Field Trip: 2013 Dealer Expo

Indianapolis or Bust!

Last weekend was the 2013 Dealer Expo in Indy.  Nine hours of driving was my prerequisite to attend the show.  Actually, that isn’t exactly truthful, but since I personally had never gone, the Big Boss thought it would be a great opportunity to show me how grown-ups mingle with other industry grown-ups and gave me the invite.

a picture of an Indian motorcycle

Old Indian hill-climber minus the chains

The show was for three days but we could only attend the Friday & Saturday shows as we had to get back in town for a funeral on Sunday.  With that deadline, our time schedule was tighter than we previously planned it and we had to make our trip to be as efficient as possible.  The problem was that I wanted to take pictures of everything and take video.  On top of that, there was the IMS Motorcycle Show next door going on at the same time…

What to do…

picture of Cyril Despres

5-Time Dakar Rally champion, Cyril Despres

We were to leave no later than 2pm on Thursday but due to us going in and working beforehand, we didn’t even pack the truck until nearly 4.  After a stop for some eats (neither of finding time to eat lunch) we weren’t actually on our way until almost 5!  After a while, conversation fell flat and repetitive, but luck would break the CD player and neither of us could agree on radio stations.  Somehow, we were able to chat ourselves to Indiana and hotel where I listened to the tunes of the Boss smashing buildings with a wrecking ball and sledge hammer in his sleep.

The next day started too early and was chock full of seminars, booths, pretty women and even prettier toys.  Again, this was my first Dealer Expo and my plan was to capture the sights while the Big Boss went and worked deals for future closeouts.

picture of pretty girls

The Indianapolis convention center was gigantic and despite everyone saying that the Expo had the lowest attendance in years, it was packed full of amazing stuff.  The Expo floor was split to keep the Chinese, American and Asian brands segregated while the aftermarket and clothing manufacturers were categorized by their own numbers.

As a show goer, there was a large vendor map available, but once you figured out the floor plan’s organization, the map was not really needed.  After our seminars were over on Friday, I started in China, walked through Aftermarketville into America and then on into Japan and back.  While playing around in the Scorpion Sports booth, I ran into a personal idol, Skratch from Skratch’s Garage.

A picture of Jon-Erik Burleson

KTM North America president, Jon-Erik Burleson

I’ve looked up to Skratch and his painting ability for years as I’ve repeatedly failed in my attempts at pinstriping, so to run into him at the show was great.  Then, upon talking to him, finding out that he was a really cool guy on top of talented was even cooler, but I already wrote about that.

Saturday started with more seminars, but after those were over, it was off to bump into the legendary John Penton, AMA XR1200 series phenom Benny Carlson, KTM North America president Jon-Erik Burleson, 5-time Dakar Rally winner Cyril Despres, fast-as-hell bombshell Heather Chastain and more.  Mind you, this didn’t occur all at the same time, but it did occur nonetheless.  Star struck was I.

While on the floor, we ran into a bunch of vendors showing some interesting gear.  ONe was Lunasee side-lighting.  This outfit had a phosphorus wheel strip that illuminated with the flip of a switch, adding much to night-time motorcycle conspicuity.  Another fun booth was Risk Racing’s.  They had lots of makes-a-lot-of-sense and why-didn’t-someone-do-this-before type of tools and gadgets.

After taking it all in on Saturday (had to skip the IMS), we jumped in the truck and sped back to KC where videos were cut, pictures uploaded and the rest is…  On the web.  For my first show, it was a lot of work, but it was obviously a lot of fun as well.  Check out the video to grab a glimpse of the action for yourself and stay tuned to the Blog for more Field Trips!

Next up?  Arenacross!!



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