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IMS Show not coming to Washington, D.C!

IMS_home_logoThat’s right, you read that correctly. The Progressive International Motorcycle Show is not making a stop in our nation’s capital this year. The closest shows will be in New York City, N.Y. and Cleveland, Ohio. There will be only 10 shows this year for the “world’s largest motorcycle tour show”.  Other cities dropped this year were San Mateo, CA and Seattle, WA. Portland, OR. takes the place of Seattle, all other cities are the same as last year. It seems like a trimming down of the schedule the past few years. In 2013-14 there were 12 shows, 2014-15 there were 11 shows, and this year just 10 shows.

This comes as a shock to me. This is the first time in my motorcycle memory that the IMS has not made a stop in, or close to, D.C. Needless to say I’m very bummed out by this news. I look forward to going to the show, getting to see the new bikes, and usually hanging out with a few friends for the day. Not this year.

I know that NY and Ohio are certainly close enough that I could make the trip, but I’m sure it’s not as cheap as a Metro ride. I will now need to find some other mid-winter distraction for my motorcycle fantasies.

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Posted by on October 20, 2015 in Motorcycling, Rallies and Events

 

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IMS and Other Thoughts After a Long Time Away

It’s been a long time since my last post. In July I took on a new role at my company and just haven’t been able to get back into a rhythm with writing and riding since then. Most of my riding in the second half of the year was commuting so nothing exciting there.

Part of my reason for not posting was also that I like to write really finished article style posts. I figure if people are going to read posts on this site the content should be worth their time. I’m slowly coming to the realization that not every post has to take weeks to pull together and edit. It is a blog after all. And it’s free. And it’s mine. So, it really can be whatever I want it to be. I was recently reminded that good content along with consistency is really the key here. I’m going to try harder to do both this year.

The most recent motorcycle related event that’s happened in the past few months was attending the IMS in Washington DC. I always try to make this show every year in January. It’s the perfect way to get a dose of motorcycle excitement in the middle of winter.

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There were two bikes that stood out to me at the show.

2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000LT.

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I am finding myself drawn to the 1000 cc range of bikes that are coming out in the market. They are powerful, agile, and comfortable. The Versys, was all of those things. At least from what I could glean from marketing materials and sitting on the bike for longer than was probably appropriate by the looks I was getting from the booth reps. The bags are a little smaller (28 liter) than those on my Connie 14, but they are large enough to be useful. There’s also an aftermarket top case, so no worries on storage. It has all the technology that I’m looking for in a bike: ABS, traction control, multiple riding modes. All the fun stuff. I also really love the orange color. The Versys is sized well for me too. The reach to the bars from the seat is perfect. No lean over at all (for me). I’m going to try and find an enterprising dealer this summer and see if I can get a ride on one.

For more information on the Versys visit Kawasaki.com

 

2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES

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The other motorcycle the continues to catch my attention is the Super Tenere.  Everytime I sit on this bike it just seems to fit. It pushes all my buttons too. Electronic suspension, ABS, traction control, multiple fuel maps. Being an “Adventure” bike it has an upright sitting position and easy ergonomics. I know that both of these bikes fit the adventure/off road style of bike that’s become very popular, but that’s not what really draws me. I also think that the reason these style of bikes have “become” popular is that there are no standard bikes anymore. If you want neutral handling, comfortable all day riding bike you have to buy one of these adventure style bikes. I’m fine with that. I’m more interested in comfort for long rides, flexibility, and utility.

For more information on the Super Tenere go to Yamaha’s website.

 

Here are pictures of a few other bikes that were honorable mentions or at least caught my eye.

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Posted by on February 21, 2015 in Motorcycling, Uncategorized

 

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International Motorcycle Show – Washington D.C.

This past Sunday I attended the IMS in Washington D.C. It was fairly typical as far as the IMS goes with a few standouts for me. It was nice to see BMW return to D.C. after a few years being absent. Zero motorcycles made their first appearance that I’m aware of but Moto Guzzi and URAL where absent. All in all I was able to see most of the bikes that I had an interest in and was pleasantly surprised by a few.

2013 Triumph Trophy SEMy first stop was Triumph. I have read more than a few articles about the new Trophy and really wanted to see it in person. My thought was how much more compact the bike was then I thought it would be. Obviously aimed directly at the BMW R1200RT, the Trophy has a footprint that more matches the old R1150RT than the newer R1200RT which in my mind is the right direction for Triumph to go in. The BMW has become a larger bike over the years but I’m not sure that’s translated into a better bike. The Trophy is comparable feature for feature with the RT but maintains a more compact and sport touring feel making the BMW look massive. The Trophy feels good too. Even though it looks smaller than I expected it fit my 6′ 2″ frame well. The price however puts this on my have-to-raid-the-college-fund list instead of on my next-ex-bike list.

BMW F800GT 2013I was pleasantly surprised by the BMW F800GT. This is the 2013 version of the F800ST which it replaces in the BMW lineup. I was always a fan of the ST for its size and engine but never really keen on its looks or storage options. The GT has a vastly improved set of hard bags and less severely angled fairing. I think if the GT had existed before I bought my Concours I would have snatched it up in a heartbeat. It’s light, powerful, has decent luggage and is about half the weight of my Concours. The new fairing design is sleek and streamlined. Seat height, comfort and reach to the handlebars was perfect for me and everything I remembered loving about the ST. The big attraction is the size of this bike for me. Having ridden the Connie for close to two years now it is a do everything bike but its weight gets in the way at times. That weight makes it a great touring bike for the open road but is a hindrance in tight switchbacks. The GT seems, to me, a great alternative to the larger displacement sport touring bikes on the market today.

2013 FJR1300ASpeaking of larger sport touring bikes I was able to throw a leg over the redesigned Yamaha FJR. The earlier incarnation of the FJR was on my short list when I was looking for a new mount. Unfortunately this generation, as with the last, just does not fit me very well. The pegs are a little too high forcing my knees to bend at an angle that’s just too tight for my long legs. I do think that the new fender and switch gear freshen up the look of the bike and bring it more up to date with other similar bikes. The second gen FJR was starting to look a little dated. I’m glad Yamaha have continued to invest in this bike. It’s worth it. Maybe this will push Honda into an update of the ST1300?

I was truly disappointing to not see Moto Guzzi at the show. I really wanted to get a better look at the Stelvio 1200 NTX, Norge GT 8V and the California 1400 touring. Alas they where not there so I’ll just have to wait until I see one at a rally or another show.

2013 Honda Gold Wing F6BI took a few moments to look over the new Honda Gold Wing F6B cruiser thing. I remember the first time I saw the Victory Vision. It’s not really my kind of bike, but I can see where it will appeal to a small group of people looking for something unique. Personally I think this will be another miss for Honda like the Rune, Pacific, and the DN01 to name a few. I will say that at least Honda is taking risks. Sometimes those pay off like with the NC700X, and then there are times when they don’t (see the Honda V45 Magna).

It’s always a treat to spend a Sunday looking at bikes. I look forward to the IMS every year. It’s a great way to get my motorcycle fix when the temperatures and weather outside keep me in my car.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Rallies and Events

 

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