Yamaha Canada Bike Blog

cr-0207.jpgHi, my name is Chris Reid and I am the Senior Product and Research Manager here at Yamaha Motor Canada. If you are also a ‘sled head’, you might know me as CR over on our sister blog, Sled Talk.

We have assembled a group of Yamaha Motor Canada employees who all love to ride and have some stories to tell. We hope you’ll check in often, and read what we have to say.

(As far as I know, Yamaha is the only motorsports company in Canada to host a blog where we interact with our friends and customers.)

If you have any questions or feedback for us, you’re welcome to add a comment and we’ll try to respond to as many as we can. There are some areas that we won’t be discussing (please see our Terms of Use) but for the most part, be nice and anything motorcycle-related goes!

If you like what you see, you can subscribe (enter email address on the right) and we’ll email you whenever we add a new post, or you can add Bike Blog to your list of RSS feeds. We’ll be populating the blog with a wide selection of content over the next few weeks and we’d love to hear what you have to say about it all.

I sincerely hope you enjoy Bike Blog and if you do, please let your friends know about us.

Cheers cr

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Posted @ 8:45 am in Commuting,Cruisers,Custom,Dirt,Industry Insights,Ladies Only,Maintenance,Racing,Scooters,Special Events,Sport,Technology,Travel Stories,Uncategorized,Yamaha Insights   
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