All posts in Blog Posts

4 Oct 2016

Honda’s Racing Heritage

I recently came across this article about Honda’s early years of racing and the  RC181.

If you like racing or just Honda it’s an interesting read on Cycle News’ website. On a personal note, If you are ever in Japan ( Motegi Specifically) go and see the Honda Museum. Three floors of motorcycles, from their first motor powered bicycle to a selection of their race machines.

They even have cars if you’re so inclined.

1 Oct 2016

Do Your Own Winterizing!

We have deals to help you set-up for winter storage.

Check out our “Specials” page for the deals.

4 Aug 2016

The Motorcycle Hub – Check Them out!!!

This link was just sent to us. We’ve taken a quick glance and like what we see.

When you have some free time check them out.


25 Jun 2016

Not a Dealer but we look like it

Last week all of us here at Imperial rode our bikes to work. Low and behold we all ride Yamaha.

13 Feb 2016

The Importance of a Motorcycle

’70-80’s Japanese motorcycles are all the rage. They have been for the last 15 years or so. So finding a good one is rare nowadays. Almost 17 years ago I came across a Kawasaki KZ650 “project” bike cheap.

It came as 2 frames, one 70% complete, and three boxes of bits. Two years later I had a running KZ650. It was full of quirks as the previous owner(s) had butchered the wire harness to make it a “Race” bike. I enjoyed it for a few years then moved on.

Some bikes are “Classics” in the true sense. Others just because that is the only example left over from a specific design/era. If you read enough about bikes you will find out which ones are considered the best.
The reasons are many; First of it’s kind, Timeless design or Best of the bunch.
The most notable models are the Honda CB750/4 (’69-’76), Kawasaki KZ900-1000 and Z1-R (the KZ body style is one of the most popular and came in many sizes), Kawasaki GPz900 Ninja (a landmark performance design), Honda VFR750/v4 and Suzuki XN-85 Turbo.

What makes these bikes so valuable? They are getting harder and harder to find in original or near original shape. There was a time when so called “customizing” meant butchering the original to make something totally different. So when a bike appears that is near to its factory shape it has real value. The hard part is distinguishing a classic from just another motorcycle. Not all are what the are made out to be.

behind the counter

28 Jan 2016

The Other Side of Riding

Riding is fun, that is why we do it. Commuting, touring, racing, off-road or whatever other way you like. But that is just part of the equation. You can’t enjoy it if your bike is not up to the task. This takes me to another side of riding – service.

For a deeper insight please read the article by Mat Oxley titled “One of the Last Great Tuners“.
It explores the importance of a good “Tuner/Engineer” in the world of racing. You may wonder the relation between a race Tuner and you riding day-to-day? As I use to teach my students (at motorcycle training school) – A good mechanic is like a Doctor or even Hairdresser. When you find one you like, you want to establish a relationship and that can help make that part of your life better.

All bikes need regular service but beyond that is where the relationship can shine. Having a good rapport with a mechanic/shop makes your riding life that much more enjoyable. They can offer advice or give assistance when it is needed. But that affiliation is a two-way street and it needs to be nurtured like any other relationship.

So as you ride or get ready to ride, does your bike need anything. Not sure? Check an owner’s manual, ask “your” shop or do some research. And just like any ride, a little advanced planning will make everything run smoothly.

Tip: Get your service done before the “Season” so you can ride during that time.



Behind the counter

13 Jan 2016

Deep into the Mind of a Motorcycle Racer

When I read this story about Ian Hutchinson it immediately reminded me of another racer from the US who had the same attitude towards bikes and racing.

The late Randy Renfrow lost a thumb in the early 90’s only to have surgeons replace it with one of his big toes – Why? So he could keep racing. Read about his story here.


Hutchy’s Journey to Hell and Back; by Mat Oxley

12 Jan 2016

Riding Japan

Over the holidays our counter-man, Andii, was off to the far-east once again. Quite to his surprise he had an unplanned opportunity to go riding. This is what he has to say:

I spent the Christmas/New Years holiday in Japan. It is normally cold and sometimes snowy where we were staying, so riding a bike was the last thing on my mind. Much to my surprise though it was sunny and mild. My friend, who has a Honda Shop, was the one suggesting we go ride with the warm winter they were having.

Who was I to say no?

And that is one reason why I keep a set of riding kit at my in-laws. My friend suggested that I pick where to ride. Being the owner of a shop he doesn’t get out to have fun so he thought I would probably know some goods roads (since I’ve ridden there in the past).

We meet at a cafe’ around 10am – waiting for a little warmth being that the highs were around 10-11 degrees c. I on one of his CB400/4’s and he on a 250 Forza scooter. Anyone who has ridden the backroads of Japan can tell you that you don’t travel very far. The whole day we may have covered 230km. But we got a good taste of a variety of roads – mostly tight and twisty, with a hot-springs at the end of the day to ease the fatigue.

For anyone wanting to ride in Japan, I highly recommend it. But do a little homework and stay off the toll highways to have fun.

3 Dec 2015

Motorcycle Fanatics are Everywhere – Ongoing

Who would have known?

Bob Dylan owned a 1964 Triumph Tiger 100. He stopped touring for several years after he was involved in a motorcycle accident in 1966.

12 Nov 2015

Good Customers and Good Coffee

Like any business, we get customers from all over with all sorts of needs and professions. Most recently a gentleman brought in, a new to him, Yamaha FJR1300. He hadn’t ridden it much but had so far enjoyed the bike.

After the service we informed him that we’ve worked on this machine before and that it had lots of nice bits on it. That obviously made him feel good about his purchase. In a gesture of his appreciation he brought us a sample of his professional goods. Little did he know how much some of us enjoy a GOOD cup o’ jo!

Lately I’ve been taking to going to lots of different roaster/cafe’s to try all the great coffee that is available in Vancouver. But oddly enough, for a company that has been around a long time, I’d never heard of them. Pistol & Burnes.

So I take the bag of beans to my local cafe, Camellia Tea & Coffee for a quick grind and sampling. They only do this for me as I’m there several times a week.

All I can say is it is a delicious cup of coffee. So thank you for the gift. All we need now is some dark chocolate to go with it.