This year marked my second consecutive in-person visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy MotoGP after years of following what I consider to be the world’s premier motorcycling championship on the television set.
Last year I experienced some culture shock during my first visit — but it was my kind of culture and so I embraced it! This year’s trip was just as exciting, but I experienced less awe and a whole lot more agenda. It was after all, a working trip, so the first few days were spent setting up the J&P Cycles rig in the interactive vendor display area.
For the past seven years I’ve worked in one capacity or another in Sturgis, and each of those years I’ve thrown a leg over my bike in late July, pointed it west and pinned it for 800 miles. I do the ride in one day, simply because I just don’t have all that much time.
I get there three weeks before the start of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and when I arrive, I’ve got exactly one day to do whatever I want before I get down to work. Other than my short morning blasts through Vanocker Canyon, that’s the last riding I do for the next month. While most of … Continue Reading
Two of the most beautiful words in a motorcyclist’s vocabulary are “barn find.” It’s something most of us bikers daydream about. You know, an old Knucklehead or old single-cylinder HD just waiting patiently for us to rescue it from the corner of a some old farmer’s shed and refurbish it for a triumphant return to the open road.
That being said, I’m thinking Williamstown, New Jersey, might just be home to the mother of all barn finds. Four decades ago, Nick — of Nick’s Custom Cycles — opened up a small bike shop in what was originally intended to be a chicken coop. Nick slapped some additions onto the old … Continue Reading
The café racer got its start in Europe in the early 1960s, making its way across the pond later in that decade, and eventually catching on with a few factories in the U.S. Even Harley-Davidson gave it a shot in 1977 with the XLCR. But the AMF-built bike was pretty much ignored in showrooms and quickly vanished from the H-D lineup. Unlike the Beatles and Stones, the café racer trend in America was short-lived.
Then a new craze smacked America upside the head in the late ’80s and early ’90s with bikers morphing their motorcycles into grossly overpriced machines where functionality took a back seat to the largest back tire … Continue Reading
Let’s face facts. Stock sucks. Doesn’t matter if we’re talking about stock pipes, stock air cleaner, stock windshield or stock seat. Hell, the motorcycle industry is based on the very idea that “stock sucks.” If stock didn’t suck there’d be no need for an Arlen Ness or a Jesse James. If stock didn’t suck, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. You’d be out on your stock bike put-putting down the street.
So now that we’ve established the lameness of stock, why are you rocking a stock stereo in your bagger? I’m pretty sure you ditched the stock mufflers the minute you rolled into your garage, trading … Continue Reading
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be following along with Steve Johnson, president and COO of Tucker Rocky and Bikers Choice, as he takes his 2010 Road Glide to S&S Cycle for the royal treatment. S&S will be doing a four-stage build and documenting each step on video — complete with before and after dyno runs, walking you through each installation right down to tool selection.
Joining Steve Johnson in this first video is George Smith, executive chairman and CEO of S&S. Smith’s suggestion to viewers is to take your time on this upgrade. “Get up to speed at your own speed”.
With riding weather hitting full stride, time’s short to spruce up your ride and add some well-deserved swag to its magnificence. There you stand in your garage, staring at your machine and wondering what bit of functional bling you could add to the bike to brighten its appearance or add punch to the motor.
By complete design, the folks at Performance Machine step forward to throw their hats in the ring with a pair of very good suggestions for 2011:
PM’s Fast Air Intake offers a new take on an old idea. This intake utilizes the highest-quality and best-performing K&N filter element, which results in a 10.21 hp increase on … Continue Reading
There are a couple of things I prefer not happen to me while perched atop my faithful machine. One of them is getting a flat tire. The idea of picking up a nail or some other form of road shrapnel bothers me for two reasons: One, most of the time I’m clipping along at a good rate of speed, and the thought of sharp debris attaching itself to one of my tires and shredding it into tiny pieces while I am hurling myself through a corner is upsetting to say the least.
Two, if I manage to survive the tire blowout unscathed, there’s the less dramatic issue of being in … Continue Reading
When you talk about motorcycle technology, most of us think of electronics of some sort, fuel-injection controllers or a navigation system — or maybe even the latest high-powered exhaust. As a rule, motorcycle jackets don’t usually fall under the category of innovative, high-tech gear. Until now.
We first told you about d3o technology in February of 2010 (see “What We Saw at Indianapolis Dealer Expo”). Today, we’re pleased to share that J&P Cycles now sells the new FirstgearRainier jacket that employs d3o T3 intelligent shock absorption armor in the shoulders and elbows, providing incredible protection for riders who fall off their bikes. How much … Continue Reading
There’s one constant that remains true in motorcycling and it’s this: All of us have different tastes and opinions about what we ride. Just read the biker forums and comments on Facebook and you’ll see constant buzz about what somebody rides or what they should do to their ride.
I’m certainly among those with an opinion or two. Just take a look at my bikes and you’ll see a theme. These motorcycles are all purpose-built to be quick and agile, with no added radios, cup holders or luggage — pretty much just keys and a seat. The problem with this, of course, is that when I’m out all day or … Continue Reading