Friday, December 11, 2009

2009 International Motorcycle Show

OK, so even though I had heard that this year's Cycle World International Motorcycle Show wasn't going to be that big, I still wanted to check it out. Especially since my 1957 Vespa Fenderlight was going to be shown in the "History of Motorcycles" exhibit.

But, I was unprepared to see just how much smaller it really seemed to be, in person. It was a lot smaller. I'd say 30-40% smaller! When I asked one of the organizers, upon entrance, why it was so much smaller, he said that the booth prices were relatively still the same, but that a lot of companies could not afford it this year, due to the economy and their financial situation...

Upon scanning the list of vendors, I quickly noticed that there didn't seem to be any specific scooter manufacturers on the list. Not even Piaggio! So, right away, I knew that one of the main reasons I came every year was now gone (namely to be able to see the new scoot models for the following year). So, instead, I turned my attention to both the Ducati booth, and the custom motorcycles section.

There were so many crazy looking customs, that you could tell had so much money seemingly wasted upon them, that I didn't know whether to be in awe, or laugh. A bunch had great custom-engineered solutions for braking, suspension, etc., though, so that was kind of neat. Standout of these was a "Shelby Cobra" super-custom motorcycle that was all lit up with custom onboard lighting, showcasing it's great custom faring work. That bike had easily over $100K into it, if not more... I'm sure Jay Leno was impressed, lol.

One of the standout bikes, for me, was the Mission Motors' Mission One Premier Limited Edition, all-electric, automatic Superbike, that debuted at this show (pictured above). A different, but aggressive looking motorcycle, the specs for this thing blew my mind. Obviously, it being all-electric was different to start off with. But when you started to hear about it's performance specs, it was crazy: 150mph top speed. A range of 150 miles per charge (which only takes under 2 hours to recharge at 240 volts). BUT, get this ---> at Zero RPM, this thing has 120 ft-lbs of torque! This means this sucker is ready to go as soon as you twist the throttle. Suffice to say, the rep from the company told me that the thing did 0-60mph in 3 SECONDS. !!!! Crazy. But, this kind of crazy also came with a crazy price tag: each one of these yet-to-be-built bikes costs $69,000. And, to get on their waiting list, or have a bike reserved for you, it will cost you $5,000. Wow. The bike sounds like crazy fun that tree-huggers would love to zip around on. But, it seems that they'll have to be tree-huggers with lots of green, if you'll pardon the pun... I have posted some pics from the show, at this link.

End note: They had a nice "History of Motorcycles" exhibit, of which my 1957 Vespa 125 Fenderlight was a part of. Mine and Rod Pick's scooter, a Lambretta, were the only scooters displayed, and it was a very nice experience to be included there. After seeing what else was there, I am very tempted to put my Rumi Formichino scooter project together to display there next year...! Pics of our scoots can be found at that original link with pics from the show.