Indy Expo 2008

Everything for motorcycles under one dome.

Indy Expo 2008

Indianapolis, Indiana, is a cold and windy place in February, but it's warmed by the feet of thousands of powersports-industry dealers, sales reps, networkers, technicians and anybody else who makes a buck peddling two-wheeled passion. They are there for the Indy Dealer Expo, an enormous show that takes up over 400,000 square feet of exhibit space and features more than 1000 vendors.

At this year's show, the mood was optimistic, yet guarded. New motorcycle sales were down in 2007 for the first time in almost two decades. But that didn't dampen spirits too much. The consensus among attendees—dealers and vendors alike—was that slow new-bike sales mean consumers will spend more money accessorizing and servicing their existing steeds. Scott Kluver, parts and accessories director for Powersports Pro in Omaha, Nebraska, said that while new-bike sales were down, he expected 2008 would "be a steady year, and we'll do better with parts and accessories." Advanstar Communications, the show's organizer, reported a five percent increase in the number of exhibitors, and 225 companies were at the show for the first time. Advanstar does not release attendance figures, but the show seemed less crowded this year to me and other attendees and exhibitors, although the mood of everyone I met was decidedly optimistic.

Cycle World had a noticeable presence at the show. The magazine hosted its annual industry dinner. Attending were notables such as Kenny Roberts Sr., Indianapolis Speedway President Joie Chitwood, drag racer Rickey Gadson (and family) and Kevin Schwantz. The evening ended with an auction of moto-memorabilia that raised more than $6000 for the Joseph Parkhurst C. Education Fund, which helps pediatric brain-tumor survivors continue their schooling. Chris Carr's helmet, in which the flat-track star set a land-speed record of 350.884 mph at Bonneville in 2006, was purchased by...Chris Carr. Thanks, Chris, for stepping up.

As always at Indy, there was plenty to see. There are far too many things to tell you about on this page, so browse through the show galleries and see what your dealer may be stocking this season.