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Tuesday 26 March 2024

AIMExpo 2024

It's Pipe and Drape - But Not as We Know It

AIMExpo 2024

Las Vegas, February 6-8

The 10th AIMExpo was a success. No question about it. But it continues to emerge as a radically different style of industry expo to those we associate with the traditional motorcycle industry shows in the United States. Available space is tight here, so you can read more of my theories about where AIMExpo is headed and why in my 'Comment' piece on page four. Meanwhile we present our signature AMD style of review of selected exhibitor news - with the emphasis on the V-twin and international sectors, rather than on the considerable OEM and electric action to be seen at AIMExpo …

National Cycle: AIMExpo saw the Maywood, Illinois windscreen manufacturer introduce its new Quantum+ rain repellent coating - "a world first breakthrough in windscreen coatings," says International Sales Manager Paul Gomez. "We are elevating and setting a new standard in hydrophobic coating. Our legendary Quantum hardcoating has been hugely respected ever since it was introduced, but the new Quantum+ takes its protective properties to a new level. While some aftermarket companies use acrylic material, those who prefer the strength and reliability of polycarbonate use the same standard FMR hardcoating that was first developed decades ago. We here at National Cycle have always used polycarbonate as our screen material of choice, due to its widely accepted superior strength. But as an alternate to FMR hardcoating, to resist the scratch and graze from road debris, the environment, UV exposure and simple daily use, we developed our own superior proprietary Quantum coating to reduce surface deterioration and boost durability. The highway is a hostile environment at the best of times, and our Quantum hardcoat was developed to deliver optimized, robust and durable optical clarity under even the worst of riding conditions. It literally has been a 'Quantum' improvement in the surface hardness of polycarbonate windshields that are exposed to years of wear";

Drag Specialties: With a booth this year that paid tribute to late founder and industry icon Fred Fox, LeMans' support for AIMExpo is important to the legitimacy and future direction of the show. While its embrace of AIMExpo is mostly strategic, at this time, its own NVP Dealer and Parts Expo programs (Louisville in February and, from September this year, Milwaukee) have been crucial to the health of the motorcycle parts and accessory industry during a decade, indeed some fifteen years of great market churn, consolidation, decline and instability. Though focused exclusively on its  own dealers and vendors, the LeMans show investment has done much to fill the void left in the Midwest (especially) by the demise of the long-time established, independent trade show duopoly of Dealer Expo at 'Indy' and V-Twin Expo at 'Cinci'. a void deepened by the MIC's own decision to drop the AIMExpo anchor in the southwest after judging its post Orlando, Florida experiment at Columbus, Ohio, to have failed. It remains to be seen what turns of the wheel the future of the U.S. trade show market has in store. However, regardless of how long the present expo landscape remains intact, for sure and certain there will be evolution eventually - change is the first law of trade show thermodynamics!

TecMate: A replacement for its OptiMate PRO-4S professional multi-station charger, a 4 x 4 amp independent charging station design that is well liked by dealers, the updated OptiMate PRO-4 DUO design places the emphasis on power efficiency to beat the strict global power draw regulations mandated by various countries, yet delivers 20% more charging power per station. Drawing only 1.5 amp @ 240V (2.9A @ 120V) when it delivers 5 amp through each of its four independent charging stations - for a total of 20 amp (4 x 5 amp) the PRO-4 DUO is certified to CE, UL/CSA, PSE, SAA and UKCA and offers three selections per station - Pb (lead) for all 12V lead-acid batteries, including standard flooded and sealed (valve-regulating lead-acid) AGM and GEL batteries; LFP for all 12.8V 4-cell-in-series Lithium Ferrous Phosphate (LiFePO4/LiFe) and the 60' channel - an improved sixty minutes quick activation function for any powersport battery;

SBS Friction: The Danish brakes specialist has taken another step along its 'Better Brakes' series pathway with a new improved braking performance compound developed specifically for V-twin models. H.LS V-Twin compound gives dealers the option of offering SBS 'Better Brakes' options at both front and rear - "achieving improved brake performance throughout their system, while also reducing their environmental footprint when riding motorcycles," says Marketing & Product Manager Thomas Midtgaard-Jørgensen. "When it comes to stopping distance, the new LS compound has a significantly improved performance of +8.5% compared to our prior V-twin fitment. All SBS brake pad products will be equipped with integrated NRS Technology, which locks the compound material to the backing plate, and all compounds for public roads will be approved according to ECE R90;

SENA Technologies: The San Jose, California/USA operation of the 1998 founded Korean based rider comms specialist states that its communication headsets rocked an entire industry - "from mesh and Bluetooth integrated helmets, headsets and cameras to remote controls, adapters and accessories - we've got you covered.  Its top-of-the-line 50-Series (50C) features "premium mesh communication, 4K camera and sound by Harman Kardon";

Rewaco Trikes: Ahead of its time when founded in Germany by Harald Schmitz and Andreas Hauri in 1990, Rewaco's range of long wheel-base trike designs pre-dated the contemporary 'Roadster' concepts now seen from brands such as BRP's CanAm and Polaris' Slingshot. The first model in 1991 was based around a 53 hp VW Beetle engine, but the range evolved, and in addition to classic trikes, Rewaco also produced conversion trikes from the likes of Suzuki, Victory and Triumph right up to 2016. Since then, it has focused exclusively on classic trikes with modern components such as ABS, automatic transmission, cruise control and up to 177 hp performance. The company employs a total of around 90 people in Germany, Poland and China;

Andrews Products: The Mount Prospect, Illinois based performance cams specialist is one of the slew of aftermarket brands that has invested in the Bagger Racing League in recent years - as title sponsor of the Big Twins Class;

Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde USA: Best known to date for its Hendersonville, NC based Wunderlich USA operation, 2023 saw Edward and William Plam add the Dutch made Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde electronic sound adjustable exhaust program for select Harley, Indian, BMW and Triumph model applications;