Story and photos by Michael Marino
LAS VEGAS — Hundreds of exhibitors were set up and ready to showcase of their newest products at the opening day of 2018 American International Motorcycle Exhibition. The four-day event bills itself as the largest power sports exposition in North America and is taking place at the Madalay Bay Convention Center. It is open to trade and media Thursday and Friday, and is open to the public Saturday and Sunday.
Here are a few of the cool products on display:
RK Chains has released a new series of street motorcycle chains. The new ZXW line of drive chains billed as the one of the strongest on the market, with the 530-pinch chain reportedly featuring 11,200 pounds of tensile strength. The retail prices for the new chains range from $202.40 for the gold 520-pinch chain to $238.17 for the gold 530-pinch chain.
Excel was showcasing a new set of colored spoke nipples. The nipples are available in red, black and blue and are part of Excel spoke kits that retail for $124.95.
Cardo Systems is demonstrating several of its most recent innovations. Its natural voice operation technology allows a rider to give voice commands to its in-helmet communications systems without having to take a hand off of the handlebars. The feature is available in the Packtalk Slim (pictured above), which features a relocated battery unit to reduce the unit's size, as well as its Packtalk Bold model. The company is also teaming up with JBL/Harmon Kardon to improve its device's audio quality. The first units developed under the new partnership are expected to be available in spring 2019.
One of Denali's additions to their motorcycle lighting product lineup is its Daytime Running Lights model. The slim LED lights are available with amber or white LEDs, as well as with three types of mounting brackets. The small but bright lights can be used as running lights or suppliment a motorcycle's turn signals. Retail price ranges from $142 to $155.
There's a new brand in the inflatable seat cushion market. Wild Ass Motorcycle Air Cushion offers three cushion designs, one of which features a combination of air cushions and gel packs. The cushions are also available in different shapes to suit a wide range of motorcycle seats. Retail prices for the cushions ranges from $99 to $224.
Indian Motorcycles has all three variants of its new flat-track inspired FTR1200 model on display at the show. The motorcycle takes styling queues from Indian's championship-winning FTR750 flat track competition machine and features an all-new engine and frame design. The base model is priced at $12,999, with the higher end models going for $14,999 (adds adjustable suspension and digital gauges/display) and $15,999 (adds two-tone paint scheme).
The 2019 Indian Chieftan models' new look is on display at the show. The more streamlined appearance features lots of new bodywork covering the model's existing engine and frame. The 2019 Chieftan models range in price from $21,999 to $25,999.
Heidenau Tire is putting a renewed emphasis on its K80 model tire. The sporty-looking scooter and small-motorcycle tire is available in a wide range of sizes and is intended to replace the company's K61 and K64 scooter tire models in its line up. The company is also putting a new emphasis on its K65 street tire model, which is designed for street bike and cruiser motorcycles.
Haynes Manuals is featuring its subscription-based online manuals at the show. The online option allow consumers to purchase access to a manual for set period of time and offers full-color photos, the ability to zoom in on photos and text and a keyword search option. The two brands also have released a total of 18 new or updated manuals in 2018.
The California Heat brand had many of its heated motorcycle clothing models on display at the show. Founded in 2013, it was showcasing its new heated pants at the show that have heating elements added to the hip area. The brand's heated jackets feature connectors for its other heated gear, which allows a rider to use a single cord to power multiple heated clothing pieces. The retail price of the brand's new heated riding pants is $300, and its jacket liner retails for $220. The company offers a lifetime warranty on its heating elements and plugs.
The ZR1 and Moose Racing brands are featuring the new F.I. and F.I. Session off-road motorcycle helmet (pictured above and left) at the show. The helmet features a hinged visor and a multi-directional impact protection system liner. It also features an multi-density, channeled EPS liner for additional protection and retails for $159.95. Moose Racing was also featuring its OEM replacement radiators for off-road motorcycles (pictured lower left). The radiators retail for $119.95 each.
Global Vision Eyewear was featuring its Hercules-brand safety classes. All models feature shatterproof polycarbonate lenses and are flexible to ensure a snug fit. Retail price varies between models.
SW-Motech was showcasing its new SysBag soft luggage selection. The bags are semi-rigid, water resistant and are available in three sizes (30 liters, 15 liters and 10 liters). The bags use SW-Motech's EVO mounting system and retail from $137.95 to $189.95.