MotoGP rider Ben Spies racing leathers outfitted with Alpinestars Wireless Electronic Airbag Technology.
A few new products from Alpinestars caught our eye. Cutting edge technology and high-end quality are what Alpinestars is all about and it delivers just that with the new Electronic Wireless Airbag technology. The compact protection system is powered by a small battery pack that releases a charge of nitrogen-based gas to inflate the air bladders incorporated in the suit. Presently the system utilizes two air bladders that cover the rider’s shoulder and collarbone areas. Once triggered the bag system takes less than 0.05 seconds to inflate and gives a rider in excess of five seconds of inflated protection. Deflation time takes less than 10 seconds, resulting in the system being reset and prepared for inflation multiple times. Alpinestars will be phasing current systems into its rider’s suits for the 2011 racing series it supports before they offer a commercial equivalent.
Also on the new product list is the 2011 Alpinestars SMX Plus Boot. Redesigned this year, the boot incorporates a Multi Link Control System that offers greater range of motion while preventing hyper-extension and torsion of the ankle. Sleek in appearance, the boot features replaceable high modulus TPU protection, an inner Kevlar speed lacing closure system and is available in four color combinations.
While on the topic of protective gear, another company on the forefront of safety and protection products is EVS Sports. Three new products were debuted by EVS Sports which are well designed at an affordable price point. First the Axis Knee Brace comes with a lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum integrated design. The Axis Knee Brace
utilizes the new EVS Tru-Motion 3.0 hinge system and weighs in at 24 ounces. Next is the RC4 Neck Support System that focuses on affordability and simple overall design. The RC4 will retail for $109, has a rear load strut, low profile, is fully adjustable and includes a harness support system. Lastly, EVS is offering the G6 Ballistic Jacket with some new enhanced features. The G6 includes a fully articulating spine protector, thumb holes that assist in keeping sleeves and elbow pads in place and comes with an optional Hydra-Pak hydration system.
In the gear section we see collaboration happening between lifestyle brands to create limited edition gear and apparel. MSR presented a new MSR DVS K-Dub 14 apparel line that celebrates Pro AMA motocross/supercross rider Kevin Windham. The K-Dub line includes a DVS 14 T-shirt, hoodie, jersey shirt, Flexfit 210 fitted hat and an adjustable one size fits all hat. Two custom shoes are available from DVS, the Premier and Enduro models featuring the No. 14 on the rear of the shoe. In addition to the K-Dub 14 collection, MSR is offering two new motocross gear sets. The NXT Scan Fusion and MX Scan Burst both include jersey, pants and gloves. Other new products from MSR is the new Metal Mulisha branded motocross Scope boot and a new Burst Velocity Helmet.
Thor released its new motocross Ratchet boot that provides a new closure system that is hassle-free. The Ratchet boot has a special designed aluminum alloy ratcheting-lever that operates similar to that of snowboard bindings. When fitting the boot a rider can ratchet the boot tighter for a snug fit which is a great feature to have because as a riding session continues, often the fit will loosen up over time. Other products debuted by Thor included the new limited edition Flux Volcom and Core Transmit motocross racewear, new for 2012.
In the sportbike category there was plenty to see and a new product from Cortech garnered attention from media. The new Cortech Dryver tankbag line comes with a new innovative quick release gas cap ring mounting system. The new system provides an easy way to attach and remove the Cortech bags with ease and guards the finish of the bike. Cortech’s new Dryver tankbags are built with waterproof construction, come in a variety of sizes and options including various GPS mounts giving the sport rider choices based on their needs.
Plenty of motorcycle magazines and media companies have gone through changes of late, and sometimes go out of business. One company has made a comeback and presented a new product that will keep readers updated on the most recent motorcycle news. CycleNews has risen from the dead offering its new Digital Edition that incorporates much of its old format into a new digital medium. CycleNews Digital Edition will continue to be a weekly publication as it has been in the past but nothing was mentioned about a print edition becoming available anytime soon. Currently the Digital Edition is available for free online through Coverleaf.com and can be found at cyclenews.com for a peek.
Events at Dealer Expo took place all weekend with new product seminars, fashion shows and a new feature that created a lot of buzz, the National Powersport Auctions (NPA). NPA showcased a live auction on Saturday that included a variety of 117 pre-owned units such as quads, cruisers, sportbikes and customs. 188 people registered to bid while the auction was broadcasted live over the internet and simulcast. One bike that captured plenty of bids and ended up going to Mike Weaver of Bob Weaver Motorsports and Marine was a custom built by Roland Sands Designs for the Tony Hawk Foundation.
Yamaha MotoGP rider Colin Edwards raffled off a free weekend of fun at his new Texas Tornado Boot Camp (top).
Dakar Rally rider Jonah Street posing with his Yamaha WR450F (bottom).
Yamaha hosted a little meet and greet at their display and included some of its champion riders for autographs and interviews. Riders such as MotoGP’s Colin Edwards, 2010 Pro Singles Flat Track Champion Jeffrey Carver, Mr. Daytona Scott Russell and Dakar Rally rider Jonah Street all attended on behalf of Yamaha and GYTR. Drinks and food were served as the riders were interviewed and Colin Edwards put forth an all-expenses-paid, four-day package to his Texas Tornado Boot Camp to be won by a lucky dealer in the crowd. Edward’s boot camp features a TT track, mini bike MX track, paint ball course, shooting range and an onsite bunk house with room for 30 people.
Yamaha displayed championship race bikes including 2010 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo’s YZR-M1 and Jonah Street’s 2011 WR450F that was raced in the 2011 Dakar Rally. Jonah Street won Stage 9 of the Dakar Rally and finished 12th overall in the grueling world renowned race. Currently all the elite riders that compete in the Dakar Rally have moved over to a 450 class motorcycle in 2011 and are just getting started in developing the new bike class to be competitive.
“It was a struggle this year. Obviously we had all kinds of little gremlins to contend with,” Street said. “We were able to win a stage and somehow we kept it together to finish 12th overall. All said and done it was a big learning year with the new motorcycle and difficult with everyone moving over to 450s. All of the elite riders now are strictly riding 450s and it is really good for the sport. There are more manufactures looking at it and thinking about competing which will make racing better for the future. I’m really happy with my Yamaha WR450F so far, I have become really comfortable on it considering it’s lighter, which really makes it easier in the rough terrain and it’s just a lot of fun to ride. I’m really looking forward to the entire year of testing and will be heading into the race next year with a strong effort and hoping we stack up to be competitive.”
Dealer Expo 2011, like years past, was full of new products and services along with some great events that really made it an exciting preview of what’s available to the powersports consumer. Motorcycle USA was happy to be a part of it and looks forward to next year’s 2012 Indy Dealer Expo.