All posts in Blog/Events

14 Nov 2013

Inspect Before You Buy


What you see here are the bearings and bushings from a motorcycle’s rear suspension linkage. As you see, everything is rusted and the needle bearings are pretty much bearings in name only. Years of hard use and no care has made them this way.

When the new owner of this bike bought it they were told that they only need to have the rear wheel bearings replaced. That is why they brought it to our shop.

On immediate inspection it was obvious that more work was needed. Visually the rear brake disc and pads were gone. The chain was over-tightened and fairly worn. This was all just from looking at it. Once on the bench the list increased. The rear suspension linkage was worn out, the steering head bearings were loose and, on advice from our head mechanic, a look inside the engine (2-stroke) proved that there was even more that needed addressing – a full engine overhaul.

You might ask why this particular bike was purchased at a slightly higher than at its true valued price considering all the issues it has? The simplest answer is the bike was desirable to the new owner and they overlooked a basic when purchasing a used vehicle; INSPECTION!

Motorcycles make people passionate and when the passion for a particular bike infects someone they tend to overlook rationality. When looking for “That” bike, take a deep breath and step back for a minute. This is where a pre-purchase vehicle inspection comes in. Do not rely one the previous owners mechanical assessment of that bike – are they a certified mechanic? 

Bring it to a reliable shop/mechanic and have them look at it. You may be surprised and what they find or even know about certain bikes. They can also help interpret certain visual aspects that are noticed like, scratches, dents or other anomalies.  It is a $100+ well spent.

Look at it economically, if you buy a motorcycle and are unaware that it needs tires, brake pads and chain & sprockets, this could cost you around $1,000.00. In the event of a “Really Good Deal” or “It was so cheap“, you could be in for a surprise when the service bill to “make it run!” comes in as much as $1500-2000 should the bike need additional carb work, engine work or other TLC. Those “deals” are not always the deal they are perceived to be.

Good advice is to have that bike inspected before you buy. It’s cheap piece of mind and may offer some bartering power with the purchase. If there is a bike you are considering to buy, talk to the owner and let them know you want it inspected. It will be up to you and the owner to get the bike to the shop (you may want to book the inspection ahead of time). Once done, you will know more about what it is you are buying.

Here’s a thought; If the owner refuses the inspection or tells you it doesn’t need to be done, is it worth buying?

Probably not!

Move on! and enjoy another ride.



25 Oct 2013

Motorcycle Friendly Oregon



This past summer a customer of ours rode through Oregon. On his return he told us of his adventures and gave us this really nice Oregon Road Map “FOR MOTORCYCLES”.

It has all sorts of interesting and helpful motorcycle tips on the back side. The map outlines scenic motorcycle roads to check out. “Very Cool!” we thought, a motorcycle friendly place that wants you to come ride there.

I have ridden in Oregon and enjoyed it very much. Great roads, fabulous beer and friendly people. I have already planned a few more trips down there.

So after some investigations and inquiries we were able acquire a bunch of these nifty maps.

Next time you are by our shop and are thinking of a trip to Oregon, check them out.

Editors Note: We are out and the map is no longer available. I do have a large scanned version – bring a USB storage device and I will share it.

4 Oct 2013

The Helmet Message

For those of you that follow all the different series of motorcycle racing may know the story. But in BSB the championship is down to Shane “Shakey” Byrne and Alex Lowes. On more than one occasion they have come in contact with each other on track.

“Shakey” recently got a new helmet design going into the final races of the series. I think the lid graphic says it all. Should also work well on a street helmet.

Read the whole article here on

13 Sep 2013

Racing Greats: What are They Doing Now?

For those of you who are long time race fans you may recall the name Jamie Whitham, British racer extraordinaire. Who has overcome adversity more than once to keep doing what he loved, race motorcycles.

A quick quote from Wikipedia: “In 1994 he raced full-time in the Superbike World Championship for Ducati, taking a race win at Sentul and finishing 7th overall. He returned to the British series in 1995, leading the standings and taking a podium as a World Superbike Championship wild-card at Brands Hatch, but contracted Hodgkin’s Disease mid-season. He recovered in time to be British Superbike Championship runner-up in 1996 on a Yamaha, despite not scoring at the first round – he won ten races, twice the number of champion Niall Mackenzie.

