ORLANDO, Fla. – As doors closed on the 2015 American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) applause filled the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), where consumer attendees on the packed show floor joined the 561 exhibitors in celebrating the event's third year in Orlando.
AIMExpo Championship of the Americas
The inaugural AIMExpo Championship of the Americas featured a slew of radically designed, hand-built bikes by North America's top custom builders. These bikes and builders were met with a standing ovation during the awards ceremony that crowned builders in four unique classes and culminated in the choosing of a Free Style champion to represent AIMExpo at the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building in Cologne, Germany.
Among the winners was Bill Dodge from Bling Cycles, who won the Retro Custom Class, Jim "Preacher" Goodrich from Preachers Hot Rod Cycles, who won the Performance Custom Class, and Dell Battle from Dangerous Dezigns, who won the Street Custom Class. The Free Style winner who was selected by his peers and AIMExpo judges alike was Jeremy Cupp from LC Fabrications. A masterpiece of craftsmanship, Jeremy built a flawless chassis from raw metal to house a motor constructed with a Ducati head mated to a Buell bottom end. Congratulations to Jeremy and good luck in Cologne!
AMA Hall of Fame
Returning as a featured event at AIMExpo, the AMA hosted its 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony inside the convention center on Saturday night. Kicking off the night was a VIP reception leading into the awards ceremony. Emotional acceptance speeches highlighted the night, and the evening came to a close with a particularly heart-felt speech from Legend Award Winner Wayne Rainey. The class of 2015 included Alex Jorgensen, John Kocinski, Keith McCarty, John Parham, Rodney Smith, and Richard Teerlink.
Making strides in trike suspension, Yelvington Designs introduced its hybrid independent suspension over the weekend. The internally articulated independent suspension is a patent-pending option that can be added to any of Yelvington's trike conversion kits. No matter the conditions, this suspension has been designed to give riders a great ride. Adding to its already interesting suspension design, Yelvington also boasts a patented reverse system that can be added to its kits, helping riders to never be stuck between a rock and a hard place again.
With safety being a big topic of conversation with many consumers, Whistler Group's newest product is an easy solution to being more visible. The MotoGlo Motorcycle Safety Light integrates a motorcycle's brake and turn signal system with the riders helmet. When a rider utilizes either their brake or turn signals, the lights mounted on the back of the helmet sync with the lights on the bike, adding extra visibility.
One of the most attention-grabbing elements on the show floor was the line-up of bikes built by RK Concepts' Rafik Kaissi. The "RK Bearing" build stopped attendees in their tracks as they marveled at the engineering and attention to detail behind the one-off design.
For the second year, AIMExpo handed out booth awards to exhibitors that went above and beyond with the design of their respective booth area. Four different awards were given—a rookie award for a large and small booth and a veteran award for a large and small booth—with exhibitors being scored on booth design, branding, creative design, interactive experience, social media, staffing, and overall appearance. This year's rookie winner for a booth under 400 sq. ft. was Standard Motorcycle Co., while the rookie winner for a booth 400 sq. ft. or larger was Bates Footwear. In the returning exhibitor class, the booth under 400 sq. ft. winner went to Forma Boots, and the 400 sq. ft. or larger booth taking the top honors was BMW Motorcycle Owners of America.
The American International Motorcycle Expo makes the move to the Orange County Convention Center's North Hall, right next to the popular AIMExpo Outdoors, next October 13-16, 2016.
Be sure to stay tuned to the AIMExpoUSA.com website and keep up to date on exciting news as it happens by visiting AIMExpo's social media pages. "Like" the American International Motorcycle Expo on Facebook, and “Follow” on Twitter or Instagram: @AIMExpo.