Live from NY, it’s the world’s coldest motorcycle show

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One Friday morning every January, a bunch of people in New Jersey wake up early, get in their cars and drive to Manhattan’s extreme western perimeter where they ditch the puffer coats for leather jackets or club vests and enter a poorly-made glass building where WiFi costs $30 a day. Inside, they listen to a bunch of frozen mid-level managers from Orange County (not the one in NY) explain to the other assembled Orangites how excited they are to be in New York City, presenting new products to mainstream media. At least that’s what they think they’re saying through the deafening noise of stand assembly and forklift beeping. After the cue cards go away, attendees wander the basement, catching a glimpse of bikes that were unveiled at other shows in other countries months previously. If they hurry, they can beat traffic back to the Lincoln Tunnel. This year, our friend Matt ventured into the boat show’s basement and returned with these pictures.

Photos: Matt Stutzman

  • Edward

    Sounds like the vitriol of the repentant sinner, or ex-New Yorker in this case.

  • AaronT

    And on that day, not a single exciting thing happened.

    (except maybe the husky)

    • Grant Ray

      You didn’t sit on the 675 F3?

      • AaronT

        I did not, and as sad as that makes me, I’m in LA. 65 degrees > 34 degrees.

      • AaronT

        Also, how did you know I’ve been lusting after the F3 for months? Do you keep tabs on your readers or was it just a lucky guess?

      • motoguru

        I thought the F3 looked really “cheap”. Looks like MV cut some corners to keep the MSRP down.

  • Johndo

    That Honda is growing on me…

    • Kevin

      I appreciate that they’ve set aside the horsepower race and the adventure bike pretensions and made a bike that appears to offer a ton of practical value at the price point.

      I know guys who tour the nuts off of 650cc VStroms… there is a big market out there for people who want a competent, reliable ride at an affordable price. I hope Honda do well with this bike.

  • ike6116

    Wes is trying to re-ignite the east vs west coast rap battle.

    Cram it already Benedict Arnold.

    • Wilbur

      Here Here!

  • Charlie

    Photo’s from Matt and no shots of the Brutale 675??

  • Bob

    Ok. But you do get great restaurants, Times Square, Soho, Brooklyn, art galleries, etc.

  • Case

    There is no angle from which that F3 doesn’t look like it rode out of my sweet, sweet dreams.

  • adeysworld

    Hahahahahahaha you just took me there and back. Cheapest ticket to NYC…thanks Wes.

  • damien

    Tell us how you really feel. Haha. I have a great mental picture of it now, thanks.

  • Campisi

    Man, that NC700 looks chunky.

    • nick2ny

      No chunkier than the Integra. Hmmmmmm.

  • Ankur V

    I’ve actually never been to the NYC motorcycle show before. I wonder if it sucks more or less than the annual auto show at the same place.

    • Ben NYC

      Much worse.

      The show totally sucked. It is now almost exclusively for Harley pirates.

      I was surprised that
      1) Piaggio did not make an appearance. Vespa has to be one of the most popular 2-wheel brands in the city. And what of the awesome new Guzzi and Aprilia bikes?

      2) It’s a drag the Harley thing scares away the likes of Dainese and other clothing companies.

      3) The Ducati exhibition was just ridiculous. The girls were ugly, the dance club vibe sucked, the merchandising was just offensive.

      Highlights: Honda and BMW both had great staff and a good selection of bikes. That Honda Adventure model with the dual clutch transmission is on my radar. At $9K, it’s a sweet deal. Glad I got to see it.

      • nick2ny

        The Ducati girls were beautiful.

  • pplassm

    So, at last week’s DC show. nobody showed anything? I’m thinking I won’t go again.

    The show get’s lamer every year. There’s so much possibility, but I think the costs of holding them in the major cities holds them back. At most of the East Coast shows, there are no demo rides.

    They used to hold the DC show out in the ‘burbs where they could offer rides. It was cheaper, too, so more manufacturers would attend.

    Note: I did not use the word word “union” above.

