Hi All! May be moving to BC in December. Some quick questions!!
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Thread: Hi All! May be moving to BC in December. Some quick questions!!

  1. #1

    Hi All! May be moving to BC in December. Some quick questions!!

    Not sure if this is the right forum. I'm pretty sure that it is though. Please move if it isn't the correct one.


    May be moving to BC sometime in January.

    I've been riding sportbikes since 1999 and have been immersed in the whole culture as I've been working in the industry since 2000. I ride street and track and can't wait to ride in BC weather if all this goes through! I've worked in Parts/Accessories and Service advising in some pretty well known shops out in Toronto.

    Some generic questions that you may have answered thousands of times before. Sorry.

    What insurance companies do most of you go with? Are there discounts if you inure your truck and your bike at the same time? Are there insurance companies that will insure a race bike for theft?

    What tracks are in the area? Are there regular track days and do people regulargy go down to the States to ride track?

    What's the culture like out there? Lots of shops?

    Look forward to getting to know some of you!



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  3. #2
    we all go with icbc. best rates out there. fantastic service.

    oh wait. it's gov't run insurance and we have no choice. make a claim and get ass raped. no discounts for anything. you can get 3rd party optional insurance, but you must get basic with icbc.


    there is plenty of info on racing, tracks and track days in the racing forum here.

  4. #3
    Registered User Array
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    Bc = Bring Cash

  5. #4
    Moderator Array PUREVIL's Avatar
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    05 Gixxer 1000 LE Supermoto: 07 DRZ400SM Dirt: 09 Kawasaki KX450F Monster Ed. 07 Custom Chopper
    BC is the place to be in canada if you like riding motorcycles. The roads are twisty, the scenery is top notch, and the "community" is pretty tight and accepting of new people. But its expensive to live here. Just stay away from Richmond and Surrey you'll be fine.

    Oh and buy a Bike brace or bike boot (do a search) so when you wake up in the AM your bike will still be there.
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  6. #5
    Registered User Array feasty's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    North Vancouver
    RZ 500 (now gone ...) FZR600, NC30, 900s e.i.

    Make sure you get a copy of your insurance history from your Ontario insurance company (not the broker, the actual company). You get a 10% discount per year of safe driving up to 40% but you need the documented history to prove it.

    Also, from my days driving a bike back in Ontario (88-91) I found BC to be much cheaper (especially with the car rates when I was under 25) so yeah, ICBC is a gov't run monopoly on comprehensive insurance, but the rates aren't that bad if you're younger. However I may be paying a bit more than I would in Ontario now that I have 18 years safe driving …

    There are some ICBC experts on this board that can give you better details, but for a rough idea I think all ICBC cares about is the displacement (for basic insurance) and the value (for theft) - I drive a 1990 FZR 600 valued at $3500 and I have 40% discount and I pay just under $1000 year for full coverage.

    If I didn't want to insure for theft it would be about $500/yr.

    Age, gender and marriage status don't come into play (yup, for all the ICBC haters out there, how much would you complain if you were a single male under 25 and your married, 26 year old sister was getting a huge discount over you?)

    Also, one nice thing about ICBC is they don't pro rate the months - I remember my 1st year insuring a bike in Ontario (I forget the amount but lets say $1000) and after 6 months of riding I went to cancel and was expecting 1/2 back. Instead, they gave me about $40 ... saying that each month had it's own rate, so April to Sept were $160 a month, and October was $20/mnth, Nov to Feb were $8/mnth, etc .. Here a $1000 /yr is $83 /mnth for all months.

    The other thing I remember about moving here was thinking, "Sweet, year round riding - no more bus pass for winter" but take note that it can (and does) rain for weeks at a time, so you may only have 1 week of good riding weather in march or april ... not a big deal if you have a car for those days tho.

