Thursday, December 28, 2006


The seasons have gone from green, to brown, and finally to white. Yes, there's a few inches of snow on the ground, and although it only came on boxing day, I guess since the holidays aren't over yet I'm still technically safe to be whistling "White Christmas". The same as the seasons are changing, so are many aspects of my life. Got a new job now, and I'm making a bit more money, which invariably means that I'll be spending more money (ain't capitalism great?). So rather than go out and spend it frivolously, we've decided to build our house.

The next nine months or so are going to be crazy. First, we have to sell our current home, then there'll be the infinite number of meetings with the contractor, waiting in line at city hall for building permits, picking paint colours from swatches, kitchen cabinets, lighting fixtures, flooring, etc... Ah yes, sweet misery!

Luckily for me, my wife's great at coordinating (read: giving orders), so this will really be her moment to shine. Essentially, I'm trusting her with most of the decisions; since she knows what she's doing and I obviously don't. My only criteria for the house was that it have a double-garage with a workshop... and I got it! Finally, I'll have some elbow room when working on the bike.

To all my fellow cyber-bikers out there, I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Prosperous Eid ul-Adha, or whatever else you wish to celebrate during this holiday season. Hope to catch you around the bend in 2007!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Liquid-Cooled Sportster?

O.K. - so it seems the rumour mill is running full steam, and there have been many reports of a prototype liquid-cooled HD Sportster being spied in Arizona or somewhere. Motorcyclist Magazine even went as far as producing a photoshopped version of what it might look like.

The feedback in some HD forums has been pretty much split; sure the die-hards don't want anything to change (I've even met some that were upset when HD started rubber-mounting the engine), but many seemed open to the idea. Eventually, HD will have to do something to make their engines a little more eco-friendly to meet EPA regulations - maybe liquid cooling could help them meet these objectives?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Dismount the Carousel

Yet another calendar is on its way towards the garbage can as this seventh post-millenium year is slowly approaching its expiration date. For most people, a year's end is time to contemplate, or celebrate... for motorcycle nuts like me its time to overdose on all the new models and accessories that are coming out!

The bigger 'n better trend is always obvious, although in the cruiser category I think most manufacturers have signed a temporary truce due to the Vulcan 2000 and Rocket III pretty much trumping everything else! Yamaha has still fired a shot though with their Stratoliner/Roadliner duo; and although the "Neo-Streamline" styline is nice, it still doesn't up the ante in the cruiser displacement wars. Nope, one of the coolest things I can spot this year is in the sport-touring category.

After a 20+ year run and building a large following of dedicated fans, Kawi has finally decided to give the Connie an overhaul. But, man-o-man, was it ever worth the wait! Although initial details are still preliminary, what we do know is that the engine and tranny are based on the ZX-14 (ouch!), with an interesting shaft drive that should minimize or eliminate jacking. Add creature comforts like electrically adjustable windshield, big seat, and beautifully integrated luggage and you've got me salivating. I wonder if the big guys at Yamaha and BMW are sweating yet? It will all come down to how much Kawi wants for the new Concours. If they can bring it to market for about $1K less than the FJR, they've got a winner.

Speaking of affordable performance, Ducati's new 1098 (say 10-9-8, like a countdown) is not only an improvement over the 999 performance-wise, it's also a real thing of beauty. Oh, and did I mention that it retails for just under $15K? Yeah, baby! I'm thinking that this could be a real good seller for Ducati and just might leave a mark on the Big-4 Japanese brands.

BMW continues with it's complete revamp of all models, first it was the GS, then the RT, R, K-GT, and now they're coming out with some twins and revised thumpers. Seems like the only "aged" model in their stable is luxo-tourer K1200LT. It probably won't be too long before that too gets a makeover (easy guess: new inline-4 from the rest of the K series, retuned for more bottom-end torque).

So far, it's lining up to be a very good year!