Friday, February 5, 2016

At The Show

The Progressive International Motorcycle Show that is.  Progressive Insurance does it up big at the show, a large exhibit, the slot car races, coffee, the bags that get handed out at the entry gates, etc.  This year a few new things, one of which was Flo's Chop Shop.  Hair cuts, shoe shines, pedicures and once the show actually opened at 3:00 Friday afternoon, I never saw any of the chairs empty while I was around.


I spent the morning with my mom; a doctor's appointment, a bit of shopping, some paperwork and so on.  Then on to see my dad's sister in the assisted care facility and from there, I decided to go downtown, very early considering that the Show wasn't going to open until 3PM but I knew where I wanted to park (the lot was empty as I'd predicted) before it got busy and figured that I'd walk the Minneapolis Skyways for some exercise pre-show.

Unknown to me, Mike was at the show, inside helping the Viking Antique Chapter get set up and when I received an email with a very expensive HD photographed, I knew that he was inside.  I replied, letting him know that I was right outside the Mpls Convention Center building and headed toward the lobby.  He came out to greet me within seconds and with his Credentials, he led me inside to an almost empty room, save for the last minute setup that some of the vendors were still busy with.  That meant I had great access to take some photos without throngs of people to jostle through, still early before the 3PM opening.

So photograph I did.......

I like these.......

A couple of 2WD models.......


Some large posters......

Large Studs, a different type.....

Here I'd finally worked my way to the corner where the Antique and Vintage Japanese bikes were.

 I know these guys and proudly admit it......

 I have one of these but mine hasn't looked like this since 1963.  On 2nd thought, I doubt mine looked like this on the day it was imported.

About 1 PM at this point and I thought it wise to exit the exhibition hall and wait until the 3:00 official opening.....since I only had a ticket, no Credentials.  So it was out for a coffee and a quiet table in the lobby area.  Only seated a few minutes with my coffee cooling, Virgil sat down at the next table.  For the next 45 minutes we got caught up and Virgil did an extraordinary job in tweeking my interest in Fat Electric Bikes; he the owner of 2 of them.  I just might have to get rid of one mine that has no pedals and trade for one that does.  Absolutely new to me, Virgil gave quite a sales pitch. 

To be considered.

With my coat checked (2nd coat on the rack) I went back to the entrance doors to our section of the large Mpls Convention Hall, knowing that I'd start seeing friends.  Soon there were more familiar faces and familiar faces is the primary reason I attend the Show these days.  It's a social event for me; the only thing I bought today was a quite-good cup of coffee.  These wonderful new bikes need to be purchased and well cared for by all of the attendees and then in a few years, with 2k-3k accumulated miles, made very available to Coop at reasonable prices.

Mike, Virgil, Bob, Roger, Bob, Ron, Gary, Tim, Nels, Marty, Doug, Sheri, Dave, Dave #2, Rick, Mike and other familiar faces, only some with names I know, all within the 1st couple of hours on Friday afternoon.  Worth the price of admission always.

21 Helmets......

Lots of questions and comments about this recent arrival.....

 Like the ones I own, dirt from 3 seasons ago still present.......


This one caught my eye......I intend to learn more about the Mosquito.

 Mike found the Ducati ladies.....I spent some time at the Indian booth.


These Yamaha assistants must have heard about our recent 12" snowfall and brought their winter boots, ready for conditions.  That's the best part about our annual February show.....we're normally over the hump at this point with Spring just around the corner.

I'll finish with (one of) my favorite very good there's little that needs changing from year to year.


  1. Looks like a pretty good selection of bikes. Did you bring the trailer?

    1. It's purposely buried under deep snow; transporting impossible :)

  2. I'll be there some time early tomorrow. Probably 11:00-ish. I'll go load fresh batteries in the camera now.

  3. thanks for all the pics, that hill-climbing Indian sure looks like it could climb any steep hill....

    1. Dom, I like bikes that run and work; the show is full of those built primarily for display and that's fun too, just not my little corner of the hobby. Great to look at and the creativity and build skills are amazing. I'd much rather get another tank of gas (or two), a breakfast omelet and a campsite.

  4. Wow, the Honda Africa Twin was there? And the Ducati Scramblers? And the Indian Scout? None of these bikes were at our show in Portland; Honda didn't show up at all, we had to go to Canada to see these bikes.

    1. Brad, we were better represented this year than we are sometimes. No Triumph showings, or Guzzi's. Sometimes a local dealer that handles these brands will bring one or two into their own booth. Sounds incredibly expensive to get space and I've heard in years past that some cities for a host of reasons get or lose participation by the brands.

      The Enfields were a surprise; the lack of Urals was one as well since they've been at the last few shows.

  5. I thought the event was much better then in years pass.. More dealers, vendors and a lot of foot traffic. :)

    1. A great mix and show as far as I was concerned, with your help I had a lot of access time w/o crowds.

      Good luck on the take-down today and thanks for your contributions to the line-up!

      Brandy's right; one more cup coming your way.

  6. Nice job on Mike sneaking you in a little early. Did you buy him a coffee in thanks?

    It sure looks like a better show than the one in Portland. It is great to see so many bikes there. Our Portland show felt half empty.

    Thanks for sharing all the pictures.

    1. Brandy, as noted above, Mike is entitled to one more cup. One of these years I may have something here to show off. It would be wise to start polishing now to be done on time; competition is tight.