Held over the weekend of October 3 - 4 at Bendigo's Prince of Wales Showgrounds, the Expo attracted a good selection of major manufacturers, via local dealerships, as well as specialist suppliers and retailers of motorcycle accessories, clothing, services and more - over 70 exhibitors, all up. The showgrounds location was the perfect choice for the expo, too, as it enabled visitors to park up on the adjacent oval.
Expo organisers estimated close to 6,000 visitors attended over both days, a very encouraging result for a first time regional event.
Beyond the stallholders, there was a special display of Jap classics (including a low mileage RE5 rotary and schmick Honda cafe racer), courtesy of the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, stunts courtesy of Lukey Luke from LLC Stunt Riders, and other activities. Disappointingly, the 'ZERO' electric MX bike was a no-show, after being held up on the wharfs for longer than expected, awaiting customs clearance.
JUST BIKES visited on the Sunday of the event and chatted to several exhibitors, who were all positive in their appraisal of the event's organisation and support. More than a dozen bikes were sold over the weekend, with the apparel exhibitors enjoying similarly good results. One retailer, Big Baz's Biker Gear, of Echuca, VIC, cleared over $8,000 worth of merchandise.
The biggest winner, though, was local resident, Kay Bartolo, who won the major prize in the event's raffle - a brand new Suzuki Bandit 1250. Lucky ladies also scored the second and third prizes in the raffle. The raffle raised more than $10,000 for life saving radiotherapy equipment for the Bendigo Radiotherapy Foundation.
The organising committee learnt a lot from their debut event, and extended their thanks to the long list of names who pitched in to make the event happen. Keen to make the next Expo even bigger and better, the committee are currently in the process of assessing the best time for a future expo. Autumn 2011 is the tentative timeframe for the next Bendigo Bike Expo. Watch this space for details.