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Hi there and welcome to ‘Wheelspin’
A new blog documenting rides, events and the motorcycling lifestyle.
For those of you that don’t know I’ll be embarking on a 6 week x-Canada ride starting at the end of June with stops at ‘Freedom Machine’ a vintage, custom and antique bike show in Durham Ontario, held at this really cool fake ghost town on private property with lots of space for camping. www.freedommachineshow.com
Also on the list,
Port Dover for Friday the 13th, Magnetic Hill in New Brunswick, Riding the Confederation Bridge into P.E.I. the Bay of Fundy and of course the one on everyones bucket list, The Cabot Trail and since I’m already on that side of the country, the CMC National Rally (Yes I’m already registered for the National) on my way back west.
The idea of this blog is to share information on things like road conditions, those must do rides, tips and tricks on camping, packing the bike, gear reviews, places to eat, where to find service or parts, places to avoid as well as documenting some good times, because as we all know… It’s not the destination it’s the ride.
A well traveled route that has some notoriety around here is the Duffy Loop as it’s known locally by the riding community, depending on which direction you travel it’s the #1 Trans Canada from Vancouver to Hope, up the Fraser Canyon to Cache Creek, then onto highway 99 south from Lillooet and down through Pemberton, Whistler, Squamish and back into Vancouver. Another option riding out to Hope is highway #7 but this adds another hour, hour and a half to the total loop ride but is far more scenic and twisty.
Dr.Mucker, first officer from the 056 and myself did our 1st loop ride of 2018 last week, you can watch a video of that ride here
The last few years I’ve been averaging 3 loop rides a season as it’s one of my favourite local rides. Last year I stretched it out into an overnighter and more kilometres by adding the loop of highways 97C and 8 taking you through Logan Lake, Mamatte Lake and Lower Nicola, some of BC’s old copper mining country and into ranch lands before joining back up with the #1 Trans Canada at Spences Bridge back in the Fraser Canyon. Some stunning country and views along 97C. A few of us have the extended loop ride scheduled for next weekend, I’ll bring you up to speed on that here after the 15th of May.
A few other rides I’ve got down on my calendar in spray paint…
- May 26th is the first flat track races of 2018 in these parts, Pemberton Raceway and a few of us from the 056 are going.
- May 27th I’m a registered rider in the 'Ride To Live' charity ride to raise awareness and money to fight prostate cancer. There’s a BBQ, a poker run (I love poker runs) and entertainment, looks like I might be a tad sore for that one but that never stopped me before. to learn more www.ridetolive.ca
- Come early June I’m registered for flat track school hosted by Go Flat Track and I’m looking forward to writing about that experience. If you check their website they have links to some good video, note that it’s not recorded at Pemberton, I think it’s in Ontario somewhere. www.goflattrack.com
That covers the start of the 2018 riding season, I have a few other rides and events to see when I get back but I think I’ll leave that for later.
**A Final Note on the Duffy: We saw some fresh slides in the chutes along the highway as well there is rock and debris coming down right now, please check road conditions and ride it with extreme caution. The road had been swept of winter gravel and was in pretty good shape overall. We didn’t do the Cache Creek run we did the shortened Lytton to Lillooet route, highway #12.
Check www.drivebc.com for all BC road travel updates and camera views.
3 days after our ride Cache Creek was flooding.
So….could this be the big one?
For the last 4 years I have been attempting to narrow down my list of choices for a bike upgrade.
My first (and still currently only) bike was purchased new 9 years ago, and now has 45000km on the odometer. I have always maintained it was a good thing my first bike was acquired in my forties…ample time to ensure my system was flushed of unused (or overused) testosterone.
At the time of that purchase, I had the mindset of a 25 year old (more to do with my deluded state of fitness). In truth, back then, the state of muscle flexibility of my then mid-forties body was pretty good, but unbeknownst to me (read: ignored), the creep of time would not rest on its laurels. Today I am just shy of two months past my 56th birthday. My misguided interpretation of the physical state of my body has finally made an attempt to be in sync with my chronological age. Instead of 25 years, it is now realistically closer to 50. Oh, the indignity!
The ultimate goal is to acquire a long distance touring machine with ultimate comfort and range for two-up riding with luggage. My most immediate real-time source of motorcycle information and opinion has been the members of CMC. It is great to be a part of a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who literally cover the gamut of motorcycle makes and models. I love the fact that the owner of a sport-touring bike (for example, moi) can lead a group of riders on V-Twin cruisers on a Multi-Provincial 5-day tour. Yes…that actually happened; but more to the point I have survived the inevitable (and ongoing) looks of dumbfounded shock, along with no small amount of ribbing, to tell the tale.
