Long Beach International Motorcycle Show 2017 Photo Review

Blue skies and demo trucks. Just another beautiful day at the Long Beach IMS.

Blue skies and demo trucks. Just another beautiful day at the Long Beach IMS.

As the clock edged toward three, the line to get into the Long Beach Progressive International Motorcycle Show already stretched through the lobby of the convention center and out the back door. Inside, motorcycle manufacturers arranged their offerings with strategic precision, eager to share their latest wares. The beauty of the Long Beach IMS is it’s the first crack at seeing almost every new motorcycle on the market under one roof, to inspect it up close, to talk to reps directly about the machines. Then you can walk outside and test ride one because the Long Beach IMS has the added benefit of demos. From stunt shows to interactive discussions on bike building, organizers have worked hard to make it a complete experience.

Not surprisingly Harley-Davidson’s display showcased its new Softail line. This is probably the first time many at the Long Beach IMS will get to see them up close and there’s certain to be many questions about the new Softail line. The 2018 Sport Glide, the ninth of the new Softails, sat front and center. Harley front-man Matt King demonstrated how quick the mini-fairing and bags pop off. Looks pretty clean stripped down. Harley emphasized its commitment to its 10-year-plan and two million new rider movement. Curious to see what motorcycles this strategy reveals.

Plenty of buzz around the new Softails at the 2017 Long Beach IMS.

Plenty of buzz around the new Softails at the 2017 Long Beach IMS.

We met with EagleRider inside the Harley booth. A precursor of what’s to come as EagleRider kiosks will soon be in Harley-Davidson dealerships across the U.S. thanks to their new partnership. One of the most promising aspects I heard from EagleRider’s Chief Marketing Officer Greg Williamson is the ability to rent motorcycles for one-way trips. EagleRider also has faster access to the latest Harleys in its rental fleet as a result of the relationship. EagleRider’s got a big ride to Milwaukee planned next summer from several starting points for Harley-Davidson’s 115th anniversary celebration.

Carey Hart and Leah Misch Long Beach IMS 2017

Carey Hart talks to Leah Misch #ridingwithleah about his custom Springfield with the B-17 Bomber sidecar.

Meanwhile Indian Motorcycle Company launched itsThunder Stroke 116 Stage 3 Big Bore Kitat the Long Beach IMS. The kit comes with new cylinders, pistons, rings, cams, and bigger throttle bodies said to give the Thunder Stroke 111 a 15% gain torque and 20% more horsepower. Not a bad package for $ 1,999. At the show I learned though that an Indian Stage 1 exhaust and a new air cleaner are required, too. One other factoid, the new Stage 3 Big Bore Kit is not compatible with the preexisting Stage 2 kit, so it’s either one or the other. Indian brought out special guest Carey Hart to hype the launch. Hart brought his custom Indian Springfield with the sweet “Memphis Belle”B-17 Bomber sidecar to the show and fielded many questions about the project.

Plenty of sweet choppers in the Long Beach Ultimate Builder Bike Show.

Plenty of sweet choppers in the Long Beach Ultimate Builder Bike Show.

The first round of the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show also kicked off in Long Beach. The Ultimate Builder Show frequently serves as a springboard a for builder’s latest work, a chance for them to debut it to the public for the first time and get feedback on their build. There’s no shortage of talent in Southern California and we’re anxious to see what bikes get singled out for awards because there’s plenty of top-shelf builds to choose from. The chopper game is strong in SoCal. Luckily our buddy Jeff Najar is going to send us the results once the show’s over so we can share it with readers. We also look forward to featuring some of the show winners online in the future.

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Craig Ballantyne

I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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