Whatís Been ďHĒappening February 12th, 2006
by Chris Irwin, AGWA-Illinois Chapter H
Well folks, here we are, motorcycle show time once again.† It means spring is just around the corner and ridding time is ahead.† Unfortunately, today was typical motorcycle show weather.† We set off after lunch,† in sunshine and not five miles down the road, the snow began!† It got heavier and heavier all day.
††††††† For the first time ever, we found going later had itís advantages.† Although the show was crowded, there were no lines for tickets.
††††††† This year the show was in a larger area so the aisles were wider which did away with some of the congestion from previous years.† I felt there was a lack of club involvement with the small clubs, I guess the industry has decided to charge them to go? Although the whole thing was set out much better than last year, I still felt there was something missing, namely, atmosphere!
††††††† Many bikes were under-represented as Triumph were not showing, sidecars were only represented by Ural and Hannigan.† The trike dealers were in short supply with only DFT and Hannigan representing them. I also felt the Honda stand was a disappointment.† There were quite a few, same ol, same ol clothing stands who all had much the same gear. Among the other things missing were the clubs who it would be nice to know who is around and where they ride.† I would also like to be able to buy parts for my motorcycle at a show and there were no dealers in any shiny parts for our trusted steeds.
††††††† The one thing I came away from the show excited about was Hanniganís new addition to their trike range.† The BMW K12 trike had been adapted to hub center steering.† After talking with Dave Hannigan it certainly looks and interesting project and I would really like to ride it sometime and see how it goes.† The whole idea behind it means you put a much wider tire on and so you get an incredible mileage from the front tire and we all know you never wear out rear tires on trikes, so think how much extra riding time it would give you.† Sadly, I forgot to check out prices, but hopefully I will find out in the near future.
††††††† We saw a few faces we knew, even though most people we know go on Sunday.† Kirsty had a good time in search of her first motorcycle, which we planned on checking out what is new so that in a couple of years time we can buy her one used and save money, after all we wonít be buying her a new bike as a first bike.† She can dent a used one just as easily!!!
††††††† We saw many custom machines on display, I guess there is money around and people like to build their own dream machines.† Some made me laugh, with the frame literally resting on the ground there was no way they could possibly be ridden!!† Each to his own, I guess.† I will stick with the trike that Iíve got, I didnít find anything better.† I like to look at the custom machines, however, I still need to find inspiration for paint.
††††††† By four-thirty in the afternoon we were ready to sit back and watch the stunt show.† More disappointment. There were no chairs and the show had been set up in such a way as you could not see a thing, unless you were in the front row, and the front row was SMALL.† They had the arena covered on one side with a large truck and tents, two sides were only walkways, which only left one side for viewing.† We didnít get to see anything, and, it was standing room only!
††††††† Well, I guess you can tell, I was not overly impressed with the show.† It used to be great, what happened?† Have the organizers got too greedy?† Have the clubs given up wishing to put themselves out there?† Is there that much apathy within the motorcycle groups.† We know Chicago is overcharging everyone that comes to the convention centers.† I feel ripped off when I spend $44 to go to a show and find very little there.† We have had some great show there, but not recently!
I hope it improves. I think they are heading in the right direction after last years fiasco, but it has to improve quickly, much faster than it is evolving at present,† or people will quit going.