Dealer Expo 2009

By Jorge Cuartas

The 41st Annual Indianapolis Dealer Expo just wrapped up at the new Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indy. The “Dealer Show” as it has come to be known plays host to thousands of Industry insiders, and is generally the place where seeds are sewn, and relationships are built for racers, and sponsors alike. It’s also the place where you can catch a glimpse of the latest and greatest in Motorsports products.

The 2009 version of the show was quite a bit different than in years past, and the dismal state of the economy was the underlying theme. It was obvious that a great percentage of the companies either downsized in both staff and booth size, showed up booth-less, or pulled out of the show altogether. It wasn’t an ATV specific epidemic, as the show itself seemed to be half the size of years past. Among the most notable absentees were Fox, Shift, Troy Lee Designs, Oakley, Scott, MDK Motorsports, Lonestar Racing, Rath Racing and at least another couple dozen heavy hitters. Outside of the actual lack of attendance (in both exhibitors, and dealers) the show was split into two separate venues, which probably contributed to the “smaller” feel. The RCA Dome which normally houses a portion of the show (usually the V-Twin segment, and the Chinese/ Taiwanese/ Knock-Off-ese products) is now gone (literally, as the dome was demolished), this year those exhibitors were housed in the impressive new Lucas Oil Stadium which was accessible via shuttle. Another huge difference was the lack of ATV presence at the show, whereas in years past ATVs were everywhere, this year they were pretty scarce. There were maybe a dozen full-on race quads, just one Pro rider autograph session (Zac Willett), and no big race team announcements, or unveilings. That isn’t to say that our dirtbike counterparts were any different, as outside of Robbie Madison, there was no real off-road star power in attendance.

The bright side is there was still enough new stuff to get excited about, and as one industry insider put it; “We need lean years now and then, it’s what we refer to as the Squid Filter. Years like this filter out all of the non-Hard-Core squids in the sport. It’s a good thing in disguise.” With that said, check out the New and Improved “Squid-Less” 2009 Dealer Expo…

Image Best of Show

There was really no doubt about it as Dragon Fire Racing’s ITP Baja-Cross Teryx was absolutely amazing. The pictures should speak for themselves, the attention to detail is second to none, and the collaboration between DFR and ITP was a show-stopper, and with good reason, the Teryx’s paint scheme looked battery operated, it was clean, bright, and eye catching, and just about everything from the suspension, to the steering wheel complimented each other perfectly. The Baja Cross tires (which the machine was created to showcase) will surely be a hit with the side by side crowd, as the tread pattern seems aggressive enough to handle all conditions. Every time we walked by this beauty, there was a crowd gawking.

Image Best New Product

While the product itself isn’t new per se, the packaging, and concept are. DWT’s “Champion In A Box: Alumilite Ultimate Race Kit” is nothing short of genius. The kit consists of DWT’s new Rok-Out front wheels, Ultimate G2 Beadlock rear wheels, plus mud caps, and a DWT hat. So why did we consider this the best new product? Simply put; it’s cheap, convenient, and a must have for any serious ATV enthusiast, and anything that’s designed to make our lives easier while keeping our wallets heavier, is a home run to us.

Image Best Model & Booth Combo

Fulmer Helmets went with a pretty damn cool sixties theme that was only made better by the gorgeous model that accompanied it. The booth itself was reminiscent of the Scooby Doo mystery machine, and the model had a great Heather Graham circa Boogie Nights look, and the kind of personality that makes you want to go home and punch your wife in the face. The model had us trying on Fulmer’s entire helmet line, and generally lurking in the booth in the same creepy fashion as Ted Bundy at an all girls dorm.

Image Most Innovative Packaging

Six Six One’s new helmets are awesome, but the boxes they come in are by far the coolest cardboard creations since the Kathy Ireland cut out that I stole from 7-11 as a young boy. Yeah, it’s silly to rant about a box, but they’re really that cool. The cooler design is genius. An honorable mention has to go to their boot boxes, and the cowboy theme. Six Six One knows that Godliness is in the details, and these new boxes are heavenly and reflect perfectly on their impressive products.

Image Best Side By Side

The afore-mentioned ITP Baja Cross Teryx is the clear winner, but in the spirit of spreading the love, we’ll say Koronis Parts’ Polaris RZR was the next best thing. The graphics on this machine were simply awesome, and everything seemed well thought out on the machine.

Image Best Mudder

Gorilla Axle’s monstrosity pretty much made this category a no brainer. This beast towered above the booths. We’re not sure what type of trampoline is necessary to climb aboard, but we’d love to find out. If Noah had one of these, it could’ve saved him a lot of time building that Arc.

 

Image Best Race Quad

While Nick Denoble and Harold Goodman had really strong quads this year, it was Santo Derisi’s #311 machine that seemed to stand out the most. Unlike the others, Derisi’s non-factory plastic, and powdercoat color scheme made it more of a show quad than race quad. It’s almost a shame when you think about how much abuse this machine will see during the race season.

Image Most Innovative New Product

CV-4’s new “Fuel Kool” tank skin is something new, different, and necessary. The Tank Skins are designed for just about every model on the market, and will keep your engine heat from boiling your fuel. CV-4 consistently pushes to stay relevant, and ahead of the competition with new products, and their “Fuel Kool” further exemplifies that.

Image Most Creative Model

Pirelli’s model was creating masterpieces on the backs of her posters, the aspiring artist not only looks better than most other models at the show, she has “doodle-skills” to boot.

 

Image Most Original Booth

Pro Armor flipped over a UTV, and hung a quad from the roof, Nuff said.

Products You’ll Want (Three Categories)

 

Image Tires:
The ITP Holeshot SxS is a true Holeshot tire for your UTV, same tread pattern as the Holeshot MX tires, and same ability to drive your UTV like an MX Quad.

 

Image Apparel:
The new Alpine Stars Tech 10 boots are simply amazing. A-Stars has an impeccable record of creating top of the line boots, and the new Tech-10s are the best of the best.

 

Image Performance:
Hinson’s Slipper Clutch has been credited as one of the main components in Wimmer’s dominance in 2008. The Slipper Clutch is the one product that every racer could benefit from.

More of what we learned this year…

The economy will weed out the squids.

There were no minis on hand in either two or four wheels thanks to the new CPSC ruling, which we hope will be overturned very soon.

Everyone now speaks in “Parts Per Million”, and lead experts are coming out of the woodwork.

Erick “Big E” Bartoldus will not rest until Six Six One is at the top.

Transworld MX, and Quad Magazine can’t help but throw the best parties at Indy year after year.

Image While Indy partied hard at the 41st annual Dealer Expo, some of the hardest partiers to ever land on the ATV scene raced their millionth Monster Jam Quad Wars at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH. Left to right is Adam Cook and Joe Anney.

MX Sports is fighting tooth and nail to fix the newest CPSC fiasco.

Robbie Madison fears nothing, and has big plans for ’09.

Moto X-Perts will be a force to be reckoned with at the GNCCs this year, and might just be the new top team.

The CPSC might just kill the knock-off market, and bring integrity back to the youth ATV marketplace, not to mention save new customers the headache of buying garbage by accident.

Image And our parting shot comes from the Rock and Roll City…. While many riders benched raced at Indy, 1953 National Quad Champ, Nick Little took yet another Quad Wars victory in Cleveland (as part of the rival “Pittsburgh” team) on Gary Denton’s former race quad.

  • Tags:

  • Comments

    comments

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    ATV Scene.com