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About: From the World’s Longest Covered Bridge in the west of Canada to the Rockies in the east and across the flat centre, this was one hell of a solo roadtrip!
Country name: Canada
Area: 9,984670 Km2
Language: English, French
Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Road Length: 1.04 million Kms
Road Details: 1.04 million kilometres The Canadian road network, which covered 1.04 million kilometres as of 2011, is the world’s seventh-biggest network. The country’s paved roads measure 415,600km, while unpaved roads constitute approximately 626,700km. The national highway system includes over 38,000km of important national and regional highways.
Roadtrip name: xBhp Rides Canada
Route: Boston, USA > ‘Crossed over to Canada’ Sussex > Nova Scotia > Montreal >Toronto > Niagara Falls > Sudbury > Thunder Bay > Winnipeg > Regina > Banff – Prince George > Kamloops > Vancouver > ‘Crossed over to the USA’ Seattle
Here‘s the link to the map
Best place to have a quick breakfast: Any Tim Horton
Ride on: Right Side
Metric System: Speed is in KM/H and temperature in Degree Celsius. Fuel or gasoline is measured in litres
Looking for twisties? The vast majority of mountains in Canada lie in the western provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and the Yukon Territory. You can skip the West and central Canada if you wish and land in Vancouver to start your adventure.
Toronto: When one mentions the major cities of Canada, Toronto is almost always at the top of the list. It is the most populous city in Canada and in addition to that, one of the most diverse ones too, which is apparent from the fact that the city features people belonging to over 200 distinct ethnicities. Despite English being the primary language, more than 160 languages are spoken in the city.
Toronto is the capital of the Ontario province and is situated along the shores of Lake Ontario. A significant portion of Canada’s economic activity takes place in Toronto. Internationally, Toronto is known to be an important centre for business, finance, arts, and culture.
The more prominent theme of Toronto though is music, theatre, movies, and television and so, it is the headquarter of Canada’s most prominent broadcast networks and media outlet. Reminds one of CN Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere.
Vancouver: Vancouver is a seaport city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. The third-largest Metropolitan city of Canada is also the most densely populated city of the country. And despite that, Vancouver almost always finds its name in the list of top 5 cities to live in across the globe.
Vancouver, with its largest natural seaport, of course, derives a lot of its business and economic activity from that. But it also has a nickname… Hollywood North. The reason for that is the presence of major film production studios and the fact that it is the largest film production centre in North America.
Vancouver has also been the host to many events and conferences of an International Scale. Some examples are the 1954 Commonwealth Games, several matches including the finals of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and of course, 2010 Winter Olympics.
Montreal: Montreal, situated in the Quebec province, is the second-most populous city of Canada. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal (from where it derives its name) in addition to a few smaller islands.
Montreal, though surpassed by Toronto a few years ago, is an important economic and financial centre of Canada. Tourism, aerospace, pharmaceuticals are some of the major fields when one talks about Montreal, omnipresent in Top 20 cities to live in the world, was also named as a UNESCO City of Design in 2006.
The city also has significance when it comes to motorsports as it serves as one of the venues for Formula One. It is the home to the Canadian Grand Prix. Other notable events are the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Just For Laughs festival. Another personal reason for our liking is the presence of Ubisoft Montreal, a video game responsible for some of the most notable entries in the Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs franchise of video games.
Niagara Falls: Perhaps the biggest tourist attraction in Canada, and for good reason, Niagara Falls is a city situated on the western bank of the Niagara River. It is situated in the Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario. The good reason that we mentioned… the Niagara River flows over Niagara falls at this location. It makes for a visual spectacle rivalled by a few in the world.
The above and the overall natural beauty of the city attracts millions of tourists from around the world. And so, tourism is one of the biggest industries in the city. To cater to that and to make it thrive, the city has built observation towers, high-rise hotels and indoor water parks.
If you are on a motorcycle roadtrip through Canada, Niagara Falls has to be on your itinerary. The best season though would be Fall as the number of tourists will be lesser compared to summer. The museums and theatres also warrant a visit. The casinos… well, it’s up to you. Just don’t lose the pink slip to your beloved motorcycle.
Best Weather: Fall (September to November) due to lesser crowd and beautiful scenery.
Machine: MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800: 798cc | 110 bhp | 83 Nm | 191 kg (dry)
The Turismo Veloce is the first touring motorcycle from the Italian marquee associated with some of the most beautiful motorcycles ever made. The Turismo Veloce stays true to the tradition of Italy and is remarkably beautiful. It derives its 798cc triple-cylinder engine from the screamer, the F3 800. It has been re-tuned to make it more tractable and touring friendly.
The touring bits continue with the luggage capacity which is more than enough for a roadtrip about… ‘Canada long’. And since the kit comes from MV Agusta, they look suave too. The traditional design language of MV Agusta makes itself apparent in every nook and cranny of the Turismo Veloce but tradition does not come in the way of technology in this particular motorcycle.
