FORGOTTEN MOTOCROSS TECH: TODD NESLER’S VENTS MI GOGGLES
Motocross history is filled with examples of creative ideas that were heralded as groundbreaking, but, because of the rapid rate of change in development, sank into the swamp of forgotten technology. Although some are best left abandoned, others were truly innovative (if not ultimately successful). MXA loves to reveal motocross’ tech trivia. Do you remember these ideas? TN Vents Goggles.
There have been lots of successful goggle companies selling little more in the way of innovation than fancy straps, wild colors and coated lenses. Vents Goggles was not one of them—as in not as successful and not content to just sell a run-of-the-mill goggle. Vents goggles were creative. Vents were designed and patented by Michigan Mafia AMA Pro Todd Nesler. The key feature of Vents goggles was Venturi-effect scoops that aimed rearward from the goggle’s frame down the strap. When air rushed past the end of the scoops, it would create a vacuum that drew air in through the foam-covered slots in the frame and eliminated fogging as the air in the goggles was exchanged at a rapid rate.
MXA tested Vents goggles in 1989 and we liked them. We were impressed that a small, family-run company (the family built the goggles in their basement) could develop a more innovative goggle than the big brands. During our testing, we never suffered any fogging issues while on the track, but as you would expect from basement-built goggles, we did have a few minor issues with quality control on lens fitment and sewing alignment on the strap. Vents always supplied us with updated parts whenever a problem arose.
Todd Nesler’s Vents goggle patent.
To survive in the competitive goggle business Vents expanded its goggle line into skiing, snowmobiles and paintball, where they built the popular vented Predator face-mask-equipped goggle that vented the paintballers breath out through scoops on the face mask. Vents goggles retailed for $39.95. The Over-the-glasses model cost $42.95. Lenses were available in clear, smoke and infra-orange.
Sadly, Todd Nesler passed away on September 3, 2009, and the age of 48.