Highlights – 2015 Edmonton Motorcycle Show, Part 1

The 2015 Edmonton Motorcycle & ATV Show has come and gone.  It’s THE break motorcyclists need to get through the long, dreary winter of we suffer through in Northern Alberta.

Here is my partial list of highlights from this year’s show.

One fast woman - BMW Motorrad-sponsored Valerie Thompson reached an average top speed of almost 208 MPH at the Bonneville Salt Flats on a BMW S1000RR

One fast woman – BMW Motorrad-sponsored Valerie Thompson reached an average top speed of almost 208 MPH at the Bonneville Salt Flats on a BMW S1000RR

Valerie Thompson – one fast woman.  Arizona-based Valerie Thompson was the celebrity spokesperson appearing at the BMW exhibit on Friday (for ‘She Rides Nite’, when the show focuses on female riders.)  Thompson is the perfect spokesperson for BMW.  She’s articulate, has an engaging persona, and is a professional motorcycle racer with 7 international speed records under her belt.

Her connection with BMW Motorrad?  Thompson rode aBMW S1000RR to an average speed of almost 208 MPH at the Bonneville Salt Flats, running in a ‘modified’ class.  “My (S1000RR) had only some light head work done to it”, she explained.

I asked Thompson, “At what speed do you start thinking, ‘Wow!  I’m going REALLY fast’ and your adrenalin starts pumping?”  She said, “You only start thinking about that AFTER the run is over.  I’m way too busy concentrating during the run itself.”

“The (Bonneville Salt Flat) course is 11 miles long.  They give you 6 miles to reach top speed.  You’re timed between Mile 6 and Mile 7.  On the BMW, I reach top speed in the first mile.”

Think about that for a moment.  Thompson reaches maximum speed in the first mile, then HOLDS top speed for Miles 2 through the first set of timing lights at Mile 6 to second set of timing lights at the end of Mile 7.  That means she’s holding the the throttle wide open and expertly piloting the Bavarian superbike at almost 208 MPH for 1 min. 43.8 sec.! Unbelievable.

And Thompson’s no one-trick speed record pony.  In addition to her various top speed records, she’s a pro competitor on the drag racing circuit.  You can read more about Valerie Thompson Racing here.

2015 Ducat Scrambler Classic

2015 Ducat Scrambler Classic

Ducati Scrambler Classic.  I’m old enough to have loved the original Ducati Scrambler single-cylinder bikes from the 1960s.  When I got into motorcycles in the 1970s, those thumper Ducs were already hard to find; not many were imported to Canada.

The new Scrambler’s price-point is very attractive – $9,395.  It even undercuts the well-priced, similarly ‘retro-styled’ Triumph Scrambler.  I’ve been anxiously awaiting the Scrambler.  The media pics have been alluring.  But I have to admit my disappointment when seeing the Duc in the metal.  The fit and finish is poor.  The Scrambler looks obviously built ‘to a price’ and truth be told, it looks like a cheap, Asian knock-off.  The satin-finish gas tank panel looks cheap up close.  Ducati would have been well-advised to used a genuine chrome piece in its place.  Disappointingly, the Scrambler doesn’t exude ‘quality’ like the other members of this esteemed Italian brand’s family.

Still, I want one.  It’d be the perfect city or commuter bike.



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