View Full Version : 2010 San Mateo, CA, Motorcycle Show Report

20 November 2010, 1015
Sorry guys, there were no electric motorcycles at the show that I noticed last night. About the only thing that might be of interest is that I came across a company making 12V Lithium motorcycle batteries that I had never heard of before. The company is Shorai Inc. (www.shoraipower.com) Their primary advantage for IC vehicle use would appear to be their light weight and their "Japanese engineering and components". Whether or not these batteries will be of any use to an electric motorcycle builder, I will let you figure out.

Since I went to the trouble of writing up my show comments for another website, I will post them here:

Here are my comments regarding this year's motorcycle show:

Unfortunately, the 2010 San Mateo Progressive International Motorcycle Show was looking a bit peeked this year. Only the two main halls were used for the show, with about half of one small outside building housing some small (very) random vendors. It was a far cry from a few years ago when both halls were filled to capacity and there were five outside buildings being used for exhibits and vendors. I would estimate that the number of vendors and exhibits were down about one-third, compared with last year - which was not that great either.

Several major manufacturers were not represented, including Harley Davidson, Victory, all of the Italian manufacturers except for Ducati, Triumph, and all of the Chinese and Korean companies. Large portions of the halls were taken up by lounge areas, instead of exhibits, which were used by Progressive to promote their insurance products and for the use of infomercial-type discussions in the guise of free seminars.

There were relatively large displays by Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Ural, Suzuki (not much happening there), Indian and Can-Am. BMW and KTM had small dealer-sized displays. The BMW display was about one-fourth of the size it was last year and only had four motorcycles on display.

Granted, I visited the show on Friday night and it was cold and rainy, but the weather wasn’t much better last year and I would estimate that there were only about half the number of visitors as there were on Friday night last year.

The show was divided up into the two main exhibit halls. The first hall that you entered had nothing but exhibit booths and several private motorcycle displays. Mini-bikes were very well represented in the displays, along with Yamaha two-strokes and a few classic bikes. The second hall housed the manufacturer exhibits, with additional small exhibiter booths lining parts of the walls. The cost to park a car was $10 and the entry fee was $12 per person, with the $2 coupons which were being handed out on the way in.

I picked up every free brochure that I could, but there were only about half as many product information brochures and catalogs as there were last year. All in all, it looked like most exhibitors had substantially cut back on their displays compared with previous years or just decided to not show up. My guess is that the attendance and revenue from the show is going to be way down from previous years.

To give you an idea of what the industry may be facing this year, the Honda CBR250R seemed to be generating more interest from the public than were the Honda VFR1200 touring version, or the new Kawasaki ZX10R or Z1000 models. However, this could be the result of the most of the people having driven to the show, as I did not see a lot of hard-core enthusiasts wandering around last night. Perhaps the enthusiasts will ride in today or tomorrow, although the cold and wet weather this weekend may keep many people away. Personally, I think it is not looking too good for the US motorcycle industry this year - if attendance at and interest in the new models on Friday is any indication.

Let me know if anyone wants me to post some photos of the exhibits at the show.

21 November 2010, 0800
Thanks for the report, maybe you missed your calling as a reporter?

21 November 2010, 0815
Thanks for the report, maybe you missed your calling as a reporter?

Most of my reporting talents have come from writing engineering staff reports for the Planning Commission. Frankly, that never made my writing very interesting. My reports were designed to keep the mushrooms in the dark and feed them manure, in accordance with City policy. :rolleyes: