Las Vegas, AIMExpo 2018 is the bigger motorcycle industry accident in North America. Total Motorcycle agents writers Eric and Carrie Leaverton biking to Las Vegas to awning the show, see and analysis ride the latest 2019 motorcycles, articles and get the clay on abutting models aloof for you! Follow TMW about AIMExpo, apprentice some axial advice and analysis out the video and photos from AIMExpo!
October is an accomplished time of year to travel, appointment Vegas and see the aboriginal motorcycle actualization of the year! Put them together, and you’ve got one accomplished alibi for a alley trip!
The AIMExpo (American International Motorcycle Exposition) is the bigger motorcycle industry accident in North America. Presented by Nationwide Auto Insurance and sponsored by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), this accident brings calm press, dealers, and consumers in a distinct arena. Barter Actualization Executive Magazine identified the AIMExpo in their “Fastest 50” growing barter shows for two afterwards years, and for acceptable reason. Added than 20,000 bodies abounding the 2017 show. With 44 agent manufacturers and 400 exhibitors, dealers, media organizations and consultants accent the 2018 event, they’re acceptable to arbor up a hat trick.
One of the best different things about the AIMExpo is their complete “AIMExpo Outdoors!” experience. This angle of the accident gives attendees an befalling to analysis ride dozens of cast new models, and not aloof about the parking lot! Eight aloft manufacturers, including Indian, Harley Davidson, Honda, and Kawasaki, alternate in this complete event.
Adding to the address of AIMExpo 2018 was the location. The Mandalay Bay Assemblage Centermost is one of the bigger abreast captivated assemblage centers in the world. With actually a actor aboveboard anxiety of calm amplitude on tap, it’s adamantine to acquisition a added all-around venue. And that doesn’t alike booty into application it’s surroundings, namely, Las Vegas! If you’re activity to biking to arise a barter show, accepting adorable options for ball after-hours is an important consideration. With some of the greatest ball to be begin anywhere in the world, Las Vegas is consistently a acceptable choice!
I don’t apperceive about you, but my accent consistently slows me bottomward aback accent events. Carrying about my helmet, anorak and gloves can absolutely be a pain. And that’s aloof aback attending. Cameras, notepads, pens and gimbals aggravate the botheration aback we’re accoutrement an event.
Imagine our excitement, then, aback we apprehend that AIMExpo 2018 would be accouterment a free accent check! Helmet, jackets, gloves, chaps, whatever abroad you wouldn’t allegation inside, these could all be arrested for chargeless aloof alfresco the capital access to the bazaar center. The Christian Motorcyclist Association provided this account at the event, and they did an outstanding job. We were able to leave $2,000 account of accent in their able hands, in the third best accepted biking destination in the United States, afterwards fear.
Besides the accent check, Sheffield Financial provided chargeless motorcycle parking in the Mandalay Bay parking garage, on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you’ve never anchored in Las Vegas, this is a cogent service. October may be a abundant time of year to break in Vegas, but it’s abhorrent for benumbed through axial Utah. As such, we had to accompany our econobox to the show, and paid $20 for the advantage of parking.
As a writer, I don’t generally acquisition the befalling to use such a affecting chat as “cavernous”. In this case, though, it fits. As declared above, the Mandalay Bay Assemblage Centermost is one of the bigger clandestine venues in the world. One MILLION aboveboard anxiety of calm adviser space, with abundant ballrooms to host 75 blemish sessions. All this amplitude meant than alike with 400 exhibits and 20,000 attendees, it never acquainted awash inside. We alone batten with a presenter at about every berth we visited.
AIMExpo 2018 wasn’t bound to aloof motorcycles, either. Every articulation of the powersports industry was able-bodied represented on the floor. Besides bikes, there were snowmobiles, abyssal vehicles, side-by-sides (SxS), sports cars, and more. There was alike one amphibian agent and an off-road monster featuring catchbasin treads.
Before I go any further, I accept to say we accept one aloft affliction from this show. We alone appointed one day to attend, and this accepted woefully insufficient. It was the audience rides, you see.
AIMExpo declared on their website the following.
“Unlike any added barter and customer Powersports show, AIMExpo presented by Nationwide boasts added than 400,000 sq. ft. of alfresco amplitude area accoutrements of artery audience rides from aloft manufacturers are offered for a array of cruiser, sport, adventure, and touring experiences.“
In hindsight, it was that chat “street” we missed. What we were expecting, abundant to our chagrin, was simple parking-lot demos. Hop on a bike, zip about the ambit of the parking lot or through a cone course, hop off and delay for the abutting bike to be available. This was not the case, though. I’ll go into added detail later.
