How many really outrageous and unheard of ideas have come and gone in the offroad industry? How many were thought to never survive after their unveiling, but have become essential innovations?
Manufacturers strive every day to improve their products – innovation sells. Small improvements made to an existing unit each season mean more units sold, which means longevity for a business.
Some buyers however resist change and would reject the innovation because they don’t see the change as necessary.
Take power steering for instance, some say if you need power steering you need to have your man card revoked, but if this small innovation had not been brought to the table we’d still be straining to get through tight slow speed trails in 4-wheel drive and the ride would not be as enjoyable.
Who was the first person to figure out that extra ground clearance or long travel shocks and suspension would make for a better high speed ride across really tough terrain? This idea was scoffed at when it was introduced.
Consider the side-x-side craze and the fact that more seats would make for a more enjoyable adventure with family and friends.
Now the addition of an extra row of seats has taken side-x-sides to another level and several manufacturers have added extreme suspension travel and gobs of horsepower. Every manufacturer wants the biggest piece of the pie and there’s a market for this that they’re tapping into.
Consumer demand will drive innovation and we’ll continue to see outrageous ideas brought to the market to make this sport better. Just as surely, we’re certain to hear reasons why the industry won’t need them.