Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015


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Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:13 pm



My wife and I went to the Cleveland Motorcycle Show on Saturday. This year there were more people there than I have ever seen. The parking lot was jammed, and the whole show was absolutely jammed - we ended up not seeing a lot of the vendor booths simply because there were so many people crammed into the place that you couldn't move - although we hit all the bike manufacturer booths. I also had difficulty taking pictures of some of the bikes, simply because there were so many people - sometimes I had to wait for a minute or two for people to clear away.

Like I did last year, I tried to focus on bikes that are competitors to Goldwings. I was going to try to present these pictures in some sort of story order, but there's just too many - so I'll present them in the order that I took them. With that, I present Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015:

Swoopy Victory looks mostly unchanged, but with some more electronics on the tank.

The Victory has radio controls on the tank, plus additional control switch pods on each handlebar.

This Victory had a very powerful stereo system that was absolutely blasting music out

Powerful speakers mounted in the saddlebags put out a lot of sound. Wonder how waterproof they are? And how much space they take up in the bags?

This 1908 Crouch motorized bicycle had small levers on either side of the gas tank to control the engine.

The Crouch was belt driven, with a lever used to engage the belt on the drive pulley. Everything old is new again. Don't catch your pant leg!

Getting a LOT of attention was the Slingshot from Polaris. This three-wheeled car (ahem motorcycle) has had problems getting registered as a motorcycle in some states. I heard a lot of people talking about whether or not it was a motorcycle.

The interior is very car-like, with a standard automotive stick shift, steering wheel and foot pedals.

But because it is classed as a "motorcycle" it means no seat belts, air bags, crumple zones or other standard automotive safety features.

The thing is pushed along by a single rear wheel, which is moved via belt drive.

Under the hood is a very car-like inline four-cylinder engine.

Something I had wanted to look at was the new faceshield offered by Arai on some of their helmets. The SAI Max Vision Pinlock shield has 5mm more peripheral vision on each side, is fog-resistant, and comes with a darkened shield that can act like the peak of a hat:

Or can be lowered to work like sunglasses, leaving the bottom part of the shield clear, to allow easy reading of instruments. Unlike competitors with internal sun shields, Arai's version does not intrude on the interior space, which reduces safety.

Aspen was there with one of their trailers. They had a picture of a Goldwing towing what looks like their Sentry (which I have myself), with a kayak on top!



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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:43 pm

The Honda booth, in my opinion, had the most interesting and innovative bikes to see.

The CTX1300 continues to be one of my favorites, with pretty decent looks and a lot of storage, particularly with the optional trunk installed.

The cockpit is sleek, with controls built into the "tank" area for the radio.

I'm not sure about the expanse of chrome used for the exhaust however - I think those would be powder-coated black if this were my bike.

The little cousin of the CTX1300 is the CTX700. Positioned as a "beginners" bike, it is available faired or "naked". With a reasonable weight of 500 lb, and a very low center of gravity, it is easy to ride.

It has two lockable, removable saddlebags that give it good storage capability.

A small digital dash is surrounded by cutouts for speakers - but no stereo is available. Heated grips are an available dealer-installed option, which were somewhat sloppily installed on this bike (see the electrical tape over the junction on the loose wires). A small non-lockable storage area is in the gas filler area.

Being that this bike is based around the NC700X engine, it is available with a regular six speed manual transmission, or a paddle-shifted automatic, like this bike has (which also gets you ABS). The horn button looks to be in a rather odd spot as a result. The downshift button is shown at the bottom.

The upshift button is on the back side of the grip.

With a seat only 28 inches high, my wife fits great on this bike, and she has decided that this is her next bike!

This beautifully restored GL1000 was on display. This bike looked factory new!

This custom "GromWing" was made out of a Grom scooter, inspired by the GL1000 above. There was a raffle to win this little thing.

The Valkyrie was getting a fair bit of attention. I like the almost Rune-like rear fender, but I still think the fat front end required by the radiators ruins the lines of this bike.

I'm also not entirely sold on the cockpit, the tiny dash is a little cheap looking for a bike this expensive.

My wife was also a fan of the 750 Shadow, mainly because (like the CTX700) she was able to flat-foot it while sitting on the seat.

I continue to be a fan of the NC700X, with its innovative engine and layout - the "false tank" is actually a storage trunk big enough to hold a full-face helmet. Unfortunately for a lot of people, the seat is very tall. I am 6 feet tall with a 34 inch inseam, and this bike is tall even for me.

The cockpit of the NC700X has a small digital dash and a tiny windshield, although a larger one is available.

Like the CTX700, this NC700X has the automatic transmission shifter paddles, and the oddly positioned horn button.

The CB500X is a slightly smaller version of the NC700X, but again - with a fairly high seat, ruling out smaller riders.

