Thunder Bay Based Company Develops Unique Shock for Motocross
by Scott A. Sumner
What Ride Concepts Inc of Thunder Bay has been working on is a shock absorber piston for the motocross industry. It is the only speed sensitive shock in the motocross industry and has created a lot of interest all over the world according to Tapio Niivila, Owner.
“ I have dealers over the world that basically resell it and rebadge it according. It has been working awesome. I can revalve a motocross bike stiffer than normally so it has a lot of bottom resistance but it doesn’t have the harshness that is associated with it so it works out
really, really well,” noted Tapio. “ It is a dual stage shock piston that starts out as a high velocity and ends up being a low velocity on a big hit. Every other shock in the world is a washer with holes in it and a single velocity.”
“ I designed it myself 100 %. It was lots of CAD work. I am not an engineer paper wise but did a lot of CAD work. It was extremely hard to design on a CAD program because it is extremely intricate. We have to get it made at a certain machine shop because it is so hard to manufacture physically. We made the protype in Thunder Bay but the final units are being made in New Jersey,” said Tapio. “ I’m not sure if we will put these parts in a snowmobile because it may not be really financially feasible. To revalve a motocross bike is $700 for 2 shocks .On a snowmobile it would be $1400 for 4 shocks. Dealers will buy the hard parts and install them on their customer’s bikes. We get the parts made in New Jersey. They get shipped here and then are ionized here. Some final prep work is done to make sure they are bang on and then we ship. It is created quite the stir and I am comfortable with that.”
The company recently received a $15,000 grant which was spent on R & D time, CAD work and creating many protypes. Ride Concepts Inc has already begun expanding the product line to kids motocross bikes.
Thunder Bay Racer JC Hupe, Gene Shaw, Visit Duluth and Carly Davis, Racer