Calgary Motorcycle Show 2004 – Review

What does 3 days, 20,000 visitors, 1,400 motorcycle industry employees, all major manufactures present, 125 booths, an MX Extreme show and hundreds of new motorcycles make?

One great motorcycle show.. The Calgary 2004 Motorcycle show to be exact.


The Calgary Motorcycle Show is now in it’s 3rd great year. We have been there since the 1st one and last year’s (2nd) was even bigger and better. So hopes are high that the 3rd year will surpass the first two years, if that is possible.

I looked at my watch, 1:00pm, and there was still a wrap around the block lineup of excited visitors just eager to get in. I can’t believe it’s been an hour already since opening and the 2004 Calgary motorcycle show is now in full swing.

Everything is setup and waiting for the tens of thousands of visitors to see it all. Hundreds of new gleaming 2004 motorcycles stand there, waiting to be played with by the masses. 1,400 show employees, awaiting the massive onslaught of questions they know will be asked and answered. The show booths are all ready, all the products are out, the MX ramps are setup, the fashion show is on time and ready to go. All is waiting for the doors to open, on the strike of 12:00 noon, Friday January 9th, the doors open, the excited visitors rush in, the 2004 Calgary motorcycle show starts in full swing yet again for the 3rd time…


There was so much to see this year at the Calgary motorcycle show, for those who were there, you got to experience the best motorcycle show ever in Calgary. For those who were not there, read on and enjoy!

The first thing we were privileged enough to be invited to was the special media presentations of the fashion show and MX extreme show.

The fashion show was short and to the point, yielding new casual but more practical jeans for riding, which contained knee padding. Jeans are the new “in” thing to wear this year, and now the big manufacturers are getting into the act. With more motorcycle jean styles than ever before available for 2004. Ladies motorcycle jackets are coming along, being fashionable without looking like you just stepped off a motorcycle. While new Men’s boots hide the laces, for safety, and now visors can be purchased in a tint to match your helmet. Motorcycling can be dangerous and safety gear is a necessity, now you can be safe and look stylish and fashionable like never before!

The freestyle MX extreme show is a fast-paced sport where riders launch themselves off ramps while performing acrobatic tricks, such as the “Kiss of Death”, a trick where riders ‘kiss’ the front fender of their bikes while in the air. The freestyle demonstration headliner is Team Outlaw rider Kris Garwasiuk, Canada’s first professional MX Freestyler and the only Canadian in the sport featured in a video game, Championship Motocross by THQ.

4 superstar riders on 250cc 2-Stroke Kawasaki’s, 24′ ramp launching them over a 70′ gap at 35 mph, gaining 30′ of air and performing amazing stunts… if that doesn’t make your heart pound, then you just got to see it in person!

The Freestyle Motocross Aerial Acrobats where an addition to this years Calgary Motorcycle show. On 250cc Kawasaki’s, the riders fly up a 24foot ramp, at 35 miles per hour, launching 30 feet into the air, over a 70 foot gap. (see our interviews with Team Outlaw) Riders perform incredible aerial acrobats in the short time they have in the air, from the kiss of death, to the cliffhanger and more. It was a great show, all the riders were very excited about performing in front of the media as our cameras were take photos almost as fast the engines of their bikes. Even with autofocus, high speed cameras we just were fast enough to match their speeds.

Though only five or six years old, the fast-growing extreme motorcycle sport is characterized by young riders-serious competitors are generally 15 to 22 years of age with a motocross background-and bravado.

Freestyle motocross can be traced to the 1980s when BMX riders performed tricks that were highly publicized in documentaries during the 1990s. Motocross riders began to adopt aerial tricks and stunts and show off when they were so far behind in races they had nothing else to lose. (Motocross is a motorcycle sport that began in Europe following WWII, becoming popular in America during the 1960s. The sport features riders racing on specially designed bikes on closed courses with uphill, downhill, jumps, corners and/or other features. Freestyle motocross first emerged as its own sport in the United States in the late 1990s and has since grown to include Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia.

The popularity of the sport is, in part, due to coverage through networks like NBC, the first major network to cover such sports, beginning with Gravity Games-an Olympic-like event for extreme sports, including freestyle motocross, in the summer of 1999. Gravity Games are television’s highest rated action sports program (16 of the top 20 broadcasts) and can be viewed in more than 50 countries.

We were also treated to a private trails demonstration by Canadian National Trials Rider Champion Ryon Bell (see our interview with Ryon). Ryon demonstrated balance and precision at slow speeds over an obstacle course on his Gas Gas motorcycle. It takes a very steady hand and lots of practice and skill to perform very slow (even dead stop) speed maneuvers over barrels, ramps and more. With that amazing skill Ryon showed us what a Canadian Champion’s skills are all about!

Leaving the special media presentation, it was time to hit the floor and see all there was to see. Which took us 3 days to see it all!

125 Booths, Tones of products and every major (and lots of minor) motorcycle manufacturers, vintage motorcycles, custom motorcycles, prize booths, riding clubs, magazines, motorcycle training companies, accessories, parts, helmets, jackets, tires, wheels, and so much more.. oh and don’t forget the food!

All the new model 2004 motorcycles were there like the Kawasaki ZX-10R, Vulcan 2000, ZX-6RR and Z750, Suzuki GS500F, V-Strom 650, GSX-R600 and SV650 standard. Honda 599, Rune and CBR 1000RR and Yamaha Majesty 400 and FZ6. Moto-Guzzi Breva 750, Victory Kingpin and Vegas. Buell 1200’s, new Harley V-Rods, 883’s and 1200’s. So many new models, we as motorcyclists are very lucky this year to have so much selection!!

Check out our In-depth 2004 Motorcycle review where we talk to EVERY major motorcycle manufacturer and find out:

– Inside information on the 2004 models
– Why it was produced
– Target market and demographics
– What makes it better than the other models.
– Special features and much more

I wish I could talk about everything at every booth, but there is just way too much to list. I’m sorry, you will just have to go for the 4th Annual Calgary Motorcycle Show to see it all.

As you can now tell, The 3rd Annual Calgary motorcycle show was a big success and we (as we as tens of thousands of visitors) look forward to seeing it next year!

The Calgary Motorcycle Show is presented by MMIC (Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council), a national nonprofit industry association that represents the major manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles and mopeds in Canada.


The North American Motorcycle Industry:

– Canadian retail related sales for motorcycles, scooters and ATVs were close to $5 billion dollars per year, according to a survey conducted by the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council (MMIC), and ending in February 2002. New vehicles made up $2.8 billion dollars of the total figure. – Motorcycle sales have gone up every year between 1992 and 2002 in the United States.

– On-highway motorcycles made up 62 per cent of the market in 2001, and cruisers accounted for more than 50 per cent of unit sales

– The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) from the United States, showed the age of American bikers increase from 27 in 1985 to 38 in 1998. Older Baby Boomers also tended to purchase cruiser?style bikes, which generally cost $15,000 and up.

– The number of bike owners from 35-49 years of age increased from 21.9% to 40.6% of all bike owners between 1985 and 1998


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About Michael Le Pard 5180 Articles
"Mr. Totalmotorcycle". Owner and Founder of Total Motorcycle. Supporting over Motorcyclists and Motorcycling for 21 great years. Total Motorcycle is my pride and joy and being able to reach out 330 million people has been incredible but I could not have done it without the support of my visitors, readers and members, thank you so much! You are making a difference to millions of riders worldwide. Thank you.