2009 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS INCLUDED INSIDE! Bytown Motorcycle Association
NEWSLETTER JUNE 2009
Published by riders, for riders.
LARRY MURRAY FLOGS BMW’s 450X SPRING TRAIL RIDE...
IN THIS ISSUE:
RANDY SMITH TAKES IT FOR A RIDE...
• DIRT FROM PREZ • LIMERICK INFO • FAMILY DAY INFO
BYTOWN MOTORCYCLE ASSOCIATION
Volunteers Really Cut It! Last season, the BMA contributed and logged the most volunteer hours of any club in Ontario. The OFTR recognized our efforts by chipping in with a brand new Stihl MS 170 chainsaw. The club now owns 3 trail saws, and we can finally learn to juggle them. Great big thanks goes out to everyone who chipped in their time and recorded their efforts. The BMA also want to thank the OFTR for their generous gift.
Dave “Woody” Percival President Mike Hillier Vice-President Carolin Lueders Treasurer Mike O’Rielly Secretary Dave Phifer Volunteer Co-ordinator Andrew Jasiak Membership Dallas Shannon Newsletter Editor Kaveri Gupta Copy Editor/Art Director Larry Murray Randy Smith Doug Hunter Contributors Carolin Lueders Doug Hunter Steve Garnsey Randy Smith Photographs Dallas Shannon Advertising Sales To the BMA Membership Suggestions (please!) for advertising sales.
If you would like to receive the newsletter by email please contact: email@example.com Written permission must be requested to reproduce, or reprint all or portions of the content contained herein.
© Bytown Motorcycle Association 2009
DIRT FROM THE PREZ
I am pleased by our new and enthusiastic group of executives and directors for 2009 and after our first meeting of 2009, the direction ahead looks very positive. Meetings are now put on our website (the highlights) to keep in touch (for the bulk of members) who don’t do our meetings. New faces this year include, Dallas Shannon, as our new 6’20” newsletter editor, our VP is now Mike Hillier, and the volunteer director is Dave “you’ll hear from me” Phifer. Our new membership guy is Andy Jasiak of Tykes on Bikes fame, although, more recently of Trials riding infamy. As usual, we have some long term execs including Carolin Lueders as treasurer, and Mike O’Rielly is once again our recording secretary. I am again back after a year off, as Prez. A nice mix of new and old to keep this club at the forefront of off-road inroads. Just past event was Dave Makins trials with a good turn out and some very nice new equipment, apparently and a good event was had by all. Just ahead is our Spring Club Trail Ride on May 31, so seal up you air boxes and come to our event. It’s at the Highland Golf Course with the start around 10 AM. Don’t forget about my June 7th club 2 hour hare Scrambles. This year it’s on a relatively easy course about 7km long and should be fun for all. If you have never done any of these types of races, this is the place to start (your career?). Generally, not a lot of riders on the course, and is best described as a fast trail ride, right? Beyond that, I am anxious to get up to the Boogie for a good ride (me and my favorite chainsaw). We have been quite busy around the shop this year, with service, and the salvage yard in big demand, this season, but my Wednesday rides (starts at 1’o
photo: Carolin Lueders
Hi everyone and welcome to the club for the 2009 season. The early monsoon season has subsided and the riding is just great right now. Reports of big water in Calabogie, while normal for this time of year, is proving tough on some trails. Much of the water is from dams made by Steve Garnsey’s favorite rodents, the beaver. Seems only bullets and dynamite solve the problem (neither carry well on bikes, I guess) so we’re stuck there boys...
The Prez hanging out at the stable.
clock) being popular with the locals riders or if your off another day, your welcome to come up and check out the trails yourselves, most any time we are here. So 2009 promises to be another great year for riding (rain or shine) and our club outlook is very positive. With the OFTR and Ken Hoeverman doing their usual good work on land issues on our riding areas, including a very difficult situation threatening off roaders in the Northumberland forest. No situation is perfect, or permanent, it is up to us to stay vigilant in our riding areas and be proactive with the land management groups. Be involved ladies and gentlemen! In the local forests, Larose is set to get a short section of trail, thanks to Marlene, Ed, Dale and company. We have a signed deal now, but on a test basis only, subject to seemingly intense scrutiny. This will be a good test bed for the BMA code of ethics. In the Lanark County forest we are soon mapping trails, so get your GPS mapping to Jeff Ackert and get our trails onto the official maps for Lanark County. Things are going well in the Limerick Forest. It is now open for riding! One final big thanks to Grant Wood for his work on the clubs 2009 event schedule. So now its time to ride folks, call me if you need my input, and go easy (it’s early)!
