(Top) Progressive girls greeted people at the show entrance.
(Bottom) Harley-Davidson showcased its new Custom of One program featuring factory customization for customers.
Chicago has seen its fair share of harsh weather this year and is welcoming a break from the snow. This was double true for the motorcycle enthusiasts who showed up for the annual 2011 Progressive International Motorcycle Show at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center. More than 60,000 people attended the three-day show to feast their eyes on everything the motorcycle market has to offer. Manufacturers displayed its newest models, celebrities came out to support the riding community and bike builders competed in the Ultimate Bike Builder competition.
Harley-Davidson presented its new H-D1 Custom of One option that allows customers to outfit a 1200 Custom Sportster to their liking. Factory customization has several categories to optimize fit, function and personal style. Factory-installed wheels, handlebars, seat, paint, foot controls, security system and engine finish are the options available on Harley-Davidson.com. This creates a new opportunity in the custom cruiser market available from The Motor Company. Once a customer has created their custom bike online they can print out the finished project and submit the order at their local authorized Harley-Davidson dealer. Order fulfillment can take as little as four weeks. Options can be incorporated with the base configuration in any combination and price is determined from the amount of upgrades added.
Some key features of the new 2011 1200 Custom Sportster include an air-cooled Evolution 1200cc V-Twin engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection, black powdercoated powertrain and chrome covers. Wider fork spacing with polished triple clamps adds to the model refresh as does a reshaped classic Sportster eyebrow over the headlamp, updated tail light styling and re-tuned front suspension.
Indian Motorcycles Introduced the new 2011 Chief Blackhawk motorcycle available in two color schemes, Chief Blackhawk and Blackhawk Dark. It has a 105 cubic-inch air-cooled V-Twin that puts out 80 horsepower and 102 lb-ft of torque. Noted features are Brembo brakes, dual floating rotors, Baker six-speed transmission and two 12-volt accessory outlets. The Chief Blackhawk opts for a classic dual-color paint scheme offered in a black and tan with dark red highlights, and a dark version doused in gloss black with bright red stripes. Convenient options include quick-release rear bags and cowling along with an optional Indian-branded Garmin GPS that mounts on the gauge display. The Chief Blackhawk has a classic look and feel from the ‘30s and ‘40s mixed with the comforts and necessities of today.
BRP displayed its vision of the future with this Can-Am advanced concept Spyder Hybrid Roadster. It runs on both electic and internal combustion propulsion working in harmony to create a unique eco-friendly motorcycle.
Motorcycles are now starting to incorporate hybrid technology and one manufacturer unveiled its newest advanced concept poised to be a part of the future. BRP showcased the Can-Am Spyder Hybrid Roadster decked out in a green and white paint job. BRP’s goal is to dramatically reduce emissions and provide superior fuel efficiency with its hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) concept. This HEV featured plug-in style recharging for its 20 KW continuous power electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery. Furthermore it also incorporate a 600cc internal combustion engine that provides propulsion when not running in electric mode. Performance from the roadster will not suffer as it will have a 20 mile-range in electric mode and improve fuel efficiency by 50% which also reduces emissions by 50%. BRP believes this will be a step forward towards producing eco-friendly vehicles and looks to lead the motorcycle industry into this new era.
The Chicago motorcycle also attracted celebrities such as country music star and motorcycle enthusiast Billy Ray Cyrus. There was real excitement from the crowds as he entered the Moto Flix stage to be interviewed. Billy Ray attended the show on Saturday making time to speak to the fans and sign autographs for anyone willing to wait in line. When interviewed Billy mentioned he enjoys riding his cruiser to local spots and likes tackling the open road. He is an avid motorcycle rider who has ridden all his life and participates in charity rides whenever time permits.
“I find that the motorcycle community really helps and gives back to good causes,” said Billy Ray. “I did my first large charity ride in 1992, riding to the Vietnam veteran’s wall in Washington DC. I really think it’s the best way to get out there and show you care and help give back to your fellow man. What better way than to ride your motorcycle for a good cause and just have a good time doing it.”
There were no shortage of good causes to get involved with at the show, including the ride Ride for Kids bike giveaway. Supporting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s Ride for Kids program, Cycle World, Honda and Gregg’s Customs donated a one-of-kind CBR1000RR project bike dubbed the CBR1000RFK Catalyst for a Cure. The bike travels to all the shows on display in the welcome center of the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows produced by Advanstar. All proceeds benefit the PBTF, which funds medical research and family support programs for children with brain tumors. Ride for Kids has helped raise more than $54 million for the PBTF and continues with the support of the motorcycle community.
Another big attraction was the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show, integrated into all 12 IMS shows this season. The three class format includes Freestyle, Modified Harley and Performance Customs. Winners from each stop of the show will compete for the grand prize at the last stop in Daytona Beach, Florida during Bike Week for a chance to showcase their talents at the AMD World Championships at Sturgis. Big thanks to Biker Pros who provided us with the final winners of the Chicago round Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show.
(L) Freestyle winner Troy Kyne’s 2010 Kyne’s Kustom bike named Predasaurus. (C) Modified Harley winner Bob McAreavey’s 2001 H-D Fat Boy. (R) Gator Customs built this Transformers inspired 2006 Yamaha R6 called Starscream.
Troy Kyne took a surprising win in the Freestyle category as he competed against the previous week’s winning bike in Minneapolis from Dana Hallberg, a strong entry from Dave Dupor of DD Custom Cycle LLC and the 2009 AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building Champion, Dave Cook. The 2010 Predasaurus Curve was built by Troy in his garage.
Bob McAreavey took his second win of the year with his sano 2001 H-D Fatboy. To date he has won $6000 in prize money and over $1000 in prizes.
Modified Harley Results:
1. Bob McAreavey – 2001 H-D Fatboy
2. Dave Cook, Cook Custom Choppers – 1953 Harley-Davidson Panhead
3. Dell Battle, One Off Inc. – 2003 Harley-Davidson Fatboy
4. Dave Dupor, DD Custom Cycle LLC – 2009 Harley-Davidson Road Glide
5. Chad Andersen – 1997 Harley Davidson FXD
1. Troy Kyne, Kyne’s Kustoms – 2010 Predasaurus Curve
2. Dana Hallberg, Redonkoulous – 2010 Harley-Davidson Road Glide
3. Dave Dupor, DD Custom Cycle LLC – 2009 Harley-Davidson Road Glide
4. Dave Cook, Cook Custom Choppers – 2009 Cook Custom
5. Greg Green, Chop Smithy – 2008 Chopsmitty Custom
Peformance Customs Results:
1. Joshua Lee, JDA Customs – 2007 599cc Suzuki GSX-R
2. Ricky Ray, Redefined Cycles – 2009 Suzuki Hayabusa
3. Matt Girlamo, Hard Luck Cycles/XC Performance – 1993 Suzuki GSX-R Racebike
4. Randy Kleber, Gator Customs – 2006 Yamaha R6
5. William Christian, The Sign Shop Inc. – 2003 Suzuki SV1000
That’s it from this year’s Chicago IMS show. Be sure to check out the Progressive International Motorcycle Show series to see, feel and touch the newest motorcycle models and products on the market. Next stop is Greenville, South Carolina on February 25-27 at the Carolina First Center. The final stop is in Daytona, Florida from March 9-12 at the Ocean Center Daytona Beach. Show information can be found at www.motorcycleshows.com.