The 30th annual Progressive International Motorcycle Show invaded the Long Beach Convention Center and offered a glimpse into all things motorcycle for 2011. Inside the show were the latest motorcycle models along with an assortment of aftermarket parts and accessories for sport and street bikes, cruisers, dirt bikes, ATVs and scooters.
Along with fresh-from-the-factory production machines, the motorcycle show had plenty of custom one-off bikes on display and an abundance of new show features for all motorcycle enthusiasts to enjoy. A new layout greeted visitors as people engaged in attractions such as Do It Yourself Garage presentations, Women Ride Experience seminars and the new MotoFlix feature that showed the newest motorcycle films and old classics such as “Take it To the Limit.” One of the best additions to the show included an interactive ultimate builder custom bike show competition that visitors got to participate in as they traveled through the main isles, voting on competitors’ motorcycles along the way.
Jason Britton and Eric Hoenshell from the Speed Channel returned to the convention center this year with their action-packed Team No Limit Stunt Show performing acrobatic stunt maneuvers on street bikes in the pouring rain outside. People braved the weather to catch a look as the sportbikers wheelied their 400-plus pound street bikes into stoppies and one-wheeled twirls on a slippery cement stage. A high risk situation for the riders but an exciting show for the fans.
(Above) Mission Motors unveiled its new Mission R factory race bike that puts out 141 horsepower. Not bad for an electric bike. (Below) Triumph unveiled seven new motorcycles and two hotties.
Mission Motors debuted its new Mission R, an electric racing sportbike that can reach speeds up to 160 mph in a single gear. The AC induction motor produces 115 lb-ft of torque and 141 horsepower, all managed by the MissionEVT 100kW motor controller. Options on the bike include customizable regenerative braking maps, throttle maps and traction control. Mission Motors is aiming to win races with this bike and help pave the future for electric motorsports.
Triumph unveiled its largest new model offering in its 109 year history with seven new motorcycles spanning all genres of riding. In the cruiser market Triumph is offering the new America, Thunderbird Storm and Speedmaster models. The America offers a classic chrome look and a lower seat for comfort and appeal to any size rider while the new Thunderbird Storm has more power and is stripped down to give it more street attitude than its close cousin the Thunderbird. With the new Speedmaster it’s all about old school and good looks with its black accents and stripped away café racer style making it an appealing cruiser for young and old.
In the street and sportbike market the new Daytona 675R and Speed Triple offer some serious aggression to the Triumph lineup. The Daytona 675R offers a spirited street ride inspired by a day at the track and the Speed Triple is the equivalent of a graffiti artist in the art world with its rugged styling.
The bikes I liked the most though were the new Tiger 800 and 800XC. These two adventure bikes offer the best of both street and dirt worlds. Just the styling of the bike brings out longings to explore the globe and looks like something I want to have in the garage loaded down with supplies. On one of these I feel I’d at least have a shot of surviving the apocalypse.
Over at Victory Motorcycles I got the chance to hang out with TV celebrity Rupert Boneham from the show Survivor. Rupert received a custom tie dye-wrapped Victory Vision 8-Ball in dedication to Rupert’s Kids, a non-profit organization helping troubled youth in the community that he promotes actively. Rupert was on hand for the entire
Survivor TV star Rupert Boneham was happy to recieve his new Victory Vision 8-Ball wrapped in tie dye.
weekend signing autographs and showing off his new colorful Victory.
“A couple years ago I got on a Victory Motorcycle and it was just golden,” said Boneham. “I talked to Victory a little bit and Victory asked if I wanted one and the answer was a no-brainer. Being able to lead my rides, having hundreds of bikers – some of the rides I do in Indianapolis, there are 9000 bikers in one event and I’m leading them all on my Honda Shadow. Now in 2011 I’m going to be leading them all on my new Vision 8-Ball, my tie dyed beautiful bike. Being able to show how Victory is getting involved with Rupert’s Kids, showing how when you help out a program that is empowering our kids like rupertskids.org, it helps us all”.
At the BMW camp, the big news was the North American debut of the six-cylinder K1600 GT and K1600 GTL. The new Beemers offer customers a touring bike loaded with technology, amenities and comfort. Adaptive headlights conform to the road while riding as the lightweight, compact six-cylinder engine delivers smooth propulsion with a maximum claimed output of 160 horsepower. Standard features include heated seats, cruise control and of course Bluetooth and iPod connections. All the creature comforts for traveling are built in to this new BMW.
Designer Erik Dunshee transformed this 2010 Stateline into an elegant street savvy cruiser called the Slammer.
On the cruiser side of things, Honda had some sweet custom cruisers that their R&D department dreamed up in conjunction with popular designers and made into reality. Designer Erik Dunshee revealed his Slammer, a 2010 Honda Stateline turned into an elegant, state-of-the-art cruiser. Dunshee lowered the bike with adjustable air-ride suspension, integrated an all-in-one NAV/Multimedia into the dash that includes a 10-inch woofer pumping out 500 watts of ear candy. Topping it off were some custom black wheels and a full front end conversion giving it the sleek look of a Lincoln Town Car.
Another amazing ride from designer Edward Birtulescu is a 2010 Honda Sabre turned into a race-inspired streetfighter called Switchblade. Based off stylings from MotoGP and F1, this bike featured a single-sided swingarm, full carbon fiber dress and a 3-way adjustable suspension allowing riders to set the suspension to cruise, sport or race mode. The bike was built with speed in mind.
Other displays included an ultimate builder custom bike competition with local entries competing for a piece of the $90,000 cash purse along with a chance to go to the American Championship finale at Daytona Bike Week in March 2011. Custom Builder Jesse Rooke displayed several bikes along with his custom built 1000cc GSXR three wheeler that looked like a rat rod from Mad Max.
Custom bike builder Jesse Rooke built this three wheeler that looked like something out of the movie Mad Max.
The show had a lot to offer to both would-be buyers and hardcore enthusiasts of all motorcycle genres. Vendors were selling gear of all types, catering to both street and dirt riders with bargains found at stores such as Bert’s Megamall and Cycle Parts West. Other vendors such as Progressive Insurance offered free promotional items and a cool photo souvenir that pictured you riding a cruiser with spokesmodel Flo. Contests could be found such as Motorcycle-USA’s “Enter to Win a $500 Shopping Spree” at Motorcycle-Superstore.com.
If you missed the Long Beach show, make plans to attend a future event as the tour makes its way east starting with Novi, Michigan from January 7-9, 2011 and ending its 12-show series at Daytona Bike Week during the second week of March. General admission tickets cost $15 a day and kids ages 6-11 cost $6, but IMS offers a family day on Sunday where kids 11 and under get in free with one paid adult admission. Discounts are offered at participating dealerships and will save you $4 off the general admission price. For more information on everything IMS, visit www.motorcycleshows.com.