Motorcyclists attending Americade 2011 wheel through the village.
Tens of thousands of motorcyclists will be rolling into the region this week to enjoy the varied activities of Americade, considered the world’s premier touring motorcycle rally.
Whether it’s browsing for bike accessories at Tour Expo, examining manufacturers’ prototypes, test-driving new models, taking a guided two-wheeled tour into the mountains, or socializing with long-time Americade buddies, motorcyclists will undoubtedly be enjoying the six-day event that is now legendary after no less than three decades of success.
This 30th edition of the world’s largest and most renowned two-wheeled touring rally features a full slate of seminars, demonstration rides, parties and shows, various competitions, and mini tours.
New events, vendors and attractions have been added for 2012, Americade spokesman Christian Dutcher said.
The rally, set for Monday June 4 through Saturday June 9, is to be headquartered at Fort William Henry, after moving last year from Roaring Brook Ranch.
New this year is the opening party at the Fort hotel, which Dutcher said would be an impressive event.
“We’re hosting our biggest opening celebration — we have the most motorcyclists ever signing up for it,” he said, noting the event will include high wire acrobatics, jugglers, musical entertainment, and friendly wrestling by attendees barbed in inflatable sumo suits.
“Once again, we’re going to give these two-wheeled visitors the best time of their lives,” he added.
Activities include workshops, demo rides, cruises, excursions, entertainment, concerts, contests, scavenger hunts, equipment clinics, even a talent show — you name it, it will be happening.
Details on Americade 2012 can be found at www.americade.com.
One main focus of Americade is its TourExpo trade show, the world’s largest marketplace for touring, sport-touring, cruiser products & services. It will again be housed in part at the Lake George Forum as well as the Million Dollar Beach parking lot. Over 300,000 square feet of wares will be presented over the two venues.
New this year is the participation of Ducati Motorcycles, a fabled brand from Italy. Ducati representatives will be offering demonstration rides as well as showing off a full range of their models, including racers.
Also new to Americade is the appearance of Motus sport-touring motorcycles, featuring a transverse V-4 engine.
One change for 2012 is that the annual motorcycle parade up Prospect Mountain will now go down Canada Street to Wild West Ranch, south on Rte. 9 from the village.
New acts include motorcycle stunt demonstrations, including one by two-time World Trials Champion Tommi Ahvala from Finland and his wife — who’s also a champion rider.
Also, the renowned comedian Alonzo Bodden will be presenting shows over two nights. He’s not only appeared on all the top comedy and talk shows, but he’s also an avid motorcyclist.
Dutcher said Americade has seen substantially more advance reservations this year than in the past several years, despite the recent economic turbulence. He said his staff has been promoting and marketing more aggressively than ever to keep the attendance robust. Other national two-wheeled rallies, he said, have experienced declines.
Dutcher said the gate will depend on the weather.
“Mother Nature has her say in the attendance,” he said.