| Friday, January 19 2007 |
Well, the cool cars might be in Detroit (with their slightly less cool brethren in Cali), but the cool bikes are in New York.
So, thus, I skipped out of work early to take in the first day of the show. Naturally, the first thing my radar searched for was the Ducati booth.
I say booth, but they really made their own little exclusive fort of goodness. And, unsurprisingly, it was packed. The entrace to fort Duc was flanked on one side by this beautiful 996 race bike, and on the other by the new Hypermotard. I immediately want both. This is not a good sign.
Inside, there's one or more of everything Ducati makes. The blue on the new sport classics is especially nice. But that's not what most people were there to see, no. That honor goes to the 1098. I wasn't a fan of the tri-color version until I saw it in person. Now, as with the others in the line, I love it to pieces and wantitWantItWANTITNOW.
The build quality of the 1098 is quite obvious. And just look at that massive, sexy single-sided swingarm. To say nothing of the digital dash which is a direct lift from the MotoGP and WSBK race bikes. And speaking of MotoGP, the Desmosedici RR. If anyone needs a kidney, albeit an abused one, I'll happily swap one for it.
Anyway, after dragging myself away from the Duc Fort, I figured I should at least see if anyone else is still making motorcycles, for all the good it may do.
Aprilia seemed more interested in selling scooters than crotch rockets, and the few that they had seemed to lack focus. Fortunately, you can always count on Buell to make the ugliest bikes on the planet to make just about anything else look cool, namely this Japanese Custom from (I think) Yamaha.
Choppers were well represented at the show, as you'd expect. In fact, they sucked up about half of the floor space. I used to be somewhat disinterested in these bikes, but, they've been growing on me for a while now as I've seen the kind of effort and talent that goes into fabricating these things. They're rolling artwork. And, frankly, I could see myself on that bobber on the right.
was a brand unknown to me before this show. They're making some very cool new old bikes. I could see myself on that spiffy one with the huge aluminum tank. Or any of the others, if I'm honest.
"All New" Ninja, says the sign. What exactly is new about it, I have no idea, as it looks the same as every other boring piece of plastic rolling out of Japan these days. The "new GSX-R", likewise, has the same huge bubble tank and the same general fairing design they've had for the last decade or so. The "new CBR" actually is somewhat new, as they've ditched a lot of the side fairings. Presumably because 95% of them end up getting ground off on the pavement by teenage squids who bought one before the ink on their learner's permit was dry. The New York-esque "Biker Boyz" culture was also represented, which as far as I can tell, involves throwing several times the worth of a stock crotch rocket in paint and chrome on to an otherwise stock crotch rocket.
H-D sells 200,000 bikes a year on the concept of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", and it would seem little has changed. I kind of like the blacked out one, but it needs ghost flames and black pipes. The lunatics on the right, who were crazy even by my standards, were jumping small dirt bikes some 30 feet in the air.
Okay, yes, I'll admit it. The only reason I went to this show was because I wanted to see the Ducati 1098 in person. And it is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.
UPDATE: Speaking of which, it looks like someone finally dynoed the 1098. 148 horsepower at the wheel on the stock exhaust and computer. Me. Want.
posted by Mr. Lion
20:07 hours | comments
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