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Thread: Chicago International show review

  1. #1
    seen the damage,ride safe jgilemtb's Avatar
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    Chicago International show review

    As a first timer to the International show. I was excited as we made the 3 hour drive. After spending the day on Saturday I left disapointed. The only positve that I saw was that I didn't have to pay to get in. I felt the layout was confusing with manufactuers and vendors mixed on the main floor, not to mention the fact that most of the vendor booths were so small and so crowded I couldn't get in to see what I wanted. Having just done my taxes there were things I was looking for and couldn't find or couldn't get to. The fact that BMW was there was great until you got to thier booth. Not having a dealer close by I was looking forward to seeing models that I haven't seen. Wrong. I guess if you were into the whole GS thing you were set. I have probably gone on to long already. I won't be making the trip again,

  2. #2
    Registered User chasman's Avatar
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    The show was typical of past shows although there were fewer exhibitors (mostly some of the smaller vendors). BMW's booth had fewer bikes on display, but, at least they were there. They only exhibited at four shows this year.

    The BMWMOA booth was fully staffed and had a steady stream of members, new members and interested folks stopping by.

    A small beer was $6 bucks...no surprise there.
    Chuck Manley #12106
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    Registered User stkmkt1's Avatar
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    I too was a first-time attender this year. I was hoping to see more main-stream vendors of clothing and boots. I really wanted to try on different manufacturer's boots. No much to even look at. Overall, I was a bit disappointed. Took the whole family so it was a good day from that stand point. Wife wanted to see the new 950 Star touring bike. Once we found it, it farkled up with about $5500 worth of options that really did the bike a disservice. We will go to the local dealer this weekend tocheck out the "real bike."

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    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Alternative strategy

    Saturday is the busiest day of the weekend. Give it a another try next year and go on a Friday. That is the strategy folks in NYC have used for the BIG Gig and it works well.

    I know, I know - Friday is a work day. But if you go on Saturday feel lucky if you can find a space where nobody is stepping on your toes.
    Paul Bachorz - F Twins Moderator
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  5. #5
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    Talking huh?

    [QUOTE=jgilemtb;420616] The only positve that I saw was that I didn't have to pay to get in.

    ??? ...I'm not seeing the problem here.

    Obviously, to each his own. But, man, you're tuff.

    A bit more seriously, two buds and I went out for breakfast together, shared the parking fee, enjoyed our discounted tix courtesy bmwmoa website, and strolled around, each showing the other the glories of "his" brand; the dream model and the dream setup. One guy bought a tee-shirt, one took another step toward becoming a touring guy, I said hello a couple guys I knew from the Chgo area. We had a nice ''fun" chat with a very large woman trying out a very low harley. we talked with the smaller vendors about how it was going for them. We admired the vintage bikes. Then we admired the vintage bikes some more. We laffed at some of the costumes and hair-styles. we admired the vintage bikes some more. We allowed as how we'd like to own several of the bikes displayed, new and old, for a day or two, but preferred "our" own brand. All in all we had a good time. Sure it would have been great if there were test-rides, and free beer, and dancing girls, but we managed to have a pretty good time anyway. Come with us next year and we'll tell you some stories, buy you a beer, and explain why "this" is the best way to set up a bike. We'll tell you about a guy we knew who owned one of those Triumphs from the 60's. he was wild. What a nut!
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  6. #6
    Registered User 136045's Avatar
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    I would have to agree with a few of the previous posts. While not my first time, I was bringing a new rider who has never attended a show like this or a rally. It was a real good opportunity to check out a lot of different models for the new guy. Both of us found it hard to really stand and spend anytime admiring anything without feeling the crowd. I really miss the St Louis show in that respect. A smaller show and crowd, easier to spend time getting a feel for the different types of cycles. I was a little suprised at the lack of models at the BMW booth as well. I prefer the rallies for gear shopping anyway, so I wasn't bothered by the vendor selection.

    My new rider companion has only experienced one summer on his HD, spent the most time at the show sitting on, photographing and staring at the F650GS. We may have a convert in the near future.

    We had a good time. Any day spend around bikes is a good one in my book, but I miss the St Louis show. Did I mention that already.

    My humble opinion.
    Russ
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  7. #7
    workin' them angels indycar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stkmkt1 View Post
    I too was a first-time attender this year. I was hoping to see more main-stream vendors of clothing and boots. I really wanted to try on different manufacturer's boots. No much to even look at.

    We have the Indy sow coming up. I'm planning to go with a few friends. Sounds like we may be disappointed if our goal is solely to look at and compare and BUY(!) riding gear. The opportunity to see many brands under one roof is appealing to help us decide what and whose brands to buy for this or that. Looking at web pics only goes so far and while we do have some shops in Indy with gear, there never seems to be the right selection or variety; plus we have to make the trip to Indy first, then run around town trying this and that.

    Even though that might be our 'stated mission', just spending some time with friends in a common interest is enough reason to go and if we don't get the answers to our gear curiosities, it'll still have been worth our time just goof around together.
    2006 R1200RT 1982 CB900F (Honda)

    "Mr. Treehorn treats objects like woman, man."

  8. #8
    Registered User stkmkt1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indycar View Post
    We have the Indy sow coming up. I'm planning to go with a few friends. Sounds like we may be disappointed if our goal is solely to look at and compare and BUY(!) riding gear. The opportunity to see many brands under one roof is appealing to help us decide what and whose brands to buy for this or that. Looking at web pics only goes so far and while we do have some shops in Indy with gear, there never seems to be the right selection or variety; plus we have to make the trip to Indy first, then run around town trying this and that.

    Even though that might be our 'stated mission', just spending some time with friends in a common interest is enough reason to go and if we don't get the answers to our gear curiosities, it'll still have been worth our time just goof around together.
    I agree. I took my whole family and we treated it as a family event we all could participate in. And I just want to add that we did enjoy the show as far as the people go. Everyone was very friendly and we saw no problems of any kind. My kids thought it was interesting that beer was served, but I saw no problem with it. I would recommend you go and have fun with your friends.

  9. #9
    seen the damage,ride safe jgilemtb's Avatar
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    Maybe I was too harsh, Maybe not. Maybe a different day would be better who knows. I was also looking forward to more main stream vendors. The local shops that were showing were neat if you live in the area but I don't. I could find most of what was there on Ebay and still pay less, and as I said before the vendors I wanted to see had such small booths that I couldn't get into them, got frustrated trying and moved on. The vintage and custom bikes were great and my friend spent alot of time at the Victory booth which I'll admit was nice. Maybe I'll give it another shot and try again.

  10. #10
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Great!

    Great. And seriously, next year get in touch and we'll try and hook up and make it a better ( read: zanier, middle-aged) experience. It'll be the same crappy non-riding portion of the year, and we'll be just as desperate for some MC fun, even if it's only gawking.

    One of the ways we helped each other w the crowding at the smaller booths was to go look at something else we were genuinely interested in, while the guy who wanted to buy something (silly stuff with "his" brand logo on it) waited at his silly booth. Then we'd look around like a bunch of dopes till we found each other again and wave and hook up, pretending what he bought was interesting and useful, and move on. We ooo'd and aah'd over bikes we weren't really interested in, agreed that some "crazy" farkle was actually useful, described the truly best roads in the country, and generally had a good time. Send a note on the forum here and we'll try and arrange our schedules to subect you to similar torture!
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

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