INTERMOT Cologne, which ended on Sunday 5 October 2014, claims to have reconfirmed its reputation as the leading "international industry and public event" for high mileage motorcycle riders, with over 200,00 trade and consumer visitors packing the aisles of Europe's fifth largest exhibition complex.
This year the City of Cologne has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first time the international motorcycle industry came to town, with the Koelnmesse facility itself marking its own 90th anniversary.
With around 960 vendors, from some 37 countries, INTERMOT attracted visitors from 105 countries in total and featured "a string of world firsts, showcasing the entire product range, covering the full breadth of the powered two-wheeler world".
The newly introduced trade visitor day proved popular, with most of those we here at IDN spoke to giving the concept the 'thumbs-up'. “More than 90 per cent of trade visitors and exhibitors support the introduction of the trade visitor day. The additional business focus enabled INTERMOT Cologne to emphasise its international leadership role and post a significant increase in European trade visitors, especially from Italy”, said Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive of Koelnmesse. Indeed some 69 percent of exhibiting companies came from outside Germany.
BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha were among those unveiling new models, with others showcasing insights into future ideas. Reiner Brendicke, Chief Executive of the motorcycle industry trade association in Germany (Motorrad Deutschland e.V.), said that "the industry is highly satisfied with the way the fair has gone and with visitor numbers. Our target group is again becoming significantly younger thanks to the new driving licence model. We assume that INTERMOT Cologne will give a renewed boost to this trend”.
Another new highlight this year was the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building, showcasing international custom motorcycle design and engineering excellence in an improved Hall 10 environment that reflected the changing nature of the custom motorcycle industry as it continues to grow in Europe and create excitement among consumers for all kinds of PTWs.
The world's leading Pro-Grade custom motorcycle competition, this was the 11th annual AMD World Championship, and saw 70 customisers from 22 countries bring 81 great bikes in search of the market's ultimate accolade.
Long associated as being the preserve of aftermarket air-cooled v-twin custom engineers, the custom industry reinforced its increasing importance as a part of the mainstream of the international motorcycle industry.
In addition to the usual slew of Harley-Davidson and leading brand aftermarket engines used, no less than 10 of the top twenty bikes in the event's acclaimed 'FreeStyle' class were based on non-traditional custom power-plants, including two Ducatis, a Jawa, a Kawasaki, two Hondas, and even a Citroen 2CV engine, with the winner (former World Champion Freddie 'Krugger' Bertrand of Belgium) scooping the top prize with a heavily customised and radically styled BMW K1600.
|Former World Champion Freddie "Krugger" Bertrand from Belgium won his second AMD World Champion Custom bike builder crown with his heavily modified and heavily stylised BMW K1600|
With the right to modify now firmly enshrined in European motorcycle regulatory thinking, and many more manufacturers working hard to claim a slice of the action, Kudos to INTERMOT for spotting the growing profile and contribution that custom bikes are now making to overall industry revenues and growth, and to the role they play in generating popularity and enthusiasm for all forms of PTWs.
As a side-bar to how far the custom motorcycle market has come, and where it is headed in terms of delivering the kind of ownership and riding experiences that will characterise the values of future generations of motorcycle buyers, the AMD World Championship saw Danish custom bike specialist Lauge Jensen give an international debut to the very first Euro 4 compliant crate motor package to become available - fully 15 months before the regulations affecting all new builds become law on January 1st 2016.
In fact, diversity has always been a hallmark of INTERMOT, and in addition to the now established demonstration ride opportunities, displays and other outdoor activities and entertainments (such as the stunt show), INTERMOT's 'e-Motion' hall again provided the market's leading showcase for urban mobility in general, and electric motorcycles and scooters in particular. Confirming the popularity and importance of the demonstration ride opportunity that INTERMOT provides - a record of over 25,000 demonstration rides are reported to have been taken during the show.
One final 'factoid' that points to the importance of INTERMOT as the leading international motorcycle industry 'nexus' - trade visitors are reported as accounting for around 30 per cent of total attendance, with some 42 per cent of those coming from outside Germany.