Vancouver Motorcycle Show roars into Abbotsford
Looking for something to do this weekend? The annual Vancouver Motorcycle Show takes place Thursday to Sunday (January 20 to 23) at the TRADEX centre in Abbotsford. Along with static setups from all the major manufacturers, there will be all manner of displays, attractions, and things to do. Details can be found at the Vancouver Motorcycle Show's website. Here are some highlights.
The new FZ8 is kind of a cross between a sport bike and a naked bike, and it can double as a really fast commuter bike. This one is bound to be snapped up by downtown couriers. The Stryker, meanwhile, is another factory custom from Yamaha, part chopper and part cruiser; hard to ignore, either way. And for those who want to ride long and hard, the new-for-2012 Super Tenere will be debuting, although it officially goes on sale this May. Yamaha is also raffling off four of its models at this year’s show.
For those who think that three wheels are better than two, the Bombardier-built Can-Am Spyder will be on hand, along with its various tri-wheeled stablemates. Controversial, and what the company likes to call a “paradigm shift”.
For those who want an affordable sport bike but more snap than the entry-level CBR 125, Honda is offering the CBR 250. Theoretically, it has twice as much performance but roughly the same dimensions. Honda is also bringing its Fury cruiser to the party. This features one of the lowest seat heights in the industry.
The Vaquero is a big, heavy, stylish cruiser powered by a thumping V-twin. ’Nuff said. And everybody knows about the Ninja sport-bike line, which comes in four sizes for 2011, all of them fast.
Look for the new SuperLow Sportster, which offers a low seat height at a reasonable cost, along with killer styling. H-D also has a restyled Road Glide tourer and a Sportster-derived XR1200X sport bike.
For those with an environmental conscience, the Zero line of 100-percent electrically powered bikes will be at this year’s show for the first time. Based in Santa Cruz, California, Zero is one of the few dedicated zero-emission motorcycle companies out there. The bikes have a range of about 80 kilometres.
5th Gear Stunt Team
If you’ve never seen what these guys can do on a motorcycle and/or an ATV, you owe it to yourself to see them in action. Some of their moves defy belief, and you can find out what an endo is, not to mention a brakie, a stoppie, a high chair, and skitching. Go to their website for a preview.
Vintage Rider Night
B.C. has a fascinating motorcycle history, and some of the old-timers who used to galumph around the old Westwood track, Hannegan Raceway, and Abbotsford airport will be on hand on Thursday night to press the flesh and relive their glory years. Not to mention some of the bikes they used to ride.
Yamaha Riding Academy for kids
For young’uns aged six to 12, this introductory course will deck them out in proper riding gear and show them the basics of riding a motorcycle. They’ll ride a pintsize Yamaha PW50, and one lucky sprog will win one at the conclusion of the show. Instructors are certified, and there’s no cost involved for either parents or kids.
Gas Gas Pacific Championship Trials Team
Another motorsport that boggles the mind. Even when you’re watching these riders scale vertical cliff faces and scramble over transport trucks, your mind can’t quite absorb it all. Demonstrations will take place throughout the show, and you’re guaranteed to be amazed.
Choppers, bobbers, baggers, and deckers are your thing? This show invariably has a healthy collection of custom bikes on display. They may not be for everyone, but there’s no disputing the work and skill that go into some of these machines.
She Rides Nite
More and more women are getting into the sport of riding, and manufacturers are acting accordingly. This event, which takes place on Saturday after 5 p.m., will feature seminars, how-to sessions, and firsthand experiences from all kinds of female riders. There will also be a draw for a free riding course courtesy of the Action Motorcycle School.
It’s no secret that the motorcycle industry is in a bit of a slump these days. Because they’re considered to be discretionary transport for most consumers, bikes tend to take a back seat to the necessities of life, and some manufacturers—Harley-Davidson, for example—have taken a real hit over the past year or two.
What does this mean to you? In a nutshell, there are good deals for those who know how to bargain. Virtually all the major manufacturers have a sales incentive of some kind going on right now, whether it’s low interest payments, extra swag thrown in with the deal, or just low prices.