Canada. The Great White North. If you’re a motorcyclist, winter is like the candy shell of a Smartie—nobody really likes it, but you have to get through it to eat the chocolate centre. Instead of leaning through corners of any of the best roads in Ontario taking in the fresh air and feeling the warmth of the sunshine on your face, you sit in front of your computer screen forced to keep your iron horse in the stable away from the cold salty roads.
So how does one endure the pains of Parked Motorcycle Syndrome? You can periodically sit on your bike and make motorcycle sounds with your mouth (I wrote about this in this article), you can plan your two-wheeled shenanigans for next year (this is a great idea!), and if you live in or can get to Southern Ontario, you can go to three big motorcycle shows (obviously this is the best!), in January, February, and April.
As cliche as this sounds, there is something for everyone at these shows whether you’re a new rider or been riding for decades, if you ride a cruiser or a sportbike, if you ride a couple times a year, or everyday.
For people wanting to get into riding, the shows have the most bikes under one roof that you can see and sit on to determine which would be a good fit. Additionally, there are lots of show special discounts on things that a would-be rider needs such as rider training, gear, and helmets, and yes, motorcycles too.
For experienced riders, the shows are basically a giant social event to meet up with riding buddies to reminisce on rides past and embellish old riding stories. Because these shows are so popular, you'll bump into an old friend, talk for 10 minutes, walk 10 feet, talk to someone else for 10 minutes, etc.!
There are three Motorcycle Shows in Toronto in 2019:
January 4-6, 2019
Admission: $20 (Adult) / $5 (Youth Ages 6-12) / Children under 6 are free.
The North American International Motorcycle Supershow (NAIMS) is the first one on the circuit and is best known for good deals on motorcycle gear and accessories. New and used bikes are also available for purchase. If you like vintage or unique bikes, be sure to check out the Century of Motorcycles and Custom Bike exhibits, respectively. If you like to tour, there are exhibitors representing various areas in Ontario and beyond, many with free detailed maps and pre-planned motorcycle routes in that region. There's a lot going on in this show (fashion shows, awards, special guests, MX Stars of Tomorrow, etc.) so make the most of your visit by going through the show programme and/or website.
Follow the North American International Motorcycle Show on Facebook.
February 15-17, 2019
Admission: $20 (Adult) / $15 (Senior) / $11 (Junior Ages 6-14) / $45 Family (2 Adult + 2 Junior) / Children under 5 are free.
Next up is the Toronto Motorcycle Show where the manufacturers display their model lineup for the year. This is the best place to check out the new models and latest model updates. Wonder what a Harley-Davidson FXDR 114 looks and feels like? Head over to the Harley-Davidson booth. Want to put 207 horses in the form of a superbike between your legs? Check out the 2019 BMW S1000RR in the BMW booth. The manufacturers' booths are also a great place to ask technical questions about specific models, and as a bonus, some might have free swag! There are also vendors selling gear and accessories at this show, but not as many as the NAIMS. Also, be sure to check out the programme and/or website so you can fit in things like She Rides, Yamaha Riding Academy for Kids, How to Demos, Stunt Riding and more.
Follow the Toronto Motorcycle Show on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
April 6, 7, 2019
Admission: $18 (Adult) / $5 Youth (Ages 6-12) / Children under 5 are free.
Finally, there is the Spring Motorcycle Show in April. This one has a similar feel but is smaller in scale than the NAIMS. By April, your motorcycle is probably on the road, so this might be the right timing to pick up some gear or accessories for your steed. Plus, you can easily ride there!
Follow the Spring Motorcycle Show on Facebook and Instagram.
So there you have it, 3 motorcycle shows that will help you get through winter!
Tips to Make Your Experience Better
- If you plan to eat dinner out with friends afterward, make reservations far in advance
- Bring a backpack to carry your purchases home
- Arrive early for best parking
- Bring cash for potentially better deals
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Make a plan or checklist of things you want to purchase and/or to see
- Check out the websites ahead of time for discounts on admission
- Collect posters and save them as free and extra cool gift wrapping paper.