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Bike show season starts this weekend - come find us in Calgary and Toronto!

Inside Motorcycles is rocking out at the Calgary Motorcycle Show (BMW Centre, Stampede Park) and Toronto's North American International Motorcycle Supershow (International Centre) this weekend. Come by the booth to say hi, get a free mag, renew your subscription, or to start your subscription off with you best deals of the year! We've got t-shirt!

At the Supershow (Toronto) we are located in hall 2, booth 2233, near the Riders Choice display and close to the entrance to halls 2 and 3! At the Calgary show we are located at booth 112.

See you there!

Friday, 06 January 2017 09:42 Published in Industry News


From Street to Track: Track Days, Part 1

There is nothing that can replace the one-of-a-kind adrenaline rush that accompanies pushing the limits of a modern motorcycle. Having accepted that the most appropriate setting in which to do so is in a controlled environment, I dedicated the 2016 season to the track. After investing time and resources into preparing the bike, accumulating gear and equipment, and completing a race school, the next step was all about getting seat time, and for me that means track days.

The premise of a track day is really simple. For a fee you get to take your bike out onto the track and put in as many laps as the allotted time or your personal stamina allows. This particular type of adventure starts when you register for the session. For those who have never participated in a track day, the cost may seem steep, as much as $250 for the day, depending on the track and organization putting on the event. However, the math is really quite simple. If you get pulled over doing 160 km/h on the street you will, after a mandatory court appearance, incur fines that could reach a thousand dollars or more, plus legal fees. Conversely, when you hit 160 km/h, 200 km/h or even faster on the track, you get an ear-to-ear smile.

The other thing that typically happens during the registration process is that you are asked about which group level you will be riding in, usually described as novice, intermediate or expert. Some organizations provide very specific criteria while others leave it to you to assess. Basic rule of thumb is to be honest. If you are new to the track and have never completed a high performance on track school, you need to be in the novice group. At the same time if you are an expert level racer with black number plates on your bike, lapping in anything other than the expert group will quickly become a frustrating experience.

Upon arriving at the track it is time to focus on unloading and setting up your bike, gear and equipment. For those of us who transport our bikes in the back of a pickup truck, unloading and loading can be a challenge. The good news is that motorcyclists being motorcyclists, there are always multiple people ready and offering to help. If it is your first track day or a new track, one piece of advice is to ask for a pit area close by the organizer's tent or booth, and let them know. Their business model is built around you becoming a repeat customer, so they will definitely want you nearby where they can make sure you are having a good time and finding everything you need.

Once you are setup and have signed in, the next item on the agenda is the rider's meeting. This is the time when the organizers will welcome you, tell you what to expect during the day, review current track conditions and cover procedures and safety protocols. It doesn't matter where you are or how much experience you have, these meetings are not only mandatory but they are important. Not every group or track has the same rules, and something as universal as a red flag can have different implications for riders on the track at the time of the incident.

With all of the formalities out of the way, take some time to walk around the pit area to say hi to old friends and make some new ones. Then head back to your pit, get into your riding gear and warm up your bike. Before you know it they will be calling your group and it will be your turn to head out in the track, which is where we will pick up next time.

Thursday, 27 October 2016 14:17 Published in From Street to Track with Patrick Lambie


Street to Track blog: School's in!

So you arrived the racetrack, unloaded your motorcycle, attended a riders meeting, jumped on the bike, and rode out onto to the track. And then, before you knew it, you were sitting in your pit reflecting on a day that feels like it flew by in an instant.

More than likely, somewhere near the front of all the thoughts and emotions working through your mind, is one question: “How do I go faster?”

One option is spend a bunch of time at the track and try to mimic the “fast” guys, but that's only good if they actually know what they are doing; otherwise, you are just learning a bunch of bad habits.

If you are serious about exploring your full potential on the racetrack, a more practical and proven approach is to check out schools in your area. For me this involved a visit to the On Track Performance Riding School in Edmonton. Owned and operated by multi-time EMRA and Western Canadian Superbike Champion Justin Knapik, the school offers multiple classes including two levels of performance riding. On Track Performance also runs a dedicated race school designed to assist you in attaining the licence required to complete at events held by the EMRA and other road racing organizations.

