V-Twin Expo 2012. New Custom Bagger Event Will Be Introduced.

Obviously, the good thing about competition, even just a little bit of it, is to push you to innovate. Because in 2012 the Cincinnati V-Twin Expo will face some competition from the Indianapolis V-Twin Dealer Show to attract vendors and dealers, and also because owner of the show Easyriders needs to promote a new title dedicated to baggers, the V-Twin Expo will organize a Road Iron Bagger Review. The idea is to invite some well known builders to exhibit their with custom bagger creations and also to organize a seminar where they will interact with dealers about how to take advantage of one of the hottest trends of these last 5 years.

The Builders will cover the overall bagger market opportunities including hot new products that sell well, installation ideas to grow their business. Builders who have already confirmed their presence are: Arlen Ness,, Brian Klock, Drag Specialties’ Tom Motzko, Jim Nasi, Dave Perewitz, Paul Yaffe and Bad Dad. More to be announced. The 12th Annual V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati February 4-6, 2012 is not open to the public and focuses exclusively on the American v-twin motorcycle market. V-Twin Expo. (picture Jim Nasi Bagger)

23 Responses to “V-Twin Expo 2012. New Custom Bagger Event Will Be Introduced.”

  1. 1 dealndeal Oct 4th, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Good initiative, but is it enough to attract more dealers. to the v-twin expo?

  2. 2 Furmentinhate Oct 4th, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Talk about tragically misreading the riding tealeaves….


    Easter Egg Baggers?

    It’s like the downturn never happened…

  3. 3 Kansas Twin Oct 4th, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Baggers? The bagger trend started in 2000. Today’s trend is more affordable Sportsters and Cafe racers, not baggers. Sales of baggers are going to decline with old bikers abandoning motorcycling. Anyway, most bagger owners buy a couple of bolt-on parts, nothing more. Do you expect all dealers to build ultra expensive and overdone baggers? How is it going to help dealers to see these baggers? We already know them. Looks to me like a promo for these builders, nothing more. Just smoke and more smoke. Not worth the trip to Cinci.

  4. 4 Tommy Oct 4th, 2011 at 9:58 am

    As a dealer give me only one good reason to go to the 2 dealer shows of Cincinnati & Indianapolis? New parts? I receive by email the info from all vendors, see the new parts in this website and others. Discounts? Are you kidding? Discounts are the same before and after the show. Having a good time? Yes, but for the price of travel, hotel, food and drinks, I prefer to go for a few days on a caribbean island than freeze my ass in 2 mid-west cities.

  5. 5 Preston Oct 4th, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Instead of having one strong v-twin dealer show, now we have 2, two weeks apart, fighting with each other. Result is that both are going to fail in 2012.

  6. 6 Boss Hawg Oct 4th, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Arlen Ness, Brian Clock and Tom Motzko the only ones above that even have a clue about engineering a Bagger!

    VTwin Expo, Easyriders and Dave Nichols with Big Bear Choppers…haha…give it a break please.

    WE are doing Indy this year.

    Boss Hawg

  7. 7 Mark Oct 5th, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Too little, too late.

    The V-Twin show needs new blood. The same old vendors have been exhibiting for years, and so the show is a carbon copy of the previous years show, and the previous years, and the year previous to that – and so on ad nauseum.

    I exhibited at that show a few times. There is one guy who decides what all the industry awards are, and it’s not based on innovation, but how much $$ you’ve spend with the rags over the years.

    They push away new vendors by stepping on them to help the big boys who’ve been there forever. It sucked being in the back corner of the event when other new vendors who had an “in” were front-and-center. So after doing the show a few years, we skipped a year. And the next year, we get a letter from Paisano that says “come to the V-Twin Expo! All the fly-by-night companies are gone, now only the REAL vendors are left! Now is the time to come!”

    Way to insult your customers, you dopes. So you call my company a fly-by-night because we didn’t exhibit – while being blissfully ignorant to the fact that we didn’t exhibit because your show sucked – we did no business, didn’t get any new dealers, didn’t sell a damn thing.

    And it’s not our product or display, because we will do tens of thousands of $$$ in Indy with the same personnel, same display, same products.

