Thursday, 17 September 2015

American International Motorcycle Expo

Motorcycle Industry Association in United States buys Orlando, Florida based American International Motorcycle Expo

The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) in the United States has announced that it has acquired the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo - Orlando, Florida, October 15th - 18th) from founder Marketplace Events (MPE).

Larry Little, former President of MPE's Motorcycle Group and a prior Chairman of the MIC Board of Directors, said that: "Your industry’s trade association and the industry’s most important trade show have joined forces to help advance our business environment and allow the motorcycle industry to sustainably expand the riding community across generations."

As a part of MIC, AIMExpo becomes an extension of the MIC’s "mission of preserving, protecting and promoting the motorcycle and powersports industry that we are a part of.  We’ll be developing incentives for MIC member companies for the 2016 show, which will be announced in early 2016.
"For AIMExpo dealer attendees, we’ll have a greater opportunity to showcase the value of dealer membership including MIC’s continual presence on Capitol Hill where the mission to protect our industry is ongoing.
"To answer the questions that will arise about the immediate impact of this move on this year’s show, the simple answer is - there will be no impact.  It is business as usual, with the same AIMExpo team producing the same show with the same high level of customer service that we've already become known for."
The show now becomes part of a new department titled ‘MIC Events’.  The physical move to MIC offices in Irvine, California, will occur following this year’s show. All AIMExpo personnel, including V-Twin Director Bob Kay, remain in-post. Next year’s show - AIMExpo 2016 - is still scheduled for October and will remain in Orlando.

Front Row, left to right - Tom Baugh, CEO Marketplace Events; Tim Buche, President and CEO, MIC; Mark White, CFO Marketplace Events
Back Row, left to right - Larry Little, VP and GM, MIC Events, Erik Pritchard, General Counsel MIC; Jen Dreis, MIC; Mike Webster, SVP MIC Events

The MIC is quoted as saying that "owning our industry’s biggest and most popular trade show fits perfectly within MIC’s mission. Trade shows intrinsically represent exhibitors (i.e., MIC Member Companies), facilitate communications among exhibitors, and help promote the goods and services offered by exhibitors to {dealers and] the public - all [of which are] normal day-to-day operations for the MIC.
"MIC was able to purchase the Expo without affecting membership dues. MIC’s ownership of a platform such as AIMExpo can help advance our business environment and allow the motorcycle industry to sustainably expand the riding community across generations.
"For some time, the MIC Board of Directors has discussed owning powersports events, but did not proactively pursue the idea. However, when Marketplace Events approached MIC about selling its Motorcycle Group, the Board took action. After extensive discussion and due diligence, the board was unanimous in its decision to move forward with the purchase.
"Larry Little, one of the founders of AIMExpo while a Director on the MIC Board, recused himself from all acquisition discussions and activities. As an MIC employee, Larry is ineligible to serve on the board and has resigned his board position. The open board position will be filled in the upcoming annual board election.
"AIMExpo entered the motorcycle event scene in 2013 and made an immediate impact. Its early success and high level of industry adoption has been unparalleled. The MIC is proud to be associated with AIMExpo, and your industry association stands better equipped than ever to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling."
This news brings closure to a sequence of events that has not always worked to the benefit of the motorcycle industry, one that actually goes back some 30 years. When Advanstar acquired what eventually became the 'Dealer Expo' that was staged at Cincinnati, then Indianapolis, then finally and for one year only at Chicago in December last year, it had been mooted that the MIC was itself eying launch of its own industry expo.
To head-off competition from the industry's trade association, Advanstar struck a sweatheart deal with the MIC that saw members score discounts, and a percentage of show income going into the trade association's coffers.
When the V-Twin industry was under pressure from impending increases in the regulatory obstacles that motorcycle modification faced ten years ago, especially where aftermarket performance components and engines were concerned, this was an arrangement that backfired on both the MIC and the v-twin industry.
Endeavouring to create a forum for the sector through its then new V-Twin Committee, the MIC fell foul of restrictions that its deal with Advanstar placed on it in terms of being able to stage meetings for the sector at the rival V-Twin Expo at Cincinnati.
Now, however, all is changed. In addition to having severed its ties with 'Dealer Expo', the MIC changed its membership profile three or four years ago to start offering a dealer-membership program.
With it now itself taking ownership of the premier 'mainstream' motorcycle industry trade expo in America, maybe the way will be clear in the future for the MIC to be able to build bridges with the v-twin industry and finally start developing the kind of sector-specific initiatives the custom market found itself so in need of a decade ago.
AIMExpo has already been taking a number of steps to deepen its v-twin industry significance.
Those steps have so far included features such as its "Made-in-America" exhibitor showcase, AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building affiliation for its new Championship of the Americas custom bike contest (the winner will represent the show at the AMD World Championship at INTERMOT in 2016), its new "Garage Party" consumer promotion and its ride-out from the nearby and contemporaneous "Biketoberfest" Rally.
At the time of writing no information was available about whether or not MIC's acquisition of AIMExpo will have a bearing on the show's previously announced intentions of developing a series of regional consumer/industry events around the United States in what had been widely interpreted as an attempt to establish a network of shows to rival Advanstar's Progressive Insurance sponsored multi-city International Motorcycle Show series.