Now the whit of Whitham can be heard commentating for World Superbikes.

I bring this up as he was always a favorite racer to watch and now we get to hear his humour. You can even read what he likes to go on about here:



12 Sep 2013

Book Review: Riding With Rilke

by: Ted Bishop

I read Riding With Rike 3-4 years back and found it a very entertaining read. As a instructor and enthusiast I liked how the motorcycle bug infected Mr. Bishop and how he evolved.

However, this book is more than a motorcycle story, it’s a tale of literary hunting, travel and riding. It’s made all the more interesting as Mr. Bishop is a local (somewhat: Alberta) rider and professor at the University of Alberta.

After reading his story I had the opportunity to swap a few e-mails back and forth with him and after reading a dozen or so riding/motorcycle adventure books, I place Mr. Bishop’s in my top 3 must reads.


Pick it up if you get the itch. Support a local and enjoy the ride he takes you on.


Andii, behind the counter.

9 Aug 2013

Where the Term Cafe-Racer Came From

The current Ace Cafe' London

This article was recently sent to us from a friend.


Subject: Ace cafe, where the term “cafe racer” started

This place is at the junction of the old A1 arterial road and the Northern “circular” road that circled London back in the 50-70’s before the new M25 circular Motorway was finished.

Was the birth place of the 59 club and “café racers” who put a record on the juke box and then raced down the North circular to the next roundabout and back to the café “before the record ended”…………..few made it of course but it didn’t stop them trying.

Sadly I missed the “café racer meet” which was on Friday night prior to the Saturday that I took this picture, when the Nissan group had a car show and a bunch of Harley bikes were there on a stop over tour of North London……….just my luck.

All a bit seedy these days and kind of hidden (took me an hour to find it and then another hour to work my way out through the traffic of central London again!!) in a corner as the North circular road has been widened and elevated so the Café is almost on a back road.



(name withheld)

1 Aug 2013

Britten Brings Back Memories


Recently I came across this article from a website I frequent ( about the John Britten motorcycle.

For those that are not aware Ted and his old partner Gord were involved in some of the development of this bike right here in BC. Gary Goodfellow rode the bike at the old Westwood track and other locales while Gord did the exhaust development.

Ted reminisced that when they had the bike on the dyno the exhaust note would make your chest palpitate in sync.

Some of us had the opportunity to see this beautiful bike run on a track. All I can say is “It is a piece of motorcycle history!

If you get the chance read up or get the vid of “The John Britten Story”.  A must for all motorcyclist enthusiasts.


3 Jul 2013

Vehicle Inspections & ICBC Repair Shop

Motorcycle ServiceThe service team at Imperial motorcycles has over 60 years of combined expertise to help you with all your motorcycle inspection, maintenance and repairs.

 We are an Authorized BC Vehicle Inspection Facility and ICBC Accredited Repair Shop.

Quality service at reasonable rates.  Give us a call and tell us what you need.

We’re here to help:  604.433.5004.

21 Jun 2013

What’s Your Trip Pt. 2

June 21, 2013: This just in from our customers and fellow travels – the Schrams’

Hello again,

We are in Anchorage now, via several detours. Over 7000km since we left you guys, tyres and gloves are great. We’ve had a change of plan though and won’t come back via Vancouver but go via Alberta, Banff and Jasper instead. The Distanzias are brilliant and tomorrow we will fit a set under our Triumphs as well so that we can go over the Arctic Circle and the Top of the World highway to Dawson city.

Attached are two photos. Don’t be disappointed that Mike is the only one wearing your T-shirt, we wear them as well! (just not that day!)

All the best,

Aad, Jeanette and Mike

19 Jun 2013

Making a Custom Fit




A regular customer of ours was recently looking for a lockable tool-kit for the back of his 2007 KLS250. Not satisfied with what was not available, he decided he could do something more to fit his needs.

The Icon Primer tank bag seemed to fit his needs.

After some minor modifications like making a small plate to fit inside the bag and bolt to the minimal rack that the Kawi comes with and the addition of a small pad lock, everything was good. So the bag was the right size for stashing the odd thing and the lock gave it a slight sense of security. With a little innovation, our customer was able to conjure up exactly what he wanted.