Monday, November 5, 2012

A Tale of Two Motorcycle Shows

The late-2013 and early-2013 Canadian Motorcycle Show season is closing fast, and in Ontario, the industry is poised to inspire as many of the committed 200,000 active riders,  400,000 licensed-but-not-active riders and an indeterminate number of potential new riders to "come on down"!  

The Supershow (held at the International Centre) looks to be mainly sticking to its well established formula... "Some things old, some things new, tons of chrome and hot babes too."  Must be working, as the Supershow/International lineage has run continuously since the 1970's, helping Ontario riders get their winter fix in a cacophony of two-wheeled hoopla with a generous helping of club cosiness and some flea market mixed in so no one takes it all too seriously.   

The "industry" has intermittently run a higher toned "manufacturer's showcase" event over the last 4 decades or so.  In the years when the Supershow/International was the only one running, the manufacturers set up shop there, despite rumblings of misgivings about associating their brands with a less than first-class event. 

The MMIC recently reintroduced it's show in downtown Toronto, possibly in hopes of attracting potential riders from the general public which would be less likely to attend the Supershow.  Doesn't seem to have worked, attendances were getting pretty dismal.  

So this year it has been rebranded "The Motorcycle Show" under the new in-house PSS (Power Sports Services).  If the name is as clever as the marketing gets (as in the age-old question Cdn riders ask each other, "Are you going to the motorcycle show?"), this may be a serious "fail", as my kids say.

In short, we are 1 month away from the MMIC/PSS extravaganza of "new" bike models, but the Canadian forum/blogosphere doesn't seem to be any more abuzz than usual. The manufacturers are doing their usual pre-show-season international media carpet bombing, but is dropping a cylinder across the sport-bike board or bumping displacement on an entry level oldie-but-goodie really "news"?

So we wait to see if the show attendances rise dramatically on a carefully timed media wave or... not? 

Next post:  Numbers, numbers, numbers... 


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