Archive for the ‘custom motorcycle’ Category

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As long as there has been machinery, there has been mechanical problems, as long as there has been mechanical problems there has been a man or lady that has the skills to repair it.  These highly skilled people either spent most of their young lives as an apprentice or studying at a college to ultimately become the person who repairs your motorcycle, the mechanic.
Photo provided by Mark JamesHistorically, if we have had problems with our motorcycles our first stop would be to reach for the yellow pages and call the nearest affordable garage or bike repair shop. Fortunately for the modern day motorcycle enthusiast things have have changed for the better since the arrival of the internet, the motorcycle owner of today can simply search the internet for a solution to their problem, and within a minutes there is a good chance the owner will find someone who has had the same issue, and possibility a solution, this information may come in the form of a blog, a forum thread, Facebook groups, Reddit posts or even a YouTube videos.
Although information alone is no substitute for good old fashioned experience, there is allot to be said for “the have go hero’s” amongst us, at the end of the day there is a sense of pride and achievement when we repair our own things, this is not to mention the money we can save be doing it ourselves.
Despite the wealth of mechanical information on the internet there can be no betterPhoto provided by Mark James source of information than a official workshop manual, these manuals are developed and written by the manufactures of the motorcycles, so its fair to say the information within the pages of these documents is gold.
One of the best investments any motorcyclist can have is an automotive eManual, these very detailed step by step documents can hold the hand of the most inexperienced arm chair mechanic, and walk them through the most complex of tasks. Unlike their hard-copy cousins, these eManuals are easier to access and are more of a sustainable option.
One of the largest databases of motorcycle eManuals on the internet is located in the UK, RepairBooks.co.uk is a family run business and was established in 1999, with a growing inventory of over 12,000 titles. Any manual that is not listed on their database can be sourced within a short period of time.

Mark James is an car and motorcycle mechanic with over 25 years in the automotive industry. Head of department at Nissan Sunderland, England for 10 years.

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Soooo, bored at home and looking at motorcycle parts. Lo and behold I find a part I did not know I needed, the Kuryakyn Tour-Pak Chrome Lid Grip! Of course, I ordered it right then and there.  Is there a cure for the “Chromavirus”?

IMG_20200328_112610604I must state that I had thought about why there was no “handle” to raise the lid and that it was kind of weird that you had to grab the lip of the lid to push it open. But when I read Kuryakyn’s part description they hooked me Kuryakyn Tour-Pak lid grips blend in perfectly, while providing ideal leverage to easily unlatch and open the lid in one fluent motion.”

It was not long before it arrived, and it was time to install. Opening the package and reading the instructions it was going to be an easy install.

Four screws, remove old OEM part, put new part on with the same four screws. Easy peasy right. Well yeah, until you notice that the screw heads are stripped.

IMG_20200328_112934358LOL, dummy the screw heads are on the inside of the lid behind the rubber weather seal. Out they came with a Torx T20 screwdriver and off comes the old part. I cleaned the area, surprising how much road grime gets into small spots, and then slipped the new Kuryakyn Lid Grip on and replaced the screws.

The part looks and fits like as if the Tour Pak was sent from the factory that way, and maybe it should have been. I like it, as of this date it is on sale (both chrome and black) for $22 US.  Easy to install and helpful I give it 5 Stars.

 

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Not sure what was going on in 2019 but there were not a lot of selections for the “best of” motorcycle tank art.   As always, these tanks might be from a time much earlier than 2019 but that is when I first saw them.

This year there was no cut down, I ended up with 9 and this is those 9 best motorcycle tanks for 2019.  I wish I could attribute the artist (and photographer) who made these crazy works of art.  If you know who created these rolling motorcycle art pieces, formally called a tank, please let me know so I can properly label them.

Which one do you like the best?

 

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A few years ago, I started to “collect” motorcycle themed posters/print, a few are even in real life. This year I added 21 individual motorcycle prints/posters to my collection.

With that said I award, with nothing but that fine badge and a mention on this blog, the top 9 motorcycle posters of 2019! I wish they all had the artist information on them so we could recognize their talent.

