MAY IS MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH | Let’s Watch Out For Each Other

By News, Safety
To say that the past year has been impactful for everyone is an understatement. One of the positive outcomes of the rollercoaster ride of living in a pandemic is that we have come to recognize that, now more than ever, we truly are all in this together. Just as the pandemic has made us aware that we all have our part to play in keeping ourselves and each other safe, the same applies to motorcycling, both on- and off-road.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Canada and the United States. The Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) annual safety campaign message for 2021 is “Watch Out For Each Other”. We all have a responsibility to help keep each other safe on our roads and out on the trails.
MCC Chair Chris Bourque says “For the past five years our message to riders and drivers is that motorcycle safety is everyone’s responsibility. For 2021 we encourage all on road and off-road users to Watch Out For Each Other. Rather than adding to people’s sense of anxiety and feeling like we are being told what to do, we simply ask that everyone doubles down on being safe.”
Chris has a great point. Nobody wants to end up in the emergency room, but right now it’s more important than ever to do everything possible to avoid burdening our healthcare systems with a preventable injury.
As always, motorists are reminded to Watch Out for motorcycles on the road. May is the start of peak riding season and there are more motorcycles on our city streets, country roads, and highways. Take a second look to better judge the speed and distance of a motorcyclist in your vicinity. Always check mirrors and blind spots, especially before turning or changing lanes. Allow extra room to avoid cutting off a motorcyclist and allow extra space when driving behind a motorcycle.
Riders can look for ways to Watch Out For Each Other too. Motorcycling has enjoyed a significant increase in popularity as people look for ways to get fresh air, exercise, and a sense of freedom. There has been an uptick in commuting by motorcycle as it is a practical and environmentally responsible form of transportation. As of March 2021, MMIC, the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council, reports double- and triple-digit year-over-year sales growth in Canada across all types of bikes, including Street, Dual Purpose, Competition, Off-Road Recreational, Mini Bikes and Scooters. So far this year motorcycle sales are up almost 75%.
There are many new riders experiencing the pleasures of motorcycling right across the country. If you’re an experienced rider, you can Watch Out for new riders by encouraging them to ride safely, ride within their skill limits, and according to the road conditions. Encourage them to wear “ATGATT” (All the gear, all the time). And don’t forget to direct them to the MCC website for great information and resources for Canadian motorcyclists.
We are all in this together. Let’s Watch Out For Each Other.

Media Release: MCC to Continue Bid for FIM Affiliation - Image of MCC-CMC official logo

Media Release: MCC to Continue Bid for FIM Affiliation

By Competition, MCC in the News, News

Date: February 4, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MCC TO CONTINUE BID FOR FIM AFFILIATION


Canadian motorcycle racing has a big problem.

 

FOREST, ON – February 4, 2021: On January 29, 2021, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM, International Motorcycling Federation) convened via video conference for their annual General Assembly. MCC (Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada) has been petitioning to become the Canadian FIM Affiliate for several years now. FIM allows one affiliate in each country. For the last 70 years, Canada’s representative has been the CMA (Canadian Motorcycle Association). CMA has had little participation in international racing for the last few decades. During this time, there has been an overwhelming desire to rekindle international competition in Canada across all disciplines.

 

MCC’s quest to become Canada’s affiliate requires that the CMA first lose their standing with FIM. In 2020, FIM leadership made a motion to Expel CMA from FIM. This motion was brought to the floor on January 29, 2021. The motion required a two-thirds majority of votes by the FIM Voting Delegates present to pass, as opposed to a simple majority. The vote fell short by 5 votes and although a majority was reached with 59% voting in favour of removing CMA, it did not meet the required threshold of 66%. 11 members abstained from voting, thus making the odds of reaching a two-thirds majority difficult to achieve. MCC was not afforded the opportunity to be considered because CMA was not expelled as the current Canadian FIM Affiliate.

 

While MCC is disappointed that it will not become the FIM Affiliate for Canada at this time, the membership continues to focus on positioning the organization to be the obvious and logical choice for this important role. MCC Board Chair Chris Bourque states, “I continue to be baffled by an organization like CMA, that does nothing with their affiliation, yet refuses to let it go. All the while, young and upcoming competitors are hamstrung to test their mettle against global competitors.”

 

There is also frustration within the Canadian motorcycle racing community, including racers and promoters. Veteran motorcycle journalist Colin Fraser, who produces the Canadian Superbike series for TSN says “The path for Canadian racers to the world stage has been severely compromised for the last 4 decades, and we really need to change with the times.” Justin Thompson, CEO at Jetwerx International and the Triple Crown Series states, “Jetwerx continues to support the MCC bid for FIM Affiliation, for the good of the sport and for Canada.”

 

For now, MCC will continue to work diligently on behalf of racers and riders across Canada. According to Bourque, “In 2021 we will continue to make MCC stronger and even better positioned to take on the responsibility of leading Canada back to competitive motorcycling at the international level through FIM Affiliation.”

 

About FIM
FIM is the global governing/sanctioning body of motorcycle racing. It represents 111 national motorcycle federations that are divided into six regional continental unions. FIM not only serves as a racing sanctioning body but also has non-sporting initiatives such as: Women Riders, Ride True (without impairment), Motorcycle Tourism opportunities, Public Affairs, Ride Green.

 

About the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada
The Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) is the voice of motorcycling in Canada. Our purpose is to create a better riding experience for all Canadians and to make Canada one of the safest countries in the world to ride a motorcycle. Today, there are close to one million motorcyclists riding on and off-road motorcycles across Canada.

