By Jon Row
The Progressive International Motorcycle Show pulled into Los Angeles (aka Long Beach) Friday with lots of celebs and plenty of eye-popping iron. Bikeland was there to weigh in on the action.
With Southern California being the home base of many OEMs the Long Beach stop usually produces something extra for attendees. This year was no exception. Besides showcasing all the models already announced this year, additional U.S. and world debuts happening here this weekend include:
- BMW’s New F800GT
- Suzuki’s One Millionth Commemorative Edition GSXR
- Indian’s 2013 Final Edition Chief
- A board track racing inspired Triumph Custom Speedmaster
- A new Victory custom bagger
- Yamaha’s New custom Star and a custom built R-1
- Ducati’s new Hypermotard SP, Hyperstrada and Diavel Strada
Once again this years JP Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show is managing to impress even the most jaded judges.
A new for 2012 Moto GP Experience allows visitors to check out the mounts of Hayden, Spies, Lorenzo and 250 class machines plus an opportunity to get a “grid” shot of themselves with attendant umbrella girls.
Riding activities include adult and kid demos and a stunt show competition.
Some OEM displays are reflecting the subdued economy with reduced exhibit size and dropping some fluff --- most have all their units here. The Accessory and aftermarket section is bigger this year and quality is up with fewer of the unrelated home show type vendors.
For autograph hunters, Long Beach features up to ten times as many pen-packing celebs compared to other tour stops. Somebody for everybody: Josh Hayes, Tommy Aquino, Cal Crutchlow, Roland Sands, Cory & Arlen Ness, even Playboy Bunnies and the “Marine Gunny”.
Plenty of freebies are floating around from insurance companies wanting to cover your ride. Lots of gifts and prizes too. Sweepstake drawings for customized Hayabusas and an all expense paid package to the Indy Moto GP.
Where: Long Beach Convention Center
When: December 7-9 See http://www.motorcycleshows.com/show-features for more details or for the next show nearest you.
Cost for Long Beach--- Fifteen dollar admission and ten dollar parking ($2 discounts from participating dealers) makes it tinsel town’s best entertainment value for moto folks.
Misc: The convention center food court is closed but there are good options within a short walk downtown.