Grip shields give away Honda's intention for this bike to slide into the "adventure bike" segment.

Copious storage with lockable, removable bags and a huge trunk make this really a utility bike.

This F6B, in gunmetal grey is just outright cool. I wasn't a huge fan of the F6B when it first came out, but this think looks just COOL. It looks hunched like a jaguar about to leap.

Despite the outward cool appearance of the F6B, the cockpit is all Goldwing.

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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:09 pm

The 40th Anniversary Edition GL1800 offers not much new apart from a new paint scheme. Admittedly, it is a good looking paint scheme. However, I was kind of surprised at the lack of people looking at the Goldwing. Usually people are sitting on the GL1800 constantly at these shows.

Not much changed in the cockpit area of the GL1800.

The brand new Honda CB1100 is a classic looking bike, but with the modern technology and reliability of a current Honda. If you're in love with classic 70's Japanese bikes but don't want to spend the time restoring and keeping it running, this CB1100 is just the ticket.

The Honda NM4 Vultus is a 670cc limited-edition bike that looks like a Transformer. The passenger seat flips up to turn into a backrest for the driver, and the integrated saddlebags actually hold a reasonable amount. It's one cool looking bike, but the extreme forward controls make it look rather uncomfortable to ride for any amount of time.

For the crazy space-age appearance, the cockpit looks quite mundane, and the simple handlebar positively mundane.

This was another bike that my wife was able to flat-foot while sitting in the seat. She made note of the fact that the mirrors are absolutely useless - when sitting on the bike, the mirrors are completely obscured by your hands.

While perusing the Honda bikes, we happened to bump into Gary and Betty from Cyclemax!

On to the Can-Am section. These Spyder reverse trikes were getting quite a bit of attention as well. Targeting the Goldwing squarely, these are long-distance freeway cruising machines.

The handlebars are clusters of buttons, and this model had a Garmin GPS mounted on the handlebars.

Adjustable seat heat and suspension softness make this a touring machine.

Headlight controls, adjustable windscreen controls, reverse control, shifter controls, and controls for the main screen are all crammed onto the left grip.

The passenger gets waterproof controls as well - not sure what they do, but I assume they control the radio the same way the driver's left control pod does.

Their ultra-touring Spyder has an available matching trailer from Can-Am as an accessory.

The cockpit of this Spyder had these inexplicable chrome-plated handlebar covers. These would be absolutely blinding in sunlight!

The matching trailer had considerable storage space.

The Spyder trikes were popular with the little ones as well.

The Kawasaki Vulcan is obviously targeting Harley owners. This Japanese Harley clone is much quieter however.

The cockpit of the Vulcan is a clash between digital LCD displays and radio, and round analog gauges that would look at home in a 1960's car.

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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:41 pm

Kawasaki had an interesting display of their Vulcans, showing off a new feature: adjustable bikes. With three different handlebar risers, adjustable footpegs, and three different seats, this bike can be adjusted to fit someone 6'5" all the way down to 5'2" (which is my wife's height) - as she shows here, sitting on the smallest one.

The Kawasaki Concours 14 is their answer to Honda's ST1300. A barely-disguised sportbike, it's sold as a sport-touring bike.

The cockpit is a comfortable place to sit, looking at a 180 mph speedometer.

Here's something I saw on quite a few bikes - including some Hondas. This windshield has a rounded lip at the edge, which strengthens the windshield, and also causes rain to flip off the edge instead of running down the insides like happens on our Goldwings.

I stopped by the Kuryakin booth, where they had a GL1800 fitted out with a huge amount of their accessory lighting and chrome:




I talked to the Kuryakin rep about the problems with chrome they've been having, and he winced noticeably when I asked. He said they have one of the most generous warranties on the market - it's a year warranty, but if you have an obvious chrome failure three or four years down the line, and you're the original purchaser, they'll very likely replace it for you.

I asked him what one product he would consider to be the best, most interesting one for Goldwing owners, and he pointed to their spring-loaded highway footpads. When not used, a spring flips them up out of the way, so that they don't drag in corners.

Of course, Harley has their "baggers" on display, and at first looks not much has changed on this Road Glide Ultra except for an abundance of chrome.

However, unlike the 1950's technology prevalent in the engines, the cockpits are state-of-the-art, with large color LCD touchscreens. Are you listening, Honda?

The Electra Glide Ultra Classic is similar: Tons of chrome and a comfortable seat...on top of a shaking, rattling engine:

But again, a high-tech color LCD touchscreen to control the audio system and other features on the bike.

