Indianapolis in the winter isn�t exactly a riders paradise, but for your dealer it�s when and where they find out about all the latest and greatest in product offerings, ranging from helmets and boots to sunglasses and batteries.
The major bike manufacturers don�t have booths at this event. It�s made up of hundreds of vendors who have something you can wear or use with your motorcycle while riding. Tire pumps, alarms, light kits, huggers, chrome billets, luggage, gloves, suspension and more make up this toy store of goodies.
We saw some great new innovations during the event and bumped into no less than a dozen companies from the Northwest evangelizing their goods. Let�s look at the local participants and then I�ll switch gears and tell you about some of the more intriguing new products I saw.
Buy Anti Monkey Butt now!
Larry Hoppe and staff were on hand again this year to show off their line of tires. The Azaro series the company came to market with some years back are still a favorite around the Sound RIDER! offices. These are Sport Touring tires preferred over Michelins and Dunlops any day of the week. But the latest and greatest is the huge Venom X that�s a shoe-in for the custom cruiser market. You need big? You�ll get it with the X.
Scott Baker was on hand to once again show his line of hang dry ventilator hangers that allow clothes to dry and air out while holding their shape hanging in the closet. You may have seen this at their booth locally during the International Motorcycle show the last few years in Seattle.
Bardahl was showing off new packaging for their line of motorcycle specific motoroils. Get out your calculators kids, the sizes are moving from quarts to liters. Bardahl has been busy the last few years formulating various oils and synthetics for the motorcycle world.
All three Brown Brothers were on hand (Brent, Chris and Duane - at left) to show off their ever expanding line of aftermarket goodies for current model off-road Japanese bikes. This was their first year with a booth at the show, which precluded with a rocky start when their trailer flipped en route to the expo. Somehow their booth popped up without a scratch.
Tom Lynott and company came out to show off their current line of TN�G scooters (Twist n� Go). The biggest news from CMSI is the upcoming re-introduction of the Lambretta scooter line.
Marc Barros and a crew from Seattle manned a booth to show off the MotoCam and respective accessories, an onboard camera line which originated in Seattle about a year ago. We used the MotoCam successfully last summer to film parts of our 3 Pass Blast and Sportbike Northwest documentaries. The latest innovation is a much needed microphone add-in which can be utilized when rigging the system to a hand held video recorder.
In the last few years Gerbing�s Heated Clothing of Union Washington has grown from a mail-order and internet based seller of their heated apparel, to building a dealer network of more than 70 motorcycle shops around the US. The company has also developed products for the golf and sports markets too. The latest unit is a heated bag you can slip your hands into while hunting, shooting golf, or doing any other outdoor activity that require steady warm hands. And even better, the unit can run off its own battery pack.
MotoComm of Redmond Washington produces two way communications units that combines the simplicity of existing two way radio technology and a single unit. More elaborate offerings include a unit that will manage a cell phone, radar detector, CD/MP3 unit and two way radio communication. A direct competitor to Chatter Box, MotoComm�s line provides high quality at a low price.
Now in their 3rd year at the expo, Nikwax was once again letting dealers know about the products they have to keep their customers dry. This year they scooped up an interview for the line featuring yours truly discussing the various products with Speed�s Two Wheel Tuesday host, Greg White.
It�s a small world. We had to go all the way to Indianapolis to find out there�s a manufacturer of off-road titanium springs located in Renton. The springs are far lighter than standard springs, durable and cost less than you might think.
The new URAL team was out showing off their Russian made three-wheelers. URAL has also come forth with a two wheel cruiser model for 2004. All the bikes in the line are up to DOT specs and feature disc brakes including their classic retro models. URAL recently moved it�s headquarters to Redmond, WA. See accompanying story.
Jeanne DeMund and the staff from Tukwila showed off a number of new helmets, but have also expanded the line to include street jackets and boots. Watch for a future test article.
The following products will be added to the Sound RIDER! store by the time you read this article
Sounds like a funny name, but if you like to ride long or hard, then you know the kind of wear and tear you can put on your epidermis below the belt � and that�s not funny. The guys who invented Anti Monkey Butt Powder are riders themselves, competing in events like the Baja 500. The powder is formulated to put on BEFORE you ride to cut the friction on your skin from the start and allow it to absorb the poisons your skin releases through sweat that otherwise can cause irritation. At $6 a bottle, a little goes a long way. During recent testing the results were excellent with the powder performing as promised. And because it�s made with talc, not cornstarch, it�s safe for ladies too (most foot powders, which people attempt to use for the same results, are not). Visit the Sound RIDER! store for more details.
CruzTools makes a great line of tools for the common man. Since many used bikes are sold without tools, the CruzTools line is the perfect addition to any bike purchase � and that goes for new bike purchases too. The tools are all forged steel (while many manufacturers are providing sub par sandcast tools that break with minimal force). CT makes tools for both Metric and American bikes that are compact and travel well. Visit the Sound RIDER! store for more details.
We�ve added two lines of eyewear to the store, including sunglasses, goggles and prescription options (see accompanying feature). Wiley X manufactures a high end line of eyewear, while Global Vision provides a low cost alternative and a number of polarized models. We think there�s a market for interchangeable lenses and have added a number of models that offer just that. Clear for nighttime riding with a half or three-quarter helmet, yellow for overcast and hazy conditions, and a myriad of other colors to suit your Technicolor appetite. Yum. Visit the Sound RIDER! store for more details.