By Dan Forst
For the past 26 years, the Indiana Motorcycle Expo has been a must-see for all Midwest motorcycle lovers. It’s back bigger and better than ever for its 27th year and takes place during the first weekend, February 16-18, of the Ford 64rd Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, February 16-25.
All events are held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 E. 38th Street in Indianapolis.
The Expo brings together enthusiasts, manufacturers, major dealers and bike-related exhibitors from across the country showcasing the very latest motorcycles and a full array of related motorcycle lifestyle products and services.
This amazing gathering of exhibitors features the latest in motorcycle accessories, biker apparel, custom paint and fabrication, lifestyle services, new and used motorcycles and more. Biker enthusiasts will find the major industry names like Can-Am, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Star, Suzuki, Slingshot, Victory, and Yamaha all under one roof!
This year’s expo also features a variety of cruiser bike categories in the Biker’s Showcase, sponsored by Ride Safe Indiana and Abate of Indiana’s Tiny Tots Riding Experience.
By popular demand, the 27th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo welcomes the return of the Pioneers of Hoosier Motorcycling, an historical exhibit and interactive panel discussion featuring the bikes and personalities from Indiana’s significant motorcycling past.
Attendees will be able to listen to and interact with pioneers like Rex and Dotty Bridgeford from Shelbyville, Ind. Rex and Dotty started riding in the 1950s, owned their own Harley-Davidson dealership and have taken their bikes to over 38 states. In fact, Dotty became a member of the Motor Maids, Inc. in 1967, a national women’s riding club formed in 1940, and has many a tale to tell!
Among the other pioneers will be Rick Moore who started his professional racing career in the 1950s in the Junior ranks. He went on to be one of the most accomplished racers in the Midwest, and his stories of traveling the motorcycle racing circuits throughout his long career will paint a nostalgic and revealing montage of the “golden years” of motorcycle racing.
New this year will be a unique and outstanding exhibit titled “From Barn Finds to Forgotten Treasures” by Jeff Leveridge of Leveridge Motorcycle Salvage. For over 30 years, Leveridge has searched the forgotten barns, warehouses, and abandoned homes of the Midwest in search of long-lost motorcycles and parts. At the show, Jeff will be constructing an actual barn setting to showcase some of the most rare and unbelievable bikes he’s found during his searches.
“Mine is a hobby that simply got out of control,” said Leveridge. “But some of my finds are beyond belief.”
One “find” attendees will see is a “Balkan” brand motorcycle that was made in Bulgaria. In 1966, the company tried to open a showroom in Detroit, but because the bikes had the Communist Star on their wheels, the government shut down its sales.
“Some years, ago, I found this bike in an old warehouse in the Detroit area,” Leveridge said. “It’s one of only a few left in the world, it has only four miles on it, and it runs great. It’s a perfect example of what we’ll be showing people at the show.”
Tickets are $14 at the box office and advance sale discount tickets are available for $12.00 at Indysportshow.com.
Tickets to the 27th Annual Indiana Motorcycle Expo also includes admission to the Ford 64th Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show. Show hours for both shows are:
Friday, February 16: 1 – 9 p.m.
Saturday, February 17: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday, February 18: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.