Meet the Team: J&P Metric Tech Josh Schmit


December 19, 2011 | By: Scott Holton

Josh Schmit is a problem solver and he’s been resolving customer issues here at J&P Cycles for the past seven years. Heck, he’s got answers for questions posed by other J&P techs. All this equipment knowledge comes from years of working on bikes. And Josh will be the first to tell you that squatting down in front of a bike with a wrench is the best education you can get in this industry.

Meet Josh Schmit:

J&P Cycles: What got you interested in motorcycles?

JS: It started for me the first time I actually tore apart a lawnmower engine at 9 years old and my older brother helped me get Continue Reading

| Comments: 4 Comments | Categorized Under: J&P Team Members, Uncategorized

Tech Talk – A Trip Down Memory Lane: Harley Brake Systems, Circa 1936 to 1985


November 28, 2011 | By: Scott Holton

This month we’re going to talk about early brake systems, but before we do that, let’s think about what a brake actually does for a living. Simply put, a brake converts mechanical energy into thermal energy by applying friction from the pad or the shoe to the disc or the drum.

Now we’ve got that out of the way, time for some history. Early in what we call the modern era of motorcycles — from 1942 to 1971 — Mother Harley used drum brakes to slow things down. From 1936 to 1957, rear brakes were of the mechanical variety. A brake pedal linked to a crossover shaft, rear linkage and … Continue Reading

| Comments: 4 Comments | Categorized Under: Tech Tips, Uncategorized

Help Celebrate Veterans Day This Year — on Nov. 11, of Course

November 11, 2011 | By: Scott Holton

On the 11th day, of the 11th month of the year 2011 we celebrate an event that occurred on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. This was the time the armistice between Germany and the Allied nations went into effect, thus ending the war to end all wars. It was called the “Great War” because nobody could fathom a fiercer conflict. 

On Nov. 11 the following year, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the day should be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and … Continue Reading

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Meet the Team: J&P Call Center Supervisor Brett Koranda

November 1, 2011 | By: Scott Holton

J&P Cycles team member Brett Koranda is one of our supervisors pulling the strings in our Iowa call center, not only fielding calls himself, but monitoring others and offering on-the-fly advice to his fellow J&P staffers. As a sales and customer service supervisor, it’s Brett’s task to make sure all your questions are answered when you phone in. He’s been doing an excellent job of it these past four years or so. If you call in and you hear, “Good afternoon, this is Brett,” give him a shout out. Tell him you read about him on the J&P blog:

J&P: What got you interested in Motorcycles?

Brett Koranda: My dad Continue Reading

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Meet the Team: J&P Sales Techs Bud Probus and James Dean

October 21, 2011 | By: Scott Holton

Most of our Meet the Team introductions have been with J&P staff members who have been with us a long time. Today, we’re changing that up a bit in order to fill you in on two of the newer members of our team. These two gentlemen joined us within the last nine months and both guys are sharp as tacks and equally fun to work with.

Duane (Bud) Probus is a recent graduate of the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (Phoenix) Harley and Kawasaki program. James Dean — that’s right, James Dean — is a graduate of Wyo Tech’s American Motorcycle Institute (Florida) Harley program.

Meet Bud (left) and James (right):

J&P Cycles: Continue Reading

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Rivera Primo Remains a Top J&P Cycles Supplier

October 12, 2011 | By: Scott Holton

It goes without saying that suppliers are the lifeblood of J&P Cycles, and one of our longest-running partnerships is with Rivera Primo, a quality motorcycle parts manufacturer that operates out of a 40,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Whittier, Calif.

Formerly known as Rivera Engineering, Rivera Primo was founded by a television repairman named Mel Magnet who came up with the great idea back in the early ’70s to use a British carburetor on the Harley-Davidson V-twin engine. This carb, which was usually found on Jaguars and MG automobiles, was known as the SU (abbreviation for Skinners Union). The SU was fantastic right out of the box, and Mel discovered … Continue Reading

| Comments: No Comments | Categorized Under: Motorcycle Accessories

Motorcycle Madness — It’s Often a Hereditary Thing


August 18, 2011 | By: Scott Holton

If loving motorcycles — and Harley’s in particular — is a hereditary trait, I guess you could say I came by my infatuation honestly. My dad was a mechanic and I grew up surrounded by disassembled machines, frames hanging from the garage ceiling and the intoxicating aroma of half-filled oil pans. My dad had bikes around our property before I was born, and he actually dabbled with open wheel racing with the United States Auto Club.

Dad never owned a bike when I was growing up, but back in the early ’70s, at the impressionable age of 14, he helped me pick out a 1968 Montgomery Wards Riverside 250 Street … Continue Reading

| Comments: 1 Comment | Categorized Under: Custom Bike Building, Custom Bikes, J&P Team Members

The Nicolas Rogers Memorial Run Scheduled Aug. 13 Near Peoria

August 4, 2011 | By: Scott Holton

This blog entry is very hard for me to write. It deals with the unexpected loss of a child — 11-year-old Nicolas Rogers — and it also deals with the loving gift of life that his parents passed on in his memory. I have a son about Nicolas’ age, and I would be devastated if anything were to happen to my boy. My heart reaches out for the Rogers family for their loss.

On June 22 of last year, Nicolas passed away following complications as the result of an acute asthma attack. A typical 11-year-old, Nicolas was full of energy and life. His father, Kay Rogers, said Nicolas loved motorcyclesContinue Reading

| Comments: No Comments | Categorized Under: Benefit Rides, Organ Donation

How Familiar Are You With the Roots of Memorial Day?


May 30, 2011 | By: Scott Holton

How much do you know about the history and purpose of Memorial Day? Most adults in this country admit they don’t know that Memorial Day was established to honor those who died fighting the nation’s wars.

In fact, a survey commissioned by The National WWII Museum in Washington, D.C., indicates that 46 percent of those quizzed said they “know something about the holiday,” with another 31 percent admitting they knew very little about it. And 3 percent said they didn’t have a clue. Only 20 percent of respondents said they’re very familiar with the day’s purpose.

While there will always be disagreement over the exact details, Memorial Day … Continue Reading

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Polaris Industries Acquires Indian Motorcycles


April 21, 2011 | By: Scott Holton

Polaris Industries faxed its dealer network late Tuesday afternoon to announce it had acquired Indian Motorcycle Ltd., a move I see as placing a big target on Harley-Davidson’s back and raising the specter that Harley might be facing some decent domestic competition in the near future. Indian is a company that is advised by Stellican Ltd. and Novator Partners LLP, two United Kingdom private equity firms.

Adding some support to my prognosis, Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE:PII) stock was up 26 percent this morning after news of the Indian Motorcycle Ltd. (IML) acquisition. That’s a gain of 48 percent year-to-date. And further bolstering the news was the release today of … Continue Reading

| Comments: 30 Comments | Categorized Under: Announcements, Indian Motorcycles, Polaris Industries