The 2010 Dealer Expo, though down in attendance was up with a healthy dose of optimism (and snow) for those in attendance. The ATV Rider Magazine crew invaded the Indianapolis, Indiana show with lofty goals, huge expectations and an occasional snowball in our face, even though thoughts of doom and gloom lurked in the depths of our minds. Making the best of these hard times, we rounded up our "Best In Show" list with innovative new products and way too many other bits of useless information. So here is our "Best In Show", enjoy!
Top 3 Innovative New Products
FIRST PLACE - Houser Suspension Foot Peg
Our favorite new innovation for 2010 was Houser Racing's new Suspension Foot Peg. And no, they did not take home these honors because of Houser representative Jen Haley's charming smile and captivating eyes either, although I'm sure that might have helped. In all honesty, both Eli and I were blown away by this new ATV invention and believe most ATV's will be outfitted with it over the next year or so. The new nerf bars were trick, but it was the industry first, patent pending "suspension" foot peg that grabbed our attention. The suspension feature works similarly to a swing arm with a rubber pivot point and replaceable cushion ball that is Pre-Load adjustable.
The pegs are TIG welded chromoly with end caps that are attached with high strength, aircraft grade rivets and are rated at 4,000 pounds of strength each. The pegs have a large, convex design to provide plenty of support and teeth with great traction that won't tear apart the sole of your boots. They are also designed to be self-cleaning with large openings for mud and debris to fall through while maintaining the ability to grip. Our ankles, knee's and legs are already welcoming these new shock-absorbing features. They are now available at www.houser-racing.com.
SECOND PLACE - Hinson Racing SS Clutch Kit
A quick trip to the Hinson Racing booth was like going back to school, but actually learning about something I liked. Ron Hinson showed off their new SS clutch system, which uses a single Bellville instead of the traditional 5 or 6 individual spring setups. The spring in this system is at its stiffest when the clutch is at full engagement and actually gets lighter as you pull in your clutch lever, much like a compound bow. Additional benefits to this system is that there is less mechanical friction between components (springs and pressure plate) and eliminates the possibility of single spring fatigue which causes uneven clutch engagement.
What this amounts to is solid clutch engagement that gets the power to the ground all while making the clutch actuation easier for the rider. Priced at $599.00 for the inner hub, pressure plate and spring, the SS clutch setup would be a welcome upgrade for any machine.
THIRD PLACE - Precision Racing's Shock and Vibe Handlebar Clamp
It's difficult to name Precision's new Shock and Vibe Clamps third place as they are yet another shocking new innovation for 2010. George Anthanasiou, owner of Precision Racing Products claims this new product will eliminate up to three times the vibration than that of an anti-vibe steering stem. These new clamps allow you to use whatever handlebars suit you while offering a new and innovative method of eliminating light and harsh impacts throughout your ride or race. The angle of your handlebars will never be altered and the damping is adjustable with the included shims for dialing them in to your needs. The 2009 BAJA 1000 has been conquered and won on these new clamps by Wayne Mattlock and team and will be available for $189.00 in both standard and oversized bar sizes. Check it out at www.precision-rp.com.
What Transworld Party? We left it to our good buddy Chuck Debault of Exposed Clothing and yes, he delivered. Slam packing the Champions Bar and Grill from wall to wall with some of the ATV Industries top representatives and jaw dropping models, the shenanigans were unleashed and the real behind the scenes fun of the show kicked off. Although the details from about 9:00 P.M. till 2:00 A.M. might seem a bit fuzzy (especially regarding Adventure Photographer Mike Calabro), we do remember everyone saying that they can't wait till next year. Now we've just got to convince Chucky to pick up the bar tab next year! Thanks Chuck!
"What's up Bitch" INDIANAPOLIS YELLOW CAB Service.
Anyone who goes to the Dealer Expo knows that you need to dress warm because 9 times out of 10 there is going to be a good amount of snow on the ground. Since the show ends on Monday, Thad and myself hung out with ATVR ad sales reps Steve Gotoski and Brian Sexton, as well as Pete Peterson of Dirt Rider for a few late night drinks before we all departed for home the next day. No sooner than the bar was closing, Mother Nature decided to blanket the city in several inches of snow. Fresh snow on the ground combined with a closing bar immediately resulted into a massive snowball fight that lasted all five blocks back to our hotel. Laughing like school kids, we kicked off WW3 tossing the powdery snow with an occasional ice chunk (thanks Pete) until it hurt to laugh anymore. Sure the hotel employees were a little aggravated that snowballs were still flying as we entered the hotel lobby, but we attribute that to the early closure of the downtown bars. Sexton, you better watch your back next year!
Big Gun/Laeger YZF Project Build: Even though we had a heads up on this build and figured it would be difficult to beat, we headed into the show with open minds that just maybe it could be outdone. Well, no one even came close! The brilliant custom designed Laeger's chromoly YFZ450R chassis, which suspended the hottest new innovation in off-road, a gleaming 2010 Yamaha YZF450 dirt bike motor was beyond its time. Not even one single detail was overlooked while crafting this high performance ingenuity from the chassis' 40-pound weight loss to the 8 horses gained and all of the sparkling new bling carefully placed. We've got to stop at that for now as our next issue will expose everything from its ride performance to the hidden details that its creators carefully designed into its DNA. Stay tuned!
It wasn't long ago that Polaris released the RZR 4, so it was no surprise that these machines would be on display at the Indy Dealer Expo. The RZR4 that was on display in the Todd's Custom Billet booth instantly caught my eye from a distance as I walked through the convention hall. This unit was outfitted with their billet long travel suspension kit, 2" aluminum tube roll cage, front bumper and about every other goodie you would want to see on a custom SxS project. I have no idea about how this thing handled, but from the looks of it I would imagine it would be a blast to take out on the trails with a few of your friends.
Favorite Celebs To Rub Shoulders With
Jeremy Rawle and Jolene Van...
Jeremy Rawle and Jolene Van Vugt were stopped all around the show for photo opportunities
Have you ever heard of this little show called Nitro Circus? If you have, then you know the names Andy Bell and Jolene Van Vugt who are both from the infamous MTV show. You may also remember the names from our Nitro Circus vs. Redline story (jan/Feb 2010) where the crew put the Redline Riot and Revolt machines to the ultimate test. Either way, we ran into these two members of the Nitro crew on our last night out on the town. I introduced myself to Andy (and later to Jolene) and thanked them for doing that story and making it a huge success in the magazine for us. Andy explained to us how much fun it was to do and even went on to talk about them taking the KTM ATV and doing the 50/50 grind on the rainbow ramp over the foam pit at the Red Bull Freestyle Compound. We're going to keep these lines of communication open with these awesome people so we can hopefully bring more wild adventures your way in the future.