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AIMExpo 2016: Day 3

Saturday, October 15, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Wes Fleming

Day 3 at the AIMExpo is the first of two days on which consumers are allowed into the convention center. It's the day for the highest level of foot traffic and it's the longest day as well, running from 9 in the morning until 7 at night.

It was a great day for BMW Motorrad, who saw lines starting before 8 am for the day's demo rides. BMW brought 21 bikes to the outdoor portion of the AIMExpo, and if you've never experienced the BMW Motorrad Demo Truck, you owe it to yourself to check it out if it ever gets near your neighborhood. The test rides were booked by noon and they unfortunately had to turn away interested riders the rest of the day.

The test ride loop was about 11 miles, mostly right turns, and they ran the bikes in three groups, each with its own leader. A final sweep rider brought the total number of bikes up to 25, and the whole round trip took about 20 minutes.

There was a roll call and general safety briefing before each ride, and each segment leader gave another briefing before riders mounted their bikes just to go over the various controls and expectations for the ride.

I heard exactly zero complaints about the test rides! Some folks griped a bit about BMW not having a presence indoors, but the rides seemed to make up for it, and the folks I talked to understood that BMW was just tapped out this week due to their big event in Los Angeles.

Because it's Florida, it started to pour rain even though it was bright and sunny outside. Naturally, the heaviest rain of the squall came just as the riders were coming in.

I was able to stick around long enough to see the next batch of demo riders head out. It was fun listening to all the riders talk about their expectations of the bikes and what they experienced on the ride.

For most of the day, I walked the floor talking to various exhibitors about what products they might have that will appeal to BMW riders. Knowing that we're both a picky bunch and ...frugal... I found some things I thought you might like to have a look at.

Jessica from Twisted Throttle shows off some aftermarket grips that are perfect for sliding right over the heating elements on most 21st century Beemers.

Mathias (right) and his coworker from Shoei show off their newest helmet, the RF-SR. Billed as an entry-level Shoei yet not an entry-level helmet in general, the solid color SRs have an MSRP of $399 and are packed with all the technology you expect from Shoei. This looks like a fantastic helmet for just about any rider.

If you buy a new helmet, you're going to want to take care of it, and that's where the Helmet Halo comes in handy. This is a made-in-the-USA product - I think the guy is from North Carolina - and it's a rugged, elastic plastic donut that you can use to protect your helmet from sitting on its opening or from getting knocked off a table or chair. It compacts nicely, but its sized well enough that you could stash it in your tank bag without rolling it up. All that and they only cost $16.

Evans makes a waterless engine coolant - it's all glycol, with zero water. The science behind it is fascinating and more than we can get into here, so maybe I'll have to write up a tech piece on this product.

Drop-in replacement stators for F 700 and 800 motorcycles from Procom/Electrosport.

Moto Machines has come up with a slick pannier system for S 1000 R and RR motorcycles.

This next thing might be overkill for most home shops at $1,100, but if you do restorations or rebuilds, it could be absolutely invaluable. It uses sound waves to clean anything - and I mean anything - that you can drop in the tank. The tank is filled with plain water and a smidge of some soap. Pro Ultrasonics makes cleaners that are big enough for a traditional dealership, but this one would be perfect for your own garage. Safe for rubber and plastic, too, according to its inventor.

Avon's new 50/50 "TrekRider" tires may appeal to somebody you know.

Scott from Simpson Helmets talks to somebody about his company's wares. Simpson is making a concerted effort to attract more motorcycle riders and has aggressive-looking helmets in the pipeline.

Debra from MotoChic shows off her Lauren bag - it converts from a backpack to a tote bag and is optimized for use by women. Debra won the first PowerLily incubator program and I'm sure we're going to see great things from her in the future.

Have you heard of Screaming Banshee? It's a 123 dB air horn compact enough to install on an S 1000 RR (or any other bike). They have even made it CAN bus compatible!

One of the coolest ideas I saw was from Shock Straps. Fred has come up with a fantastic idea that makes it so you don't have to worry about your tie-down straps working their way loose when the road gets bumpy.

Here is KLIM's ADV helmet. Beautiful quality and only $549.

The folks at Wolfman Luggage show off their dry bags on an R 1200 GS.

I never heard of Nexx helmets until today, but I dig their retro aviator looks.

Maier makes all sorts of things for all sorts of bikes, especially if you ride an adventure bike. My favorite is their rear hugger for the R 1200 GS - it's super easy to install (two screws and a few zip ties) and keeps mud off your rear shock.

MTA now owns Olympia, but don't worry - the folks who built Olympia from the ground up have stayed on to work with MTA and ensure a smooth transition and ongoing development of their products.

This is Beard. I just wanted to say that.

Nelson Rigg debuted a new set of dry bags this week - a tail bag, a set of saddlebags and saddlebag toppers. The gray bag in the middle is the saddlebag liner, which comes with the saddlebag and can be lifted right out.

As has happened at AIMExpo the last few times, the MOA Foundation draws the name of a winner in a bike raffle. This year's raffle was for the shiny golden S 1000 XR built by Twisted Throttle.

Eric (left), founder of Twisted Throttle, and Ted Moyer of the MOA discuss matters before the drawing.

Larry Little, who runs the AIMExpo, draws the winning ticket.

The winner was MOA member Brandon Wainwright of Illinois! Congratulations, Brandon, and we hope you enjoy your new bike.

I had to throw in one gratuitous photo of myself, and here I am with MotoAmerica racer Jeremy Cook and his girlfriend/pit chief Stephanie. The MOA sponsors Jeremy and we are all looking forward to another season of superbike racing in 2017.

Thanks to Magic City Cycle for providing the BMW and Ducati motorcycles that attracted many tire kickers throughout the day; these bikes were strategically placed in the booth space that would have been occupied by BMW Motorrad had they been able to make it to AIMExpo this year.

And finally...

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