AIM Expo 2014
Words and photos by David Owens
The American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) was held October 16-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The first two days were industry-only, with Saturday and Sunday open to the public. After not being able to attend last year and hearing great things about the expo, this year I marked my calendar early to make sure I could be there.
Over the years, pretty much all the bike shows, rallies, and motorcycle events I’ve been to have been decidedly American V-twin centric. In other words, lots of Harleys. The AIMExpo caters to motorcyclists of all sorts, so there were bikes - and products for bikes - of every type you can imagine. Honestly, with over 500 vendor booths, I’ve got to say the size and scale of the show were kind of mind-boggling. Even with spending most of two solid days there talking with folks and checking out bikes and vendors, I’m not sure I saw everything.
There were plenty of riding and maintenance seminars, Q&A with personalities such as Cristy Lee, host of Velocity Network’s All Girls Garage and AMA hall of famers, lots of racers signing autographs, and of course bike show babes at various vendor booths. Many bike manufacturers were also showing their 2015 lineup for the first time. The Ducati Scrambler and Star Bolt C-Spec (cafe-ish bike) in particular were getting a lot of attention.
Another big feature of the expo was AIM Outdoors. Set up in a parking lot about a half mile from the convention floor, attendees could test ride new 2015 models from EBR, Harley-Davidson, KYMCO, Massimo, Suzuki, Yamaha on pavement and on a mini dirt track created just for the expo.
Here are some other highlights:
“The Legends and Heroes of Supercross moto museum is a 70 foot mobile interactive display showcasing 40 years of supercross history, set up inside AIMExpo.”
“Retro Affair, Vintage Motorcycle Show, a judged competition showcasing historic, restored and customized American, Japanese and European vintage motorcycles.”
“The Motorcycle Film Festival sharing the best of 2014's crop of Moto Movies! The film festival will show featured selections from the 2nd annual Motorcycle Film Festival as well as hosting interviews with filmmakers and celebrities including John and Jack Penton, stars of the new film "Penton: The John Penton Story."
All in all, there’s something at the AIMExpo for everyone who loves bikes and I’d highly recommend it. Next year’s edition is already planned for October 15-18, 2015, so if you’re anywhere near Orlando then (like maybe an hour’s ride away in Daytona for Bikertoberfest), you should definitely make the trip.
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