Again, the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Dallas was a huge success. The organizers made some event changes that brought more interactivity for attendees into place. This year Yamaha had electric motor-assisted bicycles that you could ride and experience. After riding those, you could step over to the Zero Electric Motorcycle and take it for a spin to get a feel of the possible future of motorcycles. After that, since you had your wristband, you could ride a Zero and perform a wheelie where you could get a sense of the bike's full potential.
Motorcycle Manufacturer Attendees
Every year also brings the world's largest motorcycle manufacturers who show their newest lines for the year. Harley Davidson, Indian, Kawasaki, Honda, BMW, and Suzuki were the big names that represented motorcycling at the show for 2019. This year, I was excited and surprised to see a surprise on the circuit: Confederate Motorcycles brought their line to demonstrate. They are a unique style of motorcycle and one that you just don’t often see unless you look them up online.
What To Do and See
This year also featured a lot of gear and tool vendors. It seemed to me more so than in previous years though I could be wrong without an actual count. The vendors this year had some of the newest designs and technology on the market. Parts manufacturers such as Arlen Ness, Vance & Hines, Michelin, K&N, and others had displays with their latest designs.
There was also a better lineup of prizes and giveaways from advertising companies than usual. State Farm printed custom metal signs with whatever you wanted on them; Margaret got one made that read “This Lady Rides,” and I had one printed for “Ride It Wrench It. “ There were fully printed books filled with articles and beautiful pictures of motorcycles that make for nice inn table pieces; Progressive had very nice T-Shirts and Hats as giveaways, as did some other booths. There was also the usual swag you could fill your bags with. This year we spent two days at the show. We can usually see everything in one day, but we needed more time this year.
We went on opening day, Friday, and it was a very good decision to do so. There were fewer crowds, and for the most part, for any of the activities we wanted to try, we could just walk up and participate without any wait in line. The manufacturer reps were more available to talk to due to fewer people asking questions. As always, there was a custom bike build competition. This year sported quite a few different bikes than we have seen. It’s nice to see the ideas builders have that they integrate into their designs. Some of the builds were extreme customization, while others were restorations that were chromed and painted outside of the original.
My Favorite New Bike
This year, I had a favorite pick of what bike I would like to own and ride. You might be surprised that it was not a Harley! The Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero was my top pick. If I were going to trade my Harley in for a new bike this year, I would trade it in for the Vulcan. I liked everything about that bike except the side-opening saddlebags. It was 1700 CC’s, 6-speed, heavy, had a great strong well built feel when you sat on it and moved it around, it was ergonomically perfect without any mods, and it has beautiful lines.
The 2019 Progressive IMS was our favorite of all we have attended in the past. The organizers did a fantastic job in their lineup, and we were excited to be part of it in a press-related role. As always, I compiled a video of the highlights to give you a feel of the action taking place and encourage you to try to attend one of the shows as they move around the country.