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Progressive International Motorcycle Show: Bikes, Wheelies, Winners, and More!

See what the annual motorcycle show has to offer the whole family

WRN Staff Report
1/14/2020

The annual International Motorcycle Show (IMS) series is off to a great start with lots of new products and motorcycles women riders are excited about. The show kicked off in Long Beach, California, in November and traveled to New York City in December. The next one hits Denver for the first time January 17–19, and WRN will be there. Use code WRN20 to save $3 off admission and please come say hello to us in booth #1747.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach
The Beautiful Bikers, Head Turners, and Black Stallions women’s riding groups came to say hello in Long Beach and learn about the Jessi Combs Foundation custom BMW R nineT.

An impressive number of exhibitors are bringing their motorcycle products and services to the show for all to experience. Women Riders Now (WRN) was on the floor in Long Beach to welcome our readers and showcase the Real Deal BMW R nineT custom motorcycle built by Theresa Contreras and the late Jessi Combs. And we are excited to display the “World’s Fastest BMW GS” in our booth in Denver!

WRN has been distributing attendee ballots at the IMS to acknowledge the companies that are doing a good job addressing the needs of female riders, like we did at AIMExpo this year. Read “WRN Presents Awards to Attendees’ Favorites at Long Beach IMS” to find out which companies are “getting it” and to find out about the new gear and accessories women voted for.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Low Rider S
Olga from Brooklyn, New York, tests the Harley-Davidson’s new Low Rider S for size. Starting at $17,999, the blacked-out 2020 is powered by the Motor Company’s super-torquey Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine. She loves the low 26.5-inch seat height.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Indian Scout Bobber
Fran Mayko from Milford, Connecticut, tries out the new Scout Bobber Twenty from Indian Motorcycles. Notable updates from the 2019 Scout Bobber include a mini-ape handlebar, “floating” solo tractor seat, wire spoke wheels, and a USB charger. The 27.4-inch seat height is nice and low.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Yamaha Kim Knupp
Kim Knupp, Yamaha’s National Events Coordinator, sits on the new MT-03 that she hopes to ride on a portion of the Suffragists Centennial Motorcycle Ride this summer. The seat height is 30.7 inches, but even at just 5 feet 2 inches tall, Kim can still get her feet on the ground.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach BMW K 1600 GTL
We hope to see this couple riding their 2020 BMW K 1600 GTL down the road one day!

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Honda CBR300
Dana from New York City tests Honda’s CBR300 sportbike. Shopping for her first motorcycle, Dana knows the IMS is the best place to go to be able to sit on a ton of bikes from all different manufacturers.

Did we mention that there are tons of new bikes at the IMS? Many manufacturers are bringing exciting new models for the public to demo and try on for size, and there are even Zero brand electric motorcycles available to test in the indoor “Discover the Ride” area.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Trish eBike
The eBikes at Discover The Ride offer pedal-assist options to riders. When you need a little help, you can push a button to choose the amount of “boost” the bike will give you—a little or a lot. WRN Editor Tricia was all smiles trying out the Yamaha pedal-assist eBike around the carpeted track in New York City. Photo by Fran Mayko

Discover the Ride was introduced to IMS last year as an effort to introduce the open-air magic of motorcycles to people and kids who have never had the opportunity to feel what it’s like to have two wheels powered underneath them. From tiny electric bikes for kids, to a wheelie machine, to eBikes and real-sized electric Zero motorcycles, there is plenty for non-riders to experience at the shows. Many are emerging as budding new riders!

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Discover the Ride
After a few laps on the eBikes, riders get to try out Zero electric motorcycles on the indoor circuit. After a bit of instruction and a gear fitting, riders can just twist the “throttle” and go without worrying about shifting.


Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Stacyc
There is even a course designed for the smallest members of the family to try electric bikes. It’s so much fun watching the cute future motorcyclists riding Stacyc bikes—these are equivalent to Harley-Davidson’s IRONe electric balance bikes.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Wheelie
Riders and nonriders alike can have fun popping a wheelie at this year’s IMS.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Shelley Golan
We met Shelley Golan at a Women In Powersports (WIP) meetup before the event in New York. Shelly is full of ideas and we expect to see her doing great things for women in motorsports in the future. Here, she looks pretty comfortable on BMW’s entry level dual-sport G 310 GS.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Women in Powersports
The Women In Powersports group posing for a fun photo just in time to kick off the Long Beach International Motorcycle Show. The networking event provides an opportunity for women who work in powersports to meet and connect with industry friends and colleagues to understand how best to support each other.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Suffraggists Centennial
WRN’s Sarah Schilke and long-time industry partner and friend Tigra Tsujikawa promoting and signing riders up for this summer’s big women’s motorcycle event: the Suffraggists Centennial Motorcycle Ride (SCMR2020).

