2013 International Motorcycle Show – San Mateo, CA

Since I first decided to bring motorcycles back into my life, I’ve been browsing the Internet looking for fun things to do, which are related to Motorcycles.  About 4 weeks ago I attended the AMA flat-track races in Santa Rosa, CA.  Until I arrived at the track, I had never seen an AMA race, or even a flat-track for that matter.

It turns out that the track was simply a horse racing track, which had been put under a bit of special grooming, in order for the bikes to react more predictably.  As the story was told to me, when you throw a motorcycle into a turn at about 125 mph, and the bike is sideways for about 50 yards before it even starts to hook up for the turn, it is very important that the traction through the turn is pretty darn predictable.  If it’s inconsistent, or unpredictable, it’s very likely that you’ll experience some pretty big catastrophes, and we don’t want anyone to get hurt.

But this post is not about the AMA race, it’s about the M/C show.  Well, we had spent Thursday – Saturday at the HorizonsUnlimited get-together in Cambria, CA.  Jim, Bruce and I had a great time, and each of us had a chance to experience the meeting our own way, attending whichever sessions were the most interesting for each of us.  Each evening we would sit in the ampitheatre and listen to various speakers talk about their travels, and on Friday night, we were fortunate enough to have two great speakers who talked about their trips to Mexico and Central America, and Africa.  As soon as I get some time, I’ll write up more about what happened in Cambria, but for now, Its time to talk about the motorcycle show.

I attended this year’s show so that I could purchase some little odds and ends for the bike, and also to enjoy the SuperMoto racing that was setup in the parking lot.  I believe that the SuperMoto was sanctioned by AMA, but I’m not sure.  In any case, the doors opened at 10AM, and after meeting Graham at the door, we headed in and began looking at Gear.  Now Graham is someone that I know through my time with the Audi Club, where I was a BoD member, and am currently an instructor.  At our last Audi Club event in Sonoma (Oct 18-20, 2013) Graham and I got to talking about my upcoming trip to Patagonia, and as a result, he seemed to catch the same bug that I caught, and I could see that look in his eye that indicates that he sees the wonder of a trip to Patagonia, and now he’s simply got to decide if it’s for him.

Graham spent the better part of the day walking through the booths looking at lots of gear, asking questions, and trying on the clothing from the various vendors.  He spent quite a bit of time at the SJ BMW booth talking the rep from Klim, so it’s possible that some very expensive Klim gear is in his future.

As for me, I wanted to get some Clearwater lights for the front of the bike.  I met up with Glen from Clearwater, and he took me through all of the various design considerations, and the nuances of their products that make them stand out from everyone else.  Glen gave me a great deal on the set of Erika, and Glenda lights.  He also provided a good amount of suggestions for how I should wire them up, and I’m really looking forward to getting them installed.  Hopefully, they will arrive from Sacramento by Friday, and I’ll install them on Friday night.  This little plan of mine might be too ambitious, but then again, that’s my nature…

I spent about 2 hours walking through the vendor booths, listening to the band from The School of Rock, and talking to the guys at the BMW booth.  Before we go on, I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the School of Rock allstars.  These were all relatively young musicians who were having fun, were very polished, and who were playing classic songs from Yes (Roundabout), CSNY, and others.  I could not help singing along with Roundabout, and while I was not the only one that clapped and cheered for them, I was probably the loudest and most enthusiastic.

After spending time with the vendors, it was time to go outside and see what SuperMoto was all about.  OMG, those guys are absolutely nuts.  SuperMoto is sort of like Motocross on a tarred parking lot.   The track had a small jump, but it was mostly a bunch of turns and straights that were put there to let those MotoX bikes (with slick tires) tear it up.  It was lots of fun, and I think I’m hooked on SuperMoto, and can’t wait to make it to the next event.

At 3:30 the main event (450 cc Experts) started, and as crazy as all of those other races had been, watching the experts and pros riding the big 450 CC bikes in a parking lot was nothing short of amazing.  As the race ended I met up with Jim and Vanessa, and because the day had turned cold by then, we headed back into the main buildings to gather our thoughts.  Jim had a few good ideas about how to install and where to install the Glenda lights that I had purchased so we went back over to Glenn at Clearwater Designs and we talked about whether to install the Glenda lights outside of the forks, or directly in front of each of the fork legs.  Now, I’m usually a pretty decisive kind of guy, but to be honest, it seemed impossible to make this decision now, and I was going to need to look at the lights mounted in both positions, and make a choice based on aesthetics, as well as function.  When Glen heard my dilemma, he offered to send me the mounting brackets that would allow me to install in either configuration.  He threw them in at no charge, which just reinforced that I had made the right decision on the lights.

By this time, I had been at the show for about 7 hours, and it seemed like it was time to go.

About the Author

Cliff Musante

Cliff Musante is a technologist, business leader, motorcycle enthusiast, father, grandfather, and more. In June, 2013 his passion for motorcycles was revitalized, and he set out to ride across Patagonia. Since then, he's logged thousands of miles, ridden across the US, and on July 10, 2019, he began a 120 day trip through Europe, and then on to Russia, China, and parts East. This 'Blog is the story of all of his adventures.