Building a Cheap Metric Bobber for Fun and — Eventually — for Profit

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January 9, 2011 | By: Lowell Anderson

A few years ago I was doing design work on some clothing with the guys at Icon. They have a facility in Portland, Ore., where they work on clothing designs. When they start to feel a little burned out, they head out to the attached garage and work on their bikes. This, of course, gets their “creative juices” flowing again and they march back inside, ready to, well, create. I’ve got several good memories from that trip, but one of the things that stuck in my head was the 1976 XS650 bobber that one of those guys built.

He had taken a bike that he’d only paid a few … Continue Reading

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Unleash the Beast in Your Twin Cam

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December 28, 2010 | By: Patrick Garvin

I get a fair amount of questions from J&P customers regarding component combinations when it comes to Twin Cam engine components. Most of the questions revolve around the best combination for the everyday rider when it comes to cams, pushrods, lifters and such. And, to tell the truth, there’s really no one answer that is undeniably the right one.

There are a number of combinations that will do the job, but one in particular comes immediately to mind. Feuling Motor Co. has a complete Camchest kit that includes the famous Feuling oil pump and cam plate, cams, lifters, pushrods, bearings, gaskets, O-rings, and even ARP hardware.

If you’ve ever … Continue Reading

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Rolling on Through the Wintertime Blues

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December 21, 2010 | By: Patrick Garvin

So there I sat, staring at my bike in the garage and allowing myself to slip into a bit of wintertime depression. The fact that the outside temps were in the single digits and there were five inches of snow on the ground didn’t help a bit. Add to that the fact that I haven’t taken my bike out for a spin in weeks, and what you have is a major pity party.

Adding to my misery is the fact that winter hasn’t even officially begun yet and Daytona Bike Week is still two and a half months away! Just before I started banging my head on my gas tank, … Continue Reading

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Refusing to Cave in to the Bitter Bite of Winter

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December 13, 2010 | By: Jake Herring

As I was eating lunch this afternoon, I happened to catch tomorrow’s weather forecast on the tube. The 30-mile morning commute promises to be a brisk 37 degrees! Some of us are fortunate enough to not be forced into winter hibernation, and some of us simply refuse to comply with the edicts of winter.

Since Scott Holton recently went over — in fine detail, I might add — how to prepare your bike for winter lockup, I figured it was time to give you a heads up on a few ways to resist Old Man Winter and keep riding year-round.

I personally don’t go to great pains to prepare for … Continue Reading

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Reading Your Spark Plugs Provides a Wealth of Information

December 10, 2010 | By: Jake Herring

Have you ever actually taken the time to read your spark plugs? I’m not talking about the gibberish scribbled on the side of the plugs. I’m saying you can read the plug by inspecting the business end. Identifying the condition of the plug will help you to troubleshoot and cure your ailing motorcycle.

Here’s what to look for when checking out the bottom of your plugs:

A grayish-tan color tells you that your spark plug is operating in the normal heat range. It also lets you know that your air-fuel mixture is correct. Check it out. This is what you want your plugs to look like.

Let’s say you pull … Continue Reading

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Stop!!! Breaking News on Brakes

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November 30, 2010 | By: Scott Holton

We all love making our motorcycles go faster. Today, our topic is just the opposite——-Brakes. When we hit the brakes on our bikes, the force we apply to each master cylindergets transferred to each caliper via hydraulics. This applies friction to our brake rotors that the tires transmit to the ground, thus slowing us down. The point that we get the absolute maximum braking action is just before the wheel locks up. This seems kind of basic, but once that tire breaks traction our slowing action gets thrown out the window.

Let’s look at what actually stops us. As I mentioned above, the horse doing the heavy … Continue Reading

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Going From Dirt to Cruiser

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November 29, 2010 | By: Lowell Anderson

When I was asked to write a blog post about my impressions of going from the dirt bike world to that shared by the Harley and cruiser market, I was pretty hesitant. I mean, look around. There are a lot of rather large and aggressive Harley riders out there who take the brand side of things very seriously. So believe me when I say I’m putting down my experiences for all to see with an arm twisted behind my back.

For the last dozen years, I’ve been immersed in the world of dirt bikes. I was a senior manager for KTM for 10 years and during that time I was … Continue Reading

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Switching From a Sport Bike to a Cruiser

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November 24, 2010 | By: Jason Hayes

What do you think of when you hear the words sport bike? I think of winding roads taken in triple digits, running out of straight road before running out of throttle, and adrenaline pumping like a fuel pump. The bikes that light up the curves have a very avid following of speed junkies, and that was me, through and through.

I loved spending all day weaving back and forth, chasing the curves, finding out just how far I could push my limits. In my late teens and early 20s, I never thought I would slow down to enjoy the scenery.

Well, after living in Florida for 2 years with nothing … Continue Reading

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Grappling With A Decision Over Handlebars

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November 18, 2010 | By: Jake Herring

As I sit here at my desk waiting for the next tech chat to pop up on my screen, I find myself tasked to write something that will grab your interest. But to tell you the truth, all I can think about is what kind of motorcycle handlebars I want to put on my new bike. It’s not like I need new bars or that mine are uncomfortable. Like most Harley riders, I just want my bike to be different from the other two-dozen Street Bobs rolling around town.

Customizing your motorcycle shouldn’t be a stressful or complicated task. The deal is to make decisions that make sense and that you’re … Continue Reading

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Creating and Stocking Your Own Garage Mahal

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November 11, 2010 | By: Scott Holton

Today, we’re going to chat about things that make life easier in our garage or motorcycle workshop.

Being an old fat guy, I don’t make my way around bikes all that well when they’re sitting on the ground. But even if you’re young and slender, if you’ve got enough room and enough coin, a motorcycle lift is one of the best “must haves” in your workspace. My back and knees don’t permit me to crawl around on the ground like a toddler. As an added benefit, a good lift makes it easier to inspect the nether regions of your bike.  Western Handy Lift has been the industry standard for many, … Continue Reading

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