See you on the trails,
THE VIEW FROM HERE Letter from the Editor What a great two seasons of riding it’s been! I’m new to the Ottawa area and luckily, I’ve stumbled into the BMA.
Since that first contact I have been encouraged to get involved and I have. I’ve met and rode with a great bunch of guys (excluding the group on the right!) and the club is well organized. I’m excited about the club and it’s potential. I am excited about the newsletter. I believe that if the BMA reaches out to other riders like myself, we will increase our membership and become stronger and more influencial. The club needs another generation of riders to get involved. The main goal of the newsletter is to get people involved, educate them about “how we ride” and let them know what riding opportunities are available in Ontario. That said, I hope to add an event listing section where other clubs can display their events. It’s always great to know what’s going on. They say that perception is reality. I’m hoping we can change the public’s negative perception of the dirt bike crowd. One of the ways I would like to do this is with advertising. In future issues, there will be coupon advertising representing local businesses. This is being done for a variety of reasons. 1. Everyone loves a great deal, especially on dirt bike related gear, food and travel.
photo: Doug Hunter
Kevin Eastman, Faron Young and Ron “Ronzo” Burns, were my first and most important points of contact with the club. When I contacted them, Faron and Ronzo were friendly, helpful and encouraging - how could I not get involved? Kevin was another story. After scaring me to death with stories of Calabogie and rides where most riders don’t make it out alive, Kevin allowed me to come along for one of his rides. For those who don’t know, Kevin has a reputation for liking knarly, nasty single track. The ride lived up to my expectations and although I was sore for days, my attitude (certainly not my skills) got me invited to future rides. To this day Kevin swears that he is forced to “screen squibs” and the nasty ride was necessary.
Steve Garnsey, Dallas Shannon, Glen Cooper and Kevin Eastman at Mair Lake
2. Businesses love to track who spends money in their business. If BMA members use these coupons it will reinforce that BMA people are ok to have around. 3. Advertising sales will off-set the costs of producing and mailing the newsletter. I encourage you to get involved with stories, photos, product reviews, comments, suggestions or letters. Anything you can contribute helps. As the front cover says - VOLUNTEER POWERED. Plus, getting published is tons of fun!
BMA 2009 EVENT SCHEDULE BMA Club trail ride, Calabogie, Ont.
Watch the club web site for developments. This is a great area…lots of scenery and varied terrain suitable for most skill levels. Dualsport route is also being offered. For information call Doug McNeil at (613) 825-1444, firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Hour harescramble, Woody’s, Perth
BMA/Woody’s Cycles club hare scrambles our annual spring pilgrimage into the forest. Usually a dust free event …there may or not be any mud. Always fun and challenging. Classes include youth, previous race experience with no bikes under 65cc,junior, intermediate, veteran (over 39 years old) or so and pro. Registration starts at 9am and practice till 11:15 am. Racing starts a noon .For info call Carolin or Woody @ 613-267-6861.or email@example.com
Limerick Forest Kid’s Ride
Limerick Forest Family Ride. For kids of all ages, non-competitive, and focused on fun. Trails as always well marked for different riding levels. Bikes must be quiet, plated and legal. Sign in 9-10, start time 10:30 for more info call Mike Hillier 613-258-1164 or Larry Murry 613-926-2522
BMA Fun Day/Field Day at Woody’s
BMA Family Fun day @KTM Acres in Perth A day to kick back, ride, relax, play m/c games, and skill contests and really get to know other folks in the club .If you are so inclined we will have the property well arrowed up for the various skill levels for trail riding during the day. Bring a lunch and bug repellent. More details will follow. For info call Marlene Bleau 613-678-1676 firstname.lastname@example.org
Calabogie Boogie Trail Ride,
This is our clubs premier event of the year with 2 days of prime off road riding, arrowed routes to suit everyone from newbie to pro. Trailheads marked for mileage and difficulty, some dualsport friendly trails as well .One and 2-day packages, pre-registration are very advisable for this one. Watch the club website for updates and info. Pre-registration available thru Woody’s Cycles 613-267- 6861
BMA 4-hour harescramble, Woody’s
The Colin Snider Memorial 4 hour Team Scrambles. This is an annual favourite, with a low impact racing, format with an iron man class for the hardcore, a 2-man team competition and 3 to 4 man teams competing for individual honours. It is set on a course meant to be fun but reasonably challenging. A fundraiser for local charities and an excellent event for a family group to have… a really fun day and get some racing experience to boot No bikes smaller than 65cc call for info Carolin or Woody 613-267-6861
FOR A HARDCOPY, PLEASE PRINT PAGE FIVE OF THIS DOCUMENT
About The BMA The BMA is a group of off-road motorcycle enthusiasts dedicated to preserving and expanding dirtbike riding opportunities in the Ottawa area and Eastern Ontario. tion of riders moved on and interest waned the club dissolved. Bob Guzzo managed to maintain the incorporation until the current generation took over in 1998.
