We have an expression here at Canada Moto Guide, which goes back more than 20 years: “We were doing fine, and then it went all CMG.” It’s when things take a turn for the worse in a way that never seems to happen to anyone else. And, ideally, when we come through it in a way that nobody else could.
Want some classic examples? How about Zac’s November ride home to New Brunswick from Toronto, when his electric gloves started shorting out in the frigid rain and zapping him? Or Editor ‘Arris destroying a wheel in the Moroccan desert, but somehow making it out in one piece? Or Costa killing a Multistrada on the Canary Islands?
In 2019, we all made it through to the other side, just slightly scathed. Here are some of our favourites:
COSTA: The Harley Livewire
The CMG gremlins got the better of me most recently at the (literal) launch of the Harley-Davidson Livewire. The Livewire promises emissions-free electric riding — and it’s also silent, especially when “idling” at a stop. To cue a rider in that the Livewire is, in fact, live, Harley engineers have engineered a subtle heartbeat-like pulse into the bike.
During one of the photo stops, fellow journo David Booth and I were discussing how he hadn’t yet felt this pulse (years of amateur boxing may have dulled his senses). Facing him while standing over the front wheel of his bike, I placed my hands on the handlebar switch pods to feel for the pulse; in doing so, I inadvertently nudged the throttle.
Aside from silent, emissions-free running, electric motors are also renowned for producing their maximum torque as soon as they begin to spin. Well, my accidental throttle nudge sent the full wrath of that torque straight to the rear wheel, shoving me out of the way and launching Booth forward, arms and feet flailing in the air like a tube man. His wild ride didn’t end there: his haywire Livewire then engaged in a threesome, sandwiching itself between two other journalists parked just ahead.
In seconds the scene went from serene near-silence to complete Armageddon, with bikes taking off in different directions and plastic bits flying everywhere. Fortunately, Booth only suffered a minor leg injury and could continue riding, though it was on another bike since his had broken a lever. The two other bikes continued on.
Poor David Booth. Looks like I’m going to have to try harder next time.
Click Page 2 to read about Zac’s misery in Labrador