Americade 2014, occurring now through Sunday June 8 in Lake George Village, features the world’s largest motorcycle trade show, test rides on new motorcycle models, a record-setting fireworks extravaganza, as well as seminars, hundreds of show bikes entered in competitions, motorcycle stunt shows and two-wheeled tours through the Adirondacks. Courtesy photo
Tens of thousands of motorcyclists are descending on Lake George this week, immersing the village in a blur of sparkling chrome, luminescent paint and whirring wheels.
The spectacle is due to the arrival of Americade, the planet’s leading touring motorcycle rally.
To bartenders and waitstaff, the week-long Americade means big tips due to the generous riders and the crowds packing taverns and restaurants.
To area residents, it means appreciating the cavalcade of two-wheeled customized marvels as well as the gleaming factory models. To local economic development gurus, it means thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars flowing into the hands of locals — Americade is the single largest and most lucrative event in the region.
But to those attending the rally, it means swapping two-wheeled touring tales, sharing motorcycling tips, road-testing and gawking at new models, enjoying lots of memorable socializing, and most of all, savoring the adventure of cruising with friends through the unspoiled Adirondacks.
This year’s edition of Americade features several new twists — a record-setting fireworks extravaganza, an array of motorcycle stunt shows, the most factory representatives ever — as well as a reduced fees to participate, event founder Bill Dutcher said.
TourExpo expanded; features 9-11 memorial exhibit
Dutcher said that Americade’s massive TourExpo motorcycle trade show — the largest of its kind — is welcoming back an array of vendors who were absent a few years. It’s also featuring sales and installation of tires by four tire manufacturers, the most ever.
Also, the trade show will be hosting a mobile exhibit memorializing those killed in the Sept. 11 2001 attacks, featuring a custom motorcycle built by Orange County Choppers of reality television fame.
A custom bike designed by Arlen Ness will also be on hand. Vendors at TourExpo include Kuryakyn Accessories with their dizzying array of wares, Mustang seats, Bushtec trailers, J&M Electronics with their communication devices, Garmin’s GPS gear, and Twisted Throttle’s dirt bike accessories.
Record-setting fireworks display, motorcycle stunt shows
The fireworks show, set for Friday June 6 at dusk, is believed to be the largest aerial display ever presented in Lake George Village. This event features three barges firing off hundreds of fireworks in a mock battle of sky-filling splendor. Some Americaders will be viewing the show aboard hour-long fireworks cruises offered by Lake George Steamboat Co. Tickets are only $20 and will be available at the Lake George Holiday Inn until they are sold out, or 5 p.m. Friday at the latest.
“It’s an incredible show that people are going to be talking about for a long time,” Dutcher said.
The expanded TourExpo has a new feature — two wheeled entertainment.
Yes, motorcycle stunt shows — no less than four this year are featured, one of them at the TourExpo site at Million Dollar Beach — and they are predicted to provide a thrilling experience, Dutcher said.
TourExpo will host the Wall of Death with riders careening around a circular vertical wall, performing amazing stunts, inches from spectators. These shows occur hourly through Saturday.
The other motorcycle riding shows are held at Fort William Henry, Americade’s headquarters.
There’s also the Brigade FMX team from Arizona, combined with the Swoop Stunt Riders, performing amazing, gravity-defying street bike tricks. These shows are occurring Wednesday at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Fort William Henry as well as 12:15 p.m. Saturday at Roaring Brook Ranch off state Rte. 9N.
The Central Florida Motorcycle Drill Team will be showing off their remarkable touring-bike control as they ride in complex interweaving patterns, inches from each other on full-dress two-wheelers, Dutcher said.This show occurs Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Motorcycles, acrobats on high wire
The most unusual spectacle of Americade this year may be the Circus Una show, an all-female, aerial thrill act featuring motorcycles and acrobats on high wires and trapezes. This show, featuring a 360-degree revolution on a high wire, is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. and Saturday at noon and 2 p.m. at Fort William Henry.
“It’s a great year, considering what we’ve got going on,” said Americade official Christian Dutcher, Bill Dutcher’s son. “Everybody’s in a really good mood this year — vendors, motorcyclists and factory representatives. It must be something in the water.”