November 14 2012 by Jason Fogelson
They call it the International Motorcycle Show (IMS), but if you're lucky, and live within shouting distance of one of the 13 venues, it's your local motorcycle show.
It's that time again -- it's show time! Every year, the major manufacturers put together their displays, load some bikes on the truck, and bring their wares to a series of convention centers to show off the new year's offerings. Some of the smaller bike makers skip the smaller venues, and just go to a few of the big city shows, but there is always an overwhelming collection of new bikes to look at, sit on and dream about at each stop on the tour.
The aftermarket and accessories business tags along, too, showing off everything from helmets to exhaust pipes, jackets to brake lines, ear plugs to carburetors. There are giveaways and sweepstakes, a vendor alley with things to buy, and tons of eye candy all around. Depending on where you live, you may also have the opportunity to get a picture taken with one of your motorcycling heroes, or to get an autograph from a celebrity or athlete.
This year, there's an educational aspect to the IMS as well, with an area called "The Podium." Leading industry experts will present their views on the motorcycle industry and on issues facing motorcyclists in the coming year.
In the parking lot at many venues, the demo ride trucks will be out in force. Have you been dreaming about a new Harley-Davidson? You might be able to test ride your dream bike at the show.
Prices vary at each location on the tour, but tickets for the IMS start at about $13 for adults, $6 for children. The event is family-friendly, with plenty of activities and things to see for the kids. Tickets are available online at http://motorcycleshows.ticketleap.com/.
Upcoming dates for the International Motorcycle Shows include:
- San Mateo, CA - November 16 - 18
- Long Beach, CA - December 7 - 9
- Seattle, WA - December 14- 16
- Washington, DC - January 4 - 6
- Minneapolis, MN - January 11 - 13
- New York, NY - January 18 - 20
- Cleveland, OH - January 25 - 27
- Novi, MI - February 1 - 3
- Chicago, IL - February 8 - 10
- Indianapolis, IN - February 15 - 17
- Charlotte, NC - February 22 - 24