MCC blog - Riding all seasons to beat the January Blahs, image of a rider on a trials bike

Riding Out the Winter Blahs. Blah… BRAAAP!

By Adventure, Food For Thought, Off-road

Shake it out, find your rhythm; put that good soul back in your feet.

Have you ever felt out of sorts? Maybe without being able to pinpoint the reason? Maybe it’s the Winter blahs!

Of course you have and you’re not alone. (I won’t insert a statistic here.) We all know it happens and often even the brightest spirits are affected in the shorter days of winter. I’ll admit, I’ve been feeling this way. So have some of my friends and family. Reflecting on conversations and moods of the people with whom I have regular contact, it’s time to shake off some of the stress and beat those Winter BLAHS. 

Finding an outlet

Finding the right outlet is part of the battle that most of us struggle with during the “in-between” seasons.  So here I am in the last week of January, in the middle of a pandemic. The world we live in is far from normal yet. Thank you COVID! Combine this with a strange winter climate that so far hasn’t brought much snow to our province. 

What season is it?

So what season is this now? It’s time to be outside season. That’s what I need. It’s ‘get-dressed-for-whatever-is going-on-with-the-weather’ season, PERIOD!  I love being outside. This is my happy place. The sun is shining this week, finally. The trails are hardening with cooler temperatures, and there’s no snow. 

I’ve been bummed a bit by the weather lately, but now I’m not making any excuses. This past week I got outside more; daily in fact. Every day felt more adventurous as I got more in tune with the strange winter conditions we are having here in Nova Scotia this year. 

I need more!

A daily hike has been great, but I still needed something more.  For the past week, I have had the good fortune to enjoy off-road riding on a Beta trials bike. Winter riding has put a smile back on my face. Choosing the right trails; making sure not to damage those that are too wet; and finding spaces that are safe, fun, and have flow, has reinvigorated my normal adventurous spirit.

Get outside!

I’m not sure how long the snow will stave off, but for now, I encourage you to ride, too. You don’t even need studs in many places (so far), just air down to 6-10 psi and ride a gear high. It’s great practice for clutch control to maintain tractable power to the rear wheel, and it  will keep your skills sharp throughout the winter. 

Don’t be afraid to invest in some screw-in studs if you’re new to icier conditions. There’s a lot of fun and satisfaction in winter riding that blasts away the winter blahs.

 

Braap on my friends and feel well.

 

Josh Kelly is NSORRA’s President. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys every minute on the trails with family and friends, whether it’s off-road motorcycling, hiking, or mountain biking.

Message from Chris Bourque MCC Board Chair, image of a motorcycle rider in silhouette

A Message from MCC Board Chair Chris Bourque

By Safety

I sincerely hope you are well, and your families and friends are safe in these unfortunate times. Some of us are at home, and some of us are still at our places of work. In either case, we are all in the same boat.
Or sort of…
To the Motorcycle Industry, this could not have come at a worse time. The downturn in the oilpatch, the seasonal timing of the pandemic, and the recent slowing of the Canadian economy all make for a severe situation for our beloved industry here in Canada. These are normally the biggest months in unit sales, and to have doors shut is like taping the mouth of a hungry person.
When I started in the industry in 1985, the bike industry was staggering and attempting to recover from a major recession a couple years earlier. I was working as a wrench at our local Kawasaki dealer (back then they were called “Goodtime Centres”). Part of my responsibility was prepping new units. I remember in that first year we had countless new units on the floor from prior years. Bikes just weren’t moving.
One Saturday morning, a more affluent middle aged fellow came in and bought a 1983 GPz1100 leftover. I was tasked with starting it and prepping for delivery.
I remember trying so hard to start the damn thing, and it just wouldn’t catch. One of the more senior techs pitched in and it eventually sprang to life. He made a simple comment that I will never forget. He basically told me that the bike would have fired up easily had we been permitted to let it run a couple times in the 24 months prior.
I think that is my message to our group. If we are able to, we should try and feed our local retailers as much as possible in these quiet times. A little support in May will allow these folks to resume full operation much easier once the risk has passed. Presently, the MCC is endorsing the “stay at home” mindset, not only for social interaction but riding as well. What better time than this to buy those accessories and maintenance items?
Some bright news in this regard; I am still very close with my larger local dealers, and this week all were reporting strong sales outside of new units (jackets, tires, aesthetic add-ons, etc). One shop has been conducting a lot of mechanical work, as they have been able to pick up and drop off bikes without ever directly interacting with their customers. What better time than now to have your valve clearance checked or your 20000km service done?
I would invite you to share your dealer success stories with your social network, and support them yourself, if you are able to.
We have a very bright future. Let’s lend a hand to those who need it so we can ALL enjoy it.

I wish you well. Stay strong.

Chris Bourque, CRM
MCC Board Chair

motorcycling during the pandemic - Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada - image of a motorcyclist wearing his helmet, sitting on stairs next to his bike, looking sad

Motorcycling During the Pandemic – Safe At Home is Best

By MCC in the News, News, Off-road, On-road, Safety

Canadian riders thinking about motorcycling during the pandemic: MCC supports the position of the International Motorcycling Federation. FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) is the global governing body for motorcycle racing. We think the following release is the correct global response to what is obviously a global health emergency:

On April 1, 2020 FIM announced its #RidersAtHome initiative. The campaign encourages all types of riders around the world, from professionals to everyday commuters, to share messages of support and to behave in a responsible manner to take care of each other. In the official release, the FIM said, “Even though riding is still permitted in some countries – the FIM is requesting that ALL riders keep their motorcycles parked in order to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries that could take up valuable healthcare resources during a period when they are already under great pressure.” Read More