Let’s take a trip back in time to the days when I was a fresh-faced, wide-eyed journalist. I was on my first assignment for Roadracing World magazine, and I was covering an AMA Pro Racing test session at Road Atlanta.
1985 threw up on the powersports industry
All right, maybe not. But 1985 has definitely regurgitated its neon hues and funky color blocking all over the industry’s gear and apparel.
Neon never really went away in our world, thanks to products that promoted high visibility for riders. Not that long ago, though, those products were primarily limited to safety vests and small neon touches built into gear.
Looking around the Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties Showcase this past weekend, I realized what a comeback neon is making. Sure, I’ve been seeing it in mainstream fashion for a while now, but it kind of crept up on me in powersports gear.
During a chat with Nelson-Rigg President Dimitri Cretikos, he mentioned that their high-vis yellow and black rainsuit is outselling all of their other color options combined, and the company has responded by adding a high-vis orange option. I made a comment that it was nice to see more people taking safety seriously, but Dimitri was quick to note that it was also about being trendy.
This trend isn’t limited to a single niche in the industry. Slippery’s life vests and board shorts had the same palettes, and Product Designer Tony Treltas said that although black was the dominant color for a long time, the bright neons are once again a popular option.
Thor has also embraced the brightness, as seen in their Core Bend line of pants and jerseys. Pictures don’t do those colors justice: you need to see it to appreciate it.
Whether you like the neon fashion trend or not, it does have the bonus of making riders extremely visible, so there is a built-in safety advantage. And I guess I’m okay with feeling like it’s 1985 again – if it was good enough for Marty McFly, it’s good enough for me.
What do you think about the neon revolution in powersports gear? Are your customers embracing it, and if so, which colors are the most popular?
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