Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vancouver Motorcycle Show 2011

This was the weekend of the Vancouver motorcycle show. I wasn't really planning on going but complimentary tickets fell into my hands so we were off to Abbotsford


From home it takes a little over one hour to get there through a convoluted route south and east taking backroads so as to avoid the freeway


I would say that from my experience visiting the Progressive International Motorcycle show down in Seattle the past two years that our show is many times larger with all the manufacturers in attendance. This includes: Triumph, BMW, Harley-Davidson, Aprilia, Motoguzzi, Ducati, Can-Am (among many others) and many accessories suppliers. I was interested to see two bikes which were just introduced and I knew would be there . . . the Triumph Tiger 800 and the Yamaha Tenere.


You all know the old saying, It just starts with a look and swinging your leg over . . . While my bike is too new to think about changing for another one I was really, really tempted to put a down payment on a bike today to hold incoming stock, if only Mrs Skoot wasn't with me. I must confess that many years ago I had a red Suzuki and within the span of only 6 months I had traded up 3 times until I ended up with the Suzuki GS1100. She never noticed and I never said anything. The trick was to make sure all the bikes were the same colour. So I was thinking that if I got a black one then all would be right with the world. One day about a year after I got the 3rd bike she finally came out to look at it and mentioned that it appeared to look larger than she thought. Whew, close call

I will say that in our household I have left in the morning only to come home with a different car many times. I have owned nearly 15 bikes since I started riding back in the early 60's and nearly that many cars.


With the exception of the Tiger, I will try not to duplicate what SonjaM has already posted .


Many times when I attend motorcycle shows I just stare and look at all the machines and hardly ever sit on them. In Seattle I never sat on any motorcycle. I have not taken any bikes on any demo rides even when dealers have open houses. I have an internal philosophy which prevents me from doing so unless I was actively looking for a bike and that particular model was under consideration. I also don't ride bikes belonging to others.

BUT this year was different and I came out of my mould and was trying them all out for size. I know many people looking at small dual sports as a second bike but I think that anything under 300cc is too small for occasional freeway use


but this one looked like it might fit the bill, or perhaps a Suzuki DR400, which I also sat on. I have a friend who has a Sherpa 250 and likes to take challenging forest service roads.

Honda had a neat display for their new 250R where you could lean the bike into corners


Notice anything missing here ? This is Honda's new . . .


Look MA, no clutch lever. It is fully automatic with paddle shifters . Here's a view of the cockpit


There are two modes: Fully automatic where the transmission will shift up and down the same as in a car, and manual mode where you use the paddles to shift up and down manually, but without a clutch to worry about.

The RCMP: Royal Canadian Mounted Police also had their usual display there. They use HD's and "R" type Beemers. Not those wimply K bikes with outdated cooling systems

I was making my way around the building sitting on many bikes along the way and my eyes finally spotted the Triumph Tiger, so naturally I had to try it out


I'm not really sure I like it, and it is very tall for my short legs. As SonjaM mentioned, Pacific Yamaha-BMW has been rebadged to PacificMotoSports and they will became the new Triumph Dealer, as well as also carrying the other famous Italian brands.

I am very attracted to both Yellow and Orange bikes so naturally I had to sit on this one


As I was perched on the seat making those motor sounds I was imagining the scenery of NZ flashing by. I am not sure I was riding on the left side of the road or not. Those KIWIs do everything backwards

The dash appears very spartan and there is not much bulk ahead of the handlebars like on the V-strom but you get a very good view of the blurred road ahead as I am sure that Geoff will attest


Here's a decked out Honda Veradero


I did manage to look at one before I purchased the V-strom but they seemed very heavy and overpriced . The Strom has a loyal following and there are many accessories available for it

I went down to the HD: Harley-Davison display and sat on a few down there. The new Nightster, and found this bike which sort of looked like the one Gary rode across the USA

When Gary was having problems shipping his bike back to the UK I was dreaming of riding it back to NY as a favour for him but I had never ridden a HD, or cruiser type bike before. It seemed very heavy for my frail, weak frame. I don't know how anyone could learn how to balance on it with its long wheelbase.

Right next to it was a custom HD single seater. I liked this one


There is no room for any storage but it would be good for going to Starbucks to have a coffee and pose with the other bikes

There was an Ace Cafe display with period British bikes, and period girls perched too, courtesy of the BMOC: British Motorcyle Owner's Club


This is a closer view for Geoff, who admires these machines of his youth. I had a hard time trying to crop the girl out


I don't know what this is but the V configuration of the engine was very attractive


and also, it is Yellow


There was a display of custom bikes, and I just had to snap a photo of this beautifully restored Ariel tucked in the corner, nearly hidden from view


I was specifically looking for a pair of gloves to replace my tattered ones which are falling apart when I noticed these very soft deer skin gloves. Not as good as the pair Jackie uses but they felt so very nice. I heard some one mention that they were $60. but I don't really know as i didn't want to wait for service.

