The Cannonball Run Makes a Stop in Anamosa

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September 14, 2012 | By: Patrick Garvin

The 2012 Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run was set to come through Anamosa (where I live) on Monday with the National Motorcycle Museum as a scheduled stop. I was all fired up to see the parade of bad ass old bikes come through, so I decided to take the day off.

I made my way down to the Museum about 10 a.m., where I learned there was a broken down bike on its way here and I was asked if I would help. I quickly said yes and headed up to the J&P shop to meet up with fellow J&P volunteer wrench Sean Salger. Shortly after, a sprinter van pulled up … Continue Reading

| Comments: 5 Comments | Categorized Under: Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle Accessories, National Motorcycle Museum, Vintage Motorcycle Rally, Vintage Motorcycles

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

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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

| Comments: 1 Comment | Categorized Under: Buffalo Chip, Michael Lichter, Motorcycle Accessories, Motorcycle Events, Sturgis, Uncategorized

Tires – Your Complete Tire Guide

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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

| Comments: 6 Comments | Categorized Under: Motorcycle Accessories, Uncategorized

J&P Cycles’ 2012 Open House Rally: Taking Entertainment to a Whole New Level

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June 4, 2012 | By: Patrick Garvin

There are lots of reasons to attend the two-day J&P Cycles Open House Rally June 23 and 24, and top among them is the opportunity to mingle with 25,000 of your closest biker friends. In addition, this year’s event features free food, sponsored by Allstate, hundreds of vendors, great deals on parts and spectacular bike shows.

Did I mention the bike shows? Two of my personal all-time favorites will be on hand that weekend and they’re looking forward to coming here just as much as we’re looking forward to them being here. We’re talking about 10-time AMA Trials champ Geoff Aaron and revolutionary V-Twin stunters 1Wheel Revolution.

If you’re … Continue Reading

| Comments: 4 Comments | Categorized Under: J&P Cycles Open House Rally, Motorcycle Events, Uncategorized

Torque Fest 2012

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May 23, 2012 | By: Patrick Garvin

So for the past few years we have been hearing about a great rally called Torque Fest. And we’ve never been able to attend due to other events that were always conflicting. Well this year we were determined to go, so we loaded up and headed up to Maquoketa, Iowa.

The vibe at Torque Fest is all about pre-65 no billet traditional style hot rods and bikes. There is a real garage built feeling to the event that really shines through; there aren’t a lot of trailer queens rolling around.

If you participate in the show you get your chance to take laps on the dirt track, where you will … Continue Reading

| Comments: 14 Comments | Categorized Under: Motorcycle Accessories, Motorcycle Events, Uncategorized

XR1200s – The Most Fun on Two Wheels

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May 11, 2012 | By: Patrick Garvin

When you think about motorcycle road racing, Harley-Davidsons generally aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. But the folks at Vance & Hines — along with their XR1200 Series — have done an incredible job of changing that thought process over the past couple of years.

Rewind to 2008, when Harley introduced the XR1200 Sportster in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Magazines were quick to cover what are most likely the sportiest bikes ever produced by the motor company.

Small racing leagues began popping up in Spain and Italy with “fun” being they key word whenever someone found a need to explain the XR1200 series. The powers that … Continue Reading

| Comments: 2 Comments | Categorized Under: Motorcycle Accessories, Uncategorized, Vance & Hines

From Laughlin to Myrtle Beach — We’re on the Road Again

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April 23, 2012 | By: Patrick Garvin

Our tractor-trailer crew has just about enough time to wash the J&P rig, stock it to the bulkheads with new motorcycle gear and fill her up with diesel before hitting the road again. Rally season is underway, with the first scheduled stop at one of the largest biker events in the West — the 2012 Laughlin River Run in Laughlin, Nev., from April 25 through 29.

The massive 53-foot-long J&P trailer has been renovated in order to accommodate more vendors then ever before, all housed under a giant new awning. We’ve got vendors from the likes of Zox helmets and Rikki from Battisinis himself  – all on hand to answer … Continue Reading

| Comments: 1 Comment | Categorized Under: Motorcycle Accessories, Motorcycle Events, Uncategorized

Say It Ain’t True! The Motor Company Goes Electric?

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April 1, 2012 | By: Patrick Garvin

Disclaimer: This post is meant as satire and should not be construed as factual true.

It’s finally arrived — the day old school bikers and the HD faithful have feared for decades. The Motor Company has gone electric! Somebody check hell for snow.

That’s right folks, due to a tightening noose strung up by the EPA, along with overall pressure to foist a “greener” company onto the public, The Motor Company is rolling out its first-ever electric bike. And to add insult to injury, they’re debuting this debacle at Sturgis — the mother of all motorcycle rallies.

Most of the rumblings and ruminations over the past few years have been … Continue Reading

| Comments: 6 Comments | Categorized Under: Electric Motorcycles, Uncategorized

Buckets of Badass Bikes at Willie’s Chopper Show 2012

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March 22, 2012 | By: Patrick Garvin

I’ve made no secret here on the J&P Blog about my opinion of “custom bike building” and how this segment of the industry has turned into a joke over the past few years. I have little use for super shiny themed “choppas,” built on reality television shows by folks with thin skin, getting their underwear twisted up when someone doesn’t care for their “design”.

And I’m no fan of these so-called production customs, which sounds like an oxymoron to me — with the emphasis on moron.

What I do have an incredible amount of love for is real ingenuity. I like functional bikes that are designed to ride. And I … Continue Reading

| Comments: 18 Comments | Categorized Under: Custom Bike Building, Custom Bikes, Daytona Bike Week, Uncategorized

Denny Berg: Bike Building’s Best-kept Secret

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March 1, 2012 | By: Patrick Garvin

In today’s environment of reality show bike builders that are always up against some fictional deadline or in a screaming match over who’s late for work, it can be hard to focus on what custom bike building is about.

And in the midst of all of this is Denny Berg, chief fabricator at Cobra Special Projects division. For 18 years, he’s been turning out some of the slickest customs in the industry. I caught up with Denny at this year’s Dealer Expo in Indianapolis (see video above), where Cobra rolled out a fleet of its custom bikes to celebrate 20 years of the special project division. We talked … Continue Reading

| Comments: 3 Comments | Categorized Under: Custom Bike Building