Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Basic Winter Motorcycle Maintenance

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Many of us enjoy the wonderful feeling of being separated from the open road by only two wheels and an engine. No one, however, wants to be broken down on the side of the road, or get into an accident, because of some mechanical failure that could have easily been prevented. Maintaining a smooth ride on your motorcycle requires regular mechanical work, and with almost the entire US enclosed in winter's frosty grip this time of year, now is the perfect time to pull out your tools while the bike is locked up in the garage. 

First, let's start with some year round basics. Every time you fill up the tank, ensure that you have proper tire pressure. You can easily do this with a pencil sized tire pressure gauge found at any mechanical shop. If you don't, you'll risk a costly flat. Experienced riders can also gauge their tire pressure by how it feels, but only if they've spent a lot of time on their bikes. This is also a good time to check the treads on the tires by taking a small object, such as a penny, and measuring the depth of the trenches. If it's about 2mm, or the size of Lincoln's forehead, then your tires are safe. If not, it's time to change them out.  

Not everyone does this, but you should lube up your drive chain after every ride. Friction can weaken the strength of the chain, and it may eventually break. It's easier to do when the chain is still warm, so it should be the first thing you do right after a nice long drive. Just use any commercial spray lube that you can find at a bike shop. You'll also want to use a newspaper to cover the rear wheel rim so it doesn't get dirty.  

Regular oil changes are a no brainer. Over used oil can corrode the engine and cause some serious problems, including loss of gas efficiency, corrosion of the air filter, and gelling of the oil itself. Also, make sure the gauge is on max or high before a trip. Be cautious of overfilling the oil chamber, because it can cause flooding in the air cleaner. It should also be mentioned that high temperatures, combined with high speed driving, and frequent stopping and starting in congested areas can lead to rapid oil breakdown. The oil filter should be also be replaced every other oil change as well.

Now, let's get to some of things you can do while your bike is in the garage all winter. This is a great opportunity for your yearly brake fluid change. Remember that some bikes have two places for brake fluid, one near the handle bars and in the rear. While you're at it, take a look at the brake pads, and make sure they haven't gone all the way down to the metal. You can also purchase braided steel brake lines to increase you brake pad's performance up to 50%. Brake pad maintenance is extremely important for your personal safety on your bike. After all, you'll want to be able to stop on a dime should anything happen. 

Check the fuel lines for any damage from the past year, and see if the fuel filter is clogged. The fuel filter itself should be changed every two years as well.  Remember, untreated gasoline only lasts for about 6 months, and you can seriously damage your engine if you try to run on old gas. Drain the fuel from the gas tank and fill it up with new gas before you take her out after a long hibernation.

Now comes the tough part. One of the hardest places to do work on most bikes is the battery. Since most of us have our bikes shut in for the winter, this is a great time to do some much needed maintenance. Most of this should be done monthly, but most people only recharge the battery at best.  Beyond that, you should check the electrolyte level. Only use distilled or deionized water in your battery, never tap water. Make sure you're wearing protective gloves and goggles as well. Check all of the connectors, cables, and make sure the battery is clear of any dirt or grime. Make sure the exhaust tube is free of any kinks, and when you're done, test the battery with a volt meter. This way you'll know if you'll need to replace the battery in the coming months.

That's about all the basic tips I have. If you want to do some more extensive work, or make this your winter project, I suggest you talk to your nearest motorcycle mechanic or take some time to search online. If you use these suggestions to maintain your bike this winter, you'll probably save a lot of money in the next coming year, and have a smoother ride all year around. 

By: Zachary Freeman
Edited By: Bruce A. Tucker

About the Co-Author
Mike is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person: A guide to vegetable gardening for the rest of us, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and where ever gardening books are sold. He can be reached at his website: where you can sign up for his free newsletter and he will send you a pack of vegetable seeds to get your home vegetable garden started.

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Differences Between BMW Bikes and Standard Bikes

The Differences Between BMW Bikes and Standard Bikes
By Anthoney Teylor

There are many differences between BMW bikes and standard bikes. However, before going into them it's worth noting that the most obvious difference is in pricing. You see, BMW has never marketed anything they manufacture at a bargain price.

