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Nuts & Bolts

Simple How-Tos, Maintenance, Repairs, & Upgrades

Project Bike Build: Yamaha R6, Part 2

The Superbikesupply.com Ryhno Racing project bike build is well under way. Currently, I’m taking time to tear down the bike. The first step of this project is taking off all of the street plastics, mirrors, turn signals, etc. since these parts are not needed nor allowed on a race bike. 

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Riding The Dark Side: Car Tires On Motorcycles

We’ve done a fair amount of tire testing in the last couple of years, with Ted Edwards and Dave Wensveen logging thousands of miles across the western states. One unconventional option that we’ve never tried but still fuels debate in some circles is using automotive tires on motorcycles. While motorcycle tires are specifically designed for the unique demands of two-wheeled vehicles, some riders still think it’s worth exploring the possibility of installing car tires on their bikes. Most of us respond with, “Are you nuts?!” Yet we still occasionally meet riders who swear by them. So, let’s take a deep dive into the pros and cons of using automotive tires on motorcycles, and see where we can park this debate.

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Biker Fitness: Mountain Bike Makeover

Now, while this might seem odd to most of you, I’ve noticed something very strange lately. Every year I seem to be getting older and those track days, adventure rides or dirt bike sessions seem to be getting a little more challenging. Without much chance of adding to my limited skill set, I made a conscious decision to stay as motorcycle fit as I can and to that end find myself doing a fair amount of bicycling these days. Nearly all top level motorcycle racers use cycling as part of their training. With it being the perfect activity to complement our motorcycling habits, I found myself in Georgia recently riding with my good buddy Scott Russell. Those of your old enough to remember rotary phones will remember he won the World Superbike Championship in 1993, as well as numerous American championships and a few Daytona 200s. Well, packing up to leave his place recently he grabbed his Mountain bike and shoved it in my car saying, “Pay me later.”

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Project Bike Build: Yamaha YZF-R6

Those of you who have followed me for a while now know that racing is more than just a hobby to me. Racing is my passion and part of my DNA. Ever since I began riding motorcycles when I was 16, I always wanted to race. My lifelong dream has been to race in the top professional series in the United States. I have worked hard and taken all of the steps to make that dream a reality. From my race license class in 2014 starting out on a 2009 Ninja 250, moving up to a first and then second gen SV650 and finally transitioning to a 2017 Yamaha YZF-R6 in 2023, motorcycle racing has been my drive and joy.

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Dunlop RoadSmart IV vs Michelin Road 6- Long Term Handling Test

New tires are a gift to motorcycle handling, fresh rubber turning your bike into a dance partner with nimble feet and newfound agility. Yet tires do not stay perfectly round for long as accumulated miles flatten rubber eliminating the roundness of honeymoon handling bliss. Much of a tire’s life is spent squared off and how a tire handles at mid-life is a concern of many rider.

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Red Light Blues

The red fuel injection warning light came on.  The engine died. Time slowed.
In motorcycling physics, miles per hour equals radius.  More speed means a wider circle.  Cut throttle (or have sudden power loss) and your circle tightens immediately.  Engine power that had been keeping me passing the tanker truck around the outside abruptly left like a girlfriend scorned, and my radius tightened towards the tanker truck on my right.

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Summer Tire Shootout- Dunlop Roadsmart IV vs. Michelin Road 6

Road Dirt’s summer tire shootout is back.
Last spring, after Dave “White Girl” Wensveen and I grossly over caffeinated ourselves, our acute grasp of the obvious made us realize we had the exact same bike. I suggested that it would be a perfect test bed for tires. Two identical bikes, two identical riders, each following the other around all spring, summer and fall while testing and taking notes sounded like the ideal way to put to bed all of the heresy regarding tire performance.

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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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