photo: Dallas Shannon
Today The club is a family orientated group of some 150 members who organize local off-road events year round, including events for charity and events just for fun.
The club is involved in many segments of off-road activity, both competitive and non-competitive alike, including ice racing, enduro, trials, hare-scrambles, and trail riding.In addition to local events, activities include national level events such as two rounds of the Yamaha Trail Ride series in Calabogie and the Limerick Forest.
History The roots of the BMA go back to the Bytown Ramblers of Ottawa in 1956. The year 2006 marks the 50th anniversary of the BMA. The club initially consisted of two dirt bikes, a 1948 Harley Davidson 125 and a ’56 Dot trails bike. As more and more people entered off-road sports the club split off with the new Ottawa Valley competition Motorcycle club now catering to this segment. This club put Ottawa area riders on the map with members beginning to win events previously dominated by Southern Ontario or even US riders. New events such as the Canada-US challenge matches began to take place. Most of the bikes at that time were stripped down road bikes. Some were even ridden to the tracks, stripped of their lights and raced. The club continued on into the early 1980’s, catering mostly to trials riders toward the end. As a genera-
Our membership is extremely diverse, both demographically and geographically, being spread across Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, and even into the USA. The membership includes many experienced and accomplished riders from various disciplines of the sport. A core group of essential volunteers make all of the events possible. Besides competition a We’ve got the Prez’s back. large number of trail riders are represented in the club working towards our mandate of promoting and expanding off-road riding opportunities in the area. Good relationships with the MNR, landowners, and other stakeholders are essential and the club has compiled a “code of conduct” based on the “tread lightly” concept designed to protect the relationships.
photo: Carolin Lueders
Doug Hunter, Steve Garnsey, Kevin Eastman, Glen Cooper
Club Trail Ride May 31st
Club Trail Ride Info Location:
Highlands Golf Club - Barryvale, ON
Lunch served after ride - 1:00-3:00 Licensed and insured bikes No loud bikes 60-90km ride
8:00 registeration / breakfast 9:30 riders meeting
Leader leaves ASAP after riders meeting, please be on time.
Price: $20 for BMA members - $30 non-members
There will be a Dual Sport as well as guided intermediate and expert trail options. Not suitable for beginners. Novices with a year or so of riding under their belt should be ok. Not really suitable for â€œbig-wheelâ€? motorcycles (or riders under 16), but might be ok based on riders ability.
For information call Doug McNeil at (613) 825-1444, email@example.com
Limerick Forest Family Ride - Sunday July 12 For kids of all ages, non-competitive, and focused on fun. Trails are always well marked for different riding levels, including a kids loop suitable for 50cc bikes. All bikes must be quiet, plated and legal. Sign in 9-10 am, start time 10:30 for more info call Mike Hillier 613-2581164 or Larry Murray 613-926-2522.
