2010 bike show

Peter and I went to the bike show yesterday for the first time since 2006! I was surprised it had been that long, but we’d gone six or seven years in a row and it’s not like things change all that much from year to year, so I guess we just sorta stopped attending.

But this year we went and met Tony and Steph, then also Kim and Tim, and we all had a good time ogling the wares.

Our first stop was the Ural booth.  I think they look so much fun.  I would totally get one..though Peter likes the camo color and I preferred the bright blue or orange. I think we’d need a second garage if we wanted his-and-hers Urals.

Straight turns, I guess, are OK:

We checked out the Super Tenere as the traditional soul crushing gorgeous adventure bike that is made for someone twice my weight and with 6″ more inseam.

Peter, naturally, flatfoots it.

They had a few custom bikes set up; most were your typical custom choppers, but there were a couple that were really creative.  We think the intricate stippling here is done by hand:

Peter didn’t find much in the two-wheeled world that tickled his fancy this year, but he got a kick out of all the ATVs and Can-Am Commanders.   Drink up!

I treated myself to a new pair of custom earplugs — $60 seems steep but I have two pairs now that are 4 and 6 years old.  $10/year seems reasonable for well made earplugs that work really well on the bike and also for sleeping.

Plus, colors!

The earplug booth was right near the Kawasaki area.  That means….Ninjas!!

I have to say, I used to be pretty ambivalent about Kawasaki, but it’s impressing me more and more.  They consistently have the best ergonomics of any of the big manufacturers (speaking for hobbit sized mutants only, of course; I wouldn’t know about other sizes) and their color choices are excellent.

Behold:

Yes, please.

In fact, let’s see that again:

Hello, pretty white Ninja 250! If I didn’t have an awesome Ninja, I would be sorely tempted to get one of these and take off the black decals on the side.  All-white Ninja would be really gorgeous.

Speaking of really gorgeous, Kawasaki also hit it out of the ballpark with the 2011 Ninja 650R:

Granted, I have an unholy love for orange, but dang, that’s a beautiful color.  It fits well, too (tiptoes notwithstanding).  I was pretty pleased on a personal level, too — when Peter and I visited Dan and Colleen in May, we stopped by a Kawasaki dealer and I was unable to get the 650R off the sidestand.  Clearly yesterday I had no such issues.  Go go gadget back muscles!

Next up was the Honda booth, where my primary interest lay in the CBR250R.

Here, Kim and I demonstrate the awesomeness of having bikes that physically fit short people:

Here’s what I wrote on sport-touring.net about comparing the CBR250R to the Ninja 250.  I’ll give some more detail later, but I had to be up for a 7am work deployment today and I’m still half-asleep.

Overall, I was decently impressed.
It felt a wee bit taller than my Ninja 250, but not so much as to turn me off from the bike if I were in the market.
The ergos are a bit more aggressive than the Ninja’s, which is interesting — the Ninja has quite a cult following on the racetrack and it’ll be cool to see if the Honda starts infringing on that monopoly.  For street riding, though, I would definitely need bar risers on the CBR250R — my wrists were at a funny angle when I sat normally.
I still like the styling of the Ninja more than the CBR.  Just personal preference.  But in person, it looks like Kawasaki is deliberately trying to make the 250 look like its bigger cousins, and Honda seems to want the 250 to stand out as its entry level bike.  No problem with that; I just happen to like the styling on the Ninja better.
One thing I was very impressed with was that a Honda rep was standing by the CBR250R and came over with a clipboard to anyone who seemed to be interested in the bike (by which I mean, anyone who sat on it for more than 5 seconds, or who was having a reasonably intelligent conversation about the bike).   He asked me the clipboard questions, which were the standard age/gender/how long have you been riding/what bikes do you currently have, but they also asked height (not inseam, though) and a few specific questions about the first impressions of the CBR250R.  I liked that — I think the more input we can give the manufacturers, the better!
No word on price, though.  🙁

This is what happens when we leave Tony and Peter alone while we look at the CBR250Rs:

The look on Tony’s face makes this picture for me.

Finally, we wound up at the “Girls Ride” section, where there was gear that ostensibly fit women.  Steph and I both tried on Olympia AST jackets, which actually fit remarkably well. My winter jackets generally make me look like a pregnant dwarf, so this is truly an improvement:

I liked the color of the one Steph tried on a little better…grays are a little boring, but beggars can’t be choosers and, hey, the jacket actually fits!

So that was pretty much the bike show for us this year.  Afterwards we all went to Tannourine for Lebanese food and a belly dancing show.  It was fantastic and everyone who reads this should go see the RAQ the House events on every third Sunday of the month.

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2 Responses to 2010 bike show

  1. Keith says:

    Thanks for the write up on the new Honda. I really like the Ninja, but I want my next bike to have fuel injection. So, the Honda is on my radar screen, but I suspect Mr. Honda will not a friend of my budget make. I hear it will also be available with ABS.

    Anyway, again thanks for the info and I look forward to more details.

    ~Keith

  2. -Jon says:

    Ok, I’ve been lurking on your blog since waaaaay back in the Nighthawk days and I’m finally getting around to commenting. Call me a wallflower. Anyhoo, I think that new Honda is full of awesomeness. 250cc and fuel injected with mini-VFR styling? If I lived in a place that was A) urban and B) had semi-rider friendly weather instead of the hell that is Seattle, I’d be all over that. In my opinion one of the problems with “starter bikes” is that they lack sophistication like ABS and FI. This bike addresses this weakness. Kudos to Honda for getting something right lately. Now if they could just make the new VFR not cost $15 bajillion and give it hard bags that can actually hold a full face helmet…

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