Thursday, January 26, 2017

WANTED: Female Motorcycle Bloggers!

WANTED: Female Motorcycle Enthusiasts!
Say What? is growing and with it so too is our ambition! We have started the new year off with the addition of several new occasional and regular volunteer contributors.  However, we would love to have a female perspective. Whether you own your own motorcycle or prefer riding pillion (or sidecar) we would love for you to share your stories, reviews, ride reports and or anything else with our readers. Say What? offers a welcoming space to come up with new topics and to develop your current interests. We write for the love of motorcycling, so it's important to know this is a hobby and we don't make a revenue from this blog. If writing is not your thing, then share your pictures. There is something for everyone as we aim to make this blog more than just the sum of its parts!

Mario R.J. Corbin

Meet Darwin - My 1976 Honda CT70 Monkey Bike!

The Perfect Post-Christmas Present! :-)
1976, the year that the Summer Olympics opened in Montreal, Quebec, CanadaTim Hortons introduced the Timbit for the first time and Eaton's Department store discontinued its catalogue, perhaps a sign of things to come for the once great Canadian corporation. The great and sorely missed Farley Mowat released his book Canada North Now: The Great Betrayal whilst René Lévesque becomes premier of Quebec, replacing Robert Bourassa. Elsewhere around the world Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne founded Apple Computer on April Fools' Day. Larry Mullen, Jr, Adam Clayton (bass), Paul Hewson ("Bono," vocals), and Dave Evans ("The Edge," guitar) formed a band called Feedback which they later renamed U2 in 1978. To quote Ernest Hemingway, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." yet everyone knew that you met the nicest people on a Honda!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

On Top of the World, a motorcycle journey through the high altitude desert of Ladakh, India. (part II) By Sabya Sachi Ghosh

a stone mandala at the 134 kms long salt lake of  Pangong, that straddles across the Indo China border
We reached Leh on the 6th day. Now the large town of Leh is unlike any other 'hill station'. It is largely a flat dusty unplanned urban spread, with dry hot weather during the day and freezing cold nights that gives you nose bleeds.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

On Top of the World, a motorcycle journey through the high altitude desert of Ladakh, India. (part I) By Sabya Sachi Ghosh

the surreal landscape of Lamayuru, Ladakh
Every serious rider has always dreamt of riding above the clouds in the Ladakh region of the Jammu and Kashmir state of India. The riding community here swears by the gravel on the road and the snowy peaks of the upper Himalayas. For us it is akin to climbing Everest, but on our Royal Enfield motorcycles.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Meet Bambina - My SYM Wolf Classic 150!

Motorcycle fever hit me hard this year. As my children dreamed of sugar plums and prayed for snow days I sit here in my darkened little corner of our home looking fondly at pictures of my Bella, my Moto Guzzi V7 Racer. It was all that I could do this winter not to lose myself in thoughts of moving to warmer pastures. Whilst the latter is out of the question, at least for now, and having purchased most of what I wanted in terms of accessories for Bella last year I needed to think outside the box. After all, what do you get a bike that has everything including charm, good looks and a heart of steel? Why, another motorcycle of course!

DesTination NoWhere! - Looking Back!

Alf's V-Max and My Virago
Somehwere in the West of Ireland
I am afraid to admit that most of my mileage has been commuting to and from work with not nearly as much of it earned on the open road heading towards nowhere in particular. The moment I do seem to have a free moment I inevitably opt to spend time with my wife and children instead of riding off into the unknown and rightfully so really! I love my wife and children but I also cannot deny that sometimes the road does call to me! It's not that I have a yearning to go some place in particular. Rather, it's just the desire to be on the bike riding to nowhere in particular! When I owned my Virago back in Ireland I often would wake up in the morning, meet my buddy Alf, a giant of a Norweigian man who also lived in Eire for a short time and owned a V-Max and we would set off. No itinerary. No expectations. No worry about the weather. Come rain, hail or frost you can bet your ass that if we were together that day we were probably off exploring the countryside of the West Coast of Ireland. T-Junctions usually mean't a brief stop whilst we play rock, paper, scissors as to which way to go. We had no idea of course which direction would bring us to what or where? That was the point. We didn't care. We just rode for the love of riding. The fact that the West Coast of Ireland is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and most scenic motorcycling countries you can hope for was just a bonus really.

