Yes Emily

Yes Emily, girls can ride motorcycles!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Big Smoke And The Little Lucas Push

They say a picture's worth a thousand words ... but when it came to the Lucas Push in the Big Smoke last night I had a thousand pictures - is that worth a million words?

Queen's Park - Toronto
The 2014 Lucas Push ... just the usual small bunch of folks (and one party crasher) in the middle of a big town having way too much fun pushing a vintage motorbike around (pub to pub.) It gave the Big Smoke a bit of a 'little neighborhood' feel that I've never experienced in the city before.

My first Lucas Push: an evening of fine spirits, food, fun, great people, laughter and a lot of talk about motor-bikes with a little hockey thrown in of course (eh!)

Old York CVMG you may have discovered the cure for the Canadian February BLAHS. Hope I'm invited back next year - CHEERS!

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Gentleman Does Not Motor About After Dark


Finding motorcycle related events in the midst of one of this areas nastiest winters in recent history is hard (to say the least,) so imagine how excited I am to be invited to the 21st annual Joseph Lucas Memorial Push next weekend in ‘Old Fort York’ (aka Toronto.) Now I've been told you don’t actually have to be invited, you just have to know it’s happening and show up, but I prefer to think I’m special and got invited.
The “Lucas Push” is the brain child event of the Old Fort York section of the CVMG (Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group) where a robust group gathers to push a motorcycle equipped with Lucas parts (as the story goes -  all motorcycles equipped with Lucas parts end up being pushed) from pub to pub, after dark, in the midst of winter. Poor Mr. Lucas and his company, the brunt of so many jokes – what, with having been accredited with such things as the world’s first self-dimming head lamps and other shoddily manufactured parts. I might have been reluctant to poke fun at the man if I hadn’t fell upon this post quoting an article written by Joseph Lucas himself in which he clearly demonstrated his British sense of humor and ability to take the criticism in stride.
“Positive ground depends on proper circuit functioning, which is the transmission of negative ions by retention of the visible spectral manifestation known as "smoke". Smoke is the thing that makes electrical circuits work. We know this to be true because every time one lets the smoke out of an electrical circuit, it stops working. This can be verified repeatedly through empirical testing. For example, if one places a copper bar across the terminals of a battery, prodigious quantities of smoke are liberated and the battery shortly ceases to function. In addition, if one observes smoke escaping from an electrical component such as a Lucas voltage regulator, it will also be observed that the component no longer functions. The logic is elementary and inescapable!
The function of the wiring harness is to conduct the smoke from one device to another. When the wiring springs a leak and lets all the smoke out of the system, nothing works afterward.
Starter motors were considered unsuitable for British motorcycles for some time largely because they consumed large quantities of smoke, requiring very unsightly large wires.
It has been reported that Lucas electrical components are possibly more prone to electrical leakage than their Bosch, Japanese or American counterparts. Experts point out that this is because Lucas is British, and all things British leak. British engines leak oil, British shock absorbers, hydraulic forks and disk brake systems leak fluid, British tires leak air and British Intelligence leaks national defence secrets. Therefore, it follows that British electrical systems must leak smoke. Once again, the logic is clear and inescapable.
In conclusion, the basic concept of transmission of electrical energy in the form of smoke provides a logical explanation of the mysteries of electrical components - especially British units manufactured by Joseph Lucas, Ltd.

"A gentleman does not motor about after dark."”
Joseph Lucas (1842 - 1903)
The last jokes on the nay-sayers, as the Lucas Company is now a thriving multinational company laughing their way to the bank and smiling as vintage 'restorationists' scour the world looking for those genuine (malfunctioning, smoke loosing) Lucas parts!
Not being a vintage motorcycle enthusiast, though I like to admire them, and definitely not being a restoration mechanic … if I hadn’t been invited I’d never have heard of Joseph Lucas. Mr. Lucas they won’t be motoring, they’ll be pushing, after all, I expect they are all gentlemen (and ladies of course.)
I’ve learned a bit this weekend and I’ll keep you posted.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

If You Can’t Ride … Dream!

The snow is (I've lost count of how many feet) deep. Right now riding season is just a dream and so my philosophy is, if you can’t ride … dream!

You might remember I started dreaming at the International Motorcycle Show in January and did a little shopping at the same time. Thursday, a month almost to the day later, Canada Post left a little love note in my mail box letting me know the new luggage had finally arrived.

Excitement abounded as I unpacked the gear, the family not offering a bit of advice on how to insert the ridged bottoms into the saddle bags.

Proudly, it was done – (one saddle bag, molded top, a bit squished from shipping) and sitting on the dining room table. Now what? Put them back in the shipping box and store them until – who knows when. They look a little small, and they're not expandable, time will tell.

So, here’s what I got to replace the sorely disappointing* Gears luggage.

Tour Master Nylon Cruiser III XL Saddle Bags featuring adjustable mounting yoke and something I’m thinking will be really handy; zipper removal system. Thanks Tour Master for the website photos. Plus ...

I got an Iron Rider Main Bag (or as I call it – a trunk- thanks Iron Rider website for the photo). Time will tell how well they stand up to riding and sun ... if the snow ever melts and I'm ever able to get the Star out of paddock again I'll let you know. 

*Gears Bags, after three summers – zipper pulls had broken (first year out), faded from black to near white and totally lost shape, sagging and dragging to an extent I'd call embarrassing: Gears Trunk also faded, zipper broken and drooped over luggage rack and listed to one side uncontrollably. Neither bags nor trunk stood up to the test of time. For what it's worth, though they held a lot of stuff,  I'd not recommend them.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Size Really Does Matter ...

If you're going to hold an International Bike Show and charge $20 admission, wouldn't you think it wise to have enough vendors to delay the average patron (walking at a slow speed) more than 20 minutes (tops) to circumvent the entire venue (twice)?
Not so at the EY Centre, Ottawa Bike Show. In 20 minutes I had time to walk the entire show a couple of times, talk to three vendors, take a number of pictures and stand for what seemed like an eternity, scratching my chin wondering what the logical connection between pole dancers and motorcycles might be, even if, according to one of the vendors, "they're a heck a lot better than the trash they had here last year!"  It was a really small show, and size should ... really does matter. At the price I figure the show cost me a buck a minute plus gas ... but I'm not really complaining. How can I complain about a day without snow, a day with nearly bare roads and a chance for a road trip to look at motorcycles. Just the same, don't think I'll go out of my way to get there next year.
My pick of the litter today - this neat little Bonneville. Clean lines, simple, basic. Nice little bike.
And though I don't really care for the custom machines there's always some morbid fascination that makes me stop and take a picture. Maybe it's all the glitter and glitz ... It's those shiny things.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Again, Yet, Still ... Seems Like Forever!

In the northern most parts of Canada the indigenous peoples have many words to describe snow. I'm beginning to understand why now as I create my own list of superlatives to drescribe the white stuff as I look outside and it's snowing again, yet, still ... seems like it's been snowing forever.

With nothing else to do on a snowy day I've succumbed to overwhelming peer pressure and with thanks to Bobskoot and Riding The Wet Coast, I've added the infamous rainy day photo to my blog header.