Now that the cold weather has started to take hold of the Midwest I find myself trying to squeeze in riding time as long as the sun is still peeking out between the clouds. But deep down I know this is just a desperate attempt to hang on to early fall and the reality of winter in Iowa is setting in. Which is, in reality, a good thing because I need to give my poor bike a bit of a mechanical makeover.
The relentless wheelies ripping around corners, stoppies and interstate blasts have taken a toll this riding season. So I ponder how I can spin some routine maintenance into … Continue Reading
Don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but over the past year or so, motorcycle manufacturers haven’t exactly been giving us a whole lot of new models to get excited about. Just a quick look at the current models still sitting on the showroom floors should be evidence enough that some of last year’s offerings were bland.
Well this year it’s a different story. I don’t have the time and you probably don’t have the attention span for me to list every new change across the board, but there are a few notable new models that are definitely creating a buzz in the motorcycle community.
Rumors of the Ducati Diavel … Continue Reading
Last year Harley-Davidson went all out and released an astounding nine new model motorcycles. This year the company was less flamboyant, debuting only three new models. I don’t know whether this was because of hard economic times or if HD is just giving last year’s stable of bikes a chance to gain a foothold on the market. Whatever the reason, it gives me the opportunity to introduce you to these three new rides in the Harley lineup.
First up is the Super Low, featuring an 883-cubic-centimeter engine and a five-speed transmission. Nothing new here, but what is new about this machine is the lower seat height, redesigned front end, 18-inch … Continue Reading
In my travels from bike event to bike event I seem to get bombarded by the same questions over and over again. Because of their frequency, I think that means they’re good questions. And one of the questions I get a lot is from folks putting ape hangers on their bike. They want to know how long the brake and clutch cables need to be.
To tell the truth, that’s not exactly an easy question to answer and it usually entails me asking a barrage of my own questions. This leads to the customer and myself chasing down a multitude of part numbers before landing on a viable solution.
Well … Continue Reading
Every fall as the weather starts to cool off here in the Midwest the leaves start to change my favorite spots to go and break the speed limits start to take on a whole new look. Which makes me want to go and ride them even more. But along with the colorful changing of the season comes a change in temperature that isn’t as suitable for riding as the scenery. Especially as we get deeper into the fall and winter, the stinging cold starts to seep in through your fingers and toes and finally reaches up in your chest until you feel like you’re standing in an icebox with an … Continue Reading
Let’s face it, finding custom parts for a metric cruiser can be a challenge. And it’s not for a lack of trying on our part. J&P’s product specialists relentlessly scour the earth for the latest and greatest parts. And recently, we found a company that’s not necessarily new to the motorcycle industry but new to us. Low and Mean is an Arizona-based company that specializes in metric cruisers. And not just your run-of-the-mill chrome covers. These guys have the actual “custom” parts that the metric cruiser market has been missing. This is the stuff we love to find — well thought-out, quality parts that fill a need. Not just some … Continue Reading
Cobra could be the best thing you’ve never heard of but you probably should have. They have been in the industry for almost 30 years, pioneering exhaust and aftermarket parts for metric cruisers before moving into the Harley market. During this year’s Sturgis rally, Cobra was on hand with its new Tri-Oval Mufflers and Power Flow air intake — and they made a huge splash by winning the new product of the year award in Sturgis.
The Tri-Ovals offer something new stylistically, which is an achievement in itself when it comes to cruiser exhaust systems. And the 4-inch mufflers have a one-of-a-kind sound that sets them apart from your typical … Continue Reading
Some of my Tuesday ramblings on this blog are directed at a specific target. Like only Sportser owners or just bagger owners. Today, I’m going to encompass everybody with a back-to-basics approach to grips and pegs — those two items with which we have the most physical contact, other than our seats.
Here are two simple ways to integrate your own style into your bike without having to take a second mortgage out on the house. A well-thought out set of pegs and grips can change the whole look and feel of your ride.
Not only do we have constant contact with pegs and grips, but they’re also the main … Continue Reading
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