It’s all in good fun of course. We live in a blessed country which affords us diverse levels of freedom of choice. So…what choice(s) have crossed my line of sight lately? Well, Honda has just thrown down the gauntlet with their new line of GoldWings. Seven models in total! Take a look at the specs, model info and images below. Remember due to the current exchange rate, add approximately $5000 CDN to the US-based prices shown.
One issue I had with the previous GoldWing was its weight. Even before you added an extra passenger and luggage, you were pushing up to the 1000lb threshold. This is not to imply the bike was not balanced or manageable, it was just a personal concern I had in hauling around such a behemoth. The new models for 2018 have shed 90lbs of weight. Prior to Honda’s recent reveal of their new models, I was looking at their competitor, BMW. Specifically the K1600GTL or the BMW K1600B Bagger. They were almost 200lbs lighter than the 2017 GoldWing models, but still had side and top case luggage capability. They also had a well tuned and powerful 160HP inline 6-cylinder engine competing with the GoldWing’s opposed 6 cylinder model.
In an effort to woo the very demographic I identified with 9 years ago at age 46, Honda seems to have put their flagship ride on a stringent fitness regimen along with what could be interpreted as a high-tech colon cleanse (lighter, more powerful and fuel-efficient engine; a more modern and distraction-free cockpit). At the same time they are hoping to retain and carry over existing GoldWing riders. Personally, I think the latter move may prove to be their biggest challenge. One case in point, the luggage capacity has been reduced to 110L, down from 150L. Some have also commented on the smaller fuel capacity, but according to Honda, the combination of reduced weight and a more fuel efficient engine supposedly gives the same range as the previous model.
I have never ridden a Honda GoldWing, so I cannot speak to most of what others have commented on, but the new 2018 GoldWing models certainly are the closest I have seen a manufacturer come to matching what the BMW’s have been doing so well for the past few years. It is also interesting to note that it is not just the traditional Sport Touring segment that is upping the ante on targeting a younger generation of riders. Just take a look at the new 2018 Yamaha Star Venture and what it has to offer to the Cruiser crowd. Indian Motorcycles are also updating their model lines to capture and retain new and old customers.
In any case, I am eager to see (and eventually demo) the new GoldWing. Whatever I decide on has to pass the CT-SIMOB (Continue To Sleep In My Own Bed) test with the Missus. Her comfort (comfortable heated seats / good back support / smooth ride among others) will be primary factors in any choice yet to be made. My only concern is that the new Honda GoldWing may end up costing more than the previously mentioned BMW’s. My….how times have changed.
So, what do any existing or potential GoldWing riders think about what Honda is doing with their flagship product?
Your comments are welcome.
2018 Honda GoldWing Specifications
- Lighter overall package results in improved handling and maneuverability
- More compact, lighter engine with four-valve head and Unicam valve train
- Available seven-speed DCT with Walking Mode forward/reverse
- Six-speed manual transmission
- Robotically welded aluminum twin-tube frame with revised plate thicknesses
- Radially mounted six-piston dual front braking calipers
- Double-wishbone front-suspension system
- Electrically controlled suspension
- Throttle-by-wire with multiple riding modes
- Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC)
- Hill Start Assist
- Smart Key
- Apple CarPlay
- LED lighting
- Updated design with 11.8 percent improved aerodynamic efficiency
- Electric windscreen adjustment
GOLD WING TOUR
The three 2018 Gold Wing Tour models—Gold Wing Tour, Gold Wing Tour DCT, and Gold Wing Tour DCT Airbag—are the modern interpretation of the classic Gold Wing, the ultimate long-distance touring machine, but with highly improved performance capabilities. Each of these models features saddlebags and a top case, as well as a tall electrically adjustable windscreen, front and rear speakers, and electrically adjustable suspension.
- Gold Wing Tour, Gold Wing Tour DCT: Candy Ardent Red, Pearl White, Pearl Hawkseye Blue
- Gold Wing Tour DCT Airbag: Candy Ardent Red/Black
- Gold Wing Tour: $26,700 – $27,000
- Gold Wing Tour DCT: $27,700 – $28,200
- Gold Wing Tour DCT Airbag: $31,500
- Availability: February 2018
Boasting a sporty character, the two Gold Wing models—Gold Wing and Gold Wing DCT—come with saddlebags but no top case or the accompanying rear audio speakers. The electric windscreen is shorter on these models, and preload adjustment is manual. HSTC, electric damping-adjust, center stand, and heated seats are not included.
