U.S. Pricing, Canadian Convenience

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Most Canadians are painfully aware of the devaluation of the Canadian Dollar versus the U.S. Dollar.  Typically, this means higher costs for purchases, since many of the products consumed are imported from the U.S.  In 2009/2010, the dollar was hovering at or near Par with the U.S. Dollar, allowing for simple comparison shopping.  But in 2015, the Canadian Dollar is valued at approximately 75% of the U.S. Dollar, so a $40 USD purchase actually costs $52.00 CAD.

Canadian shoppers, particularly internet shoppers, will compare the cost of buying “here” versus the cost of purchasing in the U.S., looking for the best value. Many don’t take into account the cost of bringing product through the border, which can include taxes, duties (based on Country of Manufacture), shipping & handling and even brokerage fees, which can significantly increase the cost of acquiring the product, often to the point of surpassing the “local” price.

We have always prided ourselves in being price competitive, both in our Vancouver Retail Sales and Internet Stores, typically offering our products at the same prices as available in the U.S.  To do anything else would make us noncompetitive on the Internet and unappealing to U.S. clients.  So our Canadian clients enjoyed U.S. prices with Canadian convenience, shipping from Vancouver.

That continues today. All prices are set in US Dollars, allowing for direct comparison to products available elsewhere online. US clients will pay only what they expect, as the check out prices will be billed in USD with no bank fees for conversion. Our site does feature a USD/CAD toggle “widget”, that allows the viewer to see pricing in US or Canadian dollars, to their preference, based on that days exchange rate.

Basing our store on USD means that we are always competitive, without having to reprice our store with every fluctuation of the Canadian Dollar.

To Wave or Not to Wave? That is a question.

When “under helmet” lots of thoughts meander through ones mind.  Frequently, I find myself pondering why some bikers wave and others do not.  I also ponder why I care.

Biker Wave

First off, let me state that I am a “waver”. Not a jump-up-and-down-double-arm-flapper, but more of a subtle two finger waggle-waver, kind of a biker “nod”, if you will. I wave at cruisers, tourers, sport bikes and adventure tourers alike. Male, female, full face, open face, beanies and ball caps, makes no difference.  And I have two personas.  In touring regalia, I am a white goatee’d  open faced helmet with leather jacket, boots, and sometimes chaps, riding a larger touring cruiser (Royal Star). In sport bike mode (FZ1), I am a full faced, mirror visor-ed, leather clad ninja of indeterminate age.  Admittedly, I only do day trips on the sport bike whereas I am highway hauling on the Royal Star and the folks you pass along the way are different.

In sport bike mode, only other sport bikes acknowledge me but almost all of them do.  Very few other bikers will wave or nod to sport bikers.  (While nothing to do with waving and a bit off topic, I have to admit I get a lot more notice from age-inappropriate females in sport bike mode too, which is kind of fun).  For some unknown reason that isn’t happening in touring mode.

In touring mode, the wave thing is harder to quantify. I estimate about half of the bikes I pass will wave back or otherwise acknowledge the gesture. Which is what gets me to pondering. Why some and not all? Why does anyone wave at all?

Here is my sense of it. You may have your own. Or you may not care at all.

We are a community. We recognize something of ourselves in others who share our passion for riding. We are merely saying “Howdy” to “brothers-of-a-different-mother” kind of thing.  But it appears that who we include in our sense of “community” is different.  Me, I draw the line at mopeds. (To paraphrase Crocodile Dundee,  ”That’s not a bike…….now THAT’s a bike!”) If I can lift it, it’s not really a motorcycle, is it?

Anyway, that is my conclusion. If you wave, it is because you feel a kinship or sense of community with the other rider(s). If you don’t, it’s because you don’t.  A riding buddy of mine seldom waves and does so selectively. We’ve had beer-infused discussions about my sense of community, which is all-things-two-wheeled (almost) and his, which is very brand-specific.  He argues that it (the brand) is a culture and that I don’t get it.  My rebuttal is that motorcycling itself is the culture and the brand is just a brand. Admittedly, the motorcycling “culture” has many sub-cultures within it and that brings us back to “What is your sense of community?”

Many of us have lived in smaller towns where you nodded, tipped your hat or said “Good morning” to everyone you passed along the way, whether you knew them or not. Everybody did and thought nothing of it.  A sense of community.  Now move to the big city and virtually no one does that.  Why?  The sense of community has been lost in the clutter.

So I try to retain my sense of community within the biker realm by waggling my fingers to other riders. And I always will.

