15 December 2006

Toronto Motorcycle Show

The Toronto Motorcycle show last week was my first in Canada. As a booth (stand) holder, as MOTORESS and as celebrity guest--European racer. Had the advantage to meet some fantastic people. The best part for me was most assuredly conversing with future and current female riders. No it wasn’t sharing the stage with Charley Boorman (no idea who he is-of course I know now. Actually happy I didn’t have any idea, helped me see him as he is) doesn’t even come close. So much excitement in the words of these riders’ and pride for their individual accomplishments and goals! One female particular, a mom visiting the show with her 4 year old son. Her motive to view and sit on some bikes to get an idea of which one would be her future motorcycle—she planned to take the rider training course this spring. A career woman, wife and mom around 30 years young who told me this dream, the dream of riding and owning a motorcycle has been with her all her life and was now getting close to realizing it. We discussed the various things to consider when a new first time rider buys a bike—and she informed me that the sales guys were not too patient with her concerns and even spoke to her in a condescending manner –being female, being new.

Shame on those sales men! Anyway, we chatted, she showed me a picture of the cruiser she thought was “the one” and I provided good logic and things to consider. Don’t invest too much money as your riding style preferences might change after you get out there—a 2nd hand bike as a first bike is a good thing. Additionally, buy small (cc size)—most new riders make the mistake of buying far beyond their skills, thinking they’ll work up to it . This in fact usually fails and will only make you frustrated and worse case totally turned off from riding. I know many a male who’ve made the same mistake. Big super bikes they seldom ride, parked in a garage, yet profess to own—hmm, maybe that’s the deal--saying you own one is impressive enough? No, the idea is to grow skills and have years ahead of thrills and riding adventure. Okay, you might be saying yeah heard it before—why are new riders still making this very mistake then? Sales personnel? Even in racing it was so difficult to guide new racers to the sport—they’d often quit after first season if they weren’t on the podium—frustrated and too much challenge for their egos.

Every sport or activity has it grace-of-learning period—some longer than others--steps and stages to becoming better and good. There’ll always be other bikes to trade up to or try—hopefully in the beginning we can find sincere good advise from those who want our first experiences to be the best—and lasting.

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