    Your show just does not attract buyers. It attracts a few main central characters of the industry who go to meet their friends and BS with one another. And the rest of the attendees are guys with tiny little shops who will never buy anything from any of the vendors there, but just like to feel like “part of the industry”. Why do I want to travel half way across the country to see “Bob’s Cycle Service” in his 400sq-ft shop that he works out of nights when he’s not working his day job? Bob may be a nice guy – but he’s not who I want to spend THOUSANDS of $$’s on meeting.

    The V-Twin expo is dead.

    Some enterprising individual needs to start a show that runs concurrently or immediately before/after Daytona. All the vendors are there, all the dealers are there, and it would be easy. Just a 2-day show for dealers only, perhaps a 3rd day for the public. Win/win.

  8. 8 Hawk Oct 5th, 2011 at 6:28 am

    Mark wrote exactly what many of my friends of the industry are thinking. Jim Betlach does his best to please vendors, but his employer Easyriders has always been arrogant thinking that they rule the industry. Stay home or try the Indy show or spend your money in the Bahamas. At least you will go back at the shop with a nice tan and more energy.

  9. 9 Tom Keefer/Franklin Church Choppers Oct 5th, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Hey Mark, it’s the small guys working a day job and bustin their hump every evening and on weekends that are buying products, if the product is worth buying! You speak about these “tiny little shops”, do you think all the big shops just appeared out of no where? Talk about a dope!!!

  10. 10 Brett Oct 5th, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Will skip the V-Twin Expo and go to Indianapolis at the Dealer Show. In addition to the V-Twin section I am interested to visit and network with those on the metric side of the business. More to see for the same price.

  11. 11 The Supreme Team Oct 5th, 2011 at 9:08 am

    New blood would definitely be a good idea, but I concede…it’s tough for vendors to put thousands of dollars (About 5K) per show out in just a couple weeks, especially when it’s running over $2K just for 10×10 booth, let alone getting your stuff and your guys out there into the hotel and booth.

    My thought? Quit bringing in big rigs to make up the gap in vendor absence, double the size of the space to a 10×20 for the same price, and you’ll get people there who don’t feel that they’re being gouged for a sub par show. Vendor presence will appear more sprawling and not concentrated in small booths, which means a bit more room for dealers to roam, speak with reps, etc.

    Indy does appear awfully tempting. Better yet, considering that I saw about 50% west coast manufacturers at Cinci last year, bring it back to Vegas. Then you can’t bitch about the weather, the entertainment, or the locale.

  12. 12 Bruce Oct 5th, 2011 at 9:28 am

    The v-twin expo is digging its own hole deeper and deeper by refusing to listen to any suggestions made by vendors during former years 1. changing the days (start on thursday morning/close on sunday) 2. open the show to the public all sunday with a bike show competition. 3. change the location, we don’t like much cinci. 4. stop acting like divas, revise the way you give awards because you lost credibility a long time ago, stop being greedy and lower your booth prices. I don’t see how exhibiting a couple of high end baggers is going to convince dealers to visit the show!

  13. 13 Ger Branson Oct 5th, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Here what I think. Dealers don’t need the V-Twin Expo. Dealers don’t need the V-Twin Dealer Show. As somebody mentioned we get all info we need via internet. Demo? How many products need a demo? You can watch demo videos online or visit vendors in big rallies. How many new products are introduced in these shows? Almost none. Vendors would save a lot of money by not participation to these 2 shows and could pass the savings to us. Baggers section: it looks more like Hamster friends help Hamster friends…

  14. 14 Renegade Chuck Oct 5th, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Wow, what banter…. I’ve been thru these economic downturns before. One thing is for sure.. A second show does not “fix” the economy or the challenges faced by our our businesses. If we allow a second show to draw from the V-Twin show, every exhibitor will loose. I’ve seen this in the Boating Industry before. The fragmenting of the shows weaken, not one…. but, both of them.

    For the sake of repeating myself, Renegade is going to unveil our newest items in Cincinnati. Sure I’d rather have the show closer to the West Coast however, then 2/3rd of the industry could travel to the Left Coast. That not being practical! Cincinnati is a gracious city that welcomes our industry. With Hotels across the street from the Convention Center as well as great restaurants within walking distance, the bars overflow with OUR industry.

