Feb. 20, 2005 – 06:15: Tons more stuff to see. I could go nuts with posting photos, so I’ll try to show only the accessories I think are most interesting.
The show closed at 18:00 yesterday and there’s a staggered opening today, starting at 08:00 in the Westin hotel.
The Big Twin Expo is also here somewhere, although, believe it or not, in the two years I’ve been coming here I’ve never come across it. Maybe they want to keep the cruiser crowd separate from everyone else?
There’s a nice silent auction that takes place during the event. Motorcycle racers, celebrities and others donate all sorts of cool stuff like helmets, clothing, artwork and more. A visitor can register and then bid on items.
The idea is that you check back a couple of times during the day and up your bid if necessary. All proceeds go to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, aka the Ride for Kids that so many motorcyclists are familiar with.
There aren’t quite as many items to bid on this year, but they do have a really nice selection of lithographs of European motorcycles. They have a 1930’s Art Deco look to them. I’ll bid on a couple of items on behalf of webBikeWorld, and if we win, I’ll host a drawing on the site.
I just found out there’s a whole second floor this year, the “Gold Zone”. I’ll have to check it out. Sometimes the coolest products are hidden away in the less expensive real estate.
I have many single photos of items that are interesting, but I don’t have much information on some of them. Tomorrow after I get home I’ll add them to the end of the journal, because some of the stuff is pretty cool and worth knowing about.
As I mentioned earlier, Derbi, the Spanish scooter manufacturer who has been successful in the fantastic 125cc Grand Prix class, has established itself in the U.S.A. Derbi has been around for about 75 years and is well known in Europe.
Expect to see some leading-edge products; these scooter/motorcycle hybrids are some of the nicest looking examples of two-wheeled transportation I’ve seen in some time. There was no information available on these models, and the one on the right looks like a prototype. Derbi also had one of their 125cc race bikes on display, obviously used by someone.
Here’s a very interesting product. It’s the Flexo braided expandable sleeving by Techflex Braided Sleeving Products. These slide over any wire, wire harness or cable to give them a very nice finished look. They can be used in place of traditional cable harness wraps. They’re available in many different colors, including chrome and carbon fiber look. They seem easy to install – they’re very flexible, so they open up very wide and you slide it over the cable. The larger diameter versions have a Velcro “zipper” on the back, so they can be wrapped around existing bundles.
The company has been around for a while; Bill Dermody IV is on the left in the right photo; he’s the son of Bill III in the middle, and Bill III’s father started the business in 1963. They have thousands of different styles and applications, and are used in the motorcycle industry in addition to aerospace, automobile, medical and many more. They gave me one of their Motorcycle Wire & Hose Customizing Kits, so we’ll write up a more detailed article in the near future.
I was surprised to see this STM slipper clutch (left) and what appear to me to be idlers (right). We have a diagram of an STM slipper clutch that was posted several years ago for the Mid-Atlantic Ducati Owner’s Club when their website was down. The clutch looks like a work of art, and the Italian STM representative got a real kick and a laugh when I said that it was “too beautiful to use”.
Off to breakfast and then on to the show! Check back this afternoon for more. I’m back! Last posting until late tonight, I have to finish up taking photos because I’m headed back first thing in the morning. There’s plenty more, so don’t worry!
Motorcycle goggles from the ’40’s? This guy had a table set up just as you see it in the photo on the left. He claims he found a warehouse full of these 1940’s era goggles (left). They do look like the real thing, and they have an incredibly comfortable leather Chamois-type backing. They’re ventilated all around the exterior. He also claims that the rounder goggles shown in the upper left in the photo on the right are Mig pilot goggles from the ’50’s. He has no website and his “business card” was his name and phone number written in pen on a piece of paper torn out of a notebook. A pair of these would be just the thing for all you vintage and antique motorcycle owners. Contact Jacek Sachajski at 773-392-4343.
Right next to the Goggle Guy there was this display of the “Biker Soc“. These are leather toe thingies that fit over a pair of work boots and protect the toes from getting scuffed from shifting. They’re available in various colors and they’re very nicely made. I’m going to get a pair and check ’em out.
You see all sorts of weird things at this show. Check out the “Switchblade” snowbike. It’s a conversion kit that converts a dirtbike (or streetbike I guess, if you’re crazy enough!) to a snow ski, complete with a ski front end that bolts on to the front fork ends. The manufacturer had no other information, and it’s not apparent how the tread in the back actually turns, so I’m not sure if this is for real or not. Very cool idea though!