Car Tips

Bikes on display at the International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach

Friday, December 06, 2013

It's time to rev up your engines. Everything on two wheels striving for the attention of motorcycle enthusiasts will be on display at the Long Beach Convention Center this weekend.

From the largest to the smallest, dozens of shiny new bikes will be on display including the Can-Am Spyder.

The vehicle stands out with its two plus one-wheel layout, similar to a modern snowmobile, and has received much attention from the motorsports world.

NASCAR race driver Danica Patrick will take her first spin on the racy three-wheeler Saturday and then comment on her experience. Back on familiar turf, it took Patrick no time at all to get the hang of it.

"I'm no stranger to the streets of Long Beach, that's for sure - many times, I've raced here," said Patrick.

Anyone can take demo rides on a variety of motorcycles this weekend, rain or shine. Gleaming bikes are spread out and ready for fun on the show floor. As the great recession fades away, optimism from the industry has since risen. Sales plummeted when the economy turned sour years ago.

"We're seeing new people come in," said Yamaha spokesman Bob Starr. "This back-to-basics, less is more, kind of motorcycle is very attractive to those kinds of customers and at Yamaha, we're very excited about that."

California is a big market for electric cars but there are also electric motorcycles, and they keep getting better all the time.

Zero motorcycles started out with spindly bikes that seemed more like mopeds, now they've got full-fledged plug-in electric motorcycles. Starting at $9,500, they can go 100 miles or more on a charge.

"We like to say it's all the fun and all the excitement that you get riding without the drama; no noise, no vibration, no heat, no fumes, none of those things," said Scot Harden of Zero Motorcycles.

But if you still want some or all of those things, don't worry. From the raciest Ducati to the shiniest Harley-Davidson to the tiniest off-roader from Kawasaki, they're all waiting for some outdoor fun and maybe some better weather.

The event runs from Friday through Sunday. Admission to the event is $15 for adults and $6 for children ages six to 11.

For more information on the Progressive International Motorcycle Show, visit www.motorcycleshows.com/long-beach.

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