A goal of racing in 2016 led me to sign up for the race school, and I could not be more pleased that I did. During the classroom session Justin’s natural and effective teaching style delivered concisely laid-out information in a manner that conveyed his passion for racing, learning and safety. The following day the classroom gave way to on-track lessons where a ratio of only 2 students per instructor, all expert level racers themselves, provided the perfect learning environment. As the course drew to a close, not only did I feel prepared to race, but my overall riding skills had taken a quantum leap forward.

So what did I learn? Over a two-day period Justin and his team covered so much information that it would be impossible to summarize it in this blog entry. What I can say is that after learning about items like throttle control, braking, visual cues, proper body position, and how to develop effective lines, my number one takeaway was the fact that before you can be fast, you first need to learn how to be smooth. Anyone with decent riding skills and no fear of crashing can hammer their way around the track, but if you want to be truly fast, you first need to master the fundamentals. Accomplishing this involves making the investment into proper training and then practicing everything you’ve learnt until it becomes second nature. During this time you will need to accept that the focus on skills will take precedence over being fast, but as you progress, the speed will materialize and you will realize your goals. While it may take longer and cost more than just thrashing your way around the track, the end result will definitely be worth it.

I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to thank Justin Knapik for inviting me to participate in the 2016 On Track Performance Race Licensing School. It was an incredible experience, which I highly recommend.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 13:26 Published in From Street to Track with Patrick Lambie


Records Fall at CMDRA Oil City Nationals

The CMDRA marked the first weekend of August with a special one-day only event at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway which saw racers establish multiple national records.

Fifteen time CMDRA National Champion Ethan Barkley continues to push the boundaries of the Pro Street class, setting new ET benchmarks of 7.248 seconds in the quarter mile and 4.726 second in the eighth. Barkley also claimed his second victory of the 2016 season, taking over the points lead from long time rival Rob Aston.

 
Also establishing new records was Carl Mills of Sherwood Park Alberta, who reset the V-Pro record book with an 8.421 second quarter mile and a 5.318 second eighth mile.

Other racing action included a down to the wire finish in the Hawaya Racing Products Pro Dragster class where Doug Casson reached the finish line just 0.04 seconds ahead of reigning champion Hi-Per Al Miles in the final elimination round.

Full results from the Oil City Nationals are available on the CMDRA website. Up next, the CMDRA returns to the MHDRA Drag Strip in Medicine Hat Alberta for the Badlands Nationals on August 20th and 21st.


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.       www.cmdra.com         1.877.580.9008
Twitter:@CMDRA2016        Facebook: CMDRA

Friday, 12 August 2016 11:27 Published in Reports, Results & Points


BLOG: From the Street to the Track with Patrick Lambie: An introduction

I guess the best way to start this blog is with a simple “Welcome to my latest adventure.” After what feels like a lifetime of riding on the streets, in 2016 I am heading to the racetrack in search of an outlet that can satisfy a desire for speed and the accompanying adrenaline rush. It promises to be an exciting season, but as I found out right away, challenges are waiting around every corner.

It seems that with every project I work on there are always certain milestones, including the one that can only be described as the “What in the world made me think this was a good idea” moment. Shortly after deciding to expand my riding to include track days and road racing, that point arrived with striking clarity.

In theory my plan was anchored on a sound decision that some may even call “mature” or “prudent.” However, it turns out that there is a lot more involved with avoiding the speeding tickets and potential danger that awaited me if I continued to push the limits of riding on the street, than simply going to the track. As I contacted a few of the subject matter experts I have been fortunate to meet during my tenure at Inside Motorcycles, the questions and options that they laid out for me were more involved than anticipated. Do you want to stick to track days, or do you want to try road racing? Do you want your track bike to also be street legal? Do you have the right gear? Which tracks do you intend to go to? How will you transport your bike? Not only was the list seemingly endless, but every decision also led to a whole new set of decisions that needed to be made. As much as it would be easy to defer some of them, the reality is that the track season in Canada is short and time spent wallowing in indecision will ultimately eat away at the opportunities to ride.

Ignoring decisions and failing to do your homework can have even worse repercussions. Unless you are fortunate enough to live beside a racetrack, heading out for a track day or a race is going to involve loading up your motorcycle, all of your gear and an assortment of tools. Once you finally get to the track, do you really want to find out that your gear doesn’t meet the safety standards or that your motorcycle isn’t allowed? For experienced racers and track day riders, all of this is second nature, but for a newbie, there is no substitute for research and preparation.  

