Progressive International Motorcycle Show
Long Beach Convention Center
Story and Photography by Tom Corleyemail@example.com
LONG BEACH, CA, NOV. 18-20, 2016
A sea of cycles. Photo courtesy of International Motorcycle Shows
“I don’t want a pickle, just want to ride on my motor-sickle…”
Those are lyrics from “The Motorcycle Song” written by Arlo Guthrie back in 1967, and they certainly applied to this ocean of riders who came out to Long Beach for the first stop of the yearly International Motorcycle Shows tour. It’s where all riders unite on every make of motorcycle. What did the manufacturers have this year that looked like a tempting purchase? Read on…
The largest motorcycle show tour in the world (now 36 years strong) rolled into Long Beach for the first stop of its seven-city tour. Attendees were given access to the exciting world of motorcycling, with the latest manufacturers’ models on display, as well as the best in aftermarket brands and accessories.
Back by popular demand was the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show. Outside the venue was the FMX Stunt Show, featuring Jimmy Fitzpatrick and the Metal Mulisha Fitz Army (and yes, we’ve got some crazy pictures of those guys). In the parking lot, licensed riders got the chance to demo-ride new bikes and take a pretty good spin on them. For one young lady who’d just gotten her license on November 1, this was her first opportunity to ride on the street (and you bet we have a picture of her on that bike).
True to form, this event rocked, and by this we mean there were featured musical artists such as The Gatsby Affair jamming on the Progressive Stage (and of course, we’ve got a picture of them performing).
Enjoy the following rockin’ Portfolio presentation…
As the sign in the background says, “All you seek is what you find along the way.” This certainly applied to this International Motorcycle Shows tour. The press came out in full force to get the best perspective of the latest models from many manufacturers. Factory representatives gave the press the lowdown on what was new for the year and unveiled their bikes.
What were the members of the press nudging against one another just to get a picture of? Well, it was all about seeing the new models, like this one from Yamaha, the bike that “Revs Your Heart.”
Yamaha’s legendary Keith McCarthy has done it all, from being the mechanic for Bob Hannah to representing Yamaha at this show. Keith talked about the 2017 Yamaha Off-Road Contingency Program and the importance of having this in order to keep racers racing.
The Yamaha R/World, as the sign says, and leaning this bike through the turns is what it’s all about.
There are Yamahas for young and old, as this display depicts. Wear the latest gear from Fox and you are ready to go dirt biking!
Oh yes, the racing machines of famous racers were on display, and that included this 2016 Lucas Oil Motocross 250 Champion-winning Yamalube/ Star Racing/ Yamaha YZ250F of Cooper Webb. Though 2016 might not have been a good year for some, Cooper became a true champion, with four overall wins and eight moto wins. Then again, Cooper was also the 2015 250SX West Champion.
Suzuki displayed the bike ridden by their top motocross racer, Ken Roczen, who won the 2016 AMA 450SX class.
Topping this special platform was Suzuki’s GSX250R.
“Let The Good Times Roll” with Kawasaki! One good way to do that is to get on the seat of this Z900 and enjoy its aggressive and highly technical supernaked styling, with a commanding ride position that is sporty and comfortable.
The legend continues for Indian Motorcycles, which is now owned by Polaris. Back in the day, they were racing against Harley-Davidson on the board track. Well, the board track is gone, but the flat track is where Indian will have a showdown against Harley once again. Joe Kopp’s leathers are shown here, and there is yet another great Indian racer who made a special appearance at this show…
This is one serious racer who does Indian Motorcycles proud on the racetrack. Bryan Smith is a Grand National Flat Track Championship competitor who took his factory Indian to all of the 16 race series.
The Indian Motorcycle Company was founded by racers, and many years later this company is still hitting the track. They are back to making their own motors, and here’s a cut-away view that will show you what’s inside of one.
Harley-Davidson has their version of a killer big-twin motor – the Milwaukee-Eight. This is an eight-valve motor that will have a significant increase in torque and horsepower. Were there any other big motors to be seen at this show…?
Your first impression of this picture is probably, That sure is a big motor! That motor is taller than the man standing beside it. Of course, that is just a mock-up – but then again, the real motor is indeed quite big. The guys at S&S Cycle came out with the T143, and that is a lot of cubic inches for a motorcycle. It’s bigger than some automobile motors.
On site with Ducati Motorcycles – which, as their signs say, personify Style, Sophistication and Performance. We agree.
