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|Big Hearts On Big Bikes
By: Low Jeremy
Trust a woman to make sweeping changes for the better.
For years, motorcycle riders have always had a certain infamous reputation. Especially when they travel in packs, motorcycle riders are feared by others. They are often depicted by media, particularly in films, as the proponents of massive brawls and unprovoked violence. Furthermore, bikers are often stereo typed as people who are uneducated and have nothing better to do than terrorize people as they move from bar to bar, transported by their big bikes. Continued.
Winter Bike Riding — The Safe Way
by: Kay ZetkinAre you one of those motorcycle riders that live in northern climates where winters can be harsh and still choose to continue riding when the bitter winter sets in? Well, everybody would say you’re dreadful to even consider riding out in the snow. Contemporaries who are more protective of their bikes might even say that you’re a brutal slave-driver of your beloved bike.
Winter is really a terrible season for motorcycle enthusiasts. Determined as you are to go on riding, surviving the harsh winters should be kept in mind to prevent any inevitable danger that would cause trauma for you and your beloved motorcycle. Remember that winter riding is not the time to boast of a great stamina and show off your toughness just by wearing extra clothing and driving roughshod over your bike like it’s any hot summer day. Precautions must always be taken if you plan to go out riding during winter. So how do you go about preparing your motorcycle and yourself? Continued.
|Common Motorcycle Tire Wear Patterns
Valkyrie and VTX tires shown, but these principles can be applied to most motorcycle tires
Copyright © 2006 Chet Walters
Permission to reprint granted by requestBear in mind, that this is an “informal study” and the facts within, though compelling and accurate for the most part, are not exacting. By “not exacting”, we mean that none of the photos were squared up except by eyeballing, none of the actual angles were measured and there was no allowance given for the artifacts produced by backgrounds, lighting angles and camera lenses. In short, this is not a very “scientific” essay thus you will find missing the usual (and usually suspect) plethora of confusing statistics & numbers that often appear in articles of this type. There’s not much math here for one very simple reason — there is no need for it. As we assembled the photographic evidence to support these theories regarding motorcycle tire wear patterns, the evidence so obviously supported the theories and so strongly disproved other theories we felt no need to provide minutia. True, that lack here may leave some unsatisfied. So be it. We invite those obsessed with such detail to supply same and we will be happy to add those facts to these since we have no doubt that the conclusions drawn by them will be the same as those drawn here by us.The first question to be addressed is “What is tire wear?” Tire wear is the actual removal of rubber from your tire. Scuffing is what wears out your tires. Just like when you were a kid and skidded your rear bicycle tire to make marks on the driveway, the abrasion of scuffing is the only contributor to tire wear. If you never scrubbed anything off your tires, they would never wear out. It takes some pretty good stiff forces to come into play for pavement to scuff stuff off of your tires. This scrubbing of material off your tires becomes evident in what is called cupping, flat band upright tire wear which presents itself most evident on the rear tire and side flat band tire wear which presents itself most evident on the front tire. All of these wear patterns will be discussed and all are present to some degree on both the front and rear tire. But in the following discussion, it is important to remember that it takes a goodly amount of force where your tire meets the road to grind material off of your tires to produce tire wear. Too, we assume that you will run with properly inflated tires. Improperly inflated tires will cause all of these wear patterns to be greatly exaggerated and will cause you to lose many many serviceable miles. Check pressure often. Empirical evidence for Valkyrie and VTX tires shows that running 38/40, 40/40 or 40/42 (or slightly above/below) will greatly extend tire life. The Honda spec of 33psi for these bikes is way too low and is designed for maximum comfort and grip but minimum tire life. Increasing the pressures to some combination of the above will provide increased longevity and improved handling for these tires.So, with that in mind, let us begin with probably the biggest bugaboo tire wear pattern in the motorcycle arena. Continued!
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