Hosted at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the show featured most major manufacturers and most of their available bikes ranging from off-road dirt bikes and super sports to cruisers and urban warriors like motards and scooters. There was also a nice collection of vintage race bikes, sidecars, cross-country touring bikes, and everything in between. Obviously not all bikes are suitable for newer riders but there were certainly a lot of bikes to choose from.
For anyone new to riding, this would have made a great opportunity to check out lots of bikes that may be suitable depending on your needs and riding style, be it short hops in and around the city, to longer country tours. Some of the more notable bikes that would be ideal for new riders included the Honda CBR125R, Kawasaki Ninja 250R, BMW’s G650 & F650, Yamaha’s V-Star 250, Hyosungs GT 250R and of course you cant exclude Kymco’s line up of scooters that come with enough storage space to make a full-blown touring bike with all their “add-on” saddle bags blush.
Not only were the range of available bikes well represented, but so were the various bike and accessory shops, which provided an opportunity to pick up some gear or check out some products that you may not have seen or heard of before.
Considering the current Canadian climate, I was very interested in some of the heated gear that was represented by Gerbings, which included socks, pants, various gloves, jackets & jacket liners. However, when considering the use of heated gear, you must do some research as to the total power output of your alternator, how much power is already being used for the electrical system (running and brake lights, horn, etc) and how much is remaining to power your heated gear. Most bikes should be able to power a jacket (or jacket liner) as well as the gloves, but there may not be enough left over to also power the heated pants and socks.
I also had a great conversation with the fellows from Impact Jackets out of Maryland, USA. I recently posted some information about their jackets but I never had a chance to check out their gear first hand. Impact Jackets now has an increased selection of inflatable gear including vests, mesh & textile jackets and some rather nice leathers. I had the pleasure of trying on one of their jackets and experienced what it was like to have the “air bags” deployed while wearing it. Without a doubt these jackets will revolutionize rider safety (they have already saved many lives) and considering the costs when compared to CE armoured jackets on the market (prices starting as low as $400), it just seems like a no-brainer, especially since they are re-usable. Several Police motorcycle divisions are now using Impact Jackets across the United States; they are also being used in several military applications. Look forward to these jackets coming to a shop near you in the future.