Canadian Biker – May 2015

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The May 2015 issue of Canadian Biker magazine has just come off the press. On the cover is Kawasaki’s brand new entry into the small to middleweight cruiser segment, the Vulcan S. If you can see a lot of the Kawasaki Versys 650 in the Vulcan S you have a very astute eye my friend. Kawasaki utilized that lightweight chassis to create a cruiser quite unlike most other offerings available today. Our intrepid Bertrand Gahel rides the Vulcan S around the scenic curves of coastal California to see if the Vulcan S with it adjustable fit features and 650cc parallel twin engine are up to the tasks at hand beyond just looking good.

Bertrand wasn’t done there as he jumped off the Vulcan S and onto the revised Triumph Tiger 800 which also happened to be waiting patiently in southern California (if you are going to ride somewhere in the Canadian winter, it may as well be the sunny hills of southern California). Triumph has introduced the Tiger 800 in not one, not two, not three but four iterations depending on whether the rider’s aim is street or off-road and whether the budget is premium or standard. The Tiger 800 was always a good bike with a very capable engine so the question is whether these improvements bring the Tiger up a notch and closer to the leaders in this middleweight ADV segment.

What is that in the mirror? Are those flashing lights? The flashing lights trying to get your attention for that rolling stop might just be attached to a BRP Spyder. We look at a couple of large police departments and their annual testing of available police bikes. For the first time ever, the Michigan State Police include a black and white (and red and blue) Spyder to their contenders for 2015 which include among others the Moto Guzzi Norge, the very stylish California cruiser, several Harley-Davidson models and the ubiquitous BMWR1200RT-P. Licence and registration please….

We were very curious about how you get 300hp out of a little tiny 998cc motor. It use to be that getting 100hp per litre was pretty good, 200 was excellent but now the bench mark is 300 plus (if you are really serious). That is quite amazing. We get technical as we try to explain the wonders of supercharging and turbines and blades and air and the Kawasaki H2R. You may never have one but you might be able to build something that makes your riding lawnmower go very fast indeed.

All that talk of speed made us hungry so we thought a ride around Lake Superior was just the ticket for finding a good meal. Yes, we broke one of our own rules about not showing pictures of food but that triple stacked burger looked so darn good followed up by the self-proclaimed best donuts in the world. Who wouldn’t want to ride a long way for either of those things?

To burn off that meal we threw in a ride around the island with supposedly the most paved roads per square mile. Yes Prince Edward Island, you are the winner.

Finally there is the Canadian Museum of Making. You’ll have to read the issue to the figure that one out. I thought it was a typo as well. But it might be just the place to build a fast lawnmower.