Among the new products spied at SDRC in San Diego, CA for last week’s opening round of the Top Notch Series was AKA’s newest tire pattern, the Handlebar (see the mustache logo molded into the sidewall?).
Featuring a network of straight and angled bars along the edges of the tread, with short lugs in the center for extra forward bite, the Handlebar is aimed at grooved and groomed surfaces; when made of AKA’s recently announced Clay compound, it should prove a lethal combination for indoor tracks. According to AKA’s Gil Losi Jr., the new tire’s design was a function of wanting to create a tire that looked different than similar offerings from competitors, while still capitalizing on what has been proven to work in those situations. Losi mentioned that the tire, shown here in prototype, could still undergo a few revisions to its inner carcass webbing or other changes before production. The Handlebar is the first of AKA’s new wide tires, a trend among manufacturers for classes like short course racing, and will include a new foam insert designed to fill the extra width.