The Progressive IMS Outdoors motorcycle show circuit continues onwards, with three events completed. Now, we have confirmation of the SoCal event, with date and place named.

According to IMS, the second show in California will run November 19-21 at the OC Fair & Event Center. For those who don’t know, the OC Fair & Event Center is in Costa Mesa. You can find more details on the facility at its website here.

That date puts the SoCal at the end of the schedule this year, in the timeslot traditionally held by the Long Beach indoors show. Of course, the new show will be the same as the other stops this year, run outside.

Back in June, we had a write-up of what to expect at this year’s IMS Outdoors circuit. While we see the usual array of vendors, OEM displays and even on-site camping, one of the biggest draws is the on-site demo rides. Because of their location on large outdoors-oriented facilities this year, the IMS Outdoors events are able to host a wide variety of demo rides, including adventure bike tests, something you might not have gotten in the usual urban moto show environment.

With each participating OEM running an average of 20-minute demo rides all weekend, the first three weeks of the Tour delivered upward of 14,000 demos,” says the IMS presser. That’s a lot of seat time, although many of these demos may have been on ATVs as well.

Greater opportunity for demo rides is added value for the Progressive IMS Outdoors circuit. Photo: Manny Pandya / Progressive IMS Outdoors

The IMS Outdoors show also offered Learn to Ride opportunities and the shows themselves were well-attended by the bike-curious. Again, as per the IMS press release:

A focal point of this year’s Tour is building a solid base of new riders through more Learn To Ride opportunities which will become the next generation of purchasers. Nearly half of surveyed attendees in Chicago were either prospective riders that plan to start riding in the next 12 months or are new to riding. IMS’ transition to an experiential event series welcomes a handful of entry points into the world of motorcycling through:

  • Greater opportunity for eager new and interested riders to hone their ability to ride via Discover The Ride and the MIC’s Ride With Us program delivering hundreds of new riders
  • Participation in Harley-Davidson’s Invitation To Ride Program available to consumers in Texas, Nashville, and Central Florida.
  • An expanded electric footprint with Serial 1 powered by Harley-Davidson and Yamaha Power-Assist electric bicycles available tour-wide, and in select markets, Giant and Momentum e-bike courses for all riders and a course designed specifically for women produced by Liv
  • A more inclusive Kids Zone presented by Strider that teaches kids as young as two learning the lifelong skill of riding a bike

All of this should prove valuable down the road. If there’s one thing the moto industry desperately needs, it’s a crop of new riders.

The new IMS Outdoors formula is attractive for that reason, and no doubt some industry insiders welcome the change from stale convention centres.

New options for kids are also good for IMS Outdoors in the long run. Photo: Manny Pandya / Progressive IMS Outdoors

“Transitioning to an experience-forward event series has been very well-received by both our attendee and exhibitor community, a model everyone is excited to continue,” said Tracy Harris, Senior Vice President of Progressive IMS Outdoors. She added the formula is here to stay: “We do not have plans to return to the indoor event series. Our mission is to support the industry’s growth, connect enthusiasts with the brands they love, and provide an experience that is so much more than simply looking at new models—and the summer months allow for this level of engagement.”

Wait, what—did the VP of IMS just say “No more indoor motorcycle shows”? That’s what it sounded like, but even if IMS doesn’t have another indoor show, no doubt AIME and other similar shows will still run indoors in years to come, giving snowed-in riders their midwinter fix.

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