International Motorcycle Show Series

International Motorcycle Show Series

FORCED into cancellation of the ill-conceived attempt to revive its Dealer Expo with a pre-Christmas move to Chicago after just one year, the now British owned UBM Advanstar Powersports Group has announced an 11 stop tour for its Progressive International Motorcycle Show series later this year.
In an attempt to salvage something from the near 50-year history of its Dealer Expo, the shows will now incorporate a "business-to-business platform" that will facilitate meetings between manufacturers and dealers in each market."
The new B2B platform is being designed to "serve the educational, information and training needs of dealers in each market." Advanstar say they are acting "in response to industry demand", and that the 2015-16 IMS nationwide tour "business-to-business platform" will provide "vehicle and aftermarket manufacturers and allied services the opportunity to meet with dealers in each of the 11 markets", said Tracy Harris, senior Vice President of the UBM Advanstar Powersports Group.


New battery preparation made easy!

IDN interviews TecMate CEO and Chief Technical Officer Martin Human about a problem that can affect many motorcycle dealers...
Correctly preparing and activating a new battery is essential - it guarantees that the battery will perform at full power from the get go and have the best chance of delivering the long service life the manufacturer says it should give. 

However, due to time pressure and other issues it is a process that's often overlooked; simply put, a customer buying a new battery at the parts counter is usually anxious to get his vehicle going, or the happy rider about to pull away on the bike he's just collected wants to get going the moment the sale is through.  For those customers "come back tomorrow while I finish preparing the battery" just does not work.
Martin Human, the brains behind the OptiMate battery maintenance and diagnostics programme,  told IDN...
"The problem with badly prepared batteries is that they will work to begin with, because problems don't emerge until months or even a year later. For dealers poor battery preparation is a potentially expensive gamble - in financial and reputational terms - if it has to be replaced within the warranty period.
"Even with battery acid at full strength when fresh, poor preparation brings the new battery only to 70-80% of deliverable power. Some cells may be at a lower voltage than others, due to some plates within those cells not yet fully interacting with the just-received acid", Martin continued. 

OptiMate PRO, a time and money saver for any powersport dealer wanting to deliver great service and battery performance to their customer

He explained that the final 20-30% of power is achieved with controlled charging that gently activates the full surface of each lead plate and thus brings each of the 6 cells to equal voltage. This is the problem that the specifications of his TecMate OptiMate PRO-S (single bank) and OptiMate PRO-4 (4 bank) are designed to deal with - to do this automatically, and quickly with only one hour of charging.
"It’s easy and does not take a lot of time. All the dealer or battery buyer has to do is fill the battery with acid as normal per manufacturer’s recommendations, wait 30-45 minutes for the acid to settle, then select 'NEW' on the OptiMate PRO, hook up the battery and walk away. 

"One hour later that new battery is good to go, ready to deliver full power and well prepared to last well past its warranty period - that can be 100% guaranteed if maintained by an OptiMate consumer charger". 
OptiMate PRO also revives new batteries that have lost their charge due to being in storage for 3 months or longer, and can also automatically save a sulphated battery that has been discharged down to as little as 1 Volt.
"Once again it is a simple procedure", says Martin. "Simply select 2A or 4A for batteries larger than 10 Amp-hours, hook the battery up and let the OptiMate PRO do the rest.
"We use what we call an 'AmpMatic' micro-processor, and this automatically adjusts the charge voltage and current to match the connected battery’s size and condition. It saves, charges and equalises the cells within the battery, then tests and indicates to the dealer how well the battery recovered".



Hevik rain protection

THE Italian brand presents its new "pocket" gear, "providing effective protection from unexpected showers.

