Motorcycle shows, such as IMS, are a great way for riders to see all the new models of our favorite bikes under one roof. They let us stare, compare, and sit on everything we might be considering picking up sometime in the future. More and more, however, some manufacturers have chosen to become Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film at some of the major shows like EICMA and IMS. Soon before the New York stop on the IMS circuit (which RideApart will be attending), several manufacturers have announced their intention to skip it.
According to Ride-CT, Ducati, Indian, and Triumph will be among the major manufacturers not attending this year. I visited all of their rather significant displays in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center at last year's show. Other missing brands include KTM, MV Agusta, Aprilia, and Moto Guzzi, all of which had small displays last year.
Why the departure? It's expensive to participate in shows like IMS, and in the Internet age, marketing strategies are changing. Potential customers now often learn all they need to know about the latest models from manufacturer websites and reviews, eliminating the need to spend a day in the big city to gain this information. It's no substitute for actually sitting on a bike, but now customers can walk into a dealer already fully informed about the specific models they're interested in.
Not everyone is convinced that motorcycle shows are going the way of the dodo, however. Numerous major manufacturers are still attending, perhaps at an advantage now that so many have bowed out. Also, despite no official Indian presence, three northeast Indian dealers have teamed up to bring some examples of their own new inventory to New York. This should help them defend against the Harley-Davidson juggernaut, which is typically one of the biggest displays of the show.