Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: International Motorcycle Show (Cleveland, OH) - 1/28-1/30/11


International Motorcycle Show (Cleveland, OH) - 1/28-1/30/11

I had the chance to volunteer a few hours of my time last weekend at the Women Ride booth at the International Motorcycle Show at the I-X Center in Cleveland, OH. The show itself has downsized in the past few years due to the poor economy but is bouncing back with a revamped look and a new approach toward its ever-changing customer base. I was quite impressed with the show's larger emphasis on female riders which is, by far, the fastest growing sector of new motorcyclists today. I had a great time helping ladies try on several different types of motorcycle jackets and overpants and answering questions about helmets.

Here's a small part of the Women Ride section of the motorcycle show. Here ladies had the opportunity to try on some of the touring gear available for female riders. I got to assist in that for three hours!
When all that was done, I perused the show to check out some of the new (and redesigned) bikes coming out for 2011. Here are some of my favorites.

The new Kawasaki Ninja 1000 definitely has potential to be a great selling aggressive touring bike. With a 5.0 gallon gas tank, a three-way adjustable windshield, and the heart of the new Z1000, and a neutral seating posture for those long hours, it's a comfy crotch rocket that can travel.
Here's the new 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 650R. It's gotten a little facelift and a few new features. I like that metallic take on the trademark Kawi green.
Yay! I got to see and sit on a fully loaded 2011 Yamaha Super Téneré for the first time! Yamaha is definitely going after the BMW's R1200GS market with this bike, and I think it'll be a formidable alternative to spending the $20k for a loaded Bimmer.
Here's the 2011 Triumph Tiger 800 ready for a quick romp down the road or some state-hopping action. Triumph is going after BMW's F800 series bikes with this gorgeous addition. I'd definitely want to test this thing; I'm a big fan of its brother, the Tiger 1050.
The Triumph Speed Triple (and Street Triple) were both redesigned for 2011. That thing looks even more diabolical than the previous model. Me like.
And finally, here's Ducati's long anticipated Diavel (Carbon edition). Kinda reminds me of what would happen if a Duc Monster and a Yamaha Warrior had a one-night stand. Looks like fun! I so don't want to see the price tag.
Overall, it was a decent show this year. The booths weren't all leather shops and cruiser-only accessory stops. I was disappointed that BMW, Aprilia, and Moto Guzzi among others didn't show up in Cleveland again. It still boggles my mind that the dates for the International Motorcycle Show in this part of the United States take place so far into winter that it's impossible to ride a motorcycle there. I miss the days when I ran a Women On Wheels® booth at IMS in Long Beach, CA where there are test rides because weather in the first week of December is always going to be 70 degrees and sunny. If I had my way with the schedule, put the Midwest/Northeast shows earlier so riders can catch the last parts of fall! Driving a car to a motorcycle show is a walking oxymoron! Oh well, at least the bikes were shiny.