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ProTaper Self-Engaged Launch Assist (SELA) Reviews

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Product Details


· Edited by k.g

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

Test Bike: 2019 Yamaha YZ250X
Test Conditions: XC/Woods Racing

What Is the Pro Taper SELA?

The Pro Taper SELA is a holeshot start assist device that requires very little effort to set with no outside help.

Features and Installation

The Pro Taper Self-Engaged Launch Assist  (SELA) features a modular design that will fit most modern bikes and can be installed without removing your forks. It comes with different spacers for use on different bikes, so if you change brands, you'll likely be able to reuse your SELA.  Instead of a push button or lever, the SELA features a twist knob that holds the hook out until it engages with the catch. As an engineer myself, I really appreciate the thought and design that went into it. It's quite ingenious.

Pro Taper has an online set-up guide, found on their website after you enter your bike details, that walks you through each step with clear and easily understandable directions using common tools. The most difficult part of the installation is deciding on how low you want the bike to sit. I went with the middle of Pro Taper’s recommendations  (110mm).  I'm 6' tall, so I wanted a height that made dead engine starts easier where my foot is on the kickstart lever when straddling the bike. Next time I'll likely give 120mm a try (lower) to see if that helps even more. Just keep in mind that height adjustments can only be made with new fork guards, so plan accordingly.

Does the Pro Taper SELA Work?

In a word; brilliantly. I found it easiest to twist the knob before I get to the line, then compress the forks to engage the device as I come to a stop.  While sitting at the line is just as easy to activate, I found momentum to be beneficial in compressing the forks. The knob is large and easy to grip and turn with gloves on. If it doesn’t catch, no big deal... just compress the forks again until it does. I’ve heard of some start devices not releasing after the first bump or corner, but I never experienced that with the Pro Taper SELA.

Can it help you get better starts? Well, of the 5 dead engine race starts that I’ve done with the SELA I have 5 holeshots to my credit. Full disclosure; I’ve always been pretty good at starts. But, I can’t remember if I’ve ever gotten a holeshot on a dead engine start. The ability to get the bike to sit lower when you have to kick the bike over makes a huge difference for me. Most of the courses I ride have the starts on a hillside and oftentimes the hill slopes to the left of the bike. Since I race alone, I usually don’t have anyone to grab a start block or some other support to stand on. The SELA solves that issue for me.



Any Issues?

Just one. Part of the design requires recessing some machine screws behind the fork guard. After some riding time, I’ve noticed the screw heads wearing on the catch. In speaking with Pro Taper, I was informed that since Yamaha uses relatively thin fork guards, it’s difficult to get the screws recessed enough to clear the catch. After 15 hours it hasn’t failed, but if it does, PT said they'll gladly send replacement parts.

Bottom Line

The Pro Taper SELA works as designed.  If you’re a one-man show, sometimes setting a start device can be tricky and the SELA makes it a breeze. Whether you’re a good starter already or too short to ride the carnival roller coaster, the Pro Taper SELA can be beneficial to you. Two thumbs up from me! 👍👍

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