Take our Rider Quiz. We’ll tabulate the results and let you know in a future rant;

  • A) I never wave because its dumb.
  • B) I never wave because that’s not the look I’m going for.
  • C) I never wave because I’m too busy hanging on.
  • D) I’ll wave only if I know you.
  • E) I’ll wave if you wave first.
  • F) I only wave to bikes like mine (HD to HD, Gold Wing to Gold Wing, etc.)
  • G) I only wave to others like me (sport bike to sport bike, cruiser to cruiser, trike to trike, etc.)
  • H) I always wave.
  • I) Other. Explain___________________

 And then there is this perspective

Alternative Theory

Vancouver Motorcycle Show 2013

The Vancouver Motorcycle Show held at Abbotsford’s Tradex Centre in January has come and gone for another year.  This is our biggest show annually and we continue to build on the success of this show each year. This was the first year exhibiting our Motorcycle Transportation Systems products which were well received, but the consumer focus remains on our Behind Bars Handlebar Hardware products.

Without having the actual statistics, traffic at the show seemed lighter than in prior years, maybe by as much as 20%.  The weather was good this year, so maybe folks were out skiing or sledding instead. Despite that decrease, our sales continue to increase year over year as our clients have come to expect to find us there as they prepare their rides for new 2013 adventures.

Our single most popular product at the show was the RAM X-Grip™ Handlebar Mount Kit.  This kit is so simple and so flexible that it sells itself once clients can see it and try it for themselves on our displays.  The same kit can be purchased in a Control Mount configuration for attachment to the brake or clutch side perch bolts for those without tubular handlebars.  The X-Grip™ was designed to support phones without having to remove sleeves or “bumper cases” that are so popular.  The rubber gripper “arms” hold the device very securely making it ideal for motorcycle and ATV applications.  Having SOLD OUT at the show, we are pleased to advise they are back in stock!  Here they are, together with a couple of other Best Sellers from the show.

The show is so busy we don’t get much of a chance to wander away from our booth to check out other vendors or all the new bikes on display. But there was one bad boy that caught our eye.  The new Honda F6B looks like an awesome machine for the style of riding we enjoy most. One-up “aggressive” touring. If you haven’t seen them yet, they are worth a look. They took the stuff I don’t need off the Gold Wing. Not sure I need to own one, but I am looking forward to trying one out!

Honda F6B Red

Honda F6B


Warmer weather will soon be with us so it is time to get our bikes ready and add those accessories we need for this years adventures.  Whether you are sprucing up your old faithful ride or decking out a new bike to make it “your own”, be sure to browse our Handlebar Hardware section when planning your next trip.

Hello World! Our New Website Launch

We are celebrating the launch of our brand new website that has been over a year in the making. If not familiar with our history, the business was formed in late 2009 as Behind Bars Cycle Gear, focusing primarily on handlebar accessories such as GPS and iPhone mounts. We launched an online store in January 2010 at www.behindbarscyclegear.com

While overall successful, the platform we had chosen to run the store proved unstable and wasn’t able to support some of our planned initiatives. Having tried various patches and upgrades to no avail, it was decided to launch a whole new site under a new name, Morrison Motorcycle Mounts & More and a new URL, www.morrisonmotomounts.com. The change of name idea was not entirely our own as there were some conflicts regarding the use of the former name and URL. (Stay tuned for a blog/rant on that coming soon!)

Those familiar with our previous online store will recognize that we have added some product categories, such as the Motorcycle Transport Systems, while eliminating some others, primarily within the former “Gizmos” classification.

The site itself is divided into three main categories, or StoreFronts, Behind Bars Handlebar Hardware, Motorcycle Transport Systems, and Barbaric Biker Gear.

Behind Bars Handlebar Hardware is where you will find all of the products continuing from the former Behind Bars Cycle Gear site. We specialize in useful accessories riders use while riding, typically handlebar-mounted.

Motorcycle Transport Systems is our category for three lines of complimentary Motorcycle & ATV Transportation Products, Lock’N Load Wheel Chocks, CargoBuckle Retractable Tie-Down Systems and BRAHMA Wheel Locks. These products are all what we consider “best-in-class” and we selected not only to represent them but use them ourselves when transporting our bikes and products to various trade show venues for display.

Barbaric Biker Gear is a new brand under development where we will feature items we can wear, such as items from our former “Trinkets” category as well as some custom clothing articles.

Our new site contains two features we are particularly excited about, our Gallery where we will feature client photos of bikes and products purchased and our Review Feature where clients can post Ratings & Reviews of products purchased. Our former site did not allow us to enable these features effectively. So if you bought from us in the past, please post reviews for those products purchased! In consideration for that effort, we’ll send you a discount coupon worth 5% of that product’s value.

We hope you enjoy the new site. Send us your feedback please!

NOTICE TO CANADIAN CLIENTS: ALL ON-LINE ORDERS ARE PROCESSED IN USD AMOUNTS SHOWN. CURRENCY CONVERTER FOR CONVENIENCE ONLY. TO HAVE YOUR ORDER PROCESSED IN CAD, PLEASE CALL US AT 778-888-2701.