Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 5 of 2012

2012 proved to be another great motorcycle season! Although there were many highlights to the 2012 riding season, here are my top 5 highlights for 2012.

5. Hellcat Customs - Jase at Hellcat Customs setting a Land Speed World Record at Bonneville.  Although I only know Jase via my contact through Twitter, I was very excited to be following his journey to the Salt Flats of Bonneville and his world setting record on a turbo-powered Sportster with a side car!

Photo courtesy of Kelly Rogers

4. Off Road Riding - I was invited to join my friend Carm for some off road riding.  This was very exciting as it had been 25+ years since I have ridden off-road.  Carm let me ride his Suzuki DR650 and took me to some interesting places.  I have to admit that I was quite nervous, first because I was on Carm's bike...I was extra-cautious and second, because I was out of my usual element of street riding.  After several hours, I started to feel comfortable and thoroughly enjoyed the day.


3. Sportbike Riding - The numerous Sunday afternoon rides with my good friend Luc!  One word describes the sportbike rides, "fun"!  A major highlight was Luc getting a new to him CBR1000RR.  Luc joked on several occasions that he thought that I was more excited about the CBR purchase than he was!

 

2. @JoeRocket - Meeting and having the opportunity to ride with Jeff S.! Jeff and I have been following each other on Twitter for several years and when he heard that I would be riding in New Hampshire this past summer, he offered to meet up and ride with us.  An instant friendship was struck and we had a great day of riding through the White Mountains of NH.  Jeff and his wife, Stephanie even made a visit to Fredericton later in the summer! I look forward to riding with Jeff in the future! (#2 highlight is directly tied to #1 highlight)


1. New England Trip - Without a doubt, the #1 highlight of this past riding season was the 6 day, 2700km ride through Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut with my good friend Luc! The weather was perfect and the ride even better, "which way are you going Luc?" (inside joke!).  The addition of Scala communicators made this ride even better!  I am already looking forward to the summer trip for 2013 and wherever the road takes us!

 

Happy New Year and wishing you all the best in 2013!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year!

Catch you in 2013~!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bucket List

Wow, these videos confirm that I should add the Isle of Man TT to my bucket list..."the greatest show on Earth!"





Enjoy~!

Monday, November 12, 2012

2013 Honda Gold Wing F6B

Okay Honda, you have my attention!  My friend Jeff shared a link to the Motorcyclist Magazine web site for the new 2013 Honda Gold Wing F6B and from first looks, all I can say is wow! 

Honda Gold Wing F6B

 Honda Gold Wing F6B Deluxe

 Check out the Honda promotional video for the 2013 Honda Gold Wing F6B!



I look forward to finding out more about the Gold Wing F6B!  Additional information regarding the new 2013 Honda Gold Wing F6B is available at Honda Powersports.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Buell 1190RS - Demo Ride

Check out this 18 minute demo ride of the EBR 1190RS at the Oschersleben Motosport Arena in Germany.  The circuit "is a 3.667 kilometres (2.28 mi) long race track with a width of 11–13 meters and elevation changes of 23 metres. The circuit is located in Oschersleben, Börde (approximately 30 km from Magdeburg), Germany. Its fairly flat contours create a smooth, fast circuit" (source: Wikipedia) as demonstrated in the demo ride.



This video has me thinking that I should have a GoPro Motosports camera to shoot my own videos!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

CBR 1000RR

Last week, my good friend Luc purchased a new sport bike...a 2008 Honda CBR 1000RR!  He texted me last week to let me know about the purchase and we had a great laugh because we couldn't figure out who was more excited, me or Luc!  I was finally able to get over to see the bike and what a treat, the machine is absolutely mint!

 CBR 1000RR

Luc and I had a great chat about the bike and agreed that we needed to get out for a ride, even if it meant freezing our butts off!  Today, the weather cleared and we were able to get out for a ride on the sport bikes.  We decided to do the Gagetown Ferry - Young's Cove - Jemseg route; a ride that we have done many times and never get tired of!  Great day of riding and congrats Luc on the new ride!

1125R & CBR 1000RR at Gagetown Ferry

Bikes at Covered Bridge Tourist Information Centre

Grand Lake

"Buell"igan or Hooligan?

