Canadian Biker – May 2017

The May 2017 issue of Canadian Biker is now available on newsstands and has been mailed to our fantastic subscribers.

It is tough to determine which of the the newer, new Bonneville-based models was the most anticipated. The liquid cooling may not have been embraced by fans of the base Bonneville but for those who wanted something a little more sporty the new engine delivered a livelier performance for some in the Bonneville family. On the cover is the new Street Scrambler which we ride at the European launch along with its underpinnings sibling the Street Cup – albeit not on the same roads. In the case of the Street Scrambler Triumph has to be given credit for maintaining the heritage scrambler look while building a new platform for the machine. Scramblers are de rigeur in the motorcycle market of late but is it the look or the assumed ability that draw riders to this type of machine? Our intrepid contributor Bertrand Gahel sets out to determine if the the Scrambler is all pose or if it can competently tackle some of the terrain for which it appears to be designed.

If someone were to suggest race-replica sport bikes are a booming market, they may have lost track of the last decade. Yes these bikes still exist and showcase the best of a manufacturers engineering prowess. Last issue we rode Honda’s new CBR1000RR while in an upcoming issue we will be getting aboard the new GSX-R1000 but as exciting and razor’s edge these bikes may be there is no denying their practicality is found wanting anywhere but the racetrack. For those demanding a generous heaping of sport combined with a far more generous nod toward comfort and usefulness, the naked bike has come to the rescue. Kawasaki’s Z family of bikes serves the role all the way from tiny with the Z125 to fierce embodied by the Z1000. The Z line-up has just been rearranged as a new Z900 is replacing the Z800 in the line-up. The new bike is available for less that $10,000 which makes it a bit of a bargain at the displacement and performance equivalent. We ride the Z900 at the California launch to determine if the great price is reflect to advantage in the real world.

There are several options for a travel read in the issue. Nancy Irwin forsakes her usual column in favour of a trip on her trusty R100GS to her old haunts south of the Mexican border. What she discovers is that while Casper (her bike) may be vintage it is a lot easier getting him fixed on the side of the road in Guatemala than had she been riding a new bike out of the box in 2016. Old reliable comes to the rescue.

We also join a adventurer from the Czech Republic who decided he wanted to see Canada the best way he knows how and that happened to be on a vintage 65 year old, 150 cc, two stroke built in Czechoslovakia. As interesting as he found Canada, it seems Canadian riders found his choice of machinery just as fascinating on his journey from Quebec to Tofino.

On top of all that we have Rich Burgess doing a little metal polishing with his favorer brand of metal polish, a spectacular custom bike based on a 1967 Honda 125, Robert Smith tracking down Burt Monro’s Bonneville streamliner in a spot you wouldn’t think to look for it, a flying GS and a couple of Rebels with attitudes.

Enjoy.