V-Twin is the crown jewel of the industry. Harley-Davidson dealerships are some of the most profitable retail businesses in any market. Victory Motorcycles’ lineup continues to grow while its parent company plans its strategy for the Indian brand. And although the custom craze ended years ago, people are still buying choppers and bobbers — and they’re personalizing their Harleys with all sorts of aftermarket products.
This year marks the debut of the American V-Twin Dealer Show — a “show within a show” co-located strategically alongside the big Dealer Expo. It’s a separate exposition geared specifically to the V-Twin market and culture — yet accessible to all who attend.
The American V-Twin Dealer Show has a number of brand-new features, including an all-dealer custom bike competition sponsored by American Iron Magazine, a Builder’s Stage where attendees will witness a weekend buildout, a NPA auction of 75 premium pre-owned Harleys, panel discussions on V-Twin issues, and much more. And most of it has been conceived and put together in the last eight months.
AVTDS solves two challenges for the industry; it satisfies long-standing exhibitor demands for a show built for the V-Twin market, and its co-location with Dealer Expo gives multiline dealers who span V-Twin and metric the ability to experience two separate environments in one weekend and in one location.
“The powersports industry really needed one good show that we can all go to,” says Grady Pfeiffer, sales representative for AVTDS and a key adviser in the show’s launch. “It saves time and money.”
Conversely, V-Twin dealers will need to head into the Dealer Expo, as many exhibitors with V-Twin and metric lines are exhibiting in the other halls – including Vance & Hines, Performance Machine and more.
Rinehart, Arlen, CC and more
AVTDS was announced last summer with cornerstone exhibitors Biker’s Choice, Custom Chrome and National Powersport Auctions. Soon after, Belt Drives Ltd., CycleVisions and Danny Gray signed on. “All the sales information and the branding and the logo – that didn’t get out until September 2011 or so,” Pfeiffer says. “So we were well into third quarter before we got everything up and running.”
In mid-September, Rinehart Racing and S&S Cycle signed up. (Rinehart has brought its dyno truck to the show and will open it up for all to see.) And then Arlen Ness and Le Pera came in.
In October, show management announced that there would be a dealer-only custom bike show organized by Bob Kay and Jeff Najar of Biker Pros, the group that runs the Ultimate Builder Custom Show at the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows across the country. You’ll see roughly 30 creations from shops competing in three classes: Freestyle, Modified Bagger and Modified Bobber. Winners will be announced at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Learning Curve Stage.
The Ultimate Dealer Bike Show is being sponsored by American Iron Magazine, which is covering the competition in the Dailies, in its own magazine, online and through social media.
Even though the show opens today, a kickoff reception for the inaugural event will be held in conjunction with the Annual Industry Party Saturday night at the Lucas Oil Stadium. Doors open at 7 p.m. — Arlo Redwine
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