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

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V-Twin Expo 2012: A Behind the Scenes View

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February 10, 2012 | By: Patrick Garvin

J&P Cycles flew a crew out to the V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati this past weekend so everybody could get a first-hand and up-close look at what our vendors have in store for all of us this season. A good part of the reason we all even work here is so we can attend exclusive motorcycle industry shows where our vendors debut all the products they have been developing over the winter.

What that means is, everybody who’s lucky enough get inside the doors of this exclusive exposition are laying their eyes on literally thousands of new motorcycle products and accessories for the first time.

And because J&P Cycles is known … Continue Reading

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Behind The Scenes of the J&P Rebuild for Extreme Makeover

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February 2, 2012 | By: Patrick Garvin

A few months back, Tim Barcz, who is my boss here at J&P Cycles, called me into his office, which in and by itself isn’t out of the ordinary. But what he said after I closed the door was something you don’t hear every day.

Seems he’d just received a phone call from producer of the top-rated TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and those folks were looking for a little help. They were filming a segment of the show in Iowa and they had called Tim to ask if we’d be at all interested in rebuilding two motorcycles for the family highlighted in the show. My response was … Continue Reading

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A Mandatory Helmet Law Could Be in Your Future

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December 15, 2011 | By: Patrick Garvin

So the government is trying to get Mandatory helmets? into your business again, sneaking through legislation that would force all 50 states to invoke a mandatory helmet law for all ages.

I’m writing this on Wednesday, having only caught wind of it earlier this week, so I have no idea what the outcome will be. But I can tell you this: Although I wear a helmet 99 percent of the time, I don’t believe that any other adult should have to do so. Fact is, I could care less if you want to wear a helmet or not.

For me personally, I’m a fairly aggressive rider and, combined with texting teen-agers and … Continue Reading

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PJD Wins, Sucking the Soul Out of Bike Building

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December 7, 2011 | By: Patrick Garvin

So I sat through the finale of the Discovery Channel’s latest bike build-off last night and then started bumping around the Internet to read comments fueled by the show. Believe me when I say I’m glad this well-promoted televised event prompted a lot of buzz, because our industry needs a shot in the arm like this.

But from the beginning, I had a bad feeling that Paul Junior would win — not because he had the best bike, but because of what being a “biker” has become. I also knew Jesse James didn’t have a chance. Jessie pulled no punches and he made no excuses. He said what he thought … Continue Reading

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Biker Build Off is Back: Jesse James and the Teutuls Tonight on Discovery

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December 5, 2011 | By: Patrick Garvin

Remember when there were “Biker Build Off’s” on TV, when you would flip on the Discovery Channel and see a build off, Motorcycle Mania documentary or Monster Garage episode?

Most of those shows became watered-down dramas, featuring posers on 300 tire, 10-foot-long, solid-chrome choppers, with every Tom, Dick and Harry claiming they were a “builder.” Then the economy took a nosedive and in doing seems to have flushed out most of that nonsense with it. A good portion of the builders that remain have relied on their innovation and skills to create parts for the common man to use on an actual motorcycle on the road — not some billet-laden … Continue Reading

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Cycle News is Back in a BIG Way

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November 14, 2011 | By: Patrick Garvin

A little over a year ago we reported that long time staple of motorcycle journalism Cycle News had decided to close up shop after 40 years of bringing motorcycle news to the masses on a regular basis. Well they didn’t stay away for long and they have returned to reporting on the motorcycle industry and motorcycle racing in a big way. Leaving behind the traditional print publication that they were known for and moving to a digital edition. The new and improved Cycle News is a once a week digital publication that you can not only read on your computer but on your smart phone or tablet.

Each issue covers … Continue Reading

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The Find: A ’76 Suzuki GT250, Part 1 of a 2-part Series

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October 31, 2011 | By: Patrick Garvin

Editor’s Note: Patrick Garvin is an in-house product specialist and ecommerce expert here at J&P Cycles, lending his extensive motorcycle and motorcycle parts knowledge to the website and to the blog. This is the first in a two-part series about his working relationship with a 35-year-old beauty named Suzuki.

About six years ago I found myself traveling back and forth on a regular basis through Illinois for business. I’d time my trips so I could stop off for lunch in a small spot in the road called Prophetstown.

Now the only reason I was making stops in this one-horse town is that I’d stumbled across a pretty damned fine hotdog … Continue Reading

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Two for Tuesday: Dunlop Q2’s Get the Job Done on the Street

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October 25, 2011 | By: Patrick Garvin

Just before I set out on my trip to Sturgis this year, I decided to throw a new set of shoes on the ZX-10R. I’d heard all the hype surrounding the Dunlop Q2’s when these tires were released a while back, what with the media claiming they were great, resulting in faster lap times and so on and so on.

But the hype still left me wondering about the tire’s abilities on the street. I was pretty certain they performed quite well at the hands of experts on the racetrack, but I had questions about how well they would operate under a bit of a whack job like myself (especially … Continue Reading

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Two For Tuesday: Akrapovic Brings Its Power to Harley-Davidson

October 11, 2011 | By: Patrick Garvin

It’s not often in the motorcycle world that something truly new comes along. But in the case of longtime performance exhaust manufacturer Akrapovic, something new has come along and it’s moving pretty fast.

For years, Akrapovic has set the standard as the best of the best when it comes to performance sport bike exhaust systems, a factoid that is reinforced by the many factory superbike teams that install them on their bikes at the highest levels of racing.

And now, Akrapovic has made the decision to cross over a bit, releasing a new line of exhaust equipment for late-model Harley-Davidson motorcycles. They brought with them an innate ability for … Continue Reading

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