You'll have to pay more for one because quality costs more, so in this respect they really aren't for everyone. Rather this is a bicycle for the person who's in the market for premium design and engineering work, and who also has the money to pay for it."

BMW Bike Frames

The Hydra form metal shaping processed employed in the manufacturing of the 2011 BMW Cruise Bike frame is one of the many things that you'll find in this brand of bicycle that doesn't show on the surface, yet that makes a huge difference in overall performance.

Hydroforming which is more expensive and time-consuming than stamping uses water to apply the pressure in the shaping process rather than metal. Water distributes the force evenly against the metal surface being shaped. This in turn eliminates the formation of stressed areas that can lead to failure.

When it seems that every manufacturer out there is outsourcing whatever they can to save money, BMW produces the carbon frame for their 16.3 lb, M Bike Carbon Racer in-house. Of course they can have it done elsewhere for less money and no one would know the difference, no one except BMW quality control experts who insist on only the highest standards.

BMW Mountain Bike Suspension Systems

It was back in the 1990s when this company was among the first to design and produce a front suspension fork for a mountain bike that was adapted from a motorcycle.

Since then they have continued to be at the forefront of new developments in mountain biking suspension systems and components. Developments, for instance, that include using Fox 32 FRL air-spring forks and Fox Float RP2 BV air shocks on both their models of mountain bikes that also feature an aluminium frame, Shimano Deore XT parts and hydraulic disk brakes.

Other Noteworthy Design Features

In the end though, a bike is more than just a conglomeration of its parts and technologies. People ride them and this is the final test because if the final product doesn't feel and perform well everything that went into the making of it was for nothing.

So you'll find things like an adjustable angle stem to make sure that you're in a comfortable position for the efficient transfer of force when pedalling on one of their mountain bikes. This in turn makes for better performance and longer endurance and also means that whoever rides a bike can quickly adjust it for their own fit.

Then don't look for any exposed cables either because they run all of them inside of the frame tubing. By doing this they make the bike more aerodynamic and also more attractive. The interior cables also mean there's less risk of snags, or damage from spills."

There are a lot of brands out there to choose from when you're shopping for a bicycle. They run the complete price range and each make and model has something to offer, contingent on what you pay. So for those who are willing to spend a little bit more BMW bikes offer the best that is currently available in terms of quality.

Stephen James Cycles is a brand new bike store in Enfield, North London, bringing Stephen James' commitment to excellence in products and services to your cycling experience. They sell a range of bicycles including Bmw Cycles.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Motorcycle Saftey During the Winter

As winter approaches and the weather inevitably takes a turn for the worst riding a motorcycle can become an unappealing prospect. A combination of poor visibility, rain,snow and the cold all add to the unappealing nature of riding a motor cycle in the winter. For some this is not a problem, they simply don't ride in bad weather, however some people want or have to ride their motorcycle no matter the conditions./p>

Winter weather can cause some severe road conditions that can cause issues for even the most experienced biker. Ice is an obvious danger of winter weather, however the salt used to keep the roads clear can also cause issues for bikers. The salt is intended to cause traction, which it does when there is snow on the roads, however once the snow has gone the salt can gather into piles on corners and in the centre of the road and cause loss of traction. The greatest danger of winter weather is the cold itself.

Being cold whilst riding a motorcycle can be incredibility uncomfortable and distracting which can obviously put you and other motorists in danger. Cold weather can cause your body temperature to drop if you are not correctly dressed. A drop in body temperature can cause your reactions to slow, your dexterity to drop and can cause lapses in concentration. It is therefore imperative that you find a way to keep yourself warm during the cold winter months.

Heated Motorcycle Gloves can provide an easy solution to stop you from suffering from the cold whilst riding. Heated gloves can be heated using only 12v supplied either from your bike or batteries which provides a simple and efficient way of keeping you warm in the coldest of weather.

There are also other options to keep the rest of your body warm such as, heated trousers, heated jackets and heated insoles for your boots. One or all of these options could make your journey a far safer and far more comfortable journey.