LOCAL RIDER TURNS 50! Active club member Kevin Eastman has annouced that heâ€™s recently turned 50. Kevin mentioned that there will be fewer knarly rides, less crashes and a dual sport bike in his future. Kevinâ€™s been spotted hanging out with Terry Young on several occasions. If you see Kevin riding this season please do not mention his age.
BMA Code Of Conduct 1. Do not trespass on private property 2. Ride on existing trails 3. Respect nature 4. Respect and be courteous to other people who also have the right to be on the trails 5. Remember that few other vehicles are as maneuverable as bikes, so give the others lots of room 6. Hunt camp owners do a lot of trail grooming - respect their efforts 7. Stop when you see a horse 8. Do not ride during hunting season 9. Comply with all legislation, bylaws and insurance requirements 10. Always wear a helmet and other safety gear (but take off your helmet if you talk to someone) 11. Do not litter 12. Leave the place better than you found it 13. Keep your bike QUIET. More sound = less ground!
LIMERICK FOREST WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT OUR RIDING AREAS...
We cannot talk about the affairs of Limerick forest without covering some do’s and don’ts about trail riding. Most of the information is the same for Ontario crown lands and local community forests.
We have all been told this, and we all know it, so lets stop making excuses and start acting like responsible riders. First get a OHV plate ($35), get your bike under 94 decibels or get a bike that is, and get insurance.
To ride an off-road motorcycle or ATV anywhere other than your own land or a closed race track you must have:
Limerick forest is a community, not crown land. It is managed by Leeds and Grenville counties, and we need to have permission to use it. So far we do. Future access is not guaranteed and we must be good neighbors to keep our current access levels. Limerick has roughly 40 kms of single track and 30 kms of two track or fire roads. All trails are multi-use and you will meet many other users like, ATVs, trucks, mountain bikes, walkers, dogs, and horses. Please follow the BMA code of conduct (see previous page) and our future access should be secure.
• Off-road plate (front of your bike) • Current insurance PL & PD • Paperwork with you (insurance and plate permit) • Your bike can’t make more then 94 decibels • Spark arrester • You cannot ride on ANY roads
CVMG Lanark Trials, May 17th
The dust (mud and water) has settled on the annual spring trials and thanks once again go out to Dave and Judy Makin for hosting at their place near Watson's Corners. They were even kind enough to order up a cool, windy, bug-free day which was perfect for the occasion. We had a decent turnout of 18 riders plus spectators checking out the 10 section course... which offered everything from mud to rocks, trees, water crossings and lots of elevation. This has been a long running area event put on for the Ottawa section of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle group, of which the BMA has been an invited club. As in the past the range of bikes (and possibly riders) spanned over 50 years however the winds of change are blowing and modern-era monoshock bikes have become prominent, as the once dominant 1970's twinshock bikes (and possibly their riders!) perhaps begin to show their age! Yours truly appears to be the last dinosaur-era classic Brit bike holdout (with my 500 Ariel) with Yves Doyon now moving on to a beautiful new 08' Beta Rev 3 from his venerable Triumph Cub. Dave Southam had along his very trick 09' Montesa-Honda 4RT fourstroke... with a number of later model monos in support. No question, it is easier to wrestle a 150-pound monoshock, disc braked lightweight (with real suspension) machine through the "knarl" then an old 300-lb lump...regardless of the "character" factor! Trials is non-racing form of off road competition where the key is maintaining control over marked off "sections" of rugged terrain. Every "dab" of the foot in a section costs a point (to maximum 3 points) while a costly "5" is incurred if you stop, stall or go out of the section. Zero points is a “clean”! Points are added up at the end and like Golf, low score wins. The "A" lines in each section proved challenging enough to cost even the expert riders a few points…with plenty of steep steps, slippery slopes and tight turns! As Dave M. pointed out, veteran rider Andre Burke riding a twinshock Yamaha (with a broken foot) was the only rider to clean the challenging “A” line in section 9. Great stuff! Anthony DiLabio showed that he is still an expert rider (despite many years of not riding) on the very clean Bultaco Sherpa he has owned for 36 years! The intermediate B line provided plenty of challenge as well, while being perhaps just a touch kinder to older bikes and bodies! The C line was very popular, allowing newer (or rusty) riders to get a feel for the sport, have fun and hone their trials skills without getting over ones head. With some deep water around, that would have been very possible! Long-time area racer Reid Masson rode his first trials with his new/old Yamaha TY. BMA members were well represented with Mike O’Reilly campaigning his TY (while being goaded by “photographer” Kevin Eastman) and Andy Jasiak blew out the cobwebs from his TY-250 monoshock. Jim Kolman proved as adapt at riding slow as he is at going fast. Feedback was positive and it seems we were reasonably successful in catering to most levels of skill under one roof...a difficult task in any off road event. Additional thanks go out to John Lebrecque for providing lunch as well as Patrick Hampson and the CVMG crew for helping out with the event. The fall round will be September 27th at the same venue, with a follow up play day on Oct 18th. If you haven't been to one before, come and check out the action in the Lanark highlands this fall. Results below are from the scorecards we could find…or what riders would admit to! Keep in mind, scores are not directly comparable, as the challenge of the A-B-C lines is quite different as noted above.
