You're primarily here at Dealer Expo to see new products, right? That's why show organizers created Kickstart, a competition to recognize the hottest new products. Any exhibitor that launched a product after July 1, 2007, was invited to submit pictures and a description. A judging committee whittled down the original 155 submissions to 26 finalists. These companies then submitted actual product for judging. The 10 winners received an opportunity to win a 10'x10' booth space at Dealer Expo 2009, a product display outside the New Exhibitor Pavilion at the Marriott, another display at the Convention Center, a link on DealerExpo.com, and other marketing spiffs.
Here are the winners in alphabetical order:
Akuma V2 Stealth Helmet: Akuma is a subsidiary of IHT Technology Inc. (Booth M330). The Stealth lid features U.S. Airforce markings from both the B2 Spirit Stealth bomber and the F117 Stealth fighter. The helmet has a rechargeable power system for LED lights in the rear vents. Ultra-bright LEDs are built into the front of the helmet to assist riders in reading a map or whatever else they might do in the dark. The helmet is ECE-certified, has eight vents, and comes with a removable, washable liner.
Aries AE1 Replacement Air Filter: This dirtbike air filter made by Advanced Flow Engineering (Booth 7211) uses the company's proprietary dry three-layer media. The filter's being oil-free means no mess to clean and longer service intervals, the company says. The filter reportedly can provide up to 10 percent boost in horsepower.
ATV Front Bag: Stop by Booth 3557 to see this bag from Ogio. It folds down for easy storage between uses and features a bungee strap system with bungee lock, two water bottle holders, a fold-out map compartment, reflective logos and front and back grip handles for easy carrying.
Barrier Fleece Electric Heating Vest: This battery-powered garment from TechNiche International (Booth 7720) comes in sizes XS-XXXL in blue, black and sandstone. It has five temperature settings, and the heat is transferred through thin carbon fiber heating elements. The rechargeable Li-Ion battery reportedly lasts up to 12 hours. The vest is lightweight and washable.
Firespeed X-tra Bar: Check this out: a handlebar mounted on the fuel tank for a passenger to hang on to. The manufacturer claims both comfort and safety are increased. No longer must a passenger hold on to a rider's shoulders and waist, potentially interfering with his or her maneuvering. The adjustable bar can be used on all motorcycles. Stop by Booth 7806 to see it.
The McCuff: This product allows for "the no-spill motorcycle fill," according to McCuff Industries (Booth 6409). Riders insert the device over a gas station nozzle to eliminate splashing or spilling while they fuel up. No more checking fuel levels and multiple clicking. It comes with a bag for storage.
PB-1 Portable Workbench: Intended for races and rides, the PB-1 made by Park Tool (Booth 6700) is a workbench that folds for easy transport and storage. It has a large work surface (about 36"x23") with slots, holes and recesses for holding tools, shop towels, lubes, beverages, etc. Folding steel legs provide a base for a toolbox and supplies.
Tank N Tail Bag: This product from T-Bags (Booth 1029) is a magnetic tank bag, a tail bag, and a backpack all in one. Thanks to thermoformed 1680d nylon and foam construction, the bag retains its geometry when empty. The TNT bag measures 13"x10.5"x5" and comes with reflective piping in red, blue, green, yellow or silver.
TPX Motorcycle Radar and Laser Detection System: Made by Adaptiv Technologies (Booth 7109), this device is weather- and vibration-resistant and features oversized buttons for gloved fingers. An angled LCD screen is viewable in direct sunlight, according to the manufacturer. Each TPX system comes with a wireless headset or a wireless visual alert. The former attaches to the inside of helmet and emits beeps every time the system detects a radar or laser signal. The visual alert is for riders who choose not to wear a helmet. It mounts to various parts of the bike, and bright LED lights flash when detections occur.
Z-Fi TC: Made by Bazzaz Performance and distributed by Tucker Rocky (Booth 141), this sportbike fuel management system piggybacks onto the stock ECU via a harness using OEM connectors. It's preprogrammed for either the stock exhaust or a slip-on, and has a USB interface and software for tuning modifications by the end user. The Z-Fi can run up to eight injectors independently, and it can be run or tuned using the closed-loop self-mapping feature found with the optional Z-AFM kit. Other features include user-adjustable traction control and the Z-Fi Quick Shift allowing for full-power clutchless upshifting.