You’ll hopefully forgive 2strokebuzz if coverage of the 2007 Cycle World International Motorcycle show is a little scaled back this year. The truth is, very little has changed from year to year. Each year there are fewer surprises, less swag, and fewer perks (the bus service to the CTA parking lot was cancelled this year, brrr.), while parking, concessions, and admission (at least seem to) get more expensive. Probably that’s why Triumph didn’t appear for the second year in a row, and why Kymco, CMSI, and Genuine rarely bother with these shows.
On top of that, we had a head start on new 2007 models, thanks to the Milan EIMCA show, and next weekend I’m attending the Indianapolis Dealer Expo (my first trip), which promises to be a bit more exciting. But out of a sense of duty, and because Ryan was driving, I decided to once again trek through the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, to see what there was to see. Which wasn’t much, really.
Honda had nothing new to show this year, other than a couple sorta-new variations on Metropolitan colors and patterns. Honda is so powerful, and they have several interesting adults electric scooter models in Asia and Europe, so you have to wonder why they’re still dusting off the same boring red Helix they’ve been exhibiting for (literally) 20 years now. Here’s hoping there’s a Forza or SH300i on the horizon.
The Morphous looked a little different to me this year, but I believe it’s just a two-tone color scheme that’s making it look slightly less phallic. Yamaha’s only new offering was the C3, (the Vox in Japan). I’ve talked about the C3 a lot on this site, but this was the first time I’ve seen one in person. It’s small–it seems smaller than a Vino, though as far as I can tell they share a frame and engine. It’s attractive, and build quality seems similar to the Vino, but Ryan pointed out the questionable usefulness of the legshield. If the Genuine Buddy wasn’t the perfect bike for your short friends, this would be the perfect bike for your short friends.
For the first time, Korean manufacturer Hyosung had a modest booth near the center of the exhibit. Strangely, they had no scooters on display. The build quality and design of their motorcycles seemed pretty decent. When Ryan told the Hyosung representative that he looked familiar, he admitted he’d come from another company, but wouldn’t tell us where (though he denied ever working for Benelli). When you start recognizing manufacturer representatives, it’s time to stop going to motorcycle shows.
The Piaggio Group (Piaggio/Vespa/Guzzi/Aprilia) was back for 2007, and so was their trade show display.
Piaggio: The big news was obviously the MP3, with the “animals” video looping on a big TV and some big banners. Seeing the MP3 in person totally changed my perspective, and I will tell you about it in a different post. Aside from a couple MP3s, Piaggio had only a Fly and a BV on display.
Vespa: Vespa had the LX and GTS on display, along with the GT60 and a couple of the other 60th anniversary editions. Again, this was my first time seeing the anniversary models in person, and aside from the luscious-looking (I’m not being sarcastic) seats, they looked like the pictures: LXes and GTSes with some extraneous lights and screens tacked on. The best anniversary model, the Vespa S (or LXS as it seems to be called now) was, sadly, not on display.
Aprilia: Aprilia’s big news is the Sportcity, available in 125, 200, and 250cc displacements. It’s a handsome big-wheeler, though not ground-breakingly different than the BV200, or Kymco People. The Scarabeo line, still twenty variations strong, was represented by a single example, and the venerable SR50 was back with a moderate redesign, incorporating the fake exposed center strut that looked so charming on the Peugeot Jetforce, but is now required on all new sport scooters. The Mojito is back, too, after a one year absence, for those that like the Honda Joker/Yamaha Vino/Pep Boys chopper look.
Rest in Show
There’s not too much more to say. As far as “what motorcycle did I leave drool marks on?,” this year’s winner was the Ducati GT1000. I don’t even think it’s a new model, and it probably would have lost to a Triumph, had Triumph been there. But it was pretty sweet. A 12-oz cup of Coke with too much ice was $2.25. We saw the land speed record motorcycle (350mph!) and learned it was piloted by Peoria TT legend Chris Carr, who set the record on his very first trip to the Bonneville flats. We saw race bikes and race replicas and choppers, and the always-impressive vintage bike display (beefing that up would be a great way to improve the show). Amazingly, it seemed like maybe the “chopper thing” is starting to taper off a little.
But the highlight of the day, hands down, was meeting Nicky Hayden’s mom (above).
Visit the 2007 Cycle World show photo gallery, with funny captions that are longer and more interesting than this story.