Headline »

14 year old stunt rider opens Vintage Flat Track races with ride through firewall

July 6, 2014 – 10:09 am | Edit Post

As we age we all remember the days when we were young and fearless. For 14 year old Williams Lake resident, Danielle Schultz, she is living it.
At the 26th annual vintage flat track races held …

Read the full story »
News
Blog
Travel
People
Cool Stuff

Bikes »

2014 Kawasaki ZX-6R performs beautifully in twisties of infamous Westside Road

August 22, 2014 – 10:34 am | Edit Post
2014 ZX6R Kawasaki4

The 2014 Kawasaki ZX-6R 636 in Pearl Flat Crystal White – photo by Marissa Baecker

By Marissa Baecker

Supersport (aka “crotch rocket”) bikes are historically designed for one purpose – racing. Built for speed, the rider triangle is intentionally compact and not necessarily conducive to taller riders and being that I stand at 5’11″, I have intentionally shyed away from these type of bikes.

I wrapped up last riding season spending two days with Keith Code and California Superbike School on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway learning the parameters of supersport motorcycling and developing high speed cornering and braking skills. I pushed my limits well beyond what I have been comfortable with and gained invaluable knowledge about what bikes can do as well as what I can do riding one. Naturally, this season I wanted to utilize my new-found abilities and give supersport riding another shot.

West Kelowna’s Valley Moto Sport owner, Barry Wellings, handed me the key to a 2014 Kawasaki ZX-6R ABS and said, “There are no miles on it so watch the tires. The guys just put it together. They don’t stick around very long, riders love this model.”

Standing before me was a brand new, sexy, full fairing motorcycle in pearl flat crystal white (which matched my Alpinestars leathers and Arai helmet beautifully) with flat black accents. Other ABS colours for 2014 include that signature Kawasaki lime green and candy burnt orange. Metallic spark black is available without ABS. However, with the recent 2015 announcement, it appears that the staple lime green with ebony accents is rider’s only choice.

Marissa Baecker is fashionably coordinated to the 2014 Kawasaki ZX-6R

Marissa Baecker is fashionably coordinated to the 2014 Kawasaki ZX-6R

Once seated in the 32.7” saddle, I was pleasantly surprised how well I fit the bike. My thighs molded right below the beveled tank as my knees gripped either side. After a few road miles, I was even more surprised with the comfortable angles of my wrists while my gloves gripped the bars and how natural it was to keep my elbows tucked in. Steering was effortless and I truly felt like one with the bike.

A quick $13 fill up (when was the last time $13 filled anything?) of the 17 litre fuel tank and I was off for a two and half hour ‘lap’ around Okanagan Lake. The grand finale – 70 km of twisties along the thrilling rider favourite, Westside Road.

Opening throttle on the highway, and with the Kawasaki traction control switched off, this middleweight was quick to let me know that despite being the smallest sibling of the ZX lineup (10R and 14R), this 636cc liquid cooled in-line four, four-stroke produced enough torque to kick start my heart. “Let the good times roll!” all of a sudden had a whole new meaning.

A half hour of sweeping curves and spectacular scenery riding the hills above Kalamalka Lake, I settled in without any complaints from my body. Another ZX rider appeared in my rear-view and remained flanked to my right all the way to Vernon. At the first stop light, he pulled along-side, and while ogling the bike from behind his full face queried, “Is that the new 6?” New because in 2014 the ZX-6R is known as the 636 referring to a displacement boost from the previous 599cc. Our bike conversation continued at each traffic light until we headed in opposite directions as I made a turn onto Westside Road at the Head of the Lake.

There are several warning signs at various points along rider favourite Westside Road in the Okanagan of B.C.

There are several warning signs at various points along rider favourite Westside Road in the Okanagan of B.C.

There are several warning signs along this lakeside stretch reminding travelers of tricky navigation while enticing riders to the point where the road is listed as a favourite in popular rider travel books. Riding mach III with your hair on fire is not required to fully enjoy this piece of fresh pavement. Those that have tried, and failed, are marked at several points on both sides with make-shift memorials.

