Notes from the Chicago International Cycle Show:
I couldn’t get obsessed with anything because Truimph wasn’t there. Ryan wants a Husqvarna, and reminded us all of this fact pretty much every 30 seconds. Quinton wants a BMW Dakar. Ron wants a dirt bike. Deanna wants us all to shut up.
The new 250cc Yamaha Morphous scooter looks like a big dildo. (POC Phil, who saw the show in Cleveland last month, has christened it the “Morephallus.”
The Honda Metropolitan has new, uglier, patterns. The Helix and Elite rival the PX150 for the on display. Come on, Honda! I finally saw the “Big Ruckus” in person, and I still prefer the regular Ruckus.
Vespa of Chicago has a new sales manager who is friendlier and infinitely more knowledgable than his predecessor. He clarified for us that the Piaggio group now includes Piaggio, Vespa, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Gilera, and Derbi. Vespa of Chicago (part of Suburban Auto Group) is working on changing their name to something less specific, and plan to sell Piaggios, Vespas, Guzzis, and Aprilias in their Maywood dealership and their downtown boutique. Derbi is sitting out until the U.S. standards change, and no word on Gilera. Our guess is that Piaggio’s not selling enough non-Vespas to warrant bringing in any more of their own brands, and that’s understandable, but we’d sure rather see Gilera Runners here, even Piaggio-branded Runners, than the Typhoon or the utterly boring Fly150 on display at the show. Aprilia had the same old overpriced SR50 on display, along with the Scarabeo line which continues to baffle me. Didn’t notice the Atlantic or Mojito on display, but I didn’t look for them either.
Ural Motorcycles are back, and way more expensive than before. Not sure why anyone would pay that much for a knockoff retro BMW sidecar rig of dubious construction, but to each his own. At least Royal Enfields and Stellas are reasonably priced compared to their competitors.
Valentino Rossi could have walked through the place and no one would have recognized him, but a hundred people were standing in line to meet Billy Lane.
Despite missing the show last year, there was very little sense of excitement, and not much that was truly new. The trend towards sportbikes and cruisers/choppers continues, and scooters seem to have topped off. The only interesting new trend is the increase in supermotard and enduro models, which seem to be gaining popularity as urban commuters.