2020 Cleveland International Motorcycle Show Review


Reports and stories from trips, planning of gatherings, questions about how to get there!
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2020 Cleveland International Motorcycle Show Review

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:55 am



I went to the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Cleveland this past weekend. If you haven't seen the video coverage I took from the show, you can see it here: Video coverage of the 2020 Cleveland International Motorcycle Show.

This year's show was notably smaller (and less crowded) than previous years. Two years ago it was so packed, you could hardly move. This year, attendance seemed...spotty. The number of vendors was far less, and there were some very glaring absences by major marques. BMW has always had a tremendous booth showing all of their products. This year, they weren't there at all. Same goes for Ducati, Aprilia, Triumph - no presence at all.

According to a couple of vendors I talked to, the price (charged by the square foot) for the show has increased substantially, obviously leading several vendors to pull out entirely.

Walking into the show, the first thing you saw was the new Suzuki Katana:
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Next, as you entered, there was a Yamaha electric-assisted bicycle, and this was the raffle prize offered by Progressive. I thought this was a bit odd for a motorcycle show, but it was foreshadowing of what was to come:
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As usual, I started with the classic bike area. Usually there are several old GL1000 and GL1100 Goldwings in this area, but this year there wasn't even one. Instead, a fantastic two-stroke Suzuki RG500:
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Also another two-stroke Yamaha RZ500:
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Next, I saw a bike that I had never actually seen in person before: A Suzuki RE5:
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The RE5 is powered by a Wankel rotary engine.
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A very odd little scooter: a 1982 Honda Motocompo.
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The handlebars can fold down and the scooter can be picked up and carried (although it would probably take two people to carry). It would probably fit in a car trunk.
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A Honda CR450 racebike was also there - although whether this was an actual racebike or a replica, I wasn't sure.
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Looking at Kawasaki, the Concours appeared mostly unchanged. It is quite long in the tooth now, and does not have cruise control on it - a glaring omission for a touring bike.
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The bags on the Concours are reasonably sized.
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Kawasaki is marketing their largest Ninja as a touring crossover, by bolting a couple hard bags on the back. Oddly enough, it does have cruise control.
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The Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero had no major changes this year:
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The Vulcan Voyager was also mostly unchanged from last year:
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A spiffy red Ural was on display:
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The mechanical clutch/sidecar drive disconnect and universal joint are clearly visible:
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The driveshaft from the clutch/disconnect connects to the sidecar wheel. All three wheels have brakes, and the rider can select between the rear bike wheel, or both rear wheels driving the bike forward.
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I loved the Suzuki GSX-R display...not just for the bike:
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...but for the cutaway display of the GSX-R 1000 engine:
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Surprisingly, there were not many scooters on display this year. Suzuki did not show the 650 Burgman, instead showing just this 400:
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...and this Burgman 200.
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Zero had two of their electric motorcycles on show. While they are pushing one as a touring bike (complete with hard bags), the salesperson admitted that the electric range of the touring bike on the highway was only 64 miles, with a 1.5 hour recharge time for a Level 2 charger, and 2.5 hour recharge time from a regular power outlet.
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Honda made very few changes to the Goldwing this year, limited primarily to available paint colors.
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The Tour version was the second of the two Goldwings being shown.
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One of the big changes for this year was the change away from the ridiculous (and much hated) miniature passenger grab rails on the 2018 and 2019 to these beefy handles.
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The rear seat can accept a backrest, and the passenger handles are clearly visible.
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I particularly liked the classy pinstriping on the 2020 Goldwing Tour.
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The pinstriping carries through to the rear of the bike.
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I also liked the carrythrough of the highlights from the valve covers, up through the seat and dashboard.
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Yamaha's Venture and Eluder bikes, like most of the other big touring bikes, did not offer much in the way of change this year.
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Long Haul Paul appeared with his salt-encrusted Venture again this year. He is attempting to ride a million miles to raise money for MS research, as he himself has MS.
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He rides year-round, including through snow and salt in order to get to this show!
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More information on Long Haul Paul and his cause can be found on his web site:
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The ugly but innovative Yamaha Nikken was here again. The roadholding capability of this leaning, narrow reverse trike is impressive - it's virtually impossible to get it to wash out in turns.
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Next to the Nikken, they had a second Nikken with all bodywork removed, so that the engine and odd front suspension and steering mechanism could be viewed.
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I tried moving the steering of the naked Nikken to see how it functions - this is captured in the video coverage from the show.
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Harley-Davidson had several of their various different cruisers/tourers in attendance, but there were noticeably less Harleys here this year than in previous years.
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Harley had their Livewire electric motorcycles on dyno rigs for people to try sitting on and revving up, and this booth girl was more than happy to rev the bike.
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However, despite the fact that the show had only been open for a couple of hours, one of the Livewire bikes was already broken!
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Harley had their interesting new adventure bike on display. Unfortunately, they had it under glass, surrounded by a white enclosure that made it very difficult to photograph.
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They are really betting big on this bike being a huge success.
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Kawasaki had several small "beginner" bikes on show, targeting new riders as well as riders of shorter stature.
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Honda also made an attempt with a few "beginner" type of smaller bikes:
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Interestingly, Yamaha had a large display of electric-assist bicycles at the show.
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You could also test ride the bicycles on the track.
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Zero motorcycles were also available for test riding (very slowly) on the track.
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Yamaha was not the only vendor with electric bicycles. There was another very large display of electric bicycles from multiple manufacturers:
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The Adventure Out display was back again this year, with some interesting speakers.
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On to the vendors: Revzilla had a booth at the show this year, for the first time ever. I'm a big fan of Revzilla, and have bought many helmets, gloves, jackets and pants from them over the years.
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I was impressed by Condor-Lift's products.
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This moveable dolly could easily hold a Goldwing.
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Here's a Harley cruiser on the dolly, it could be moved easily around a garage simply by pushing it.
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Nationwide, the show sponsor, had a themed photo booth set up.
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Not quite a motorcycle....
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And of course, as always, Nationwide's booth was populated with pretty girls.
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The Helicycle was getting a lot of attention - a replica of a very rare vehicle:
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This rim-drive bike was an interesting oddity:
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However, the rim-drive mechanism upon closer inspection looked pretty dicey:
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Overall, the show was entertaining, but I did not see much that was new or inspiring. The lack of vendors this year was disappointing, and the vendor area was stretched out over a large area instead of in one place like it usually is. The show seemed much more spread out to make up for the lack of vendors. The appearance of electric bicycles was interesting, and surprisingly generating a fair amount of interest. Honda's booth was seriously scaled down from the last couple of years, obviously nowhere near the extravaganza that accompanied the Goldwing release of 2018.