The Biker Store supply Motorcycle clothing and equpiment

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Motorcycle Gift Ideas - Gifts For Bikers

Never drink and drive, but if your not planning on driving back later in the evening this Beer bag saddle set is super cool & super great for camping

Do you have a biker in your family? Christmas is coming up, and you just don't know what to get? Instead of the usual, why not get a motorcycle gift?

Here are just a few ideas to get you started on your shopping. Of course many of the motorcycle gift ideas, will depend on your budget. If you are feeling really generous that then the top tips will be where you go shopping.


This is brain protection for your biker! You do not want to cheap out here, they need to be fitted, and it would be best for you to find a motorcycle supply shop that carries helmets such as Shoei, Arai, and Bell just to get you started. Find out how much this will cost, and then get a gift certificate and take your biker to get fitted for some brain protection.

Good Jacket

Nothing worse that road rash, which is what can happen if you are wearing just a t-shirt, and those bugs don't feel to good hitting your bare arms, so if your biker just wears whatever they have around the place, then check out some good leather jackets and this will be a great motorcycle gift idea. Once again get a gift certificate and take your biker to the store and get fitted.

If the budget will allow, getting a helmet and a good jacket, and now your biker is not only safer, but will look good on a motorcycle.

Rain Suit

Another great motorcycle gift idea, is a good rain suit. If your biker plans on doing some road trips or long distance, you can't always know the weather, so a good rain suit will keep your biker dry. This is the type of motorcycle gift they will appreciate when the weather moves in.

Good Boots

Once again this can be a big ticket item, but if your biker is wearing running shoes while out on the road, it is time for protection on those ankles.

Heated Vest

This is one great motorcycle gift idea that will extend the riding season just a bit. What may seem like just a bit nippy of a day, can feel like sub zero on a motorcycle, so a heated vest would be a great motorcycle gift idea for your biker.

If the budget cannot afford the above items, or maybe your biker is totally outfitted already, then here are a few good motorcycle gift ideas, that are a bit more affordable but just as nice a gift.

Owners Manual

If your biker likes to work on their own motorcycle, then a really good manual or even a overhaul manual specifically for their bike would be a great motorcycle gift idea. Chilton makes some good manuals.

Motorcycle Magazine Subscription

A good subscription to a magazine such as Classic Bike, Cycle World or Cycle Canada would make a great motorcycle gift idea.

Bike Show Tickets

If there is a motorcycle show coming up, get tickets. This would make a great motorcycle gift idea. The only downside to this is there will be bigger and better bikes to drool over. Leave the credit cards at home!

Posters for the Shop

If your biker has an area to call their own, or a home for their prized motorcycle, how about finding some cool posters and prints for the shop!

Homemade Calendar

Get a good picture of your biker with their motorcycle, and then get it made into a calendar for their shop.

Hopefully the above tips will give you some ideas for great motorcycle gifts. If you have a biker in your family, the above gift ideas are going to WOW them, and this will definitely go over better than that pair of socks you normally get.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tips for Keeping Your Motorcycle in Top Condition

By Dipika Patel

For many riders, their motorcycle is their pride and joy, which means they are keen to look after it in the best way possible.

Whether you are buying used motorcycles or just want to keep your new ride running as well as it did the day you left the showroom, you may find some of the following suggestions helpful.

Motorcycles need regular maintenance, especially if they are being ridden frequently, and there are some checks that you should perform each time you are planning to take your bike on the road.

Always have a look at the oil and coolant levels and if necessary, top them up. You should keep an eye out for any damp patches or stains on the ground under your bike as this could indicate that there is a leak somewhere.

You should also measure your tyre pressure and ensure that both wheels are filled to the manufacturer's recommended specifications. As well as making the treads on the tyres last longer, this will also help prevent damage to your suspension.

Brakes are another key component to keep in good working order - you should regularly assess the pads so that you can replace them when they are beginning to wear.

It is worth remembering that you should not need to fully depress the foot pedal or completely pull back the lever to get the brakes to engage, so if you find you are having to do this, get them checked out.

The drive chain should be properly lubricated at all times - and when you are doing this you can also make sure that it is properly adjusted and not too loose.

