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New 2007 motorcycles at show next week

Whether it's considered the end of the old riding season or dawn of the new one, the motorcycle show season is officially upon us.

  • Detail of an automatic gear shifter in a new, modern car. Modern car interior with close-up of automatic transmission and cockpit background

Whether it’s considered the end of the old riding season or dawn of the new one, the motorcycle show season is officially upon us.

Next weekend, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre will be hosting the Toronto Motorcycle Show, supported by Canada’s motorcycle manufacturers.

Recognizing the growing number of women riders, Friday night is designated as “She Rides Nite.”

Not only are all women admitted free after 5 p.m., the show is planning an entertaining evening of fashion shows, celebrity interviews, music and seminars addressing women’s unique riding needs.

Bring the children because the Yamaha Riding Academy offers kids between ages 6 and 12 the opportunity to ride a real motorcycle after some on-site expert instruction. The ride is free but the kiddies must have a parent or guardian present and be somewhat proficient on a bicycle.

But this show’s focus is new motorcycles and it’s looking like a full house. Here is what you can expect from the major players in the way of new bikes in (sort of) alphabetical order:

Canadian Scooter Corp. has taken over distributorship for Aprilia so we can finally drool over their exotic 1000 cc V-twin sportbikes as well as the interesting SXV/RXV V-twin middleweight supermotards.

Under the same umbrella, expect to see the complete line of Moto Guzzis, including the new 750 Breva, the California vintage and the Norge 1200GT sport-tourer.

CSC will also have Vespa and Piaggio scooters including the unusual Piaggio MP3, a three-wheeled scooter/commuter vehicle with two front wheels that tilt, allowing the chassis and rider to lean at an angle of up to 40-degrees in the bends.

The new Buell XB12STT supermotard (only recently unveiled to the world at the Milan motorcycle show) will be here and, confirming Buell’s commitment to racing, Canadian Thunder champ Darren James will be on hand to sign autographs and talk to the fans.

BMW has been busy and will have six new models on display. In addition to the grand unveiling of the long-awaited F800S and ST twins that I rode in South Africa in April, the R1200R Boxer and three new variations on the F650 — a “streetmoto,” a dual sport and an enduro — will make their Canadian debut.

Charlie Boorman, of Long Way Round fame will be back promoting his book and TV series based on his Paris — Dakar experiences, currently being shown on The Discovery Channel on Wednesday evenings.

Ducati will have its complete range of street bikes including the stunningly restyled, 160-horsepower 1098 Superbike. Trust me, it’s gorgeous — much better looking than the 999.

Harley-Davidson will be launching the complete line of ’07 models, including several of the CVO variations with factory-installed performance and cosmetic accessories.

Harley’s new Twin Cam 96 engine will power all Dyna, Softail and Touring models and the new engine comes complete with a six-speed transmission, said to reduce engine r.p.m. by more than 10 per cent at highway speeds.

At press time, Honda was still finalizing its plans, but expect to see the all-new, substantially lighter and more powerful CBR600RR, the VT750C2 Shadow Spirit I rode in San Diego last month, the 25th Anniversary VFR and the new Gold Wing complete with airbag.

Kawasaki has an interesting new model called the Versys, which appears to be based on the 650R platform, but with a sit-up riding position and half fairing. Expect revised KLR650, ZX6 and Z1000 models as well.

KTM is producing some very interesting motorcycles these days and the new 990 V-twin Superduke streetbike and 990 Adventurer will make their Canadian debut. These bikes will be joined by a new 450SX and new EXCs.

Suzuki confirms that the all-new GSXR1000 will make an appearance, as will the new, liquid-cooled 1250 and 650 Bandits.

Former Canadian Superbike Champ Francis Martin is confirmed, along with the Suzuki Canada road race team bikes.

For custom fans, Suzuki commissioned Baron Custom Accessories in California to re-do one of the M109 power cruisers into a “showstopper.”

Victory seems to be building up a head of steam and will have the complete lineup, including the Kingpin Tour with windshield, revised seat and bags. Also new are the ’07 Hammer and Arlen Ness signature models.

Yamaha will have the totally re-done R1 with fly-by-wire throttle and a variable intake tract. Also new is the Star 1300 that I rode in North Carolina last month — look for the standard and Tour versions.

Check out the C3 scooter — it’s big on gas mileage and storage but looks suspiciously like a cooler with wheels.

One of Canada’s top female roadracers, Shawna Aron will be on hand, as will Superbike star Kevin Lacombe and top instructor Clinton Smout.

I’ll even be appearing on the Full Throttle Stage at 3:30 p.m. Friday (possibly accompanied by an adult to keep me out of trouble — Wheels Editor Mark Richardson). For some reason, host Frank Wood thinks I have something to say.

For a complete listing of events and features at this year’s motorcycle show, check out http://www.sportshows.ca/tms/

The show takes place from Dec. 8 to 10, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, south building this year. Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: $15 adults, $9 juniors , children under 6 are free.

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