Friday, February 12, 2016

Road dogs

The Progressive (TM) International Motorcycle Show offers an annual explosion of motorcycles in the otherwise dull winter riding season, an opportunity to shamelessly fondle the new bikes. For those of us whose dog drool has slowed to a skeptical drip, Progressive offers a ton of additional entertainment for folks of all ages; who doesn’t love motorcycle themed slot car tracks?

Small and mid-sized bikes really turn my wheels and the manufactures have been steadily improving their line ups. The progression myth dictates we start on something small and upgrade to bigger, because bigger is better. I rode this wave, to a point, but in the end a day on the Wing is not the same adventure as a day on a 500. And the 500 is way more accessible, in all aspects, than a 1500 (or whatever size they are now).  I’ll stop bagger bashing now, there are few things more pleasant than a Road King on a sunny day.

It’s interesting how the different brands handle their mid-sized models, Guzzi’s V7 Stone is unashamedly a stepping off point while Yamaha invited RSD to polish their gem into a precious stone. Honda’s CB500 lineup overflows with potential for the hard-code small bike enthusiast. And there’s no denying that Enfield’s Continental GT, at 75 MPG, is the shiniest toy in the toy box.

the GT is the real deal: Harris frame. Brembo brake.

The Africa Twin did not disappoint.
Honda can be sneaky with their new models,
did you know they have a V4 adventure bike?

The MV Agusta Dragster wins the most-beautiful-wheel-on-a-production-bike-ever award.

I wish I had more information on this BMW, every one-off piece
from the Weber carb to the shift lever is worthy of it's own rotating stand.
I'm sure it will turn up on that bike.exif site, if it hasn't already. 

Because Guzzi. (say it like "pizza")
Our crew was a little lighter than normal this year, the intrusion of responsibility being as it is, just a father-son duo. We hit up a few ethnic joints, the Dubliner on Friday night and Britt’s Pub for meat pies and a pint after the show. I’m very fortunate to share this “hobby” with my old man. The guiding hand of a fatherhood is always present, but when we get talking about bikes we often meet  on a level track. I think next year we’ll take the boys. 

(All the grand kids are boys. If they were girls, their motorcycling would be strictly restricted to the front seat.)


-  -  Ride North

Fargo sun dogs.


  1. It looks like a fun show. Instead of Seattle this year it was in Portland in the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately it was on Halloween and the first show of the circuit, so half the new models weren't even out yet. Sigh.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for stopping by! I was checking out the new SV650 and thought to myself "needs checkers."