Doug Hunter Dave Southam Jim Kolman Anthony DiLabio Reid Masson John Makin Tony Funnekotter Michael Vinten Mike O'Reilly Patrick Hampson Andre Burke Neil Hossack M. Giroda Andy Jasiak
Ariel Montesa 4RT Yamaha Bultaco Yamaha Suzuki Montesa Montesa Yamaha Yamaha Yamaha Honda Beta Yamaha
11 (Heavyweight Vintage B line) 14 ( Monoshock A line) 22 (Twin shock) B line 24 (A line) 32 (C line) 37 (Twin shock) 38 (Monoshock A line) 43 (Twin Shock C line) 58 ( Twin shock A line) 87 (Twin Shock C line) 27 (DNF) riding with a broken foot! 6 (DNF) 39? (Monoshock, DNF) 65 (Monoshock, sections 1 - 7 only)
Yves Doyon negotiates a rocky step on his Beta while searching for his missing scorecard!
Anybody see him?
A DIFFERENT KIND OF ANIMAL test ride by Larry Murray
Thanks to the OFTR, I had the opportunity to ride the new G450x trail/street bike from BMW. I was lucky – I was given it for a day and rode 130km at the Northumberland trail ride. There are many things about the bike that are different from many of today’s trail bikes. But, keep in mind, this is a legal street bike that you can ride offroad, take to work on Monday, and park downtown in front of the police station. It is as versatile as the KTM EXC’s and Kawasaki KDX’s. The first thing you think when you see the bike – it looks thin, looks long, looks heavy, looks like a lot of rake in the front end, has an Ohlin shock, no gas cap, coaxial swingarm, fuel injection…wow! That’s a lot for a first impression! Now for the test ride. I pick up the bike from Ken at the OFTR trailer. Ken said to watch the rear brake (it feels different) and to fill it with fuel. The fuel tank
is under the seat and the filler cap is part of the rock hard seat. If the fuel is in the seat, what’s in the tank? Maybe the air intake? I never found out… Then I looked at the rear brake. The front skid plates wraps around the motor case and is in the way of the rear brake lever if you have big feet or big boots on. When you apply the brake you are also pushing down on the plastic skid plate. All I did was take a utility knife and cut about an inch off the top right side of the plate (do not ride this bike without doing this mod)! I was ready to ride. One touch of the starter button and the bike was running. No choke -fuel injection! Off I went. After only 1 km it was the motor that I was thinking about, flat on power. There was a lot of power, but there was no power band, just a straight line. It ran like an old Honda XR but more pull. The engine response was very good, fuel injection certainly works.
It was about now that I had to slow down. I was on a downhill and I turned the throttle off! OH MY GOD! I almost hit the front fender with my face. The engine braking is like an old flat track bike that has no brakes on it. What’s this all about? Maybe the fuel management system cuts the fuel totally off? That’s when I started riding it a gear up when going down hills. The gearing is tall but the motor can handle it, lots of power. I also felt the gears were too far apart – a closer gear box would work better for me, and maybe a 6th gear so you can run on the 401 highway. The new clutch mounted on the crank works well. It felt strong and smooth and it spins about 4 times faster – talk about flywheel weight. I was also thinking about the coaxial swingarm (the swing arm pivot bolt goes through the output shaft and the front sprocket on the engine) this is a trade off. The chain will always have the same amount of slack, but you need to take the swing arm off to change the sprocket. That may be a good thing, now riders might check and lube the swingarm bearings occasionally. The brakes on the bike are more than you need and I was happy with both. Keep in mind, with all that engine braking you may not need them at all!
