Kenny Roberts and Larry Little kick off the inaugural AIMExpo.
The following is from the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo)…
After nearly two years of planning, organization, and intense anticipation, the vision of the American International Motorcycle Expo became a Powersports industry reality on Wednesday as the groundbreaking event kicked off from the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.
Dealers, media and staff from nearly 400 exhibiting companies packed the Chapin Theater for Turning Point – a fast-paced look at where the industry has been and where it is heading. Larry Little, Vice President and General Manager of the Marketplace Events Motorcycle Group welcomed an enthusiastic crowd to the event and launched AIMExpo twisting the throttle on five days that are already changing the industry!
Motorcycle legend and AIMExpo Champion, Kenny Roberts, helped christen the event in his own unique style by riding a Star Bolt by Yamaha motorcycle into the theater. At the end of the stage presentation, KR rode another Bolt, this one decked out in Roberts’ signature graphics, down the hall leading to the exhibit doors. With a few words from Little and a blast of the Bolt’s horn from Roberts, AIMExpo was on.
An innovative media facility dubbed AIMExpo Media Hub is a focal point of the event and is designed to provide the platform for a variety of media functions, launches and announcements. Media Hub lived up to its promise and provided exhibitors with a prime location to unveil all-new models, products and accessories for the coming year. Yamaha was the first OEM on stage and presented its all new FZ09 triple as well as three highly customized Star Bolts. Here is one of the custom designed Bolts that were showcased.
Another manufacturer exhibitor taking advantage of the AIMExpo platform to launch new product was Erik Buell Racing. EBR got things started with their own version of Turning Point, but this edition was the unveiling of the all-new EBR 1190RX model which was introduced to the crowd by being lowered from the ceiling. The new exotic builds off of the 1190RS but is fully street legal. The beautiful new model was enthusiastically received by the crowd.
Dealer education is at the forefront and the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo opened its curriculum on Wednesday with the first of 40 classes. Designed for the Powersports dealer and managed by the editorial staff of PowerSports Business magazine, the trade portion of PSBI @ AIMExpo will consist of three days of sessions focused specifically on the key areas of Sales & Marketing, Digital Solutions, Service & Operations and Powering Profits. The weekend’s educational focus will shift to the consumer and will feature offerings on a broad variety of topics including rider education, performance, DIY and an improved overall riding experience, among other things.
The opening day of the inaugural AIMExpo came to a festive close on Wednesday as show organizers hosted the HAPPY! Happy Hour in the Orange County Convention Center from 6-7 p.m. Hundreds of exhibitors, dealer and industry attendees poured into the show’s lobby area and were welcomed with open bars and appetizers as music filled the air – a fitting end to a successful Day 1 at AIMExpo.
AIMExpo continues the trade and media portion of the event Thursday with additional exhibitor presentations and unveilings, helpful educational seminars from PSBI @AIMExpo, demo rides, and will culminate with the “Why We Ride” movie presentation in the Chapin Theater.
The trade-only portion of AIMExpo concludes Friday before the Orange County Convention Center reopens to welcome consumers.