Each and every winter, Canadian motorcycle riders patiently tolerate winter’s wrath, eagerly awaiting warm weather and the upcoming riding season. This has been known to cause an affliction known as PMS, or Parked Motorcycle Syndrome.
Attending motorcycle shows is one way to temporarily stave off the symptoms brought on by not being able to ride for extended periods of time. As each of the big shows approach, the anticipation builds, reaching a fever pitch at the Spring Motorcycle Show at the International Centre. Members of the riding community from near and far congregate to tour the conference centre; updating gear, sourcing new bikes, parts or memorabilia, planning trips and connecting with fellow riders.
The term ‘something for everyone’ is an often overused phrase, but this show truly does cater to every corner of the market. Whether looking to get into the sport for the first time, purchase a new or used motorcycle, pick up some new gear, enhance your skills at a racing school or just immerse yourself in the culture, the show offers the full spectrum.
For those looking to increase their comfort, vendors offered everything from custom earplugs and aftermarket seats to GPS units and heated vests. There was even a selection of Toy Hauler trailers for those serious about taking their bikes with them everywhere they go.
The big draw of this year’s show was undoubtedly the presence of Hall-of-Famer AMA Superbike and MotoGP racing legend ‘Fast Freddie’ Spencer, who was on hand to sign memorabilia and copies of his book ‘Feel.’ But because it’s 2018, most fans were using the opportunity to snap Selfies. Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame member and the voice of Canadian motorcycle racing and the Daytona 200, Pat Gonsalves, was also on-hand to discuss racing and writing with Spencer.
Writer, producer and radio host Jeff Woods co-hosted the bike awards and interviewed interesting guests over the course of the weekend, including Mike Lebreton of Speed Trix who brought a number of custom motorcycles to the show, like the outrageous chopper named Creep Show. Spring Motorcycle Show Founder Bar Hodgson combined a 1947 Vincent HRD Engine with a Curtis racing frame to create his latest build – a street fighter called Blackjack. Custom Show Bikes were on hand to compete for $20,000 in cash prizes.
On the other end of the scale was a new exhibit called Barn Finds which displayed a selection of basket cases in painfully poor states of disrepair, allowing show attendees to imagine their future potential should they be brought back to life. The Classics on the Red Carpet display featured a spectacular collection of vintage motorcycles from the early 1900s to marvels of modern engineering like the Lotus C-01 hyper-bike.
Show attendees could drool over these classics and customs, or purchase a bike of their own as there were many easily accessible new and used models for sale from various dealerships.
A variety of riding and racing schools were showcasing their programs for those looking to get into the sport. The Race Stars of Tomorrow display showcased current and future MX, Road and Flat Track Canada Racers, getting fans excited for the upcoming racing season.
Normally signaling the onset of riding time, this unseasonably cold weather didn’t deter attendees from showing up in droves to walk the show floor.
Getting a much needed serotonin boost, it assured riders it won’t be long now.
All that’s needed is for Mother Nature to cooperate.
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