by Clint Burgess

It develops at a young age. Boys like toys, and the older they get, the more complex the toys get. However, there are always a few constants. The toys are often loud, shiny, and fast, and there is usually some kind of pride of ownership that goes with the territory. For the adult toy enthusiast, there are also a select few toys that make the grade and are the reliable favorites of the boys who play hard on the weekend. This collection usually consists of some sort of off-road motorcycle, an all-terrain vehicle, possibly a personal watercraft and perhaps even a full-on speedboat.

Now that the parameters of the male psyche in relation to toys has been established, here are some of the favorites: Long a part of the outdoors and official playtime for adults, dirt bikes are a staple in the arena of motor vehicle recreation. Icons in the sport of playing in the mud, these tyrants of the nasty terrain prove to be on the preferred list of avid thrill seekers.

Jeff Anderson, sales manager at Spokane Power Sports, turned me on to an all-around off-roader that's got something for everyone. "The Honda CRS 230 is a good recreational bike," says Anderson. "Dads can ride it, kids can handle it and even the wife can get on it. It's a good play bike for everyone."

If the mud isn't your thing, maybe something in the street variety is better for you. Anderson says that the majority of his business is a tossup between dirt bikes and cruising bikes. "The Honda VTX 1300 is big road bike for cruising as well, as the Shadow Aero 750 is more of a street bike but both of these are pretty popular," says Anderson.

As much fun as recreational sport vehicles can be off the road, there's even more fun to be had completely off-land. What started out as the ever-popular jet ski has now evolved into a lean, wave-cruising machine in the Waverunner. Yamaha produces the vastly improved personal watercraft that allows for high-speed adventure, riding with a partner or even pulling a skier.

"We only sell Yamaha watercraft, and the Waverunners have been gaining popularity for about the last seven years," says Anderson. And their popularity continues to increase among consumers, so much that the company offers 10 different models. There is certainly something there for all watersport hobbyists, like extreme models that boast 160 horsepower and more subdued models for young riders.

Spokane Power Sports has been providing Spokane with recreational vehicles for 30 years. This year has been good for this locally owned business, and that is due to local consumers satisfying their need to get out there and ride. "We were way ahead of our plan in March and April, and we've continued to do well," Anderson says.

Much like the supply and demand for the big boy's toys, Spokane Power Sports really does have something for everyone. If it's an ATV, a big cruising bike to take and enjoy your retirement on the open road, something that's gonna kick a little dirt up, or a Waverunner to take in some rays on, this is a good place to check one out.

Publication date: 09/02/04

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