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


  1. Maybe you are completely satisfied with what you have and the seeing the shiny stuff is nice but not enough to make it interesting...

    But I think that you're right on about the social aspect of any event like this. For most of the conferences that I used to attend, meeting others was a large part of the reason to attend. Just about everything else is available online these days.

    1. There aren't many new offerings from the manufacturers as of late, and you're right, I'm am happy with what we have. It would take something extraordinary to add to the collection.

      We were missing Bob's unique commentary throughout the motorcycle show, and how he would tell us everything he knew about a bike, or gadget, or camera.

  2. I used to attend the show in Minneapolis but not any more. The straw that broke the camel's back was a few years ago when looking for a ZX-14. NOT ONE of the workers at the Kawasaki display wanted to give me any time, I was totally ignored... All they did was stand around and talk to each other. Pretty sad.

    1. We ran into that several times this year. If a vendor won't talk to me, let alone acknowledge me, I'll take my money elsewhere. I think it's the youth brought up on computers and smartphones, but that's not an excuse. At least online vendors offer a chat feature.

  3. Well I may have to hop the ferry for January! See you there Joaquin Byer (I laughed so hard) :)

    1. I miss him three, and he was right about it being a social affair.

    2. We need to get together again, we had a great time in Victoria.

      And Bob did bring many of us together.

  4. Sorry about the crap weather Brad, and the non-representation of some of the big names. Don't they want people to buy their bikes?

    Enjoying the GSX-S you mention. Have now covered 1000 km and took it to Auckland for its first service yesterday. Tell Brandy they gave me a Gladius for a couple of hours whilst mine was being serviced - had a lot of fun on it!

    I've been thinking about Bob too as it was just over a year ago when we were in Vancouver and received the terrible news. Participating in the ScooterBob world tour was a privilege and was good for everyone who took part, as well as for his family of course.

    1. We're used to the rain, it is Oregon. Maybe I'm on show overload and nothing appeals to me but what's in my garage. Which is a good thing.

      I've read and heard a lot of good things about GSX-S, I may have to test ride one next Spring. The little Gladius is such a fun bike, it is nice to have variety of bikes to choice from.

      I haven't seen ScooterBob lately, lost in Wales last I read.


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