This is the third year for Easyrider’s V-Twin Expo and by all accounts the event appears to have finally come into its own. Walking into the main exposition room of the Albert Sabin convention center in Cincinnati, Ohio, 30 minutes after the start of the show, there was already a bustle of activity — hundreds of dealers making their way up and down the aisles.
In the past two years, it appeared to take several hours before the show actually got up and running. But this year, by noon, there was still a line at the on-site registration booth, which, according to Jim Betlach, show organizer, was an encouraging sign toward the success of the event. More dealers, more vendors and more expo floor space in 2003 means the V-Twin could be here to stay as a show that both dealers and manufacturers have come to count on.
Powersports Business made the rounds, highlighting innovative and interesting products we think would be of interest to our readers.
- Custom Chrome has an array of new products, but one that’s becoming extremely popular is the custom kit bikes. The distributor had a large display for its kit called HR3, which stands for 100 cubic inches, 100+ horsepower, and 100+ ft.-lbs. torque.
The Nemesis (shown) is its most affordable at $12,999. It’s powered by CCI’s own RevTech motor and features a Santee stretched frame, RevTech 5-speed transmission, a 21-inch front tire and a 180/18 rear. The motor and the transmission come with two- and five-year warranties, respectively. Half the buyers have their local V-twin shop put the bike together, while the other half build the bike on their own.
A product newer to the market is CCI’s Chica custom-designed gooseneck frame made by Santee. It’s available as a rigid or a Softail design. The Softail comes in two rear tire sizes, a 180 or 230.
Custom Chrome, Inc., 16100 Jacqueline Court, Morgan Hill, Calif., 95037, 800/729-3332, customchrome.com
- Corbin has been having fun with heat and fiberglass lately, molding it into yet another unique shape that has found its way onto a motorcycle.
A solid fiberglass fairing has been designed for use on the Harley-Davidson V-Rod. The fairing sits on the handlebars where a windshield would. However, the solid-colored fairing is not in the line of sight, so the rider looks over it rather than through it. The angle can be adjusted up or down and comes off easily by removing three screws. The fairing mounts to the bike after relocation of the turn signals. A solid colored fairing is being designed for Honda’s VTX as well, and will be color-matched to the motorcycle’s paint job.
Corbin, 2360 Technology Parkway, Hollister, Calif., 95023, 800/538-7035, corbin.com
- Covercraft Industries was showing off its new Pack Lite motorcycle cover, a custom-fit cover that packs to an area 7x7x8 inches or less. Rick Messmore, director of marketing, says the patented Weathershield fabric sheds water immediately and just a shake allows the cover to dry in minutes. It’s also UV and abrasion resistant and comes in a full or a half size that protects to just below the seat.
Covercraft Industries, 100 Enterprise Blvd., Pauls Valley, Okla., 73075, 405/238-9651, pwr-sports.com
- Drag Specialties is excited about its new Rinehart exhaust system, developed and named after Gerald Rinehart, a veteran of exhaust systems for the NASCAR industry.
The chrome dual exhaust pipes come with black tips with the name Rinehart etched into each. They are available with either flush or staggered ends and are made for Dynas, Softails and FL touring models.
Rinehart applied the technology he used in developing exhausts for race cars and conformed it to work in motorcycles. Bubbs is doing all the manufacturing.
Drag Specialties, 3501 Kennedy Rd., Box 5222, Janesville, Wisc., 53547-5222, 608/758-1111, dragspecialties.com
- House of Kolor introduced a product under development for three years that could revolutionize the way a custom motorcycle is painted. It’s a software program that allows a painter to create different color schemes and graphics on-screen so a customer can choose exactly what he or she wants for a custom paint job. “You can do anything with the software that you can do in a spray booth,” says Mike Cagle, the general manager. “Airbrushing, color changes, flames, graphics — when we’re all done a designer prints out a full color design, plus a list of paint colors.” Cagle says the software will sell in the $500 range.
House of Kolor, 210 Crosby St., Picayune, Miss., 39466, 601/798-4229, houseofkolor.com
- Metzeler always has a new tire or two to unveil at the V-Twin show. This year it introduced ME880 radials for the Harley-Davidson V-Rod. The OE-size 120/70-19 front and 180/55-18 rear are the first performance upgrade tires available for the V-Rod. Both tires feature the 0 degree steel-belted radial construction one has come to expect from Metzeler. The company also has a new wider rear tire available for the V-Rod, a 200/50ZR-18 with the same radial construction.
Metzeler Motorcycle Tire, P.O. Box 700, Rome, Ga., 30162-7000, available through Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties, us.metzelermoto.com
- Open Road Body Care is the clever idea of Linda and Dan Rehbein. It’s a line of hair and body care products specifically designed for motorcyclists. The packaging and scent of the products is gender neutral so it appeals to both men and women. Launched last summer, the Rehbein’s want to sell only to dealers so that customers can return to their dealer for refills. Working as a hairdresser for 25 years as well as being a motorcycle rider, Linda felt there was nothing out there that addressed the needs of motorcyclists so she and her husband set out to develop and manufacture this line of products.
- Open Road Body Care, 21360 Sierra Dr., Brookfield, Wisc., 53045, 262/782-5161. openroadbodycare.com
- Progressive Suspension introduced its Airtail suspension system for ’89-’03 Harley-Davidson Softails. It utilizes dual air chambers in conjunction with a coil spring shock. One air chamber supports the load of the bike and maintains bottoming control. The other chamber’s pressure is used to adjust the ride height from stock all the way down to that lowered custom look, so even when lowered, the bottoming out control of the main chamber is still working.
The coil spring shock supports the motorcycle, too, by providing additional bottoming support. There is an optional on-board compressor that can be installed.
Progressive Suspension, 11129 G Ave., Hesperia Calif., 92345, 760/948-4012, progressivesuspension.com
- Ridley Motorcycle Company is continuing to push sales of its Auto-Glide 740, introduced last year. Ridley, known for its smaller sized, yet full-powered cruisers, introduced this large-size, automatic motorcycle to attract more customers to the brand. Jay Ridley, vice president of Ridley, says women, in particular, have been drawn to Auto-Glide as a way to get into motorcycles without having to be intimidated by the size or by learning how to shift gears. It weighs only 410 pounds (80 pounds less than a Sportster) and has a 24-inch seat height. He says older riders who have arthritis in their hands also are looking to the Auto-Glide for its automatic feature.
Ridley Motorcycle Company, 35 NW 42 St., Oklahoma, Okla., 73118, 405/525-5400, ridleymotorcycle.com
- Rocket Products has a nifty item called the Detail Wizard. It’s a set of cleaning tools that makes it easier to clean a motorcycle. The set includes long plastic pieces that get wrapped in a rag that make it easy to get into the nooks and crannies of the engine and other parts of a motorcycle. Also included is a static duster, and a bag used for when the rags get washed. Rocket Products also makes a line of detailing products.
Rocket Products, 817 Madison Industrial Rd., Madison, Tenn., 37115, 615/856-0100
- Saddlemen showcased an item that belongs in the “why didn’t they think of that sooner” category. It’s the Backrest Bag, a touring bag that goes on the passenger seat of a motorcycle. It has a backrest built in so the rider can lean back in comfort. The back support has a passive air system so it conforms to the shape of the rider’s back. The smart design continues to the cargo area. There’s a side zipper (versus a top or front zipper) so goods can be accessed from the side without taking the bag off the bike. It also has removable side pouches.
Travelcade/Saddlemen, 17801 S. Susana Rd., Rancho Dominquez, Calif., 90221, 800/397-7709, saddlemen.com