This weekend was the annual motorcycle show, so we dragged Kira along.
I was surprised by how many babies I saw at the show (I’d never really paid attention before) and I was glad to see that we did not have the most ginormous, in-the-way, running-people-over stroller. Â I felt bad for the dad with twins pushing a huge double side-by-side BOB stroller around the event center; he needed that beeping “get out of the way!” alarm that they have on airport people-movers.
We made it all of five feet into the event center before we spent money on Kira.
I don’t know if vendors get to choose their location but, if so, this guy was BRILLIANT. Â It’s the first booth you see when walking into the event, and parents are probably happy with their still-well-behaved children and are feeling benevolent towards them.
OK, whatever, baby, sure. Â But what about the new Hondas?? Â Let’s face it, that’s really the only reason I went this year.
In case you hadn’t heard, Honda is bringing three (THREE!) new 500cc bikes to the states for the 2013 model year: the CBR500R, the CB500F, and the CB500X.
On paper, the bikes are really interesting. Â The streetbikes are a bit taller than my Ninjette (30.9″ as opposed to 29.3″) and a bit heavier (420 lbs vs 360 lbs, both wet weight). Â I was curious to see if that would make enough of a difference to me to consider upgrading.
While surfing Honda’s website before the show, I liked the looks of the naked CB500F better than the faired CBR500R; once I saw them in person, though, I felt the opposite.
Kira also seems to approve of the CBR500R.
I was skeptical of the CBR500R’s clip-on handlebars (I long ago swore to never own a bike with clip-ons again ever ever ever), but they were actually pretty comfortable. Â I didn’t feel like I would need my physical therapist on speed dial after one long ride.
It’s telling that I didn’t even get a photo of the CB500F. Â In my defense, it was a crowded booth (good news for Honda) and we had to wrestle the baby, too, but that bike just didn’t do anything for me.
It felt heavier than the CBR500R — which likely just meant that the R was missing fluids and a battery — and the seating position wasn’t as comfortable. Â The CB500F has tube bars instead of clip-ons, but they’re very wide. Â I’m sure this is more ergonomic if you’re not built like a hobbit, but I learned my lesson about wide bars from the 2009 BMW F650GS. Â They just do not work for me and I get instant tennis elbow.
While I was sitting on the bike lamenting this fact, a few guys standing around overheard and tried to mansplain to me that I didn’t need to flatfoot and that I could get a different seat, etc. Â I thought this was cute. Â I eventually put the smack down, though, when one guy told me that my complaint about the handlebars wouldn’t really affect my day-to-day riding; I said, “yeah, I’ve owned 10 bikes and I have a pretty good idea of what works for me and not”. Â I think I might have been a little snottier than need be, but we’ll blame that on sleep deprivation.
I also need a T-shirt or forehead tattoo that says “just because I ride a 250cc doesn’t mean I’m a beginner”.
Anyway, back to the show. Â I also sat on the CB500X just for giggles. Â It has the same wide handlebars as the CB500F and is, of course, taller (31.9″). Â I was on my very tippytoes.
Peter fared pretty well on the CB500X, though. Â Curse you, long inseam! *shakes fist*
Kira looks happy in this photo, but it’s actually a yawn. Â Make of that what you will.
He actually liked the CB500X more than I would have expected. Â Normally smaller bikes give him knee-in-dashboard syndrome but this seemed fairly comfortable for him. Â He even made a couple of comments about how it might be a decent replacement for the DR-Z400 for him. Â *wheels in head turning*
So, in recap: I really liked the CBR500R but ultimately not enough to trade in my Ninjette. Â I’d love to ride one someday, though, and maybe that would change my mind. Â I was completely meh on the CB500F, and I really liked the idea of the CB500X, but it’s not a bike for me.
That was pretty much all we went to the show to see; we puttered around a little bit more but didn’t focus on anything else. Â I tried to swing by the Moto Shop booth, but there was a guy there completely monopolizing the attention of the booth attendant, and the latter didn’t even look my way while I was standing there for a few minutes. Â So, I didn’t buy a T-shirt or talk to them about their space.
Lesson learned: at the bike show, if you’re a woman in your 20s with blue hair, you get some attention. Â If you’re a woman in your early 30s with normal hair, you get very little attention. Â If you’re a woman in your mid-30s with a baby, you are 100% invisible. Â Le sigh.
But other than that, we had a good time and Kira liked looking at the shiny things.
“Soon, soon, my pretty….I just have to grow a little bit more.”
Here’s Kira wearing her new shirt from the show. Â They didn’t have one that said “future sport-touring adventure rider taking a motorcycle all over the world”, so this will do in the meantime.