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BMW Motorrad Days in Ontario

BMW Motorrad Days in Ontario

Bikes Take Over the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville

More than just a motorcycle event, this is a celebration of motorcycle achievement...



Last year's BMW Motorrad Days on August 14th through 16th, 2015  in Bowmanville, Ontario at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, delivered its share of memorable moments. We were there handing our maps from Ride the North, Ride the Highlands, Ride Lake Superior, Cruise the Coast and Ride the Edge - basically all the motorcycle touring maps available in Ontario today - along with the official Ontario Road Map.

test ridersrow of bikes

Although the Canadian version of this European event isn't quite as huge, interest has been growing organically. Our own experiences at the event in 2013 introduced us a crowd of long distance tourers ready to eat up all the information we had on riding in Ontario.

Longtime rider and tourer Don Muldoon, who we met at the event, knows that BMW riders go hard - mainly from first-hand experience. His 1976 BMW touring machine was first owned by his friend, Neil Fincham, before he took over the reins. Between the two of them, they've put over 129,000 miles on the bike. Yes, 129,000. MILES. "We do most of the work on our bikes ourselves. You take good care of it, it can run forever," he says. Muldoon is one of seven brothers and aside from Finchman, most often rides with his brother Steve, giving truth to the notion that the family that rides together, stays together. Now they all travel together with a group of other riders to the races or other activities as part of their little club, the Loonie Tic Riders of Quinte West, and he has no trouble keeping up on his 37 year old Beemer.

griffin 2griffin 1griffin 3

As for the event itself, the weekend was packed with live music, lots of like-minded friends and test rides on some of the killer new bikes (Hello R nine T and S1000XR!). One of the highlights of the event is the almost-unbelievable antics of stunt rider Mattie Griffin. Lots of guys can do wheelies and burnouts, but the level of control and showmanship that Griffin displays is truly impressive. For us less dazzling riders, there were smooth road bikes and rugged off-road'ers on display and available to ride, along with urban street bikes, powerful sport mounts and long-distance tourers. 

dirt stunter

During my offroad test ride in 2013, I re-discovered just how bad I am at off-road riding after years of nothing but hard asphalt and concrete. It was a bit of a humbling experience, but the instructors were both helpful and encouraging, and you gotta start somewhere. I'm expecting to try my hat at this again, and while we're on the subject, the test rides themselves were well-organized and offered both on and off-road options, guided by knowledgeable and always friendly and helpful staff. 

annabel and julia
Julia and Annabel, visitors from overseas, decided to come and check out the weekend fun in 2013.

On the last day of the event, hundreds of BMW bikes gathered to take a lap of the racetrack during a break from Canadian Superbike racing. Taking your BMW branded bike out on this legendary race course for a parade lap was easily one of the top attractions of the weekend. 

bmw parade

There's a story behind every rider—every biker that floats past you on a twisty road, or speeds by you on the long highway, or waves to you as you cruise in opposite directions, has his or her own story to tell, and the only people who really understand riders are other riders. We may ride alone, but we always ride together. "This isn't just an activity that we participate in," Don affirms, "it's a way of life." Right there with you, Mr. Muldoon. Right there with you.

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For more photos from the weekend's festivities, check out our photostream here

And to learn more about riding in Ontario's Central Counties have a look at this article on Where to Ride in the Kawarthas

 

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