The perks of working for Woodcraft Technologies is that it gives me the chance to immerse myself in the motorcycle industry, case and point being an exhibitor at this year’s AIMExpo! Only downside is that I had to drive the 22-24 hours that it took to get from MA to FL. This was the worse part of the whole experience even though I had help in the form of my co-worker being my co-pilot. The downside aside I very much looked forward to see how the process went and the people I’d get to meet.
We left headquarters around 9:30 am last Tuesday and didn’t go to bed until 11:30 pm on Wednesday night, Waylon had passed out much earlier than I did. I’ve driven to CA and back so I was no stranger to long hours on the road but due to a hurricane coming through earlier in the week there were detours we had to take that prolonged the trip by four hours. Once at the convention center it was promptly time to set up the booth in the FL heat as the bay doors were open and no sign of AC to be felt. We managed to pull through and I will be the first to say the booth we set up looked very good.
The show ran from Thursday-Sunday with the first two being mainly people in the industry, media, dealers and buyers, the purpose of why we were there. Also the reveal of the new Yamaha R6, albeit a tame reveal, was met with many a different opinions.
I love the new styling of the bike if I had to say so myself especially since it looks like a baby M1 now. The engine stayed the same which was disappointing but they did revise the front end, giving it the suspension components found on the new R1, but tuned for the R6 chassis. As soon as I posted it up on my social media feeds I got wind that one of the guys I know had put one on order, I mustn’t be the only crazy who thought it was a good looking bike. The R6 wasn’t the only new one to hit the show floor during the show either, the new Honda CBR1000RR and the new Suzuki GSXR-1000R (I think that is what they’re calling it) made appearances as well.
It will be a long winter for us here at Woodcraft for sure with all the new bikes coming out but it looks like 2017 will be an interesting year in terms of motorcycle road racing. Speaking of which I got to meet and gawk at some of the pro racers that walked the show floor over the course of the weekend.
I'm not going to even play off the fact that I still get giddy seeing racers I watch through the telly. • • • • Moto2 World Champion • MotoGP Winner • MotoAmerica Rookie of the Year: @ToniElias24 ⠀ #Workcation | #WoodcraftTechnologies | #AIMExpo | #Moto2 | #MotoGP | #MotoAmerica | #FanGirlMoment | #Suzuki
I was a little star struck at first and rightfully so I think! Toni Elias, Roger Hayden, Cameron Beaubier, Josh Herrin and Josh Hayes were some of the big names from the American road racing scene.
I mentioned industry professionals were all at this event so I seize to opportunity to meet and attach faces to emails I have been sending out over the last year. Networking, even though I hate that word, is very important in any industry I believe, I am just lucky I really like the one I work in. Cards, emails and phone numbers were exchanged for follow-ups when you get back is the norm here, also is the catching up as most of these people have been in the motorcycle world their whole lives. It was an experience to behold and my senses were overloaded at times for sure but I walked away knowing more than I had when I went in.
Photos like these also makes it worth it seeing young kids enjoying themselves even if it’s just sitting on a motorcycle making vroom vroom noises.
Next year’s show will be in Columbus, OH and we have already signed up! At least the drive this time will be much shorter B)