How to Light Your Fire… Ignitions


June 29, 2010 | By: Scott Holton

Easily among the most forgotten performance enhancement today is your motorcycle’s ignition system. Adding additional performance parts can sometimes be a waste of time and effort if your motorcycle’s ignition system isn’t upgraded.   Today, we’re going to start off with a brief history of Harley-Davidson’s ignition systems, and then we’ll talk about some alternatives.

Mother Harley has utilized a variety of ignitions over the years. In the early days (prior to 1979) a points and condenser system with some type of advance was used. Before 1965, advancing and retarding the ignition was a manual thing, controlled by the left handgrip. Many an unsuspecting soul was pitched over the handlebars attempting … Continue Reading

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Motorcycle Electrical System – Part I: Defining the Terminology


June 28, 2010 | By: Anthony Todd

Electricity and wiring are among the most complicated systems on today’s motorcycle. So what we thought we’d do is attempt to shed some light on this potentially complex topic by defining some of the common terms used when dealing with electricity. These terms are basic Electrical 101 that you’ll hear whenever you’re dealing with any motorcycle electrical system.

Ampere — The practical unit of electric current flow. If a one-ohm resistance is connected to a one-volt source, one ampere will flow.

Circuit — A complete path over which an electric current can flow.

Circuit Breaker — A device designed to open and close a circuit by non-automatic means and to … Continue Reading

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Meet the Experts at our Florida Showroom


June 24, 2010 | By: J&P Cycles

Celebrating its third anniversary this month, our Destination Daytona Superstore is bursting with a huge selection of products from the motorcycle industry’s top manufacturers.

Located just off I-95 and US-1 in Ormond Beach, Fla., the 15,000-square-foot showroom features thousands of parts and accessories for your Harley-Davidson, Cruiser, and Gold Wing, along with a large selection of helmets and apparel.

Highlighted by the enormous J&P Cycles logo and a huge neon sign that reads, “Keeping the World on 2 Wheels,” the mezzanine demonstrates our co-founders’ – John and Jill Parham – love of antique motorcycles.  There are gorgeous motorcycle canvas prints and huge wallpaper scenes … Continue Reading

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Gold Wing Riders winging it to Des Moines


June 23, 2010 | By: Patrick Garvin

Ah, the Wing Ding. And if you’re not a member of the “in” crowd — that, of course, being Gold Wing owners — then the term has absolutely no meaning to you. Nor should it.  But if you are a proud member of the Gold Wing family, you know Wing Ding is the annual nationwide pilgrimage of Wing riders meeting up for a motorcycle rally specifically targeted for that touring machine of touring machines — the Gold Wing. The rally runs from Tuesday, June 29 through Saturday, July 3.

This year marks the 32nd installment of the Wing Ding, which, unlike most bike rallies, moves around the country … Continue Reading

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Leroy Thompson Signature Series Right Here at J&P


June 22, 2010 | By: Patrick Garvin

In today’s landscape of custom bikes and bike builders, where it seems like everybody is giving bike building a try, it’s becoming harder to see any sort of originality in the marketplace. All you see are cookie-cutter “choppers” (I use that term loosely) where a builder’s idea of ingenuity is a big back tire and a long front end. And when you do find work done by the real talent in the industry, it’s incredible machine or sheet metal work, but it’s in no way applicable to your bike.

That makes Scott and Keith Webster from
Leroy Thompson Choppers a rare breed indeed. If you’re not familiar with … Continue Reading

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Motorcycle Frame Geometry Made Simple: How your motorcycle handles


June 21, 2010 | By: Anthony Todd

Frame geometry, rake and trail are important components in how your motorcycle rides, but that doesn’t make them any less complicated or frustrating to understand. So today we’re going to simplify it for you and show you how rake and trail work hand-in-hand to enhance your motorcycle’s performance.

Let’s start by defining rake and trail:

  •  Rake is the angle of the steering head — measured in degrees — from a line 90 degrees to the ground.  
  •  Trail — measured in inches — is the distance between an imaginary line drawn through the steering head to the ground and a line straight down from the axle (See figure
Continue Reading

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Old School or New School Motorcycles? Where Do You Stand? Part II


June 18, 2010 | By: J&P Cycles

Editor’s note: Today we present the second of two blog posts about the age-old motorcycle argument over “old school” versus “new school.” Yesterday we heard the advantages of the new bikes presented by Patrick Garvin. Today we’ll hear from Kody Wisner, who will serve up a bit of nostalgia and common sense in support of the old school bikes. Again, our purpose here isn’t to change anybody’s mind about this age-old issue. The intent is to add ammo to your argument, no matter which side of the road you reside.

Modern versus Classic Motorcycles (By Kody Wisner)

Like Patrick Garvin said in his blog post yesterday (“New School Rules; Continue Reading

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Old School or New School Motorcycles? Where Do You Stand? Part I


June 17, 2010 | By: J&P Cycles

Editor’s note: Finally. The definitive discussion about the merits and myths of motorcycle bragging rights. OK, let’s get real. This two-part blog post is not going to bring these two opposing foes to any kind of accord. This isn’t the United Nations by any stretch of the imagination. But it promises to be fun and, and the very least, it enables our two protagonists to let off some steam. Patrick Garvin will present today’s “New” bike argument. Tomorrow’s “Old” bike counterpoint will be offered up by Kody Wisner. Gentlemen: Start your blog posts!

New school rules; old school drools (By Patrick Garvin)

The debate’s been raging since the dawn of … Continue Reading

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The American Dream – A Letter From Our President, John Parham


June 16, 2010 | By: John Parham

UPDATE ON JOHN PARHAM: John ended up getting “the call” saying that the hospital had a lung for him. You can read more on John’s progress by reading “Thank You All For Your Prayers, Kind Words, and Support”, a blog post from the Parham Family.

The American Dream

J&P Cycles® truly is a business representative of the
American Dream. Jill and I started by selling motorcycle parts out of the back of a van from a small town in Iowa. Now, we are the world’s largest retailer of aftermarket parts for motorcycles. It took a lot of work, sacrifices, dedicated employees, a strong family and some luck to … Continue Reading

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Nice Legs! Courtesy of Arlen Ness

June 16, 2010 | By: Patrick Garvin

Just when you think you’ve covered every square inch of your bagger in chrome and created a piece of motorcycle art, you notice your Plain Jane front end, sticking out there like an ugly date at a high school dance.

Too often, when we’re in the midst of customization with all the custom paint, billet wheels, booming stereos and chrome dipped covers, we overlook the front end. We often have the erroneous opinion that the front end is pretty much un-customizable. So we ignore it. And that’s our best thinking.

Thank the motorcycle gods for Arlen Ness because that man finds a way to customize everything! And these pieces are … Continue Reading

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