Our son Ben is home from Camp LeJuene for a couple of weeks and I was happy to have his company on Saturday. We drove up a couple of hours early, stopped for breakfast and still had almost enough time to wander the show floor before my 1PM-4PM shift.
Progressive Insurance hosts the show and always has a prominent display just inside. Just inside is where the Progressive bags are freely given out for swag collection; the very popular Flo is seen everywhere. Last year she was represented by a 112.5% lifesize cardboard cutout but this year she was seen in much smaller versions.
Here she is on a billboard, roadside on the slot car track.
There were a couple of bikes I wanted to see at the show, both of them only discovered by me within the last week or so and by accident really. I've let all of my subscriptions go and since I hang around so many old men interested in old motorcycles, the new stuff isn't exactly front and center in my world.
Two years ago, I was very excited about the then new Honda 700 and last year, it was the Honda 500's. No surprise to anyone that pays attention here, I'm a big fan of bikes that don't necessarily make 150hp. This year's announcement about Honda's 300, competition for the Kawasaki Ninja 300 was something I really wanted to see. I looked and looked again, so if it was there, I missed it. The "full line" brochure didn't mention it either. It was my understanding that it was to be imported here though maybe it's still just too early.
The other machines I heard about only a week ago were the new 500 and 750 Vtwin Harley Davidsons. They weren't at the show either but I did pick up a very short and sweet brochure playing on the smaller Milwaukee machines' "heritage".
Another surprise, something I did manage to see and take a good look at was the CFMoto 650's. I'll be paying attention and watching what develops there.
I wouldn't own it but again, pretty in my eyes........
The last few years, our local and very long running Viking Chapter of the AMCA has been joining together with the VJMC to display older bikes at this New Bikes Featured show. This years' display by both clubs was bigger and better than ever.
This says it all........
A couple of old Yamaha roadracing bikes, capable of speeds (and performance) that belie their size. I had a Sportster not that different than Todd's here at the Antique display that was across the aisle from us.
You may be able to imagine how many times I heard ...."I had one..." or ...."my brother had one..." or...."the kid across the street had one...."
They were there; flat fours, a rotary, two sixes (one turbo'd), some singles that were supposed to smoke and some that were not, twins as well and a very fine 400 triple.
The School of Rock was there (right next to us) and I thought they did a particularly good job with Journey and Lights Going Down.
Based on some very unscientific extrapolation, the majority of early '70's Honda 350's produced seem to still be in garages, basements and barns in Minnesota.
A wide RE5 on the stand and a wide, turbo'd KZ1300 in the distance. It took 4 men and a boy to get the Suzuki up on this pedestal stand......16 ounces in every one of these pounds.