AIMExpo Outdoors! Gets Interactive

Lucas Cooney
by Lucas Cooney
AIMExpo Outdoors

One of the big features of the inaugural American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo), which opens its doors on Oct. 16, is AIMExpo Outdoors!, the event’s interactive and experiential outdoors space. The nearly 400,000 square-foot area located on the grounds of Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) will feature a variety of activities throughout the five-day event geared towards trade, media and consumers.

The centerpiece of AIMExpo Outdoors! are the demo areas, designated for testing the newest 2014 models for dirt and street. Off-road enthusiasts can enjoy key Suzuki ATVs, while Yamaha will showcase its brand new Viking Side-by-Side. Additionally, Kymco and Massimo Motors will feature a selection of ATVs and Side-by-Sides. For the street, Yamaha will showcase its newly introduced 850cc FZ-09 triple by offering the product’s first public demo rides. Suzuki and KYMCO will also offer demo rides on select road bikes and scooters.

Yamaha Viking Forum

“What makes AIMExpo Outdoors! compelling is its interactivity,” says Larry Little, Marketplace Events Motorcycle Group vice president & general manager. “Along with an experience in the aisles at AIMExpo, we’re going to provide attendees with an experience in the saddle at AIMExpo Outdoors! Industry, media, and consumers will have hands-on opportunities to both see and test new models before they hit the showroom. The proper timing and location of AIMExpo allows us to present a number of groundbreaking features that are excellent examples of how AIMExpo is building an event that meets the changing needs of the industry.”

The AIMExpo Outdoors! Off-Road Demo Area was designed by AMA Hall of Fame member and former AMA Pro Grand National Champion racer Mike Kidd to let attendees operate the units of participating manufacturers. The natural terrain layout is constructed to test the capabilities of these vehicles in a real world setting.

“We’re going to let folks get out there and have some fun in the environment for which these vehicles were intended,” says Kidd, a 12-time Grand National event winner. “This will be a one-of-a-kind experience for everyone who attends the event. I’m genuinely excited to be part of, literally, shaping change for the powersports industry that Marketplace Events is fostering.”

Adjacent to the Off-Road Demo Area, the AIMExpo Adventure Course will also be the site of one of the most exciting features at the show. The course will be available for consumers to operate their own street legal off-road bike. The feature, first of its kind for a major powersports expo, will include rocks, logs, off-camber turns, mud, and obstacles that riders of adventure bikes might encounter. The AIMExpo Adventure Course is the ideal way for riders to assess their skills while putting their bike’s performance to the test.

The AIMExpo Adventure Course is designed by Moto Summit, notable for their expertise in building the GS Giant Adventure Course found at BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (BMWMOA) rallies.

“The Off-Road Demo Area and Adventure Course are sure to appeal to our attendees,” says Little. “Very rarely does one have the opportunity to do something so fun and challenging in a controlled environment and we anticipate these participatory features will be two of the biggest hits of AIMExpo. These innovative features are a key element of the vision of energizing both retailers and consumers that we’ve targeted as a hallmark of AIMExpo.”

For those new to off-road powersports, the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, ATV Safety Foundation and Motorcycle Safety Foundation will be offering Introductory Experiences to initiate new riders to the basics of operating ROVs, ATVs and dirt bikes, respectively. The ROV Experience is for licensed participants age 16 and over, the ATV Experience is for riders age 6 and over, and the Dirt Bike experience is for youth ages 6-12, exclusively.

For those interested in on-road riding, the MSF will be offering its Introductory Motorcycle Experience. The three-hour program is designed to give new riders an opportunity to experience the operation of a motorcycle under the watchful eye of a certified RiderCoach. While not a full training program, the introduction guides participants through the basic controls and is a great way to see if motorcycling is for you.

Each of these Introductory Experiences was created specifically for AIMExpo.

Rounding out the fun at AIMExpo Outdoors! are a special Dynojet Shootout, presented by Cycle World, and special performances by one of the leading street freestyle teams in the world, Empire Freestyle. Achieving viral fame with their Motorcycle vs. Car Drift Battle video series, Empire’s incredibly talented duo of Ernie Vigil and Nick “Apex” Brocha will put on a breathtaking show, pushing the limits of high performance riding. To check out a YouTube video highlighting Empire’s amazing skills, click here.

The inaugural AIMExpo will be held on October 16-20, 2013 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. Consumer days are October 18-20.

Lucas Cooney
Lucas Cooney

I have been working exclusively in digital media since 1997. I started out with, spending nearly nine years creating and editing content on Canada's leading sports website. I left to join VerticalScope, Inc., one of the world's largest online publishers, to start a number of powersports publications. While at VerticalScope, I've helped create and oversee content for a wide variety of different publications, including,,,,, and many more.

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