  7. #6
    What's the speed of dark? Array Gern Blenskin's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    West Vancouver
    '03 SV 1000; '04 KTM 950
    As stated - ICBC is it for your basic insurance (the bare minimum that you can get away with - no collision or theft, and only $500,000 (that may be up to $1 million now ?) liability.
    3rd party guys can proovide the rest (theft, comprehensive, collision, storage) at far better rates - Megson-Fitspatrick in Victoria is one - than ICBC... caveat - some 3rd party insurance co.'s aren't touching young guys with sportbikes anymore.

    I haven't heard of insurance for racing bikes ... anybody out there with leads here?

    I commute year round - I have to miss about a week a year due to a bit of snow. I have great rain gear and heated grips, and my commute is mostly highway. It would suck to have to commute through central Vancouver in January - the cage drivers here are absolute cretins (you are going to laugh at how much slower they drive here than on Ontario and still get into fuckin' escapades of stupidity!). Combined with heavy rain and early nightfall, driving in the city (Kingsway, Knight St., Broadway, South Granville) can be a drag. But you can get out on the highway year-round if you don't mind the wet.

    good luck!
    Last edited by Gern Blenskin; 07-07-2006 at 11:10 AM.
    Gern Blenskin
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  8. #7
    Thanks for all the replies guys!

    I am planning on attending the Emily Carr institute on Granville Island to finish my photography degree up. The island is quite small, would it be feasible to live off the island and live in the city? Is the commute bad every day?

    Does ICBC allow you to pay monthly? I would just call them and see myself, but I'm in South Korea until November teaching over here.

    I'm with State Farm insurance in Ontario and my rates are currently quite good. I pay my insurance monthly.

    $170 for my truck with full covereage, theft/fire/collison etc...$50 for the 600RR and $90 for the GSXR1000. I realize that is cheap, but State farm classifies by CC only, they don't care about the bike itself. I'm currently 25 and there is a huge rate break in Ontario for 25 and up. Would that be reasonable? I'll only be insuring one bike in BC.

    So, what's the scene like out there? Lots of posing? Lots of riding? Are there lots of smaller shops out there? Or is it mainly dealerships?

    I'm really looking forward to spending some time in BC. I hear so much about it, but have only been to Whistler, never been into Vancouver city or anywhere else in BC.

    Ahhhhh. West Coast. hahahahhahaha.

    Thanks for all the help so far guys!

  9. #8
    Yup, bin' on a holiday... Array SkipTkt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    1 Honda, 1 Suzuki, 1 Yamaha.
    You might want to do a little research on Vancouver. Try www.vancouver.com. In the meantime:

    Living On Granville Island:

    Not possible. Granville Island is actually a tiny isthmus [not an island], a tourist attraction that was once an industrial area which now houses a farmer's market, unique retail stores, restaurants, pubs, theatres, a hotel, moorage for boats... and Emily Carr. The only place to live 'on the island' is one of 10 expensive house-boats moored nearby.


    As a newcomer, I'd suggest you live in Vancouver proper instead of the suburbs [which are now cities of their own]. In Vancouver, you really don't need a vehicle. The reason is proximity: 'off the island' you'll find many neighborhoods nearby, each its own village, with its own flavor, all within easy walking distance to each other and to Emily Carr. Vancouver has the 3rd highest polulation density in the world; there's lots crammed into a small -very well landscaped- space surrounded by water in 3 of 4 directions.

    Vehicle Insurance:

    Your vehicle insurance is going to cost you the same for your truck, but nearly double for your bikes if they're loaded with all coverages. You can pay in monthly installments or buy 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. There are no breaks for owning multiple vehicles unless you own 6 and call them a Fleet. I have 5 [3 cars, 2 bikes], and since owning 6 seems just plain wrong... I get no breaks.

    The Scene:

    Dont know if I'm qualified for even a general answer. But, given the scenery and terrain, BC certainly has an unusually large population of riders and year-round rider-commiters [the weather allows for it]. The race community is proportionately huge, though facilities are limited. There are those who own bikes as poser-enablers but they're a minority. Riders here... ride, hard and often with a fresh batch coming on-stream each year - greatly assisted by the more experienced riders.

