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I had a chance to take in the The Ottawa International Motorcycle Show that happened last week in Ottawa. This show is relatively new for Ottawa, this being year four for the show. Billed as Eastern Ontario/Western Quebec's 4th annual motorcycle extravaganza, it was held at the newly built CE Centre again this year. http://ottawainternationalmotorcycleshow.ca/showinfo.html
The show was a 3 day event and featured a number of attractions including a custom bike show, a tattoo venue, - where if one liked, they could have a tattoo done, guest appearances, live music and of a fashion show featuring the latest in biker attire and riding clothes. I managed to take in the festivities on the Friday night. Most of the major manufacturers motorcycle were represented by the handful of dealers there. One notable absence - for the second year running - was one of one of Ottawa's biggest dealers Ottawa Goodtime Centre which meant the the latest offerings from Triumph, BMW, and Kawasaki were missing from the show.
That being said, there were some really great bikes at the show, my favourite (s) a toss up between the MotoGuzzi V7 Racer, and the Ural Patrol - both offered by Wheelsport.
The V7 Racer is Guzzi's answer to the recent return in popularity of the Cafe Racer look and I would say that they hit it out of the park. It comes equipped with 750cc, 90-degree V-Twin motor 5 speed gearbox and brembo disc brakes. I thought it was a pretty impressive machine and once I sat on it I really didn't want to get off.
The Ural Patrol was also a really interesting bike. Imported from Russia where they have been making them continuously since after World War II, this copy of the BMW with boxer engine of the same era was a delight to see. The sidecar rig features 2wd, with all-terrain ability to switch between single-wheel drive and dual-wheel drive with the flip of a lever. In speaking with the salesperson from Wheelsport - the dealer - he did say that it wasn't a speed demon with a top speed of about 100 KM/h, but the experience of riding one was incomparable to anything else out there - save perhaps for an original BMW.
I know I was sold. I want to take home both the Ural and the Guzzi. Victory, which is a division or Polaris also has some interesting cruisers to choose from.
Down at Powersports Canada, I was surprised to see a welcome addition to their lineup of Honda and Yamaha in the form of Ducati who has been absent from the Ottawa area for the last couple of years. The touring bikes in the form of the Multistrada and the superbikes in the form of the Panigales were well represented but me being a Harley guy my tastes in street bikes goes in another direction. That being said, however my eyes did catch the Monsters - specifically in the form of the 796 - which I could definitely see myself astride.
Speaking of Harley, I was informed that sales were brisk at Freedom Harley, despite the fact that there isn't really anything new coming out of Harley this year. There were some examples of the new from last year Switchback which is a mildly redesigned Dyna that would cater to those interested in a Bagger that doesn't come at Bagger prices. A really nice specimen of this was the flat denim example, done up in a retro kind of way. For some reason I really dug it.
The lineup of touring bikes - Ultras, Road Kings, Road Glides, etc were well represented as well as the new for last year Sportster 72, which is a stripped down Sporty complete with apes, in a really nice candy apple green, and the VRod which I found after sitting on it was quite comfortable.
We didn't get any tattoos at the show, however we did check out the Custom Bike show which had a couple of works of art.
As well, we checked out the vintage bike section which included a nicely restored Indian, Ducati, Vespa, and Norton.
Finally and quite interesting was the Motorcycle Hearse, which featured a Harley Trike pulling a fully decked out hearse trailer. What a way to go out.....
All in all the Ottawa Motorcycle Show was an interesting way to spend a couple of hours checking some really good examples of my latest obsession. Though it can't rival shows in other cities - especially those in Toronto or Montreal, it is nice to see that Ottawa is at least getting into the game. Let's hope it succeeds and gets bigger for next year.