The Advantages of an Open Belt Drive

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September 23, 2010 | By: Scott Holton

Today’s discussion is regarding Primary Belt Drives. I’m going to give you the basics, and the advantages of an open belt system.

First, let’s lay out the advantages of a primary belt over a chain. Belt technology these days has produced tough strong belts that are not quite as strong as a chain, but are coming very, very close. These are being produced at a fraction of the weight of a chain. Chain drive sprockets are made of steel, while most belt pulleys are hard anodized aluminum. These pulleys are a fraction of the weight of the sprockets (hmmmm, see a trend here?).  When a Belt Drive is installed, … Continue Reading

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Bike in a Box? No Problem!

September 17, 2010 | By: Scott Holton

Today’s blog will address the possibility of building a basket case, or swap meet special. This weekend, there is a parts swap meet right here in Anamosa, Iowa. This Sunday, on the 19th of September, J&P Cycles is returning to its roots. This raises the possibility that you might want to consider taking on the task of building a basket case.

What’s a basket case, you ask? In the vernacular of the motorcycle world, a basket case is a project bike that lies unassembled in a bunch of boxes or baskets. It’s also known as a swap meet special, but there are plenty of other places where … Continue Reading

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A Windshield on Your Bike Keeps the Bugs Out of Your Teeth

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September 16, 2010 | By: Anthony Todd

Editor’s note: Below is Part 2 in a two-part series that seeks perspectives from two types of riders discussing the pluses and minuses of installing a windshield on your motorcycle. Jake Herring wrote yesterday about in-your-face open road riding and the disadvantages of windshields. Today, Anthony Todd talks about the benefits and safety of using a windshield for protection and comfort. Here’s Anthony Todd:

In my view, Jake is 100 percent correct when he talks about the feeling you get when you’re on the open road. Riding a motorcycle is the ultimate stress reliever for me. Anytime I’m frustrated with life in general, I climb on my bike to clear … Continue Reading

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Windshields: Ride Free or Stay Protected?

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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 To Order Motorcycle Cables

September 3, 2010 | By: Scott Holton

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. 

Harley Throttle

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

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

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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

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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

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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,
  • Continue Reading

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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

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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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