If you see some cool motorcycle posters while you are cruising about in real life or cruising the interwebs, send me a link and they might make next year’s list!

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I just stumble upon these weird and wonderful motorcycles as I fool around on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit.  But this year there were fewer than in the past, only had 12 to cut down to 9.

Those 3 motorcycles that did not make the cut just might show up on our IJUSTWAN2RIDE Facebook page.

So without further ado I present the 9 Weird Motorcycles for 2019!  Which one is your favorite?

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Recently my wife and attended the International Motorcycle Show (IMS) in Washington DC. This is around or fifth or sixth IMS in a row and about eight altogether. It has always been a good time and we enjoy going.IMG_20200112_105512279

This year though there were a lot of missing manufacturers. Some of the smaller companies Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Royal Enfield were missing, not necessarily surprising in the current market. But KTM was a no show, Ducati, Husqvarna were represented by local dealers and Honda, Harley Davidson and especially Indian were quite downsized.

The number of smaller vendors was about the same as was the crowd. Although I will say it felt as if there were fewer people because the alleys between vendors was much wider than in the past.

As side entertainment there was a motorcycle stunt show, little kids riding electric bikes and adults riding Electric Zeros. There was also a vintage motorcycle. There was also the annual J&P Cycles touring custom motorcycle show, there were a bunch of hot bikes to look at.

IMG_20200112_110022565The two most intriguing items for me were the new KLIM airbag vest and the fact that Harley Davidson had their new Pan American and Bronx motorcycles “under glass”. The KLIM airbag vest, selling for $499 is, I think, the cheapest vest, by a major maker, on the market. It has piqued my interest and if I find an extra $500 I might be in the market to purchase one.

The Harley motorcycles under glass was interesting. Both bikes were getting a lot of attention and I heard folks stating that they like the styling on both. The glass, however, made taking photos difficult, as you can see below. Harley also had their Live Wire electric motorcycle on display as well as an opportunity to “ride” it on a dyno like roller.

So, what did I come away with from this years IMS? I was reinforced that the motorcycle industry is in general decline and I really like the styling of the new Suzuki Katana! While my back can no longer take riding a sport bike, man that Katana is hot!

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A feature length documentary released in 2019 covering the “contemporary motorcycle culture”. The film attempts, and I think accomplishes, to show how individualism is embedded into our culture. “This is not a film about motorcycles, its about motorcycle people.”

This was a very ambitious undertaking. According to their website they interviewed nearly 300 custom motorcycle builders, riders, racers, artists, etc. from the US, Japan, Europe, Australia, and Africa. They also talked with representatives from Harley Davidson, BMW, Yamaha, Ducati and Royal Enfield. ON TOP of all that how about attending events at the Bike Shed in London and Paris, The Trip Out, The Brooklyn Invitational, The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, Dirt Quake, Snow Quake, Mama Tried, and Mooneyes among many others.

So, with all that, is this motorcycle film any good, is it worth your time? Yes and yes. Theob 1 only negative was that they had so much content that some will think it is a bit too long at 2 hours. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of fun to watch and it will be on my winter 2020 motorcycle movie list! I like the interviews and discussion around why people are doing the things they are doing. I really loved seeing myself or someone I know in nearly every person they talked with.

I do have one additional negative; they went back to one guy multiple times who did nothing but lambast people who “customize” via bolt on and manufactures who sell limited addition motorcycle. That guy really pissed me off. Not all of us are a wiz welders and have hundreds of hours to create our personal masterpieces.

I am giving this film 5 stars. I know some will think that this is a bit long, but I enjoyed seeing that motorcycle people, around the world, are pretty much the same. The “Oil in the Blood” documentary is available on Apple, Google, Amazon and other streaming services.

5 star

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If you go to Sturges look up the Indian motorcycle with a sidecar BBQ grill built in. Read more here!

Stealing motorcycles from a blind man?!?  Read more here!

New Indian motorcycles and new Indian powerplant!  Read more here!

Monster Energy Supercross Cup.  3 tracks in one!?!  Read more here!

