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Long Beach IMS Show
The Bizarre Side, Plus New Video!
Get the Flash Player to see this player.Below is contributor extraordinaire Paul Garson’s tale of the wild and wacky at the recent Long Beach International Motorcycle Show. As a bonus, Motorcycle.com’s video whiz Fonzie has put together a package of three videos from the show. Check them out. –Motorcycle.com
Just When You Thought It was Safe to Go to the Long Beach International Motorcycle Show: Ferraris, Robots, Spyders and V-Rexes
True, there were more than 600 new-for-2008 bikes, ATVs, scooters and watercraft on display at the 27th Annual Long Beach International Motorcycle Show, but I was dancing to a different drummer. I was hearing voices in my head. I was drawn to the Bikes Beyond Bizarre.
Well, I should’ve known something was up when I heard a voice that sounded like Robby the Robot meets the Terminator Telemarketer. The voice, pumping out of two boombox mega-watt speakers actually molded into the tail section of the racing orange bike, announced, “My Master went to the best. I have the newest LED kit which is remote controlled which can be changed to seven sequences by the touch of one button. You can purchase these at the booth at the left of me.”
As if that wasn’t enough, a couple steps away, a solid mass of aluminum sported enough pulleys and belts to drive an Iowa grain threshing machine. Upon closer examination it turned out to be a V-6 Dino Ferrari motor shoehorned into a bike built by one Andreas S. Georgeade. Andreas also put his name on the gas tank. The tech sheet stated he had been offered $200,000 for the bike but turned it down. Hey, you can buy a very nice real Ferrari for those bucks!
Then there was the Bible-quoting bike up on a display stand that by its sheer massive presence seemed to exclaim we-be-bad. Or was it we-be-mad? The creation of Rodney Aguiar, a fabricator for RSD’s master builder Roland Sands, the Mad Maxish two-wheeler was a mindmeld of a 1995 BMW R1100GS and a 1988 Mazda RX-7 rotary engine.
Pumped up to 250 hp, the beautiful monster was heading for Bonneville and a 200-mph goal. Looking for more than good luck, the bike was inscribed with passages from the Book of Revelations, something about “the execution of great vengeance…”
Not exactly the same kind of speed freak, another tangent off the evolutionary motorcycle tree was the three-wheeled Spyder produced by Can Am/Bombardier. Two-wheels up front, one in the rear, the dramatic design looks somewhere between Porsche/Slotcar/Goldwing meets Will Smith movie. It’s actually billed as the Spyder Roadster, again blurring that blurry line between bike and car. So be it.
It looks cool and, by all accounts, rides/drives just as well thanks to several acronyms including SCS (Stability Control System), ABS (Anti-Lock Braking). TCS (Traction Control System) and VSS (Vehicle Stability System with Roll-over Mitigation). It’s powered by a fuel-injected Rotax engine based on Aprilia’s 60-degree V-twin that’s said to be good for 106 hp. And yes, it’s street legal. It’s even got a storage trunk up front. Add all the spiffy options and it’s still around $18,000. Looks like fun. (It is. Check out our test of the Spyder here. –Ed.)
Rounding out the list of mind-expanding Bikes Gone Bizarre is the Travertson V-Rex. I was having flashbacks to “Tron” and thought, ‘Okay, a plastic fantastic designed as a movie prop.” Way wrong. The bike not only runs, it’s in production and is based around a Harley-Davidson V-Rod powerplant/drivetrain.
The V-Rex story started in December of 2003 when Australian artist Tim Cameron produced a computer-generated image of his dream bike. The pictures eventually got published in several magazines around the world, attracting the attention of Christian Travert, based in Florida, the guy who built, among other wild things, Jay Leno’s 200-mph Y2K turbine bike. Travert and Cameron teamed up, and their enterprise, Travertson, Inc., began building the bikes in 2006 in Ft. Lauderdale. And, as they say, the rest is still making history.Price tag is $43,000, but believe it or not, you can rent the bike either to use in a display or ride. And according to Jack Reynolds, owner of one of the 9-foot long bikes, it’s a breeze to ride except maybe for the crowds that constantly gather around it. The V-Rex is available in the L.A. area via http://www.werentmotorcycles.com/ or call 1-888-849-4098.
Well, since there was a “normal” bike show going on, time to go check out rest of the lot from Honda, Ducati, BMW, KTM and the rest of the usual suspects. And maybe a look at the Piaggio MP3 400 with the wheels that bend over in the turns, yet another bizarrely interesting turn in the evolution of our beloved motorcycles.
Remember… Think Strange and Prosper!
Related Reading2007 IMS Media Day
2007 Milan Show
2007 Milan Show Wrap-up
2007 Tokyo Motor Show