A Shrunken Dealer Expo Meanders Through a Snowy, Sleepy Indianapolis

The "busy" downtown of Indianapolis, Indiana on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of a recession...

Cold, snowy and sleepy Indianapolis, Indiana played host to the 42nd annual Dealer Expo – the largest motorcycle industry tradeshow in North America. Clearly the downturn in the economy has taken its toll on the show, which has shed all of Lucas Oil Stadium in size – and then some. Even with the vastly reduced floor space, the show was relatively sedate – it doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that there were less people in attendance.

Though foot traffic was down, the overall atmosphere was positive. Deals to bring you cool new products for 2010 were still being made – and most vendors were surprisingly positive, as they had prepared for the worst, expecting the show to be considerably slower than it actually was.

Taking a defensive position seemed to be the name of the game as large players like Alpinestars and others shared booths with distributors or counterparts rather than hauling their corporate rigs across the country to attend.

When all was said and done, it wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either. Clearly, this is an industry running on life support. As a special added bonus, I walked out with a wicked case of food poisoning. Stand by – we’ll release our 2010 Show Picks later this week.

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