Yamaha's V-Star 1300 Deluxe is another anachronism: Another Japanese Harley clone that at first look would look right at home at a classic bike show featuring bikes of the 1940's and 1950's:


However, the cockpit reveals LCD touch screen technology:

It was very tough to get pictures of the BMW touring bikes - there were large crowds of people all around them, like this K1600 GTL:

This K1600 GTL had a strange color scheme mix of silver with a gold frame. These large touring BMW's have had some very expensive and public problems, and some owners are quite unhappy with them. They are also very DIY-unfriendly, requiring dealer intervention to deal with many problems.

The last thing we saw before heading out for the day was the Harley Davidson Zero electric motorcycle, which they had set up on a dyno for people to try riding. It was very strange to hear this bike spool up with only the sound of a whirring electric motor instead of the typical Harley straight pipes.

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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:45 pm

My overall impressions: Honda is absolutely KILLING it. While the vast majority of other bike manufacturers produced revised versions of the same thing that everyone has been selling for years, Honda is pushing forward with new bikes that don't fit any established mold. I was extremely impressed with their newer bikes, and like I mentioned earlier, my wife has decided that the CTX700 is her next bike. I like it, too!

The show this year was TOO crowded. Just too many people crammed into too small an area. They need to spread out the booths and use up some of the unused space in the exhibition center. Last year we went on Sunday, and it was much less crowded, but some of the vendors were packing up as early as noon, which was a real shame.

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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby enjoyriding » Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:39 pm

WA, another fine post of the CMS 2015. I just happened to text one of my brothers living in Vermillon, Ohio while he and his oldest son, were on their way home. He used to own a Honda CB900, years ago. He has sadly moved into the Harley field with his oldest son, and they both make noise down the road now.

I asked him to send me some pictures, and he did, all Harleys. Said he didn't realize there was any other makes there, when I asked about seeing any Goldwings. So, I waited patiently, and you pulled thru again.

Thank you for bringing us the 2015 CMS.
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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:59 pm

My wife has posted her thoughts on the show this year: The Delights and Despairs of the Female Rider

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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby dingdong » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:59 am

Thanks WA for your report. Very interesting to see all of the new bikes from Honda. I'm not surprised that no one was interested in the "new/old" GoldWing. Again thanks!

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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby Paulcf » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:53 am

Thanks for the update from Cleveland (where is that place anyways?!)... The weather report from Western Canada is great for this winter! I've been able to ride my Goldwing at least one day in each month so far, so for those who think Canada is cold and snow, it isn't, eh!

Glad to see/hear that interest in motorcycling is increasing (judging from that show) but if you were to remove the new female riders, is it really? What I also saw is that Honda has abandoned the Goldwing (as I've previously written about) and focused on small niche motorcycles. Also Victory producing such an ugly motorcycle with tacky switch gear hanging down below each handgrip (I'd probably hit it with my knees in a corner at slow speed)...how long will that last in the rain and in a tip over? And just when we need to continue to increase the perception of motorcycling as more positive, more attractive lifestyle to the people who have the money and time and who might consider buying a motorcycle, Victory has those monster speakers that will be blaring out extremely loud music. Yes, that's just the perception we want to achieve about motorcycling...first it was (still is) loud Harleys with shotgun exhausts and now blaring out music at a stop light...yes, that will help motorcycling out overall...not. Why must I have to be forced to listen to someone else's obtrusive music? And when I stop at a scenic overlook, I am disgusted by those bikers who blare out their music as though they think it is their right to disturb all of us who don't want to hear it. Ever heard of helmet headsets?

I want a modern motorcycle that the latest Goldwing can't supply. I'm looking at getting a 2014 BMW R1200RT or possibly a Triumph Trophy SE. Modern technology, modern design with things like an electrically adjustable windscreen, ABS brakes standard, 6th gear, electronic suspension adjustments, bluetooth and so much more. Don't get me wrong, my 2003 Goldwing is an awesome touring motorcycle but 12 years has elapsed and time to move on and the 2015 Goldwing frankly isn't much different than what I have now. And thankfully I didn't have to go to Cleveland's motorcycle show to help me with my decision! Ride safe!
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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:12 pm

i'll have one of each please :mrgreen:

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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby silverado6x6 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:18 pm

Just to be fair was there any news about the latest Indians?
Granted i could just go to their forums but i would like to hear it on a Goldwing forum. I have 6 Goldwings, no Indians.
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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:43 pm

silverado6x6 wrote:Just to be fair was there any news about the latest Indians?
Granted i could just go to their forums but i would like to hear it on a Goldwing forum. I have 6 Goldwings, no Indians.


love that hover craft that's in your avatar.

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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby TheRobbie1950 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:13 pm

Great Job on filling us in about the show WA.
I am always happy when I log in to this site.

