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While scrounging around in the back of Off Road Evolution's shop, we came across a locked storage room that we somehow managed to get inside of. We managed to spot a trick product that Off Road Evolution was trying to keep under wraps, that is until our curiosity led us to a revolutionary new part. We literally found the missing link.
Off Road Evolution calls it the Evo Missing Link. Their trick sway bar end link is like nothing else ever seen before; it's an internal-bypass nitrogen-charged adjustable-orifice hydraulic ram-think of a highly flexible end link. The Evo Missing Link was designed for both on and off-road dual rate sway bars allowing the use of a stiffer sway bar while also giving your axle an extra three inches of travel before it puts a load on your sway bar. It hydraulically locks, giving you the smooth ride of a typical sway bar link. It also gives you a great ride in high speed desert applications while minimizing body roll during corner carving. The Evo Missing Link is also great for rock-crawling allowing a fair amount of articulation while keeping the stability of your sway bar for off-camber situations. The Evo Missing Link is made of an all CNC 6061-T6 billet aluminum and is made 100 percent in the United States. Off Road Evolution plans to price it at under $400 for a complete set for an axle.
The Evo Missing Link was engineered by Off Road Evolution and the patent is pending.
For more information, visit: Off Road Evolution, www.offroadevolution.com
Hummer made in China?
According to GM Media Online, a heavy industrial manufacturing company based in China is very interested in purchasing the rights to the Hummer brand along with a senior management and operational team that will oversee the company's operations. A deal is in the works and should be finalized during the third quarter of this year. Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. plans to take the Hummer brand to a new level by allowing the company to grow to newer heights while also introducing it into underserved markets such as China. The deal, if finalized, would secure more than 3,000 U.S. jobs according to GM Media Online. Despite the General's enthusiasm over the potential sale of its struggling Hummer brand, there is no word on how many jobs will be lost as a result of the buy out.
For more information, visit: General Motors, www.gm.com
BFGoodrich names 2008 Motorsports Person of the Year
Larry Roeseler, a 13-time SCORE Baja 1000 champion and off-road legend, was recognized at the 41st Annual SCORE Baja 1000 for his various achievements in the world of motorsports. Roeseler has been competing in the SCORE Baja 1000 since 1972 and has been victorious in both motorcycle and truck series racing. Roeseler holds 17 class wins as well as eleven SCORE Baja 500 overall wins. Roeseler has competed successfully in desert racing in motorcycles, buggies and trucks for well over 35 years, outdriving his competitors with his aggressive driving style.
For more information, visit: BFGoodrich, www.bfgoodrichtires.com
200-plus California State Parks Face Closures!
We had a big scare in June at the possibility of California closing more than 200 state parks as a result of the budget deficit. Thankfully, our beloved OHV parks will not be shut down because they do not receive money from the general fund and are sustained by their gas tax revenue that keeps them open. According to the California Parks Department, 59 state parks will remain open but an unlucky 220 parks might be shut down in order for the state to save money. At least 1,200 employees of the state parks stand to loose their jobs if the dreadful closures were to occur. As off-roaders, we're very lucky to keep our parks open but must also stand up and fight to keep all of our state parks open for future generations to come.
On a side note, on June 15, the Budget Conference Committee proposed a viable way of maintaining all of our parks open by raising all California non-commercial vehicle license fees by $15. This would cover the cost of keeping all of our state parks open to the public while giving Californians day-use access to state parks for free.
Imagine paying for your yearly off-road entry fees every time you renew your registration all the while you are helping keep state parks open. By the time you read this, it will have already passed or not passed, but we're really hoping that everyone wants to pay an extra 15 bucks to keep the parks open!
For more information, visit: California State Parks, www.parks.ca.gov
SEMA Protects Our Beloved Clunkers
The Specialty Equipment Market Association convinced Congress to amend the "Cash for Clunkers" legislation by adding a 25-year limit on trade-in cars to expand recycling opportunities-just days before the bill was passed by Congress on June 18. This means that the controversial bill would only apply to vehicles from 1984 and newer. The bill would give government incentives of $3,500 to $4,500 to motorists who trade in their gas-guzzling vehicles for more fuel-efficient vehicles. If your vehicle currently gets 18 miles per gallon or less and you trade it in for a new one that gets at least 22 mpg, you will qualify for a $3,500 government incentive. If the vehicle gets at least 10 mpg more than your old one, you will qualify for a $4,500 incentive.
SEMA stood before Congress to protect older cars and trucks that many of us long for. SEMA lobbied on our behalf, arguing that some of these vehicles hold sentimental value as well as "historic or aesthetic value" to consumers. They also persuaded Congress to allow the drivetrains, except the engine, to be recycled-so long as they are sold as separate parts. SEMA's call to action will benefit many small and large businesses by enabling them to have vehicles to build, restore, and engineer parts for. Talk about saving jobs and stimulating the economy!
For more information, visit: SEMA, www.sema.org
Just before this issue went to print, we got a sneak peak of what Nitto's new Trail Grappler will look like. It will be available mid September and will offer three-ply sidewalls and very durable tread compounds. It will first be released in a 35-inch size for 17, 18, and 20-inch wheels, but other sizes will soon follow.
Stay tuned for an upcoming tire test on these new Trail Grapplers.
For more information, visit: Nitto Tire, www.nittotire.com