It’s back! The Moto Canada Motorcycle and Powersports Show returned to Vancouver on January 12th continuing through the 14th. Moto Canada offers enthusiasts an opportunity to explore the latest models and accessories available for the 2024 season. Following Vancouver, the show moves eastward across Canada appearing at 4 additional locations.
Here are a few observations and takeaways from the show that are of special interest to Sport Touring riders.
Moto Canada Is Alive!
Our first observation is to recognize the important role Moto Canada plays in creating a vibrant motorcycle and powersports ecosystem that is uniquely Canadian. Canadian riders, and those of us from the States who love riding Canada’s exquisite backroads, are fortunate to have the support and advocacy of this leading industry association. Moto Canada brings the interests of riders together with government affairs and the world’s leading motorcycle brands to make sport touring in Canada a world-class experience.
I don’t think people realize just how much we contribute to the local economy, supporting thousands of jobs,” said Landon French, President and CEO of Moto Canada. “This is not only a great event to see the best products on the market and learn about riding, but it is also a point of pride for our community.”
We’re excited to see Moto Canada emerge as a single voice strongly advocating for motorcyclists and the motorcycle industry across the Provinces.
Sport Touring Motorcycle Evolution
Motorcycle Sport Touring has evolved over the past four or five years. Since its beginning the category has been populated by motorcycles that emphasize sportbike performance with enough comfort to handle long distances. On these these machines, sport touring riders sought out the most intricate roads in remote parts of the country. Places like Tail of the Dragon and Lolo Pass where curves are plentiful and four wheeled traffic is light. But that’s changing as evidenced by the motorcycles on display at Moto Canada.
Every OEM on the floor had their most exciting sportbikes on display along with a range of adventure bikes to suit virtually any rider. Noticeably absent however were traditional sport touring bikes, for example the Yamaha FJR and BMW RT. Even Suzuki didn’t bring the latest GSX-S1000GT+. They did however have the GSX-S1000GX+ out, a bike Suzuki describes as designed “for those who go everywhere on a bike that can get them anywhere.” An design philosophy that Suzuki aptly calls “adventure touring”, and one that is growing fast among sport tourers at that.
It’s safe to say there will always be long-distance riders who seek adventure on the open road. And among them, those who crave the feel of a sportbike while others will want sport handling but also plenty of go-anywhere comfort. OEMs are actively expanding the sport touring category to include new and capable motorcycles designed to take riders on unfamiliar roads with the confidence they, and their bike, can handle what every comes along.
Favorite Bike of the Show
As it turned out, we found two favorites. One hews to traditional sport touring qualities while the other exemplifies the emerging focus on adventure touring.
On the traditional side, we discovered the Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello Aviazione Navale. This limited production (only 1913 units) is a tribute to the year the air division of the Italian Military Marine was founded, the armed force to which company founders Carlo Guzzi, Giorgio Parodi and Giovanni Ravelli belonged. The bike is simply beautiful. Dressed in unique commemorative colors and emblems, each copy displays a serial number etched between the bar risers. With state-of-the-art electronics, a liquid cooled engine (a first for Moto Guzzi), and optional touring side cases, this bike signals that the sport aspect of sport touring remains very much alive.
On the other end of the sport touring spectrum, we fell in love with the Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro. The top-spec model we looked over includes ride-enhancing improvements for both urban and long-distance adventures making this a highly versatile choice. Start with conveniences like a 7-inch TFT instrument panel that can control a range of connected devices including a GoPro. Add performance tricks like shift assist to the lean sensitive ABS and traction control, all riding on Marzocchi suspension components and you have one sure-footed machine. The only hint that this bike represents a new generation of sport touring motorcycles is the off-road riding mode. Useful when the adventure leads to a forest road and doubling back is not an option.
Finds Worth a Look
Vendors of all kinds were scattered among the hundreds of motorcycles on display showcasing a variety of motorcycle accessories. Among them, three caught our attention.
BidMoto – This recently launched Canadian start-up is redefining the motorcycle re-sale business. The company has created a secure, trust-able, marketplace that connects private buyers and sellers in a transparent way. BidMoto’s approach is similar to Bring a Trailer, but in addition to motorcycle sales, the company also fosters a motorcyclist community by regularly publishing useful blog postings. Check out the BidMoto site to learn more.
Horizons Unlimited – At first look, this website may appear to have little to offer sport touring riders, but look closer and the information is a treasure trove for riders of all kinds. Readers will find inspiring stories recalling adventures from all over the world. Some highlight what can go wrong while others celebrate victories big and small. Lessons can be found in both. The organization holds live events at locations all over the world, hosted by local affiliates, covering a wide variety of topics. Whether planning a few days in Colorado or a long ride through South America, Horizons Unlimited is worth a read for helpful insights to prepare. Learn more on the Horizons Unlimited website.
Lastly, we were intriqued by the many luggage options available from Mosko Moto. Finding the perfect luggage option for sport touring can be difficult. Size, weight, all weather capability, and mounting options conspire to make finding the ideal tail bag, tank bag, or side cases a frustrating ordeal. Mosko Moto has been designing and producing motorcycle luggage for over 10 years with an aim to solve these problems. The company is rooted in adventure, taking their name from an abbreviated form of the Mosquito Coast in Honduras and Nicaragua. Of the many products in the Mosko Moto catalog, the duffles and tank bags are solid choices for sport touring. The bags are built to endure the worst weather and feature sturdy construction that holds up mile after mile. Take a closer look at the innovative features including removable backpack straps on the duffles and useful organizers inside the tank bags on the Mosko Moto website.
Win Tickets to an Upcoming Show
The Moto Canada show continues through February at locations across Canada, including stops in Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. As the largest show in Canada for motorcyclists of all kinds, this is the place to go for a close-up view of new motorcycles and accessories for 2024. Find more information about show dates and tickets in Moto Canada Show Returns.
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