Story and photos by Michael Marino
LAS VEGAS — Sometimes it's hard to know which way to turn at the 2018 American International Motorcycle Exhibition at the Madalay Bay Convention Center. Hundreds of exhibitors are touting so many new products and updates that the experience can seem overwhelming at times.
After two days of catering to industry members and the powersports media, the expo opens to the public Saturday and Sunday.
Here are some of the cool products attendees can expect to see:
Harley-Davidson is highlighting a new race-inspired model, the 2019 FXDR 14. The model features a 114 cubic-inch Milwaukee Eight motor and Softtail frame, packaged with race-like clip-on handlebars, beefy front forks and brakes and adjustable rear suspension preload. The model also features a matte paint scheme a drag racing-inspired styling. This bike is priced at $21,349.
Dunlop Motorcycle Tires' new Q4 model is a DOT-approved, race ready tire that amateur racers can purchase through their local dealer. The Q4 is not replacing the Q3 Plus model, which will continue to serve the street rider segment. The Q4 model packages some of the features Dunlop introduced with the Q3 model like carbon fiber-reinforced sidewalls with a Dunlop racing slick rubber compound and more race-oriented tread pattern.
Bridgestone's new cruiser-oriented H50 model tire marks a bold step for the company in its cruiser tire line up. The new tire features a profile that is optimized for high mileage yet offers sporty handling when a rider wants to quicken their pace. The tire is one of three all-new tire designs that is set to be released in January 2019.
Another new Bridgestone tire that is due to be released in January is its Battlax Adventure Cross AX41 model. The tire is designed for an adventure rider who wants an aggressive tread pattern for riding on a wide range of off-road surfaces yet needs a good highway tire to get to the trails.
The third new tire design Bridgestone is planning to release in January is its enduro-oriented E50 model. The aggressive yet DOT-approved tread is designed for a wide range of off-road riding conditions, yet is suitable for limited on-road use for riding on pavement between trails.
Avon is replacing it's crusier-oriented Cobra model line with its new Cobra Chrome models. The model is available now and is offered in 68 sizes, including 14 whitewall sizes.
Sena is set to begin incorporating Mesh technology into its new rider communication products, starting with its new 30K model. The mesh technology allows rider communication devices to link up automatically and dynamically, ending the need for riders to have to "pair" headsets the use Bluetooth prior to a group ride. Owners of past or current Sena communication devices are not being left out of the new technology. An adapter is in development that will allow any Sena device that uses Bluetooth v. 4.0 or higher to use mesh for rider-to-rider communication. The adapter is to be released in 2019.
Lexin Motorcycle's new LX-FT4 rider communication device offers strong water resistance, a stylish LED light trim, and an included Ram-brand mounting kit. The Bluetooth-based system uses Lexin's existing rider communication technology and can be paired with up to four other rider intercoms. It will retail for $199 when it is released.
Bell Helmets sleek new SRT Modular helmet is DOT/ECE approved and the front of the helmet can be locked in the open position. A full face, Snell-approved version of the SRT is will be released soon. The retail price for the modular model is $349.95, and the fixed chin version will retail for $199.95.
EBC has two new crusier-oriented brake rotors coming the market soon. The new models are designed to meet what the company says is cruiser riders interest in putting sportbike-looking brake rotors on their motorcycles. The FSD model (pictured left) will be available with a black or chrome aluminum carrier in either a five-spoke or 10-spoke design. The V-Style model rotor (pictured right) is an existing import model that is being machined to fit Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Pit Bull has developed two accessories that make its utility-oriented front stand even easier to use. The brake caliper holder attaches to the existing points on Pit Bull's headlift front stand where a user would normally install a bolt to hold a brake caliper. The accessory is designed to hold a wide range of brake calipers, as well as the caliper's mounting screws. The company has also developed a front axle holder for its front stands. The retail price for the caliper holders is $14.95, and the front axle holder retails for $11.95.
Woodcraft has developed a new set of height-adjustable motorcycle stands that allow a user to customize how much each stand will lift a motorcycle off the ground. The feature makes Woodcraft's stands usable by a wide range of motorcycles and helps ensure a motorcycle is lifted high enough off the ground to perform work like removing tires while maximizing stability.
Woodcraft has also developed a series of adapter plates that allow owners of motorcycles that are originally equipped with tubular handlebars to easily convert to clip-on bars. The adapter is especially useful when coverting some naked sport bikes to track day machines like a Kawasaki Ninja 650 or some Suzuki SV650 models.
Galfer is offering a front brake rotor upgrade kit for a wide range of motocross motorcycles. The kits include a brake caliper relocation bracket that allows motorcycle owners to re-use their stock brake calipers. The kit also features a 280mm Galfer brake rotor. Retail price for kits varies by motorcycle model.
Competiton Werks has developed fender eliminator kits for two new sport bike models. The company's newest kits for the KTM 390 Duke and Ducati Panigale V4 models feature plate lights that wire into the stock wiring harness.
Tobacco Motorwear's new McCoy jacket model features a flannel lining and a weather-resistant wax and oil outer coating. The stylish jacket, which was developed through funds from a crowdsourcing campaign. The jacket will retail for $640.