Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bike Show Review

Saturday found us checking out the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show at the University of Phoenix Stadium. (sponsored by Toyota?) This is the home of the Arizona Cardinals NFL football team. It is also the first time I have been inside the stadium and it is very impressive. An interesting fact of the stadium that I found surprising is the expensive seats are on the lower level. To get to the good seats you need to go down two sets of escalators, while it appears the ground level is the cheap seats.

But, on to the bike show. Cost of admission was $12 at the door or $10 if purchased on-line. However the $12 at the door was cash only and they had pay per transaction ATMs right there for folks who didn't realize they needed to pay to get in. There were at least a hundred people waiting to pay to get cash to pay to go inside. This event was advertised as a bike show with all the new 09 models under one roof. I would rate this event as a poor excuse for a bike show. There were very few vendors, and those that were there weren't hawking much in the line of bike accessories. Memphis Shades was there, as well as a company that makes a trike conversion kit for a Harley. I asked and found that an unpainted kit was a cool $10,000. Their dealer would do a complete color matched installation for, "About $16,000."

There were three different companies offering Bike Riding Training Courses and the scooter dealers were everywhere. I had a thought that with so many people just beginning to ride, scooters and bikes, one of these Rider companies should be trying to partner with all of these dealers to make rider training part of the purchase price. Pie in the sky idea? Not really. A course runs about $225 and a Show special drops it to $180, or a 20% reduction. If dealers had a captive audience, bike buyers, and "Gave" them training at a cost of say $140, or a 38% reduction of the stated cost I'm thinking that new riders would go to the "Free" course that would allow them to get their motorcycle endorsement without taking the riding and written test, an insurance discount, the rider trainer operators would have guaranteed income, and the dealers would be promoting safety and insuring their customers would be around to upgrade to a new, bigger bike in a year or two.

There were some interesting things at the Show.

This is a Ural. I had seen their web site before, but never seen one in person. This is an on/off road vehicle that I found interesting.

This is a bike produced by Johnny Pag. These are full size motorcycles that cost between 4 and $5,000.

This is a Ducati and the open engine, without apparent places to mount an engine guard, was odd. All of their bikes at this show had the engines exposed in this fashion.

This stretched, low riding machine was out in the parking lot. I'm thinking this would be a beast to ride because of the position it would require to reach the bars. It has to be a bar hopper or a trailer bike.

The bike of the Show for me was this Orange County Choppers creation for DieHard Batteries. This would be a sweet ride.

That was the day at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show. As far as bike shows go it was a dissapointment and I don't think I would ever attend another one by this company. But, they might be coming to your area and you might want to go check it out for yourself.


  1. Dude,

    Urals are just junk. I'm surprised they are even still being built. There was a dealer here in Iowa years ago. He couldn't hardly give them away. These bikes are pre-war old BMW boxer design. I don't thing they have been even brought in to the mordern times. But I haven't seen one of the new design so maybe they have. They were different I will say that.


  2. urals are junk!! really my friend.. have you ever ridden one to know that.. do you know even though they are of pre-war design, they could last a war.. its rugged and utilitarian i agree.. bt tats the charm of these things.. bikes like these require a more personal touch from the owners.. since they are part classic.. plus maintaining them isn't tat difficult, i'm sure most of it can fix it yourself.. so before calling nething a piece of junk, pls think twice.. can u fix a Yamaha R1 on your own if its broke??

  3. This is a timely post. I was planning on attending the one in Seattle in December. It also presents a conflict of something else I need to do for a certification.

    One, I saw the Cardinal stadium on Monday night football last night. Two, it sounds like a bust for a ten hour round trip and a night's hotel.


  4. I'd love to own a bike some day. With one kid in college and the other four years until they begin college, I am wondering if I'll be too old by the time I can afford to buy that dream bike.