Pro Taper SELA Starting Device | Track Tested
Ever since the modern motocross starting device was invented in the early 2000s, racers with them installed on their bikes have been able to be more aggressive off the starting line with their front suspension locked down into a low position that helps prevent wheelies and increase rear-wheel traction. And save for those blessed with amazing coordination or exceptionally long arms, most riders need the help of a mechanic or friend to help lock the device into place with a well-timed compression of the fork and push of the button.
This is where the guys at Pro Taper saw a need for a better starting device; one that would be actuated by the rider alone, sans any outside assistance. The SELA (self-engaged launch device) is a starting device unlike any other we’ve seen or used, and we were excited to get our hands on one ever since we saw one on Dean Wilson’s privateer Husky at the start of the 2019 season.
We’ll be honest: we were a little intimidated by the installation procedure at first. First of all, there are no instructions in the package. Instead, customers are instructed to go to ProTaper.com, select their motorcycle, and print the installation instructions and fork guard template. All told, the directions are eight-pages long, and we wondered if we were really up to the task. After skimming them, though, we realized that anyone who has installed a starting device before should have no problem…most of the extra details are about the combination of retention ring and receiver plate required for your particular machine. Once we figured out the right combo, the installation took less than 30 minutes. We really like the hinged retention ring that can be installed on the bike without removing the fork leg.
To activate the device, all you need to do is turn the dial clockwise until it stops before you head to the starting line, and somewhere along the way, do a front-wheel stoppie. The device locks into place flawlessly and keeps your front end compressed as you blast off the line and until you brake for the first turn.
We’ve had problems with other starting devices staying locked, being hard to engage, or even malfunctioning and damaging our upper fork tubes in the past, but the Pro Taper SELA has been perfection defined. If you are serious about getting great starts, this is an item that should be at the top of your list.