The Top 10 RidersWest stories of 2019

Aren’t you a bit curious what our most-read stories were last year?

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Keanu Reeves smiles as he prepares to ride his motorcycle.

Keanu Reeves has been a motorcycle enthusiast since he was 22 years old. — Photo courtesy Interview Hub

Welcome to a new year and a new decade. There are certainly things to look forward to in 2020 (motorbiking and quadding, for starters), but first, let’s take a look back at the year that was 2019.

What were you, our readers, most interested in reading on RidersWest.com for the past 12 months? Upon reflection, RidersWest readers have a healthy curiosity for a diverse range of subject matter from making ATVs and UTVs road legal in B.C. to choosing a dirt bike to Keanu Reeves and his love of motorcycles. To make it easy for you, we’ve assembled the top 10 most-read stories of 2019 into a handy-dandy list that you can peruse below.

From everyone here at RidersWest, thank you for choosing us as your go-to source for ATVing and motorbiking information. Here’s to a stellar 2020!


10. 13 Alberta motocross tracks

Here is a track guide for dirt bike riders and off-road motorcyclists looking for a place to ride and race in Alberta

 

A motorcycle gets massive air in the foreground while a track and swampland is in the background.

Do some practice laps or go racing at the White Ridge MX Park near Whitecourt. — Photo courtesy Susan King

Motocross racing is alive and well in Alberta. Throughout Wild Rose Country, you’ll find many places to race motocross and ride dirt bikes for fun.

9. Keanu Reeves and his love of motorcycles

Hollywood star Keanu Reeves is a crazy two-wheeled enthusiast who has started up his own motorcycle company

 

Gard Hollinger and Keanu Reeves pose in front of and behind a KRGT-1 motorcycle.

The KRGT-1 is the brainchild of Canadian actor Keanu Reeves (R) and California-based bike builder Gard Hollinger. — Photo courtesy Interview Hub

If you’re a fan of the movie Speed or The Matrix, it’s quite possible that you are also a fan of Keanu Reeves. This Lebanese-born Canadian actor is also known for his starring roles in Point Break, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and the more recent John Wick.

He has an affinity for playing both the goofy, good-natured guy and the super cool action hero, but in real life, Reeves has been described as “down-to-earth” and “elusive.” That hasn’t kept him out of the spotlight, though. Throughout his career, he has earned several MTV movie awards and multiple nominations for best actor. He has also been ranked one of People magazine’s 50 most beautiful people in the world and he’s even got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

But what does Keanu Reeves have to do with motorcycles?

A lot, actually. The actor is an avid rider who’s logged thousands of kilometres behind the bars of his favourite bike, the Norton Commando.

8. Exploring five of the Okanagan’s best off-road riding areas

Off-road motorcycling is a great way to see the region's beauty

A motorcycler rides a trail in the Okanagan.

The author explores the trails around Okanagan Falls, B.C. — Photo by Steve Shannon Photography

 

With its warm weather, sparse population and central location, B.C.’s Okanagan region has some of the best off-road motorcycling in the country. Here’s a look at five must-hit riding areas in the region this summer.

7. Safety first when meeting horseback riders on the trail

Common sense, communication and courtesy can make the encounter between ATVers and horseback riders safe and positive

A horseback rider trails behind an ATVer on a trail through the woods.

In Western Canada, ATVers and horseback riders share many of the same trails. — Duke Armleder photo

 

Like north and south, ATVs and horses are polar opposites. One is a machine, controlled completely by its rider, and the other is a large, unpredictable animal with an instinct to turn and bolt when threatened. For obvious reasons, the two don’t always get along, yet both are popular ways to enjoy the backcountry. And whether you are an ATVer or a horseback rider, it is inevitable that one day you will meet.

So here are some tips on how to make the encounter safer.

6. Choosing a dirt bike

How to find the dirt bike that is right for you

T&T Powersports head mechanic and shop foreman, Steven Radel, explains the most common mistakes he sees when customers are purchasing a dirt bike: No. 1 would be purchasing a bike that will be quickly outgrown, both in size and horsepower. Next would be people without any mechanical knowledge buying a high-maintenance machine.

5. 11 motocross tracks and places to ride and race dirt bikes in B.C.

Here is a track guide for dirt bike riders and off-road motorcyclists in British Columbia

Two motorcyclists race around a dirt track in the woods.

The Revy Riders Dirtbike Club in Revelstoke is just one of many places in B.C. where riders of all ages can spend time on-track or off-road. — Kirsten Armleder photo

 

Looking for a dirt bike track near you? Then you’ve come to the right place. In British Columbia, there are several motocross tracks and places to ride sprinkled throughout the province.

4. Six great motorcycle roads in Canada

In part 2 of Wayne Hamm's Canadian Goldwing Adventure series, he shares six of the most memorable motorcycle routes

A statue of rocks stacked on each other is perched behind a motorcycle with a trailer.

Wayne Hamm took the roads less travelled while crossing Canada on his GoldWing. — Wayne Hamm photo

 

I’m still shaking my head in amazement; 18,000 kilometres, all the planning and it’s over. It is difficult to describe in just a few short pages the beauty of Canada and to express my enjoyment on so many different levels, on so many different roads.

These are six of the most memorable routes I travelled.

3. Your first dirt bike: buy the reality, not the dream

Here are some tips for beginners on how to shop for and buy the right dirt bike, as well as some examples of what could go wrong

A row of colourful motorbikes.

There are a wide range of bikes available on the market today, and it can be hard to choose the right one. — Jim Muir photo

 

There are way too many variables to give singular global advice to first-time dirt bike buyers, but there are some common mistakes that can be advised against, and some critical time and money-saving information that can be shared.

2. Best dirt bike tires for hard enduro

Kitt Stringer puts six different brands of hard enduro tires to the test in some of the gnarliest terrain Canada has to offer

A dirt biker ascends a hill in the woods by doing a wheelie.

The right dirt bike tire can make a world of difference, especially in the hard enduro type of riding. Here, John Baley tackles some slippery terrain in the Shawnigan Lake area. — BrapSnap Moto Media photo

“What is the best dirt bike tire for hard enduro?”

Glad you asked because Kitt Stringer—who is one of B.C.’s top off-road riders—recently put six different brands of soft or gummy tires to the test in the unforgiving woods of Vancouver Island’s Shawnigan Lake area.

1. From dirt to street: Making ATVs and UTVs road legal in B.C.

What are the steps needed to adjust laws to make this dream a reality?

ATVs fill up at a Shell gas station.

The Campbell River ATV Club in Campbell River, B.C., has been engaged in a project to enable inter-community ORV tourism on Northern Vancouver Island. — Photo courtesy Mike Coulter

 

Legal access to trail systems has always been a balancing act. Upon the delivery and inception of the new ORV Act in B.C. in 2014, some grey areas have prompted the Quad Riders Association of British Columbia (ATVBC) to work with provincial lawmakers to figure out solutions to recurring access problems.


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