We get it – you can’t travel to every motorcycle event going on. It would be great – but adult life gets in the way – and as annoying as it is, it usually wins out. No worries – that’s why you have us.
We were up at the IMS New York City show earlier this month and it was… impressive. The event was packed – and for good reason. The manufacturers and vendors really brought their A-game with bigger booths, interactive experiences, and better bikes.
Two big takeaways to sum up the show:
There’s a new motorcycle culture in town
And the Shift booth was there to represent. The whole space had a coffee shop meets brewery vibe – and was focused on all things motorcycle culture and lifestyle. The space was open – feeling like a market with several popup booths scattered throughout. Each spot had a small description of the company, with some swag items you could pick up and a cool motorcycle lifestyle magazine called META that you could read. Shift is a good name for this – because it was a public acknowledgement of the changing culture in our industry. No longer is riding just about being a badass – sure, that’s an added perk – but it’s starting to have more of a relaxed, almost inclusive vibe about it, opening it up to more riders.
The manufacturers brought their A-game
The manufacturers weren’t messing around – their booths were bigger and better than ever – and, no surprise, the bikes were equally as impressive.
Harley’s booth was packed. If their bikes weren’t drawing people in – the “test ride” section certainly was. And since there weren’t live test rides at the event – Harley got creative by setting up a bike in front of a winding highway backdrop to let people take pictures on. Considering that new lifestyle focus that seems to be creeping into the our industry – this seemed particularly on point. People were lined up.
For many – this was the first time they got to see the new Honda Goldwing up close. And while we were hearing mixed reviews about it from people during the show – it didn’t stop people from checking it out. And while it looks alot like previous year’s – the upgraded features are, admittedly, pretty cool.
Vanderhall was one of the most unexpected things we saw. To be honest, I’m not even sure what to call it… it’s basically half Slingshot, half vintage car. Built on a three wheel frame it technically still qualifies as a motorcycle, but the grill on the front gives it a vintage sportscar feel. I’m not sure it would be my first choice for an actual purchase – but in terms of something cool to see at the show – it definitely hit the mark. We wouldn’t mind renting one of these bad boys for a weekend trip down the California or Florida coasts.
Bottom line – a motorcycle show in New York City isn’t a bad place to be. We liked the new vibe and were happy to see so many bikers in one spot. Definitely worth a stop if you can make it out next year.