2012 Progressive International Motorcycle Show Report - Video

Jon Langston
by Jon Langston

Christmas came early for motorcyclists at the Long Beach installment of the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows this past weekend. From gear to accessories to the unveiling of brand-new bikes from major manufacturers, riders from all over Southern California flocked to the Long Beach Convention Center to see what the motorcycle industry has on tap for 2013. Motorcycle.com was on hand for the opening, and we feel safe in estimating that thousands of holiday wish lists are being revised today.

Always held in early December, Long Beach is generally the largest show of the IMS tour, both in square-footage and attendance, and manufacturers take advantage of the grand stage to make major announcements for the upcoming year. Exhibitors large and small use the show as a bellwether of the upcoming riding season, and judging from the bevy of new products – and the crowds streaming through the doors on opening night – everyone in the motorcycle industry has reason to be optimistic for what 2013 has in store. Here, in alphabetical order, is a sneak peek at what you can expect to see in your local dealer’s showroom next year.


Motorrad USA VP Hans Blesse was clearly elated to present three new models at the BMW booth, including the US debut of the F800GT, a more touring-ready replacement for the F800ST sport-tourer. The GT lives up to its acronym with a longer swingarm, enhanced wind protection, and a claimed 5-hp boost. A new fairing and windscreen plus a lower seat give the F800GT a fresh face while improving wind protection and enhancing rider comfort. Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) is optional, as is Automatic Stability Control (ASC). A host of touring amenities are available, such as luggage, nav and comm systems and heated grips/seat. And as with all new BMWs, ABS is standard equipment. Pricing has not yet been announced, but is expected to remain in the neighborhood of the ST, which last sold for $12,550.

BMW showed off the new 2013 S100RR HP4, a bike that Editor-in-Chief Kevin Duke posited could be “the most capable sportbike ever built.” Starting at just shy of twenty grand ($19,990), there are some who respond: “it bloody well better be!”

But no one questioned the validity of the brand-new, air/liquid-cooled R1200GS, which debuted at Intermot in October. BMW has sold more than 170,000 GS models during its storied history, so this is one of the most important model introductions of 2013.

The all-new Boxer motor is getting all the attention, and deservedly so, as it employs a new “precision-cooled” design using an advanced cooling fluid to dissipate heat from the more powerful flat-Twin motor. The new ADV standard-bearer boasts a plethora of other upgrades in ’13, including vertical-flow cylinder heads, electronic throttle input (E-gas), five selectable riding modes (rain, road, dynamic, enduro and enduro pro). Safety is provided by ASC (Automatic Stability Control) and, of course, ABS. Optional is the new Dynamic ESA, which automatically adjusts front and rear suspension damping based on riding conditions.

BMW has reinvented its King of the ADV segment. The all-new R1200GS features an extra 15 horsepower and a laundry list of upgrades, including optional cruise control, the world’s first OEM LED headlight and a semi-active suspension. BMW reps assert “zero weight gain” over the old air-cooled platform.

BRP Can-Am

“We are putting more new riders on the road than anyone,” claimed Can-Am representative Chaz Rice. And while that claim may have raised a few eyebrows, it might not be far off the mark, judging by the incursion of Spyders on highways across North America and around the world. New for 2013 from the company that brought you the Sea-Doo is Spyder ST Roadster sport-tourer. The standard ST ($18,899) is also available in two option packages: the blacked-up ST-S ($20,099) with more aggressive fenders with integrated LED lighting, and the ST Limited ($24,599), which adds color-matched, removable hard saddlebags. Also, starting in 2013 all Spyder Roadsters get revised front end geometry, Brembo calipers on all three wheels, and 20mm-larger discs.

Aimed to fill the gap between its sporty RS model and its fully dressed touring machine, the Spyder ST features firmer seat padding, a five-way adjustable windscreen, and more relaxed ergonomics via repositioned footrests and handlebars.


MotoGP champ Nicky Hayden was on hand in Long Beach for the first U.S. public appearance of four new Ducatis. Most interesting is the new Hypermotard platform and its fresh 821cc liquid-cooled V-Twin. Along with the standard ($11,995) and SP ($14,695) Hypermotards is the Hyperstrada, a baby Multistrada of sorts built for sport-touring use and stickered at $13,295. Also on that theme is a touring-equipped version of its cruiser, the $19,495 Diavel Strada. And most glorious was the debut of Ducati’s flagship superbike, the $29,995 Panigale 1199R.