would happen in Calabogie style rock. There are a lot of things that are different on this bike and they did think out of the box while building it. New motor, clutch location, electronic fuel injection, stainless steel frame, fuel cell under the seat, coaxial mounted swing arm, two oil pumps, plus many other things. This bike is well suited to mid-level riders but will need some work for the serious off-roader - but you can drive it on the street, something to consider. Thanks to the OFTR who allowed me to test the BMW and thanks the the folks who put on the Northumberland Trail Ride.
As for the handling of the bike: the rear shock by Ohlin works like a dream but the front forks would dive on me. They started to hold during compression but then would just give way making the front end dive suddenly. This could be part of the engine braking that I had difficulty with. Aside from the front forks and engine braking, the bike was easy to ride. It turns well, and was fun. The overall feel of the bike is tall, thin, light (around 245 pounds), with a low center of gravity and high bars. You can sit down or stand up, the bike is very comfortable and has plenty of power. I only rode the bike in Northumberland forest so I’m not sure what
- fuel injection - fuel weigh is lower - bike is thin - rear shock - lots of power - good throttle response - light - low center of gravitey - noise 92dbs at sound test Thumbs Down: - front fork - small fuel cell - flat power - no sweet spot - engine braking -gap beween gears
Wanna Take It For a Ride? story by Randy Smith
That’s how it all started. For an easily influenced 12 year old, that line is what got me infected with
the “bike bug”. A 12 year old that already spends way more time than he should reading bike magazines than doing his homework. The same 12 year old that can’t believe he has to wait 4 more years to get his drivers license! My neighbor Jack had a minibike. It was made by Woods. The frame was forest green and it had a Briggs and Stratton lawnmower engine. There was no suspension or disk brakes or anything that would be considered hi-tech back then. Just a frame, an engine, 2 wheels and a chunk of foam covered in black vinyl for a seat. No twist-grip for throttle, just a brake lever. Minibikes were all the rage back in the early ‘70s. They were on the front cover of many bike mags. I still have the first edition of Cycle Canada, with the headline shouting “We Love Minis!”. Many manufacturers were jumping on the minibike bandwagon. Some familiar names like Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and some not so familiar like Rupp, DMP, Benelli and Keystone. I was coming back from the corner store on my bicycle when I saw Jack riding this minibike around his gravel circular driveway. The bike had a raw power sound and he was really moving. A small crowd of kids in the neighborhood had gathered to witness this awesome piece of machinery. I watched by the curb, envious of Jack. Man, that looks like a total blast!
Then a shockwave hit me. Something I was not prepared for when I heard those 6 magical, irreversible words: Wanna take it for a ride? I stood trembling, barely able to hold my bicycle. Jack was a couple years older than me and I only knew him because his sister went to the same school. I’m not sure that I had even spoken to him before. So there was a double shock wave, one, a chance to ride this minibike and two that Jack would even offer it to me. I’m sure I hesitated for a few seconds, still getting a grip on his question before I dropped my bike and said: “Sure!” He held one end of the chrome high-handle bar as I threw a leg over this glorious machine. I was nervous, but more excited, as he showed me where the throttle and break levers were. As I got familiar with the bike, he let go of the bar and stood back. The crowd of anxious kids was staring at me and quietness grew from them. I was oblivious to them and very focused on what I was about to do. Little did I know that my life was about to change, that my focus, hobbies, inspirations, all were about to change forever. I squeezed the throttle lever and the bike started to move forward. I gave it enough gas to be able to lift my feet off the ground and onto the rigid horizontal
careful to aim the bike on the gravel of the driveway and not run down the crowd of kids that were still watching in awe. I made a full trip around the circum-
ference of the driveway and stopped where I had started this eventful day. Jack took hold of the handle bar as I slowly swung my leg off the beast, to let the next testosterone-induced kid take his turn. Just think of how many kids were infected that day! As I watched the others ride the Woods bike, standing and staring in a daze, something had come over me. I would never be the same. The damage was done (according to my parents, I’m sure). The venom from the bike bug bite was flowing through my central nervous system. It made its way to my young and vulnerable brain and flicked on the bike switch. As most of you know, this switch only goes one way. Once it’s turned on, “click”, – that’s it. There is no “off” setting. Ever. I hoped on my bicycle and rode like blazes to get home and tell my mom. I’m sure she was thrilled (said with sarcasm). I just had to get one! I must have driven my parents crazy talking about it, because they decided to make me an offer. If I would work on getting half of the cost for one, they would chip in for the other half. Yes! I guess they figured it would be a good learning experience for me, to find a job and work hard to get the money I required to fuel this uncontrollable desire.
