Well, here we are back at the Long Beach Convention Center for the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show. I’ve been coming to this show for as long as it’s been around..haven’t missed a year and I gotta say this is the most crowded I’ve ever seen. An interesting note here is how many women were there and not just beacause the man in their life dragged them along…many were actively trying on motorcycles. The manufacturers are beginning to see this trend as seat heights are getting lower, bikes getting lighter and even colors are changing a bit. The clothing and accessory market for women has exploded. More than leather chaps and fringed jackets, companies like ICON have gone all the way into high tech gear sized and styled for women..lots of pink, light blue and more. Joe Rocket has also jumped on the bandwagon. It’s a good sign.
I love the Adventure Tourer category of motorcycles..I have a ’92 Yamaha TDM850 and my riding buddies have TDM’s, BMW GS’s and KTM’s..so riding somewhere and spotting a dirt road heading into the unknown..well, thats high giggle factor riding. So, it comes as no surprise that I was instantly attracted to the Buell Ulysses. When I first saw the pictures a couple of months ago I was intriqued..after seeing and sitting on it..I’m hooked. I had never been a Buell fan because the motorcycles are ergonomically all wrong for me. But..the Ulysses is just right. A nice wide and comfy seat..comfortable for two as well, great overall postioning from handlebar to seat to pegs..it feels terrific. I’m going to slide over to Simi Valley Harley Davidson and convince my friend Andy to let me test ride it..I’ll report my findings! We tried on all the adventure tourers we could. As I stated before the Suzuki V-Strom was almost perfect. The Aprillia Caponard was a lighter feel but a cramped riding position for two up took it out of contention..same thing with the Ducati Multistrada..however..if I were riding solo..the Multistrada would be the sled of choice..light feeling, good looking and fast enough for some serious fun. Well, actually it would be between the Buell and the Ducati…I’ve already got a Ducati so……
Speaking of Ducati…last year the Italian firm showed their ‘Sport Classics’ for the first time and everyone was truly excited..excitied enough to put their hard earned $$$$ down a year in advance! Well, now they’re showing in dealers and they’re beautiful. The one example showed at this show..see picture….oh so sweet..but Ducati had a sign on the seat..”please don’t sit on the motorcycle”..damn! But beautiful.
Another bike I was really intigued by since seeing the pictures is the new Kawasaki NInja 650. A really nice motorcycle. Will it knock the Suzuki SV650 off?? The Kawasaki is a bit taller but a better seat to bar relationship. It’s a very cool looking motorcycle and should sell really well to newcomers and experienced riders who like mid-size bikes for commuting and canyon riding..but..it’s too bad Kawasaki stuck the ‘Ninja’ moniker on it..insurance companies just love that name..cha-ching!!!!
This is a great time to be a motorcycle rider. So many great bikes to choose from. Sportbikes, Power Cruisers, Factory Styled Choppers, Big Touring bikes. Everything out there is great..the hard thing to do is choose. I think I’ll choose my little ‘ol Honda 350 and go for a ride…
See you on the road