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

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

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 …

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2014 Honda VFR800 – Road to rock n’roll

September 21, 2014 – 8:33 pm | Edit Post
The 2014 Honda VFR800 offers a sleek new slimmer design and standard features like LED headlights, ABS, heated grips and more.

The 2014 Honda VFR800 offers a sleek new slimmer design and standard features like LED headlights, ABS, heated grips and more.

By Marissa Baecker
MotorcyGal

The Honda VFR has a long history of being a fan favourite. Since its debut as a V4 – 750cc, the VFR has garnered attention. So much so, that changing it was a risky venture for Honda. However, improvements like updated style, a 10 kg weight loss plus added standard features like adjustable seat height, traction control, ABS, heated grips and self-cancelling signals, have sent this model to the top of the list of desired rides and I was about to get my hands around the bars of one for a quick road trip to a rock concert.

“Now that’s a sexy bike!” The first thought when I arrived to pick up the 2014 VFR800 Honda. The looks may be what draw you in, but it’s the ride that will keep you there.

I admit that taking to the highway on a Friday afternoon wasn’t the best decision as Lower Mainland outdoor enthusiasts pulled everything out of their garage and were proudly towing most of their recreational belongings in some manner or another.

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My wimpy grip was put to the test in an exercise of clutch control during heavy rush hour traffic that didn’t see my digital gear change out of third or my speedo go past 60km/hr for about 100 km of the Trans Canada Highway. After nearly 2 ½ hours, I pulled into the Chevron gas station in Hope, B.C. where there was barely room for a motorcycle to squeeze in between campers and cars.

Although the compact rider triangle of the VFR initially excited me, I found myself cursing this cuddler after 2 hours of Friday afternoon gridlock. My hips, wrists, shoulders and knees were practically locked in place and I questioned who I thought I was – some 20-year-old spry athlete?

Sucking back my Gatorade on the lawn trying to replenish the fluids I had sweat out inside my leathers creeping along the highway, I admired a relaxed-looking Harley rider saddling up as I worked through muscle cramps in my calves. I still had 2 – 3 hours of travel to get to where I was going and I was rather fatigued.

“Are you heading East,” I queried to a positive response. “Do you mind if I ride with you?”

George would lead us out of Hope, ascending the canyon and down into Merritt where we parted ways and I continued South toward a blackened skyline just as mother nature started to put on a light show.

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“Oh that’s just great!” I considered waiting it out as other riders were putting on their rain gear roadside and but a thumbs up rider coming from the opposite direction told me it wasn’t as bad as it looked and I persevered.

As liquid polka dots decorated the blacktop below me, I thought about the traction control. When the sky opened up, and the road reflected oil, surface grit and flashes of light from Mother Nature’s strobes, my wrist rolled off the throttle but my Honda didn’t waiver. I anticipated tire movement but stayed strong and consistent for the next 20 km until I came out the other side of the storm, soaked, but still upright.

A simple roll on of the throttle and the VFR delivered linear power as I continued my ascent and back up to the posted speed limit of 120km hoping my leathers would dry in the wind. After coming off the ultra-lite Honda CBR500 (432lb), I initially considered the VFR800 (526.8 lb.) to be heavy but that extra weight was a welcomed addition when the wind picked up as I crested the mountain summit and began my descent into the Okanagan Valley.

Near the end of my journey, the dual LED headlights were becoming a predominant feature. They lit the road ahead and around me making it difficult to consider ending a ride on a warm summer night.

I pulled into the security lot of the South Okanagan Event Centre in Penticton, B.C. and immediately caught the attention of a group of enthusiastic roadies proving that the full fairing VFR800 Honda in pearl white (also in red) had sex appeal to both men and women.

Upon parking my ride along side the Alice in Chains tour buses, I answered a few questions and then left the ogling crowd circling my bike to take a closer look as I headed inside for the grande finale of photographing a live rock n’roll show.

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Snap-On Tools Masters of Metal brings Orange County Chopper to Kelowna

September 10, 2014 – 9:13 pm | Edit Post

By Marissa Baecker
Tools are to a mechanic like candy is to a child. The child has Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to show them how candy is made and the mechanic . . . …

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

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

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 …

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 …