As winter drags on, it’s encouraging to have the Motorcycle Show (www.vancouvermotorcycleshow.ca ) arrive as a reminder that spring is inching towards us. This winter has proven to be nasty at times, so it might be an especially welcome event this year for a lot of folks.
The factory circus only comes to town for a few days, so enjoy it while you can. With no Seattle Motorcycle Show, Vancouver remains the big name on the regional motorcycle landscape. While the event exists to sell motorcycles, it is also one benchmark for the motorcycle community. You get a pretty good group snapshot when you include the aftermarket vendors, clubs, and special interest exhibits. It’s a very diverse crowd!
It’s also a great one-stop event for three reasons:
It’s your best time to get close to the factory guys.
Some are bit surprised how many local dealer staff are on hand, but there is also a good effort to offer factory direct information through professional displays. There are one-off pre-production or pre-release models on display, and in some cases, factory trained customer service staff. Usually you will see stuff you wouldn’t see at a dealership. It’s in the interest of all the brands to look the best they can for this party and they generally do a good job. A factory display alone can almost make it worth the price of admission.
You can compare and get a deal.
With such strong dealer support, if you are actually ride-shopping, this is a great place to start. Model pricing is clear and up front. Not only can you (carefully) swing a leg over on the models you are considering, but also there is a unique wealth of people willing to offer advice on specific models. Most retailers offer a “show special” to entice you back to their dealership. You can do well. If you are in this group, the trick is to go early. Peak show hours generally feature maximum congestion and less time for personal attention.
You can watch the industry turn a corner.
Spoiler alert. This is a Motorcycles OK plug. Not withstanding the “powersports” lifestyle part of the show, which includes the usual recreational pursuits like dirt bike, quads, plus water and snow sports machines, there are neat changes in the street motorcycle group. Street Scrambler looking bikes (more classic lines) are becoming popular, the adventure/dual sport is still strong, and classic cruisers are giving way to younger riders wanting more practical, naked bikes. I think new riders want something you could ride as every-day transportation. It’s a significant investment, and they need a practical aspect to the exhilaration of riding a motorcycle. We’ll start to see Euro 4 emission standards pressuring improvements in motorcycle emission technology around the world and electric motorcycle technology is reaching prime time. Electrics could end up as the king of utility rides – zero to 100kph in about 3.5 seconds? You have my attention.
We advocate training people better than ever and ensuring motorcycle incentives factor positively into transportation policy and social discussions around sharing the road. Sign up today, and help the cause at www.motorcyclesok.ca .
Enjoy the show.