Of course, you should not neglect the appearance of your motorcycle, so give it a quick dust and wipe down before you hit the road. Washing and polishing your bike every two months is also advisable to keep it looking as good as new.

Even if you regularly carry out maintenance work on your bike, it will still need to be taken for motorcycle servicing every year.

This is an excellent opportunity to fine-tune your machine and get everything working at its optimum level.

A full oil and filter change should be performed, while adjustments to the clutch and drive chain are often necessary to get your bike back to its best.

Listen to the idle speed of the engine once it has warmed up and make sure it is running at the correct rate.

A thorough inspection of the brakes should be undertaken at every service and any worn pads or callipers will need to be replaced.

Lubricating components such as the levers, pivots and chains is also an important part of the maintenance process to protect the machinery from the weather.

If you do not use your bike during the winter, then there are some things that you should do to prepare it for storage.

Firstly, add a fuel stabiliser to the tank because this will help prevent moisture building up and will ensure the fuel does not go stale while it is not being used.

You should remove the battery if your bike will be off the road for a prolonged period - but you will still need to charge it to prevent it from going flat because it is not being used.

Where and how you store your motorcycle is also important to stop rust developing. You will need a dry place out of direct sunlight and you should invest in a motorcycle cover to keep your bike in the best condition.

P&H Motorcycles is the best-known multi-franchise motorcycle dealer in the South East and we stock a wide range of new and used motorcycles and scooters from quality manufacturers like Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Ducati, Victory, KTM and Kawasaki, as well as, motorcycle servicing and repair services.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Motocross During the '50s

By Ted Petersson

The exciting and thrilling sport of motocross originated in the United Kingdom in the early twentieth century and has gone on to gain popularity all across the world thereafter. In the early days, however, the sport was better known as 'scrambles'. Derived by combining the French word 'moto' with 'cross-country', the sport of motocross is a form of all-terrain motorcycle racing that takes place on dirt or off-road tracks. These tracks could also be muddy, hilly, slushy or rocky routes including sharp turns and uneven rides.

During the 1920s and 30s, scrambles started becoming quite a rage with sporting events such as the Southern Scott Scramble held in 1924. This is the event that is said to have led to the initiation of motocross. Many other such renditions form possible origin tales of motocross.

The 1950s witnessed progress in the sport with certain steps toward its formalization and structuring. The early years of the decade witnessed Individual Motocross races generating interest rather rapidly. Towards the close of the year 1950, a proposal for the initiation of an event of international stature was submitted by the Belgian Federation to the F.I.M. (Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme) or the International Motorcycling Federation. It was in 1952 that the F.I.M. created the European Championship that used motorcycles with 500cc engines. This was a turning point in the history of motocross racing and the sport as a whole. In 1957, this event was upgraded to World Championship status.

Over the years, a wide variety of other motorcycle sports have branched out of motocross. One such sport that gained popularity in the 1950s was Sidecar Racing, also known as Sidecarcross. While it started off in Europe, it also went on to fetch fans in Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America. Europe, however, is the only place where Sidecarcross was actually contested at a World Championship level.

Sidecarcross involves the use of a motocross bike built with a flat platform attached on either side of the rider's seat. It also includes a handlebar that the biker on this platform, the passenger, can hold on to. The role of the passenger is to balance the vehicle as it swerves on sharp turns or bounces on rocky, bumpy terrain. This variant of motocross, has witnessed a decline ever since its glory days in the 50s.

The motorcycles used in motocross have also witness an evolution in themselves ever since the sport initiated and became popular. The major part of the decade witnessed racing in the MX3 category. While in 1952, 1953 and 1954 the winners of the Motocross World Championship were of Belgian origin, the podium gave way to British participants in the latter half of the 50s. The 1957 winner of the Motocross World Champion ship was Swedish participant Bill Nisson.

The 1950s were an era of rapid growth in motocross. It witnessed formalization of events, creation of new structures and a brand new zeal for a highly adventurous sport. It was during this decade that motocross gained its true prominence in the milieu of motorcycle racing in Europe.

If you would like to know more about motocross parts and gears, you should visit 24MX. They carry a huge selection of riding gear for motocross and a complete range of motocross parts.

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