The garments are the discreet Ultralight 2-piece rain suit and the high visibility Rain Fluo jacket. Both items are extremely compact and can be carried in a storage bag. The waterproof clothing is made in 70-denier Nylon 190T, waterproof for a water of column of up to 3,000 mm. The fabric is extremely light, yet 100% impermeable. To reinforce their watertightness even further, Hevik has equipped its new jackets with pratical sealed seams that avoid water leaking in. Both the Rain Fluo jacket and the Ultralight rain suit rely on windproof material that acts as a shield against cold air whilst commuting by motorcycle or scooter.

Closure of the jackets is by means of a front zipper protected by a Velcro flap. To achieve maximum impenetrability and prevent air leaking through the cuffs, they also feature an eleastic closure with Velcro at the wrists. In an effort to make the motorcyclist safer, Hevik has added reflective inserts on the rear of the jackets.

HEVIK S.r.l.

BC Battery Controller

12V socket with USB port

BC BATTERY CONTROLLER has launched what it claims is the only 12V cigar lighter socket with a removable double USB port and a universal support for all kinds of motorcycle handlebars.

The mounting kit included in the P12USB dual pack and the socket are said to be suitable for 22.2mm, 25.4mm and 28.6mm handlebars.
Made in Italy, it is able to charge smartphones, tablets, GPS systems and other electronic devices with the cigar lighter adapter (12V, maximum of 2 amps) or by USB (5V, two ports of 2.1 amp and 1 amp), the 2.1 amp USB port also makes the accessory suitable for the recharge of iPhones and iPads. The double USB port features short-circuit protection and automatic overload cut-off.

Waterproof connections and watertight sealed boot protect the socket, while a protection-fusible with waterproof-fusible holder guarantee safety. The 145mm cable with eyelets can also be used to connect a BC Battery Controller battery charger.



Bitubo Spring Tester

BASED on his years of personal experience running Italian suspension specialist company Bitubo, Gianni Mardollo's Spring Testing Machine is now available to distributors, dealers, suspension specialists and race teams. Built to be portable with a relatively small size and low weight (making it ideal for race applications) it delivers real-time measurements of spring force and the value of its compression constant with several scales of metric available such as kgf - lbs - N.

It allows force readings on a point-to-point basis, allowing progressive curve analysis with the possibility to print the screen and save the test with all its reference data and to export and store the tests in Excel format. It is available in six languages - Italian, English, German, French, Spanish and Japanese.


Free Spirits

Upper fork covers

INTERNATIONALLY respected Italian parts and accessory specialist Free Spirits is offering these new upper fork covers for Triumph Bonneville, Thruxton and Scrambler models. 

CNC machined from aluminium, then black anodised, they fit between the upper and lower triple trees without altering the steering geometry. Free Spirits say that they are a quick and easy, fully reversible install and that they also have everything needed for the repositioning of the ignition switch, turn signal and removal of the OEM headlight brackets - plus a whole range of additional custom styling and detailing parts, accessories and components for Triumph's popular classics.


Planet Knox

Knox wax cotton jackets

KNOX say they have taken the traditional waxed cotton motorcycle jacket and given it "a contemporary make-over" with the introduction of the Leonard (for men) and Lea (for women). 

Despite the tailored look, the jackets transform quickly into motorcycle-specific wear through the use of an expansion system that allows a body armoured shirt to be worn underneath.

Instead of being fitted with impact protectors at shoulders, elbows and in the back, which makes them too bulky to wear for anything apart from riding, they feature the Knox Dual Fit System. A zip runs from cuff to waist, concealed under the arm. Opening it transforms the jacket, expanding it by one size and allowing enough room to wear a soft stretch fabric Knox armoured shirt, with CE-approved armour at shoulders, elbows and back.
They are waterproof and breathable thanks to a 10k membrane laminated to the inside with fully taped seams. 


Techno Motor Veghel

'Ultra-Tacky' grips

RENTHAL Ultra-Tacky grips have been developed to increase traction between the glove and grip, increasing control and reducing rider fatigue. A unique compound constantly produces and renews a sticky surface coating which, when combined with the Renthal Soft compound, offers "an incredibly grippy yet comfortable surface" for use in all conditions.

The sticky surface will last for the lifetime of the grip, and if it loses its stickiness at any point, simply wash with clean water and allow the grips to air dry to re-activate. They feature a dual compound construction with the outer compound, providing increased traction and the firm inner compound providing durability at grip ends.

Available through Renthal distributors, including Techno Motor Veghel in the Netherlands.