The Rabaconda Hall of Fame

by Tonu Kallast
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The Rabaconda Hall of Fame

The 3-Minute Tire Changer we know today is the result of years of feedback and development. We wanted to introduce you to all the people who contributed their time and expertise to make it the best changer in the world and the choice of champions. In 1995, Kaj Ek (of the Finnish Motorcycle Association) asked Pertti Ahonen, the father of a young local rider, to develop a mousse tyre changer for the Finnish Trophy Team during the International Six Days of Enduro that took place in Finland in 1996. It was critical for the Finns to become world champions in their home country, and they needed a tool that would help them change tyres easily and expertly. The Finnish team won that year.

In 2011, Reijo Kivelä from the Finnish Motorcycling Federation approached Jakob Saks about manufacturing Ahonen's mousse changer in Estonia. It took a bit of convincing, but Saks and riding buddy Tõnu Kallast agreed to manufacture it - but not before making some improvements!

And of course, here at Rabaconda we aren't just about designs. We are about rider-developed designs. So where else could Saks and Kallast turn for improvement ideas and inspiration?


Rider-Developed Designs

Juha Salminen, 13x EWC champion and now Husqvarna Nordic's brand manager, was one of the first users of Rabaconda. He and his mechanic, Mika Sironen, offered valuable ideas about the product, which helped move it from the original version to the one you use today. We are also eternally grateful for the early stage input from another legend of the track, 2x ISDE E3 winner Marko Tarkkala. It is the critical support and advice from riders and champions such as these that makes Rabaconda's products great.

So, with their help, the Rabaconda 3-Minute Tire Changer was successfully tested in 2012 by the Finnish Trophy Team at the ISDE held in Germany. While there, we were lucky enough to get feedback from another dirt bike superstar Geoff Ballard. As former team manager for Honda and Yamaha, and now proprietor of Ballard's Offroad, Geoff knows dirt bike riders inside and out - from the newbies to the pros - and offered his wise advice to help make the changer even better.

The more they talked to their dirt bike buddies, the more ideas Saks and Kallast had. Rabaconda keeps on developing as a company to make a difference in the offroad motorsport community. Continued support comes from mechanics such as Lars Börjesson of the Bel­Ray Husqvarna Factory Racing, who has been advising the guys at Rabaconda since the Husky team started using Rabaconda products. And we can't forget the help given to us by Estonian enduro riders Egon Üpraus and Toivo Nikopensius, who gave design advice and helped with testing.


Beyond The Track

When we look back at the people who helped us make the Rabaconda changer what it is today, we also have to look beyond the track.

When it comes to product ideas and testing, the input of champions and our fellow riders is invaluable. But when it comes to professional advice about the metal industry, Saks and Kallast turn to Almar Proos, chairman of Favor metalworks. With his advice and the skilled hands of Roman Jüri working on prototypes, Rabaconda's 3­-Minute Tire Changer came to life.

Last but not least, we must thank Mihkel Virkus and Kaarel Mikkin at Brand Manual. By creating the design elements (such as the green handle and cut­out patterns) that you now see on all Rabaconda products, they captured the spirit of the brand perfectly.  

Here at Rabaconda we are on a journey-and it's been one hell of a ride so far! We continue to learn, be inspired and perfect our products thanks to the help of experts and enthusiasts from the world of dirt bike riding and beyond. Do you have feedback that will improve our products, or an idea for a new product that would change the world of dirt bike riding? We'd love to hear from you.

by Tonu Kallast


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