Intermot, the second-most-important motorcycle show in the western hemisphere, has been cancelled for 2020.
Intermot usually runs in Germany every second year around the end of September or start of October. For 2020, it was scheduled to run in the city of Cologne on October 6-11. Now, it’s been called off, and organizers say “A digital format for this is under preparation and will be implemented by year’s end.” In other words, there’s a new digital show coming, instead of the in-person event.
Of course, the reason for the cancellation is the coronavirus pandemic. Due to social distancing rules and general pandemic restrictions, large-scale trade shows are tricky to manage right now. As well, the manufacturers are all pretty careful about their spending right now. and by what we’ve heard, the Euro bike companies have cut wayyyyyyy back on their show budgets for 2020. It’s pretty hard to run a motorcycle show if the public and the displaying companies both stay home.
The new digital show that Intermot’s producing? It’s a sign of the times. When the Tokyo show was cancelled in March, Honda reacted by producing its own virtual show. Since then, Overland Expo has cancelled all in-person events for 2020, with one virtual show already, and supposedly more to come. Harley-Davidson is running The No Show for custom bikes this week … you get the idea. For 2020, this is where the show circuit is headed.
Intermot was a huge event for the Euro brands, particularly BMW. Triumph and the Italian brands usually debuted a bike or two at Intermot as well. Will those same machines be released online, or will the brands do their own in-house reveal for 2020? Or will we see a year with very few new releases, thanks to economic realities? What will happen to Milan’s EICMA show? Will anything ever be normal again? There are more questions than answers these days, even though we’re several months into the COVID-19 situation. However, as people are getting more and more tired of being locked up, it would be unsurprising if the OEMs put a big push on for 2021, selling new bikes to riders who just want to get outside.