Dec 9, 2017

What You Might Have Missed

The Progressive International Motorcycle Show is in Minneapolis over the weekend. I haven’t been to the show in a few years, mostly due to being somewhere warmer during the last few winters. This year’s show came about two months earlier than in past years. Who wasn’t there might have been as interesting as who was: Yamaha, for instance. Honda, BMW, Suzuki, Harley, and Indian all had fairly oversized displays of their usual suspects. Royal Enfield, oddly, was there, too. And that is IT. No Ducati, Triumph, KTM, Husquvarna, Aprilia, Vespa, Hyosung, Piaggio, Ural, Zero, Brammo, or any specialty sports manufacturers. Even the weird aftermarket and accessories vendors were mostly abscent.

I took a bunch of pictures and I’ll figure out how to post them here later, but mostly the crowd was blue-hairs and not many of those. I ran into one of my old students and when I complimented him on being the youngest non-sales person at the show, he burst my bubble by telling me he was with a television crew working on a show about aging motorcycle demographics and the decline of the motorcycle as a sport, recreational device, and/or transportation. The double-wow there was that this kid went through the hipster cafe racer fad about a decade ago and hasn’t owned a motorcycle since he managed to unload his hipster CX500 on an old guy.


  1. I thought I saw you Friday. It really seemed like a senior convention. Dave S

  2. You've commented and sourced quite a bit on the industry's shrinkage. Safety, expense, etc. If you could wrap it all up into a Thomas-Day's-unified-theory-of-why-no-one-rides-a- motorcycle-anymore, what would you surmise?

  3. Brad, like most things, I think it might be too complicated for a unified theory. Expense and practicality are the biggest drivers, I think. A $14k Nissan Versa that gets 35MPH highway, has a 60,000 mile 5 year warranty, and can be driven year around makes even a $5,000 250cc motorcycle seem frivolous, let alone a $15,000-30,000 motorcycle.

  4. Disturbingly empty. Was it a weekday?

  5. Where did that freaky soundtrack come from?

    1. Apple's Soundtrack was my quick composition tool of the moment a few years back when I was producing a television show called "Motorcycling Minnesota." This song was from that tool and time: all parts, except the guitar parts, are looped. I played the guitar bits.


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