What Constitutes a Race Engine? Part I

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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

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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

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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?

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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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Keeping Your Motorcycle Cool with Oil Coolers

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July 26, 2010 | By: Scott Holton

One thing many of us do in preparation for hot weather is buy an oil cooler. It makes perfect sense, because the oil in an air-cooled engine performs a major role in cooling the engine. Does this mean an oil cooler will enable the oil to do a better job? Well, yeah, sort of — to a point. Fact is, oil coolers do a great job of cooling the oil, unless you pick the wrong unit for your application, or the unit’s not properly installed. In either of those cases, an oil cooler can do more harm than good.

Oil has a tough role in Harley engines. It has to … Continue Reading

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Two Must Have Items for Your Garage

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July 20, 2010 | By: Patrick Garvin

During our usual Tuesday get-togethers here on the J&P Cycles blog, we like to tell you about the new pieces of swag you can score for your ride. That includes bagger bling, performance parts, motorcycle luggage or other must-have motorcycle parts that the guys and girls here at the world headquarters have scoured biker-land to find for you. I’m just sitting here, with “Radar Love” blaring in my headphones, staring at my computer screen full of J&P goodies and trying to decide which two gems I want to present to you this week. I’ve come up with a pair of goodies, but be warned: Neither is sexy. But both parts … Continue Reading

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Harley Drag Racing 101

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July 19, 2010 | By: Bud Milza

Born and bred right here in the USA, drag racing has grown worldwide as one of the most popular forms of motorsports. Perhaps the best part about drag racing is that you can run just about any type of vehicle, including street legal Harley-Davidsons. Whether you ride a stock 883 Sportster or a monster 131-inch Road Glide, you’re free to participate as long as your bike passes the required safety inspection. With literally hundreds of drag strips across the nation, you’ll have no problem finding a legit location to run WFO with zero interference from the man. Aside from hosting sanctioned events, almost every strip offers “test and tune” sessions … Continue Reading

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Think of the Carburetor as Your Friend

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July 15, 2010 | By: J&P Cycles

Editor’s note:  Today we present the second of two blog entries about carburetors versus fuel-injection systems. Yesterday we heard Patrick Garvin discuss the wonderfulness of modern fuel injection. Today we hear from Kody Wisner, who will opine on the simple magic of a motorcycle carburetor.  Read ’em both, compare notes and come to your own conclusion — unless, of course, your mind’s already made up.

By Kody Wisner

In this era of high-tech gadgetry, the trusty carburetor is a survivor — hanging on with bloody fingernails against some very advanced fuel-injection systems. But know this: The modern carburetors of today are very different from those of yesteryear.

Adjustable accelerator … Continue Reading

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When it Comes to Efficiency, Fuel Injection Wins – Hands Down

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July 14, 2010 | By: J&P Cycles

Editor’s note: What we have here is Part 1 in a two-part series that’s intended to end the bitter brouhaha between proponents of carburetors and those who are ardent fans of fuel injection. Patrick Garvin dominates the discussion today, citing the wonders of fuel injection. Tomorrow, we’ll have Kody Wisner serve up his arguments in favor of old school carburetion. Like most of these pro/con blog posts, we’re probably not going to sway anybody’s opinion. But such musings can go a long way in confirming our right to be hardheaded about such things. And, if one of these blog entries changes your thinking about FI versus carburetion, for goodness sakes, Continue Reading

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Harley-Davidson Transmissions and Alternatives

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July 7, 2010 | By: Scott Holton

In the past, our tech department has been asked to explain the differences between stock Harley transmissions, overdrive transmissions and final drive changes. So we’re going to get your gears spinning on this topic and discuss the history of Harley-Davidson Transmissions and the advent of aftermarket replacements.

In 1936, Mother Harley introduced one of the benchmark motorcycles of all time —the OHV 61-cubic-inch EL. This beautifully styled bike is affectionately known as the Knucklehead. What’s truly amazing about this bike is the design of the transmission, which remained in service until 1986 — an incredible half-century run with the same basic configuration.

There were, of course, different variations available in … Continue Reading

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