Don't forget to check out the Video coverage of the 2020 Cleveland International Motorcycle Show!



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Re: 2020 Cleveland International Motorcycle Show Review

Post by in2it » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:31 am

Like to say thank you for taking the time and effort to show a video and pictures of the 2020 motorcycle show ... have to wonder why the vendors scaled down there part :|

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Re: 2020 Cleveland International Motorcycle Show Review

Post by dingdong » Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:35 am

Thanks for the report and pics.

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Re: 2020 Cleveland International Motorcycle Show Review

Post by weekendbiker » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:31 am

Thanks so much for the time to attend and more, to post pics and descriptions. Really - thank you!!
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Re: 2020 Cleveland International Motorcycle Show Review

Post by dtrider » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:24 pm

Thanks for posting the photos. The missing BMW booth is interesting. There used to be a BMW motorcycle dealer here in Boise, but they closed down last year and now the bikes are available at the BMW car dealer. Makes me wonder if they are planning on pulling out of the motorcycle market altogether over the next few years.
/dwight
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Re: 2020 Cleveland International Motorcycle Show Review

Post by WingAdmin » Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:25 pm

I realized today also when thinking about this, that one of largest multi-brand motorcycle dealers in the area, State 8 Motorcycles, usually has a HUGE booth, with 20-30 bikes in it at the show each year. This year...they weren't even there.

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Re: 2020 Cleveland International Motorcycle Show Review

Post by PoolDude » Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:19 pm

I'm quite disappointed, Only 8 shows this year and only two in the western half of the country. One in Long Beach, one in Denver and that's it. I guess Progressive doesn't care about the reset of us riders in the west. At least Cleveland got at a show.

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Re: 2020 Cleveland International Motorcycle Show Review

Post by dmarble » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:22 pm

Enjoyed your report. Not surprising these shows are shrinking, it reflects the general state of the motorcycle industry at the moment. But the fact the venue is charging big money certainly can't help. Your comment on the RE-5 was interesting as I've not only seen one, I had the opportunity to RIDE one some years back in New Hampshire when my wife and I went to pick up her 1983 GL650 Interstate (which sadly, we no longer own). The man we bought the bike from had one that was the orange color and beautifully maintained/restored. That was one strange machine, but a very unique riding experience. I've never ridden anything like it since. I own an '82 CBX-C also which in its day was considered very complex. But it is a simple machine, compared to the RE-5!

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Re: 2020 Cleveland International Motorcycle Show Review

Post by OldguyGlen » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:34 pm

I attended the Minneapolis show this Feb. Same story. Much smaller than just last year. Last year I tried riding the electrics, and tried (minimal success) to do a "Wheelie" at their participation booth.
No Goldwings in the classic display area either. Guys in the Vintage booth tried to recruit me to join, and bring my 1980 Wing to a summer show at the fairgrounds.... might do it.



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