Windshields: Ride Free or Stay Protected?


September 16, 2010 | By: Jake Herring

Editor’s note: What we have here is Part 1 in a two-part series that’s intended to share perspectives from two types of riders on the necessity for a windshield on your motorcycle. In today’s offering, Jake Herring talks about the wind in your face and the benefits of riding the open road without a windshield. Tomorrow, we’ll hear from Anthony Todd, who will talk about the safety and protection issues involved in having a windshield above your handlebars. First up, Jake Herring:

Let me put this as simply as I can: No windshield! Sure, it might protect you from the elements, but a windshield also protects you from one of … Continue Reading

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How Low Can You Go? Let Burly “Slam” Your Ride


September 1, 2010 | By: Patrick Garvin

Let’s face it; a lowered bike looks badass, no matter your reason for doing it. Maybe you did it for aesthetic reasons or — if you’re vertically challenged like myself — maybe you just want the option of having both feet planted on the ground simultaneously. Hell, lowering almost anything with wheels automatically raises the cool factor. There’s not much else better to make you feel like the king of the local cruising grounds than rolling up on your freshly polished, slammed-to-the ground ride.

The question, of course, is how to obtain this “get down” experience. You should be comforted in the knowledge that there are actually several ways to … Continue Reading

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You Can Transform That Cruiser Into A Shredder


August 19, 2010 | By: Bud Milza

There’s a new generation of Harley riders among us. Many have matured and crossed over from the world of sport bikes and motocross to American iron. However, their riding habits haven’t changed and neither has their need for speed.  The fusion of high-tech components with air-cooled v-twins is becoming more and more prevalent. We’re now seeing a new breed of Harleys with the ability to maneuver, accelerate and brake just as well as some of the best hooligan bikes out there.   

Components commonly found on sport bikes, dirt bikes, flat trackers and café racers are now being used to unleash the full potential of v-twin motorcycles. If you don’t have … Continue Reading

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Matching Cam Selection To Your Riding Habits


August 18, 2010 | By: Scott Holton

Today’s dissertation is about planning for a cam change. You have changed exhaust, upgraded the air cleaner/carb selection, and now its time to move to the next step.  Using the highest lift, longest duration cams, are not always your best choice. Even though in some combinations they can work very, very well, using them with components that are not designed to compliment the cam can often disappoint. Here are some important points.

  • We have to decide what RPM we want to develop the best power at.
  • When we establish that RPM, there is no free lunch. In order to perform better at high RPM, we sacrifice low end performance. Also,
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A Little Illumination on Lighting


August 13, 2010 | By: Scott Holton

One of the more popular modifications that people like to perform on their scoot is changing the lighting. Some folks want more light in order to see better at night. But what some would-be electricians don’t realize is that installing higher than standard (55-60) wattage H4 bulbs in their halogen headlight increases the amount of current running through the stock wiring.

A standard 55-watt low-beam bulb will draw 3.5 to 4.5 amps. A 60-watt high beam draws 4.2 to 5 amps. Some of the more common higher wattage bulbs available these days are 55-100, 80-100 and 100-130.

Current draws for each will be:

55/100 W = 3.5 to 4.5 … Continue Reading

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What Constitutes a Street Engine? Part II


August 7, 2010 | By: J&P Cycles

Editor’s note: Today we present the second of two blog entries comparing race bikes and street machines. Yesterday we heard Scott Holton’s description of the attributes of a good race bike. Today, we explore the definition of a street bike, expertly presented by our own Anthony Todd.

By Anthony Todd

Scott did a great job explaining how wild you can go before you get to the point of no return when it comes to engine building. His explanation raised this question in my mind: If we modify our engines from their stock form how can we still label it a “street engine?” So I re-read his post and thought about … Continue Reading

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What Constitutes a Race Engine? Part I


August 5, 2010 | By: J&P Cycles

Editor’s note: This is the first part in a two-part series on the differences between a race bike and a street bike. Scott Holton starts things off with his notions about what makes a good race motor. Tomorrow’s post, written by Anthony Todd defines reliability and drivability as the most important factors that make up a good street bike.

By Scott Holton

On a recent J&P Cycles forum, I was asked how a particular engine combination would be for around-town riding. I looked the specs over, and told the guy that the engine setup he described wouldn’t be all that suitable for strictly short trips around town. That engine … Continue Reading

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Sure, They’re Boring, But Don’t Forget the Essentials


August 3, 2010 | By: Patrick Garvin

In keeping with the summer travel theme we’ve been promoting these past few weeks, we’re going to once again focus on the bare essentials for your vacation adventures. We’re not talking sexy here. I know we’re all attracted to bright, shiny objects, but you’ll find no chrome or stainless steel in this batch of suggestions; just the necessities that keep you and your bike safely and securely on the road.

First off, let’s talk about your fluids. On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer, but so often something as simple as the lifeblood of your bike goes unattended or unnoticed. And it’s not just motor oil either. It’s … Continue Reading

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Favorite Motorcycle Tech Tips


August 2, 2010 | By: Scott Holton

Samuel Johnson, the guy who wrote the Dictionary of the English Language, once said, “Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless.” There’s more to the quote, but the point here is, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way in life — especially if you’re working around bikes. And since we’re on the topic of knowledge and integrity, our techs at J&P Cycles — with a combined 750 years of technical knowledge— have agreed to share some of their favorite tech tips with us. Think of it as a sort of Hints from Heloise, only for motorcycle riders instead of housewives. You might want … Continue Reading

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Will I Need to Rejet When I Change my Pipes?


July 30, 2010 | By: Scott Holton

As moderator of J&P’s online forums as well as technical adviser here at the company, I get the opportunity to exchange posts about a variety of topics and interact with hundreds of people each week. And in both venues, I find one of the most asked questions is, “If I change my pipes, will I need to rejet?” The simple answer is “Yes, you do need to rejet.

And now I’ll explain why. But first, a little motorcycle exhaust education: Exhaust technology is the reason two-stroke engines work. Volumes have been written about the principles governing expelling gases out of the beloved internal combustion engine – space forces me … Continue Reading

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