For some it was their first time, for others it was the yearly tradition, but for all it was an eclectic presentation of motorcycle personality in all shapes and sizes. This year’s New York International Motorcycle Show, held at the Javits center, drew large crowds of enthusiasts and a variety of vendors and manufacturers. Though the aisles were filled with custom choppers, excessively stretched swingarms, and some retro rebuilds, the major players didn’t have a whole lot that was new and exciting in my opinion.
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There were a few exceptions; one of which was, of course, Ducati. Ducati’s 1199 Panigale got center stage billing. The stage, lighting, and fashion show provided by Ducati was quite a performance. People still flock to the Diavel as well, even though it is old news by now. The other manufacturer that stood out was Evolve Electric Motorcycles. Though much of their offerings seemed to be conceptual in nature (including the Tron bike from the movie!) it was good to see alternative power technology so prominently displayed. They made the prospect of picking up an electric motorcycle at your local powersports shop seem quite plausible. Probably the most interesting bike at the entire show, was the BMW Turbocharged HP2 Sport, nicknamed “Slugger.” Pulling a ridiculous 202hp, the entire frame and suspension is highly modified to withstand the insane amount of torque this bike produces. Oh, and it weighs less than 400lbs.
On the vendor side, both Shoei and Nolan brought their new, not yet released, modular helmets. As a previous Multitec owner, my standards were high for the Shoei Neotec. It did not disappoint as it offered the same ease of use that I remember from the Multitec, while adding several key features. The biggest addition is the drop-down sunvisor, but the fit has improved and the whole helmet seems lighter and quieter than its predecessor. The biggest plus comes from the reputation and dependability of the Shoei brand - you can be assured that there won’t be very many of these returned on warranty. On the other hand, the new Nolan N104 totally beat the price point. In addition, you can also purchase the new integrated bluetooth with it for only marginally more than the Shoei Neotec costs. The fit has improved, and the sunvisor will auto-retract at the press of a button. Personally, I think the biggest selling point will be the super-wide periphery of the faceshield. The only other notable I came across were a few new products from Givi in both the hardcase and softpack categories.
Most of all, it was great to take a day to hang out with a few thousand people that share the same interest as I do. The strong sense of community that permeates when large groups of bikers gather in one place combined with a New York City pizza for lunch was enough to make the day for me.
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