Labor Day Weekend is All About Bikes in J&P’s Neighborhood


August 29, 2012 | By: Angi Kearney

Labor Day weekend in Iowa marks one of the largest antique motorcycle swap meets and vintage flat-track races in the United States, hosted by the Chief Blackhawk Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America (AMCA), and it’s going to take place just down the road from J&P Cycles’ headquarters.

This year’s AMCA Fall National is set for Thursday, Aug. 30, through Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport. The three-day event annually attracts riders and families from across the country, drawn to the dirt track to watch vintage motorcycles compete.

Other big draws include hundreds of bikes on display, a parts swap meet, craft fair, cocktail … Continue Reading

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Sturgis 2012 on Film: When a Thousand Words Isn’t Nearly Enough


August 27, 2012 | By: Angi Kearney

There was a lot going on in Sturgis, and we couldn’t possibly tell you about it all in this blog post.

What we offer up here is two and a half minutes of footage that highlights the happenings at this year’s Sturgis Rally in South Dakota.

And if a photograph is worth a thousand words, this footage goes far and beyond what anyone could describe in a blog post. We present a collage of sights and scenes from this year’s rally, from bikini-clad dancers to bad ass motorcycles, and  impromptu sword swallowers and flame and smoke filled burnouts.

If you missed this year’s motorcycle Mecca on Interstate 90, then … Continue Reading

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Michael Lichter’s Sturgis Exhibition: A Display of Kick-ass Bikes


August 24, 2012 | By: Patrick Garvin

If you’re unfamiliar with the work of Michael Lichter, then welcome to biker land and congrats on the purchase of your first motorcycle. However, if you’re a fan of this famed photographer, then you’ve no doubt seen his amazing photos featured on the cover of practically every biker rag on the planet over the past three decades.

And that doesn’t even take into account his representation on countless Harley-Davidson publications. Why, his creative artistry has even graced the pages of our own “How J&P Changed the American Motorcycle Industry” book.

Along with his photography skills, Michael organizes a reoccurring exhibit at the Buffalo Chip in Sturgis every year, featuring … Continue Reading

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From Vermont to D.C. and Back to the Country, Bethel Reflects on Trip


August 23, 2012 | By: Jack Bethel

I am now in the Northern Adirondacks, sitting on the porch of a little cabin on the lake. This is a much needed calm after two weeks in the city.

The ride from Vermont to D.C. was spectacular in how varied it was. Vermont was quiet and peaceful, empty roads and beautiful scenery. I had a chance to mess around on some dirt roads, and actually ended up dropping the bike for the first time (I felt like a total asshat), I was going about three mph and slipped on some wet ferns as I tried to turn around. Don’t worry, nothing was hurt and I got it all on … Continue Reading

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The Historic Timeline of Big Twin Motors


August 17, 2012 | By: J&P Cycles

The art of the motorcycle engine has evolved dramatically since the days of the F-Head. In 1921, a Harley-Davidson became the first motorcycle to win a race with an average speed of 100 miles per hour.

The engine — and motorcycles engines in general — have changed dramatically since the early days. Time and technology have taken their toll in both good and bad ways, some would say. During a recent staff meeting here at the J&P Cycles headquarters in Anamosa, Iowa, our resident motorcycle experts and enthusiasts thought it would be interesting to highlight the history of the v-twin engine. From the F-Head, to its evolution as a … Continue Reading

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Tires – Your Complete Tire Guide


August 15, 2012 | By: Patrick Garvin

Round and black. That’s the extent of a lot of motorcyclists’ tire knowledge. Most people spend a majority of their time customizing their motorcycle by focusing on either making it look sharp by bolting on chrome or dropping large quantities of money on elaborate paint jobs. Or if you’re like some, you spend the majority of your hard-earned dollars on go-fast parts, strapping on the latest and greatest exhaust or air cleaner, or jamming oversized pistons and monster cams into the motor. All of those things are well and good, but they amount to nothing more than scrap metal without the right set of tires.

Which rubber is right for Continue Reading

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Patrick ‘The Gorilla’ Smokes ’em in Showdown


August 10, 2012 | By: J&P Cycles

Earlier this week we told you about our own Patrick Garvin’s involvement in what has become one of the most popular, noisy and smoke-filled events at Sturgis, the Baker Drivetrain Showdown. Patrick, always looking to take things to the extreme, donned a gorilla-suit for the competition.

We intended to give our own write-up of the event, but Bryan Harley, Cruiser Editor for summed it up best as he was in the pits at the Easyriders Saloon for the fierce competition Wednesday night.

Patrick ‘The Gorilla’ Smokes ’em in Showdown

by Bryan Harley

Thursday, August 09, 2012

It was standing room only as the crowd pressed in tight around the … Continue Reading

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J&P ‘Smokin’ at Easyriders Saloon in Sturgis

August 8, 2012 | By: J&P Cycles

In what has become one of the most popular, noisy and smoke-filled events at Sturgis, a baker’s dozen of bike builders, celebrities and motorcycle media personalities will compete at dusk tonight at Easyriders Saloon. It goes without saying that each of these riders is hell-bent on walking off with the 2012 smoke-down crown.

And J&P Cycles’ own Patrick Garvin will be among these VIP participants, attempting to run through the gears of his bike and be the first to spark a fifth-gear burnout. This third-annual Baker Drivetrain Showdown at the Sturgis Thunderdome pits riders — two at a time — in a drag-style burnout elimination that will leave one smoke-enveloped … Continue Reading

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The Beginning: Bethel Travels Over 2,000 Miles in One Week


August 1, 2012 | By: Jack Bethel

Editor’s note: Jack Bethel is on an approximate 8,000 mile journey through Canada and down the East Coast. He has agreed to share his adventures through a series of blogs to J&P Cycles. Bethel left Mount Vernon, Iowa on Sunday, July 22. Here, he provides his first series of trip updates from the road.

I sit now in the beautiful reading room at the library of Middlebury College, in Middlebury, Vermont. The clean luxury here is a stark contrast from my last week of travel.

Leaving from Mount Vernon, Iowa, I headed north through eastern Iowa and into Wisconsin. My first night I camped out behind a small backwoods … Continue Reading

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