How to Test Your Motorcycle Charging System

911-011_ARequired Tools: DC voltmeter or battery tester

As a general rule, modern charging systems are efficient, reliable and maintenance free; however, there are exceptions to every rule and few problems will leave you stranded as quickly as charging system that’s gone kaput. Fortunately keeping tabs on the system is relatively easy; all it takes is a simple DC voltmeter or battery tester.

To start, let’s clear up a fundamental misunderstanding about batteries. Batteries do not create electricity. At least no more than a refrigerator creates food. In both instances the devices are merely storage containers. Both accumulate and return what you put into them. If you use up … Continue Reading

2015-04-14T15:04:45+00:00 By |How-To Articles|17 Comments

How to Read a Motorcycle Tire

IMG_1539Describing a motorcycle tire as a round, black piece of rubber that’s about a two-foot diameter circle won’t give you the information you need to make a smart buying decision, will it? When it comes to tires, particularly the ones you plan to use on your motorcycle, information is a very handy thing to have. This is especially true if you’re interested in replacing those tires and even more so if you plan to replace them with something other than the OEM tires.

To make it a little easier, the tire manufacturers have come up with nomenclature that describes everything you need to know about your tire and printed it … Continue Reading

2015-04-14T15:03:34+00:00 By |How-To Articles|8 Comments

Tubeless Motorcycle Tire Repair

Tubeless Tire Repair KitIf there’s anything that is worse than being stranded with a flat tire, it’s being stranded with no way to repair it. Picture it: you’re out on a beautiful Sunday morning, the bikes purring like Tony Bennett crooning I left my heart, and all of sudden the tire loses pressure. What moments ago was a pristine example of motorcycle design in motion is now about as awesome as a hobo pushing a shopping cart. Worse yet, there’s no help in sight. This pretty much defines a “this friggin’ sucks moment,” doesn’t it?

Unfortunately motorcycle tires rarely go flat at convenient times and even fewer bikes pack a spare, which … Continue Reading

2015-04-15T14:48:00+00:00 By |How-To Articles|Comments Off on Tubeless Motorcycle Tire Repair

How to Install a Motorcycle Exhaust System

ExhaustStock pipes are fine, but don’t always provide the look, sound or performance you want. Fortunately swapping them out for something that does suit your needs is an easy and inexpensive way to upgrade your ride, and it shouldn’t take more than a few hours at most, even if you’ve never done it before.

First up, here is a list of exactly what you’ll need:

  • 3/8ths drive socket set (Fractional for HD’s, metric for everything else).
  • Combination wrenches in the appropriate sizes.
  • Any sockets or wrenches peculiar to your bike i.e. Torx or Allen wrenches.
  • 3/8 drive torque wrench
  • Aerosol lubricant (WD-40, CRC 556 etc.)
  • Anti-seize
  • Shop manual: Aftermarket is
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2015-04-14T13:29:47+00:00 By |How-To Articles|6 Comments

It’s Time to Pack it in for the Winter

If you’re still in denial that riding season is indeed over for the year, and you’re a little hesitant about putting your bike in winter storage, just stick your head out the front door and take a look. Winter has arrived, baby, and there’s no two ways about it. Heck, it’s even been raining in Southern California and they never have weather!

And unless you’re a motorcycle newbie, you know that putting your ride in hibernation doesn’t mean rolling it into the garage and putting the kickstand down. If that was your best thinking, we’ve got some more bad news for you. Winter storage requires some action on your part.… Continue Reading

A Primer on Motorcycle Oil — Without the Controversy

There’s always been confusion and conflict when it comes to any discussion about oil, which is of course, the lifeblood of our beloved motorcycles. And I’m probably not going to bring world peace to this topic with anything I’ll say in today’s blog post. Truth be told, this topic has created more debate on our Riders Forum on the J&P Cycles website than any other subject.

In fact, I’m mostly going to stick to the facts in this post, steering away from the controversies for the most part. First off, let’s explore the function of oil in an internal combustion engine — the educational portion of this segment. There are … Continue Reading

Helpful Tips on Maintaining Your Bike’s Battery

Editor’s Note: If it’s advice about battery maintenance that you seek, you’ve come to the right place. James Dean works on our sales technician lines and is a graduate of WyoTech’s American Motorcycle Institute’s Harley program. To find out more about James, read his Meet The Team write-up here on the J&P blog.

For most of us in this country who actually experience winter months, preparing your motorcycle for hibernation requires some action on your part. And that holds particularly true when it comes to battery maintenance.

The first thing to always to remember is you should make or break a battery connection by using the negative cable. This ensures … Continue Reading

2015-04-15T14:51:57+00:00 By |How-To Articles|8 Comments