Long Beach Motorcycle Show Report

December 24, 2008
Steve Atlas
Steve Atlas
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Professional-grade speed and an attitude to match, Steve Atlas is the new blood at MotoUSA. Atlas has AMA racing creds that are even more extensive than his driving record.

As usual, the who’s who of the motorcycle world showed up for the 28th Annual Long Beach International Motorcycle Show in the heart of Southern California, home to a good majority of the manufacturers and aftermarket companies. Thus, there was no shortage of new things for consumers and industry insiders to feast their eyes on.

Taking the cake for the “Cool Award,” though, was the RSD (Roland Sands Designs)/Toyota display. The pair teamed up to present the “Architects of Inspiration” exhibit, which featured a host of custom RSD bikes and Toyota trucks set against giant cubicle-style canvas walls, which were painted by some of SoCal’s top artists to mimic the theme of each motorcycle. Sands himself unveiled several of his own paintings, and the booth was consistently one of the busiest the entire show. It even featured an all white wall and markers so consumers could leave their very own mark on the display.

Top 1 Ack Attack crew posing with the world’s fastest motorcycle.
The current LSR record holder, the Ack Attack streamliner, was on display at the Long Beach IMS.

Other big hits included Yamaha’s new for ’09 YZF-R1, which we featured in our R1 First Look article, plus Suzuki’s all-new GSX-R1000 (2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 First Look). Honda showed off its ABS-equipped, updated ’09 CBR600RR, as well as its current CBR1000RR, which now has an option for ABS in ’09 as well. Also highlighting Honda’s booth was their futuristic-looking DN-01 scooter/cruiser crossover and new, fuel-injected CRF450R motocrosser. Kawasaki showed off its all-new, fuel-injected big-bore MXer as well, the ’09 KX450F, which seemed to have a constant crowd around it. (Check out our 2009 450MX Shootout for full test results on both machines.) Kawasaki also had factory racers Ryan Villopoto and Tim Ferry signing autographs for the fans.

The Suzuki-powered Ack Attack land speed record-holding streamliner driven by MotorcycleUSA contributing editor Rocky Robinson was on display, which recently set a new world record of 360.913 mph this year at the Bonneville Salt Flats. As was a host of several other customs from the Japanese brand, including a few one-off B-Kings and a pair of super trick, fully custom Burgman scooters.

Video host  MotoUSA’s Angela Guerrero.
Video host, MotoUSA’s
Angela Guerrero.

KTM was in the house with a carbon fiber-clad RC8, which is set to come out some time in ‘09 and will be homologated for use in World Superbike racing. Fellow Euro manufacturer Ducati had an array of tricked out Hypermotards and several factory 1098R race machines on display, but the bike which garnered the most attention was their all-new ’09 Ducati Streetfighter. It’s just plain bad ass, no two ways around it.

As for cool new bikes from our side of the pond, Buell was holding down the fort with their new 1125CR, which we rode a couple months back in Germany and instantly took a liking to (2009 Buell 1125CR First Ride). Big Dog choppers joined them in American representation, showing off their entire new line-up, which you can see a full report on here. An equally cool array of new protective gear and accessories were on display at the LBC, including Shoei’s new MX helmet, which we recently tested (Shoei VFX-W Off-Road Helmet Review).

MotoUSA was in the house as well, so make sure to check out the video as MotoUSA’s beautiful host, Angela Guerrero, takes you for a closer look at everything cool from the show…