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
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.
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