Words: Ari Henning
This year’s Dealer Expo in Indianapolis was the best in recent memory. There were more exhibitors, bigger displays and loads of new products to check out. Here are just a few of the items that caught our eye while we were touring the floor…
Continental Tkc-80 Tires
Continental used the Indy show to announce new 120/70-17 front and 180/55-17 rear sizes for its legendary Twinduro TKC-80 adventure-touring tires. The new sizes are creating quite a stir amongst Ducati Multistrada, Triumph Tiger 1050 and Buell Ulysses owners who until now haven’t had access to proper off-road buns. The TKC-80s offer a 40 percent on-/60 percent off-road split with excellent traction on all surfaces and great durability. Fronts retail for $163 and rears for $260.
Macna Geo Jacket
The Twisted Throttle booth had some interesting products on display, including this Geo three-season jacket from Macna. The Dutch company’s products offer innovative features and a distinctly European style and fit. The $409 Geo uses a waterproof liner, thermal liner and 3D mesh panels to offer all-weather adaptability. CE-approved elbow and shoulder armor plus abrasion-resistant “super fabrics” on the chassis provide crash protection.
AGV K4 Evo Helmet
AGV introduced several new helmets at Indy, including the versatile K4 Evo. Successor to the K4 lid sold in Europe, the K4 Evo has a fiberglass shell, removable comfort liner, dynamic venting and a surprisingly attainable price of just $219.95. It’s a well-balanced lid that’s suitable for sport riding, commuting and even touring, and it can be had in a variety of tasteful colors and graphics.
Chatterbox X1 Slim Headset
Chatterbox’s smallest communicator is a big deal. The new X1 Slim is significantly smaller and only half the weight of the previous X1, yet has all the same features. The X1 Slim boasts a 5-mile range and allows you to link up with an unlimited number of riding partners for up to 8 hours of conversation. The $349.99 kit also offers FM radio, Bluetooth capabilities, hands-free voice activation and comes with two headsets.
Xpeed XCF3000 Helmet
Carbon-fiber helmets are super-light, but what’s really great about them is they look good on any color bike! Xpeed is a subsidiary of J-Tech, HJC’s sister company. The $499 XCF3000 uses a carbon/Kevlar shell and features a dual-density EPS liner, anti-fog faceshield, removable liner and plenty of vents. The exotic shell is expertly laid and shows no wrinkles or creases.
AGV Sport GPR Gloves
AGV Sport’s Laguna gloves won last month’s Gear comparison, and the new GPRs look to be a cut above. Cow and kangaroo leathers make up the chassis which is accented with highly abrasion-resistant stingray skin at key impact areas. The $200 gloves have two-flap cuffs, bridged pinky and ring fingers, excellent perforation and other details that should make them great for sport riding and roadracing.
Brembo LED-Body Master Cylinders
Brembo introduced an industry-first at Indy: brake and clutch master cylinders with integrated turnsignals. These combine the performance of a radial master cylinder with the visibility of ultra-bright LEDs. They’re an innovation that’s sure to be popular with bike-builders and customizers, especially when paired with the Italian company’s new metric cruiser-specific “.484” brake calipers. Units are already available for Honda’s CB1000R and Ducati’s Diavel and Monsters at $730 per pair.
Alpinestars Oxygen Pants
Alpinestars had so many new products to show off, they had to rent a room at a nearby hotel! Of the dozen or so items we saw, the $199.95 Oxygen pants made the most sense. They’re designed to be worn over regular jeans and put CE-approved armor on top of your knees and 600-denier polyester at high-abrasion areas. Everywhere else there’s mesh paneling to let the breeze in.
Adaptiv Technologies Glowrider Jacket
Bright colors and passive reflective materials only go so far in terms of making you visible to other motorists. If you really want to be seen, this is the getup for you! The $299.99 Glowrider jacket puts electro-luminescent (EL) strips across the back and shoulders. Powered by a small, rechargeable battery stored in the sleeve, the EL strips stay illuminated for more than 10 hours on a single charge. One of the Adaptiv guys was wearing an illuminated jacket in the morning, and when we saw him at dinner that night it was still glowing! Besides being the ultimate visibility-enhancer, the Glowrider jacket is a quality three-season garment, with all the features and benefits you’d expect.
Shoei Neotec Helmet
An evolution of Shoei’s existing Multitec modular helmet, the Neotec was designed to offer improved comfort, aerodynamics and acoustics. It uses the same CNS-1 visor as the RF-1100, offering a taller and wider field of vision. There’s also an internal sunshade, a plush, removable liner and an awesome venting system. This is one versatile lid, but it comes at a price: Solid colors start at $648.99.
RK Excel Pro Series Wheels
There were quite a few new wheel sets on display at Indy, including these subtle stunners from RK Excel. The Pro Series wheels are machined from forged aluminum and rely on interchangeable disc and sprocket carriers to fit different makes and models. The 23-lb. set is lighter than most cast wheels, but that’s not the point: RK is all about offering a custom look at a reasonable price. The Pro Series wheels sell for $1895, and thanks to those interchangeable carriers you can take your wheels with you when you buy a new bike.
Tour Master Solution AIR Boots
Tour Master’s Solution boots have always been a great value. The $129.99 price has remained stable for years, even though the series has continued to evolve. The new Air boots incorporate textile panels to help improve evaporation through the waterproof/breathable HiPora membrane. They also boast foam-backed hard armor, reflective panels, leather stretch panels, plus soles and footbeds that are excellent for walking.
This year’s Indy show saw the introduction of a new player in the carbon-fiber wheel business. Rotobox is based in Slovenia, and the company’s wheels feature a unique “boxed” spoke design that’s said to improve strength while reducing weight. A set of Rotobox hoops weighs-in at just 16 lbs. without discs or sprocket. Compare that to 17-20 lbs. for forged-aluminum wheels or 25-plus lbs. for cast hoops. Rotobox wheels will be available Stateside by the time you read this, with fitment for most popular sportbikes at $3959 a set.
Kryptonite Series 4 Lock
There’s nothing quite as upsetting as getting your bike stolen, so we were happy to see that Kryptonite had quite a few new security products on display at Indy. The new Series 4 integrated chain and lock melds a length of 10mm manganese steel links to a robust lock head. The innovative end link of the chain serves as the deadbolt for the lock, eliminating a critical vulnerability. The Series 4 comes in 3- and 5-foot lengths for $76.95 and $99.95, respectively, and was designed to offer tight coiling for easy storage—perfect for motorcyclists on the go.