In the days leading up to the 70th annual Sturgis Rally & Races, most of us are concentrating on ways to survive the butt-numbing ride to South Dakota in comfort. We’re loading up on motorcycle luggage and rain gear and custom parts we think will make us comfortable during those endless hours spent on our bikes. What we tend to forget about is the incredible roads surrounding the Black Hills area. Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road, Spearfish Canyon — all provide some of the best corner carving you’re ever going to find.
And believe me when I tell you that all the luggage or cup holders in the world … Continue Reading
You can have the most impressive rear suspension setup in the world and it’s probably going to be a big disappointment to you unless it’s properly set up. To avoid that happening, Progressive Suspension has produced a six-minute video that shows how a few measurements, a little math and a bit of fine tuning can help you realize the potential of that hot-shot suspension system.
Scott Hodgson, Progressive’s director of applications engineering, has more than two decades of experience with motorcycle suspension. In video clip below, he walks you through a detailed setup on a Harley bagger, although the same instructions apply to those adjusting a twin-shock bike (you’ll be … Continue Reading
With Sturgis just around the corner, many of us (including myself) are starting to gather up gear for the annual pilgrimage to this Mecca of motorcycle rallies. For most of us, space is at a premium. Especially if you’re riding your bike to the event — which is the way God intended.
Let’s face it. There’s only so much room to cram stuff on your bike unless you have a bagger. So packing your bike becomes a minimalist art form that finds you asking the all-important question: “Do I really need that?” Rest easy. In today’s Two for Tuesday, I’m going to make those decisions a bit easier by giving … Continue Reading
The Sportster is often looked upon as the red-headed stepchild of the Harley-Davidson lineup. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a vital staple in the lineup that rolls out of Milwaukee every year. In my eyes, the Sportster is probably the most well-rounded and best-performing bike that you can find in a Harley dealership.
When you take into consideration that the 1200cc motor puts out 55-60 hp and that the bike only weighs 550-600 pounds, it’s much quicker and more nimble than its 700-800 pound big-twin siblings producing 65-70 hp. The horsepower-to-weight ratio always leans in favor of the Sportster. The innovators at Joker Machine share my love for the … Continue Reading
In today’s landscape of custom bikes and bike builders, where it seems like everybody is giving bike building a try, it’s becoming harder to see any sort of originality in the marketplace. All you see are cookie-cutter “choppers” (I use that term loosely) where a builder’s idea of ingenuity is a big back tire and a long front end. And when you do find work done by the real talent in the industry, it’s incredible machine or sheet metal work, but it’s in no way applicable to your bike.
That makes Scott and Keith Webster from
Leroy Thompson Choppers a rare breed indeed. If you’re not familiar with … Continue Reading
Frame geometry, rake and trail are important components in how your motorcycle rides, but that doesn’t make them any less complicated or frustrating to understand. So today we’re going to simplify it for you and show you how rake and trail work hand-in-hand to enhance your motorcycle’s performance.
Let’s start by defining rake and trail:
- Rake is the angle of the steering head — measured in degrees — from a line 90 degrees to the ground.
- Trail — measured in inches — is the distance between an imaginary line drawn through the steering head to the ground and a line straight down from the axle (See figure
… Continue Reading
Just when you think you’ve covered every square inch of your bagger in chrome and created a piece of motorcycle art, you notice your Plain Jane front end, sticking out there like an ugly date at a high school dance.
Too often, when we’re in the midst of customization with all the custom paint, billet wheels, booming stereos and chrome dipped covers, we overlook the front end. We often have the erroneous opinion that the front end is pretty much un-customizable. So we ignore it. And that’s our best thinking.
Thank the motorcycle gods for Arlen Ness because that man finds a way to customize everything! And these pieces are … Continue Reading
Sometimes I get a little distracted while scouring the earth for new bling for your bagger or maybe some hot rod shovelhead parts. I forget to take the time to recognize that we at J&P Cycles are a complete one-stop shop for all of your biker needs.
We aren’t just here for you dirty bikers, we’re also here to help the ladies, and I’ll be the first to admit that over the past few months I have neglected members of our fairer sex here on Two for Tuesday. Women enjoy bike parts as much as the guys, but with men, bike parts is just about as far as we go. … Continue Reading
Like any other sport or activity, motorcycle riders have a language of their own, including terms that leave the “civilian” population scratching its head in confusion. One such phrase I often hear bandied about at J&P Cycles is the term “old school.” Another oft-used word is “bobber.” Where do these phrases come from? What do they mean? What’s the actual definition of a “chopper?” And what’s with all these motorcycle motor monikers? Today’s blog post deals with the origins of the slang used in the world of big bikes.
Let’s start with the term “chopper.” These days this word has come to mean any custom motorcycle. However, in its origins, … Continue Reading
We’ve all been there — a beautiful day, gorgeous countryside, the wind in your face. Cruising along in absolute admiration of the day and, splat, the first drop hits the face shield of your helmet. This leads to immediate denial — no, it can’t be — but it is, and all of a sudden the downpour begins.
Rain — the dreaded enemy of bikers. This necessary act of God always seems to happen at an inopportune time in the lives of all motorcyclists. And nothing is more miserable than soaking in your seat in the pouring rain.
The trick, of course is to be prepared, and the J&P Cycles … Continue Reading