The American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) has announced that American road racing legend and former FIM 500cc World Grand Prix Champion Kevin Schwantz has been named “AIMExpo Champion” for the 2014 event. Kevin will serve as the show’s ambassador when the entire motorcycle industry comes together this fall to celebrate the latest and greatest from the powersports marketplace.
Schwantz will also play an integral role in pre-event publicity and promotion, will be a focal point of several of AIMExpo’s festivities and perhaps most importantly, will share his stories and experience with everyone that attends the show.
“I feel truly honored to be selected as this year’s ‘AIMExpo Champion,’” said Schwantz. “This event has completely changed the landscape of the motorcycle industry and provided a much needed jolt of energy for the business in North America. I’m also excited about the opportunity to join such an impressive gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts.”
Schwantz‘s incredible natural talent and “win at all costs” mentality ushered in a new era of competition that remains today, pushing the limits of both man and machine that ultimately led to his winning the World Championship in 1993.
“Kevin is a racer’s racer much like our inaugural Champion, Kenny [Roberts], and carries a star power that very few racers have,” said Larry Little, Vice President and General Manager of AIMExpo. “He’s a proud Texan whose resume speaks for itself, and his talents both on a motorcycle, and off-track activities to give back to the sport, helped him become one of the most popular riders in MotoGP history. He remains a household name across the globe for any racing enthusiast.”
Throughout his illustrious career, Schwantz rode for Suzuki, helping the now iconic brand rise to the prominence it enjoys in racing. The longstanding relationship between Schwantz and Suzuki has become most notable in recent months following the official announcement that the Houston-born rider would continue his pursuit of the one crown jewel that has eluded him, a Suzuka 8 Hours win, at the age of 50.
Schwantz and his Yoshimura Suzuki Legends team had an early exit out of the Suzuka 8-hour race this past weekend due to the wet weather conditions at the start. Schwantz’ teammate Nobuatsu Aoki crashed hard while attempting a pass after just five laps, ending the team’s day before it really even began.
“The fact that Kevin still has that desire to go out there and give it his all adds to his legacy,” added Little. “He’s genuinely a true racer at heart — he lives and breathes motorcycling. It makes him a perfect fit for ‘AIMExpo Champion’.”