Luc & his CBR 1000RR

The 2012 riding season has been a great one...until next time, ride safe!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

2012 Fall Ride

Fall is here, the leaves have turned colors and soon it will be time to put my motorcycles away for the winter.  Today, my friend Luc and I hit the road for a fall ride through the Grand Lake area and the Miramichi River Valley.  The colors were spectacular and the weather was good (cold weather riding gear required). The 260km loop was just right for this time of year.

Grand Lake - Miramichi River Loop

A highlight of today's ride was a stop along the Miramichi River at the McNamee-Priceville Footbridge. 

Miramichi River

Luc had never been to the renowned Miramichi River footbridge, so we took a trek across the bridge.

McNamee-Priceville Footbridge

Priceville side of Footbridge

Luc on the Bridge


I hope that I can get another ride or two in before I put the motorcycles away for the winter, but that will depend on the weather.  With my work schedule, my riding is pretty much restricted to weekends...keeping my fingers crossed!

Keep your right hand cranked and ride safe!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Go Hellcat Customs!

***UPDATE: September 9th, 2012 - Jase and the team from Hellcat Customs set a new 
"Land Speed Record" at Bonneville, CONGRATULATIONS Team Hellcat!***

Several months back I wrote a blog post about two of my Twitter friends, Jase & Kel and their goal to raise money for a "Land Speed Record" on a Turbo-charged Sportster! 

Hellcat Customs Turbo-charged Sporty with Sidecar

Photos: Courtesy of Kelly Rogers
 
With the support of many of their friends, they met their fundraising goal and are now at the Bonneville Salt Flats to attempt to set a Land Speed Record on a Turbo-charged Sportster with a sidecar...how cool is that!  Jase and his team at Hellcat Customs built the machine and it's time to set that record!  I can only imagine how excited that Jase and Kel are!  Heck, I am thousands of miles from Bonneville and I am excited for them...I can hardly wait for the online updates!

I am sure that Jase will have the same feeling as Burt Munro's character in the World's Fastest Indian when Burt says "You live more in five minutes on a bike like this going flat out than some people live in a lifetime."

So here's to Jase and Kel, go kick some ass and set a new Land Speed Record!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

New Tires

Well, it was time to add new tires to my 2009 Buell 1125R!  I really liked the stock Pirelli Corsa III's, but the rear had flat spotted and it was time to replace. 


I was pleased to get 8500km out of Corsa III's and with the performance that they gave me.  I am not an overly aggressive rider, but I found the Pirelli's stuck very well to the road...almost like riding on rails.

Before deciding on what to purchase, I went to the 1125R Superbike Board at Bad Weather Bikers and asked for suggestions. As expected, the feedback that I received was mixed and everyone had an opinion...that's the beauty of online forums.  Since there did not seem to be consensus, I embarked further with my own research based on my riding style.  As mentioned, I am not an overly aggressive rider and I do not ride the 1125R on the track...that's not to say that I don't enjoy the twisties and the opportunity to crank the throttle!  Most of my riding is street/highway, so a dual compound tire is what I was looking for, something with decent grip and good wear.   Two tires came to the forefront for me, the Michelin Pilot Road 2 and the Michelin Pilot Road 3. Reviews at Web Bike World and Visor Down swayed me in the direction of the Pilot Road 3.

I searched online and checked with local dealers and found the best price at the local Yamaha dealer, almost 30% lower than any other price I could find.  The service manager at the Yamaha dealer happens to be my neighbor, so we worked out the final pricing and an installation time.  He knows how fussy I am about my bikes, so I was confident that the dealership could handle the job with a little direction from me.

To assist the Yamaha dealer, I wrote a wheel removal/installation guide for a 2009 Buell 1125R.  I consulted with the Bad Weather Bikers 1125R Superbike Board and my Twitter friend Jase at Hellcat Customs prior to putting the guide together. I also watched JDugger's YouTube videos on 1125R wheel removal...check out my 1125R Wheel Removal/Installation Guide.  Upon arrival at the Yamaha dealer, I asked to speak to the technician who would be working on my 1125R.  I provided the technician with the guide and went through it with him.  Two hours later, my new tires were installed and the 1125R was good to go!

Pilot Road 3 Rear

 Pilot Road 3 Front

Since the installation, I have put approximately 300km on the Pilot Road 3's.  So far they feel good, but I have to put a few more miles on them before I am as confident on the bike as I was with the Corsa III's.  Stay tuned for a follow up report!  Until next time, ride safe!

