Thursday, June 25, 2015



I've covered a lot of ground on the seat of various motorcycles over the decades.  From my '66 Honda S 90, to various two stroke mid displacement mounts, customs, sports bikes, dual sport bikes and even full blown touring bikes.  Yup, this butt has been intimate with a lot of seats.  Good thing motorcycles don't get jealous! 

I even rode a YSR 50 from the Island to Toronto with a couple of pals to attend the 1989 Yamaha dealer show.

In all those miles and all those padded (?!) perches, I have clearly maintained when ever asked, that 'touring... depended on your threshold of pain.'  Consider the bike I am currently touring on... it's a Japanese imported 1985 Suzuki LS 650, then known as the Savage and as of late, the Boulevard
S 40... this number denoting the displacement in cubic inches rather than centimeters, obviously in some attempt to Americanize the engine size. When I say Japanese import, I mean just that.  The bike is a homeland model slightly different than that designed for the CDN market.  It has a switch allowing the rider to select 'no lights, parking/running lights or full on.'  In addition it has a very annoying RED light in the speedo face warning that you have exceeded 80kph.  The engine can be started without drawing in the clutch lever and the side stand when deployed appears as another RED light on the mini dash.  Plus... it has a 5 speed transmission... something we didn't get till years later.

The engine is an upright 652 cc (40 cid) air cooled single four valve four stroke with a single  overhead cam.  The seat is very low, 28" off the deck.  Even for a shortie such as myself this is knee bending height.  In order to get this low seat hgt, the seat is ahem... pretty thin and the rear suspension very limited. 

Of course as a rider may occasionally carry a passenger on the pillion seat (and I use that word loosely) the rear non adjustable shocks are rather firm. 

All this translates to a stiff ride and cramped limited riding position.  The raised flat bar exasperates the whole thing and the message the bike conveys is that of a little factory built chopper.  I'd admit, when I ride these bikes I feel like a 'bad boy', well just a little.  Many people at a glance have no clue what size this bike is.

Okay, so it's a burger bike more suitable for posing down at the Dairy Queen or Burger King than out on the road luggage attached covering thousands of kilometers.  Having said that, remember... touring by bike depends a lot on your threshold of pain.

While visiting with Ronnie, I mostly rode his 650 cc (40 cid) Suzuki Burgman or V Strom 650.  Both are infinitely more comfortable and suited to long distances in the saddle and having had limited time on big scooters, I chose the Burger more times than not.  Like when we did the north shore of the south Thompson followed by a jaunt east on highway 1 to the DreamCycle museum, it was Burger all the way.

This museum is conveniently located on the Trans Canada highway and is certainly worth a visit whether riding by or driving.

Not only is there a good collection of interesting, historic and even rare motorcycles, but they have a very cool little café on site named Sprockets. 

From there we motored these dinky toy ribbons of back country asphalt to view a few old bikes as various friends of Ron's.  They included a pair of immaculately restored mid sixties,305 Yamaha's and farther along, after a 'trail/trial' ride up a mountainside in pouring rain, some more modern Yamaha's in the form of RD 350 LC models.  My friends know I am particular to two stroke rides, some have even said I have pre-diluted injection oil in my veins... but as I have said many times, I really don't care if it's an RD, a CB, a GS or an HD, I LOVE bikes!

Enjoy the pics...












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