Custom Motorcycles

The J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show is once again displaying hundreds of killer custom motorcycles in the aisles of the IMS. From big wheel baggers to raked out choppers, there’s lots of flashy paint, bright lights, and shiny chrome to check out. Attendees have a chance to cast a vote for their favorites at each show. We are stoked that the Long Beach winner was built by Motorcycle Missions’ first ever all-female build team.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Motorcycle Missions
The winning custom in Long Beach was this 1975 Honda CL350 customized by Motorcycle Missions’ first all-female build team pictured here with WRN’s Erin Sills. From left to right: Rocio Villanueva (US Army), Lisa Kukula (US Navy), Mary Josephine Joseph (US Navy), Erin, Krystal Hess (build mentor and founder of Motorcycle Missions), Pamela Morales-Perez (USMC), Angela Fritzoni (US Navy). Not pictured is Christina Green (US Army).

Motorcycle Missions is a nonprofit organization aimed at teaching Veterans and First Responders how to build custom motorcycles as a means of therapy. Mentored and supported by Marcello Doffo, Shane Conley, Theresa Contreras, Sofi Tsingos, and Motorcycle Missions’ founder, Krystal Hess, the build team did a complete overhaul of the Honda CL350. They learned how to rebuild an engine, prep for paint, fabricate parts, shape metal, and more. Well-done ladies!

New Bikes Women (and Men) are Talking About

Besides what we’ve already shown, there are plenty of brand new motorcycle models making appearances at the IMS. Harely-Davidson has two of its prototypes encased in glass, so no sitting on them just yet. But getting the first look at the 2021 Bronx and Pan America is enough to get us excited for what’s to come. A brand new liquid-cooled Revolution Max 1250 and 975 engine will power the Pan America and Bronx.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Harley-Davidson Pan America
The all-new adventure bike from Harley-Davidson, called Pan America, is getting a lot of attention even though the pre-production model is still behind glass. People seem to either love it or hate it—the usual case whenever Harley introduces a model way outside its norm.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Harley Bronx
The Bronx streetfighter may be better received by Harley fans. It reminds some of us of the V-Rod which is no longer in production.


BMW uncovered several new models that editor Tricia is particularly excited about; the all new F 900 R starts at just $8,995 and the new F 900 XR resembles the adventure-sport S 1000 XR that Tricia owns and loves.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach BMW F 900 R
BMW’s new F 900 R looks to be an amazing value—tons of technology at an affordable price.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach BMW F 900 XR
For the sportier version of the F 900, BMW went with the XR designation for this model because it’s styling and performance more closely resembles the S 1000 XR, which has also been updated for 2020 with a new TFT display and more.

Indian Motorcycles is celebrating 100 years of the Scout in 2020. Besides the new Scout Bobber Twenty, the Scout Anniversary model is offered with special badging and a few styling changes. The Indian Challenger is the latest bagger in the company’s lineup, offering riders all the best long-distance creature comforts with an all-new liquid-cooled PowerPlus 108 cubic inch engine and a frame-mounted fairing.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Indian Challenger
Starting at $21,999, the Challenger is poised to battle Harley-Davidson for its Road Glide and Street Glide fans.

There’s lots more to see and try from the big four: Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, and Kawasaki. From the adventure bikes like the new Yamaha Tenere 700, Honda’s updated Africa Twin now with automatic (DCT) transmission, and Suzuki’s new V-Strom 650XT Adventure, to the return of the Suzuki Katana, there seems to be more motorcycles than ever to choose from.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Yamaha Tenere 700
The 2021 Yamaha Tenere 700 adventure bike will appeal to riders wanting to ride from the street to the dirt. The 34.4 inch seat height is comparable to other dual-sports that need a good amount of spring when navigating off-road. MSRP is $9,999.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Suzuki GSX
Suzuki has a full line of GSX sportbikes from 250 to 1000ccs. The GSX250R is a great starter bike for new riders and retails for $4,599.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Kawasaki Ninja 650
A long-time popular model with women riders, the 2020 Kawasaki Ninja 650 gets styling and technology updates for 2020.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Long Beach Enfield
Plenty of naked and classic bikes are available to test out too. Royal Enfield brought a big semi filled with a range of motorcycles women are loving to New York and Long Beach.

With six more cities to visit in 2020, you still have time to check out the Progressive International Motorcycle Show. Find out which manufacturers will be in a city near you, as it does change from city to city. Check the complete schedule here and use code WRN20 to save $3 off admission. If you go, please post a photo of your favorite bikes and products for women and use the hashtag #WomenRidersNowIMSFave.


Related Articles
WRN presents awards to attendees’ favorites at Long Beach IMS
2017 AIMExpo Roundup and Product Spotlight
Women’s Gear Reviews
WRN Calendar of Women’s Motorcycle Events
Jessi Combs: Reflections on the Life of the Powersports Superstar

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