Monday, August 6, 2012

2012 Superbike Shootout - Cycle World

Check out Cycle World's 2012 Superbike Shootout video!  The EBR 1190RS holds its own against the best in the world!  Way to go Erik Buell & the team at EBR! Anxiously waiting for the release of RX, SX & AX from EBR!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day 6 The Ride Home

Day 6 The Ride Home - US Route 1N, NB-3N, NB-2E

We had an early start on our last day of the trip and our plan was to follow US Route 1N to the Canadian border and then home to Fredericton.  Total distance for the day was approximately 525 km (325 miles).   The bikes were loaded and we rode to Freeport, ME for a big breakfast before our day of riding.

Day 6 - The Ride Home

The weather again was perfect...6 excellent days of riding!  For the first couple of hours the ride on Route 1N was great, traffic was almost non-existent  and we cruised along at the speed limit.  We stopped in Bucksport, ME to view the The Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory...this is one cool looking bridge!


 The Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory 

The bridge spans 2120 feet where the Penobscot River meets the Penobscot Bay.  There is an observatory at the top of the left bridge column that you can visit.  The Penobsoct River also has some historic significance that dates back to the 1700's.


Penobscot River and Penobscot Bay

After crossing the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, we made a quick stop for fuel, coffee and a snack.  From there, we continued on Route 1 to Sullivan, ME where we stopped for a few more pics of the Sullivan Harbor areas.


Sullivan Harbor, ME

We continued North to Machias, ME where we topped up our fuel and prepared for the final stretch in the USA to the Canadian Border.  Other than woods, there is not much to see on this part of Route 1.  The roads are decent and the traffic is very light...if you travel in this area, it would be worth your time to visit Campobello Island via Lubec, ME.  We cleared Canadian Customs at NB-1 and made our way to St. Stephen, NB for a bite to eat before making the final 120km ride home.

This was an excellent road trip, from the White Mountains to the Green Mountains to the roads of rural Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut to the coasts of New Hampshire and Maine!  We had the opportunity to view many geographic areas and ride on some excellent roads!  In addition, we made a few new friends along the way...especially Jeff from Amherst, NH!  I estimated that we covered 2700 km (1678 miles) on this 6 day ride through the New England States and would highly recommend this ride to others!  An extra special thanks to my friend Luc...you could not ask for a better guy to travel with!!!


Random Stuff...

Luc & Jeff in White Mountains

V-Star 1100 Classic in NH

Bear Notch Road, NH

Lost in Newport, NH (not really)!

View from Cannon Mountain, NH

Recovering from  2nd Degree Sunburn after Going Squid!

I am already looking forward to next summer's ride!  Until next time, ride safe! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day 5 CT/MA/NH/ME

Day 5 CT/MA/NH/ME

After a nice breakfast with Luc's sister and niece, we planned our routes for the day.  Our goal was to head for the Atlantic coast through Seaport, NH and follow US Routes 1/1A North.  We loaded our bikes, gave our thanks, said our goodbyes and hit the road.

 Day 5 Route

Our first route was CT-97N...this was a very nice drive through the rural countryside.  It was a mix of mature forest and beautiful colonial style estates complete with rock walls as property boundaries.  Traffic was very light and we enjoyed the ride; this is another route that I would recommend.


CT-97N

We continued to make our way North and stopped at Worchester, MA for a coffee and a quick break.  From there it was East to Marlborough, MA via MA-20 and then to the much dreaded I-95N!  The ride to the I-95 was mostly urban...through small towns and business districts, nothing too exciting.

The ride on the I-95 was not fun, traffic was very heavy and slow.  Added to that, it was extremely warm, bordering on uncomfortable!  Once we passed all of the exits for Boston, traffic flow and speed improved.  90 minutes later, we were in Seabrook, NH and a much deserved break.  Traffic on US-Route 1 was very heavy as it was a Saturday and many were headed to the beach areas.

On our approach to Route 1A, Luc and I got separated for a short period of time.  We were in traffic and very quickly approaching the exit from Route 1 to 1A.  Luc was leading and I asked what direction he was heading as we were approaching an off ramp, he said straight, well, he interpreted straight as veering right and I interpreted it as veering left...we were riding close and as he veered to the right, I did not have time to do the same and ended up veering left.  He went one way and I the other...Luc said in his Scala, "I will find you"!  A few minutes later, we found each other and were heading for Route 1A...at least that's what we thought!

