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
After our previous blog posts about extending your motorcycle cables and brake lines, and another about measuring for comfortable bars, we thought it’s about time to take on the topic of cables all by themselves.
Let’s start with HD throttle cables. In this modern era we use a two-cable system, something that was mandated by the government to preclude sticking throttles. In case the throttle does stick, the two-cable system has a positive action when the handgrip is closed, closing the throttle.
Through the decades, we’ve experimented with three types of cables. The first cable was used on “butterfly” type Keihin carbs that were common on … Continue Reading
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
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
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,
… Continue Reading
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
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
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
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
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