bars that were used for foot pegs (Now I know where that name came from as these were just steel “pegs”). I was
For the next few months I saved all my pennies and poured over all the bike mags I could find to read up on Minibikes. I returned to Jacks place to tell him the
good news that I too was going to get a minibike and I needed to get all the information and advice that I could. I was fired up that’s for sure!
with other kids in the neighborhood who also rode. Our “gang” had quite a variety of machines; Rupp, DMP, Honda, Keystone, Benelli, Fox, Woods, etc.
Then one day the Eaton’s Spring and Summer catalogue arrived. As I was casually thumbing through it looking at toys, stereos, etc., I turned the page and I stopped and stared. I couldn’t move, my breath held as I my eyes locked on this awesome bike. It was a minibike, made by Keystone. The frame was yellow and the gas tank and seat were black. Striking! It was a beautiful creation of motorhead technology. I had to have it. The price? $149.95. I could get half that! I already had some saved from my paper route. This was the bike for me… or was it? I better take it over to show Jack and get his valuable and experienced opinion. He mulled it over and seemed a bit envious that I may be getting a newer and better bike. He informed me that it has a 2 stroke engine, just like the big street bikes! Remember, this is the ‘70s when Kawasaki triples, Suzuki and Yamaha 2 strokes ruled the streets (along with a few Honda 4 strokes). I was sold!
I spent evenings and weekends bombing around the “Dump” and the sides of farmers’ fields with our gang. No gear, no helmet, just endless smiles that ingrained great memories that stuck with me to this day.
When I finally came up with my half of the bike money, my parents put in the order. This was so exciting. My first bike was actually new too. I’m not sure how long it took before it arrived, but I’m sure it seemed like a full season had passed. It was early Spring when the box finally showed up at our door. We put it together on the carpet of the rec room. I read the manual over (I still have it) and my dad explained to me about mixing gas and oil, what a choke was, etc.
“Wanna Take It For A Ride”? It still has the same effect on me today. ******************************************************************** Randy Smith lives and rides in SW Ontario. He is still an avid motorcycle enthusiast and rides both off-road and on the street. Randy runs www.2wheelcentral. com, a site dedicated to bikes, industry news, and racing.
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Photos, product reviews, ride reports, are all welcome. Gwammer, spwelling and punatuation are all optional (we have a GREAT copy editor)!
Was I ready to ride? Yes! Was the weather cooperating? No! Spring fever was another disease I had to learn to deal with. There was still snow on the ground and I had to wait. The weather was warming up, but not enough to melt all that fun-zapping snow. I curbed my desire to ride it by sitting on it while watching TV and paddling it around the rec room. Sigh. When the weather finally cooperated, we fired up the mighty 50cc 2 stroke. It was loud and sounded much different than Jack’s bike. But it sounded cool! Off I went with the Cheshire cat grin permafrosted into my face. The Joker’s smile was, a joke, compared to what was ingrained in my face. Luckily for me, we lived on the edge of town with miles of trails accessible from our back yard. There was an old abandoned dump behind the house with countless trails. It turned out to be a meeting place
Published on May 3, 2010
Published on May 3, 2010
IN THIS ISSUE: RANDY SMITH TAKES IT FOR A RIDE... SPRING TRAIL RIDE... VINTAGE TRIALS • LARRY MURRAY FLOGS BMW’s 450X • DIRT FROM PREZ • L...