We ended up on the Hampton Beach strip, it was busy and very slow.  Traffic was at a stand still and it took us at least 30 minutes, maybe longer to get through the strip area and back on to the real Route 1A!  Route 1A to Portsmouth was a great coastal ride.


We passed through many beach areas and saw some amazing real estate.  If you are riding through this area on a nice day during the weekend, be prepared for a slow ride!



US Route 1A - New Hampshire

We arrived in Portsmouth, NH about mid-afternoon, parked the bikes and went off on a search for a seafood restaurant in the downtown waterfront district of the city.  We found an excellent place...The Old Ferry Landing Restaurant and had an amazing feed of scallops.  The portion of scallops were large and they were cooked to perfection!  Two thumbs up for this place!  In addition, the restaurant deck has a great water view!

Old Ferry Landing Restaurant - Portsmouth, NH

Next, the plan was to jump back on Route 1 and continue our ride North.  We crossed the state line into Maine and proceeded on our way.  We had hoped to take Route 1A from York to Wells for another seaside ride, but that quickly changed due to weekend traffic...it was bumper to bumper at the exit to York and very slow, so we opted to skip it and stay on US Route 1.  The same held true for Kennebunkport and ME - 9.  We stopped near the Kennebunk exit for fuel and a much needed drink...I was starting to feel that I was physically overheating and I made the decision to go "squid" for a bit and removed my leather jacket...something I would pay for dearly later on!

It was approaching early evening when we arrived in Portland, ME and we thought it would be a good idea to start looking for place to settle for the evening.  We stopped at a Comfort Inn near the airport only to find out that everything in the city was booked solid.  The two ladies working at the Comfort Inn tried to find us a place, but no luck...they really went beyond the call of duty to try to help us.

Luc and I decided that we would jump on the I-295 and look for accommodations elsewhere.  We rode on the I-295 for about 15 minutes and took the first exit we came to that had signs for accommodations.  Immediately off the exit at Yarmouth, ME, we found a small motel called the Brookside Motel.


Brookside Motel - Yarmouth, ME

It was perfect, clean, air conditioned, had WiFi and on top of that was only $100.00! We were both pretty tired from a long day's ride in hot weather!  We went for a short walk to a local store and then settled in for the eve!

Next Day 6...US Route 1 to Canada.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day 4 MA/CT Part B

Day 4 MA/CT (Part B)

The second part of our day 4 ride took us from Massachusetts to Northern Connecticut and then through central Connecticut.  Our first destination was the town of Granby, CT.  It took a bit longer to get there then expected as we missed a turn and had to go through Holyoke, MA before catching the I-91 South.

 Day 4B MA/CT

Once in Granby, we followed CT-20...this is an excellent ride!  The highway is 50+ km and extends through scenic roads with lots of turns!  It seemed like Luc and I were the only two vehicles on the road and we had a lot of fun...this would have to rank as one of my favorite rides of the 6 day journey.  It was so much fun, that I did not stop to take any pictures.  However, I did find this video on YouTube that will give you an idea of what the ride on CT-20 is like!

Video Credit - 24VFR (YouTube)

At the end of CT-20, we stopped for fuel at Winsted and planned our route to Luc's sisters place in Scotland, CT.  It looked like the rest of our riding would be a mix of Interstate and divided highway to Norwich, CT (CT-8, I-84, I-691, CT-9, etc.)...it was typical highway driving, not much to see and lots of Friday afternoon traffic.  

We ventured off CT-9 for fuel at East Haddam, CT.  Well stopped there, a driver of a beverage truck came over and started to talk to us.  He asked where we where heading and we replied, Norwich.  He said that he owned a Harley and that we should take CT-82 to Norwich...he said that it was an excellent "biker road" and that it would provide relief from Friday afternoon traffic.  Since CT-82 was adjacent to the gas station we decided that we would take the advice that we where given. The ride to Norwich on CT-82 was another good one, similar to what we experienced earlier in the day in MA.

CT-82

Once we arrived in Norwich, we rode to Luc's old neighborhood.  He grew up near Norwich and had not been back there for some time.  I enjoyed hearing Luc tell stories of where he grew up and the things they did as kids.  We stopped at the house where Luc lived as a child/teenager and grabbed a quick picture.


From there it was on to Scotland, CT and Luc's sisters for the evening.  We had a great visit and evening with Luc's sister and her family!  Up next, day 5...NH/ME coast...