The 2016 AIMExpo kicked off on Thursday from Orlando, Florida’s Orange County Convention Center, featuring a day filled with introductions from many of the industry’s most prominent brands and manufacturers, highlighted by both global and North American debuts. The doors opened to thousands of trade members who filled the show floor, getting a first-hand look at the latest products coming to the marketplace.
Before the doors officially opened to the exhibitor floor on Thursday morning, Yamaha hosted the official global debut of its brand new Yamaha YZF-R6 sport bike. This next-generation model of one of the brand’s most successful models, with more than 150,000 sold in the U.S., integrates leading-edge design as well as MotoGP-inspired technological advances.
The R6 has long been at the forefront of extreme supersport design since its debut in 1999, capturing three World Supersport Championships over the last seven years along with 21 AMA Professional Road Racing titles the past 13 years. The 600cc machine is light, agile, and fast, and continues to be one of the most dynamic looking motorcycles in its class.
The 2017 YZF-R6 is the most aerodynamic motorcycle Yamaha has ever built and features considerable refinements to the brakes, suspension, and chassis. These changes are accompanied by a sophisticated electric control technology, including the brand’s D-Mode system.
The bike is available in three different colors, with an MSRP starting at $12,199.
In addition to the R6, Yamaha also introduced the new FZ-09 naked sport bike. The 2017 model of the bike that blew the growing naked segment wide open features radical new styling and a wide array of performance updates, including adjustable traction control, fully adjustable front forks, anti-lock brakes, and design cues from its sibling, the FZ-10.
With its new specs, the FZ-09 boasts an exciting, torquey, quick-revving character. Its Assist & Slipper Clutch combined with ABS brakes, caters to rider-centric control in a wide range of road conditions and individual riding styles.
The FZ-09 will be available in three colors, starting with an MSRP $8,999.
Rounding out a full slate of new bikes from Yamaha was the customized SCR950 “Checkered Scrambler,” built by Brat Style as part of the brand’s “Yard Built Projects.” This bike falls under Yamaha’s new line of Sport Heritage models, descending from the past with respect to Yamaha’s iconic designs while continuing to push performance forward. The brand has dubbed this category “Faster Sons.”
The “Checkered Scrambler” is the first custom build of the Yamaha SCR950, created by California resident and Japanese native Go Takamine of Brat Style, known for his influence on the custom motorcycle culture.
Honda was one of a handful of manufacturers to present North American debuts on Thursday, including its brand new 25th Anniversary CBR1000RR. The legendary sport bike underwent a major overhaul for 2017, dropping 33 pounds in weight and adding 10 horsepower, which results in a 14% improvement in power-to-weight ratio.
Since it was introduced in 1992, the largest CBR has continued to set the level of expectation for what a bike of its stature should be. The end result of the changes for 2017 is a track-ready machine that will serve as the basis for competition in World Superbike, MotoAmerica, and other road racing series around the world.
Suzuki provided North American debuts for a trio of motorcycles – the 2017 GSX-R1000, 2018 GSX-S750, and V-Strom adventure motorcycle in both 650cc and 1000cc variations.
The GSX-R line is the heart and soul of Suzuki, with the 1000 serving as the “King of the Sportbikes.” The brand’s design philosophies blend effectively with advanced electronics to provide a bike that can adjust to its environment and fine tune its performance to suit a rider’s intentions. A wide array of new features combine with the foundational elements that make this such an iconic motorcycle, making the newest generation of the GSX-R1000 Suzuki’s best yet.
Suzuki’s 2018 version of the GSX-S750 features improvements and updates to the brand’s line of naked bikes. With significant engine and chassis enhancements, the new GSX-S750 delivers energetic power that defines this model lineup. The bike inherited the heart and soul of the GSX-R750, which boasts 30 years of racing heritage to make it a new leader in its class.
The highly anticipated new edition of Suzuki’s V-Strom adventure series features thorough updates. 15 years after the bike was introduced to the Suzuki lineup, the V-Strom has evolved into a family of highly respected adventure bikes, appealing to long-distance riders, commuters, and weekend adventurers. The most prominent updates surround engine performance, electronic advancements, and rider comfort, not to mention aggressive styling.
When the action on the exhibitor floor concluded to bring the opening day to a close, attendees celebrated and socialized at the hugely popular HAPPY! Happy Hour presented by Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance. With the iconic Wells Fargo stagecoach nearby, exhibitors, members of the media, and trade professionals relaxed while enjoying beverages and snacks.
Many attendees also took advantage of the opportunity to bid on a specially curated collection of motorcycle memorabilia during the annual Ride for Kids Happy Hour Auction hosted by National Powersport Auctions (NPA) benefits the Cycle World Joseph C. Parkhurst Education Fund. A full 100 percent of the proceeds went towards the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation college scholarship program.
Text and Photos provided by AIMExpo