Monthly Archives: July 2013

Review: 2013 Yamaha FZ6R

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Photo courtesy of Yamaha Canada.

Yamaha’s demo day started out quite disappointing for me. I really wanted to try the FZ8 or its faired twin, the Fazer 8, but neither of these bikes were offered. Maybe that’s because they’re both being discontinued in 2014, replaced with the much-anticipated cross plane triple cylinder FZ09.

There wasn’t much in the rest of the line-up that interested me, aside from the Super Tenere. Not being able to touch the ground with anything more than the top of my right big toe, I didn’t really feel comfortable taking it for a ride. Then I thought of the FZ6R, Yamaha’s 600cc, four-cylinder, entry-level sportbike. Read the rest of this entry

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Here’s to the “Do-It-Yourself”-ers!

We have a saying in Newfoundland to describe a person who has an innate, bordering on miraculous, talent for fixing things. We say that such a person can “put an arse in a cat”. Almost everyone knows someone like this, and these people are valuable friends. If they are inclined to put their talents towards motorized vehicles of the two-wheeled variety, they are especially valuable friends.

Anyone can go into a dealership, slap down their credit card, and order an infinite number of shiny bits and pieces for their bike. Sure it looks nice. But it doesn’t impress me. What impresses me is the person who buys an old bike, gets it running like a top, and then makes it his/her OWN through paint, upgrades and accessories. THAT impresses me…and makes me a little regretful that I don’t possess that particular talent. Read the rest of this entry

Test Our Metal: Harley-Davidson Demo Rides

There’s no other motorcycle manufacturer that has the cult-like following enjoyed by Harley-Davidson. All you have to do is google “Harley tattoo” to find hundreds of people proudly displaying a permanent reminder of the brand they choose to ride. Now THAT’S loyalty.

The Motor Company is very polarizing though. Many non-HD riders have a strong distaste for the brand, perhaps because of the perceived “air of superiority” associated with Harley riders moreso than the bikes themselves. That’s a little unfair. I don’t fit the image of the typical Harley rider with my full-face helmet and armoured leather jacket. I definitely don’t see my bike as a status symbol or feel that I’m better than someone else because it says “Harley-Davidson” on the tank, and I’m sure many other Harley riders feel the same way. However, I do love my Sportster, and I look forward to Mile One’s Demo Days each year. I even try to drag my sportbike-riding friends along too, because like many things in life, the saying rings true: “don’t knock it till you’ve tried it”. Read the rest of this entry

The Cape Shore: July 6, 2013

Tail packs and tanks bags are very convenient for day trips on a sportbike

Tail packs and tanks bags are very convenient for day trips on a sportbike

This past Saturday was the perfect day to head out of town on a daytrip…warm temps, very light south-west breeze, and no precipitation on the radar! It was a day that absolutely MUST be spent on the bike, so I decided to accept an invitation to join a group of motorcyclists on a ride around the Cape Shore. Read the rest of this entry

Cruisers vs Sportbikes

Cruiser riders vs sportbike riders. The animosity is almost at the level of baymen vs townies. At the end of the day we’re all motorcyclists. Why can’t we all just get along??? Read the rest of this entry

St. John’s to Cape Spear

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July 1st turned out to be a perfect day to head to Cape Spear. It’s usually 5-8 degrees colder out there than it is in downtown St. John’s (only 14 km away), but on this day the weather was warm and not even overly windy! We even got to see a few humpback whales.

The pavement is in really good condition, and the road has some great twists and turns (especially the big turn heading up to Shea Heights! Weeeeee!). If you want to take full advantage of this, I suggest hitting the road in the morning (just watch for moose). The road gets quite busy this time of year as Cape Spear is a major tourist attraction being the most easterly point in North America.

July 1, 2013

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Photo credit: Mandy B.

This shot turned out too awesome not to post! Great day for a ride to Cape Spear!

Memorial Day in Newfoundland

The Caribou Memorial in Beaumont Hamel. A replica exists at the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Memorial in Bowring Park. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Caribou Memorial in Beaumont Hamel. A replica exists at the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Memorial in Bowring Park. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

As the last province to enter confederation with Canada in 1949, Newfoundlanders are sometimes reluctant Canadians. This is especially true on July 1, celebrated in the rest of the country as Canada Day. In a strange coincidence, Canada’s birthday shares this date with one of the most infamous events in the five centuries of Newfoundland’s history. On July 1, 1916, at the Battle of the Somme at Beaumont Hamel, France, the 1st Newfoundland Regiment was decimated by German artillery. On this date, 801 courageous Newfoundlanders were sent “over the top” towards the enemy trenches. Only 68 were able to answer the roll call the next morning. In a place with a population as small as Newfoundland, this loss amounted to a generation of young men wiped out, which impacted the economy drastically in the following decades. Since 1917, July 1st has been known in Newfoundland as Memorial Day, a sombre time of reflection on young lives cut short by war. In modern times this day is a strange dichotomy. A free outdoor concert on George Street entertains folks waving the Maple Leaf, while a parade marches towards the National War Memorial between Duckworth and Water Streets for a wreath-laying ceremony, the Union Jack flying at half-mast. Tourists must be utterly confused.

As a proud Newfoundlander and daughter of a peacekeeping veteran, I make a point each year of participating in the Canadian Army Veteran’s (CAV) Memorial Day ride. Read the rest of this entry

St. John’s Newest Motorcycle Shop

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Franklyn’s Finest Motorcycle Goods & Accessories has opened its doors for business at 576 Water Street West, right between Patrick and Alexander Streets. I had the opportunity to visit the shop this past Saturday and speak to the co-owners, Matt Dawe and Matt Pardy. These guys are not a couple of businessmen looking to capitalize on the explosion of motorcycle riders in the city, they’re two guys who love motorcycles and biker culture, and want to turn that passion into a business specializing in custom parts and apparel. Read the rest of this entry

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