The Can-Am community lost one of its Canadian riders, Ilkka Jalaskari, who won a bronze medal in the 1986 ISDE for Can-Am.
Ilkka immigrated to Canada from Finland with his parents as a preteen, learned to speak English and quickly assimilated into Canadian culture and forming relationships.
As a young teen when it was time for the family to return to Finland, Ilkka decided he would stay in Canada and convinced his parents to leave him in the care of his aunt, he had limited contact with his family over the years, and was out and on his own while still a teen.
Ilkka found a passion for motorcycles as a teen and never looked back, he was a successful road racer in the 70′s and decided to try his hand at off road and quickly climbed through the ranks in the Ontario Enduro and Hare Scramble circuit.
In 1984, Ilkka became a Can-Am dealer with his brother in law, Steve Crover in 1985. Steve owned a motorcycle machine shop, Competition Wheels in Scarborough, ON. After Can-Am, Ilkka carried on in the trucking business and Steve became a Kawasaki dealer while still selling parts and service for Can-Am’s.
Ilkka retired to Florida in 1992, and most recently had been living in Nicaragua. He succumbed to a heart attack there on 16th January 2017.
God Speed Ilkka
Back Row: Scott Walker, Ross Lennox 1987 406 ASE, Bob Kendall 84 CA 250 L/C ASE Gary Klassen, Steve Brand, Grant Bond 85 CA 250 ASE, Bob Turnbull 1987 200 ASE, Steve Turnbull, Nigel Read, 85 CA 500 ASE, Ian Peters, Chris Ellis
Front Row: Dave Marr 87 CA 250 ASE, Blair Sharpless, 87 CA 250 ASE
Known Can-Am Riders that day missing from picture: Bill Batten, 85 CA 500 ASE, Brian Doughty CA 200 ASE
Ilkka’s white van with the Can-Am logo is in the background.
Thanks to Grant Bond for supplying the news and information.