This time of year used to be considered a dedicated “off-season” as everyone in the industry transitioned from the outdoor season, which ends in August, to supercross in January. However, with recent developments such as Monster Energy Cup, and now the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo), the downtime has been downsized and there’s actually more than one place to be in mid-October.
Right now is the perfect time to introduce the latest and greatest products since the new season is right around the corner. The second annual AIMExpo officially kicked off Thursday with exclusive access only to credentialed trade (industry folks, dealers and exhibitors) and media professionals. Friday offered the same exclusive access so dealers and exhibitors could interact and talk business before the floor opens up to consumers on Saturday and Sunday. One of the great things about AIMExpo is the fact that the general public gets to roam the floor, demo all kinds of street and off-road vehicles, and get an inside look at new product lines before they’re available for public consumption.
If you’re thinking about coming to the show, trust me when I say there’s something here for everyone. Many of the major manufacturers—including Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Ducati—are introducing their 2015 models. Earlier this week Yamaha introduced an all-new YZ250FX, the off-road version of the 250F, which is equipped with a six-speed transmission and electric start. They’ve got the bikes, and many other models, on the show floor to check out and ask questions.
All the gear and helmet companies are showing off their 2015 product lines as well, and as far as helmets go, Bell and 6D have some pretty cool stuff going on. Bell is offering custom-fit head scanning here at the show, where they actually scan your head to get a three-dimensional representation that helps to create a custom fit liner for your helmet. After all the scanning, they save your digital specs on file and when it comes time to buy a Moto-9 helmet, you can literally order it to fit your bumpy, misshapen head.
If you’re more of a hands-on person, there are plenty of demo opportunities available at the AIMExpo Outdoor area. Star Motorcycles (by Yamaha) has an entire line of street bikes available for demo. The demos aren’t just a lap around the parking lot, either. They actually take you on a seven-mile look around Orlando and you’re able to test all the features of a realistic ride. There were also plenty of opportunities on the dirt, with ATV and Side-by-Side demos through various companies. And of course, the AIMExpo favorite Quadski is back again, showing off their jet ski-quad hybrid. They’re actually offering demos for the first time ever this year so if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to make all your own rules, try out the Quadski.
It’s not too late to head down and experience all that the AIMExpo has to offer at the Orange County Convention Center. The doors open to consumers on Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m., and the show runs until 5 p.m. on both days. For more information and to see a full list of exhibitors, demos and other activities, check out the AIMExpo website here.