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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby Johnrmont » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:16 pm

Thanks for taking the time to post all of the pics of the new bikes ... Always nice to see "the latest and greatest" ... Especially our beloved Gold Wing. :)
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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby dmarble » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:02 pm

I enjoyed your coverage of the Cleveland show, thanks. I can't help but be disappointed by the 'Wing bashing that's going on now though on this Gold Wing oriented site. While I understand how some feel about a lack of improvement in the Gold Wing, for someone like me who's coming off a '96 1500, the new '15 in the two tone paint (the first true multi tone paint on the 1800) with Navi and ABS I have waiting for me to pick up in June is awsome. I am very excited about getting mine. And for those who do want all the techno goodies offered on other makers bikes, it's nice you have a choice to make. Good luck with your new purchase, I truly hope you enjoy it as much as you've enjoyed your Wing(s). I also kind of understand Honda's reluctance to add touch screens to their bikes. Honda has always been conservative in the safety department and taking your hands off the bars and eyes off the road (however quickly) to fuss with a touch screen to adjust your radio, navi, windshield, suspension, ABS, traction control or whatever can be a serious safety issue if not done at appropriate times; heck, it can be unsafe in a car too. Not to say it wouldn't be cool, but motorcycles are not cars, regardless of how big they are now. Call me old fashioned, but I'm fine with handlebar controls for most things. Guess that's apparent by my sticking with the Gold Wing anyway.

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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby roadwanderer2 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:37 pm

dmarble wrote:I enjoyed your coverage of the Cleveland show, thanks. I can't help but be disappointed by the 'Wing bashing that's going on now though on this Gold Wing oriented site. While I understand how some feel about a lack of improvement in the Gold Wing, for someone like me who's coming off a '96 1500, the new '15 in the two tone paint (the first true multi tone paint on the 1800) with Navi and ABS I have waiting for me to pick up in June is awsome. I am very excited about getting mine. And for those who do want all the techno goodies offered on other makers bikes, it's nice you have a choice to make. Good luck with your new purchase, I truly hope you enjoy it as much as you've enjoyed your Wing(s). I also kind of understand Honda's reluctance to add touch screens to their bikes. Honda has always been conservative in the safety department and taking your hands off the bars and eyes off the road (however quickly) to fuss with a touch screen to adjust your radio, navi, windshield, suspension, ABS, traction control or whatever can be a serious safety issue if not done at appropriate times; heck, it can be unsafe in a car too. Not to say it wouldn't be cool, but motorcycles are not cars, regardless of how big they are now. Call me old fashioned, but I'm fine with handlebar controls for most things. Guess that's apparent by my sticking with the Gold Wing anyway.

ok, im not here to bash any bike, but now its time I put my 2cents in.........I've read all the comments and seen all the photos of the new Goldwing, and in my opinion, it does seriously lack the more finer points. the electronics are antiquated and out of date, its style leaves A LOT to be desired, and I don't think its worth spending over 30 grand on a bike that is in my opinion inferior to others like the BMW, or triumph, and yes a few of the Kawasaki cruisers that have more user friendly convinces. Honda should have made a better (looking) Goldwing with more color choices and added more electrical equipment that's more user friendly and up to date. again, this is only my "personal" opinion. take it for what its worth and I mean no offence to anyone.

stuart.

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Re: Cleveland Motorcycle Show 2015

Postby Lynnmarn » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:22 am

It is ok to gripe if your Goldwing is breaking down or not running as it should but to gripe about why not this or why not that. I have a 2014 Honda car (my last 3 cars have been Honda), Honda lawnmower and an 06 Goldwing. I buy Honda for its reliability and depndability. Yes I have had mutiple other types of cars and many motorcycles over the years and find that you can't beat a honda. They don't have the most up to date or fanciest electronic devices but what they do offer is useable and usually works efficiently. Just how many electriconic items do you want on a bike. I prefer safety equipment and functionality to bling and the latest technology. I love the beautiful lines of my 06 Goldwing. It isn't gaudy with spaced out lines of the Victory or square and blocky looking like some Harleys. It is a perfect blending of the two extremes. No one makes an enging like the GL1800. It is the most pleasingly powerful and silent engine I have ever driven. I love its torque and smooth accerlaeration. The bike is balanced beatifully and definitely easy to ride.
If I were to add anything to my bike, it would not be more bling or electonics but something like spring loaded floor boards to keep them from dragging in the corners or built in bluetooth for my helmet headset. I am just fine with the manual adjustable windshield. It keeps weight down and is nice and wide to keep the wind off me. Once it is set I forget about it.
I am a little disappointed about the Goldwing bashers. If you want a different bike then go buy it. I am a very satisfied Goldwing owner and if I don't like it then I will go buy something different but I would have to convince my wife first because she has ridden all those other bikes with me and wouldn't trade our wing for two or three of them.
I would like Honda to keep refining the Goldwing. Making it lighter and add electronics if it makes it safer and easier to operate but to add just to keep up with the jones is rediculous and they know it. My Goldwing is not my car and if I wan't all those conveniences then I will drive my car.




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