July 23, 2018
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2017 National Meet in Hebron, CT

If You Had Asked Me, I Would Have Told You…

After a layoff of a couple of months, it’s time for another riveting (or not) installment of “If You Had Asked Me, I Would Have told You…”

It’s a catch-all column for small newsworthy items not hefty enough for a full post, updates on previous stories, stale press releases, opinion and other motorcycle-releated stuff that I’ve stumbled across.

This time there’s news about a couple of well-known motorcycle shows, some speculation about Ducati’s future, a micro-review, and a dealer lament.

Here goes:

“If You Had Asked Me, I Would Have Told You…”

– That the Rhinebeck Grand National Meet at the Duchess County Fairgrounds in New York has, as predicted, locked in earlier dates for 2018. The vintage show will be held Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16 next year.

2017 Rhinebeck Grand National Meet

– That at least one dealer is dismayed by what he says are the plummeting sales of the Can-Am Spyder. Without naming names, he told me this week that sales of the three-wheeler have totally tanked and he suggests the high price tag is part of the reason. For instance, the starting price of a Spyder F3-T is more than $24,000. Could it be that the Spyder is just a niche product and that builder BRP over-estimated market demand?

– That after 23 years at the Lions Club Fairgrounds in Hebron, CT, the National Meet for vintage motorcycles staged by the Yankee Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America may move its location in 2018. The likely landing spot, if a change is made, is the Terryville Fairgrounds in Terryville, CT. That’s a 40-mile shift – from 20 miles east of Hartford to 20 miles west. Sort of.

“If You Had Asked Me, I Would Have Told You…”

– That Triumph and Bajaj Auto in India have formed a “global partnership” to design, develop and distribute mid-range motorcycles. The companies said they want to engage new market segments and reach “a whole new group of motorcyclists across the world.” Bajaj Auto makes bikes in the 110cc to 373cc range. Be interesting to see how this plays out.

2017 Triumph Bobber

– That I got to ride a new BMW F 700 GS last evening and found it to be smooth, polished and peppy, but sorely lacking in road feel/feedback. The seat made the butt hurt almost from the moment I sat down. Nice bike with serious shortcomings.

– That Ducati might not be sold by VW after all. Rumors and sketchy news reports have been circulating for months that VW was planning to dump the bike brand because of the company’s diesel emission fiasco.

Early-on, Harley-Davidson was listed a a suitor, and then removed from contention. Indian owner Polaris was said to be a possibility and even Italy’s Bennetton family got linked to Ducati. The price tag was speculated to be $1.76 billion. However, resistance by employee representatives on VW’s supervisory board may deter any sale. This story may die with nary a whimper. Or not.

2017 Ducati Multistrada 950

– That I’m of two minds on Max BMW’s plans for a Burnout Day next Saturday (Aug. 19) at its Brookfield, CT store. The store’s providing the bike and the tires and says “no experience needed” for anyone wanting to smoke some rubber. No doubt it will be fun, but as a rider coach friend suggested, a wiser effort might be to teach quick stops or how to execute tight turns. Nonetheless, I’m curious enough to probably stop down between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Until next time…

About Admin

RIDE-CT & RIDE-NewEngland is a regional website devoted to motorcycle news in the Northeast. It is based in Harwinton, CT. Questions and comments may be sent to budw@ride-ct.com.

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