    Shops / Dealerships:

    Given the sheer number of bikes on the road and the over-all demand for bikes in our temperate climate, there are lots of small shops as well as dealerships. In fairness to all, the smaller shops do well -or can- as they have the potential to gain a large, loyal client-base. News of bad deals or poor workmanship travels fast.. so we have only a few shops that are only used by riders who just don't yet know better.

    Riding Culture:

    Over-all, in my experience, the riding community here 'is' a community with the very same naturally occuring sub-groups of 2-wheeling enthusiasts as you'd expect to find within any larger riding population. The difference here, maybe because BC is such a laid-back place, is that riders of all ages, skill-sets & 2-wheeled sub-groups are generally respectful of each other... as compared to the riding culture of other cities. It's common for all rider groups to come together for larger rides / events... of which there are many in the Pacific Northwest.

    Best Kept Secret:

    People are friendly. It's not about what you do for a living, or even about what you ride, or how blinged-out your bike might be. It's... that you ride. Probably the best reflection of the riding culture here is to peruse the "I'm going for a ride" secton as well as the "New Riders Forum". Both reveal the soft underbelly of a -only seemingly- poser-laden community. Locals here will readily invite the company of fellow riders on open rides almost every day; all are welcome... making it possible for newcomers such as yourself to meet a lot of people fairly quickly and then branch off with riders you'll come to know better as friends. The very same experienced riders are also pretty good with the whole notion of helping new riders, joining 'newb rides' on occasion, not as instructors but simply as a resource offering help, info or a lil advice to help appreciative newbs swim safely upstream toward our twisty highways. I don't know how better to define the culture except to say it all seems to work.

    I think you'll enjoy it here.
    Last edited by SkipTkt; 07-07-2006 at 08:55 PM.
    It's not the number of breaths you take but the moments that leave you breathless.

  10. #9
    Wow. Thank you. I really really appreciate the time that you took to post that highly informative post!


    I'm really looking forward to it and have been doing research little by little....this is part of it. Getting perspective from other RIDERS is valuable to me. I can all the google searches on Vancouver that I want to, but rider input is invaluable.



  11. #10
    Its quiet in here! Array Biker69's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
    1993 CBR900RR
    If you get full load on your bike, including theft, it will be around $12-1300 dollars, if you don't get any discount, figure on around $2000. It cost me a few years ago $1360 a year to insure my worn out 93 CBR900RR, talk about getting fucking ass raped. There are some companies that do the optional, so you buy ICBC base and use the other companies for theft. Yes, they take monthly payments.

    We generally are friendly but there are some, how shall we say, dickheads that think hanging out at Starbucks is a sin and your a poser on top of that, wearing shorts, t-shirts etc is a repeatable post offence,

    Racing, check out www.wmrc.ca www.wmrra.com and www.omrra.com

    The first one is our local club, 2nd is Seattle, the track is aprox 2-3 hours away and a really fun, fast and technical track, they also go to Spokane and race, which is my personal favourite, the last one is Portland, Oregon, aprox 5-7 hours away and is a HP track but its a friggin blast,
    Head tech inspector-WMRC

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  12. #11
    Registered User Array Fawn's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Kelowna BC
    93 kaw
    check out http://www.bccom-bc.com for coalition of motorcyclists - definitely worth joining. Free legal representation agaist common probs, all types of bikes.

    Also, I always insure everything through the same mom n pop company - who sells icbc autoplan. Private insurers are harder - ie: you can declare your motorcycle and get instant coverage with icbc, or, go through a ringer to try for coverage, with all kinds of documentation and inspection with privates.

    Not sure about 'scene' I try to stay away from those. I just like to ride.

    Last edited by Fawn; 07-08-2006 at 12:30 AM.

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