I managed to get these cheapo leather ones, which also felt very soft


They were so cheap I had to purchase two pairs. One is short perforated leather on top for summer use, and the other are gauntlet type for cooler weather. Most other vendors were selling for over $50. but I snagged these two for only $20. each including Tax.

Other than that I only purchased a power cable for my heated gloves which I purchased two years ago. Heated gloves are warmer than heated grips as there are heated wires along each finger.


I was also glad to bump into Mr Lee who is the distributor for IMC and had a booth for rider communication.

I already have helmet speakers and boom mic and use FRS/GMRS radios, but I wanted to delete having to connect the wires to my helmet everytime I got off the bike. He has a bluetooth receiver and with the BTA: BlueTooth Adapter I can stream from the GMRS, satellite radio and also pair with my BT phone and GPS.

Yes, I am making plans for 2011 and I want to be able to communicate with others "on the road". I think GMRS radios are the way to go with larger groups as BT is only limited to two riders.


Nearly forgot, if I were purchasing a bike today it would be this


perhaps more impressions on a subsequent post. Just have to make sure it comes in Black


  1. That must rank as one of the best posts I’ve read about a bike show, but what I really liked was the personal bit about not letting on to Mrs Scoot when you traded in bikes – hilarious! As for the clutchless bike, no thanks! Some things are just not right and not having a clutch is one of them. I can see the appeal of the Triumph Tiger. but it wouldn’t be for me either as I suffer from the same medical condition as you and to give it the proper medical term – bikerlegicus shorticus. On the orange (Kiwi) bike, I hope those tank stickers come off easily because they would be enough reason why I wouldn’t buy that bike – I wonder if Geoff still has them on his bike? It was pretty cool that my local cafe made it all the way to Vancouver! I am sure that George F would agree with you about the Super Tenere. Very entertaining post Bob!

  2. Bob

    You would need a step ladder to mount the Super Tenere!

    I was tempted but then saw the price - maybe a standard 660 Tenere with ABS would do the trick for Greek roads.

    Do you race between Diners in BC whilst the juke box plays?

    N * meatball * conoisseur

  3. I was disappointed the Tiger wasn't at the Seattle show and now I regret not sneaking up to the Vancouver show. We decided to go next year instead of Seattle.
    Great idea on upgrading and keeping the same color bike as a ruse. Trobairitz knows enough about bikes and manages our checkbook so I could never sneak a bike into the garage without her knowing. Mind you she'd let me buy any bike I want anyway.
    Glad you enjoyed the show, thanks for the photos.

  4. Jealous!! I agree with Troubadour, I wish we had of snuck up to the show. We will be there next year - fingers crossed.

    I am glad you had so much fun sitting on all of the bikes. It is good to be out of the comfort zone some times.

  5. Love the story about trading up 3 times without are a brave man!

  6. I have traded up camera's without letting Mrs GAW know, but just don't have the juju to try it with a bike... your my hero now!

    The yellow engine looked to be from a Moto Guzzi.


  7. Actually...I believe Mrs. Skoot did know about your little trade ups. She just pretended not to because it would have been miserable living with you puttering around the house mumbling odes to bikes that be.

    I had a discussion about the Tenere the other night with some friends. That is still a good looking bike!

    Thanks for the post. Our motorcycle show is next weekend. Have been debating about going, but you might have me convinced just to sit on a couple of those things and make vroom-vroom noises.


  8. Great story about the multiple bike updates. And a great writeup of the show. I would have to agree with others about the clutchless bike. I still enjoy running through the gears too much whether it's on a bike or in my truck.

    Isn't the Yamaha just another bike upgrade? After all three times in a year. Or is it not available in black?


  9. Absolutely excellent Bob! Because I also suffer from duck's disease, a lot of desirable bikes rule themselves out on the basis of seat height. You look excellent on a Triumph - suits you sir!

    When the ignition is on, the Striple dash looks far less spartan and the row of electric blue shift change lights look great when you're approaching the red line!

    You have my undying gratitude for the photo of the Triton which is identical to the one my best mate had. You have excelled with the gorgeous female astride it although that is one accessory which Mrs James would take affirmative action on. Not only would the money supply be cut off, something more precious would be cut off too!

    Yes Gary, the stickers come off easily - came off as soon as I got home!

    Most excellent post mate!

