The January / February 2018 issue of Canadian Biker is now available to our subscribers and on select newsstands across Canada.
We celebrate technology on the cover with the crucial ingredient in the new Kawasaki H2 SX motor – the supercharger impeller. The precisely engineered impeller is the piece that forces all the additional air into the 998 cc motor allowing for the production of copious horsepower in both the H2 and H2R. Producing an engineering marvel is well and good but Kawasaki had to do something to extend the H2 platform as the market for minutely focused hypersport bikes is limited. So what next? The answer to that question and the first foray into wider use of the technology comes in the form of the H2 SX – a sport touring iteration of the H2. Sport touring meaning that you get saddlebags and more comfortable ergonomics. The arrival of the two-up capable H2 SX leads to some interesting questions regarding Kawasaki’s line-up and creates, if possible, an apples to oranges comparison amid Kawasaki’s sport touring offerings. On one side there is the new H2 SX and the other features the very capable and long-lived Concours. The same purpose but very, very different options.
Elsewhere in the issue our editor John Campbell visits the Calgary motorcycle show to take a look at the not so expected exhibitors. You may know what you are going to get in the big scheme of things at the show – the manufacturers showing off their newest models. But what about all the other stuff? There are many booths at the shows other than the manufacturers and amid these smaller booths you can find a lot of usual motorcycle gear and a few things that may make you raise an eyebrow. While in Calgary John also heads over to the Kane’s Harley Diner – one of the longest lasting motorcycle themed restaurants in Canada. It a good place for a burger and a shake even if you aren’t of the v-twin persuasion.
We have a couple of touring stories in this initial issue of the year. The first has our intrepid travelers riding the backroads of the Idaho high country where a technical malfunction brings out the kindness of strangers. One of the most interesting features in the story is the chosen ride of one of the participants – a SV650 converted into a dualsport ADV machine. Who says you need a V-Strom when what you really hanker for is just that great little v-twin motor? The other travel feature this issue involves the aspiration of one rider to join the KTM Rally during the rare Canadian stop. The rally involves a lot of riding, a lot of back country, skill and nerves and a surprising number of injuries. Sounds like a lot of fun to some riders!
Elsewhere we look at a very famous (among certain circles) drill press. A drill press you ask? Famous? It turns out that this is a drill press from a legendary motorcycle shop that works a little better because you can change speeds by shifting gears courtesy of an old Triumph transmission. How many drill presses do you know of with a toe shifter? It is a great example of making what you need.
On top of that we try to figure out what is ”cool” today in the motorcycle culture, we look at an Indian motorcycle builder that isn’t affiliated with Polaris and many other interestingly obscure facts and figures.