The History of and Evolution of the Cleveland Motorcycle Show


The Cleveland Motorcycle Show is one of the premier events in the city. It comes at a time when riders are getting antsy waiting for the weather to break. The February motorcycle extravaganza could not come at a better time of the year. If this is an event you enjoy, or if you’ve considered attending, you might like to know about the interesting history and evolution of the Cleveland Motorcycle Show.

History of the Cleveland Motorcycle Show

We learned that the show is preparing to enter its 38th year in 2021. The first Cleveland Motorcycle Show was held in 1994. There is little information provided that far back in its history though. We found an advertisement for the 2000 event that was held from January 28th through the 30th. It kicked off on Friday from 5 pm to 10 pm and concluded on Sunday. The International Motorcycle Show kicked off as the 6th annual show in Cleveland presented by Toyota Trucks. It featured motorcycles, scooters, personal watercraft, and accessories from large brands. This event happened at the IX Center on Riverside Drive in Cleveland. The show also featured Team Extreme performing motorcycle stunts, displays of the new Toyota Tundra truck, Biker Billy, famed Harley riding chef cooking live at the show, and new motorcycle products for 2000.

The 2010 Motorcycle Show

The 2010 Cleveland Motorcycle Show kicked off in the same location at the IX Center in Cleveland. The event kicked off earlier this season. The doors opened at 3:00 pm through 9:00 pm but continued to be a three-day weekend event the last weekend in January, according to the old advertisement from Ultimate motorcycling. The ad was light on family-centric events and instead focused on the major motorcycle brands that would be at the show, displaying the latest bikes in their collections.

2013 Cleveland Motorcycle Show

The Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys group was present at this show, advertising their contributions to the event. This year’s event featured the promotion of their “Keep Me Alive Don’t Text and Drive” campaign. A 2013 HD Heritage Softail as given away at the event. The entertainment expanded to include bikes, accessories, and apparel from the major brands. The show also featured booths for travel, a play area for the kids, and several contests for attendees to win prizes. There were also lots of vendors selling items that were unrelated to motorcycles.

2014 Show

The 2014 Cleveland Motorcycle Show was not as successful as previous years. According to Gold Wings Admin, attendance at the event was down. Although there were as many motorcycles displayed, there were not as many vendors for apparel and accessories. No vendors were selling unrelated products at this show. An attendee at the event commented that it was smaller than in previous years.

The 2016 Show

Progressive Insurance added their contribution to the show called “Flo’s Chop Shop.” According to the press release, the sponsors’ goal was to make the show more family-friendly with even more fun contests and events for kids and adults. Live art is another category that was added.

The 2017 Cleveland Motorcycle Show

The 2017 show began Friday, January 27th, 2017 from 3:00 pm through 8:00 pm. we noticed that it ended an hour earlier on opening night. Adults paid $16 to get in but kids 11 and under got in for free. This year’s show featured the latest models of motorcycles and accessories, along with ATVs and informative seminars for attendees. There were also displays of historic motorcycles and a variety of custom-built bikes According to the National Museum Org.

2020 Cleveland Motorcycle Show

Thunder roads advertised the event for the weekend of January 24-26, 2020 at the Cleveland IX Center. The event was geared towards bikers and their families with a variety of different exhibits and activities. The focus was on the motorcycle brands that displayed their latest models along with OEM manufacturers. Custom bike builders were present along with a variety of stunt shows, gear for riders, and more. Riders could climb on the bikes at the displays to get a feel for them. The historical bike display was brought back and there were plenty of activities for everyone. The 2020 show was more geared towards new riders. More specifically, vendors were on-hand to introduce attendees who may not yet have their motorcycle endorsement to jump on a bike and ride it around the indoor track with a full-size electric bike. There was also a track for kids to ride and try out motorcycle riding. Backcountry Discovery Routes came back for their second year to encourage attendees to ride and to give presentations. Guest speakers shared their stories about riding at the moto campsite. Experienced riders shared stories and tips, and which equipment they preferred to have and why. A virtual riding experience was also provided at the moto campsite. This was an excellent addition to the show.

Final thoughts

The Cleveland Motorcycle Show is an annual event that kicked off in 1994. The show has grown and expanded since the first event was held. Each year the show features the major motorcycle manufacturers displaying their new bikes and equipment. There are also personal watercraft available to browse through as well as apparel and gear. The show has turned into a major event to get people out of the house to break up the winter doldrums and to inspire them to look forward to riding in the spring when the weather breaks. The show features fun activities and contests for attendees of all ages. There are special guest-speakers on hand to provide compelling reasons to start riding, and how to stay safe in the process. The Cleveland Motorcycle Show has become an event for the entire family, and it’s not just for experienced riders. It’s for anyone who has an interest in riding.

The History of and Evolution of the Cleveland Motorcycle Show The History of and Evolution of the Cleveland Motorcycle Show Reviewed by TechCO on 11/19/2020 Rating: 5

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