Welcome back for part two of my series covering AIMExpo 2024, North America's largest powersports tradeshow. Missed part one? Check it out here.
Whether or not AIMExpo was actually the "largest in North America" is up for debate this year; while there was no shortage of exhibitors, overall event attendance was remarkably low. I don't have any official numbers, but multiple exhibitors told me it was maybe 25% or less of the previous year's turnout! Not great for the event, but it was good news for me as a media attendee. I got to spend a lot of un-interrupted time with brand reps, and it was much easier to film on the show floor without a crowd of people milling about.
Without further ado, let's dive in! You can watch this video to get the full story, or keep reading for the highlights.
GoWow Electric Dirtbikes
Gowow has received some criticism for copying Cake's iconic design; at first glance, the Ori (their flagship model) looks like a carbon copy of the Cake Kalk. Closer inspection shows that the Ori is quite different under the hood. The Ori is rocking a much beefier 72 volt 2.8kWh battery, and generates a mind-boggling 420 newton-meters of torque (compared to the Kalk's 280). A feature of the Ori which I love is the terrain-specific riding modes; change between standard, sand, and snow and the bike's handling and power output adapt accordingly. This is much more robust than the typical speed modes found on most dirtbikes, where only your power output and top speed are affected.
I'm also excited that Gowow is working on making the Ori a street legal dual sport. They already have an L1E certification for their European version, and they're working on DOT certifying their US one as well.
Ryvid Anthem Electric Motorcycle
Of all the products I saw at AIMExpo, the Anthem was my favorite. I already loved how it looked from seeing photos - it's a beautifully designed machine - but seeing it in person just made it that much better! There are no welds anywhere on this folded stainless steel frame; it's an aerospace-inspired design that greatly reduces the weight of the chassis, giving the bike a very low center of gravity thanks to the low-mounted battery. The battery is also cleverly designed, with wheels on the bottom so you can drop it out and wheel it inside for charging. Heck, you can even wheel it into a coffee shop and charge while you work remotely using the built-in 120v plug!
There are so many other nice touches on this street bike, such as the adjustable seat which allows for a 30 to 34 inch inseam range. Great news for sharing the bike with someone of a different size, and it also makes it a bit more approachable if you want to lower down the seat just to make it easier to swing your leg over. This is intended as more of a city/urban bike, with a 75 mile (121 km) range. It does have a top speed of 75 mph (121 kmh) so it is technically highway capable, but sustained riding at that speed will drop your range down to just 38 miles (61 kmh).
JackRabbit Micro E-Bikes
I'm never sure what to call the Jackrabbit vehicles... they're somewhere between an e-bike and a scooter. Whatever they are, they're certainly awesome, and one of my all-time favorite transportation solutions. They really are the epitome of micromobility; lightweight, versatile, and incredibly fun to ride. Despite their small appearance they're remarkably comfortable to sit on, and have notably been used by several NBA teams, so any size of person will be good to go.
Their latest model, the XG, takes an already great design and makes it even better. With a beefier 500 watt motor and dual batteries it offers more speed and range, and even has a range extension accessory that increases the total range to roughly 64 miles (103 km). The most exciting part about all of Jackrabbit's models is the fact that you can fly with them! They fold down surprisingly flat and compact (enough to fit three in the trunk of a Tesla), and the batteries are 154 watt-hour capacity, which means you can bring two of them in your carry-on luggage.
I had a great time at AIMExpo 2024; I just wish I'd had more time to talk to more exhibitors! There was a lot of electrified tech there, including a lot of new companies I've never heard of. Unfortunately, it proved challenging finding reps to talk to at some exhibits. I was shocked when Denago told me I wasn't allowed to film anything until their marketing guy returned, and no, they didn't know when he would be back 🤷
Regardless, my first AIMExpo was a resoundingly positive experience, and I hope to make it again next year.