- Colors: Candy Ardent Red, Matte Majestic Silver, Pearl Stallion Brown
- Gold Wing: $23,500 – $23,800
- Gold Wing DCT: $24,700 – $25,000
- Availability: February 2018
Today as I look out my window, I no longer see the green of the park or the flag fluttering in the breeze, but I see the mountains and the sea from my chair in the living room. The mountains have a "cloud halo" where the clouds ring the middle portion of the mountains. The sea is calm as the single freighter makes its way to the harbours in Seattle.
But today, I think the halo has a special meaning. You see, today we send one of our brothers home. He will take that one last ride and those clouds will be there to steady him as he travels and when he gets to those pearly gates, he will be greeted by his brother who left us several years go and his other brothers from across the land. It is not a time to morn, a time to cry or a time to be sad, rather a time to smile at all of the crazy things Recycle said and did. A time to remember that ear-to-ear grin when he was on his Red Steed. His wave to everyone on two wheels - yes, even scooters. A time to share that smile and remember times like when he looked into his empty beer bottle and swore there was someone drinking it because it emptied too soon, or when he bit into his hotdog and it shot out the other end like a cartoon clip. Ron was a man like no other, he is Recycle, CMC65092
If you would like to donate to Ron's Memorial Fund, please go to: http://cmc-victoria.com/donate.html Thank you.
Safe journey home brother Ron. We are going to miss you. RIP
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Well, hopefully spring is here for most of us. I have had my bike out twice, and it snowed the next day both times. I am going to risk it again today and go for a short ride with my friends.
Like most riders, I waited patiently for that first ride, and with the winter that seemed to drag on forever, I was beginning to feel a bit caged! The first ride out was tentative, as the roads were covered with sand and grit, but it felt SO AWESOME!
I read grizzz's Blob Post about enjoying the small things in life. I also read through the tributes to Tina (from 089) and although I didn't know her, the tributes really tell the story of a courageous lady. I had an idea.
There is a challenge on the Internet called the 100 Happy Days Challenge http://100happydays.com - challenges people to focus on things that make them happy, even for a little while.
As the site says - We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.
71% of people tried to complete this challenge, but failed quoting lack of time as the main reason.These people simply did not have time to be happy. Do you?
If you are up to the challenge, you post a picture every day for 100 days of things that make you happy. You can change the privacy settings to whatever you want, or you can just keep the challenge to yourself.
My idea is this - is anyone interested in doing a CMC 100 Happy Day challenge? We could use the hashtag #100HappyDaysCMC or create a forum here for folks to post. What a great way to promote our love of riding, our friendship and the beauty of belonging to CMC!
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So on Thursday March27th “I was looking out my window” (cheers Grizz) and although the temperature was less than ideal the roads looked very dry. I must admit there was a large amount of sandy areas, and was very determined to avoid these. With that said I rolled my bike out of my garage and started it up. I let the bike warm up about 10 minutes or so, the bike itself was pleading it was ready, it responded with nice crisp throttle rolls.
I used the time while the bike was warming up to GEAR UP, I must admit I was a little nervous, not about getting hurt, but rather possibly dropping my bike and being upset at myself for being an idiot So for the first 20 minutes or so I just rode around a 2 block radius of my house, just getting the feel, The only bike I had ridden really was the little Honda CBR125 used at the Humber course. So my Honda Shadow 500 was a very new and different experience compared to the other. After I was comfortable with the handling and controls I ventured a little further from home, This is when I realized that @ 60 kph the wind is stronger than I had anticipated, so back home I went.
I thought to myself that was F U N ….. Hmmm. So I went upstairs and put on a pair of sweatpants on underneath my jeans. Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting track pants & jeans are a good alternative to proper weather riding gear, but I just had to get a few more klicks in before putting my bike back in the garage.
Thinking about it some more I thought “Oh, I know, I have to go order a new set of contact lenses.” So I planned my route to try avoiding the higher traffic areas, It was going to be about 15 km each way One of my first observations upon arriving at the plaza was how BIG the parking spaces were, backing my bike into a spot I thought to myself “this bike is a lot easier to park than my SUV”. I took a much larger street for my ride home and @ 4 pm it was quite busy. Shortly after getting underway it began to SNOW!, luckily it was just some light flurries and was not enough to even change the colour of the road; I felt much better being on DRY roads. The ride home was very straight, but some good practice in heavier traffic. So all in all I put just over 50 kms for my first ride ever on public roads. It felt AWESOME getting that monkey off my back
Aces N Eights
Stay tuned for my next post:
My First Ride - Things I did well, and things I need to work on