Daytona Bike Week - '06 (comments, etc...)
Spent the day in Daytona yesterday. WOW, what a perfect day. Weather was spectacular (and is supposed to be all week/weekend)... very warm, sunny and breezy.
Traffic wasn't too bad, nor were the crowds (then again, it was a Monday).
All of the major manufacturers were represented at the Speedway... Honda, though in their normal spot at the main entrance, is actually doing their Demo rides on the far side of the speedway. They DO have a shuttle that will take you over there, but that doesn't start till 9:00 a.m. (and since they start sign-ups for demos at 7:30, by the time the shuttle runs, all the spots for the day are filled).
Suzuki and Yamaha didn't appear to have much in the way of sportbikes available for demos.
Kawasaki, on the other hand, was representing in FULL force. They had a veritable army of the new ZX14's on hand for demos, as well as ZX10R's, ZX6R's, and a couple (2, I think) of the new ZX650's (as well as cruisers). I'm not sure how the other manufacturers do it, but Kawasaki divides their demos up by cruisers and sportbikes, and the ride route is apparently different as well.
Triumph is down at the far, far other end (by the choppers, Big Dog, etc...). My hookup at Triumph didn't make it down, so we'll have to wait till Biketoberfest to demo the 675. *sigh*
Vendor tents were kinda scattered (not quite as centralized as they usually are), but Draggin, Arai, etc... were all there (as well as the normal jewelry, tee-shirts, etc...). Did see some great deals on helmets and gear, as well as many vendors willing to wheel and deal (there was a helmet I'd been eyeing, which I'd found online for a STEAL... he was about $50 higher, and I told him so... he offered to price match right there on the spot, which would have also saved me shipping! Alas, I didn't like the way the helmet fit once I tried it, but still, at least he was willing to work on the price!)
Teknic had a TON of new gear in the vendor tents... some of their new designs are definitely aimed at competing with Icon and some of the flashier manufacturers. But it also seems their sizing has changed... previously their line ran a big large, but the new designs are VERY short/on the small side. And they have new boots that are almost identical to the Icon Superduty I.... (fans of the Superduty I don't seem to like the Superduty II as well). Very comfortable, and seem to be well made. A pair of those will definitely be following me home this weekend.
Helmet Shop (just down Ocean Blvd... a couple blocks down from all the tents/activity) has GREAT prices... their prices on Suomy, Shoei and Arai helmets are unbeatable. They have a great selection of women's gear, and will have the new Power Trip stuff in soon (the Power Trip rep was in there when we were yesterday). I'm sure their prices on that stuff will be far below anyone else's prices, too.
I've got a good lot of pics, but will probably wait to post them till after the races this weekend.
Oh... and everyone be careful out there. As of yesterday, there had already been 4 motorcyclist fatalities in Daytona since the start of bike week on Friday.