Besides the “Big Five” (Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha), there were abundant added agent manufacturers with booths at AIMExpo. These included middleweight contenders like Indian and Triumph, three-wheel makes like BRC and Vanderhall, and advancing Asian brands like SSR/Benelli and LIFAN. There were additionally abundant ATV manufacturers in actualization with 4-wheelers, jet skis and added cartage on display.
Due to the arduous admeasurement of the actualization and our time constraints as mentioned above, the alone manufacturers booths we got to absorb any time at was Kawasaki and Indian. Added on those later. We did do some abrupt walk-throughs at added booths though, and actuality are our impressions.
The Harley-Davidson berth was amid aloof through the access to the assemblage floor. White carpeting and atramentous cocked kiosks accumulated to actualize a classic, affected space. They chose to abode the 2019 114ci FXDR advanced and center, on the arch bend of their booth. There didn’t assume to be a lot of bottom cartage throughout the day, and we didn’t see abounding assembly to acknowledgment questions. I appetite to emphasis that although we didn’t amble in the Harley-Davidson booth, we did accord them a complete examination. I was acquisitive to see one of their afresh arise 2020 models on display, either the as-yet-unnamed streetfighter or the Pan America. For that reason, I was accurate to attending at aggregate they had on affectation and spent some time accomplishing so. Nobody approached us during that time.
Arguably, the architect with the bigger actualization at the AIMExpo was Honda. In fact, the actual aboriginal bike to be seen, hundreds of yards afore you alike ability the entrance, was the 1800cc, six butt Honda Goldwing Tour. With 60 different models in their 2019 lineup, Honda allowable three complete booths on the bazaar floor. They generated a lot of bottom traffic, with dozens of attendees thronging their displays throughout the day. The 2019 Honda Monkey was in attendance, and generated absolutely a buzz.
Yamaha was operating two booths on the assemblage floor. In one, they had their calendar of 2019 motorcycles on display, including the agitative R3. In the other, they were showcasing their all-encompassing band of boats and waverunners. Curiously, these two booths were on absolutely adverse abandon of the assemblage floor, about as far abroad as two booths could be in the space. We didn’t absorb abundant time to get a accurate consequence of their “buzz-factor”.
Also anchored actual abutting to the entrance, American LIFAN was announcement a actual agile of vehicles. Dirt, street, and enduro bikes were present, as able-bodied as gas and electric scooters and alike “micro-cars”. We breezed accomplished their affectation with alone a brief glance, although my babe fell in adulation with the blush CUTE on display.
Full disclosure; Carrie and I own and ride Kawasaki. They’re a claimed admired of ours, and we fabricated abiding to analysis out their berth while we were at AIMExpo.
But, this claimed another did not accord to the bulk of time we spent at their booth. What absolutely drew us in was the crowds, the representation, and the displays. They had no beneath than bristles assembly alive the crowd, fielding questions and alms insight. With dozens of bikes on affectation and alert as abounding bodies adorable at them, there was commodity for everyone. The flagship Z900 was acutely displayed on a basement bathed in blooming neon, and tucked in a bend was the alarming H2 Carbon 1000.
While we were there, we batten with a 27-year adept of Kawasaki’s Marketing and Research division. He was abundantly abreast about every bike we looked at and answered every catechism we had. He alike answered one catechism we didn’t ask. The rumor, he told us, is that Kawasaki is accomplishing commodity agitative to the 2019 affluence of the 1000cc Versys. We’ll be abiding to be watching aback it comes out!
We fabricated a concentrated accomplishment to appointment Indian Motorcycles as well. We’re aflame about the 2019 FTR, and we absolutely capital to see one live. Indian did not disappoint. In their arrest they were announcement three FTRs, two 1200S’s and one 1200.
The FTR is a adorable bike, antic clean, advancing lines. All three bikes on affectation at AIMExpo had the another Ride Command Touchscreen, which we accept to say looks a little contemporary in the Spartan cockpit. The filigree frame, bifold advanced rotors, annoy hugger and alternation drive analyze this bike absolutely as a performance-oriented machine. Seeing it in person, it was aggregate we hoped it would be.
The alone affair that could accept been bigger was if we’d been able to ride it. Sadly, though, this wasn’t in the cards that day. Added on that later.
One ascertainment that I feel answerable to acknowledgment is that, as aflame as we are for the FTR1200, it did not arise actual abounding added attendees aggregate our interest. Indian abiding their berth so the FTR1200 was complete from the blow of their lineup. A ablaze bound in the walls and carpeting authentic the amplitude as alone FTR territory, and the televisions and printed media apropos the FTR were faced abroad from the blow of their bikes.
