Sunday, November 8, 2015

Miss You Bob....

Last weekend (10/31), we went to the Progressive International Motorcycle Show for its debut in Portland. I didn't necessarily want to go, since the recent Seattle shows were waning terribly, but I wanted to support the show's first stop in Oregon in hopes that it'd be better this year.

We have gone to the show every year in Seattle since 2009, back then it was the CycleWorld International Motorcycle Show, before Flo from Progressive Insurance white washed and commercialized the hell out of it. 

We went with good intentions and mustered a positive attitude, but even that couldn't save this year's show. It was a small venue held at the Portland Convention Center, the weather was absolutely terrible, not conducive for a successful motorcycle show, nor for the only marque offering demo rides, Harley Davidson. We braved the flooding in the little Fiat and paid to park under cover; the trip home had me wishing we'd brought the Subaru, the rain was that bad!

Honda was a no show, which was a 'Big Red' disappointment. In previous years, Honda anchored the entire show with a huge, bright yellow carpet, lit signage and displays, with numerous bikes in the center of the arena. They continued to do so when it was moved to the Seattle Convention Center. I was disappointed as I was really looking forward to checking out the CB500X, with hopes of seeing and discussing the Rally Raid conversion kit.

Yamaha didn't make it to the show this year either, that's a 50% no show from the big four. Fortunately, Suzuki and Kawasaki picked up the slack and had some great displays, I appreciated checking out the Kawasaki Versys 650 and 1000cc bikes. (Don't lick the cookie).

 As well as Suzuki's new GSX-S1000 (nice bike Geoff).  

Local dealers did do their best to represent the absent brands, but could only deliver and show the models they had in stock, lacking the vast models available.

KTM, Triumph, and Indian also failed to show, relying on dealerships to fill in the void.

Ducati had great representation as did BMW, but so they should based on their high MSRPs.

The vendors selling gear, helmets and other wares were there physically, but as we found at the Subaru show earlier this year, seemed more interested in texting their friends and spouses than talking to live people standing in front of them with wads of cash in their hands. I like to call myself Joaquin Byer.

We spent nary an hour at the show, didn't collect any swag or take any pictures, and couldn't wait to go home. It was then I realized what Bobskoot meant when he said he didn't go to the show for the bikes, but went to meet other bloggers.

It's the social aspect that make the shows, not the bikes, the vendors or Flo for that matter. So I expect  it to be a social affair for the Vancouver show in January.

See you there!

My whole life is waiting for the questions to which I have prepared answers. ~Tom Stoppard