Every winter, motorcycle industrialists flock to the expo center in Indianapolis to display their wares and attract dealers’ attention. And every year, Motorcyclist is on site, freezing our asses off and prowling the aisles to scout out the most promising new products. Here are our top choices from the 2011 dealer show…
Leatt Street Brace
Dr. Chris Leatt’s neck brace isn’t just for off-road riders anymore. The STX has a new frame design that will accommodate the speed hump found on most roadrace suits and many sport-riding jackets. A lower table structure offers ample range of motion for roadracing and street riding while still offering excellent protection from common neck injuries such as hyperextension and axial loading. The new STX brace should be available by the time you read this and will retail for $395.
Double Dog Moto Rearsets
We’ve seen plenty of exotic rearsets, but nothing as beautiful as this low-profile design from Double Dog Moto. They sprung from the creative mind of Mark Henry, who turned his passion for performance parts into a bustling business that revolves around ultra-lightweight, carbon-composite components. Double Dog combines carbon-fiber and titanium to create footpegs that are lighter and stronger than aluminum, yet which Henry claims hold up remarkably well in crashes (he’s a racer). They’re currently available for the BMW S1000RR for $795, with additional applications forthcoming.
Cycle Gear Sedici And Bilt
After years of distributing other makers’ wares, Cycle Gear introduced its own brands at Indy. Sedici is the Italian-designed race collection while Bilt is the value-priced street and touring line. The Sedici family includes track gear like the $499.99 Monza suit, $149.99 Laguna boot and $79.99 Monza gloves. Prices seem too low? Cycle Gear works directly with the manufacturers to eliminate the middleman and bring consumers quality products at incredible prices. Bilt prices are even lower: Try $129.99 for the all-leather Clio jacket and just $19.99 for the leather Pro-Rider gloves. All Sedici apparel comes with a lifetime guarantee, while Bilt gear is covered for five years. Both lines include several options tailored for women.
National Cycle V Stream Windscreens
National Cycle’s Indy booth encouraged attendees to scratch the company’s hard-coated polycarbonate windscreens with a wad of steel wool. We tried: no go. Equally impressive are the mounting systems. The new V Stream shields for Ducati Monsters feature fork mounts that could be described as metal origami. The flush-hinged clamps are easy to install and are finished in black wrinkle-coat to match the bike’s triple clamps. The shields are available in touring and smaller sport sizes for $289.95, and come with a three-year warranty.
Mips Helmet Technology
Anything that has to do with rider safety always piques our interest. MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) technology mimics the brain’s own protective system with a slick lining placed between a helmet’s shell and energy-absorbing liner. When an oblique (non-perpendicular) impact is sustained, the lining allows the shell to rotate relative to the head, dramatically reducing the amount of strain placed on the brain. It’s a simple yet effective system that we hope to see incorporated in motorcycle helmets in the near future.
AlpineStars Smx Plus Boot
With more than 20 new products on display, Alpinestar’s Indy booth was abuzz all weekend. The SMX Plus boots have been totally redesigned for 2011 and feature a number of changes aimed at improving comfort and protection. Larger accordion panels provide greater flexibility, while the new Multi Link Control System keeps ankle movement within safe limits. There’s more armor incorporated into the body of the boots plus a new speed-lace closure system and larger, dual-density toe sliders. Even so, the $349.95 price is maintained.
Marchesini Genesi Wheels
The leader in rolling stock has just rolled out these new Genesi aluminum wheels. Derived from MotoGP, Moto2 and SBK hoops, these forged rims are said to be 15 percent lighter than Marchesini’s 10-spoke wheels and feature an anti-slip coating on the rim lip as well as the Italian company’s lightest cush-drive hub assembly to date. They come in black or gold to complement any sportbike and are available for most machines for $2990.
It’s a wonder it took so long for something as simple and functional as the Helmet Hammock to be invented. This hanging bag can be strung up in your closet, office or shop, and provides a safe place for your helmet and other essentials. Velcro patches on either side of the main compartment keep your gloves handy, and the included keychain sticks to the magnetic strip along the hammock’s bottom so everything is right where you need it. The Helmet Hammock will fit lids up to size XXXL and retails for $65.
Bags Connection Sport Panniers
When the guys at Twisted Throttle told us they had a revolutionary new luggage system to show us, we kept our doubts to ourselves and smiled politely. Their claim wasn’t an overstatement: The Sport Panniers from Bags Connection are easier to use than most factory-designed hard cases thanks to a clever support bar. The system uses a set of supporting arms inserted in sleeves on the back of the 14-liter (21 liters when expanded) bags to keep them from swaying or shifting as you ride. No bungees or funky luggage racks required. When you’re done riding, the saddlebags and support arms can be removed in less than a minute. Kits are model-specific to ensure a proper fit and retail for $279.99.