Canadian motorcycling history

Discussion in 'Canada' started by donbcivil, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. donbcivil

    donbcivil Adventurer

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    A question for friends up North. What are the cool motorcycling places and events up there?

    I know about the stuff down here (USGP, Bonneville) but since my favorite thing is to ride up
    North from Seattle (BC, AB, eventually the Yukon) I wondered what history I could find out
    about.

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. teamgrizzly

    teamgrizzly Even more advanced n00b!

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    I don't think that there is much motorcycle history up here. As far as I can tell, Canada isn't as motorsports mad like the US. If you're planning on hitting the Yukon, then I would follow the gold rush history instead.

    So I think that you're best off coming up here and make your own history. As for cool places to ride, let me sum it up as;
    the entire freaking province.

    But if you're stuck for ideas, keep an eye out for the 2013 BC Big Adventure Ride and the Rallye du Cote Ouest threads, or the HU meeting in Nakusp.

    And yes, Yanks are welcome up here.

    Mike
    #2
  3. Gale B.T.

    Gale B.T. Long timer

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    You could start off by interviewing Phil Funnell of Vancouver, BC and get tonnes(ole BC teacher :D)of stories , info ,etc on the history of motorcycles. Phil is a legend to many of us for he has rides under his belt/seat that many of us have only dreamed of doing.

    me 2 cents ,
    gale
    #3
  4. donbcivil

    donbcivil Adventurer

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    Thanks! Yeah, I'm well aware of how welcome Merkins are up there. I've made a few trips up there, to the Cariboo, to Nelson and to the Rockies twice. If I had the $$ and the weather was warmer, I'd be there now.

    Mostly wanted to check in and see what more I should know. I want to learn as much as I can about what I sometimes think about as a home away from home...

    I still want to make a HU gathering, see Haida Gwaii and the Yukon...
    #4
  5. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Canadian motorcycle history? Well, pretty lean on the 'left' coast where you and I are located. The Deeley museum located at the H.D. dealership in Vancouver does have reference to Trev Deeley who was a great bike racer and generally an ambassabor for motorcycling in general. Their former museum at their Richmond warehouse was quite impressive, the present location with it's changing themes every year or so is also worth a visit, but it's much smaller. Westwood Raceway, now bulldozed for a friggin' housing development, was the battlefield of todays legends. Bellingham's Steve Baker started out here sponsored by Yamaha Canada. John Britten brought his fantastic machine here for a few yrs to test and race during New Zealand's winters, tested and raced by Gary Goodfellow. AMA champ Steve Crevier started here as well. Of course there's nothing left except on u-tube videos and in magazines.

    To be honest, most Canadians worth more than a mention quickly headed south to the AMA when the AMA was still worth a mention without a giggle. You'd find more Canadian motorcycle history at the museum that the VME in Seattle is behind.
    #5
  6. donbcivil

    donbcivil Adventurer

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    GREAT info, thanks!
    #6
  7. Norml

    Norml Been here awhile

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    If you get to Dawson City in the Yukon, they used to have the Klondike Motorcycle Run where locals and visitors from as far away as Australia, and the neighbours from Alaska flocked to the Land of the Midnight Sun to carouse and play biker games and have a Poker run to the top of the Midnight Sun Dome. Lots of fun. Haven't been involved with it for many years, but I hope it's still being held during the Summer solstice.:freaky:killen
    #7
  8. MGV8

    MGV8 Adventurer

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    Canada is just not a motorsport friendly place. Bikes or cars, especially in the west since the demise of Westwood. We still have the Knox Mountain Hillclimb in Kelowna but motorcycles need not apply. Drop by our pit for a visit if you happen to be in Kelowna on our May long weekend.
    Brian
    Canoe B.C.
    #8
  9. oldtrout

    oldtrout Been here awhile

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    Jaysus I miss Wetwood :cry

    Case of O'Keefs hi test and a bucket of KFC (in the fridge the night before ). Eight bucks for the day...... Bliss. Racing at its best.

    Even joined the WMRRC and took some laps on Wed. Practice nights. Thought I was hot on my GS 750 till the RD350 LC' blew by like I was standing still :rofl

    Simpler times, good times.

    If I win the (BIG) lotto, I would love to get together with some of our native brethren and build a road track somewhere. Cashe Creek ? Screw f-ing casinos. Betcha more than break even (not that it would matter).

    Anyhow the history is now on the backroads of BC - sooo many sweet rides and so little time. Just get out and go !

    Cheers
    Logan
    #9
  10. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    My dad helped build Westwood as a member of the BC Sports Car Club. Previous to that their race track was the triangle around Abbotsford airport. I've got old 8mm movies of him at Abbotsford and Westwood, in his '56 MGA, before I was born.
    #10
  11. oldtrout

    oldtrout Been here awhile

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    Well shit sonny, lets empty out that garage of yours and have us a classic race ! :1drink


    :gerg

    Glad you have the memories.

    I could go on and on. Ta
    #11
  12. Mike Ryder

    Mike Ryder Kriegerkuh

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    I know it's a long way from the left coast but Saskatoon was once the home of
    the Nicholson brothers. J.B. (Bernie) Nicholson wrote Modern Motorcycle Mechanics a repair manual for most anything on two wheels.

    http://www.gregwilliams.ca/?page_id=75
    #12
  13. IKIGAI

    IKIGAI Been here awhile

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    I still have a copy of that book, stored somewhere in the house. A little brown jacketed paperback, which was modern only in name -- the illustrations in the book were right outta the '50's, and so was the technology being described within.

    I bought it as joke from one of the brothers; I can't remember which one, the last one that was alive I think.

    The Nicholson Bros. had a shop in Calgary - this would be around '87 - '89 - and I had a '64 Norton Electra which would persistantly 'loose' it's kickstarter pawl. Needless to say, I became a regular customer at the parts counter. :lol3

    Sadly the bike had a magic button so it was still ride-able. And oh how I fondly recall those years as a 'vintage british motorcycle' owner. All my gloves had duct-tape on the middle finger just to keep the gas from eating through. It still did though,..fuckin' Amals, what a British disaster.
    #13