A counter-rotating crankshaft means that the motorcycle is butter-smooth throughout the rev-range with near-zero vibrations (not to be compared with EVs). Also, the Turismo Veloce has kept the soundtrack of the F3 800 and sounds magical all across the rev-range. It makes around 110 bhp of power and around 83 Nm of torque.
The torque is not surprisingly absent in the lower rev range and the motorcycle can crawl through traffic as easily as it goes zoom on the highways. But more than anything, it is the delivery that gets you. It is very linear. It strikes a perfect balance between eager and laid-back.
The Turismo Veloce 800 also features a ride-by-wire system which paves way for an 8-level traction control system. There are 4 riding modes; Sports, Race, Rain, and Custom. The last one lets you define the various parameters of electronic intervention so that the experience feels tailor-made to suit your riding style. Brakes from Brembo are complemented by ABS from Bosch and together, they keep you covered should you find yourself in a hairy… err… furry situation when riding through the wilderness.
Though the motorcycle is comfy, it has not compromised on the handling at all. It goes through the corners like a dream. The folks at MV Agusta have struck a perfect balance in geometry to make this motorcycle agile through the bends and relaxed along the highways. The best thing though is the weight. At 191 kg (dry), the Turismo Veloce is lighter than most ADV-tourers which is a welcome change. A motorcycle which still feels lively and more motorcycle-y even with all the luggage.
So, the weight combined with the more than ample power and torque makes the Turismo Veloce 800 one of the peppiest ADV-Tourers we have ridden on. And due to its close relation to the F3 800, the motorcycle is not too far from being a corner carver (relatively) despite the changed overall stance. If all of that doesn’t convince you, swing a leg over one, put it in Race mode, and hear it screaming!
Sponsors: Motul was the key sponsor. MV Agusta USA provided the motorcycle and riding gears were by Dainese and AGV USA.
Roadtrip description: From the World’s Longest Covered Bridge in the west of Canada to the Rockies in the east and across the flat centre, this was one hell of a solo roadtrip!
Canada, often considered to be the lovechild of America and France, is truly a fantastic place. It is a beautiful mix of two of the most renowned cultural systems in the world with its own famous Canadian politeness.
Touted as a magical dreamland with insanely good fries (see: Poutine) and currency notes which apparently smell like maple syrup, Canada has given the world some serious gems like Jim Carrey, Seth Rogen, Celine Dion and erm… Justin Bieber. It is also considered to be the birthplace of Baseball, Basketball and yep… you guessed it, Ice Hockey!
Canada is the second-largest country in the world by area (including its waters, 4th by land alone). It also has the world’s longest coastline and shares the world’s longest international border with the US.
Its geography is a picturesque mix of boreal forests (called taiga), arctic northern regions and Canadian prairies. Some standout features include The Great Lakes, The Appalachian mountains, and the Canadian Shield. It is also home to the world’s northernmost settlement, Canadian Forces Station Alert.
Due to its latitudinal extent, it has a varied climate despite the popularly associated snow, although largely most of it is on the colder side with the exception of the west coast. Canada has four distinct seasons and the best time to visit would be somewhere around the fall season, from September to November. If you’re planning a roadtrip, you may want to shuffle the dates around a bit and avoid peak winter season.
Although the tourist season is during the summer months, the fall season offers lower prices, fewer crowds and a gorgeous autumn colour scheme for the ‘gram! When it comes to exploring the said country, you can be assured that any amount of days will be less. Yes… there may be more leaves on the road which makes matters a tad bit risky, the ABS and Traction Control on the Turismo Veloce are more than ready to deal with any untoward situations.
This roadtrip of ours started as we set out for the Canadian border over I95 expecting some bit of delay at the immigration point. To our surprise, it was quite effortless and the officer also wished us best of luck for the ride ahead! We entered into Nova Scotia and my first stop was the town of Sussex after visiting the world’s longest covered bridge in Hartland.
From the majestic Niagara Falls to the stately Canadian Rockies, the otherworldly Northern Lights to the towering Cathedral Grove- there is no dearth of awe-inspiring natural beauty in Canada.
Cities like Old Montreal with its old-world charm and Quebec with its alluring French heritage offer exceptionally unique experiences while others like Toronto and Vancouver have an epic nightlife. And if you’re an adventure junkie then places like Lake Louise are perfect for you with outdoor activities ranging from kayaking to snowboarding.
Alfred Hitchcock once said that he had seen the most beautiful sunset in Zadar, Croatia (which incidentally, we rode after riding Canada… and on the same bike too!). Let us tell you that man had not experienced riding across roads in countries like Canada and Australia from dawn to dusk. It is simply breath-taking. One of the most memorable moments for me has to be witnessing a rainbow stretching across an 8-lane highway under a setting sun.
The distances might be a little more extensive than what an Indian rider is used to but there are some spectacularly beautiful routes like the Trans-Canada Highway (the world’s national road spanning over 4800 miles), Canadian Badlands, Icefields Parkway, and more. The roads are well-maintained, although one must be prepared to brave unfavourable weather conditions.
