Monday, May 08, 2006

Moto Guzzi Chopper

I had the opportunity to purchase a Moto Guzzi a few year back which I decided to do. First of all I started riding motorcycles ona sport bike. After a few years all my buddies started getting cruisers and I think one of the most boring riding on a sport bike I have done is out putting around with guys on a cruiser. So I decided I needed a cruiser bike too. However I wanted something a little different. Well My Moto Guzzi Jackal is just that. I started looking for a used motor cycle in the cycle trade on the internet. Well I come across this really cool looking chopper for a reasonable price. Its been customized. This Moto Guzzi Chopper has fenders by West Coast Choppers as well as Risers and a Straight Bar by West Coast Choppers. Also all of the rear light had been removed and replaced by LED lights that were setup with a relay system so the lights on this bike work just like a car. Running lights brake and blinker are all integrated in to one. This makes for an awesome bare fender chopper look. The Bike was also lowered by 3 inches. Well West Coast Choppers doesn’t usually make parts for a Moto Guzzi. So the story I was told is that the guy that had this bike before my bought it Wrecked it only had slight Cosmetic Damage. He decided he wanted to make a chopper out of it. Well he lives in Long Beach close to West Coast Choppers. It turn out one of his neighbors worked at West Coast Choppers. So they became friends and retrofit the fenders and riser as well as a straight bar on to the bike. The guy I got the Bike from set up the relay system. So this is how my Moto Guzzi Chopper came to be. the guy that had the bike needed cash so I flew up to Long Beach and rode the bike back to Texas. 2 days of hardcore riding to make it to San Antonio for a Bike Rally. I have to say Moto Guzzi makes a hell of an engine I have read articles where guy have 200k on the motor without a rebuild just a little valve work and regular maintenance. That is just crazy. I have about 26ooo miles on the bike now and the motor is just as strong as ever. This is not a hp machine but it has great torque and the wheelbase is actually short so the handling is almost equivalent to my sport bike. The bike likes 80 but you can flogg it up to about 110. My Ride down from Cali to Texas it saw nothing but 90 to 100 for 2 days straight from morning to night without a single problem. The other nice thing is that people are always coming up to me and asking what the hell is that. I tell them its an Italian Harley straight from the Harley Davidson Plant in Italy lol. Guzzi has had a paint job and none of the decals are to be found on the bike besides the valve covers bearing the name and they have been painted so most folks don’t know what the bike is. Its a great fun bike that I will ride for a long time to come. The hardest part is to find custom motorcycle parts for this Bike. I have plans to powder coat the valve covers and forks black in the future as well as having some custom shift rods made since no one makes a cool shift rod for this bike.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Scorpion Motorcycle Helmets

I just recently discovered this brand of helmet. I had never seen is before. Scorpion makes a helmet that should cost around $600 for about $200. What I mean is quality wise youre getting a helmet that would cost you that kind of money of it were a AGV or a Suomy or such. I have friend of mine right now that has a $500 Suomy and says the Scorpion is equal to it in comfort and overall fit. Also the ventilation system on these helmets is great. You can really feel the air come thru when you are riding. The clear shields on certain models are also fog resistant.
Scorpion keeps the price down and the quality high this is due to the fact that they produce the whole helmet in house in their own factory where most other manufacturers of helmet buy all of there bits and pieces or even buy the whole helmet and then stick their own labels on. Scorpion keeps control of every aspect of the helmets construction and by eliminating the middle man the cost of there helmets is way below what you would expect from the quality you are buying. They make an Exo 400 or 700 street helmet both are exceptional. The Exo 700 series is made from fiberglass and the 400 from polycarbonate. The 700 series comes in 4 different models. You have Solids which are just solid colored helmets, then Fury, Geronimo, and Raider which have graphics and are more colorful. The Exo 400 also comes in several styles. The 400 does not have quite as many features but it is an exceptional helmet none the less.
The whole manufacturing process of these helmets are closely supervised. The only thing that is not made in house are the visors and even they are made close by in a high quality state of the art facility. If anyone has one of these helmets and would like to share your personal thoughts and experiences please post it here and let us know. According to the Scorpion website they also test their product in a wind tunnel to achieve minimal buffeting. So if youre coming out of a tuck at some speed it doenst feel like the wind is going to rip your head off . Dr.Sloan who is the head of research and development at Scorpion is also an avid rider as well as having a degree in mechanical engineering she has lots of ride time in therefore she is very in tune of the needs of the motorcycle enthusiast. She also consults for various motorcycle magazines as well as testing bikes for various motorcycle makers.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Just a rant on motorcycle tires for street riding.