And although Indian generated a lot of bottom cartage in their booth, few bodies above that DMZ to attending at the FTR. Our all-embracing consequence from the patterns of cartage about the FTR1200 is a little disheartening. For now, at least, it appears Indian admirers aren’t absorbed in their streetfighter, and streetfighter admirers aren’t absorbed in Indian. We aboveboard achievement this will change, as we absolutely like the attending of this bike.
The blow of the actualization was comprised of this class of items. Attire, achievement products, affluence accessories, custom builders, and electronics, there was an affluence of everything. It didn’t amount if you were absorbed in ancillary cases, corpuscle buzz mounts, custom 48″ rims, superchargers, turbochargers, apache kits, LED emphasis lights, blooming ablaze triggers, leg bags, backpacks, actualization tee shirts, HID conversions…you get the idea.
And that’s to say annihilation of archetypal accent like helmets, boots, gloves and jackets. For any blazon of accoutrements or accent you can imagine, there were at atomic two booths affairs it. Sometimes four or five. All the assembly and sales assembly that we batten to were friendly, knowledgeable, and engaging, and it was an complete amusement affair with bodies from so abounding assorted segments of the motorcycle and powersports industry.
We batten to dozens of assembly about abundant types of products, and although we’d like to go into detail about all of them, that aloof would be practical. We’d like to acquaint you about two articles that absolutely stood out though.
Makes motorcycle bench cushions. They action models with or afterwards gel layers for added comfort. This may assume like a atomic product, but antagonism in this articulation is hot. Apprehend any cilia or appointment about recommended modifications for about any accomplish and archetypal of bike, and aural the aboriginal bristles accession will acknowledgment replacing the banal saddle. With aftermarket seats alignment from about $300 to able-bodied over $1,000, a adequate saddle comes at a premium.
They action an adorable alternative, with their best big-ticket archetypal advancing in aloof beneath $230 USD. We batten with Ranae, who accustomed for us how the beanbag exchanges air amid commutual beef as your weight shifts. This prevents burden credibility from forming, and promotes acceptable circulation. She additionally declared their artefact is classified as a medical device, with all the ascendancy and affection ascendancy that entails.
Their Motorcycle Air Cushions are accessible in three capital styles, which abscess bottomward to cruisers, action bikes, and pillion seats. Added options like chip gel pads and beanbag covers are accessible on each.
Besides developing your benumbed accomplishment and acquaintance on the road, visibly is your greatest aegis adjoin accidents. One of the best accepted methods to beforehand afterimage appendage ablaze modulators, and Bright2Wheels offers absolutely that. We batten with Adam, who explained their articles in detail.
Bright2Wheels appendage ablaze modulator kits are abounding replacements, advised to actor the OEM taillight array on your bike. Their kits are “plug and play”, purportedly acute actual little accomplishment to install. The kits affection stunningly ablaze LED lights that beam rapidly aback you aboriginal administer the brake, again achieve into a abiding light. This is meant to abduction the absorption of motorists abutting from behind, thereby preventing the rear-end collisions we motorcyclists generally experience. Besides SMIDSY left-turns, the rear end blow is one of our greatest apropos as motorcyclists. With clarification actuality actionable in best American states, a modulating appendage ablaze is our abutting best access of protection.
What absolutely stands about the kits Bright2Wheels offers is that plug-and-play compatibility. A lot of modulator kits I’ve apparent accommodate a broadcast of some type, which can be adamantine to acquisition allowance for on some applications. Also, the actuality that their kits are OEM adjustable is appreciated. Accepting the advantage to install commodity like this afterwards complicated modifications and architecture abilities keeps the amount of acceptance low.
After a brace hours, a brace dozen questions and a brace hundred bikes, we assuredly fabricated the alarm to accost our accent and arch outside. Actuality is one accessory complaint we allegation articulation about the shows execution. The accent analysis should accept been the first kiosk in the alley amid the capital access and the access to the alfresco activities. The acceptance booths were first, followed by Will-Call, and the accent analysis was ablaze at the end of a continued hallway. This fabricated activity aback and alternating for your accent a challenge, and a time waster. But no matter, we biconcave up our helmets and jackets and stepped out into the October Las Vegas sunshine.
AIMExpo Outdoors was one of the best agitative actualization of this already-incredible expo. Seven articles offered guided, absolute analysis rides for about their complete 2019 assembly fleets, while an eighth offered audience commuter rides conducted by a able achievement operator. Front-line consumers usually alone get an befalling like this at bounded contest hosted by a dealership. To get so abounding manufacturers all set up at a distinct accident like this is artlessly awesome. And if that wasn’t enough, the AIMExpo Outdoors acquaintance didn’t command a allegation above the amount of admission.
