As we do every year, MC was on hand to slink around the Indianapolis Dealer Expo in search of new products that are making a stir. Here are a few tidbits from this year’s show that we think are worth talking about.
Wolfman Adventure Saddlebags
Wolfman’s new Rocky Mountain saddlebag represents the high end of the Colorado company’s line, at $399.99. Fully waterproof 32-liter liners roll and buckle to seal out moisture, then drop into custom vinyl-coated nylon outer bags that are slightly larger at the top than the bottom. Also new are Wolfman’s Monarch Pass bags, a less complicated, zipper-top saddlebag system for $169.99. More info at www.wolfmanluggage.com.
Giant Loop Zigzag Handlebar Bag
Named after Oregon’s diminutive Zigzag River, the Zigzag bag from Giant Loop is hard to beat for convenience, with two straps that attach it directly to almost any motorcycle’s handlebar. Military-spec materials are said to make the Zigzag especially rugged, and when you can ride no more it threads onto a belt or backpack to come along. The Zigzag is made Stateside and backed by Giant Loop’s limited lifetime warranty. Just $49 at www.giantloopmoto.com.
GoPro HERO3 Action Camera
GoPro is on a roll. The leader in action sports cameras keeps taking steps forward whenever we turn our back, and this is no exception. The HERO3 is said to be 30 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter than the HERO2, but twice as powerful. The $399.99 Black Edition, shown here, comes with a gaggle of accessories, including an LCD touch-screen BacPac, a waterproof (up to 60 meters) case, and mounting hardware. Best of all, the new device can be controlled via a waterproof remote, and WiFi connectivity allows up to 50 (!) cameras to be triggered from a distance. The wireless function also allows the HERO3 to be controlled via an app on your phone, which will display what the camera is seeing. Serious James Bond stuff. To geek out on all of the specs, back-flip over to www.gopro.com.
Arai Defiant Helmet
New for the 2013 Arai line is the Defiant, designed to achieve an “urban, street-fighter look.” The Defiant shares the same intermediate oval shell as the RX-Q with inner padding lifted from the current Signet-Q. A new two-stage chin vent allows one setting for aerating the inside of the face shield, with a second click adding direct ventilation to the rider’s face. Pricing will fall in line near the Signet-Q, ranging from $619.95 to $795.95, with availability starting in late spring. Five solid colors and six graphic designs (asymmetric stripes are all the rage) will grace the Defiant’s shell, with sizes from XXS to XXXL. Check out www.araiamericas.com for more information.
Pit Bull Hybrid One Armed Rear Stand
Established paddock brand Pit Bull has come up with a single-sided swingarm rear-stand design to make all previous models obsolete. The Hybrid One Armed Rear Stand allows any bike with a single-sided swingarm to be lifted with the handle pointed forward or back, depending on preference, regardless of which side of the axle is open. The versatility is due in part to a removable handle, which Pit Bull claims makes for easier storage and loading/unloading. Previous-generation Pit Bull pins are compatible with the new stand and, as before, additional pins are available. The Hybrid One Armed Rear Stand starts at $169.99 and is backed by Pit Bull’s universal lifetime warranty. See www.pit-bull.com for more information.
Shoei GT-Air Helmet
New from Shoei this year is the GT-Air, a sport helmet with an internal sun shield. The shell has a slightly more bulbous forehead to make room for the sun visor without interfering with the EPS liner. Shoei claims that extensive wind tunnel testing confirms reduced wind noise with “unmatched ventilation characteristics.” The GT-Air also borrows Shoei’s Emergency Quick Release System (EQRS) from the VFX-W and X-Twelve racing helmets; the system allows medical personnel to remove the cheek pads to allow the helmet to slide off easily. Sizes range from XS to XXL (in three shell sizes), with MSRPs between $549.99 and $670.99 depending on paint scheme. See the full line at www.shoei-helmets.com.
Sena SMH10R Intercom
The last thing you want to do after spending $700 on a sleek, stylish sportbike helmet is slap what looks like grandpa’s transistor radio on the side. Sena’s all-new, ultra-low-profile SMH10R headset/intercom is the first helmet-mounted communicator any fashion-conscious motorcyclist would willingly attach to his or her helmet. Barely bigger than an iPod Shuffle, the SMH10R maintains the same functionality as Sena’s other SMH products—including four-way bike-to-bike intercom capability and Bluetooth connectivity—in a slimmer, aerodynamic package with a simplified, two-button control system replacing the other units’ “jog dial.” (Part of the reason it’s so thin is the separate battery that attaches inconspicuously to the back of the lid.) The $219 SMH10R is said to deliver up to eight hours talk time and the intercom boasts a range of 980 yards in open terrain. Details at www.senabluetooth.com.
Olympia One-Piece Suits
Olympia showed off two new one-piece suits at Indy, the Avenger and the Odyssey. At $349.99, the Avenger is designed for warm-weather riding, with 500 denier Cordura combined with ballistic mesh for effective ventilation. The Odyssey is an up-spec version (priced at $449.99), with 500 and 2000 denier Cordura instead of mesh, along with a breathable/waterproof membrane and ventilation ports that seal with waterproof zippers. Both suits feature CE-approved back protectors, shoulder, and elbow armor, all of which is removable. A gaggle of storage pockets—five for the Avenger, six for the Odyssey—and 3M Scotchlite reflective piping add convenience and safety. Two colorways are available: Black/Hi-Vis Yellow and Pewter/Black, on either suit. Check out www.olympiamotosports.com.