And they had some bikes too!
It was a really good first showing for the event in Greenville after being moved up from Atlanta. I wasn't expecting the turnout to be so large, but the place was packed. The test ride slots for all of the manufacturers that participated were filled early this morning. I wish now that I had gotten there in time to get in on a couple of those, especially the Ducati rides. The lady at the Kawa tent told me that the Versys has been getting a really good reception at all of the shows. I talked to one guy that owned a monster cruiser and that had ridden the Versys because it just happened to be available when he was signing up. He was blown away by its performance and said that he was going to seriously consider selling his cruiser so that he could get his own V. Two other bikes that I hadn't sat on before but really liked were the Kawa 6N and the Suzuki Gladius. If I could get the touring farkles for either of those bikes that I can get for the V, I might be tempted to switch my allegiance. The naked bikes are obviously getting more popular, and for good reason - they're fast, cool, and economical. The Gladious looked and felt really good, with the exception of the seat. It was really thin and felt uncomfortable from the moment that I got on the bike. The 6N was similar in feel and appearance to the V, but more naked and with a lower profile. It felt a lot like my 500 Ninja - maybe a cross between it and the V.
Of course there were a lot of killer customs, of both the chopper and tricked out sport bike varieties. I think that Harley probably had the biggest display, but all the manufacturers had a good showing. I'm not into riding either cruisers or choppers, but I really like them as art objects. The thing is though, they're too heavy to pick up by myself if they tip over on a rarely traveled road, and they're too damned heavy to hang over the fireplace.
Let's see somebody put some Givis on that one and ride it from Prudhoe Bay to Ushuiai... I wonder if it has grip warmers?
Lots of vendors and lots of really good bargains as well. I picked up a killer pair of gauntlets for $40 that usually cost nearly $100. I came close to going back in to nab the set of heated Gerbing riding gear, but tore myself away before giving in. The best deals seemed to be on riding jackets - I could have picked up some terrific armored textile jackets for well under $100.
Surprisingly, the food was good, though expensive. Nathans Dogs, half pound Angus burgers, pizza, beer, all of the goodies.
I expected to see a lot more young sport bike riders, but I'd guess that at least 70% of the folks in attendance were over 50. The Ducati in the top photo was without a doubt the most popular bike at the show - there was a long line of old guys with cameras hanging out around it all day long. Imagine that!
I have some more pix from the show on my site at http://griztrax.net/backroads/BikeShow09/Show1.htm
I'm looking forward to going back next year. It was better than I expected.
That's the 6N in the pic above, with a green V barely visible over to the right. The 6N is a wicked looking little road rocket, eh?