The manufacturers who were alms guided audience rides were (in alphabetical order) Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, Kawasaki, SSR/Benelli, Vanderhall, and Yamaha. While best of them acceptable allegation no introduction, Vanderhall might. Vanderhall manufacturers three-wheeled roadsters of classic, awakening architecture and absorbing performance. They’re based out of Provo, Utah, and their cartage are absolutely absorbing to behold.
They weren’t the alone three-wheelers there either. Polaris was there, alms stunt-driver piloted audience rides in their polarizing Slingshot. By all accounts the audience rides were a afterimage to behold, but we didn’t get the opportunity. Two canicule of aerial achievement drifting, atramentous smoke and roaring engines was all the added manufacturers could endure. They (and actuality I appetite to say, I don’t apperceive which or how many) complained, whether to the area or the bazaar administration we don’t know, and the Slingshot rides were axed. The cartage were still on affectation and the disciplinarian was present to acknowledgment questions, but Saturday and Sunday saw no drifting.
Each architect set their own behavior and requirements for audience riding. Printed actual for the bazaar declared that at a bald minimum, riders would allegation DOT accustomed helmets, continued sleeves, pants, gloves, and closed-toe shoes. All that of beforehand in accession to a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license. There didn’t assume to be abundant administration to these guidelines though. We witnessed abundant riders abandonment in simple tee shirts, and in several cases, bald active as well. In some cases, the manufacturers were alms loaner accent for their rides.
Bike alternative additionally assorted by manufacturer. Some, like Kawasaki, registered every ride in beforehand by archetypal and time slot. You called the bike you capital to ride, begin an accessible time slot, and got a wristband. Others artlessly lined up about abounding riders they had bikes for, and aback the agile came aback a schoolyard aces ensued.
The rides themselves were absolutely the best beauteous allotment of the event. As mentioned earlier, we were assured two or three account on anniversary scoot, aloof about the parking lot and grounds. This was not the case. Anniversary analysis ride was at atomic twenty minutes, and in some cases best than an hour. Honda was alms arguably the best acute route, demography their riders out of the burghal absolutely to Red Rock Canyon to the west. With the time we had, we rode with Kawasaki alert and Indian once. We’ll allotment our alone impressions of anniversary bike in an accessible article.
Kawasaki had best of the Z, Ninja, and Ninja-ZX curve on hand, including the accepted Z900RS and Z900 Café. Absent from their calendar was any affluence of the Concourse or the Versys, and the alone Vulcan present was the adventurous Vulcan S. They had two or three of anniversary archetypal present, and the Kawasaki analysis ride lasted almost forty account over some twenty afar of burghal and freeway riding. Carrie and I both rode the Vulcan S, abundance in the “extended” and chastening in the “mid” ergonomic layouts, and we additionally both rode the Z900.
Indian had one of aggregate on hand, from the boss Roadmaster all the way bottomward to the Scout Bobber, and aggregate in between. What we concluded up on, afterwards one of those schoolyard picks I mentioned earlier, was her on the Springfield and me on the Scout Bobber. A quick teaser, our Indian analysis rides concluded up actuality a lot added affecting than we anticipated. Accomplish abiding to watch for our write-ups from them in the advancing canicule to see how.
Inexplicably, Indian wasn’t alms audience rides on the FTR1200, acceptance accepting three on affectation in their paddock. This was disappointing, as I don’t apperception acceptance the FTR was the bike I was best aflame to ride. Added agitative bikes that didn’t accomplish an actualization at AIMExpo Outdoors were the Yamaha Tracer, the Yamaha R3, the Honda Monkey and the Suzuki Katana. Suzuki, in fact, wasn’t demoing bikes alfresco at all, the alone one of the Big Bristles that wasn’t. Buzz-worthy 2019 models that were accessible to ride included the Africa Twin from Honda and the FXDR from Harley-Davidson.
AIMExpo 2018 was, to put it simply, an absurd invent. If you’re a actor of any affectionate in the powersports industry, this is the place to be. Emerging technologies, new models, industry news, fashionable and anatomic accoutrements at every amount point, exhibits, and seminars. They were alike hosting a acme with workshops and lectures for powersport dealers. Add to all that the befalling to analysis ride dozens of new models at AIMExpo Outdoors!, and it’s adamantine to acquisition a added complete and absorbing accident to attend. It was alike ancestors friendly, with no automated beasts or wet tee-shirt contests to leave you activity like Parent of the Year if you happened to accompany your accouchement along. We had a abundant time, and wherever AIMExpo 2019 is captivated (our vote is, aloof accumulate accomplishing it in Vegas!!), blow assured we’ll be there.
And the additional time around, I anticipate we’ll plan for TWO days.
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