Is it the most wonderful time of the year? Maybe not, but the Toronto Motorcycle Show is definitely a highlight of the motorcycle scene in the GTA during wintertime. (Almost) all the bikes from (almost) all the manufacturers in one place? It beats traveling around from dealership to dealership, especially now that the dealers are pulling out of the downtown core.
But, as always, there’s much more to see than the hot new bikes (we already told you about those on Monday). The Toronto Motorcycle Show is a wonderful place, where you can buy beard oil, custom ear plugs, or ogle vintage sidecars. These secondary attractions are always some of our favourite things to see at the show—here are some of the more interesting stops at this year’s show.
Toronto Motorcycle Film Festival
Finally, Canada has its own motorcycle film festival. The 2017 festival was a success and now the Toronto Motorcycle Film Festival has just announced its dates for 2018. The Festival’s booth is screening film clips, but more importantly, they have a comfy couch where you can sit down, take a break from hiking around the show, and talk bikes with Festival Director Caius Tenche. Tell him we sent you, and ask him about the films that have already been submitted for this year’s festival.
Moto Revere has a booth next to the film festival’s display, and they’ve got one of the rarest sights of all for sale: JIS screwdrivers. Seriously, these things are hard to find, and at $20 a pop, it’s definitely worth stopping by if you don’t have a set already. Plus they’ve got a pretty cool custom 1979 CB750 cafe racer on display, and other paraphernalia from their moto-collective for sale. Stop by!
Oliver Solaro, a.k.a. “Brokentooth
Check out Oliver Solaro’s track kit-equipped CCM GP450! Solaro is using this sled to haul dog food and other supplies up north to the isolated community of Churchill, Manitoba this winter. Drop by and ask him all about it!
SURU electric cycles
Commuter-friendly electric mopeds seem to be an important part of the future of powered two-wheelers. While not as exciting as a tire-shredding superbike, they’re a much more realistic purchase for your urban consumer who needs affordable, efffective ’round-town transport. That’s why it’s exciting to see Michael Uhlarik bring his SURU electric cycles to the Toronto show. They’re a bold, innovative design, made with high-quality parts instead of throw-away bicycle components, and best of all—the bikes are made in Canada. While you’re at the SURU booth, don’t forget to check out the Amarok P1 at the back of the booth as well; while Uhlarik is focusing on SURU these days, the Amarok was Canada’s first electric superbike, and is a pretty cool piece of engineering on its own.
Brave & Bearded
Is the stereotype of a bearded biker accurate? Nope, especially if you’re a female rider. But if you do happen to sport a crop of facial fuzz, you can stop by the Brave & Bearded booth to try out some of their beard oil, pick up a proper old-school safety razor, or best of all, buy a beard comb that works like an old-school butterfly knife/balisong. Just the thing for intimidating an unruly goatee.
Air Canada Cargo
OK, so a motorcycle in a shipping crate isn’t the most exciting display in the world. But, we have lots of readers who are curious about the rules and costs of shipping your motorcycle by air. Whether you want to fly your motorcycle to Calgary or the Kalahari, stop by the Air Canada Cargo booth and get an update on this year’s motorcycle shipping discounts.
Yamaha Riding Academy
The Yamaha Riding Academy puts young riders on minibikes for fun indoors. This is just the sort of thing we need more of; nothing gets a kid hooked on motorcycling better than actually experiencing two-wheeled fun. We just wish the staff would let us go ride the minibikes too, but since our parents aren’t around to sign the waivers, we’re not allowed …
Big Ear earplugs
Big Ear’s back this year, selling custom-molded earplugs. Mark and Zac both tried out the Big Ear plugs last year, and found they worked pretty well—until they both managed to lose one of their custom earplugs. If you’d like a well-fitted set of earplugs, and you aren’t intimidated by the idea of someone squeezing silicone into your ear, then stop by their booth. Your hearing will thank you.