For those of you who have never heard of it (and unless you're in the industry that could be a good proportion of you) the annual Dealer Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana is possible the largest motorcycle show in the western hemisphere. Swallowing up Indy's RCA Dome like it was a small sideshow, the annual event has grown to such enormous proportions that the convention center and surrounding hotels are bursting at the seams with displays and vendors.
This year the show drew over 20,000 attendees and featured in excess of 960 exhibitors. Why haven't you heard of this show, or never attended. The show is an industry function for registered dealers, vendors and media only. This doesn't mean that a few stragglers don't slip through the cracks, but this really is an industry trade show. You wont find items for sale here, motorcycles to try or gear to buy. Apart from letting the dealers interact with their vendors one on one, the show provides the opportunity for people who work in the industry to catch up on what's happened and what's happening. Often this is the only chance some people get to meet face to face each year.
Bikeland spent three days pounding the pavement visiting booths and checking out what we thought was cool and could help you out in the future. It was hard to choose, and we only have a few picks, not because there aren't more cool products out there, but simply because we just didn't have time to see everything and meet everyone. Give us three more days and we'd still be hard pressed.
Here are our top three picks...
Cool Product #1:
The StompGrip Traction Pad
We noticed this product showing up on a few racebikes during the last year at events we attended (including the bikes at the Califonia Superbike School). StompGrip has expanded its product line to fit almost every late model sport bike and dirt bike.
The StompGrip Traction Pad is a super cool rugged clear plastic rubbery bumpy decal that you stick to the sides of your tank to give you a bumpy surface to help dig in and hold on. Very cool, inexpensive, model specific and more functional than other tank protectors we've seen. Check out their website at for more information at ...
Cool Product #2:
This gadget was designed by Yorba Safety Concepts, who just happen to be a couple of engineers who ride. They wanted to help everyone figure out just when your helmet was damaged beyond use. Pretty much everyone I know, including myself, wonders if their helmet really is toast after it falls off your seat at a gas station, or if you fall off and shovel yourself into a tree or curb.
The Shok-SpotR is a carefully calibrated impact sensor you stick to your helmet. The Shok-SpotR has a small indicator that turns red if your helmet has suffered a blow dangerous enough for you to warrant chucking it in the bin. It retails for about $25 and it's worth every penny. It's so accurate that it may become a mandatory piece of kit for racers who want to pass tech inspection. Why don't helmets come standard with something like this?? For more detailed technical information (which in itself is pretty cool) visit...
Cool Product #3
Tork Motorcycle Headsets
Tork World has come up with an awesome solution for bike to bike communication. Although we like the Chatterbox, many people don't want to invest that much money in a communication system. Tork World has come up with the next best thing. They supply a harness, headphones, microphone and a small, thin push to talk button (just slightly bigger than a quarter) that turns any standard FRS radio (the cheap ones you can pick up at Walmart or Costco) into a bike to bike communication system. To top it off they even offer a throat mike version so wind noise isn't and issue any more.
The product retails for about $50 and it's a universal solution for riders who want to chat back and forth. Their website seemed to be a little buggered up (Feb 22) so check back later. Although we haven't tried the unit, this seems to be the solution Bikeland's readers have been looking for...