  10. Gary: you are the one with the silver tongue. I was looking forward to the Tiger as I wanted the triple engine. They should have displayed the fully farkled one, instead of the plain jane. I sat on a few HD's and they were so low. I kind of like shifting too

    Nikos: actually the Tenere is shorter and easier to flick around than the V-strom. It feels lighter and has twice the power. more impressions to follow

    Troubadour: I was thinking that you would have really liked it here. Lots of bikes, even a KTM sport bike. did I say that I really liked the Super Tenere. I didn't want to get off

    Trobairitz: you could have sat upon all the models that you were thinking of, except we don't have the TU up here. Lots of BMW, they make 4 different models of the GS650

    Ken: While I like my V-strom and I have nearly everything on it I would definitely go for the Super Tenere. I just need driving lights and perhaps a GPI, and it has to be BLACK

  11. 682202/Gordon: I have done the same things with cars, but not so much during the past decade. I upgrade my cameras often and gave my last batch away. Too bad you didn't live closer, I have a lot of classic cameras. some complete systems like 500cm, SWC, 650pro, Mamiya 7 and a few panoramas; horizon 202, Noblex 6/150F

    and I also have a very rare KMZ FT-2

    the negative is 5" long

    Lori: did I mention that I really like the Super Tenere. I sat on a BMW R1200RT but for the price difference I would go for the Yamaha. I think I can pull it off again, if only the Tenere comes in Black.

    Richard: I know what you mean, I like shifting too. It felt funny without a left lever. I guess you would have to take a test ride and check it out. you never know . . .

    Geoff: as soon as I noticed the Triton I thought of you. Couldn't you close in your carport to make room for the girl accessory. you could sneek outside once in a while to bring out the food.

    I really like the Striple as a 2nd bike, but there aren't many for sale.

    PS: you could always hide the knives

  12. In a world of increasing complexity I am glad my Bonneville fits my bill so well. I like the street version of the Tiger 800 but not enough to want water cooling and more uneeded horsepower.
    The yellow V twin is a mangled early model Moto Guzzi, a 750 Ambassador or 850 El Dorado turned into a bowdlerized hack. Oh well.
    I cannot imagine my wife coming home with a new car without telling me. Or vice versa. Sharing the joy of the decision is half the fun.

  13. Great review Bob. Somehow I don't think the Ottawa show this weekend will be quite to the same standard, but I'm ready to be surprised.

  14. Bob, I think I found a way for you to get the Tenere, it DOES come in black, actually it's "RAVEN" according to Yamaha and that's the one I ordered :-)
    I'm only 5'9" and with the seat in the low position I was able to flat foot. It feels very light too, I loved it. hummm, what you say now :-)

  15. No clutch! What's the fun in that!!
    I've noticed that trend in cars as well, automatics with "sport" shifting...Puleeze!

    I need to try that leaning bike...maybe I'd get over my fear.

    Lookin' good on that Tiger, Bob!

    Aha, the Super Tenere does come in black...can't wait to see the new ride at the next blogger convention! lol :)

  16. Great post, Bob. I was rushing through the show, but thanks to you I can revisit the many things I had missed out. I am really curious to see you on the Tenere one fine day. I found it a bit high, but since you manage the Wee perfectly you will probably adjust in no time. By the way, Mrs Scoot knows more than you might think...

  17. "By the way, Mrs Scoot knows more than you might think... "

    Hahahaha - oh dear Bob... when Yvonne comes home with an expensive toy, you won't have a leg to stand on, metaphorically or physically :-)

  18. Dear Bobscoot:

    Motorcycle shows are the stuff that dreams are made of. There is nothing like walking through a huge conference center thinking, “I’ll have that one... And that one... And that one.” And those are just the models posing on the machines. I would need a zeppelin hanger to house all the bikes I’d like to own. It certainly seems like you covered this one pretty thoroughly. And your story was engagingly written, nicely illustrated with pictures.

    I thought the worked “Moto Guzzi” looked good in yellow. And the bikes from the 1960’s are always a treat. I would still like to see one of the new retro bikes from Kawsaki up close.

    I have scrubbed myself from the local show circuit this year as the lack of cash precludes making any real purchases — and I love to buy stuff at these events. Thank God I’ve got the K75 farkled out and that I have virtually all the gear I need. (However, the new Shuberth Helmet, with the communications gear in the rim, really appeals to me.)

    While I do have expensive riding gloves, I have the cheapies too. My day-to-day riding gloves in the summer are perfed ones from Icon, which cost me $50. And I have the same pair without the holes for $40, for the early fall. They offer the best fit. The price is just a nice surprise.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads