2013-02-02 14:27:23+0000

I took in Le Show Harley last weekend at the Bell Centre in Montreal and what I can say is that it was quite the spectacle. Part rock concert, part motorcycle show, part motorcycle rally, complete with custom bikes, hot babes, and classic rock and roll. It was definitely a show I have never seen, and possibly could never even have conjured up in my mind.

I didn't know what to expect when I bought the tickets. From the website, I learned that there would be 8 or 9 bands - all French Canadian acts - none of whom I had ever heard of before. Pics from previous years showed an elevated stage in the centre of the arena with custom Harleys and scantily clad women so I was intrigued.

Before the show, there was a ‟happening/exposition” where there were dozens and dozens of custom Harley's on display. From what I could tell, Harley dealers in Quebec took stock bikes and customized them at the dealerships - with cool paintjobs and custom parts - can anyone say VRod Cafe Racer - ....I was anxious to see the bikes and get an up close inspection but unfortunately it didn't pan out all that well. Thousands of others had the same idea so there was a crush of people trying to get a look at the bikes. The bikes were lined up around the outskirts of the arena area as well as in some of the hallways. The crowds were thick and the bikes were behind ropes. Needless to say, we were off to an inauspicious start to the event and it was a bit of a letdown. The actual show was to start at 8pm so I took off to get some dinner.

When I returned the arena had filled up with what looked like 10,000 people and the show was about to begin.

And begin with a bang it did. One of the bands started playing, there was an awesome light show and then the bikes came out. Yes, rock and roll and Harleys riding inside the arena and up onto the raised stage . It was a spectacular start and my earlier disillusionment disappeared. The show progressed along this theme throughout the night and included a heavy dose of beautiful women, dancing on and around poles, riding, and riding on the bikes, and dancing on the stage.


Every so often the music would stop and an announcer would feature one of the custom bikes 1 each from each of the sponsoring Quebec dealerships (at least i think this was the case as the announcer was speaking French), highlighting the ways in which the bikes were customized.

The end of the show was even more spectacular with a parade of bikes riding around the arena and up onto an off of the raised stage, all to the pounding of classic rock and roll. The finale was out of this world. A rider on a VRod, decked out in a fireman suit complete with oxygen mask, did a show ending, tire flattening 5 minute burnout that filled the arena with smoke and the smell of burnt rubber. What an end to a fantastic show.

In retrospect the show was like nothing I have ever seen. That being said, however I think the dealers missed a huge marketing opportunity. They had a captive audience of what I estimate as being over 10,000 Harley fans and there was no clear strategy to capitalize on this through on the spot sales of Harley gear and the custom bikes themselves. Clearly there many Harley fans with deep pockets at the event - with tables for 4 on the main floor going for in excess of $1000 per table. Perhaps if the bikes were offered for sale during or after the event at the arena they would have actually been able to make some sales. Just my two cents but it was, what I feel a missed opportunity.

Would I go again??? You bet. I'm already planning to attend next year's event.

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  • JamesL
  • 2013-02-04T10:38:24-05:00

Looks fun, I'm betting it's something to be experienced in person. Burnt rubber smell and all.

  • alex
  • 2013-02-04T03:33:25-05:00

I don't mean this in a bad way, but this looks exactly as I imagined it. The only thing (to me) that's odd is timing: Why hold it in February in Montreal? I can't imagine many (if any) rode there.