Long Beach Lift Off

. By Lance Thruxton
Bikeland checks out 2017’s first Progressive International Motorcycle Show

Kawasaki's Z900

Motorcycling demographics are changing.

You didn’t have to spend much time at the Progressive International Long Beach motorcycle show to see “wheels” in motion. The mostly male baby boomer generation who gave the industry its incredible fifty-year run is winding down the laps. Although they may not know or acknowledge it, many of the older riders could be on their final bike purchase. Manufacturers are stepping up to help keep Boomers riding as long as they want but they are also quickly introducing bikes more welcoming and affordable to younger generations. This year’s product reaches out to more millennials, women, and minorities. The best evidence? A flurry of smaller and intermediate machines laden with attractive rider friendly features and prices.

New 300 and 500 Rebels from Honda are targeted to millennial of all stripes. They look great as is but are also designed for easy modification and customization. Suzuki’s beautiful GSX250R, new 300 and 250cc Adventure bikes from Kawasaki and Honda and smallest ever BMWs G310R & G310GS.

A little secret: A lot of well heeled, techno jaded, long time, boomer enthusiasts actually like these bikes because they’re fun to ride hard yet easy to live with. Flogging them as daily riders while keeping the uber expensive big motor(s) for weekends is a plausible justification. Especially around town. Honda’s Grom and Kawasaki’s Z125 Pro are just the first iceberg tips for this crowd. The aftermarket looks healthy this year too as Gen X & Y hipsters snatch up high tech, vintage style riding apparel and farkle their Scouts, Bonnevilles, Scramblers and R nine Ts.

BMW stands out as they continue to set sales records and plan to maintain 2017 momentum with eleven new models. A wide range of lower priced R nine T derivatives and two entry level models, the made-in-India GS310 and 310 GSA complement other high tech, high end units.

There’s a huge change in the price of admission to BMW land too. The base unit 310 will retail for $4,750. No that’s not a typo. BMW is even slashing the freight & destination charge from $495 to $245 to bring it in below $5,000. It’s been decades since a new Beemer escaped a showroom for under $5K.

Regardless of your demographic it’s going to be a good year.

U.S. Show schedule
Long Beach California: November 18-20
New York City: December 9-11
Washington D. C. Dec January 6-8
Dallas: January 13-17
Cleveland: January 27-29
Minneapolis: February 3-5
Chicago February: 10-12

Besides an estimated 150 vendors, all shows include interactive consumer events.

The Chicago stop will host the Championship Round of J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show. Professional and amateur builders from throughout the US vie for cash and product valued at $50,000. Classes include Freestyle, Modified Harley, Modified Custom and Modified Retro.

Stunts Jimmy Fitzpatrick and the Metal Mulisha Fitz Army stunt show performing freestyle motocross flips, whips, heel clickers and more. Excludes Washington D.C. and Chicago shows.
More info at: www.motorcycleshows.com

Inside Harley’s latest Milwaukee-Eight.

The Indian 750FTR went from paper to racetrack in less than a year.

Indian plans to end Harley’s dominance by hiring the three top riders and some sponsorship help from All State insurance.

Klim is getting into the helmet business with lightweight carbon. Bikeland will review one soon—stay tuned.

Get em while they’re hot. EPA and the states are going to make life tough on the aftermarket pipe business.

Lower priced Spyders

Less is more: The new KTM 1090 Adventure weighs in at 477 pounds.

Jeff Palhegyi Designs Yamaha SCR950
The latest of 70+ machines the company has done for the tuning fork folk since 1995.

You have to look inside to see but the popular Yamaha XYZ1000 can be had with paddle shifters this year.

Pretty slippery: Yamaha says the 2017 YZF R-6 is their most aerodynamic production motorcycle ever. Check the seat rail foils.

Yamaha race boss Keith McCarty has 2016 AMA Supersport Champ Garrett Gerloff ‘splain how he did it.

Customization is what the BMWs R nine T is all about.

Pre-reveal anticipation takes many forms

Pick a chair…

Street legal three wheelers: lots of companies—lots of styles.

Stock Honda Rebels

A few examples of what Honda thinks new millennial owners can do with their Rebels.

The long awaited CBR1000RR

Vulcan S: One size can fit most.

Kawasaki resurrects the stand up.

The only Triumph Bobber in the U.S. courtesy of Southern Calif Triumph. Being the Nation’s #1 dealer has advantages.

Just when you think you’re tough. Swiss endurance rider Urs “Grizzly” Pedraita’s world record Victory Cross Country Tourer. 62,000 miles in 72 days. Check the video of his first record

She probably knows… industry wide female ownership is well into double digits now.

Everybody wants the Ducati Desert Sled or at least a picture of it.

Suzuki GSX250R Katana parallel twin

Suzuki GSXR1000

Moto Skiveez shorts can extend your ride time. Designed specifically for different riding positions and worn (happily) by Bikeland staff.

Polaris Kid Rock 173 HP turbo “Concept Slingshot”

Does this color make me look big?

Yes S&S does keep making them bigger!

Progressive is cleaning up motorcycling one rider at a time. Free haircuts, beard trims and boot shines.

We’re hoping it’s a bike

Don’t be fooled, the Kawasaki Z900 will be both refined and polished.

She could’ve been yours for $80,000. Ducati’s 364 pound carbon fiber frame 1290 Super Leggera. World production of 500 is purportedly sold out.

Everything else is legal in California now…

You Meet the Nicest People… and pups at Honda displays

AMA Dirt Track will heat up this year with contingency money from Kawasaki and Yamaha.

Roczen left for Team Honda but Suzuki keeps the Championship bike and trophy.

From Temecula California’s Doffo Winery vintage bike collection

Why is this man smiling? Bob Weber and 6D are the only helmet company in America to receive a $250,000 NFL grant for advancing head protection technology. The company just announced its first street model complementing their impressive dirt line up.

If Washington drains the swamp will there be more or less places to ride ATVs?

The Honda CRF250L Rally "How am I gonna keep my big bike and tell the wife this isn’t for her?"

Bryan Smith’s 2016 Championship Kawasaki dirt tracker.

Suzuki’s 200cc Van Van

P40 Warhawk inspired Honda Rebel

BMW knows: 30% of US sales under 500cc

The BMW G310R unveiled

BMW R nine T Racer


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