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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Preparing Your Motorcycle for Winter Hibernation

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October 29, 2010 | By: Scott Holton

It’s getting colder, no doubt about that, and now we’re faced with the task of putting our rides away for the winter. Today’s blog post provides some suggestions to prepare your bike for storage.

Like everything else, there are at least two schools of thought when it comes to the gasoline in your tank issue. Do you drain it or fill up? There are those who recommend draining the tank, then starting up the bike and running it out of fuel. Others recommend a fuel stabilizer in a full tank. Over the years, I have heard horror stories about fuel stabilizers, but I’ve never personally experienced any problems.

An empty … Continue Reading

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A Carbon Fiber Belt Can Save Your Butt

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October 26, 2010 | By: Patrick Garvin

With riding season winding down, it kind of bums me out knowing that within the next few weeks I won’t be able to enjoy my morning blast to work or weekend lunacy with my riding buddies.

Instead, I’ll be relegated to finding rare opportunities to rip around in the dirt while freezing to death or the occasional flogging of the dirt bike through my snow-packed backyard. But mostly, I’ll be preparing my plan of attack on next year’s riding season. The fact that I’m forced into the garage for the winter months — sort of like a grownup’s “time out” — actually offers a silver lining. And that’s because it … Continue Reading

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Mechanical Compression Ratio

October 15, 2010 | By: Iron Works

J&P Cycles® has partnered with Ironworks Magazine to provide great content from their publication for our readers. For additional, great content like this, make sure to check out Ironworks at www.iwblogger.com. The article below is a continuation of an article first featured on Monday’s blog.

Mechanical Compression Ratio

Let’s start with the most basic form of compression ratio, Mechanical compression, sometimes referred to as Static compression. Mechanical compression is a very basic measurement of the engine compression ratio without the camshaft dynamics being used in the calculation.

Mechanical compression is based solely on the volumes of the following components:

Swept volume of the cylinder
Combustion chamber volume
Swept

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What Is The Skinny on Fat Tires?

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October 13, 2010 | By: Jake Herring

Is the fat tire craze over? I think not — but it’s definitely showing signs of slowing down. I’d be the first to admit that fat tires look cool on some bikes, but for the most part those bikes are only displayed in shows where they’re taken off the trailer and put back on after the show.

I remember back before this tire craze started that if you had a 150mm tire on your bike, it was considered fat.  Did you know there are manufacturers out there today making tires for motorcycles that measure more than 330mm? Unbelievable! My personal opinion is anything over 200mm is overkill — especially if … Continue Reading

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