Martin's Motorcycle: Washington DC Motorcycle Show 2008

BMW GX450 2008 DC Motorcycle Show

We recently visited the 2008 Cycle World International Motorcycle show when it passed through DC. This is always a great chance to see the new models from all sorts of manufacturers. Of course we started out by visiting the BMW display. New for 2008 is the F800GS, which joins the enduro line, although it will not be available in U.S. dealerships until early fall. It is narrower than the R1200GS, and seems to be skewed a bit more toward off-road use, with knobbier tires and a slightly higher seat height. Unlike the F800S and F800ST, which are belt driven, the GS model has a chain. I adored it even more than Martin's R1200GS, because of the narrower seat, but it is definitely a tall bike! Meanwhile the 2008 R1200GS gets a bit more horsepower (to 105hp), optional electronic suspension adjustment (ESA), and a few styling changes. Also new in 2008 is a G450X, which I believe BMW is marketing toward motocross enthusiasts.

BMW HP2 Sport 2008 DC Motorcycle Show

The new HP2 Sport was also displayed at the show. According to BMW, it is based on the R1200S, but makes 130hp and has a quickshifter, as well as some other modifications. We all would really like to take this one on a test ride.

Like last year, the Buell display at the show was pretty fun, since they mount one of their bikes leaned over and another one up in the air so that you can climb on them. Here is Al testing out some cornering on the Ulysses.

Buell Ulysses 2008 DC Motorcycle Show

Following up on their 2007 Nehme'sis bike, BMS Choppers displayed the SiniStar. The mirror underneath the bike may have enhanced the effect, but it was almost impossibly shiny. It was pretty amazing looking. There was also a more biblically inspired chopper on display for those Sunday morning rides.

Of course, fancy choppers like that were off limits for sitting on, but the guys still had a great time checking out some of the stock cruisers at the show. Al looks like he is paying serious attention to the salesman here, but I think he still prefers his K1200S after all.

BMS Choppers Sinistar

Another interesting feature at the 2008 show was a Harley Davidson presentation on how to pick up a fallen bike. This was geared more toward the ladies in the audience, although the techniques should benefit anyone since it is easy to get injured trying to lift a 500 pound machine. I continue to be amazed that the young woman doing the show could pick the Sportster up over and over all day long. Of course it seemed like an excellent chance to practice on a clean, non-skid surface with a bike other than mine, so I had to give it a try. Well, I did pick the bike up, but definitely not easily. I will have to try again to see if I can get the techniques down better. Until then, I think this is something I would use only in an emergency. Otherwise, I would hope that strong people would be around to help get my bike upright if needed. Even with the Harley-Davidson person coaching me on how to do it, my quadriceps muscles were really sore for the next few days.

Harley Davidson Rocker 2008 DC Motorcycle Show

The event included a fun stunt riding show from the BOSS freestyle group, with some cage riding and jumping. And with plenty of restaurants nearby for when we finally got hungry enough to take a break from sitting on all the new models, it was a great night out in DC!

Katie Lifting the 2008 Sportster 2008 DC Motorcycle Show