Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown
Representing the 99%!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

2015 Montreal Motorcycle Show - A Brief Overview

The Sora
Photo © LGM
The last time I was at the Montreal Motorcycle Show I was there working on behalf of Moto-Sport Newman as a sales rep for Kawasaki Motorcycles. Thinking back, really the only memorable motorcycle that I can recall at the time was Quebec's Lito Green Motion (LGM) The Sora. An electric motorcycle (pictured left) that is available via luxury automobile dealerships. Yes, you read that correctly. At $42, 399 per bike, The Sora is Sorta Expensive and probably wouldn't be too well received amongst its two wheeled brethren, not least of all when you have far more affordable and real world electric bikes with similar range like Zero Motorcycles and Brammo Motorcycles. Nevertheless, this year's motorcycle show had promised to be exciting as it featured some of the newest and most interesting motorcycles to have come out in a long time. I was fortunate enough as well to be accompanied by Percy Hart, cigar box guitarist extraordinaire and all around nicest fella this side of Planet Earth!

Triumph Motorcycles

Percy Looking Rather Sharp On A Triumph T100

I was particularly excited about seeing the bikes that were on my list of "possible purchases" . Up until yesterday, I was still having a lot of difficulty deciding on which bike to buy. I think Percy would agree that when it came to deciding which of the big companies stood out against the rest that Triumph Motorcycles shined the brightest. I had considered both the Triumph Scrambler and Triumph Thruxton as purchase options, so was delighted to see some of the offerings in person. According to CycleWorld, Triumph is presently testing prototypes of an all new, larger displacement, liquid cooled Bonneville for 2016. What exactly does this mean for the present lineup of Bonneville's? Hopefully it spells the beginning of large rebates on existing models come Autumn in order to make room for a new generation of Triumphs! Whatever your thoughts, for the time being Triumph has done nothing except change the colours of their existing lineup.

Triumph Thruxton Ace Cafe SE
The Kind Of Girl you bring Home To Mum!
Photo © Triumph
Pictures do not do the special edition justice. The white paint, for instance, is an English white. So it is creamier in colour than your basic snow white. The engine is completely blacked out now as well as the rims. The bike has a tattoo on the tank with Ace Cafe painted side covers. The oxblood (deep reddish brown) seat is a nice touch as well. It even comes with a special edition serial number plaque on the handlebar. However, Triumph upped the price by a grand for nothing more than cosmetic changes. SE or not, I recommend you save the cash and buy the regular version. You could use the money for your own spiffy paint job or a set of arrow exhaust if that's your kind of thing. Either way, love it or hate it, Triumph is timeless and this Thruxton is all the bike your average joe could ever need or want, myself included. Other notable Triumphs included...

As Seen in Various Motorcycle Magazines.
The Woody (or so I like to call it) from Garage Motorcycles
I have a feeling the Blanket is for the Seat...
Triumph TR6

Scrambler Ducati

Scrambler Urban Enduro
Another bike that has gotten much attention lately is the Scrambler Ducati... not Ducati Scrambler... look, don't ask?! Envisioned as a new brand of motorcycle, Ducati has been fairly aggressive in their launch of the scrambler. From interchangeable parts to t-shirts and probably underwear, the Scrambler is squarely aimed at the twenty-something demographic that banks are so eager to get into debt. However, interestingly enough, so far its been my experience via the Scrambler Forum that its the middle aged old farts like myself who are actually buying up these bikes in droves. I was really excited to see this bike in person as admittedly, I have been considering it in addition to the bikes already on my list. I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the bikes themselves. However, I would be lying if I didn't admit some aspects of the bike felt fairly cheap. The switches on the handlebars for instance didn't impress. You would find better quality switches on a Royal Enfield in my humble opinion.

