Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Americade 2012

Every June motorcyclists from around North America commute to a small lake town in upstate New York.  Thousands of motorcycles come to Americade.  Americade is the biggest touring motorcycle rally.  Meaning that people who like riding touring motorcycles are the ones who mostly come, the old guys on the Goldwings and full dressed Harley’s make up most of the people who come to Americade.  But there are also young riders and middle-aged riders of all types.  You’ll see African American motorcycle clubs, women riders and I think I even saw an Asian dude.  This is my third year attending and is the 30th anniversary of Americade.  Now you may ask what exactly happens at a motorcycle rally?  Well Americade offers many different things to every type of motorcyclist, even the dudes who truck their bikes in.  I go mainly for the demo rides.  There are many motorcycle manufacturers that show up to Americade to let everyone try out their products.  This year BMW, Can-Am, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Kymco, Motor Trike, Roadsmith, Victory, and Yamaha/Star were all at Americade.  I personally took out many of these this year.  I tried out many different kinds of motorcycles that I would never own myself including a sport bike, a duel purpose bike, the reverse trike and even a scooter.

But the bikes I enjoy the most are the Victory’s and Star’s.  I rode three models made by Victory, including the Vegas8-Ball, TheJudge, and the Hard-Ball.  At last years Americade I rode several of the Victory’s and enjoy just about all of them.  I would say that Victory Motorcycles are my second favorite motorcycles, right behind the brand that I own Star Motorcycles by Yamaha.  Last year I got my hands on probably the best bike I’ve ever ridden the Yamaha RaiderS, but this year I got to ride two new versions of both the Raider and the Stratoliner.  The first Star I rode was the StratolinderDeluxe, and then I got to ride the new RaiderSCL, probably the best and coolest looking bike I’ve ever ridden.  The great guys at the Yamaha tent took a great picture of me on the SCL.

There was also a great article in Rider Magazine about the SCL.  But there is more to Americade then just the demos.  There are the vendors both down on the Million Dollar Beach and at the Lake George Expo.  You can find anything you need for motorcycle gear there and even more parts for your bike.  And though I’ve never done them there are guided and unguided tours around the Adirondacks and Vermont.  There are also poker runs and scavenger hunts.  One thing that I did both last year and this is a scenic boat cruise around Lake George.  Yamaha sponsored the cruise I went on, last year I won a door prize last year but wasn’t so lucky this year.  Then on Friday night there was desert and fireworks at The Great Escape.  The fireworks were amazing but the ride home after was difficult.  It was pouring rain and dark, two things that make riding a motorcycle hard.  The one thing that happens every year at Americade is rain, you can almost always expect it.  At the end of the week the Lake George Rotary Club throws a BBQ, this year the weather held and it was amazing.  Americade although usually a bit wet is always a good time filled with great people and amazing motorcycles.  But when Americade ends everyone gets on their motorcycles and heads for LaconiaBike Week the third biggest rally in the U.S.