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Nuts & Bolts

Simple How-Tos, Maintenance, Repairs, & Upgrades

Trying On A Motorcycle One-Piece Suit

A motorcycle race suit is a substantial investment from your wallet towards your well-being and proper fit is crucial to safety. Comfortable race suits are more likely to get worn, while poorly fitting suits tend to stay on the hanger. Fit and flexibility also make the difference between feeling fresh or quickly reaching fatigue. Fresh riders are fast riders, fatigued riders make mistakes. I know this all too well.

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The Budget Biker: Eat Right, Ride Cheap

Does it sometimes feel like a foreclosure sign has been hung on your head?  Everyone seems in a funk, and just too poor to spare any fun. Or maybe just the fiscal fear of fun is enough to keep you home, where there’s free TV and a nice, cushy couch to nap away your troubles.

Like everybody else, motorcyclists have been suffering through this plague and sputtering economy. But this does not mean we have to cry like a bunch of babies, stay home, and mumble about the days we could afford food and gas. We just need to be a little more creative, tighten our chains and use our brains. There are ways, my broke friend, to stretch nothing into something.
Wily veterans have long used sneaky, well-kept secrets and crafty tricks to get the most out of what’s left of their last oily, tattered dollar. Riding relieves stress and puts miles between you and the revenuers and bill collectors. The plan is so simple you’ll wonder why you’ve been moping around like a sissy who lost his lollipop.

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Riding Your First Track Day

Recently I was at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington for a motorcycle track day.  Since it was a Tuesday, turnout was light leaving lots of open track.  The sun was shining, temperature was in the mid-60s and a slight breeze was blowing, a perfect day.  In nine days MotoAmerica would be here turning and burning on the same surface. 
If you’ve have ever had ideas of doing a track day, this is for you.

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Garage Mahal

Some find rest on a couch reading a good book, some recharge their batteries on a beach tanning under the sun, others find solace doing yoga poses on stand up paddle boards and as much as I find bliss in a snowy mountaintop view, I love a busy garage: the smell of gasoline, the sound of bad music, the cold metal and the hot blowtorch, the clink of a dropped wrench and tinkle of ice in a mason jar of scotch. Todd’s shop is special in this way, crowded with bikes and tools here is the place where bikes and riders properly worship the God of Speed and ply The Carb Whisperer’s expertise. This is the Garage Mahal, a Mecca with every tool you could think of, all the expertise you need and all of the reasons to never leave.

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Against The Wind

Some years back on a cross-country excursion with my old riding pal Mike, while crossing Oklahoma and north Texas westbound on I-40, we found ourselves struggling against 30-40 mph winds blowing north, pushing on us from our left. At highway speed (doing about 75-80), passing or being passed by semis and the crazy turbulence they generate, Mike and I literally had our hands full keeping our luggage-laden touring bikes in our lane. The winds howled two days against us, determined to toss us into the ditch or under some truck’s tires. But we prevailed, albeit completely exhausted. Quite the nerve-wracking stint in the saddle, to say the least.

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Slow Bike Fast

Deposited like an ambulance delivering two terminally ill patients, a pair of ancient Honda Trial 90s were dropped off in front of my house silently; no fanfare, no excitement, no hurry or joy, unloaded quietly, then slowly rolled into my garage, their future operating room.  Last licensed and running when President Clinton was entangled with Monica Lewinsky they languished outside for dozens of years worth of northwest sub-zero temps and triple digit heat.  Decrepit and decaying, my job was to get them running.  I promised their owner I could.  I opened my mouth again.

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Rockin To The Oldies

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to wrench on an older bike, a 1969 Triumph T100. An acquaintance had asked if I could help him get it running again. He had told me the bike would kick over after some tickling and kicking (it’s still a full kick-start), but not stay running more than about 30-40 seconds. Conceding that I am no master mechanic, yet interested in seeing if I could bring it back to good health, I agreed to take a shot at it…

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Great Group Riding Tips

Although it’s sometimes thought of as a solo activity, motorcycle riding is far from it. There is a strong sense of community, great camaraderie, and a large contingency of group functions that are built into biker culture. The simplest form of this is going on group rides – if the thrill of the open road is great to enjoy by yourself, sharing and relating the experience of an exhilarating ride is sure to be amplified if you bring your friends along.

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GPI Pro Series Motorcycle Stands

I ordered the GP Pro Series stands from GPI Industries which set me back $249.99. GP Pro Series stands are mandrel bent from one piece of 1 3/8″ tubular carbon steel meaning no joints, no wobbly bolts holding them together and no major assembly, just attach the wheels and they are ready to use. A lifetime guarantee accompanies every stand but after looking over their one piece construction I can’t imagine where they would fail.

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