Over the next few months, this blog will document the highs and lows of my experience as I work towards the goal of participating in multiple track days, attending a race school and hopefully competing in a couple of races. Along the way I will try to share some of the issues as they come up and how they were handled. As someone who is more comfortable with a camera than a wrench, it is safe to assume that I won’t be offering advice on how to set up a motorcycle to compete in a CSBK race, but if you are interested in a first-hand experience of the racetrack from a unique perspective, stay tuned. It promises to be fun.

- Patrick Lambie

Friday, 29 April 2016 12:05 Published in From Street to Track with Patrick Lambie


Photo report: CSBK Edmonton photos by Patrick Lambie

Photos from the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship doubleheader at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, AB. All photos by Patrick Lambie.

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Defending CSBK Superbike champ Jodi Christie had a couple of crashes in Edmonton but still managed to get on three podiums over the weekend. Photo by Patrick Lambie

 

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Local top Superbike racer Justin Knapik performed well and was fastest among the western contingent in Edmonton. Photo by Patrick Lambie

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Suzuki pilot Trevor Daley had a solid weekend, finishing fifth in Pro Superbike race 1 and third in race 2. Photo by Patrick Lambie

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Amateur Superbike racer Stephane Chimot speeds around the Castrol track on his Honda CBR1000RR. Photo by Patrick Lambie

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Trevor Daley's new paint scheme on his OneSpeed/Parts Canada/Suzuki-backed GSX-R1000 is a real looker. Photo by Patrick Lambie

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The front grid in Pro Sport Bike. (Left to right) Jodi Christie, Kenny Riedmann, Tomas Casas and Louie Raffa. Photo by Patrick Lambie

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Defending Pro Sport Bike champ Kenny Riedmann in 'the tuck' on his Triumph Daytona 675R. Photo by Patrick Lambie

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Jodi Christie. Photo by Patrick Lambie

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With four wins in four tries so far this year, Jordan Szoke is poised to turn that 101 into a 1 by year's end. Photo by Patrick Lambie

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Szoke set a new track record, qualified on the pole and won both Superbike features in Edmonton. Photo by Patrick Lambie

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Daley, Knapik and the rest of the Pro Superbike gang. Photo by Patrick Lambie

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Vancouver's Spiro Benias came to Edmonton to compete on his Suzuki GSX-R600 in Pro Sport Bike. Photo by Patrick Lambie

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Riedmann had a great outing in Edmonton with four podiums: two wins in Hindle Pro Sport Bike and a second and third in the Superbike mains. Photo by Patrick Lambie

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Hometowner Ian Wall strugged to a pair of DNFs at Castrol Raceway. Photo by Patrick Lambie

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Szoke talks with Inside Motorcycles columnist and CSBK announcer Frank Wood on the podium. Photo by Patrick Lambie

Friday, 17 July 2015 15:27 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Ride To Eat - food, friends and motorcycles in Alberta

Not all of my motorcycle travels are weeks-long grand adventures. Sometimes, it’s just a ride and a meal – commonly called a Ride To Eat (RTE). Of course, the riding and the eating are made all the more enjoyable by adding friends and conversations and laughter.

Thursday, 16 January 2014 12:58 Published in Feature Stories


Calgary Motorcycle Ride for Dad - Helping to set a record! (exclusive IM online feature story)

With all of the flooding and hardships in Calgary and area over the past week, we felt it was a good time to tell a good news story from the area. Read on to hear about R. Bruce Thomas's experience at the Calgary Motorcycle Ride for Dad on the weekend of June 14-15...

Monday, 24 June 2013 22:33 Published in Feature Stories


Despite flooding, CMA Mini Road Racing National race still a go for Calgary

We got this message from Alberta Mini Roadracing Association Vice President Rob Ross.

"Mini Roadracers, RMM and friends,

As you well know, Calgary and most of southern Alberta have been hit with record rainfall and associated flooding that comes with it. Hundreds of thousands of people have been directly affected and this disaster will resonate within us for a long time. Our thoughts go out to all of these people.

Monday, 24 June 2013 10:14 Published in News


200 Female Riders to Decsend on Kananaskis, AB for 'Women Riding into the Future' conference and ride

"Women Riding into the Future"  is the theme of a weekend of motorcycle riding, workshops, shopping and socializing that 200 female riders will participate in at the Stoney Nakoda Casino and Resort in Kananaskis, 45 minutes west of Calgary on the weekend of August 16 through 18. The event will also include a trade show, show and shine, plus there will be manufacturers there with motorcycles to test ride.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 09:49 Published in Industry News


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