February 25, 2011 - My final report from the 2011 Powersports Dealer Expo describes the 2011 Nexx Helmets, which have undergone revisions and updates based largely on feedback from webBikeWorld readers who have provided comments, so be sure to see what's new.
February 25, 2011 - I have to admit, I had my doubts about this year's show at first. The continuing economic slump and last year's disaster with the huge East Coast blizzard affected the participation in the 2010 event, and I wasn't expecting much of a difference in 2011.
I also wasn't sure about the new layout planned for the 2011 show; it was reported that the floor space had been reduced in the renovated Indiana Convention Center and also that the organizers had decided to create product sections for items like clothing, helmets, accessories, tires, etc. for the displays.
At first, I thought this might inhibit visitors from seeing everything at the show. For example, if you weren't interested in tires, you might never browse through the tire section and the manufacturers who were displaying their products would have fewer visitors than they might have if visitors were randomly passing by.
But in reality, there was enough overlap between the sections that a visitor really didn't miss anything. The organizers (Advanstar) also made the aisles wider, which turned out to be an excellent idea because it gave everything a much more open and appealing visage. Combined with the new lighting in the arena, it gave the entire show a more modern, upbeat look.
As I mentioned earlier, the manufacturers who decided not to attend may have lost marketing awareness to their competitors. I can understand the reasons for not attending, including the strong argument for holding this show in the Fall, rather than the Spring.
By this time of the year, the manufacturers have already taken their orders and shipped the products through the distributors to the retailers. The retailers are already putting the products on their shelves, anticipating the Spring rush. Thus, it's too late to place any new orders, so the show serves only to...well, I'm not sure. Generate excitement?
But if they really wanted to generate excitement, they'd allow the public in at least for one day. I heard this over and over again from the manufacturers. They spent all that time and money to set up these beautiful displays, why not bring in the public then, to see what's new for the upcoming year?
Well, that's my armchair analysis of the 2011 Dealer Expo. I hope you enjoyed the reports as much as I enjoyed writing them! I look forward to bringing you more reporting this year from EICMA 2011 and next year from the 2012 Dealer Expo!
February 24, 2011 - Two more reports to go from the 2011 Dealer Expo. This one is a report on the new and improved 2011 AFX Helmets with some very interesting facts about the company and their products. Includes photos of the brand-new AFX FX-39DS Dual Sport "enduro" helmet in two very nice colors.
February 23, 2011 - Caberg DOT Helmets for the U.S.A. - Caberg is planning a return to the U.S. market. Caberg Helmets have been featured in previous webBikeWorld reviews and this report includes photos of new colors and the helmets the company is considering for the U.S. market.
February 23, 2011 - Continuing my final reports from the 2011 Dealer Expo, here's a motorcycle photograph slide show featuring some of the interesting motorcycles on display in the various booths during the show. The Dealer Expo is about accessories, clothing and helmets and not about motorcycles, but there are always a few unique bikes sprinkled throughout.
More reports from the show coming later today.
February 22, 2011 - Well, I made it home just before the storm hit, dumping another 5" of snow on an already-beleageured East Coast! Will summer ever arrive? (Actually, I'll take Spring!).
So back at it: I put together a 5-part briefing on the new Bell helmets for 2011. In case you haven't noticed, Bell has been on a tear, pumping out some of the finest helmets money can buy, all with unique features and most at second-take price points.
Here's my report on the new Bell Revolver flip-up; the new Bell RS-1, which slides in between the Bell Vortex and the Bell Star; the very cool Bell Custom 500 and "Skratch" Editions; and the Bell Moto-9 and Moto-4. I lost the photos of the Moto-9 but included a video of the new magnetic cheek pads, called the "Magnefusion Emergency Release System, and the built-in inflation system, known as the Bell Eject Helmet Removal System.
February 21, 2011 - Many motorcycle clothing manufacturers were missing from the Dealer Expo, which turned out to be an unexpected benefit to the few who did show up, including Klim clothing.
