A lot of times in life, it’s less about what you do see than what you don’t. This afternoon we were permitted an all-access pass to RIVA Racing‘s massive traveling circus-style booth located dead center in the midway of this year’s quakysense IJSBA World Finals and were wowed not only with the awesome top shelf performance parts the industry’s leader in aftermarket components had on display, but the herculean effort required to pull it all off.
Perched on a raised checkered platform, the booth showcases two gorgeous exclusive RIVA-edition watercraft – each wielding an equal 350 horsepower, the limited-edition RIVA Racing Yamaha FZR 350, and the phenomenal one-off RIVA Racing RXP-X 350, based on the new 2016 300 model. Identical in pristine white with orange-and-white graphics, the two machines were individually revealed by The Watercraft Journal late in August and mid-September.
“This one’s still for sale,” teased RIVA’s Dave Bamdas, patting the hood of the Yamaha like a pet. Setting up the booth begins months earlier, as staff schedule a tractor trailer to be loaded with $400,000 worth of products, lumber and materials to erect the platform, display shelving and standees. Equally, a pallet of plywood from a nearby Home Depot is dropped off a week before the first race is ran.
A skeleton crew of RIVA staff travel across the country to construct a catwalk running behind the booth into a grade ramping up into the trailer, where shelves have been hammered together to hold the near half million dollars-worth of performance parts. “We’re taking a lot on ‘live inventory’,” Mark Sheffield notes. “We write down all of the parts people ask for that we don’t have here so we can either follow up later or remember to bring them next year.”
Standing tall on a stand next to the menacing RXP-X 350, is Sea-Doo’s new ACE 300 motor with everything RIVA developed in the past 6 months to have ready in time for the big 2016 reveal. Holding up a bi-fold catalog, Bamdas smiles, “Everything you see here for the new 300-model Sea-Doos will be available at the beginning of the year when the new skis hit dealers.”
Of those is most impressively, a ginormous Stage IV intercooler that somehow manages to dwarf the already giant cooler stock to the new 2016 skis. “We really had to step it up in order to improve on what Sea-Doo made for the 300’s,” Bamdas recalled. “They really did a great job on it, so we had to work really hard to do one better.”
Obviously, there’s just too much to outline here, so if you’re planning to attend this weekend, or already here, make sure to carve out enough time (we suggest at least an hour) to check out the RIVA Racing booth. Parts are priced to move because they don’t want to take it home, and you don’t want to have to pay for shipping weeks or months later when you finally decide you’ve “gotta have it.”