A great feature at IMS is the new Dream Pavilion where you can find exotic bikes of all makes and models on display.
Actor R. Lee Ermey known as ‘The Gunny’ was presented a modified 2012 Victory High-Ball dressed in custom United States Marine Corps paint.
Long Beach, California marks the third stop on the annual Progressive International Motorcycle Show circuit and is traditionally one of the largest, most anticipated shows of the year. Blessed with good weather, attendance clocked in at 53,185 people who showed up to check out the three-day event at the ocean side Long Beach Convention Center according to show promoter Advanstar Communications.
MotorcycleUSA traveled to Southern California to attend the official media day and report on highlights of the show that included an unveiling of a new bike from Victory Motorcycles, Kawasaki’s “Zero to Hero” program with Rickey Gadson, Yamaha hosting autographs and interviews with its road racing stars Josh Hayes, Cal Crutchlow and Ben Spies along with a host of other new releases from the motorcycle industry.
The morning kicked off with Victory and their spokesman Actor R. Lee Ermey, aka “The Gunny” from Full Metal Jacket and the History Channel’s show Mail Call. Ermey, an avid motorcycle rider, was gifted a modified 2012 Victory High-Ball dressed in custom United States Marine Corps paint for his efforts in promoting the inaugural Toys for Tots Saddlebag Challenge where people are encouraged to donate toys for needy children this holiday season. Later in the evening Ermey took the honors of unveiling Victory’s new 2012 Hard-Ball motorcycle. The Hard-Ball is said to be a cross between a cruiser and tourer but with bagger flare. Mirrored after the High-Ball, this new creation from Victory Motorcycles has hard locking saddle bags, a larger fuel tank, updated fenders, passenger foot pegs, highway bars, floorboards, split dual exhaust and a clean fitted Freedom 106 V-Twin engine. According to Victory this new Hard-Ball is “The Bad Ass Bike That Rejects Labels.” Read more in our 2012 Victory Hard-Ball First Look.
Nine-time AMA Pro Drag Racing Champion Rickey Gadson announced Kawasaki’s new ‘Zero to Hero’ promotion where four lucky riders will have the opportunity to race Rickey for a chance to win a new 2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R.
Next stop on the tour brings us to Kawasaki’s display where nine-time AMA Drag Racing Champion Rickey Gadson took the stage to introduce the new “Zero to Hero” promotion. Gadson explains that four lucky contestants will have the opportunity to attend the Rickey Gadson Drag Racing School where they will receive two days of instruction from him personally and also qualify for their NHRA Bracket License. Once completed the four contestants will race head-to-head in elimination-style rounds where the winner will be given the chance to race Rickey Gadson with hopes of beating him to win a brand-new 2012 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R sportbike. Contestants can enter by submitting an essay to www.kawasaki.com/zerotohero explaining why they should race Gadson in the “Zero to Hero” promotion, beginning Jan. 1, 2012.
Yamaha brought together Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes along with Yamaha MotoGP riders Cal Crutchlow and Ben Spies. Addressing the media Ben Spies spoke of his 2012 MotoGP season coming up and stated “I’m happy to be a part of the Factory Yamaha team and I’m looking forward to the 2012 season where we can be more consistent and win more races, especially with the new 1000 that I’m excited to ride”. Other happenings at the Yamaha display included a custom YZF-R6 built by Super Street Bike/Yamaha amateur bike show winner Ramsey Ackad. Bike builder and fabricator Sam Nehme from Broward Motorsports showcased a customized Road Star to show how simple it can be for a consumer to customize their own personal Star Motorcycle.
Troy Lee gave a detailed description of the upgrades done to his customized Honda Ruckus donated to the Ride for Kids organization benefiting the PBTF.
With the holiday season upon us, it’s the time to give back and one organization that works diligently toward this pursuit within the motorcycle industry is the Ride for Kids (RFK) group which raises funds for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF). This year Honda donated two customized motorcycles to RFK in efforts to help increase donations from motorcycle enthusiasts. The first bike is a Honda Ruckus doused in custom paint from the renowned Troy Lee of Troy Lee Designs. Second is a tricked out Honda CBR250R Street Tracker provided by custom bike builder Gregg Desjardins. Both bikes are up for grabs and people only need to place a five dollar or more donation to be entered to win. All proceeds benefit the PBTF, which funds medical research and family support programs for children with brain tumors.
The mood at the Long Beach IMS show was upbeat and there was plenty to see for both the motorcycle industry and consumer alike. BMW announced their entrance into a new market segment with the introduction of its two new maxi scooters, the C 600 Sport and C 650 GT. Ducati’s North American General Manager Dominqe Cheraki took the stage to present the newest models for 2012, the 1199 Panigale, Streetfighter 848 and Diavel lineup that include the Carbon and AMG editions. Triumph’s North America CEO Greg Heichelbech introduced two new models in anticipation of its 110th anniversary, the Speed Triple R Roadster and the all-new shaft-drive Tiger Explorer adventure bike. Honda showcased its new CBR1000RR that has received an injection of new technology for 2012. Last but not least was the presence of Indian Motorcycles which displayed its 2012 lineup of cruisers, the first models to be released since they were purchased by Polaris.
(L) Ducati North America General Manager Dominique Cheraki presented the new Ducati 1199 Panigale Superbike on stage. (M) Triumph unveiled its Speed Triple R roadster, model not included. (R) The new 2012 Indian motorcycles were on display for the first time.
That about sums it up from this year’s Long Beach IMS show. Be sure to check out the Progressive International Motorcycle Show series to view the latest motorcycles and products on the market. Next stop is Seattle, Washington, this weekend December 16 – 18 at the Washington State Convention Center. Show information can be found at www.motorcycleshows.com.