She’s a beauty, no? And she’s hard to come by, as Ducati will produce only 600 20th Anniversary Edition Monsters.


The Motor Company promised little and revealed less during its media presentation, save for the live presentation of its already-announced 110th Anniversary models. Motor Company honchos also said that tickets for the 110th Anniversary celebration slated for Labor Day weekend in Milwaukee would go on sale in mid-December ( another nugget we already dug up) and that details would be… forthcoming. Despite those in attendance clamoring for specifics, all we were given to report is that live music will be on tap, and that lineups will be made announced in the spring. Stay tuned.

One moto-item of note from Harley-Davidson: the restyled 2013 Dyna Street Bob joins the Sportster Classic in being eligible for HD1 Factory Customization.


While it (and others) showcased new bikes positioned at the higher end of the spectrum, Honda was just as proud in highlighting its new and affordable CB500 platform. Starting at just $5499, the CB line has a range of three flavors that will appeal to budget-conscious riders looking for a versatile and reliable motorcycle: the R sportbike; the naked F; and the dual-sportish X. Honda reps stressed that a low MSRP was crucial for the platform to be successful, and many in attendance concurred that a low price point, the CB500 line should be a valuable player in both the entry-level and economy markets. Honda also debuted its throwback CB1100 and a revised, refocused, and reinvigorated CBR600RR sportbike.

Long Beach gave much of the riding public its first opportunity to climb aboard Honda’s new blacked out Gold Wing bagger, the $19,999 F6B. It’s a thinner, lighter – and much, much cooler – Gold Wing that, according to Honda’s Bill Savino, “Kevin Duke is welcome to try and wheelie.”


For the first time in a long time – certainly since being acquired by BMW – Husqvarna had new street product to show off in Long Beach, and its reps were clearly proud papas. No doubt the 2013 TR650 Terra and Strada are beautiful bikes, but seeing them in person not only cements that opinion but reinforces the notion that the Swedish marque is back on the pavement to stay.

Indian Motorcycle

Perhaps the biggest splash at the Long Beach IMS not named “GS” was made by Polaris-owned Indian Motorcycles. Indian Motorcycle is poised to launch an all-new machine that could be revealed next summer, likely at Sturgis.

Reps from the reborn marque were insistent in their pride and confidence in Indian’s upcoming product and their level of commitment to the brand. “What if Indian had never left?” was a launching point, a place to begin the task of producing a beloved, iconic motorcycle true to the brand, the lifestyle, and its devotees.

“We take very seriously the stewardship of Indian,” commented Steve Menneto, Polaris Motorcycle Vice President. “We are heavily invested in making Indian a successful American brand. We’re all in.”

The 2013 Chief Vintage Final Edition is the very last Indian motorcycle to feature old-school Indian design and components. Future Indians – the first glimpses of which should begin to appear at Daytona Bike Week – will be 100% Polaris-designed. Fringe not guaranteed.

“We are dead serious about getting this right,” remarked Product Director Gary Gray. Speaking of Polaris’ proven research and development team and its existing production facilities, Gray said, “We have the infrastructure to make this brand what it deserves to be.”

We were played a sound clip of the new Indian’s Polaris-designed engine, which, unsurprisingly, sounds like a smooth and strong V-Twin powerplant. You can hear the clip here. A little digging revealed that it will not be a 45-degree Vee like the Harley architecture of the existing PowerPulse mill.

Whether or not it makes its debut in time for Sturgis, Polaris’ new Indian will definitely be unveiled “in the second half of 2013,” and production at the company’s Spirit Lake, Iowa, facility should begin before the end of next year.


For 2013, KTM announced the return of KTM’s most popular naked bike, the 690 Duke. A brand-new model for the U.S. and Canadian markets for 2013, its engine has been redesigned with a new cylinder head and selective individual ignition for each plug. It’s a true ride-by-wire system that provides excellent fuel management and increased fuel mileage. New intake and exhaust systems elevate power to a whopping 70 hp, while the APTC slipper clutch provides smooth downshifts and reduces the impact of engine braking. It also includes a lightweight trellis-style frame of chromoly steel and a self-supporting die-cast aluminum rear subframe, with WP suspension components and a Brembo braking system. One question for KTM’s MY’13 lineup: where’s the 1190 Adventure?

