As AIMExpo 2016 headed into the weekend, the focus of the show transitioned from trade to consumer, giving the public its very first chance to see all the new products coming to the marketplace. The doors to the exhibitor floor at the Orange County Convention Center opened to thousands of enthusiasts on Saturday, eagerly awaiting what the nearly 500 exhibiting companies had to offer.
The motorcycle community is renowned for the sense of brotherhood that comes from the freedom of riding on two wheels and that collectiveness was on full display on Saturday. The hugely popular riding culture in the Orlando area resulted in several organized rides to AIMExpo from local groups and chapters from organizations like the Latin American Motorcycle Association and the Florida Ruckus Riders, along with a group of enthusiasts organized by Suburban Delinquent.
In total, hundreds of bikes and riders converged at the OCCC, filling up the FREE motorcycle parking while crowding the aisles and booths on the exhibitor floor.
FREE motorcycle parking has long been one of the most popular elements for consumers who make the trip to AIMExpo, and its convenient location to both the North Hall and AIMExpo Outdoors! makes it a centerpiece of the entire event. Thousands of bikes from various eras and an array of all styles filled the parking lot, creating a sea of motorcycles that was something to behold. You'd be hard pressed to find a more diverse collection of two, and even three-wheeled vehicles all in the same space.
AIMExpo Outdoors! is a hotspot for consumer attendees to spend a significant amount of their time testing out both on and off-road vehicles. OEM exhibitors BMW, Yamaha, Suzuki, KYMCO, and BRP|Can-Am each had several road-going models for attendees to demo, while Yamaha, BRP|Can-Am, Suzuki, and KYMCO each brought a fleet of side-by-sides and ATVs to put to the test at the custom-designed off-road course.
While the trade days are significant for the many new introductions of motorcycles and other vehicles by exhibiting manufacturers, it doesn't limit consumers from having an unveil of their own to celebrate. Suzuki hosted a public debut of its new GSX-R1000, pulling the cover off one if its most iconic motorcycles in front of hundreds of eager attendees.
While AIMExpo is undoubtedly an adult playground of sorts with so much to see and do, there's also plenty to keep the young generations of enthusiasts entertained and get them excited about motorcycling. Strider bikes has been one of AIMExpo's longest tenured exhibitors, and their mini obstacle course filled with jumps was a popular destination for both kids and adults.
At AIMExpo Outdoors! kids could officially ignite their passion at the new rider experience hosted by the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) and Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA). A large number of young riders took part in the training course, learning the proper safety and riding techniques from certified instructors on youth ATVs.
The consumer portion of AIMExpo 2016 continues Sunday on the fourth and final day of the event. Thousands of attendees are sure to come out, taking advantage of their last opportunity to enjoy all the new products before they hit the marketplace in the coming months.