Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Bike Commuting Saves Money

July 7, 2010 by  
Filed under V Twin Repair

Author: Paul Golden

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I used to hate commuting. For two years, I studied in another city. Twice a week, I would hop on a bus, transfer to a train, and then catch another bus. The entire trip took two hours, and the round trip consumed a four hour(!) chunk of my day. I wish I could say I took advantage of the time in transit to do something productive, but the truth is that I was too worn out from a long day of studying to do anything useful on those trips. It never occurred to me then that another kind of commute existed, one that was actually enjoyable.

Six months ago, I moved out of the city center. A huge fan of city living, I had lived there for several years, happy to avail myself of everything that the urban lifestyle had to offer. At some point, however, downtown rents began an inexorable climb. I found myself, along with many of my friends, looking south to the city’s cheaper, but less central, neighborhoods.

So I moved to Jaffa. Although technically one city (Tel Aviv-Jaffa), Tel Aviv and Jaffa are more like twin cities, with Jaffa being the less favored sibling. People here like to call it Tel Aviv’s backyard, while people in Tel Aviv view it as a distant frontier, worth a visit every now and then but somehow outside of the Tel Aviv “bubble.”

That was most daunting for me – the thought of living “outside the city.” With no real public transit, and a less-than-convenient bus system, it was clear to me that I would be spending a lot of time on my bike (I don’t own a car, and anyway finding a parking spot in Tel Aviv is near impossible). Six months later, I savor my time in transit.

Lucky for me, a new bike lane connects Jaffa and Tel Aviv along the seaside boardwalk. While biking in the rest of the city can feel like an extreme sport, the new bike path has made my daily bike ride to Tel Aviv feel like a walk in the park. Riding along the coastline, the sea breeze blowing past me and into the city, I have some of my best ideas. The 20-minute ride is great for relieving stress, and great for people-watching.

While cities like Portland have proven the economic benefits of bike-friendly urban design, I wonder if anyone has yet researched the more intangible benefits of getting people out of motor vehicles and onto cycles. I, for one, am convinced that there are plenty of these.

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Kawasaki: Motorcycle History

June 10, 2010 by  
Filed under V Twin Repair

Kawasaki motorcycles were introduced in 1954, and have made quite a name for themselves when it comes to high performing motorcycles. Many Kawasaki models have been designed over the years for dirt bike racing. They are powerful yet lightweight, giving the rider an edge over the competition. The bikes are also known for offering a sturdy frame, great suspension, and being affordable. Many people aren’t aware that Kawasaki manufactured motorcycle engines for years before they decided to make complete bikes. This allowed them to enter the competition knowing exactly what to build and how to build it.

In 1960, Kawasaki bought out Megero Motorcycles, who had been in the business since 1937. They took a brave move by offering every type of motorcycle at the same type across the board. It was a strategy that would make or break them. It was a wise investment as they were able to steadily sell everything from a 50 model to the powerful twin 650CC as well as everything in between.

This was the beginning of Kawasaki making out of the box decisions that influenced their competitors. Rather than being a follower, Kawasaki choose to always be a leader in the developments taking place in the motorcycle industry. While this was risky, it definitely gave them an edge over the competition.

In 1965 Kawasaki decided it was time to start exporting their motorcycles to the United States. The models sold better and faster than anyone had anticipated. The Z1 model was introduced in 1972. It was initially only marketed to the United States to meet consumer requests and demands.

The most well known Kawasaki motorcycle is the ZZR-R1100. This model was introduced in 1990 and lead the industry in sales for five years. Kawasaki made history in 2000 when it introduced the ZX-12R, a super bike featuring a unique frame that could out run any dirt bike on the track.

Most everyone is familiar with the lime green color, representing Kawasaki racing bikes. These models some in a variety of sizes and with various power behind them. Kawasaki racing bikes are known in the industry for being extremely fast as well as light weight. The Ninja series is one of the top selling models in motorcycle history.

When it comes to cruiser bikes, the Kawasaki Vulcan model offers everything you could ever want and more. The are versatile, long lasting, and easy to maneuver. They also come in a variety of sizes with many different power ranges behind each one. What makes the Vulcan so original is that it can be considered a comfortable tour bike, yet it has the power of a racing bike behind many of the models. This is a classy looking motorcycle with two comfortable seats and saddle bags to hold your necessities. The 2007 models are very stylish and are anticipated to sell very well.

Today, Kawasaki continues to be a leader in the motorcycle industry, offering consumers a variety of products to choose from. Each one offering distinct features but all of them offer great quality, lots of power, and a very reasonable price. They are also known in the motorcycle industry as being the leader in providing the necessary parts to repair any of their models. You will find Kawasaki dealerships all around the world, ready to assist you with the perfect motorcycle for you.

