Yes Emily

Yes Emily, girls can ride motorcycles!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

North American International Motorcycle Supershow 2011

Vintage 1972 Yamaha RD 250 at the show
 North American International Motorcycle Supershow 2011 and I almost cancelled out because of the weather. The last couple of days have reminded me that I really do live in Canada but this morning the snow was light so I decided to go for it. After the first 30 km the weather changed in my favor and I had hopes of clear highways all the way. It didn’t happen. ‘Round about Ajax, just east of Toronto, the highway started to show the effects of winter once again. By Toronto the roads were hazardous. It wasn’t the snow coming down as much as the slush flying up that was causing problems. Traffic in the city was moving slowly. Ah, the Canadian highway in winter. Where else would you see five mighty machines, spread across as many lanes of traffic, outfitted with snow pushing blades all driving together in a perfect wing formation. It was an amazing sight! If I hadn’t been so totally concerned with keeping my own ‘girlie’ truck from skating across the pavement I’d have snapped a photo of this snow plow dance.

Sometimes I give good advice and this time I should have listened to it. I told everybody else to get there early. Well … I should have gotten there early, but I didn’t. I planned on it, I really did - but didn’t. The worst part of the show was the hour it took to drive one kilometer of road just to get into the parking lot. Now I don’t want to say folks in the parking lot were rude but hey, when you see somebody with their signal light on trying to back into a spot isn’t it kind of nasty to crowd behind them so they can’t, then pull into the spot yourself? If I’d only had some muscle to back me up!

Get your 'deals' in a row
 In my opinion the motorcycle industry should look at the attendance for this show. This show isn’t about the shiny, new, top of the line, high priced motorcycles (though there were a few sparklers in the crowd). This show was about accessories, parts, apparel, last year’s unsold and used bikes – lots and lots of used bikes at near bargain prices. This show was jam packed with customers looking for deals. Maybe what we need is a little more emphasis on the so called entry level, affordable bikes rather than the big ticket models as pretty as they are. Hey, it wasn’t just the kids who were sitting on these bargains either. At December’s Toronto Motorcycle Show I saw lots of beautiful bikes – but this time I saw lots of enthusiastic bikers not to mention a number of ‘sold’ signs. Maybe, there was a time, it’s just not this time. Of course, that’s just my opinion!

Bright Ride Finish Display
Lots of other things were going on at the show, clubs, groups, displays. I had the chance to chat about sore backs with Clinton Smout – rider trainer (and MMM contributor) who I’d met at the Women’s Conference in August and yes, Ken I also found the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame booth. In all honesty I found it by accident while I was looking for food. Pizza first! I’m not in the market for a new bike so enjoyed looking at all the vintage models – I even found vintage Yamahas, who’d have thought?

Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame
 I accomplished my main mission for the day. I was prepared. I’d researched a number of saddle bag brands and prices, knew exactly what I wanted and how much they might cost. I found them. Funny thing, they look almost like the old ones without the holes in the top that is. I bought another set of GEARS, this time the Ultra Max bags. The show price was $20 less than the lowest online price and for the show there was no sales tax – bonus savings! GEARS seem to be the only ones I’ve found that fit my size requirements (18.5” tent poles must fit inside) they measure 19”. They’re expandable and the Ultra Max models have an inside zipper mesh pocket, an extra outside pocket plus a lower pocket for the rain covers. They still have the handy front, open mesh pocket where I like to keep my water bottle. I also picked up a Navigator Tour Bag because it was a terrific deal and they knocked a few extra bucks off ‘cause I bought two things. I didn’t have measurements but guessed that my netbook and a few other goodies would fit inside. Perfect fit and after a good half hour fight I’ve managed to finally get the ‘semi rigid plastic sheet system’ in place and they’re ready to go, I just need spring and a week to figure out all the tether straps.

On that note I want to ask you, can five hundred Canadian Geese be wrong? I saw several flocks flying north today. Is it a sign?

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