KTM’s booth from the EICMA show last month in Milan. Photo by Michael Lichter.
Wherever you live, odds are that some time between early November and late February you’ll hear about or see advertising for the International Motorcycle Show. IMS shows are held across the U.S., offering up a feast of motorcycle excitement in the middle of winter—when moto-stimulation is often at its lowest. This coming weekend, IMS is in Long Beach, CA, not far from our sprawling offices in El Segundo. The event runs from 4pm on Friday, December 7, to Sunday, December 9 at the Long Beach Convention Center.
“The Progressive International Motorcycle Shows is the nation’s largest and longest-running motorcycle show tour bringing all that is hot on two wheels to life by offering an up-close look at hundreds of new bikes from leading manufacturers, as well as the latest aftermarket parts and accessories. From New York to California, this tour is the destination for enthusiasts and newbies to immerse themselves in bike culture, talk to experts, learn new riding techniques and more.” That’s what the organizers say, and we have to agree. There’s nothing like a good old bike show to get the juices stirring.
This is the time of year when manufacturers announce their new models, and even though you’ve read about most of them here or on the pages of Motorcyclist already, this is the first time to see them in the flesh. Also, many accessory and apparel manufacturers use these events to launch new products.
The IMS Media Show starts Friday, and the entire Motorcyclist staff will be there early for the media preview. What are we excited about?
Associate Editor Zack Courts is keen to see the new GS for sentimental reasons. “Being that the first street bike I rode on a regular basis was an original BMW GS from 1981,” says Zack, “I’m excited to size up the new R 1200 GS and see the new package looks in person.”
“Like Z,” says Editor in Chief Marc Cook, “I’m eager to see the R1200GS in person and want to look closely at the F800GT now that I’ve spent time on the F700GS. It’ll also be really interesting to see if the Diavel Strada looks better in person than in photos. It’s a really intriguing concept that I don’t think the supplied photos do justice. And I’m really eager to throw a leg over the Hyperstrada. This mini-Multi is totally on my radar.”
Digital Editor Thomas Kinzer says he’ll beeline for KTM’s booth. “After seeing the video for the Super Duke that KTM posted online, I’m pretty stoked to lay eyes on that machine.”
Celebrities are always a high point of the show, and this year MotoGP racers Nicky Hayden and Cal Crutchlow, as well as AMA Superbike champion Josh Hayes, will be on hand signing autographs. Having thought about his time on the championship-winning R1, Courts will no doubt offer Hayes suggestions for next year’s championship effort. (Josh will nod and smile, and move on to the next autograph.)
Doors open this Friday, December 7, at 4pm, and the show runs from 9:30 am to 8 pm Saturday and 9:30 am to 5 pm Sunday. Tickets are available online or on-site. Be warned: Bring cash if you plan on buying your ticket at the venue, as credit cards won’t be accepted.