  • slowtire

    More construction inside than outside, many dissapointing exhibits, ugly Progressive models, too many people soliciting donations, annoying woman continuously on a microphone at the Yamaha Star display, how about some carpet in the aisles instead of Flo’s face plastered everywhere.
    Did get to see 90% of what I went to see however, and it’s still better than a day at work – but barely.

    …and NO dude, I don’t want my f’n glasses cleaned!

  • nymoto

    Went to it yesterday – boring. Please motorcycle companies either get out of your own way or take a class from Danny Meyer about the pro’s of hospitality leading to sales. I can’t stress it enough – make me a customer, stop assuming.

  • Slartibartfast

    I went this morning and the memorable things were:
    Seeing the MV Agusta F3 and EBR 1190RS in person and getting on them
    A nice surprise was the custom build of CBR250R (Ride For Kids) that was in another article Wes had done last month. Bought a raffle ticket, but its probably more of a donation than anything else.
    The Ducati Panigale and 848 Dark look pretty interesting.
    Zero electric motorcycles look better in person

    • Roman

      Yeah, pretty similar to my experience. The Panignale and MV Augusta F3 looked great in person. Highlight of my visit was talking to the rep at Vanson who told me he was the stunt rider on the MV Augusta F4 in Batman Returns. Probably bullshit, but….cool story bro!


    A trip to the motorcycle show is all in what you make it. I always go when they open on Friday. The traffic is light everything is clean and the people working the show are still excited to be there. I was looking at the new husky prototype and struck up a conversation with a guy standing by it. His name was Kris and he is the president of Husqvarna north america. We talked for 15 minutes about the bike and where the company wants to go. He was genuinely interested in my opinion and asked a lot of great questions. The dream pavillion was also excellent. I spent 20 minutes looking and sitting on the F3, the EBR 1190rs and the new norton. For me it was a good show.

  • Sauciér

    What’s that BMW with the hub-steering? That looks interesting.

    • Sauciér

      Never mind. It’s a custom bike called The Slugger by Stellan Egeland. ( )

      He also did one called the Harrier that looks really awesome.

      Was sort of hoping BMW were working on a bike with hub steering system. I guess I can always dream of a Tesi 3D.

  • Mike Brooklyn

    Sunday the show was on top floor + pavilion and was actually quite excellently heated. Friday was for jaded journalists; Saturday and Sunday was for 18-70 year olds who were like kids in a candy store jumping on bikes they know they will never buy (like the Awesome and all new Victory Judge)and talking with other bikers from all walks of life. Best $20 bucks ever. Plus there is a great Burger and cupcake place two blocks away.

  • sargent

    I go to the one in Chicago pretty much every year (I’ll put that in as a challenge for the “world’s coldest show”) and say I don’t think I’ll go back the next, but I still do. I know it’s done in the winter to keep them close to when the new bikes are released in the fall, but come on! Do the shows in the spring/summer when those of us in the Mid-West could actually ride our bikes to the shows w/out spiked tires. Manufactures could have demo rides setup and I’d bet turn out would double what it is now. More turnout would also give manufactures more incentive to show up, can’t remember the last time I was up there that Triumph had their own area.

    Still, I’m sure I’ll be trudging my way up to the frozen north from Indy to Chicago here in a few weeks time.

  • rvfrules

    Not interested in the metrosexual Honda, where are the pics of the Tiger 1200?

  • Archer

    I once visited a bike show at the CNE in Toronto. Wind chill for the 15 minute walk to the center from the parking lot was -40. New Yorkers are pussies.

  • jeffcon0

    I went to the annual NY biker patch, beef jerky, and metal polish show this past weekend as well. Every year I tell myself never again but always seem to end up there wading through a sea of plump New Jersey pirates and booth girls who look like they moonlight at a strip club under the Gowanus expressway.

    Javits Center is an atrocity and the motorcycle show is usually one of their worst events. The only time I can see any use to attending is when you are in the market for a new bike and want to test sit as many as possible in a single spot.