Admittedly, Percy and I Loved the Urban Enduro The Best!
I found This Model The Most Comfortable For Some Reason?!
Scrambler Classic
Small But Mighty - Don't Underestimate the Potential of the Scrambler!
Photo © Ducati
It was mentioned somewhere on the Scrambler Forum that the Scrambler Full Throttle has a seat defect. Sure enough, the show bike I saw yesterday had a torn seat that was poorly taped up with some clear tape. Not a great way to show off a new model really. Another quirk I found with the bike was the seating position. In order to sit on the seat as intended you need to literally sit at the very front of the seat and basically place your family jewels up against the tank. It's a shame really because the seat is otherwise quite plush and wide at the rear. I could feel right away that I'd become uncomfortable after an hour or so riding as the narrow front seat seemed to want to dig further into me even on the showroom floor. The bike was very light, flickable and I could see the fun potential being hard to beat given the performance and overall package that Ducati has come up with here. However, at $10, 999 for the Full Throttle, Urban Enduro and Classic I reckon you are better off spending the money on the Icon which retails here for $9, 343 for the Red or $9, 434 for the Yellow.

Yamaha Bolt C-Spec and FZ 09

A Heavily (over) Modified Bolt C-Spec
I do love the Yamaha Bolt. So when they announced the Bolt C-Spec I thought it would be the best of  both worlds. However, to be honest, at $9, 699, three hundred dollars more than a R-Spec, I think you are better off getting the latter. For starters, the C-Spec, like the Moto Guzzi V7 Racer, doesn't come with passenger pegs or brackets. The cost alone to add both would make this a $10, 000 bike. The fork boots feel cheap and like they will easily rip. The seating position forces you to lean forward, more so than on either the Thruxton or V7 Racer. Its low seat and rear set pegs also make your legs feel cramped unlike its two competitors that have a higher seat position. Yamaha is cashing in on the cafe racer craze at the moment and has also stolen some cues from the Triumph Thruxton a la removable rear seat cowl which exposes a passenger seat... which is rendered absolutely useless without the aforementioned passenger pegs and brackets.

Quirks Be Damned,
This is Still a Great Bike!
The Kind of Girl You Don't Bring Home To Mum!
Photo © Checkpoint Yamaha 
There were several FZ-09's around for me to gawk at. They are a quandary in the motorcycling world. On the one hand, die hard sports bike enthusiasts have only chastising things to say about the stock suspensions on this bike. Whilst on the other hand, average Joes like yours truly are getting a bike with a better engine, brakes and overall build quality that cruisers can only dream of getting. For 2015 the FZ 09 has fixed some of the more pressing issues that plagued their release including an ECU flash that reduces, if not eliminates the throttle snatchiness that so many people complained about. Also, the modes have been perfected where Standard is for spirited rides, B mode is for rain (or old farts like me) and A mode is what I know for myself would be Suicide Mode... The bike is super comfortable, though, I'd change the seat for a Corbin Seat. I even love the bike in Yellow... and I hate yellow as a colour on a bike. Go figure?! The allure of trying a triple cylinder engine is strong and with a price of $8, 999 you can't go wrong at all with the FZ-09!

Indian Scout

Photo © Indian Motorcycles
I really wanted to see the Indian Scout, sit on it, and fall so madly head over heels in love with it that I'd give up my left nut to own one. However, after seeing it in the flesh I was underwhelmed. The build quality is nice, the seating position comfortable. The brown leather seat was actually quite beautiful. However, when all was said and done, it felt as small to me as the Harley-Davidson Street 750. I felt like I was sitting on the bike instead of in the bike. Something is just missing, though I genuinely couldn't say what. In the end, I guess it just isn't the bike for me which is sad because I really wanted to buy into the whole Indian mystique.

ClockWork Motorcycles

The Genius Behind ClockWork Motorcycles - Samuel
Photo © Le Huffington Post Quebec
If Triumph shined brightest amongst the big name brands this year at the Montreal Motorcycle Show, then ClockWork Motorcycles stole the heart of Quebec as this native company has made some extraordinary bikes for some very lucky customers. Its owner and the creative genius behind the company, Samuel, is a Montreal native with an eye for attention to detail that can give big name companies a run for their money. Each bike is breathtakingly and painstakingly put together in such a way that has you finding something new to admire each time you return to it. Don't take my word for it, check out their bikes for yourself...

