2012 started with a trip to EICMA and ended with a look at Keanu Reeves’ line of custom bikes – Arch Motorcycles. If that doesn’t run the motorcycle gamut, we don’t know what does.
The Jan/Feb 2012 issue of Canadian Biker has us in Italy at the EICMA show – the largest motorcycle show in the world. It isn’t the only place that big motorcycle announcements are made but it is one of the more significant venues – and what a venue it is. We also jump aboard a police spec Kawasaki Concours to see if a bike with a ZX14 engine is what the next generation of CHIPS actors should be looking good on. Because it is winter the touring feature takes us down into the dry hils and mountains of Arizona where our intrepid contibutor tries to not get himself lost.
Speaking of the aforementioned Kawasaki ZX-14R, Bertrand heads down to Las Vegas to ride the new bike in the March 2012 issue. So much emphasis was placed on the torque of this monster engine that it isn’t surprising that part of the launch has the guys of the drag strip staring down the Christmas tree. We also look at the joys of riding solo because sometimes a fellow just doesn’t need any company. The touring story takes us on the Trans-Labrador Highway. This epic road is being paved so it is good to get a look at it before it becomes too civilized. Beyond that the March 2012 issue looks at the choice between a GSX-R600 and a GSX-R750 is you are hung up about which one to buy.
We are all looking for a bargain are we not? In the April 2016 issue we look at 10 bikes that will set you back less than $10,000. That sort of covers the lower end of the market these days. Also we ride the Kawasaki Ninja650 -a bike that sits nicely between sport and standard in that vague spectrum of bikes. The touring stories in this issue see us in Alberta, Washington and Oregon with a side trip to the Dakar rally.
Remember when bikes weren’t completely digital. It wasn’t all that long ago. In the May 2012 issue we look at the 2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 as it gets an update that puts it somewhere between digital and analog. We also look at the growing segment that is the adventure touring bike. It seems that every manufacturer wants a piece of the action as they bring a varied mix to the riding table. After that we have the Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra, a mini bike collection in Alberta and a touring story that involves a long and adventurous search for high test fuel – what is that pinging sound?
Oh boy, that is a scooter on the cover of the June 2012 issue. But come on those of you that don’t like scooters, it is a giant, fast and comfortable one. Doesn’t that count as we look at BMW’s C-series scooters. When is a free bike not exactly a free bike? How about when some-one gives you a bike that has been sitting for years. The likelihood of it starting up and riding away are slim. We look at one such story. But hey, it is still a free bike. The Kawasaki Z1 gets a retrospective on its forty years of ferocity and the riding story takes us deep into Africa where we see more than one elephant.
Did the July 2012 issue mark the spot that Honda decided that the cruiser had rolled into history? With the introduction of the NC700 Honda brought in a new platform that would be utilized for everything from a sorta sport bike to a sorta cruiser. And we sorta liked it. Sorta….. Elsewhere in this issue we jumped on a pair of old Vincent for nostalgia and attempt to understand the legend that is Vincent, on Yamaha’s argument that the cruiser is not done with the introduction of a revised Road Star Warrior and ride the jungles of Brazil.
In this issie we did something that perhaps a few of you thought was a little unfair by giving you nice pictures of 10 really cool bikes that we don’t get in Canada but hey, don’t get too upset because if you wait four years to the summer of 2016 one of them will be coming to Canada as the VFR1200X. Does that make you feel better? Elsewhere we go to the Harley-Davidson museum and look back on 110 years of rumbling v-twins – well minus a few as the company didn’t start with a rumbling v-twin. The touring feature takes us to one of our editor’s favourite spots – Manitoba!
At this point in the September 2012 issue, Indian Motorcycles were still just a glint in somebody at Polaris’ eye and Victory was still holding down the Polaris two wheeled side of the bench. We head to Duncan, BC where we can not believe that the town fathers allow the streets on downtown to be closed for a supermotard race. The road trips in this issue see us riding the hinterland of Ontario and the sunny warm parts of the Pacific Northwest – could there be a better combination.
For the Oct/Nov 2012 issue Ducati, what have you got for us now? A new version of the Multistrada, Did you know in a few years from now you will put knobbies on the bike and call it the enduro? For now though we have what is firmly a street bike to ride. We also jump on a bike of similar style but less cost as we look at the Suzuki V-Strom 650 decked out for touring. The touring story comes from the Atlantic coast and Bolivia – a country without a coast. But that’s okay motorcycle is about the pavement not the waves.
And finally Keanu Reeves is bringing the world his vision of a custom bike in Arch Motorcycles. Enough said. We do follow up on Keanu a few years later and Arch was not a flash in the pan.