Vehicles drive on the right side of the road and it is imperative that you pay attention to the speed limits and take into consideration the straying wildlife which is more common than you may think. Since we’re talking about Canada, you can expect the drivers to be polite and courteous.
Another important thing, familiarize yourself with the road etiquettes, the sources for which are aplenty on the internet. These include things like the difference between normal and flashing green light, the technicalities of the lane system, the prohibition in some areas to turn right when facing a red light, and daytime running lights in certain areas. Read up on specific Canadian terms too.
There are some toll roads in Canada, a special one being the Ontario Highway 407 known as part of the Express Toll Route or ETR. There is not a booth to stop at and pay, instead, a camera, electronically recording your number plate, calculates the toll automatically.
The availability of gas stations and rest stops shouldn’t be a problem along the Trans-Canada Highway; however, this does vary across regions- they tend to be sparse along the mountain roads.
Fortunately, before large stretches of unserviced highways, there are usually signs indicating when the next rest stop is, so make sure you’re adequately stocked up. It depends on the motorcycle deployed for the trip as well. Our Turismo Veloce 800 had a fuel capacity of 21.5 litres. Combined with a mileage of roughly 15 km/l, it gives you a range of over 320 km.
Canada has another unusual feature- the number of roadside attractions with structures resembling mundane objects from daily life, including the largest axe in the world, make for fun stops for when you need a break from riding. Not only that, we spotted Asterix, Obelix, Batman, Spider, Joker and lots more!
Accommodation in Canada is not necessarily cheap despite the abundance of hotels/hostels in the urban and tourist centres. A great alternative can be Couchsurfing which connects travellers with locals who are willing to let them stay with them for free!
Another tip is that you stay on the lookout for Tim Horton’s, which is Canada’s famous coffee and doughnut shop chain, named after a hockey player. It offers pretty economical snacks for those sticking to a budget! We stuck to it every morning: Cold Coffee, chocolate doughnut and a bit more set us up through the day.
Also, the more than adequate luggage capacity of the Turismo Veloce 800 meant that we stash a few snacks in the panniers too. Like we mentioned, it’d rarely come to the point where you’d find yourself stuck without necessities, in case you were a little less vigilant about the road signs, those stashed snacks do come in handy. Tim Horton’s can also set you up for lunch. When you have big miles to munch and halts are scarce, a sandwich, a cold coffee, chocolate bars and a few Bananas. It is fast and it is efficient.
While on the topic of food, you will offend every single Canadian in the world if you step out of the country without indulging yourself with poutine at least once. For those who don’t know, poutine is the equivalent of fries on steroids and are the singular-most popular thing from Canada right after their maple syrup.. and Canadians, of course!
Canada is home to around 38 million of the sweetest people on earth. What this means for you is that you won’t have a lot of problems in finding people to help you out who will quite likely apologize in the event of doing so! Canadians are surely a different breed altogether and wait till you see them party.
Don’t believe us? See for yourself at the Vancouver Celebration of Light or the Montreal Jazz Festival! While the option of going to these festivals is open, a motorcycle roadtrip may not always be able to accommodate that. After all, hundreds of kilometres a day is… a lot.
Their culture is influenced by both European and American elements with English and French being the predominant languages so it would do you good to brush up on the ‘bonjours’ and ‘Bonsoir’. Not that you’ll face a lot of communication barriers, French just makes everything sound better… including the word ‘sorry’(say désolé or pardon, and make sure you get that right because you’ll be using it a lot).
Also, around the French-speaking areas (Especially Quebec), many road signs are in French so you would not want to stand there, waiting for Google Translate to tell you where to go. But take it from us; you would not mind getting lost here. Even the detours will lead to someplace good.
There are not a lot of twisties, and it’s mostly straight, especially in the middle of the country. However, the best is saved for the end, if you are doing it like us, from West to East!
The Canadian Rockies are a sight to behold. Even without going off the highway, you can see such terrific sights. It starts in Calgary and goes all the way up. We went till Prince George, which was very cold and then to the sanely weathered Vancouver before ending the trip in Seattle. And this is where you really start to appreciate the motorcycle you choose.
The Turismo Veloce 800 is based on the fantastic F3, a hoot in the middleweight segment. A peppy engine, great handling characteristics, and a superb soundtrack made for a combination rarely found in the ADV-Touring motorcycles. The motorcycle reacts positively to every command be it on the handlebar or the throttle. Despite looking all calm and sedate, it eggs you to push it every time it spots some bends on the road. Canada may not have had many, but wherever we had them, we made the most of it.
Canada is one of the few places in the world that ticks all the right boxes making it ideal for a roadtrip- pleasantly genteel people, the general affordability, the chic urban lifestyle, the plurality of cultures, the abundance of natural beauty… and of course, the maple syrup.