Kaleva Button Bumps

July, 1996 - Miata.net Product of the Month

Reviewed by: Ken Walker KenWalk@frmail.frco.com

Kaleva Design has invented a product that many Miata owners may not have even wondered about, but may wish they had. The Miata has two horn buttons, each are mounted on the steering wheel. They have a small indentation for the thumbs of the driver to rest in. Trouble is, when you need to find the buttons in a hurry, you may not be able to if the wheel is spinning or if your hands are not positioned at 3 and 9 o'clock on the wheel.

That's where Kaleve Design's new horn buttons step in. They turn the indentation for your thumbs into two small "speed bumps" instead. They come in black to match the OEM horn buttons, and in polished silver to match the polished voo-doo shift knob.

The way they work is rather simple. They are two small "bumps" that resemble the little "road nipples" you see in the street that mark lanes for you. They have a strong adhesive on the back and you simple stick them over the indented portion of the button.


side view of right button (before installation):

     before:              after:
       _     ______        _/   \______
      / \___/      \      / \___/      \
     (______________)    (______________)

-Cost? The polished ones are $14.00.

-Would I change anything about the design? Yes. The stick-on buttons are flat on the bottom. Therefore, the only stickum that comes in contact with the button is along the perimeter of the circle. You have to center the button EXACTLY TO CENTER to take full advantage of the stickum. Mine fit pretty well and have not slipped or come off during the last couple of weeks. A curved bottom would help this problem. On the other hand, a change to the entire button would require dis-assembly of the steering wheel and airbag and would therefore require too much work for the pay-off IMO.

-Would I buy them again? Certainly! They are subtle enough not to impair my driving, and I haven't "accidentlly" tripped the horn or even come close. It feels nice to know EXACTLY where the button is without having to glance down to see it, and it provides a nice touch to match my voo-doo knob!

Installation (even with my huge thumbs) was very simple and easy, and took less than 5 minutes. They are just as easily dis-assembled for the individual who grows to dislike them.

Overall, I would give the product 5/5 stars for value and 4/5 stars for design. Either way, its a subtle change to the look and feel of things that only serious miataphiles would notice!

They're available from The Dealer Alternative.