Motorcycles ... 

The Honda CB750: I had no idea I was taking part in the story of a legend when I purchased my Honda in 1980. It was a 1971 model, and story has it the bike originated in Belgium as a police motorcycle. How and why it came to be in Edmonton was of no interest to me at the time. I paid my $600 and rode off into a multiplicity of sunsets.

It was my first road bike, and I was 18, fearless, and ready to go. I basically commuted between Edmonton and Winnipeg most weekends, riding straight through. Put on several hundred thousand miles, on three rebuilds - wrecking her shortly after the third. Bad brakes!

Unfortunately, the CB is behind Ruth's CBF 550. I added that Windjammer III pretty early in her career with me. Previous to that I "caught up with" a duck that had just launched from the roadside in northern Alberta. There was an amusing scene as it struggled to get back into flight and I tried to stop so it would quit beating the crap out of me with flailing wings. Got the pretty blue paint job from a roomie who was taking autobody at Camosun College. Real sheepskin seat cover. Nylon panniers with easy-steal zippers. 

Yamaha XV920RJ: This was a bit of an unusual bike. Yamaha decided to release a number of bikes utilising a V-Twin they had devised. Much better known was the Virago series. Unlike them, this was a conventional (not a cruiser) with upright seating.  It was a 1981, and boasted a fuel tank with indents for the knees (a la MotoGuzzi), and a continuously immersed chain drive. The drive chain was encased and the area filled with grease. 

I bought the bike off buddy Bruce when he moved up to something German-er.

She was a good girl - never misbehaved. Took me many places along the west coast of Canada and the USA. Bruce, Larry and I made regular spring time pilgrimages to California. Of course we would go in April, and Oregon kicked our asses every single time. None the less, we found a hundred spectacular roads to ride as soon as we got south of Mount Shasta. 

Yamaha XS650B: In 2000 Ruth and I undertook our first project bike. An 1971 XS650B, dismantled to its smallest part by buddy Bruce (he comes up a lot in motorcycle land). It arrive as a frame, and engine and five boxes of parts. Story has it the engine was rebuilt shortly before the rest of the bike was dismantled. We also received the original repair manual in Japanglish. There we quite a number of moments where we had no idea whatsoever where a part belonged. Perversely, that battery box was comprised of around a thousand tiny bits (well a lot more than one) including a shock mount system. There is a photo essay chronicling our rebuild ... 

... Here

Honda ST1300: My first new bike ever! 2003, bought in 2003.  I was saddened to trade off the XV920RJ; however, my riding style is quite aggressive on the twisty parts, and I was concerned that I was out riding the bikes capabilities, and particularly, its brakes. Great bike! Not so much sport as touring, but didn't suck in either way. We did a lot of two up riding. Buddy Larry bought a Yamaha 1300 sport touring bike, and while the two are very comparable, I'd declare the Yamaha better at sport, and the Honda better build quality and two up comfort. We toured the north, the prairies, and my beloved Northern California roads extensively.

Kawasaki KLR 650:  As the Honda ST1300 is a pretty purpose built machine, my back-roads interest required another tool in the drawer. They say the right number of motorcycles is 'one more'. Enter the KLR. Also purchased new, in the model year. If you’re interested in KLR’s there is a multitude of web pages covering their ups, downs and modification potential. Suffice to say, the KLR was everything they say it is, and everything they say it isn’t.

The KLR served as a platform for a number of dual-sport adventure tours, though not of the magnitude that Ewan and

 Charlie have us all aspire to. I bought “nerf bars” from, as well as their heavy duty pan, and put on bark busters. The bike was very top heavy and tall, so if it started to tip over, I generally just got out of the way, then picked it up. Should you buy their nerf bars, weld a chunk of angle across the bottom bar connecting the two sides, The tubing is too weak to withstand much of a sideways fall, and the guards will collapse inward. It is possible that HappyTrail has modified this shortfall.

Buell XB12X Ulysses: Another odd duck motorcycle, but I loved it too! If anyone ever bothers to ask me which one I would want back, I think this would be the answer. In this period Eric Buell was making bikes with Harley Davidson - quite a departure for them. He used the 1200 Sportster motor with a few mods. Very sporty beast. Clearly more sport than touring. I needed a narrow bike with my workplace pelvic injury. This answered the call. Quite tall, as most Dual Sport bikes are. Cold blooded, as I found upon dropping it on the ferry one night when I had not sufficiently warmed it up. A true cornering machine, it was an accomplishment to drag a peg!

BMW R1200GSA: There may be a few references to my having fallen off a ladder at work in August 2009. This incident changed my life considerably. Sitting with my legs spread wide is no longer an option. The GS has a very comfortable stance for longer rides. I was not shopping for this bike. In fact, intellectually, a smaller displacement DS is to my taste. And, let's face it, there are a huge number of 'posers' riding DS bikes who never come near dirt but watched Long Way series. 
It would be unfair to typify me as a complete poser, but I prefer logging roads to dirt trails. The skills and

height required to put a GS through its paces are considerable.I can ride the thing off its rubber on the road, but I'm nowhere near an accomplished off-roader. However, I bought my GS because it was comfortable; and I do challenge myself more than a somewhat disabled dude my age probably ought to. ;o)