So every year on Super Bowl Weekend, we venture out to Cincinnati, Ohio, to have a look at all of the new and innovative parts from the American V-twin aftermarket. This is where a company that serves the American V-twin market gets to either show off how good their R&D; Department is with a host of new products that every bike owner in America wants to get their hands on or how off the mark they were with this year's selection of parts.
It is pretty easy to tell if a company has a hot new part on their hands--just look for the crowds of people. The company's booth is packed, all of their sales guys are out of business cards and the owner of the company has a perma-grin thinking about all of the money he is going to make selling their new widget. Conversely, the company that missed the mark will have very few visits, and their entire staff looks bored.
In years past, a good portion of the companies were busy, but there was still a small portion of companies that weren't as busy as their neighbors. This year was different. There wasn't one time we went to visit a company where we didn't have to wait for the dealers to clear out of the way first. We spent as much time waiting our turn to talk to the people we needed to talk with as we did talking with them. It was frustrating at first, but it is a good sign for the overall health of the aftermarket.
Another thing we noticed is that a lot of the companies that had been resistant to making products for baggers are actually stepping up to the plate and taking a swing. There were baggers at every turn. There were bagger parts in places you would never expect. Even OCC introduced their twist on a bagger: a new S&S; X-Wedge-powered bagger!
We shot so much stuff that we actually had a hard time deciding on the 30 products we had space for (we actually managed to squeeze 32 into the space we had for 30). We tried to pick a wide range of products. We obviously couldn't include everything that was worthy of being showcased in our new products section, but between all of the tech we have planned and the next few issues' worth of new products, we should get it all covered. Want to see what actually made it? Turn to page 108 and check it out!Until next month, keep the rubber side down!
On The Road
We managed to shoot some of the complete bikes that were on display among the sea of new products. Here are a few fine examples of the two-wheeled hardware on display at this year's V-twin Expo in Cincinnati.