ANOTHER DEALER EXPO IS IN THE BOOKS. Finally, the industry is starting to see some upward potential again. Plus signs have begun to appear in front of many OEMs' year-over-year sales figures.
Of course, the optimism is tenuous. Exhibitors, dealers and even some staff members were keeping cards close to their chests, cautiously watching consumer sentiment and bottom lines. But the overall attitude was far from doom and gloom.
While some brands choose to hold back this year, others instead chose to launch a variety of new products. Several new products took existing processes or materials and completely reinvented the wheel — sometimes literally. So without further ado, here’s a brief rundown of some of the most technically savvy products we encountered during the 2013 Dealer Expo.
Blackstone Tek (BST) adaptable carbon fiber wheels, available through Brock’s Performance, are not a new addition to our industry. BST has established itself as one of the premier wheel manufacturers in the world, with extremely light, strong and (dare we say) sexy products.
For 2013 however, the company created a new hub design that uses interchangeable alloy adapters that allow the wheel to be moved from bike to bike by only changing the inserts. Besides greatly streamlining the production side of things, this allows a BST customer to invest in a set of wheels for his current bike and know that he’ll be able to move them to his next bike for a significant savings, compared to buying an all-new pair of BST rims.
We’ve already had plenty to say about 6D Helmets. After seeing the latest batch of production helmets in Indy and chatting with Bob Weber more about the design, we are still amazed at the level of craftsmanship that has gone into these new-from-the-ground-up helmets.
Conventional production tooling simply couldn’t build to the tolerances required by 6D, so all-new tooling needed to be designed (and patented) just to create the unique 6D helmet internal structure. Of course, customers will never see the tooling tech, but it is still an achievement that allows the 6D helmet to exist.
Another helmet design caught our attention: the rear-entry Voztec (see photo, above). While not featuring any new materials or crazy ventilation technologies, the Voztec completely rethinks the very basics of wearing a helmet. (Continued)