The man who killed 7 motorcyclist was high!  Read more here!

 

 

bikes and breakfastWe recently discovered a motorcycle meetup called “Bikes and Breakfast“.  So we decided to take a ride to the nearest event to check it out.

In our area there are three events each month:

Bikes & Breakfast Virginia- second Sunday of each month at The Pub in Clifton, VA.

Bikes & Breakfast Maryland-the first and third Sunday of each month at The Watershed Cafe in Poolesville, MD.

As it was the first Sunday and Poolesville is not far away we decided to visit that one first.  From the pictures I think you get the idea that the turn at was not to bad. During our hour there over 100 motorcycles pulled in and out of the parking lot.IMG_20190707_101549346_HDR

Almost all makes and all brands were represented including 3 electric motorcycles. A Zero SR/F and DSR (both of which I recently test rode) and an EGO, I had never heard of EGO electric motorcycles.  The EGO bike was pulling out when I walked up so I did not get to check it out.

If you live in this area you should check out Bikes and Breakfast at least once.

Oh, and there is one in New York too:

Bikes & Breakfast New York-the first Sunday of each month at The 9W Market in Palisades, NY.

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The Flying Dutchman is a touching story about how Jonathan Helmuth created an extraordinary experience for a man that had been friend, mentor and large part of his life. His friend Daryl Zook is going blind, and Jonathan wants to fulfill Daryl’s desire to take a 3000 mile motorcycle trip from Daryl’s home in Indiana to the Pacific Northwest coast. Daryl is more than a “bit” curmudgeonly and this leads to some humorous moments as well as some not so humorous.  The film is available on Amazon Prime.

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Jonathan has a motorcycle built for the trip by then newly established Janus Motorcycle company. A small bike with sidecar is prepared for their trip by Janus. There is an untold story in this film about the Janus Motorcycle, which I will get to below, which basically “blows up” not long into the trip. Jonathan and Daryl change up the original plans and find a new used motorcycle to finish the trip.

They do make it to the coast, still friends! The film was not about the motorcycles but about their friendship and the underpinning of their lives.

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The story, photography and reason for the trip make this a fun film to watch. There are several cringe worthy moments (Daryl being the curmudgeon), the lack of trip preparation (proper motorcycle, good rain gear?) and that story of the Janus motorcycle is missing are reasons why I cannot give it 5 stars.

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Now for the Janus Motorcycle story, this being a motorcycle blog…. My immediate take away was two fold 1) that motorcycle looked WAY to small to mount a sidecar 2) why use such a small manufacturer vice one that has a national footprint? I did not really get an answer to the latter question, other than my guess that they may have been going cheap and Janus was willing to help. I did find an answer to the first take away.

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Janus Halcyon 250

Not only was that a small bike, it was a “tiny” bike! It was a 50cc 2-stroke pulling a sidecar, 2 grown men and some stuff. I am sure you are thinking the same thing I am… recipe for disaster, or “What was Janus thinking?” Well it appears that the, then 2-man shop, was thinking we want the coverage and we are aware of the risk. They warned Jon that the motorcycle was not the best solution for this adventure especially in that they only had weeks to get the bike and sidecar operational. The following quote from their website proves the old saying regarding hindsight….

“In the end, if there was a mistake it was certainly ours in allowing one of our 50cc Halcyons to be selected as a candidate for such a journey, especially with a sidecar. We did not have the foresight to see that we would be the one to lose the most from the film. While the documentary spends little time on the Janus and the strength of the story lies in the character of Daryl and Jon’s desire to create a perfect bonding experience, it proved for us to be nothing more than a great way to immortalize a naive decision on our part.”  You can read the entire Janus Post here.

I have never seen, let alone ridden, a Janus Motorcycle but I hope, someday, that I could get a chance. They currently produce 3 models all 250cc (lesson learned? LOL) each starting at just under $7,000US. Of the three I really like the looks of the Halcyon, it gives that throwback to the 1920s early 1930s vibe, but their scrambler and café race are eye catching as well.