Although it began in November, the new model introduction season gets into full swing this month. In the next three weeks, we have no less than three bike introductions slated on our publishing calendar. Other intros are also looming on the horizon. Friday, I’ll brave new, longer TSA lines on my way to Mallorca for the 2019 Triumph Speed Twin debut. By mid-week (-ish), you’ll be able to read my thoughts about a bike I’m quite excited to ride. In the two following weeks, Ryan and John will be returning from introductions for… well, let’s not spoil the surprise… to give you their riding impressions.
But this article isn’t one of those “it’s great to be a motojournalist” pieces. Nor is it an attempt to make you understand how tough our jobs can be. Instead, I want to look at why the manufacturers go through the trouble and expense of organizing new model introductions. Yes, I have gotten to travel to some pretty remarkable places in the world, and while that is cool, the focus of the trip is always the motorcycle at hand. In many cases, the time spent at the locale is shockingly short. On one occasion, my time on the ground in London was only a couple of hours longer than my round trip flight time from Los Angeles – and I didn’t even get to ride the bike! I just witnessed the motorcycle unveiling and took part in some lengthy tech sessions on what turned out to be a pretty exciting line of motorcycles, but the actual riding of the bikes was still a couple months away. (I did manage to squeeze in a nice 6-mile run along London’s canals, though.)