It had been several years since I’ve been to the big motorcycle show in NYC. This year Mrs OSJ and I decided last minute to head down and check out the bikes. We are in the market for a new to us bike, but really don’t have any brand new bikes that we are looking at. However one bike I wanted to see in person was the new Suzuki Vstrom 1000.
The drive down is surprisingly easy via the Merritt parkway and the other parkways that dump you right into Manhattan.
We got there early with the plan on walking around the city and finding a slice of pizza. However it was so cold and windy we didn’t go very far from the parking garage. We did find a nice little diner and had some lunch.
The show opened at 1pm, we were one of the first ones in the door. This show use to come to Boston every year (back in the 80′s and 90″s) but now its held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in the west side of Manhattan.
If you’ve read my trip reports in the past you will know how much my wife and I love motorcycles. Once in the door we both were excited like two little kids on Christmas morning. What a huge display of gifts here in front of us. You will notice some blurry photos, this is because I have purchased a new phone a few days before the show and played around with the settings but didn’t notice it wasn’t set up for indoor shots.
The first booth was a tour company that offers a 120 day trip from London to Magadan Russia via the….
When the guy at the booth saw me taking the photo he asked if I have ever been. I told him no, but my daughter just got back from spending a month in Moscow and I kept asking her if anyone in Moscow knew about the road of bones. She kept telling me that people over there don’t talk about it because of the history and how many people were sent there to die. When I told him she was about to graduate from college with a degree in linguistics and Russian his eyes perked up. Seems they are looking for people familiar with the language and would be willing to travel on the support team for the trip. Wow would that be a great job for my oldest daughter Victoria
Now onto some cool bikes. First off some custom..
This is one custom I really like!
Now for some bikes we were able to sit on. As of right now we are in the market for a sport touring bike, here are a few bikes we liked
Vstrom 650, Michelle loved to foot peg placement on this bike, and the bags did not interfere with her getting on an off. I have never been on the smaller strom before, I am looking forward to finding one to test drive.
The new 1000 strom was there, but it was a big hit and always crowed. We never had the time to sit two up on that one, we will just give it a look at a local dearer
Michelle loves the back seat on the big K bikes, we like the look of the naked “R” model better, but I think we would take this bike as well. Just not black!
Okay, not a sport tourer per say..but I would love this bike! Michelle is a little unsure on the big goose. However she loves bikes in white…and I think she does like this one, even though she wouldn’t admit it out loud
This one comes in white as well, and I think its made for me!!!! Mrs. OSJ says the high back seat, high pegs and the way the bags are mounted it wouldn’t be the top of the list for her to ride two up on .
We both sat on the new FZ9, and Mrs OSJ could comfortable touch. I’m hopping they come out with a mini FJR using this platform.
Another surprise bike was Suzuki’s SV650, or I think they brought back the Gladius name for this bike. I am thinking of a used Gladius right now in one of the best color schemes ever on a motorcycle, see it here Both the FZ9 and the Gladius would be good two up bikes and Mrs OSJ would be able to ride this herself in the future.
Another bike from Ducati that I really like, but not in this color, and I don’t think Mrs OSJ would care to own one of these..
The bike that was the biggest disappointment I never got a photo of. And we both sat on it, and for the driver it felt perfect! But the back seat seemed like it was an after thought, especially with the side bags on. Even the rep from Kawasaki said the same thing when Mrs OSJ brought up the back pegs to saddle bag location. Turns out Kawi has been getting a lot of bad reviews from owners that ride two up on the Ninja 1000, here is the stock photo if the bike that was at the show..
That’s a real shame because that bike felt the best while sitting on it.
So you might be wondering what was our favorite bike at the show? Well it wasn’t from Italy or Japan, but Germany. And this bike fits under two up, and perfect for Mrs OSJ when she graduates from her Ninja 250, and yes it comes in white as well!
But this one was orange.
BMW’s new F800GT. Wow did this bike feel right. We are hoping to be able to give this bike a proper test ride this spring. Michelle said the back seat was one of the most comfortable she has ever sat on, and the bags didn’t bother her with getting on and off the bike. I can see one of these in our “garage” soon, and after a few years of touring it becoming Michelle’s ride!
I made Michelle try on many different bikes during the day.
We both loved Honda’s new GROM, which is a 200lb, 125cc single cylinder street legal bike for 2014. This bike retails for $3000, and would make a great bike for a young person learning how to ride, as well as sometime fun to scoot around town on.
My overall impressions of the show were very good. Seeing it was a Friday afternoon the crowds were never to heavy. There seemed to be all the major manufacturers represented, the Indian booth was very crowed as well as the Harley Davidson area. Although we did walk thru there , there isn’t one bike by those companies that does anything for me, Triumph had a good sized booth but I failed to snap a photo of one of those. One bike I was very disappointed to not see was the new Sport Touring bike from Mv Agusta.
We also met a few friends at the show, and the funniest one was while we were sitting on the F800. There was a guy standing there looking at us, and when he said ” you guys are from West Boyston aren’t you?” we both laughed and said yes! ” okay, thought so” he said..” you cut my hair” he said. We also meet a few NERd’s there and a few FB friends that we have been chatting with. I wish I took pics of these people, it was very nice meeting all of you!
The only downside to the show was going to be the ride home, Friday at 6pm was not going to be very fun. However we planned on staying the night somewhere along the ride home. A quick search on the Google phone show us a nice hotel in Trumble CT that also had a restaurant and more importantly a bar!
So a quick ride up along the Hudson river…
actually I was pretty surprised how well the traffic moved along the Henry Hudson Parkway, we didnt have any back ups until we reached CT. The last few miles of the Merrit Parkway was stop and go traffic, however once we reached our hotel all was fine, and before we even checked into our room we found the cocktail lounge.
We stayed at the bar for a while, meet a really nice couple from Trumble, had some oysters, ate a great $40 steak dinner and just had a very nice night.
You know its a good night when the bar tap is higher than the room rate at the hotel!
We awoke to a light snow fall covering the car and the roads, we even saw a roll over accident on our way to breakfast.
After a great breakfast at the Riverdale Diner we made our way home. Once we reached the MA line the snow had stopped. It was a great motorcycle trip in December, we saw some awesome bikes, meet some great people and really had a great couple of days. Later that night I also got a chance to use the plow truck for the first time this winter.