On the cover is the 2016 Triumph Speed Triple. One of the original bad boys that made a lot of noise before the naked street fighter segment became so popular with bikes like the Kawasaki Z1000, KTM Super Duke and Suzuki’s most recent GSX-S1000. The revised 2016 version of Triumph’s naked bike is more refined and yet still sports the undeniable character an aggressive bike featuring a glorious 1050cc triple producing 140 hp can’t help but exude. It is a dichotomy that our man Bertrand tries to wrap his head around while riding the bike through the twisty roads of Spain. He comes to several conclusions on this Quixote quest – one of which is wishing that the bike was just a little louder.
Africa Twin, Africa Twin, Africa Twin ….. so you get the idea that there has been a lot of news about Honda’s new adventure bike. It drew crowds at each of the Canadian motorcycle shows as enthusiasts were so very keen on finally seeing the bike in person. It does seem a little odd that there is so much pent up enthusiasm for the bike as so many Canadians appear to have been waiting for a new Africa Twin for so many years. The thing is Canada never had the original Africa Twin and neither did our neighbours to the south. So what have we been waiting for? Is it a modern adventure bike from Honda or is it the rebirth of the original Africa Twin that we were never able to buy? In this issue we look at the history of the Africa Twin and why the name is so important to Honda seeing as the inception of the name goes back more than a generation.
If it isn’t recorded, it didn’t happen. Where diaries and travel journals once stood as the record of a trip or adventure – scribbled notes and doodles filled with the author’s nuances and insights – today it is a Go-Pro stuck to a helmet or a handlebar. The commentary, if it exists, is a wind blustered voice over by a rider distracted by the concentration required to ride the motorcycle. But a picture, or in this case a video, usually not worth those thousands words anymore, is at the least available in high definition colour. Our regular contributor Trevor Marc Hughes sticks a couple of these high tech contraptions to his head in an attempt to see if documenting the event really is that easy.
Our touring story in this issue is a ride through the Kootenays of British Columbia which in itself is a great story and close to our hearts but we also include a trip into Fort Steele which is the historic NWMP station just outside of today’s Cranbrook.
Other than that we have a look at a custom shop out of Quebec that is doing nice things to BMW S1000R s,we ponder what makes European motorcycle shows so special, we take a one of a kind 1912 Indian motorcycle and put it on the railway tracks (with permission and without damage), dig up a 1926 Paragon Villiers that was assembled in Vancouver that almost makes it a Canadian motorcycle, examine the rule changes that may or may not have a dramatic effect on how motorcycles race up Pikes Peak and finish with a boring pistons tell-all ( or should I say a piston bore feature just because it sound less boring? Okay, enough with the puns – even though it had such a good ring to it that I couldn’t delete it with a stroke of the keyboard).