Industry Spotlight: Denali Electronics

Erik Stephens founded DENALI Electronics in the same way that many companies are founded; he solved a problem. When Erik and the product design team at Twisted Throttle began selling motorcycles parts and accessories for the growing adventure motorcycle segment in the early 2000s, they realized that the outdated and weak halogen and HID bulbs on the market at the time were not up to the challenge of extreme motorcycle adventures and that LED technology was the future.

Photo by Denali Electronics

“The motorcycle lights available at the time were dim, heavy, and expensive. From our time testing our other motorcycle products on cross-country trips and on numerous motorcycle adventures to Alaska, we knew that this old technology wasn’t going to cut it,” said Stephens.

Extended overlanding trips, on a motorcycle or in a 4×4, are tough on gear, and the team at Twisted Throttle knew that if the next wave of auxiliary lighting was going to meet the needs of the most hardcore adventurers, it had to be robust, powerful, and intuitive.

In 2012, DENALI Electronics was founded and released its first LED light kit that provided a ‘complete lighting solution’ for adventure bikes, including lights, a vehicle-specific mount, a wiring harness, and a control unit to modulate the driving lights with the high and low beam of the motorcycle. From the beginning, we were focused, first and foremost, on increasing rider safety. All of us at DENALI have had close calls or lost friends in riding accidents; we set out with a personal mission to make riders safer through seeing and being seen.

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Working in the motorcycle market forces our team to design products that meet the highest performance and durability standards yet squeeze all of that performance into a tiny form factor. This more compact footprint is required for motorcycles, but on full-sized cars and trucks, it allows us to deliver huge light output in a much smaller, more subtle aesthetic than most competitors. This is great if you’re outfitting an overland vehicle and want maximum performance from your lighting but don’t want to attract a lot of attention on the streets of Ensenada or at a military checkpoint in Bolivia!

This approach of providing a complete lighting solution with safety as a priority has grown into a sprawling catalog of vehicle-specific applications as well as universal lights, mounts, and controllers for side-by-sides, overland trucks, and hardcore wheeling rigs alike.

Photo by Denali Electronics

The team at DENALI knows that each customer is unique and has specific needs suited to his or her travel style, so the DENALI catalog allows for customization and personalization at every turn. Not only does the DENALI team develop vehicle-specific mounts for most popular vehicles, but they have also developed intelligent controllers that leverage existing vehicle signals like CANbus to customize auxiliary lighting. The DENALI CANsmart Controller allows for complete lighting and accessory management using the OEM controls of the most popular motorcycles, including the BMW R1250GS, Harley Davidson Pan America 1250, Triumph Tiger 1200, and more. The DENALI DialDIm Controller is a universal controller that can control up to two light circuits at the turn of a dial and, when connected to the vehicle’s turn signal, horn, and bright circuits, enables intelligent features like flash with horn, flash with signal, and more.

“We cut our teeth in the adventure motorcycle world where bikes are repeatedly dropped, dragged through water, dust, and mud, and exposed to some of the harshest conditions imaginable for weeks or months at a time,” Erik said. “We are now aiming our ‘complete lighting solution’ approach at outfitting overland and off-road vehicles with the best and most innovative lighting available.”

In 2022, DENALI Electronics joined forces with Vision X Lighting, a trusted supplier with a rich legacy in manufacturing and racing, to combine Vision X’s technical prowess with DENALI’s specialized expertise in vehicle-specific development and innovation; this merger has resulted in the development of state-of-the-art lighting solutions that are suitable for use on the rugged SCORE 1000 track as well as in the most challenging overland environments.

Photo by Denali Electronics

Photo by Denali Electronics

Photo by Denali Electronics

Photo by Denali Electronics

“Joining the Vision X team has been like coming back from a long day on the trail to a campfire surrounded by friends,” Stephens said. “We have worked as partners for over a decade developing and manufacturing DENALI lights. It seems only natural to team up with other like-minded enthusiasts and produce the best products possible for our customers.”

The most exciting recent addition to the DENALI catalog is the DENALI D3 Fog Light, a powerful and compact fog light producing a crisp beam that is 300 feet wide and 450 feet long at 1 lux. The D3 Fog Light lens was painstakingly designed to produce the maximum allowed candela in each of the regulated lighting ranges for certification in North America (SAE/DOT) and the European Union (ECE). Nerd talk aside, this 90mm (3.5″) diameter fog light is the brightest street-legal fog light on the market that fits in the 90mm fog pocket of the most popular overland vehicles like the Toyota Tacoma and 4Runner, Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator, and Ford Bronco and F-series.

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