Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada recently announced details of the new Harley-Davidson National Race Program for 2012, which is designed to build on the successful 2011 debut of the Canadian Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup Series.

Vance & Hines will once again be the official kit supplier for the class. The special kit consists of a Vance & Hines exhaust system, a Fuelpak fuel management system, race bodywork including number plate, single-seat tail section and belly pan, 17” front wheel with matching front fender, steering damper, oil cooler relocator and race decal package. In addition to the Vance & Hines-supplied kits, racing teams will be able to upgrade their suspension, hand and foot controls, brake components and instrumentation. These revisions to the program are outlined in detail at

The upgraded program offers racers affordability, weekend purse payouts and a year-end points prize. For more information on joining the program speak to your local Canadian Harley-Davidson dealer.

Dates for the 2012 National Round Race Schedule are as follows:

  1. June 22–24 Shannonville Motorsport Park—Shannonville, Ontario
  2. July 6–8 Autodrome—Saint-Eustache, Quebec
  3. July 20–22 Atlantic Motorsports Park—Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia
  4. August 10–12 Circuit Mont Tremblant—Tremblant, Quebec
  5. August 24–26 Mosport International Raceway—Bowmanville, Ontario

Booze for thought
One of the favorite pastimes of most Harley riders is visiting local watering holes to partake of spirits advertised. A beer or other alcoholic offering is consumed and the ride continues with little thought of the establishment’s history or of the historic alcohol trade itself. That is, to say, how booze affected our ancestors.

Larry Cotton, Ontario resident, author and Harley rider, has been interested in the alcohol trade for over a decade and has written books about brewing, distilling and drinking across Ontario. Over those years he has ridden his Harley on an extensive pub crawl visiting every brewery, distillery and tavern in Southern Ontario that ever sold a drop of what the temperance movement called “demon alcohol.” Cotton’s adventures have been part of an extensive research project into the trials and tribulations of early settlers, which he accumulated into his nine-book series Whiskey and Wickedness. His latest five-volume set Whiskey and Wickedness: Georgian Bay Series, documents the positive and negative role alcohol played in the area during the 19th century. The drinking and the distribution of alcohol had a profound effect influencing development of roads, communities, commerce, democracy and human rights. The glimpse of pioneer life comes in the form of newspaper articles and government documents laid out by Cotton that relay dozens of first-hand accounts of liquor-related accidents, deaths, drunken riots, assaults and murders. Apparently drunkenness was a common occurrence in these small hamlets where the number of taverns commonly exceeded what was required for a town’s population.

An interesting note is that in 1874, a Parliamentary committee concluded “that the traffic of intoxicating drink is the cause of not less than three quarters of the pauperism, immorality and crime found in Canada.”

More booze
Sometime back I had a chance to interview longtime Harley-Davidson enthusiast and celebrity Dan Aykroyd, so it is always interesting to see what’s going on in his life.

Still riding the first Harley he bought, a 1971 Police Special, Aykroyd’s latest passion is promoting his own line of vodka. Crystal Head Vodka is bottled in the last government-owned distillery in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and it recently won a double gold medal at the “Spirit Oscars.” The unique bottle is modeled after the crystal skull claimed to have been discovered by Anna Mitchell-Hedges in a temple in Belize in 1924 (and made famous by both Arthur C. Clarke and Indiana Jones). According to Aykroyd, the vodka is so pure it won’t give you a hangover. Hmm…

Also Aykroyd is still trying to get all the original cast members back together for a third installment of the 1980s hit film Ghostbusters—apparently a script has been approved. Aykroyd resides with his wife and three daughters on their family-owned 70-acre estate in Ontario.


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