Monday, August 30, 2010

Motorcycles Spotted in Vancouver -- and an Observation

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A few days ago, I let the kitty is out of the burlap that I had traveled all the way from South Carolina to Vancouver British Columbia and visited the Deeley Motorcycle Exhibition. Well, I did travel there, but not by motorcycle, as it is about 3000 miles away from home.

Now let me tell you about a few other things I saw over in that part of the continent.

My bride and I stayed in Vancouver for a few days, in a near-downtown hotel, and amongst the hustle and bustle, I noted an interesting fact: There appeared to be more sporty bikes than chromed or metric cruisers. I'd say the ratio is perhaps 70 percent sporty bikes. My designation includes sportbikes, dualsports, and sport touring models. Of these, a large portion were out and out sportbikes.

This is most likely because of the mountains that are so near the city. According to a fellow engineer who rides a 2005 Yamaha FZ6, and whose handle is skeleton on Sportbike.net, "
Sportbikes are more popular in Canada than cruisers, compared to [the] USA. British Columbia has loads of GREAT biker roads. Because the province is nothing but mountains and valleys, the roads are all twisted. This is where sportbikes excel."

They held the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in early 2010, so I should have known that there were some mountains around.

Aside: By the way, this is skeleton's avatar on the Sportbikes.net forum.
I think I may have a few things in common with him. He is in his early 50s, and has ridden his FZ6 about five years and 20,000 miles. Do any of you youngsters know what that white thing is at the bottom of his picture?


The riders in Vancouver were mostly dressed more appropriately than in-town riders near my house, where I see too many in tee shirts and cargo shorts, although in the mountains at home there is more use of gear. Many of the riders in BC that I saw were wearing motorcycle jackets and gloves, with about 20% wearing motorcycle pants as well. All had helmets -- it is the law there.



Now, here are some photos of bikes in town.


Lots of scooters. This girl looks like she stepped (rode?) right out of a 1950s scooter ad, but for today's cars surrounding her.















 

Here is an electric scooter displayed on a street corner.












 


The specs:












 








I don't much care for the color, but it looks like red may be an option.


Now on to the larger machines:

This one was parked in front of a local police station,...

...he is a member of the Vancouver Police Motorcycle Drill Team, but it looks as though he rides more than a police bike.

Aside:
If you look at the Drill Team website, you will note the Broken Wing Award. It is not what you would call a prized decoration; the wings are presented to any team member who falls during a performance.
The initials IFO inscribed on the badge stand for I Fell Off, while the broken wing symbolizes the accident. The unfortunate member wears it until he or she can pass it on to the next person who has a stroke of bad luck.

Turning in town.


Bagger with a load.


A little taste of Italy.


A bit squidley.


It is OK for cars and bikes to park on the sidewalk on this street. The posts keep the cars from coming too close to the buildings and trees.


Something near here really got my attention. Can you spot it?

As I was walking along looking at buildings, motorcycles, and traffic, I walked right into (onto?, over?) one of these stylish bike racks. It is just the right height for shorty and the boys to get very acquainted with. I should have been watching where I was going, but I don't recall ever having had much trouble with the old fashioned type of bike rack. I'll get over it -- eventually.

Here, another sportbike awaits its owner.


A supermotard. 




 

















Waiting (im)patiently at a light.






Black bike, black suit, colorful helmet.

Blown up helmet view.

Are those flowers?

"I can go anywhere I want with this bike, but right now some guy with a camera is in my way."


"Finally, I can go."

Pretty green.


Here is a nice BMW bike, but what is that little truck going the other way?


I looked up the website shown on the side, and found that it is owned by a construction company. Here is the story,
according to Randy at LevelOne Construction.

"[The truck in the picture above is] a 1991 Nissan S-Cargo delivery van (because it looks like a snail (escargot). It is a cargo van made by Pike industries for Nissan. It was imported from Japan, and there were approximately 12,000 made.
This particular one used to be a MacDonald’s restaurant delivery van in Japan. It has a 1500cc engine and is an automatic.
It is also the number one [type of] vehicle for vehicle advertising in North America.,so I guess it works."
This is a young lady who has been riding a motorcycle only since May -- only about three months at the time I spoke with her. She was enthusiastic about her job and confident of her riding skills. She said that they practice a lot.
















 







Still, if she took a tumble, she would be hurt. I wonder why motorcycle officers do not wear more protective gear.

So, there were lots of motorcycles out on the days we visited.

We saw one more bike that has not been on the road in some time. It was at Burnaby Village, a group of vintage and reconstructed structures set in the 1920s. It is a Canada Cycle & Motor Company (C.C.M.) Motor Bicycle, built in 1910.












 




It is similar to a few bikes over at the Deeley Motorcycle Exposition I wrote about last time.

It isn't a motorbike, but this little piggy is a Nash Metropolitan, probably a Series III, built from 1955 to 1958.





















 









It has a 1,489 cc (90.9 cu in) engine and retailed for $1,551. Note that this particular specimen is equipped with a trailer hitch. I hope the trailer is light.

Well, that is a little glimpse of the bikes and other things I saw in Vancouver.

Once we left there, we went on to a few cities in Alaska. I'll write about those next time.

If you go:


P.S.  Another Vancouver Yamaha FZ6 rider, OneTrack on Sportbike.net, recently wrote the following: "Yes, there are plenty of sportbikes in the Metro Vancouver area used for commuting, but I tend to see more cruiser style bikes, quite honestly, when driving to/from work.
Some of the favourite rides are from Vancouver to Squamish and [on to] Whistler, often going on to Kamloops and back to Vancouver. Most of the enjoyable rides are in the BC Interior, in the Okanagan.

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2 comments:

  1. Bucky:

    It is a pleasure to see views from a visitors perspective and your opinions, which are spot on. It is also nice to recoqnize most of your locations. You were not staying far from me, only about 15 minutes away by bike. I wish I knew you were coming.

    You are very thorough in your coverage and details. Do you keep a notebook, scratch pad, digital recorder, or do you have a photographic memory ?

    I know, that bike has a small motor on it. Someone must sell a kit as I have seen quite a few around, but I don't think they are legal. They are motorized, riders do not necessarily have a licence or insurance, and most do not use helmets on a bicycle even though it is the law here.

    On a summer weekend, friday and saturday nights a lot of sport bikes congregate on the corner of Robson and Thurlow at the Starbucks. Not far from the north end of the Granville Bridge, where you shot most of these photos.

    glad you had a good time walking about our city and welcome back anytime.

    bob
    Wet Coast Scootin

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