I'm a Canadian living abroad, but will likely be moving to BC very soon as my family are in Vancouver. I'd rather not get into the reasons here, it's a long, personal story. My first priority will be getting set up with work and my own place, but once that's done, I'd like to get a bike - I spent 5 years without one and really missed it and don't want to repeat that if I can avoid doing so. Not sure what I'll buy yet, but I'm partial to sport bikes, which is why I've come here. Also considering 800cc dual sport. It'll all depend on the roads and availability of a track.
I've got about 5 years of riding under my belt on a Honda CB400, 2006 CBR600RR and 2009 CBR600RR (C-ABS) so I'm not exactly a new rider, but still have a lot to learn - more to the point I'll be new to BC and need to learn about that.
If anyone has time to answer a few questions, I'll post them here:
1. Is there a track near Vancouver? How is it (good surface, well organized, etc.)?
2. How good are the twisties? I'm used to riding in mountain passes in the north of Italy, Switzerland and have been to a couple of other countries. Basically, the Alps. It's great because there are so many small towns and there are good roads connecting them with very, very tight, technical twisties - I'm guessing it won't be the same in BC, but there may be some nice roads over longer distances and some beautiful places to visit. Twisties and a track will determine whether I go for a sport bike or not - I consider them more or less useless in the city, apart from posing.
3. What kind of insurance costs might I expect for a 600cc super sport? I'll have 2 years clean riding (no tickets, no accidents) with my current insurance provider, but no record of the previous one (which was in Japan when I lived there). I'm not young, but not old.
4. Can you recommend any good dealers? I prefer to have a guarantee when I buy a bike, but am open to private sales. I went to Carter in the summer twice, but they totally ignored me both times - maybe it's a cultural thing and I should ask a question, but I assumed they'd get up from the desk and welcome me or at least say hello. Also, any decent bike accessory/gear shops you know of would be good to hear about; although I have everything already, I'll eventually need to replace something.
Not sure I can contribute anything yet, but if any of you are considering doing a tour in Europe, I can try to help out with questions you may have. Here are some screen caps from rides I've done if anyone's interested:
And here I am on my bike coming down Stelvio Pass for the first time:
Wait, I can contribute something! I went to EICMA, the Milan Bike Show, a couple of weeks ago. Here's a link to some pics I took: http://www.flickr.com/photos/maaku7/...7637485598714/