The 2010 Indianapolis Dealer Expo was smaller than in years past, but there was no shortage of noteworthy new products. Of the literally thousands of items on display, these are the ones that grabbed our attention.
AGV Sport Solare Jacket
In today's economy, items with the smallest price tags often get the first look. That said, have a look at the Solare from AGV Sport. It's cut from 100-percent polyester fabric with strategic mesh panels built into the torso and arms for plenty of flow-through ventilation. Moisture-wicking material around the neck keeps you from getting hot under the collar, while heavy-duty seams and CE-approved shoulder and elbow armor help maximize tear resistance and minimize bruising in the tip-over we all hope never happens. And the best part? Just look at that price...
The Cycle Guys Sidemount Luggage
Saddlebags and sportbikes have never really worked well together. The affordable stuff usually involves straps and melted nylon, while the secure, purpose-fit kit can cost a grand or more. Twin brothers Tim and Tom Monroe (collectively The Cycle Guys) are changing all that with their Sidemount Luggage System. This affordable solution is unique in that the bags mount to the stock passenger footpeg brackets. The rotating brackets then adjust to clear turn signals and mufflers, and to make the bags sit at the right angle.
Balancing a tire usually isn't very interesting, but Innovative Balancing's display at Indy intrigued us. The firm's Dyna Beads balancing system uses hundreds of high-density ceramic beads inside the tire (inserted at the time of installation or afterward through the valve stem) to balance your bike's tires as they roll. The system not only continuously balances your tires, but eliminates the need for those toxic lead weights that spoil your wheels' appearance and poison the groundwater.
$9.81 and up
Ctek Comfort Indicator
What low-dollar expenditure provides this much peace of mind? The Comfort Indicator from Ctek is a fused battery hook-up with a brain. The LED display lets you see your battery's charge status-it can even serve as an early-warning signal for a failing alternator or rectifier. This handy device is also available as a plug-in for your existing pig-tail or as an in-dash panel.
Sidi Fusion Boots
Italian boots at an affordable price are sure to garner attention, and they certainly got ours when we first peeped them at the Sidi booth. These road and sport boots have all the features of footwear costing twice as much, including calf, toe, heel and ankle protection, dual-compound soles, shift pads and replaceable toe sliders.
Yoshimura R-77 Slip-On
The writing is on the wall, and it won't be long before The Man starts smog-testing motorcycles. Yoshimura is getting the jump on what's sure to be a major pain in the you-know-what with a series of catalytic convertor-equipped slip-ons. These stylish pipes meet the California Air Resources Board's requirements, which are among the strictest in the world. Not only that, Yosh claims its system is cleaner than stock pipes, all while shedding weight, adding power and looking trick. The stainless-steel slip-on is currently only available for the Honda CBR1000RR, but other applications are in the works.
Rockhard Evel Knievel Helmet
This has got to be the most instantly recognizable helmet of all time. Made (in)famous by the late, great, arguably out-of-his-mind Evel Knievel, the classic stars-and-stripes paint scheme now adorns a line of replica helmets. Made by KBC for Rockhard (the fine folks who brought us AC/DC and Slayer helmets, among others), they're available in full-face, off-road and half-helmet versions. Produced in limited quantity, each is numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity. Get one, grab a cape, and go jump something!
SAXX Boxer Briefs
One of the more unlikely brands represented at Indy was Saxx, a new underwear company touting a revolutionary design that's destined to take the underwear-wearing world by storm. Designed with a thin breathable mesh hammock in the crotch, Saxx shorts cradle your, um, junk and keep your, um, components, from touching, helping to keep you cool, dry and comfortable. All Motor-cyclist staffers in attendance were given a pair, and we've been rocking them ever since. Seriously, when was the last there was any sort of innovation in men's underwear?
$29.95 and up
Helmet Secure Helmet Lock
Clever solutions to everyday problems are what every engineer strives for, and the guys at Helmet Secure hit the nail on the head with their stem-nut helmet lock. This device mounts right on your triple clamp and provides a keyed, coiled cable long enough to run around your helmet's chin bar. It's more convenient that that underseat helmet hook, provides more security, and keeps your lid and tail section from getting scratched. There's also a bar-mounted version.
Icon Victory Metal God Jacket
The gods must be crazy if this is what they wear! Icon's latest exercise in excess rivals the Italian brands' most extravagant offerings in terms of price and imagination. The Victory Metal God's vintage-washed leather chassis is adorned with 125 embedded metal skulls, as many buckles and zippers as a straitjacket, and more leather cordage than a herd of Hell's Angels.
Saddlemen Gel Channel Seat
Saxx isn't the only company looking after men's comfort. The Gel Channel that gives Saddlemen's new series of seats their name is specifically designed to relieve pressure on a certain delicate area. Combine that with contoured memory-foam construction and you've got one comfortable place to spend a couple hundred miles. Seats are available for a wide range of bikes in three different styles, and the many color and texture options are sure to make them stand out.
Dainese Thorax Pro Lady
Ladies ride fast, too, and deserve the same protection as men. Dainese has been at the cutting edge of chick-specific safety gear for years, and continues to lead the charge with the Thorax Pro Lady chest protector. Part of the D-Tec line of protective gear, the Thorax Pro uses a combination of aluminum honeycomb filler inside a nylon shell topped by a polypropylene plate for even distribution of impact energy. The protector comes with adjustable nylon straps and is contoured for the female form to offer maximum protection for the thorax and ribs.
Forcefield Action Shirt
Sometimes the armor in jackets and pants seems like an afterthought. At Forcefield body armor gets all the attention, and when lead man Alan Zafrin introduced the new Action shirt at Indy, he sure got ours. The Action shirt puts Forcefield's renowned CE-approved Nitrex armor right where it needs to be: under your garments in lieu of the standard bits. So go ahead and yank out those chunky pads. Wear the shirt in conjunction with the company's Sub-4 back protector for complete upper body protection.
Speed & Strength My Weapon Helmet
This much helmet for this little price is an idea everybody can get behind these days. This new lid from Speed & Strength sets up an Advanced Thermo-Poly Alloy shell as your first line of defense. AirStrike Direct Course vents allow a steady supply of cooling air when necessary. A removable moisture-wicking Coolmax liner pulls perspiration away from your scalp, and it's washable as well. Changing shields is no sweat either, thanks to the Lock 'N' Load Rapid Conversion Shield Replacement System. Speaking of which, Speed & Strength says the optically correct face shield is anti-scratch, anti-fog and UV-resistant.
Scorpion Hurricane Race Suit
Scorpion is looking to "sting" racers and track-day riders with its new Hurricane one-piece race suit. Hewn from 1.2-1.4mm-thick leather, it has CE-approved ExoTec armor at the elbows, shoulders, knees and hips and double leather panels at all high-impact areas. If this suit is anywhere near as good as Scorpion's helmets and street apparel, it's sure to be a winner.