EICMA 2012: The 70th International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan

Motorcycles, motorcycles and more motorcycles.

Then there are all the booths with gear for sale, aftermarket parts for your bikes, and almost anything else you could possibly imagine for your two-wheeled transportation.

I was on "system overload" while attempting to take in the vastness of the 70th International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan.

As I looked through the floor plan, I was glad I'd brought a pair of flat shoes with me because, according to the map, I would be walking a lot.

I initially started the day in pumps, but shortly thereafter transitioned into a way more comfortable pair of footwear.
I think I walked close to 20 kilometres that day, venturing back and forth between the different pavilions.

According to a press release I received, there was roughly 1.4 million square feet of motorcycle real estate to cover. And that wasn't even utilizing the whole exhibition centre!

My game plan? Bite-size pieces. Walk around slowly. Try and drink it all in, and then attack it head-on.

With over 1,000 exhibitors on display, I did my best to cover all of them, but I just didn't have enough time to do everything.

However, in the process, I did see some really cool things.

Being a huge advocate of clean energy transportation, it was nice to see that the show had a dedicated section to "The Green Planet." I spent a fair bit of time there checking out all the EV scooters, bikes and other interesting concepts of emissions-free transportation.

There just happened to be a prototype of an all-electric sport bike that caught my attention. Energica is the first Italian prototype of electric streetbike and it will be available for purchase in 2014. Very cool.

2012 Eicma

Photo: Eicma

As I walked around, industry heavy-hitters like Honda, KTM, BMW, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Ducati and more all had elaborate displays with their product lineups.

I think the best part of the whole experience was seeing so much motorcycle eye candy in one place. Furthermore, a lot of the bikes on display weren't roped off so I could sit on them and see if my feet touched the ground! Luckily, I wore pants.

Another highlight included seeing a host of classic bikes. Classic; meaning the original inspiration to what we currently see on the road.

Then there were the custom motorcycles. Wow. One Harley-Davidson was modified to hold a surfboard! Amazing.

With all the personalized paint jobs, shiny chrome bits and master craftsmanship, I was sufficiently satiated when it came to my bike fix.

Since one day wasn't enough to soak it all in, I went again.

Yet, even on the press days, hoards of people flocked to the venue to see the latest and greatest in the industry.

While a lot of the coolest stuff there will never reach our shores, I'm still happy I had the opportunity to check it out.

Now I need a foot massage.