It’s been a while (thanks, COVID), but the Vancouver Motorcycle Show has returned for 2024!
The Motorcycle Show has been a January staple in BC’s Lower Mainland for decades, with the last one being held in January, 2020, almost exactly two months until we all went into lockdown. While we’ve been able to go out to concerts and restaurants, the poor motorcycle shows were still in quarantine.
No more! The show has returned to Vancouver this year. There were noticeable absences – where the heck were you, BMW? – but then again I don’t ever remember BWM having a booth at the show. There were fewer ancillary vendors – there was lots of show space compared to the last time I was there – and some of those ancillary vendors were of the jam, patchouli and mystical crystal variety. Some would heat your garage. Some would put epoxy on your garage floor. But the rest were motorcycle related or motorcycle adjacent.
I arrived shortly after the show opened at noon on Friday, January 12, 2024. For anywhere in Canada, it was cold at -15C, with a wicked wind. I was glad to be inside, but also glad to be dressed for the cold, as the inside of the show area relies more on collective body heat to warm it, I think. I decided to take an afternoon off work to attend on the day of the opening – which I figured would be much less crowded than going Saturday or Sunday – and a friend and I wandered around with a lot of room, no line-ups to sit on a bike, and no being stuck behind a waddling group of penguins trying to get to the next stand. Plus, all the exhibitors were excited and still full of energy. Mental note for future years.
I did end up purchasing the entire store at BackRoad Maps, a great Canadian company that is about 10 minutes down the road from me here in BC. I bought the 6-pack of BC map books, and the GPS maps for Western Canada, plus a couple of folding maps that I will use to plan and use on a trip to Vancouver Island later this year. I just can’t believe I didn’t get a photo of their booth.
Speaking of retailer booths, I was at the Rok Straps booth (because I can never get enough, although I didn’t buy any), and a fellow dressed in Yamaha instructor gear came by and reunited with the Canadian Rok Straps distributor, who is a wonderful woman. Anyway, he started talking and… I knew that voice! I listen to Adventure Rider Radio all the time, and have hear Clinton Smout a ton of times on the show, and I got to meet him. That was a delight for me, and he is an absolute pleasure to speak with.
It was also great to see Grant Johnson of Horizons Unlimited, who ran the great rally we went to last summer. Grant is an inspiring gent and a great photographer, and it’s worth spending the time. I may not go this year, but I will go again for sure.
I’ve spent $20 on worse afternoons in my life – the show is worth the money to see all the shiny bikes. With a new promoter and a bit of a struggle to fill they show, I think that they have done a great job. I also think it’s a little like motorcycle parking – avail yourself of it, or they will just take it away.