By Walter Nicholls Posted January 12, 2009, 4:13 PM EST
WASHINGTON With plenty of polished chrome, a strong aroma of leather, and vehicular eye candy galore, media company Advanstar Communications brought the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center this past weekend as part of a 13-city nationwide tour. In its 28th season, the show debuts the latest street and dirt bikes, helmets, and accessories from 85 exhibitors, with 700 cycles on the floor. Sponsored by industry magazine Cycle World, this year’s show was presented by Toyota, with displays supplied by cycle manufacturers and local dealers.
With a nod to the state of the economy, there were subtle changes from previous shows. “The biggest obstacle for a promoter like me is that our exhibitors are watching their money more closely than in the past. They even went online and booked hotels in the suburbs [instead of downtown],” said Advanstar director of operations Leah Stevens.
In further cost cutting, many exhibitors brought their own tables (in place of renting them from the convention center) and others skipped carpeting to save labor and freight charges. For the first time this year, several manufacturers, including Harley-Davidson, positioned their painted semi rigs on the convention center floor in place of a more costly constructed exhibit booth. Also new this year is the Geico-sponsored Scooter Pavilion, a reflection, said Stevens, of the skyrocketing sales of scooters and the fluctuating price of gasoline.