An infallible cure for the winter blues is an opportunity to immerse yourself in products and services surrounding your passion. You don't have to actually be in the market for anything, but if this is your passion, there is no such thing as not in the market. So, being in critical need of a ShamWow, I journeyed 80 miles to NYC for the Cycle World show.
This year's show was smaller and was in the lower hall of the Javits Center. In fact, if you went through the wrong doors, you thought you were at the boat show, which was probably also smaller. Sign of the times. One of the fun things about shows like this is that they attempt to cater to all genres of the sport. Dirt bikes and dual sports share the hall with choppers and cruisers, who share with cafe racers and royal enfields, who in turn share the hall with blinged out Hyabusas and carbon-clad Desmosedicis. What better venue than NYC for such a melting pot. This year, for some reason, a different grouping of motorcycles came to mind, and here is how it emerged:
Having worked on a lot of bikes, I can appreciate the work and skill that goes into making something look good, and go good. However, no matter how good a motorcycle looks, I would want to see it ridden. This is why I probably could not own an ultra rare motorcycle or one that would be devalued by every mile ridden. There are certainly parts of motorcycles that I could tolerate hanging around the house as art if I had the money (eg: a Vincent engine, an Aprilia tail section), but not a whole bike. Fortunately, financial reality continues to render this a moot concern. That said, here are a few examples of bikes that have beautiful craftsmanship (though not all my cup of tea), but which could not practically be ridden very far.
Time was, motorcycles by definition had attitude. Some more than others, but the entire sport had an aura of attitude. Not so much today. In a sign that the sport has matured, there are now milk toast bikes and aristocratic bikes, and bikes for accountants. However, there are still bikes that clearly have attitude and here are a few.
Every show has a bike or two that make you stop and look. You are entertained, but you also scratch your head a little. Vive la difference.
These are machines and products that I would like to have. Besides checking out the S1000RR, I also got to chat with BMW racer Nate Kern, who I met a while ago at the now defunct Main Line BMW when he was sponsored by them.