Originally Posted by meese
So, how was the show?
I had a great time at the show, but didn't see any riders that I know, and none of the group came up to me. I saw a lot of vendors that I knew, and it was good to reacquaint myself with them and their products.
I shared the 7:00 AM breakfast with the Bob and Dave Brown and Leighton Davis in Pomona, and got to the show just in time for the show to open. The crowds were light at first, but got thick fairly quickly. By the end of the day (5:00 PM) they were sparse. (My estimate: The crowd was thicker than last year at mid-day, but overall attendance is down slightly.)
The number of independent vendors was down. Many of the local dealers opted out this year, but they were replaced by more insurance companies and people selling various track day packages. Progressive Insurance was the big sponsor, and the images of their spokeswoman in the all white (lab coat?) were everywhere. I bet she has never put a hand on the handlebar.
I attended four seminars. (Bluetooth, Helmets, Advanced Riding, and Long Distance Touring). The talks were okay, but too short at 20 minutes each. The speakers were good. Bruce Porter of Arai and Lee Parks were especially good.
I didn't spend much time at the major manufacturer's booths, other than BMW. I looked at the Concours (not impressed) and the new Honda VFR 1200 F (impressed). The BMW SS1000 got a lot of the crowd's attention. All of my local dealers (Brown, Long Beach, and Irv Seaver had good representation in the BMW booth, mostly sales or marketing people, but some others, too.
I was happy for the people who found a place to show their restored antique motorcycles, but they don't interest me much, unless they have restored a model that I used to own. There were the usual custom bikes. Even though there were many custom cruisers, the trend seems away from them towards a custom sport/drag bike styling with low handlebars. I use the term "sport" bike loosely, because the extremely wide tires would prevent any reasonable cornering. Art, yes, rideable, no.
There was a stage with modern dancing and music (hip-hop). I ignored it as much as I could, even though it reverberated through the hall. There were two retailers with huge cages selling apparel and other merchandise. They also had loud heavy metal music blaring. They were very crowded, their displays quickly devolved into heaps of stuff, and it was not a fun shopping experience. In each case, I walked through the labyrinths and exited as quickly as I could.
My goals were to find gloves for my wife and earplugs/microphone that would fit under my helmet for use with the Zumo. I failed at both, but I had a great time looking around.