Have a Bike Collecting Dust? Give it A Second Life!
Photo © Le Huffington Post Quebec
Samuel Will Work With You and Your Needs!
Photo © Le Huffington Post Quebec 
At ClockWork Motorcycles They Work With Your Budget!
Photo © Le Huffington Post Quebec
El Numero Uno is a...
Photo © Le Huffington Post Quebec 
...1980 Honda CX500...
Photo © Le Huffington Post Quebec
...with Transverse V-Twin a la Moto Guzzi.
Photo © Le Huffington Post Quebec
Photo © Le Huffington Post Quebec
The Wanderer is a...
Photo © Le Huffington Post Quebec
1974 Kawasaki Z1.
Photo © Le Huffington Post Quebec
Fury is a...
Photo © Le Huffington Post Quebec
1971 Honda CB 750.
Photo © Le Huffington Post Quebec
I'd Take Them All Home!
Photo © Le Huffington Post Quebec
Who knew Tires
Could Be Sexy!
Samuel and his crew are living the dream and as customers, we are lucky enough to have the chance to buy into that dream and with it, opportunities to own a piece of art that is as functional as it is pretty to look at. Best of all, they can work with any bike you own or are thinking of buying. The icing on the cake has to be the cost of plates here in Quebec. As classic bikes, you will only be paying $90.00 a year as opposed to $580 for your plates! A value in itself and something worth considering if you are thinking about going the custom build route. But don't take my word for it. Contact Samuel directly. He is friendly and will be able to work with you and your budget in making something unique that represents you. I find myself already looking for a barn find that can be transformed into something more with Samuel's expertise. Until then though I will have to settle for seeing his work at the next motorcycle show.

All The Pretty Bikes...

Choose Wisely My Friend - Percy Hart
Photo © Warner Brothers
Am I any closer to knowing which new bike I will be buying? Nah... still too many to choose from although, I do keep coming back to the Triumph Thruxton and Yamaha FZ 09. Bi-polar choices if ever there was one but then, that's what a motorcycle will do to you. It would be so easy to just go out and buy a used cheap bike again and ride it until it breaks down... it always breaks down... but not this time. Even if it means going yet another season without a bike, I am going to wait until I can afford the right bike. After all, life is too short for regrets.


  1. Thanks for sharing those. I was supposed to be there on Friday...but couldn't attend...maybe i'll go later in the week.


  2. Love the blog and pics! Thanks for the write up and pics, kinda feels like I was there with you.

    Take care


  3. You have such a skill at writing and again walking the show with your eye was awesome.


  4. Fun Blog...Just take the Z1..no matter what the cost!

    Brian Wheeler

  5. Enjoyed your blog!


  6. That was a great report BSJ. Great pics too!

    Thanks for taking the time and the effort to put it together.


  7. Wow, you had some nice machines there at the Montreal Show.

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Thanks..Great read.I missed the TO show due to weather on the Saturday then other commitments on Sunday.Those old CB 750s made me drool.


  9. That Thruxton has always been a favorite of mine..... enjoyed the pics and the article...Thanx for sharing.

    Suzuki Johnny

    1. Ditto...love looking at pics of bikes whilst stuck at work patching servers. I swear it's like watching paint dry...


    2. Yeah, that Triumph SE was really gorgeous... pictures do not do it justice.

  10. Thanks for the post.

    Blacktop Travelr

  11. Wow, great pics and great narrative. Good Luck making oyur choice. (HWM)

    1. Cheers! Much Appreciated. I am still no closer to making a decision! Though, I am leaning towards waiting until Triumph releases its water cooled Bonnie, if only to be sure of my choice! Ride Safe!