Since I only had one afternoon and morning, I never did make it over to the outdoor portion of the show. It's too bad because most of the OEM's were doing demo rides, and it would have been nice to take out one of the Zero electric bikes, and a Honda NC700 with the DCT. Maybe next year.
Zero had a good display of bikes on hand it was nice to see them in attendance. Battery technology is growing in leaps and bounds and the range on electric vehicles keeps getting better and better.
Zero is a garage start-up company that put out it's first prototype in 2006 out of Santa Cruz, California, and have rapidly grown since with six models in it's current line-up.
Even police departments are getting the bikes. The quiet nature of the bikes make them great for stealth, and for noise sensitive areas like parks. Range on the new bikes varies from 110 miles to almost 200 on a single charge. They can also be charged up from a basic 110 outlet.
If I lived in a large city where I could ride most of the year, I'd definitely consider one for commuting as a second bike.
Kawasaki had a fairly large presence, but no real revelations. A KLR with digital camo that you can see in the background of the pic below. The H2R was there, but roped off, with KEEP OFF on it. Wild looking bike with strakes and spoilers on the fairing, reminding me of an F1 car.
The new Vulcan S has been a good seller for Kawasaki, and they had a big display, with various models showing the different ergo set ups. They have a cafe version, but I just don't see the "cafe" in it. Must be a decaf version.
Poor Ninjas were drove right up the wall.
I was really excited to see Olympia Motosports at the show. If you remember they sponsored Pete and I in "Two Wheels Thru the Bigland" by send us X-Moto suits. I still wear mine, and it continues keeps me warm and dry in the worst conditions.
I finally got to meet Kevin Rhea, the owner of Olympia, face to face. Really nice guy, that is passionate about his apparel line. The Moto-X that Pete and I used is now called the MotoQuest, named after the MotoQuest tour company that they provide gear for. Still a great suit that keeps getting improved upon.
Kevin told me he just sold the business to Motovan of Canada, but is staying on for 3 years to oversee everything. I hope they continue the great quality. Hopefully Kevin will soon have some more time to enjoy his new 1200GS.
Suzuki also had a large display at the show, they've been coming since the show originated 3 years ago.
The Strom will always have a special place in my heart
BMW was here too, with all the usual suspects, and a couple of really cool concept bikes. K1600 Bagger, and my favourite surf bike.
The bagger is a Roland Sands design, that has been hinted at going into production.
Malcolm Smith was in attendance this, however I missed meeting the American racing legend who is from British Columbia. His appearance alongside Steve MacQueen in the Bruce Brown film On Any Sunday catapulted him into 2-wheeled stardom.
Malcolm was promoting his autobiographical book now available. It's a big booked filled with a lot of never seen before photos.
Italian racing legends
2 Ride the World, Lisa and Simon Thomas were presented with new bikes. Fully kitted it out and ready for more adventure. Click the link to find out all about their adventures so far.
Sena has jumped into the helmet market with a noise cancelling, Bluetooth helmet, no pricing details at this time. No more ear plugs and having music and your phone available on long trips would be very nice.
Schuberth was in attendance again, and they have jumped into the increasingly popular ADV market with their version.
Ace Cafe is getting ready to open their Orlando cafe in January and had a large presence at the show, with all kinds of trinkets for sale. I'm headed to the UK next month and will be heading out to visit the original.
Some crazy-assed Mickey Roarke custom build. No suspension and knobs. Looks comfortable.
Never heard of Premier helmets, but that some pretty cool looking retro style lids, full and open face.
Seems like everyone has a sports camera these days. 4K resolution, I'd like to try that out.
I thought the show was good, but it is easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of vendors and gear available to view. I really wished I could have been there for the first two dealer only days when all the marketing folks were out in full force and willing to talk about all the new stuff. I find once the show opens to the public, most vendors have lost a lot of steam.
The one difference I did find this year is the increasing number of vendors from India and China, which I suspect is going to only grow in numbers as they're manufacturing continues to improve and the demand for less-expensive gear increases.
I'll sign off with what I thought was one of the best parts of the show....the Japanese Vintage Bike Club. A huge collection of beautifully restored Japanese motorcycles sold prior to 1984. I was brought back to my childhood, and teenage years.