Nuts & Bolts

Simple How-Tos, Maintenance, Repairs, & Upgrades

Bar Swapping

So what’s with all these baggers, tourers and all around bad-@$$ bikes with tall handlebars (AKA) “Apes”? Why would anyone want any other bar (height or width) on a bike other than the stock bar? Well, for me it’s about leverage and making the bike “fit” me better. I’m on my second Harley touring bagger (a Road Glide) and I couldn’t wait to put some 12” bars on it. After I bought a Street Glide in 2017 a family member asked me what I was going to do to make it my own. I wasn’t sure what he meant. A few months later when riding with a group of buddies I noticed one of the guys had installed 12” KST Kustom bars on his Road Glide and I had to ask, “So what’s the big deal – is this just so you can look cool or like a ‘Real’ biker?” My buddy (an engineer by trade) didn’t punch me in the nose for my wise-cracking question, but rather came back with a more technical, and I must say legitimate, response.

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The Shark And The Bat

In the world of American made touring bikes, the battle for fairing dominance often comes down to personal taste (look and feel) over performance. I must admit, when initially shopping for my first bagger I was drawn to the look of the batwing fairing on the Harley Davidson Street Glide. The idea of cruising behind a set of 12” bars with my feet up on highway pegs just felt right in my mind. So in September 2017, I made that dream a reality and picked up a 2014 Street Glide.

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Riding Into The Wild, Wild Wet

Let me preface this with a general, generic disclaimer: In technical terms, biking is not for babies. If you ride outside you will get wet sooner or later, and probably cold, and maybe a little grumpy. But it doesn’t have to ruin your good time. With the right gear, proper technique and a happy attitude, even a rainy day can be a good day.

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Insuring Your Ride and Your Hide

There are a number of what many call, “necessary evils” we all must contend with in life. Those inevitables of which we say, “can’t live with them, can’t live without them.” They include government, taxes, lawyers, mothers-in-law, to name a few. Insurance might be named among these as well. It’s a hassle to deal with, and not often easy on the bank account. But if you’ve ever “been down” as I have, (and it’s often not a question of “if” but of “when”) having the right insurance coverage with the right company can mean the difference between getting back on the road in a timely fashion, or languishing indefinitely on the front porch.

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Rinehart Slip On – DBX Comparison

A few weeks after I bought my Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special someone asked “What are you going to do to make it yours?”  I wasn’t sure what he meant.  Later while on a ride a buddy on an older Street Glide riding behind me, at our next fuel stop stated “Man, we’ve gotta get you some sound on that thing. Those stock pipes are way too quiet.”  He then promptly lent me a set of Cobra slip-ons which he had replaced with Rineharts. I finally understood what they meant.  I had to make my bike look, ride and sound like I wanted it to.

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