I started riding street bikes back in 1997 . My first bike was a used Ducati 900SS and yup I still got that bike. When I first got it it needed some sorting out which took a while but it got done. I know Ducati has a bad reputation for not being reliable and being high maintenance. I have to say this bike never stranded me. Other then the valve adjustment every 6000 miles it really does not require anything more then any other sport bike. When I first bought this bike it had metzeler tires all the way around. I was fairly happy with those tires they warmed up fast and had plenty of grip. The only bad thing I could say about them is that I went through them really fast. After that I had a Dunlpo 206 put on which was a good motorcycle tire. I was really happy with the Dunlop. I pretty much stuck with those until the new Dunlop 207 came out. I actually was trying to get the 206 at first but that proved to be too much of a pain. So I went with the Dunlop 207 on the front and rear. I am on my second set now and have been nothing but happy with these motorcycle tires so far. I bought the last set over the Internet at a discount. I am a big believer in going with the best tire and I make sure my tires are in good shape. If they start to get worn I generally replace them right away. I would hate to have an issue out riding because of something like a bad tire. I don’t think having a blow out or something along those lines would be all that much fun since I do have a need for speed and twisties :P . My old Duc isn’t all that fast but I have plenty of fun on that bike. It handles great and the dunlops stick real nice so between the dunlop 207's grip and the bikes handling it just makes you want to lean it over as far as you can. At least as far as I dare to lean that is. I just talked to one of my friends the other day that has a R1 and he has Dunlop's on it and he has been really happy with his as well. Anyone reading this post has some experiences with Dunlop on the street or even doing track riding please let me know what youre experiences are with these motorcycle tires. I have been thinking of going back to Metzeler's or maybe trying a pair of Avons however I just have been to happy with the 207's to go an screw wiht my set up right now. I also ride a Moto Guzzi that has a pair of Bridestones battleaxe tires on it. Now this is a cruiser so the riding is not the same. Those tires have been pretty good to me on that bike. They seem to last for ever. I put around 10k on that bike and only had to change the rear out. The front still looks good and I now have about 5k on the new rear and its still got plenty of tread to go. I may trhow a Metzler or and Avon on it next time and see how that goes. I just have a hard time changing things when they work well. That old if it aint broke dont fix it mentality but maybe I missing out that way who knows.
Personally I think a good motorcycle tire definitely makes a difference on how much fun you can get out of your bike especially if you like to ride aggressively. For example years ago I bought a cheap hand me down tire for like $50 which included mounting. It was a Dunlop I can remember which one. I do know it was not a soft sticky compound so I am guessing it was more of a touring tire or something like that. Anyways I had that put on my Ducati. this was a rear tire. Maybe a few weeks after I got it I went out for a ride with some buds. Boy did I notice that this tire did not stick. Every time I would get a somewhat aggressive lean or accelerate in a curve that tire would start to slide. Well it was a great burnout tire lets put it that way. I burnt it and went back to a quality Dunlop tire. I really don’t think the issue was that that tire was not a good quality it was more that it was designed for longevity and cruising and not for what I was using it for.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Samson Motorcycle Exhaust Systems for Harley Davidson.

We are currently adding different bits for Harley Davidson cycles to the site for all of you guys that love the American Bike of choice. We started with Samson exhaust systems. I have been really impressed with the variety of pipes that they make for Softail, Dyna, Sportster, Dresser and V-Rods. And some really nice looking exhaust with various designs. Different bends and slant cut ends. Also the new Extreme line they came out with is sweet. I saw a set of the Hell bound Piranha on a bike at a Rally a few weeks ago and man they looked better in person then the pics of them I have seen. Also the sound was phenomenal. The Big Gun II line is an impressive line which is made with a full coverage heat shield which give a 1-3/4" head pipe the appearance of being a 2-1/4" pipe. Also these systems are designed to improve performance. Regular Big Guns are not made with the heat shields integrated rather they are available for purchase separately. Most Samson pipes also will accept either a 1-3/4" or 2" baffles if you want to quiet them down. However not all there systems do there are a few that don’t take a baffle so they are just going to be loud. Personally one of the reasons to change pipes is to louden the exhaust sound which is so restricted by stock systems as well as improving the performance of the bike. I know its an old saying but I really think loud pipes save life’s. I know people that do not ride do not look for those of us out there on two wheels so some noise actually helps get you noticed. Well we are still not done adding all the Samson exhaust systems yet but we do have a good selection up on the site so far. Hopefully we will have them all up there soon. Also if anyone reading this has a Samson exhaust please post a comment or write a review on the site. I would love to get more input on these pipes form anyone that has some personal experience with them.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Icon motorcycle apparel

Icon makes some of the nicest riding apparel which is mainly aimed at sport bike riders. They make a variety of gear like boots, helmets, jackets and gloves as well as gauntlet gloves. I love the way they use titanium bits on there gloves and jackets. If your looking for flashy then icon bling and burner jackets are a sweet edition to your gear. I think the only bad thing is that the manufacturer does not like for this stuff to be sold on the net. Regardless it can be found readily on the web in lots of places. Discount Motorcycle parts can get it but we are not able to post it on our site. Most of the dealers that do carry it have to hide the true price from the customer since Icon will not let you display a discount price publicly. I personally own a Icon Mainframe helmet which I think is the nicest brain bucket I ever owned. Its super light and really doesn’t jerk your head around when its windy like some other ones I have worn in the past. I have thought about getting one of the timax mesh jacket for the summer but have not decided yet. They are awesome looking and breath real well from what I have herd from friends that own them. The boots they make are more like heavy duty shoes they aren’t boots in the traditional since but more like a heavy duty riding shoe. One of my buds wear his all the time and swears by how comfortable they are. If any of you reading this have any personal experience with icon gear please post a comment and let us know what you think of the stuff. I have a cruiser and a sport bike and I am thinking fo getting a icon timax mesh in all black because that one I could wear with either bike.