KTM also announced it has signed Taylor Knapp as the second rider to its 2013 KTM/HMC Superbike Racing Team. “Considering KTM only sells a handful of RC8s in America, I'm pleasantly surprised the AMA roadrace effort is being augmented by a second rider,” Chief Editor, Duke, commented.

Targeted at a broader audience, the new KTM 690 Duke will be available in two colors for 2013: black and white. Pricing is TBD.


Suzuki had announced its 2013 lineup at its dealer meeting a few weeks prior, so there were few surprises at Long Beach. As reported, to celebrate its 50th anniversary the company is releasing a commemorative 1 millionth GSX-R750, a Burgman 650 (now with ABS), a naked entry-level bike, the GW250, and a new, mid-size cruising tourer, the C90T, as well as its blacked-out brother, the C90T B.O.S.S.


Hinckley continues to grow and innovate while paying homage to its pedigree. Reps pulled the U.S. wraps off its 2013 Trophy SE. Triumph also unveiled for North American audiences the new Street Triple R.

The brand-new Trophy SE marks Triumph’s ballyhooed return to the sport-touring segment.


Perhaps conceding the spotlight to its Indian brethren, Victory kept it simple – but loud – at Long Beach, showing off a new custom paint scheme, a black and blue flamejob that’s available direct from the factory.

The Sturgis Rider Sweepstakes awards one lucky Buffalo Chip visitor a Cory Ness customized Victory Cross Country motorcycle and matching Ness custom painted Epiphone Les Paul Studio guitar. The winner will be chosen live from a group of 8 finalists on the main stage of the Buffalo Chip during the Sturgis motorcycle rally on Friday, August 9, 2013. Riders can register to win at www.BuffaloChip.com.


Star touted its “We build it; you make it your own” approach to cruisers at Long Beach, featuring three custom Stars in its booth. It also spotlighted its new V-Star 1300 Deluxe, the smaller brother to the Stratoliner Deluxe and only midsize bagger available direct from the factory.

Yamaha unveiled a new custom R1 built by 2012 Custom Showdown Pro Builder of the Year Sesto Custom Cycles.

Zero Motorcycles

Just a handful of years ago, electric motorcycles were little more than a novelty. Today, however, they continue an astoundingly rapid development, headlined at IMS by Zero’s 2013 lineup. As noted in our preview, Zero claims an average power increase of 99% across all the board. The new MX model boasts a 54-horse motor that Zero says “will wheelie if you even look at the throttle,” which perked Duke’s ears up.

The flagship Zero S is capable of achieving a claimed 137 miles on a single charge. Another Zero development is significantly reduced charge times; any 2013 Zero can be charged to 95% capacity in about an hour

In addition to the manufacturers touting MY2013 motorcycles, there was plenty of other activity at the Long Beach IMS. Ohlins debuted a new electronic smart monoshock, the first of its kind intended to replace a stock model (on the Kawasaki ZX-10), and Twisted Throttle showed off its impressive new Denali LED lighting system for ADV bikes. The Ducati fashion show somehow always manages to distract enthusiasts from the other models on display, while the XDL Street Jam stunt riders ripped up the parking lot.

And in an ongoing tradition, the Ride For Kids charity will benefit from the raffle for a custom bike, this time an eye-popping Honda CBR1000RR built by Gregg’s Customs. Enter online. Alternatively, if you plan to attend an IMS show near you, simply buy your IMS ticket online, enter code “RFK” to get $2 off your show ticket, and Advanstar will donate $2 to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Either way, it’s a great bike, and a greater cause.

This CBR1000RR was modified by Gregg's Customs along with the aid of sponsors such as Honda, Performance Machine, Cycles 128, Leo Vince, Saddlemen, CRG, Dunlop and Bell Helmets. It could be yours if you help the Ride For Kids foundation by purchasing a raffle ticket.
Progressive International Motorcycle Show Schedule
Dates Facility Location
December 14-16, 2012 Washington State Convention Center Seattle, WA
January 4-6, 2013 Washington Convention Center Washington, DC
January 11-13, 2013 Minneapolis Convention Center Minneapolis, MN
January 18-20, 2013 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center New York, NY
January 25-27, 2012 I-X Center Cleveland, OH
February 1-3, 2013 Suburban Collection Showplace Novi, MI
February 8-10, 2013 Donald E. Stephens Convention Center Chicago, IL
February 15-17, 2013 Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis, IN
February 22-24, 2013 Charlotte Convention Center Charlotte, NC
Jon Langston
Jon Langston

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