CC Day Trip Outtake: Classic Motorcycles in Paris

What could be better, lunch in Paris avec ma chérie?

Ok, it’s not quite that. Although I did go with my dear Mrs DougD, it was Paris Ontario and I’m pretty sure these are just old bikes, not classic motorcycles.

We took a Friday off this summer, and made a quick trip to Paris, which is about 3/4 of an hour away from our house.  The lead photo shows the bikes curbside as we were packing up.  Mine is the black 1993 Kawasaki Concours, nicknamed “The Ballistic Packhorse“. I bought this bike about seven years ago for a trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s a bit of a blunt instrument but still gets the job done with 99,000 km on the clock.


One thing I should mention is the homemade windshield. My Concours normally wears a tall aftermarket windscreen, which combined with the full fairing lowers makes this bike UNBEARABLY hot to ride in the summer.

So I cooked up a piece of Lexan on the barbecue, roughly molded it to the shape of the existing windshield and cut out a very low screen. Using the barbecue was not the best idea, the grating seared stripes into the plastic and uneven heat meant it didn’t form smoothly. However, it’s a good proof of concept because although the bike is still terribly hot, it’s at least bearable.


Mrs DougD’s 1986 Honda Interceptor 500 has been in our family for 17 years now; we bought it before we had kids. We’ve only put 17,000 km on it during all that time, I myself don’t ride it anymore because it’s so small, my knees no longer tolerate being bunched up in a ball.


The baby Interceptor was probably the best handling motorcycle you could buy in 1984 when this model came out.  The V-4 is narrow between your legs (or knees in my case) and power delivery is smooth and linear.  The only aspect not up to modern standards is braking, it takes a firm squeeze on the handle to slow this bike down.


Not that it matters much, this is the kind of roads we chose to get to and from our destination.  Mostly straight minor roads through farms and fields, neither of us are canyon carver riders.


Ah, Paris of the North. It’s a pretty little town, incorporated in 1850 and enjoying early success with various water powered mills and gypsum mining, gypsum being a key ingredient to make Plaster of Paris – get it?  These days Paris is still fairly successful, it’s proximity to urban centers and picturesque river meandering through town gives the local economy a tourism bump.

This plays out interestingly on the split personality main street; the left side is normal small town business; hardware store, banks and offices.  The right side backs on to the river and is mostly touristy shops, and restaurants with views over the water.

On this day we elected to bring our own lunch. My Givi top box makes a great picnic basket, we set up in the park, under a shady tree by the river.


While there I observed some CC worthy vehicles.  This early 60’s Chevrolet truck is still hard at work.  Although it appears precariously loaded, it was crawling along in 2nd gear, and just heading around the corner to pick up some more junk.


This 1970-ish Cutlass fastback was sitting curbside. It was nice and shiny with great 5 spoke rims, but had a few worrisome paint bubbles.  You can see it on the roof seam at the top of the C pillar, the bottoms of the doors were similarly affected.


It’s for sale too, although I appreciate the use of what looks like the original color I was not overly tempted. Note the 442 badging on the grille.


The winding river road from Paris to Cambridge attracts a number of motorcycles, on this weekday most of them were Harleys (and Harley knock offs).  There are more clots of sportbikes on the weekend.


This is the only photo of our return.  By the time we got through town we were so overheated we shed our riding gear on the front lawn, then went to jump in the pool.  We are followers of ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time) but if you’re about to pass out from heat stroke that’s not very safe either.

This was another great day trip, one of many things we say we should do more often.  Do you have a favorite CC related day trip destination with your significant other?