On the cover is the Ducati Scrambler fulfilling the less is more spot in the Italian manufacturer’s lineup. Some were skeptical when Ducati unveiled the Scrambler. An air-cooled motor, barely a swoopy line to be seen, a bargain price and too many hipsters doing back flips in the “Land Of Happiness”. It was enough to make anyone over the age of thirty skeptical but there is no doubt that there is a market for retro themed machines that offer a level of simplicity not found in many of the offerings from European brands. Traction control, power modes, electronically adjustable suspensions, lean sensing ABS and the like have their place in the motorcycle world but sometime simplicity has its rewards. ABS and the basics are enough for some. It is why the BMW RNineT found a loyal following. It is why the old new Bonneville found a market for Triumph (where the new, new Bonneville aka the 2016 liquid cooled version fits in this theory remains to be seen). It is why some riders seek out the Royal Enfields and Urals. Our contributor Bertrand Gahel – a man who likes a bike with unfettered and boundless horsepower – rides the Scrambler amid the streets of San Francisco and comes away with a few surprising opinions on the less is more theory.
What do you do when someone offers you a free 1982 Honda CBX? You are skeptical at first but then you jump at the opportunity even if said bike has spent 15 years moldering under a tarp. That is just what Steve Whiting did. It is after bringing the bike home that things begin to get interesting. Steve, being a fan of Ducatis, decides the best thing to do with the donated bike would be to turn it into a Ducati / Honda hybrid. Specifically a CBX999R. That may not make purists on either side of the equation happy but a man has to do what a man has to do when the vision strikes him. With a little help from his friends, including Roger Goldammer (which has to be handy in a situation like this), Ken proceeds to build a machine that looks as stock as a “Duda” CBX999R can look.
Just to finish this odd progression, we include a look at our Tech Editor Rich Burgess’ 1979 Honda CBX – which for you CBX purists is somewhat stock with the exception of the big bore kit and nitrous of course. Seems that Rich forgot to drain the gas between infrequent rides on this bike – one of the many in his collection. That would be six carbs that need cleaning. Better get started Rich.
From there we go hybrid again and combine planes and bikes. First a custom Victory Hammer and a prop driven vintage fighter trainer. That is foowed by a touring story that includes the Comox Air Museum as a destination and finally a Victoria show and shine organized by a group called Women, Wings and Wheels.
With the exception of our ride to Comox, our touring stories are both based in the prairies this issue. The first involves two gentleman deciding to tackle the mud and muck of the Trans Canada Adventure Trail as it crosses Saskatchewan. The scenery is beautiful, the ferry crossings interesting and the mud slippery which is why they decide to take on this route one chunk at a time. The second story is an attempt to find curves in Alberta along the Red River Valley. Turns out there are curves and, if you want to count them, 27 crossings of the river along the way.
What else? A gathering of Brittens, a video wheel for your motorcycle, the all female team for the next BMW GS Trophy, a few concept bikes that may or may not make it to a road near you, the latest in motorcycle news and more!
About Canadian Biker
Canadian Biker magazine has been entertaining and informing Canadian riders since 1980 as Canada’s motorcycle news and information source. Published 10 times a year, the magazine covers all aspects of the motorcycle experience: new model tests and reviews, travel features, new products and accessories, vintage bikes – it is all within the pages of Canadian Biker.