The 2009 Indy Dealer Expo is officially over, and after days of searching and hours of compiling, we’ve narrowed the lineup of new products down to the following top ten items, and we need your help in deciding which is the best of show! Read on to see the top ten goodies and to see how you can be a part of the selection process, and maybe even get your name in Dirt Rider Magazine!
Chris Denison’s Top Five
1. Ogio Stepup Ramp
Each and every time I walked past the Ogio booth at the Indy Trade Show, a gaggle of onlookers was gawking over the Ogio stepup ramp. In addition to the obviously high construction quality that seems to be the standard at Ogio, this ramp features a radical feature in the mid-ramp “step” that your bike’s rear wheel settles into while loading. This allows the loader to take a step up into the back of his or her truck without having to worry about the bike sliding backwards. Sound cool? It is, and the design and style of the ramp is almost as impressive as the fact that Ogio was able to re-invent an unthinkably simple product by making it even more practical. This item will undoubtedly be copied in the next few months, but keep in mind that Ogio was the originator, and the new stepup ramp could easily be the coolest product of the 2009 Dealer Expo.
2. UFO Reactor Two Evolution Chest Protector
When our advertising Ninja Damian Ercole brought me over to the UFO booth to check out their new Leatt-compatible chest protector, I was certainly expectant but not at all prepared for what I’d find. Rather than designing armor that simply fits on top of or with the Leatt neck brace, UFO’s Reactor Two Evolution fits under a Leatt Brace. So what’s so special about this? Only the fact that this helps distribute the force of on impact to the brace without altering its intended purpose or function. Critics of the Leatt Brace (me) have worried that the pressure of the brace could do more harm than good on a rider’s spine or sternum, but with the UFO chest protector this may no longer be an issue. Ready for the bold statement? Here it is: the Reactor Two Evolution is the best Leatt-compatible chest protector—manufactured or handmade—that I’ve ever seen.
3. Motion Pro TiPro Light Titanium Wrenches
Face it: tools are cool, but really trick tools are even better. These new Motion Pro Titanium Wrenches were designed to go inside your fanny pack so that you can shed some weight without sacrificing your arsenal of wrenches, and their titanium construction makes them as factory as can be. Shown here is the 13mm wrench, but a complete kit of 8mm, 10mm and 12mm wrenches is also available. This is a must-have for any serious trail or desert rider who won’t leave home without his tools. Tell me you don’t want a set of these!
4. Maxxis Maxxcross Radial SI Tire
An industry first for off-road motorcycle tires, Maxxis released their new Maxxcross Radial SI tire at the Indy trade show, and the buzz was strong. The radical radial construction allows the tire to have a larger contact patch, which as you can imagine works to give the bike more control and better ride comfort in off-road applications. The SI in the title refers to the Soft/ Intermediate compound of the tire, but it is said to work like a dream in a variety of situations and terrain types. Just when you thought that tires were as high-tech as can be, Maxxis had to come around and reinvent the wheel once again. I don’t know about you, but I’m psyched to see this sucker in action.
5. Fasst Co. Brake Clevis and Pedal Return Spring Kit
Fasst Company’s new Brake Clevis kit is the hot ticket to dialing in a bike’s rear brake pedal, and it does so in an ingenious, simply manner. By allowing pedal resistance to be adjusted via a high-tech spring system, this snappy Kit gets rid of the slop and allows you to fine tune your brake pedal to total perfection. Gone are the days when you could only adjust your brake so much: thanks to Fasst *** this smart solution brings your control to a whole new level. Available in early March, the Fasst Co. Brake Clevis Kit will likely follow the same path as the Flexx handlebar and will become a staple item among riders who really, truly care about fine-tuning the controls of their motorcycles. I’m sure that the Factory teams will be all over these, too!
Pete Peterson’s Top Five
6. ASV Inventions Adjustable-Offset Triple Clamp
My vote for the coolest item is this adjustable-offset triple clamp from ASV Inventions. It works by moving the steering stem location in the top clamp, and allowing the forks to swivel in the lower clamp. Offset is changed, rake is changed just a little, and your bike has new handling characteristics. The product will be available soon, is likely to weigh less than stock, and will be priced competitively with other triple clamps on the market. Riders have been playing with different offsets for a while now, but most products require the rider to pick one and live with it. Some products offer adjustability, but not with this much range, and I’ve heard some bikes respond well to some pretty radically different offsets than stock. A vote for this product is a real vote for change.
7. Talon Preloader
Another product that really deserves to win Best Product is the Talon Preloader. You put this ring on your shock and with a simple ‘click’ with a supplied tool (a small rod that fits the holes on the collar) you put a full turn of preload on your shock. It currently has four settings but the production unit will probably have five. I know this product is going to be popular with dads who buy a 125 for their kid then want to ride the bike themselves (Dave Hamblin, are you reading?). This item can make setting the sag, the most critical suspension adjustment, as easy as turning a clicker.
8. Bikee Kineo wheels
On to the super exotic, these Bikee Kineo wheels look way cooler than the photo shows. They allow for a totally sealed rim for tubeless running, or if you do run a tube you will not have a spoke poking through it. They look totally trick and they allow spoke replacement without removing the tire – just thread a new one in through a straight shot through the hub.
9. Fox Shock
The Fox Shock gets a nomination because of its adjustability in the final 25% of the stroke (in addition to all the other standard adjustments). Now you don’t have to adjust your suspension stiff on the small stuff to handle the big stuff. Run it right for each section. It’s also exciting to see Fox Shocks being offered again. The company’s air shocks were the hot ticket back in the 70’s, maybe this shock is the beginning of Fox’s return to dominance.
10. Baja Designs Diablo Headlight
My final nominee is the Baja Designs Diablo headlight with built in battery pack. This is a real riding light, not to be confused with the lights that come stock on off-road bikes. So many people buy MX bikes for off-road, and their options to re-wire the stator for real lighting power is severely limited in most cases. This product lets you stay (and look) full moto at the track, then with the pull of a few simple straps head off to experience the surreal thrill of riding at night. With this new product, now you really have no excuse to let the sun tell you when you can and can’t have your riding fun.
So, which of the above is the coolest product of the Indy show? You decide! Comment below to leave your vote for one of the above items. At 8:00pm Pacific Time on Wednesday, February 25th (one week from the posting of this blog), we’ll close the polls and tally the results as to what YOU think is the best new product of the Indy Trade Show.
Note: Depending on the quality of the comments below, we may quote you in Dirt Rider Magazine’s Product of the Year story, so be sure to post your opinion in a clear, well-edited manner and you could be seeing your vote in print!