The guys at Ducati are a real class act. They were serving Grassi Parmigiano and Prosciutto Secalo, topped off with a cold Peroni beer.
“Girls, Girls, Girls” says Motley Crue. And there were definitely some Girls modeling around the new Ducatis to further attract the eye of the buyer.
Charlie was in the house! Yes, it was two years ago when we met this little guy who just loved a Triumph on display. This time, he loved this Ducati. Standing behind him is his proud father, Heath Cofran. Oh, yes, there is going to be a great future generation of motorcycle riders!
There was a good mix of vintage race bikes on hand, and this Ducati caught our eye. I asked, “How do you start this thing?” The man at the rear of the bike just motioned with his arms. Oh… that means you’ve got to push it.
The MotoDoffo Vintage Motorcycle Collection included machines from motorized bicycles to small-displacement motorcycles. They all look like fun!
The Grizzly man and his bike made Victory Motorcycles proud by setting a new world endurance record. That’s right: 62,000 miles and six continents in 72 days. Amazing!
Have you seen one of these Slingshot three-wheeled vehicles on the road yet? Two wheels on the front and one on the rear. An M-1 motorcycle license isn’t necessary to drive one of these. This happens to be a “Kid Rock” signature Slingshot.
Only from the Progressive Flo’s Chop Shop would you see something like this: a motorcycle with a barber’s chair for the best barbers, hand-picked out of Austin, Texas, to give you a clean shave.
These young ladies served it well at Flo’s Coffee Grinder. This was the place to grab a cup of java and discuss all things about motorcycle insurance. Hey, over at the left, the man behind Dave’s Inside Line was ready to take in some free caffeine and get revved up to cover the rest of the show.
The Progressive Stage hosted performances from local bands like these guys, called “The Gatsby Affair.” Members Ron, Jewels, Brian and Jimmy lit up the stage with their songs “Should I Wait” and “Take U with Me Now.”
The exhibits were inside the convention center, but another must-see was the event happening outside – the FMX Stunt Show, featuring Jimmy Fitzpatrick and the Metal Mulisha Fitz Army. Man, did these guys come through with a show that featured their own style of flips, whips, heel-clickers and more.
Kenny Bell announced the FMX Stunt Show, which was performed by three riders: (from left to right) Dustin Cantrell, Jason Fitzpatrick and Cal Vallone.
Seemingly flying as high as those buildings in the background, Jason Fitzpatrick flips his bike toward the ground in this shot and somehow lines it up with the landing ramp.
Now Dustin Cantrell goes even further and dive-bombs toward the ground, yet he still made a perfect landing on the ramp.
Cal Vallone’s bike is headed toward the landing ramp – but would his body make it? (Yes, it would.)
Back again for its eighth consecutive year was the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show. This is one of the largest and most sought-after touring custom-bike competitions in the country.
This was just one of several custom bikes from Andrew Ursich, called “Pink Panther.” Fit to be in the Freestyle class, this bike was painted by Danny D. It featured a custom-built frame with machined, finned axle plates and a neck that was chrome-and-gold-plated, and there was lots of engraving by Engrave It Inc. A 1956 Triumph tranny gets the power to the rear wheel. Leaf springs were used on not only the front end but also with the controls and kickstand.
Looks like Andrew Ursich was the most creative man in this contest; here’s another work of art from him. This bike is called “Stardust” and it had a most striking blue paint job from the master, Danny D.
We’re sure you don’t mind seeing another custom that was built by Andrew Ursich. This bike featured lots of brass and was appropriately named “Brass Monkey.”
Ryan McQuiston’s entry, “45 Magnum,” featured a 1941 Harley Magnum motor.
“The Predasaurus” by Troy Kyne. This work of art features paint by Josh Bourassa True Kustoms. Monkey Bike did the pin striping. Other features included a 280 rear tire and a 124 S&S motor.
Licensed riders got the chance to test-ride different new bikes from manufacturers such as BMW, Honda, Indian, Slingshot, Suzuki, Victory, Yamaha and, yes, Harley-Davidson. The only problem that this reporter had was with the rain, as it only allowed some brief riding on Sunday morning.
Despite the fact that the weather permitted very little riding on Sunday, for Cassandra Wagner, there was one special ride. “I just got my motorcycle license November 1,” she said, “and this was the first time that I even rode on the street.” And this happens to be the very bike that she rode on, a Harley-Davidson 750 Street. This is also the only bike that I got a chance to ride, too!
That concludes this portfolio from the IMS, so it’s goodbye from myself… and from little Charlie, too.