Valentine’s Day – Time to take your sweetheart out for a nice romantic dinner, right? Not if you have an awesome wife like I do! She said she’d stay home with the kids while I headed to the International Motorcycle Show in Chicago. Did I mention that my wife is awesome?
What better way is there to spend a winter day than to drool over brand new bikes from Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, BMW, Triumph, Ducati, Victory, Indian, and Harley Davidson. If you’re in the market for a new bike, you really can’t beat it (even if you aren’t, you can check out bikes that’ll be on the used market when you are buying one).
Where else can you compare models from this many manufacturers virtually side by side? Say you are a fan of naked bikes; you can admire and sit on a Ducati Monster, KTM Duke, Yamaha FZ, Triumph Street Triple, BMW R nine T, and multiple others within minutes of each other. Imagine how many dealerships would you have to visit to see all these bikes?
Here are the highlights of the show for me.
The Ducati Scrambler
I’ve been waiting to see this bike in person since I read about it last year. I know there’s a lot of debate about whether this is a bike for hipsters only. Let me tell you, I don’t care who Ducati’s target demographic is. I LOVE this bike! It is gorgeous! Please do yourself a favor and check one out, no matter what your opinion was before. Actually, to be honest, I’m really considering buying one myself.
BMW R nine T Custom
This factory custom is outstanding. I was looking forward to seeing the stock R nine T, but this bike is the one that blew me away. The stock bike’s styling really lends itself well to the scrambler theme of this custom.
Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special
I’m not a bagger guy, but after seeing this bike, I might become one. I remember when this model came out years ago I was not a fan, but it’s amazing what a different color can do (I’m a sucker for flat black). Also, adjustable rear suspension ensures a comfortable ride. This one will be high on my list for touring bikes in the future.
Kawasaki Ninja H2R
Let’s be honest, this bike just looks fast! A supercharged liter bike just sounds crazy. I read that this track only motorcycle is claimed to have 300 horsepower! Taking one of these for a ride is definitely on my bucket list.
The J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show
It’s great seeing the creativity, artistry, and craftsmanship of all of these builders. There were really some great customs on display. Everyone who attended the show had a chance to vote for their favorite.
Team No Limit Stunt Show
I remember watching Jason Britton on the Speed channel years ago, so I was pretty excited to see him live. Multiple variations of wheelies, stoppies, burnouts, and even bunny hops (remember doing those on your bicycle as a kid?) wowed the crowd. Team No Limit’s announcer did an awesome job hyping up the show too.
This was the only low point for me. The amount of people packed into the convention center was insane. Actually that should speak to how awesome this show was. Well, there is also the fact that it’s the middle of February and in Chicago, so what else would a biker be doing?
Actually I’ve been attending this show since the late 90’s and I’d recommend it for everyone. Like I said before, is there anything better to do in the Midwest in February?