By Talya Adams
This past weekend, I attended the Progressive International Motorcycle Show out in Long Beach. This is an annual event and normally runs Friday through Sunday in the month of November. My friends have been riding down for years, and this year I was lucky enough to be able to go along.
My expectations were all over the place before I arrived as I’d never been to a motorcycle show. Even more, this show offers riders the opportunity to ride new motorcycles from the leading manufacturers including: BMW, Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha, Indian, and Harley.
My friends and I arrived at 9:30am, and the event started at 10am. However, there were already lines in front of test ride sign ups when we pulled up. We hopped into the BMW line and waited for another half an hour to sign up for a demo ride. Your reservation is determined by the popularity of the bike you wish to ride. I chose to ride the R nine T Pure and agreed to wait until 3pm so I could ride with my friends in a group.
After I finished registering at BMW, I walked over to Kawasaki to sign up to demo one of their bikes, but all their time slots had already been filled. Apparently, registration for their demo rides opened two weeks prior to the event date. This was pretty much the case for most of the other lines as well. So, I ended up with only one test ride because I didn’t really want to ride a cruiser. In hindsight, I should’ve given the Harley a shot to see what all the hype is about and to get another ride in for the day.
Even though I didn’t get to ride many bikes, I still got to check out multiple bikes as the parking lot was filled with every type of motorcycle imaginable. There were brand new bikes, vintage bikes, tricked out bikes, and regular stock bikes. All this action before you even stepped foot inside the Long Beach Convention Center.
The actual demo ride was all right, nothing crazy. I think I got the bike into third gear when we crossed a bridge over a harbor. I wish we could’ve opened up the bikes a bit more to get a better feel of how they handled. However, we rode in groups and had to maintain formation. I do think the earlier you go, the more of a chance you have to go a bit faster as there’s less traffic.
My best advice for anyone going to this event for the demo rides next year is to go online a few weeks prior and register with your favorite brands. This way you won’t be standing in line praying for an open slot. Another fun fact about the demos, is that they’re completely free. If you decide you don’t want to go inside, you can just ride the new bikes on the market and go home afterwards. The choice is yours.
Stay tuned for part two of my review of the Progressive International Motorcycle Show as I’ll be highlighting the inside of the Long Beach Convention Center.