November 2001 International Motorcycle Show

by Dave Schultheis

The show in question was the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show held at the San Mateo County Expo Center, Expo & Fiesta Halls, located at 2495 S. Delaware Street, San Mateo, CA 94403.

These are my impressions of the show as posted to the news:ba.motorcycles newsgroup, with minor changes and spelling corrections.

Saturday, November 10, 2001

Parking was not done very well. Sure, motorcycle parking was free, but we had to wait in line with cars until we got to the pay kiosks. They should have had a motorcycle ONLY entrance.

Long line to get in went pretty fast. Show admission was $9 per adult. (I heard on the radio that you could get $2 off with a coupon from a Yamaha dealer but I don't know if that's true.) I showed my AMA card and they gave me a coupon to redeem for $1 at the AMA booth.

They had a free jacket-and-helmet-check near the entrance. I didn't take advantage of it but many did. (I'm told that those who checked their helmets and jackets were gifted with a tee-shirt from one of the exhibitors.)

(I don't know San Mateo County Expo very well, and don't know the names of the buildings, so I'm going to call them the north hall and the south hall. If that's not right, I'm sorry.)

I went with my sister and her friend (who rode their Shadow up from the Phoenix area). We never got within a half mile of the food booths, much too expensive. (Supply and demand, you know.) I spotted Denise H. walking down the hallway and greeted her by the wrong name. Oops!

The north (smaller) hall contained Buell (new Firebolt looked good), a big blue Buell with bags (looked like they'd be scratched all to heck while the rider was lane-sharing), quite a crowd looking at/sitting on Buells.

Aprilia scooters and motorcycles. Vespa had two models on display. Helimot European Accessories had a large booth. ABUS / Lockitt. Cycle World. Venti, vente, somebody had a small booth with a Motard. I couldn't get close enough to see very well (or to read the sign). Lost of other vendors with everything from t-shirts to jackets, chaps, locks, patches, flags, etc.

AFM had a booth. Lots of smiling, happy people. I went by three times and there was always a crowd there. Probably telling stories. But some of them might have been signing up.

Victory (by Polaris) had a big booth. Lots of interest. Big vee-twin cruisers (clones).

A small display floor with some old and unique motorcycles. One H-D from 1911. Some 60s/70s standard bikes.

A company called Uni-Go was there with a one-wheel trailer. Hitch resembled a (car's) universal joint. They say it will remain upright when you stop, and you'll never feel it when you're going.

The south (larger) hall had a large Harley-Davidson display. They had a V-ROD on a lighted/rotating display table. They had another for sitting on, always a line of people waiting. Displays of Dynas, Screaming Eagle Road King, Ultra Classics, new orange and black Sportster 883R, Harley Owners Group.

Toyota Trucks (one of the sponsors of the show) had some pickups there, one with a motorcycle in back. The bed of the truck was so short that the motorcycle didn't fit inside.

Honda of Milpitas had a big booth, showing everything from racers to sport bikes to various permutations of the Gold Wing (different sized trunks for whatever you needed to store). Andy Kettle was there with his employees, answering questions from passersby.

BMW had a big booth with lots of good lookers. Someone else will have to describe their big all-terrain motorcycle...looked like it could do the Paris to Saudi Arabia ride easily. They had a police bike with a blue light on top of a pole that looked like it would hit the next overpass. Some of their bikes looked like there was no room for your ankles because of the cylinder heads sticking out, but maybe it's just me. One of their bikes had a GPS receiver unit right up front so you'd never get lost. I hope they have all the back roads or you'll never have any fun, either.

Lots of vendors: t-shirts, Chatterboxes, saddlebags, Wind Vests, leather stuff, bandannas, etc.

AMA had a booth. I got my dollar back. I could renew my membership for one to three years. If I signed someone else up I would get a break on my membership. If I signed up 5 people, I would get a year free. I didn't do any of those.

Suzuki had a booth. Yamaha had a booth. Everybody had sport bikes, dual-sports, cruisers. I couldn't tell some of them apart but they looked nice.

Several of the major motorcycle manufacturers had representatives of their riders clubs and associations present at their displays. You could join or just get literature.

By the time we had toured both buildings, we had to go (to get back to a family deal) and we never saw where the demo rides were being given. But then, we weren't there for that.

We left the fairgrounds and headed down Hy 101 to San Jose, got rained on, pulled into the 5th Quarter in Redwood City (just down from Doc Wong's office) for lunch, then continued in rain and overcast to San Jose.

Certainly others had other experiences. This was mine.

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Created on November 11, 2001. Last updated on November 26, 2001.
David W. Schultheis, San Josť, Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County, California, USA