I'm heading back home, so my reporting will resume tomorrow (Tuesday). There is a lot more to tell, including a report on the 2011 Bell Revolver and RS-1; an update on Caberg helmets; new Nexx and AFX helmets; updated Vemar helmets; an interesting solar-powered Battery Tender and more, so stay tuned!
February 20, 2011 - The e-Tint MX-8 and AX-9 Liquid Crystal Visor Inserts are an updated version of the electrochromatic visor reviewed previously on webBikeWorld. The inserts are easily attached to the inside of a face shield. They use a rechargeable battery pack to instantly change the visor insert tint from light to dark. The inserts also include anti-fog properties, so it's like having two inserts in one!
February 20, 2011 - Warn is known for their heavy-duty off-road winches for Jeeps and other four-wheel-drive vehicles. But they also had a BMW F800Gs on display at the Dealer Expo, outfitted with Warn Motorcycle HID Lights and an XT15 winch!
February 20, 2011 - Vemar and Motonation, the U.S. distributor, released the new Vemar Jiano EVO TC for the U.S. market. The updated Vemar Eclipse full-face helmet was also released. Both helmets will be available for retail within a few weeks.
February 19, 2011 - Super-powerful and very rugged (IP68) Rigid Industries Dually lights are LEDs pumped to the max like you've never seen LEDs before.
February 19, 2011 - You never know what you'll see at the show. I was cruising by the Arai booth and found this display of colorful Arai race helmets worn by their sponsored motorcycle racers, so I took a quick walk-around video.
February 19, 2011 - The Leatt STX Brace was announced at the Expo. This is a brand-new product claimed to be the "world’s only sportbike-specific neck brace". It has a unique and clever design that allows sportbike and street riders more mobility, while allowing the use of a back protector or aerodynamic hump. It is also fully adjustable and it folds for storage! Includes video.
February 19, 2011 - The Bags-Connection Sport Pannier system is a new solution for mounting luggage on a sportbike. The bags slide on to metal bars for security, but the system is easily removed when not in use, returning the bike to a near-stock look. Includes a video showing how to install and remove the Sport Panniers. Includes video.
February 18, 2011 - Here's an interesting idea in prototype stage for a battery powered motorcycle helmet ventilation system with a humidity sensor. It has the potential for providing superior helmet face shield defogging and hot-weather ventilation.
February 18, 2011 - Off and running at Indy! First up was a stop by the Sena booth; it's their first Indy show and they have some new products to introduce: the Sena SR10 Bluetooth "Hub" and the Sena SPH10 "Helmetless" Bluetooth intercom.
February 16, 2011 - The 2011 Powersports Dealer Expo will begin this weekend at the Indianapolis Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, and I'll be there to cover the event.
Last year about this time we had a monster blizzard here on the East Coast, which kept me locked in the house for 5 days in huge 6 foot snow drifts and I had to cancel the Indy trip. We didn't see a plow for 5 days and it was a couple of weeks before we finally dug ourselves out.
But this week's weather report looks excellent, so all signs are "Go".
The yearly Powersports Dealer Expo is the largest dealer show in North America. Motorcycle and powersports dealers can see and touch all of the latest products about to be released for the start of a new motorcycling season. The reports from past events are listed in the right-hand column, which will give you an idea of what's in store.
The Indy show traditionally focuses on new motorcycle gear including clothing, helmets and accessories, rather than motorcycles. It will be interesting (and probably unfair) to compare it to the huge EICMA 2010 show (report) and the motorcycle gear at the Dealer Expo will be designed specifically for the U.S. market.
The 2011 event should prove interesting in other ways. Beside the huge storm which affected attendance, the state of the economy was also a factor. Industry insiders are predicting a cautious rebound for 2011 and the Expo may be an indicator.
So stay tuned to this page, the reports will begin some time late Friday afternoon!