Outside the Dallas Convention Center, rows of motorcycles stand gleaming in the sun. The sound of rumbling engines fills the air, and the smell of exhaust fills the nostrils. The scent could be Chanel No. 5, judging by the faces of those in the parking lot. The 28th Annual Cycle World International Motorcycle Show has arrived in Dallas.
The show came through town last weekend, its second stop on a 13-point tour across the U.S. As in years past, fathers, sons, husbands, brothers, accountants and bartenders, computer guys and lawyers gather together united by common interest in motorcycles. Sure, there are women there too, and merchandise geared toward the female cycle lover, but mostly it’s the men-folk gone hog wild, so to speak.
This is the place to come for all of your motorcycle shopping. Here you can get those new saddle bags, pick up a pair of Harley boots, a set of ShamWow! chamois to wipe the bike down and some cleaner to make it shine.
You can also see the newest motorcycles on the market. This year it’s the Ducati 1198, a fire engine red hand-made Italian creation, and the Neiman Marcus Ducatis everybody’s talking about. For the environmentally conscious, the zero-emission Vectrix is a particular thrill.
“Hey, honey, why don’t we get one of these?” a woman calls to her husband, who winces at the mint-green and cream-colored scooter. “I could ride it too,” she offers. He nods and looks back down at the Yamaha he’d been studying.
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“It’s great, because instead of having to drive all over the city to look at bikes, they’re right here,” says Tim Fisher, cutting right to the beauty of the bike show. Fisher bought a Vulcan a year ago but is in the market for a new touring bike. “I’m looking at the Kawasaki Voyager,” he says, “but it’s so new they don’t even have a price for it yet. The guy selling it here hasn’t even ridden it. I might wanna wait awhile until they get the kinks worked out.” Fisher smiles, sitting beside his wife Jackie at a table outside, relaxing before they dive back in to debate the purchase.
Antsy kids are momentarily tamed by the start of another stunt show. A man in red performs bike tricks to a mildly impressed crowd and a soundtrack of “Ring of Fire.” (It’s a cover version.) There’s no actual ring of fire, but it’s still pretty impressive to see his bike fly through the air, stopping an inch from the volunteer who’d been suckered into lying motionless on the cement floor.
Leaving the center, a man grumbles to his friends, “If I had come for the first time this year, I wouldn’t come back.” Everyone nods in agreement, bags of merchandise in their hands. Groups pass going the opposite way, toward the ticket window, smiling in anticipation.