This isn’t the same old Toronto motorcycle show.
With a new date (Feb. 21 to 23), a new venue (Exhibition Place at the Direct Energy Centre) and new management come a host of new features.
Here are some new tires to kick, and after that, a few videos that will get your motor running.
6. Royal Enfield
This one’s not for sale
The Castrol Rocket has some impressive numbers, with more than 1,000 horsepower, two Triumph engines totalling 2,970cc, and 7.5 metres in length. But there’s only one number that matters for this bike, and that’s 605.697: the speed in kilometres per hour it aims to beat to regain for Triumph the motorcycle landspeed record.
Don’t try this at home
Their bikes have two wheels, but Team Empire stunt riders Nick (Apex) Brocha and Ernie (EDub) Vigil only ever seem to use one at a time. Their YouTube-famous combination of wheelies, stoppies and drifting makes its first Ontario appearance at the show.
Do try this at home
For years, Clinton Smout has brought the Yamaha Riding Academy to the show so kids aged 6-12 can get suited up like motocross racers and ride mini dirtbikes around a hay-bale track. This year, the long-time instructor has something for the adults, giving instructional demonstrations on obstacles, gravel and other finer points of adventure riding.
This is one time bikers will be happy to see the police as the 20-member Ontario Provincial Police precision riding team puts its 1,690cc, 800-pound Harley-Davidson Police Special patrol cruisers through footboard scraping near-miss manoeuvres.
Why We Ride Canadian debut
Saturday night the show will premier the documentary film Why We Ride, which endeavours to capture how riding the touches the soul of anyone whose grin widens and horizon broadens after swinging a leg over a bike.
GO trains and TTC streetcars stop right in Exhibition Place, where there are five times the number of parking spaces and at a better price than at the old Metro Toronto Convention Centre location. For even cheaper parking, leave the car in Liberty Village and use the Exhibition GO Transit station underground tunnel to get to Exhibition Place. Better yet, go Friday after 5 p.m. when parking is free.