ATLAS Throttle Lock—When a Broken Wrist is the Mother of Invention

Seven years ago was the official launch of the ATLAS, and company-founders David and Heidi Winters have done a lot of heavy lifting since the Fall of 2014. Now that the company is up and running, we thought it was about time to launch the ATLAS blog.

We were wondering what our first words should be for our first ever blog-post. Well there you have it… ATLAS Throttle Lock couldn't have been a better choice.

In keeping with the spirit of our universal fit, we intend to highlight a variety of motorcycle interests, particularly David and Heidi’s Round The World adventure which resulted in the development of the ATLAS Throttle Lock.

David and Heidi were recently interviewed on May 10th by Media Editor (and self-described anti-camping activist) Wes Fleming on his Chasing the Horizon podcast. The Horizon show is a collaboration between BMW MOA and WebBikeWorld, and billed as an open source project for and about motorcyclists, streaming into your white earbuds about once a fortnight. David and Heidi can be heard on Episode 112.

After Wes talked about, amongst other things, how David and Heidi have been dating since age 16, Heidi riding pillion on David’s (well, his mom’s) Honda CT90 to school and back, followed later in life by a backpacking trip to Europe and Africa, and both of them working road construction to finance travels, Wes asked about the history of the ATLAS Throttle Lock.

You’ll need to listen to the podcast for the details, but the condensed version is David ended up with a broken wrist—while Down Under, mate; resulting in a dire need of a throttle-device to help recovery while continuing the journey. The bike was a paint shaking KTM 640 that sported a 37 inch seat height. The choice of throttle locks on the market were, to say the least, inadequate for the job at hand (pun intended)—and those devices are still a poor substitute for the ATLAS. Being laid up in an Australian hospital bed was the impetus that brought the ATLAS Throttle Lock to life.

Initially working with a Dremel to shape pieces from a nylon cutting board, moving to a 3D print, the ATLAS concept was eventually solid enough to be financed by Kickstarter. A family affair since day one, with David and Heidi parenting two small children while simultaneously assembling throttle locks on their kitchen table and going on the road to rallies and trade shows. 

The early days would’ve been a challenge for some, but taken in stride if you’ve previously rode around the world on a motorcycle. These days both David and Heidi wear multiple hats around the office, but basically David designs and markets, while Heidi manages inventory, events and logistics.

Listen to the Chasing the Horizon podcast HERE.

The company has come a long way from when David and Heidi assembled ATLAS’ parts on their kitchen table, and we are excited to finally share the whole story.


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