Motorcycle Show

We drove down to Charlotte on Sunday to see the International Motorcycle Show. Its been five years since we last went, which is longer than we’d really like. We figure every few years or so there are enough changes to models and line-ups to warrant the trip.

I have to say, this time was  a little disappointing. The claims about the economy making it really tough on motorcycle manufacturers must be true, because this show felt small, and seemed to have low attendance.  While the major manufacturers in the US market were there, their displays seemed smaller, and they didn’t bring as many models for people to sit on (Honda being the notable exception, they had a lot of real estate at this show).  Mostly, I was really looking forward to seeing a couple of KTM models, but KTM wasn’t there at all.

We both also really wanted to see Ducati’s new superbike, the 1199 Panigale.  Fortunately, Ducati had one there (sorry, cell phone pics only):


Unfortunately, no one was allowed to sit on it (not surprising). This is probably for the best, as the less Kevin pictures himself on that bike, the safer our checking account will be (its not like I’m going to tell him no. I’d probably argue for his and hers if I didn’t know better).

I spent the first part of the day lamenting the fact that there were at least four different models of motorcycle I wanted to check out and sit on that weren’t there.  We then enjoyed the rest of the day checking out what we could, and doing some much needed helmet shopping. Its easier to find the best option for helmets at the show because all of the makers are there, so you can try them all on to find the best fit. (Its harder than you might think. Heads are like snowflakes or fingerprints, finding a helmet that is comfortable all day can be difficult, and bike dealers don’t carry the full range of inventory of all the brands.) Since we’re both in need of new helmets, this alone made the trip worthwhile.

Neither Kevin nor I really like the custom motorcycle scene, but they can still be neat to look at. This one was completely bonkers, (I usually use that word with a positive connotation, to mean something is awesome in a slightly crazy way….not this time). This bike was front wheel drive, and rear steering. Yes, like a forklift. No, they hadn’t really ridden it, because I’m pretty sure its not possible.

Kevin had fun talking to the designer about this one for awhile.

We also saw the coolest Ruckus ever:

And that’s it. We stayed until closing and headed home. If it hadn’t been for the helmet comparison opportunity, I’m not sure it would have been worth it. When there a lot of bikes all in one place, the show can be really fun, especially when there is a lot of new stuff I haven’t seen in person.  We’ll give it another two or three years this time and try again.



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