    Renegade is taking a leading position to bring new products, New displays and Dealer specials NOT offered before or after the show. Each and every Vendor should publicize extraordinary specials for dealers attending the show. Each Vendor should make sure every dealer has a reason to go to the shows.

    Our dealer special will be EXTRAORDINARY… Only available in Cincinnati!!!!

  15. 15 Fredp Oct 5th, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I still say take the cinncy v-twin show to Kansas City, Kansas. Great downtown, great convention center, and smack dead in the middle of the country!

  16. 16 Mark Oct 6th, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Tom Keefer,

    I respect your motivation and I hope you succeed… but it’s a simple fact that the small shops are not the ones doing volume.

    I manufacture products. I have dealers who have 30 employees and are franchised for 4 different bike brands. That dealer might order $50k worth of stuff from me a year.

    A one man show is going to maybe order twice from me a year, if that.

    Don’t be insulted, it’s just how it is. A dealer doing $10 million a year in sales is going to do a lot more for me than a guy doing $50k in sales.

    I am happy to sell to the small guys like you, but I don’t want to travel half way across the country to do it. There is no ROI.

    And the fact is, the V-Twin expo doesn’t bring in the big buyers, OR the small buyers. It brings in a lot of one-man-night-time-shops who just want to feel they are part of the industry and tell their buddies they met Arlen Ness, but people at the V-Twin expo aren’t there to buy product. It is simply not a valuable means of meeting new customers. That is my experience and many others. It is what it is.

  17. 17 Sukoshi Fahey Oct 6th, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I think Jim Betlach has always done his very best to support the V-Twin industry. Too many people talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. It’s not easy to organize and host a show, especially when times are tough. And by the way if baggers weren’t popular why would Hot Bike magazine invest in coming out with a new one dedicated to just that.

  18. 18 Harry Oct 6th, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    “And by the way if baggers weren’t popular why would Hot Bike magazine invest in coming out with a new one dedicated to just that.”

    You are wrong. They are popular with aging bikers for evident reasons. But how many customize their baggers. Very few. How many are going to do a full custom job. Very, very, very few. Almost zero. Harley doesn’t invest in communication towards the aging baby boomers, but towards the young, the kind of the Sportster crowd. We have already 4 bagger magazines. One is going to shut down very soon, 2 are shaky, 1 was just launched and will fail. None has more than a very marginal readership. Magazines have no clue about marketing and motorcycle trends. There is room for 1 bagger magazine with a very low readership. There is room for a youngster magazine with a much wider readership. That’s it. So, if you see a new magazine, you think that it’s the proof of a new big trend? You can’t have learned marketing.

  19. 19 Tom Keefer? Franklin Church Choppers Oct 6th, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Hey Mark, I appreciate your response, but what is your company and what do you sell? Maybe I may be already buying your products. I would like to support any company that works as hard as I do to prosper in this tough econemy.

  20. 20 Nazi Choppers Oct 10th, 2011 at 1:01 am

    Nazi Choppers will try and be there to blow your minds.

  21. 21 K and G Oct 10th, 2011 at 9:36 am

    This dealer show competition is more than that – it is a war between two sides who seem to have the relatively same goals as long as it’s done their way. We have been long-time supporters of the Cincy show. Last year, we went to both and with or without this new revelation in VTwin coverage from Indy, we are struggling to make a decision regarding two shows or one. If it is one, it will be Indy.

    The Cincy show does a great job of putting energy into the problem but the time and money commitment for two shows in two weeks just a short drive apart just plain makes no sense. The Cincy show needs to rethink the problem and find another time slot. If we could see what’s hot in February and what’s hot in July, perhaps, we might find value in both shows. The solution to the problem is way above my pay grade but adding a bagger section is definitely not the answer.

  22. 22 Blackmax Oct 10th, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    As stated before, The V-Twin Expo and Mr. Betlach has been very kind to us over the years. We have met many, many of the Moto-Jounalists that we have admired and tried to learn from.
    (That means you too, Cyril !!!) We’ve been to Indy, did not like it and given the choice between the two, we choose Cincinnati! (And not just because it in our hometown, it’s because we seem to reach the most important and influential people in our industey there) !!!!!

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Cyril Huze