Moto Bella Motorcycle Tours & Accompanying Services

- Robert M. Pirsig, "You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it's right there, so blurred you can't focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness". 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Cigar Box Guitars

Pictures © Shane Speal
Unlike most children today, I grew up in a household that was filled with books and LP vinyl records. Elvis Presley (Gospel as well as Rock & Roll), Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, The Platters, Aretha Franklin, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and B.B. King are just a rough idea of the musical influences in my early upbringing to name but just a few. It was a time when folks lined up outside the Montreal Forum for days to get tickets; unlike today where people line up outside the Apple Store for a new cell phone. The latter sums up what is wrong with today's culture in general, don't your think? Despite these early introductions and influences, I actually never learned how to play a musical instrument. I tried once in my early twenties after receiving a fiddle as a present from my late mother. Ashley MacIsaac's music was raw and untamed and it spoke to me. Unfortunately, my violin teacher was equally as raw and untamed with her criticism of both my inexperience and my poor fiddle. You see, there in lies the problem with learning music today. The majority of music teachers are snobs. They scoff at anything you own below a certain price point. They turn something that should be exciting and fun into a reminder of how much you suck and can't afford what they consider to be a "proper instrument". Not everyone can afford or wants to spend an exorbitant amount of money on an instrument nor does everyone want to be the next Big Bopper or Ashley MacIsaac!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Reassembling a Honda Z50 Minitrail "Monkey Bike" By James May

James May explores the intricacies and engineering marvels of various objects by putting them back together again from a pile of hundreds of their component parts. In this episode, he slowly rebuilds a Honda Z50 Minitrail "Monkey Bike" 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Moto Bella: Accompanying Services - Book Today!

Obtaining a driver's license for a motorcycle (Class 6A) in Quebec is a straightforward, if not lengthy process. Like most provinces in Canada, you need to complete a theory course and practicum. The latter can be completed in one riding season. However, unlike other provinces where you are allowed to ride solo after finishing your closed-track test (step 4), la Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) in its infinite wisdom has opted to make it mandatory for new motorcyclists to wait eleven (11) months before being eligible to take their road test (step 5). Making matters worse, during these eleven months new motorcyclists must be accompanied by a full licensed motorcyclist. Otherwise if you are stopped by the police, for any reason, you can lose your probationary license, have your motorcycle impounded and face a hefty fine.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Yamaha Riding Academy For Kids at The Montreal Motorcycle Show 2017!

The Motorcycle Show is a family affair with plenty to see and do for kids of all ages.  Kids 6 to 12 will absolutely love the YRA where they get outfitted in the latest motocross gear and learn how to ride the latest Yamaha TT-R off-road motorcycle, in a safe and secure environment, in the company of trained and certified instructors.
- Montreal Motorcycle Show

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Touch Of Art: Martil Metal Engraving

Pic © Martil Metal Engraving
Every now and then you come across something exceptional in the motorcycling community. Catur is from Java - Indonesia. He does what the majority of us can only dream of; he engraves beautiful artistic patterns onto any metal motorcycle part you want! All his work is done by hand and not by machines and chemicals.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Mad Bastard Scooter Rally 2017!

What happens when you unleash hundreds of crazed scooter fanatics armed with 50ccs of pure unadulterated mayhem onto the backroads and byways of Ontario? You get a lifetime of memories squeezed into a mere 20 hours of non-stop riding, ruckusing and rabble-rousing. For more information on the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally, or to join up, visit our website and Facebook