Sunday, March 22, 2009

Motorcycle Show a Ho-Hummer

My son and I attended the annual Motorcycle Show in Anchorage yesterday, and I was a little disappointed. The crowd was large and growing (when we left), but the number of booths and offerings was rather small.
I suppose it would be more palatable if the entry was $3 or $4 dollars, but $8? By the time I paid to park and bought entry for my son and me, I was already out $24.
The number of bikes on display seemed smaller than previous years, although I missed last year's show. And there wasn't much for organized events within the event.
The real disappointment was the vendor booths. I went there with the intention of trying on and even buying a new leather riding jacket. I also was interested in looking at some shiny new accessories for my two bikes. Neither were on display in any numbers. There were a mere handful of jackets at a couple of booths, and of course they were mostly size medium. I happen to be a 2x, but no one offered a single jacket in a 2x. Judging by the crowd, there were allot of 2x's.
And accessories? Zero. Nada. Nothing to look at.
Maybe the vendors don't feel they sell enough to justify the work it would take to display them, but damn. Come on guys! You are forcing us back to the Internet for mail order goodies.
Yeah it was fun to see the new models, but even those were a little skimpy. For example, I was admiring a 2009 Yamaha R1, boy was it nice. So I asked the guy how many they had and he replied "about twenty five", yet they had exactly ONE on display!
The Harley Davidson shop on Spenard has a vast selection of riding apparel, but zero on display.
This stuff drives me crazy when I just paid $8 at the door!
How to improve next year's show?
1) more apparel and accessories.
2) how about including ATVs?
3) more customer interaction displays.
4) maybe even a free shuttle from a distant (free) parking lot.

I'm sure it takes allot of work to pull this off every year, but don't these guys want to sell stuff?
Hey, how about each company (Honda, HD, Yamaha, etc.) having a service table where patrons can schedule their seasonal maintenance? They could offer 10% off for pre-booking.
Just a few friendly suggestions. By in large the crowd of bikers, although rather diverse, got along great and everyone was feeling like me, dying for spring.
And don't forget the bikes on display. It seemed a little smaller, but there were some incredible bikes. One had a price tag of $65k.
My favorite was a 2002 HD Fatboy, totally tricked out with custom paint, Screaming Eagle, and scribed handle bars. Beautiful!
I also enjoyed checking out the 2009 Spyders. Awesome looking three wheel offerings.
In summary, there was some neat stuff to see, just not much to actually buy. And the show needs to be a bit bigger to justify the door charge.

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