I kept a good pace within my limits and was exhilarated with the handling and performance of the ZX-6R. Kawasaki Traction Control gave me peace of mind knowing it was easily activated with a the quick thumb push of the button and a quick confirming glance at the digital instrument panel. ABS evenly slowed the bike down entering the curves and the low-mid range torque consistently pulled me out of the tight corners no matter what gear.

2014 ZX6R Kawasaki

The bike weighs in at 192 kg (about 428 lbs.) but rides like it weighs half that amount. I pulled back into the parking lot after about 150 km of fun where Wellings was standing with an eager rider. “The tires are warmed up,” I smiled and I handed the key to Wellings as he walked the eager rider over to the bike.

I later called Wellings to make arrangements to do some riding photos with the ZX-6R as the sun went down and wasn’t the least bit surprised to hear the bike had been sold. MSRP is about $12,500 after manufacturer incentives.

 

 

 

 

Suzuki V-Strom 1000 is economical, affordable and will take you as off-road as you want to go

August 10, 2014 – 2:11 pm | Edit Post

By Marissa Baecker
My spirit for adventure was awakened the moment the 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 SE was unloaded from the trailer. Bright red and adventure-ready, the road less traveled was calling my name. Equipped with …

2015 Indian Chief offers two tone paint scheme

July 13, 2014 – 12:27 pm | Edit Post

Keeping in theme with its classic vintage look, Indian motorcycles has revealed that the 2015 Chiefs will offer two-tone paint. If you haven’t had a chance to ride one yet, and are planning to be …

14 year old stunt rider opens Vintage Flat Track races with ride through firewall

July 6, 2014 – 10:09 am | Edit Post

As we age we all remember the days when we were young and fearless. For 14 year old Williams Lake resident, Danielle Schultz, she is living it.
At the 26th annual vintage flat track races held …

Whirl wind romance with 2014 Harley-Davidson Street Bob

July 3, 2014 – 8:14 pm | Edit Post

By Marissa Baecker
The sun began its descent to the West and turned the sky that beautiful orange glow as my love affair with Street Bob began to flourish – the 2014 Harley-Davidson Street Bob that …

iPhone rider’s must-have App – EatSleepRIDE

June 8, 2014 – 7:21 pm | Edit Post

By Marissa Baecker
The world is changing. Everything about it from climate to business. Let’s face it, technology is taking over. Don’t believe it? Maybe you didn’t know Google just introduced a car that doesn’t require …

A new Monster in town – Ducati unveils its newest motorcycle – Monster 821

May 28, 2014 – 5:19 pm | Edit Post

What’s all the fuss about? Another Monster! With the introduction of the the Monster 821, 112 HP water cooled naked roadster, there is now a Monster for all sizes and shapes. Goldilocks now has another …

BMW Concept Roadster – from design to reality

May 26, 2014 – 7:35 pm | Edit Post

As a celebration of 90 years of Motoraad in 2014, BMW unveiled the NineT in Munich and this year, they are building on the appeal of the naked style with the Concept Roadster.
Edgar Heinrich, Head …

Motorcycle Rider’s comprehensive app just got an upgrade and it’s free this weekend

May 23, 2014 – 8:13 am | Edit Post

I have been testing out this app for a few months and recommend each and every rider to download it and give it a try.
Practically every rider tool you could want, need or use …

2014 Harley-Davidson Sportster SuperLow 1200T brings lightweight touring to a heavyweight market

May 21, 2014 – 10:03 pm | Edit Post

By Marissa Baecker
If you bulked up over the winter, plan on trimming down and exploring a new, lighter method of motorcycle touring with the 2014 Harley-Davidson Sportster SuperLow 1200T.
The model officially launched at the infamous …

2015 Yamaha FZ-07 Versatile Naked Roadster Fun for Both New and Experienced Riders

May 12, 2014 – 8:41 pm | Edit Post

It isn’t always easy to find the words to describe a motorcycle and relay the experience but after three days with Yamaha Motor Canada at the launch of the new, made in Japan, 2015 FZ-07 …