Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 24—The 2017 American International Motorcycle Expo presented by Nationwide (AIMExpo) came to a close on Sunday, capping off a memorable debut in Columbus. Consumer attendees continued to walk the aisles inside the Greater Columbus Convention Center throughout the final day, getting a firsthand look at all the new models and products coming to the marketplace, in addition to making purchases on gear and accessories on sale from select exhibitors.
The highlight of the final day was the culmination of the Championship of the Americas. The finest custom bike builders in the country showcased their latest creations at North America’s premier competition, which serves as an automatic qualifier for the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building. A total of 31 bikes from 24 builders were entered in one of four classes, with an eventual winner crowned for Free Style, Performance Custom, Retro Custom, and Street Custom. Additionally, all attendees casted votes to determine the People’s Choice.
In the end, Tim Dixon of Gas Axe Chop Shop in Ten Mile, Tennessee, and his bike Pennie Lane earned first-place honors in the Free Style category, reserving his spot on the American contingent that will travel to Cologne, Germany, and Intermot 2018 in search of the world championship. People’s Choice went to the BMW Alpha built by Salt Lake City machinist Mark Atkinson, and inspired by a concept created by Turkish designer Mehmet Doruk Erdem.
In addition to the Championship of the Americas, Custom Culture powered by BMW Motorcycles also housed the Simpson “Paint Slinger” Shootout. Here, 20 Simpson M30 Bandits were custom painted by some of the most talented artists and were on display for all to see. The winner was Kacey Elkins of Krossover Customs in Stanford, Kentucky, whose design will become a limited edition run of 400 helmets.
Antique motorcycle racer Brittney Olsen served as ambassador, sharing her passion for educating current and future motorcyclists about the early era of American motorcycle racing, while also putting some of her own vintage race bikes on display.
Complementing Olsen’s space was “Artisans Row,” where talented industry craftsmen put their talents on display with specialty skills like leather work and pinstriping.
The city of Columbus’ presence was also felt on the show floor, as renowned local dealerships A.D. Farrow Co. and Iron Pony Motorsports both saw high traffic at their exhibit space.
A.D. Farrow is the oldest Harley-Davidson dealer in America, celebrating 105 years in 2017. After originally opening in nearby Nelsonville in 1912, the business continued to grow, expanding into Columbus with its flagship location in 1924. Today, A.D. Farrow has three locations throughout Columbus, including its original location, and has remained a stalwart in the community while also serving as an icon for the industry.
Iron Pony Motorsports serves as one of the largest dealerships in the nation, with 12 different manufacturers represented inside its 133,000 square foot showroom. The family-owned dealership opened in 1975 and is dedicated to serving its customers with an immense collection of OEM and aftermarket products, along with an EagleRider Columbus rental program and its own riding academy in association with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and Motorcycle Ohio safety instructors.
Perhaps no company has had a greater impact on the city of Columbus more than Nationwide, who stepped up to become presenting sponsor of AIMExpo this year and served an integral role in the immediate success of the show in its new location.
The Nationwide exhibit space was front and center on the show floor, giving attendees a chance to snap a photo with a real, Nationwide-sponsored Dale Earnhardt, Jr. NASCAR stock car that was shipped directly from Hendrick Motorsports headquarters in Charlotte.