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2009 Suzuki Gsx-R1000

June 8, 2010 by  
Filed under V Twin Repair

After winning six AMA Superbike championships in six straight years, Suzuki’s GSX-R 1000 still continues to evolve. In order to remain the top dog, Suzuki pushed through the GSX-R’s evolution by coming up with a “clean sheet design” of its new engine. The design calls for more combustion efficiency for more torque and power and enhanced throttle response and a reduction of exhaust emissions.

To maximize combustion efficiency, the new 999cc engine came with a bigger bore and a shorter oversquare stroke. The new bore and stroke measuring 74.5 x 57.3mm (up from 73.4 x 59.0mm) corresponds to slower piston speeds at the 13,750 rpm limit. The new bores are also reshaped to increase compression ratio. Lighter titanium intake and exhaust valves on dual springs are also new revisions.

An upgraded ECU helps the double barrel fuel injection system. In each throttle body barrel are two new 12-hole injectors, banked 30 degrees down the intake port. New spark plugs with iridium electrodes produce a stronger spark ignite the highly atomized air/fuel mixture, enhancing combustion efficiency.

The GSX-R’s new exhaust system is efficient as it is light weight. Incorporating titanium into the head pipes and mufflers shaves off 400 grams of dead weight. Suzuki’s Pulsed Air System (PAIR) which introduce clean air into the exhaust ports and a stainless steel catalyzer help keep harmful emissions to a tolerable level.

Harmony between power and weight is essqential for a high-performance machine such as the chilton auto repair manual. The powerful new engine calls for a new frame. To this end, Suzuki designed a new twin-spar aluminum frame with a lighter tail section support.

Smoothing the ride is Showa’s Big Piston Forks commonly known as BPF. The BPF is famous for its innovative design which uses a larger main piston instead of a cartridge system with a smaller piston. The BPF not only handles compression and rebound damping, it saves weight as well, paring off 700 grams from the previous model.

As with other Motorcycle Repair Manual the 2009 model is equipped with an electronically controlled steering damper which supplies appropriate damping forces in varied road conditions.

The Suzuki GSX-R1000’s makeover will likely insure its continuing success. The GSX-r not only lost some weight, it gained muscle as well. As in evolution, only the fittest survives and apparently this bike is one of the fittest to date and it will likely survive the championships.

Terrorizing his parents from the time he could grasp a screwdriver, Tim has always been a gear and gadget-head. Remember to always check the manual first it can save you hours of frustrations – Tim recommends chilton auto repair manual and motorcycle repair manual for your mechanical needs.

Getting Parts For A Motorcycle

June 7, 2010 by  
Filed under V Twin Repair

Tune-ups don’t require ignition coil replacements. Sometimes you need to replace the spark plug caps on the ends of the wires, though. The resistance value should be around 5K ohms. Honda Tune up kits generally has plugs, points and condensers in them, as a set. The number of miles you have on the bike engine and the overall care it has had makes a lot of difference in what you will need and what may keep going for you, for a while.


The tools that came in your kit, if complete, could barely get you by on repairs/tune-ups. If you own a bike, you need to know about how to repair it and have the tools to do the job. You can go to Wal-Mart, Costco and elsewhere and get giant tool packages for $100 or less that will get you going pretty well. An Impact Driver with a selection of bits and a good hammer will be a good investment! Steel screws, resting in aluminum threads for such a long time will setup corrosion in the threads that can spell trouble in some cases.


The cables are now 33 years old…. probably time for a change! If your bike is a 1973 CB350G, then it has a front disk brake that has its own maintenance issues. Same with the CB350F. The “regular” CB350 twins had cable operated drum brakes.


You can get a lot of stuff on EBay, as far as tune-up parts go. You need to identify the exact model, of course, before you move forward, plus a good tune-up guide and/or shop manual will be useful. I have a PDF version of a minor tune-up guide that is a reprint from a Cycle Guide magazine special booklet, but it only covers CB350 Twins. The principles of engine tuning are all the same, but the details between 2 and 4 cylinder bikes are somewhat different in layout of components.


If you used stabil or some kind of gasoline stabilizer for the winter, the carbs should be okay. I would certainly drain them and refill the tank with fresh gasoline. Yamaha makes a carb cleaner that you mix with gasoline and then funnel down the carb fuel line to clean out the parts in the float bowl while it is together. Depends on what kind of condition the parts are in, though. Honda carbs have numerous O-rings inside that need replacing after 33 years!


What you could do, and it may require some modification on your part, is to find a hard bag mount set for your bike and then go to a motorcycle salvage yard and see what they have that you may like. You would likely have to repaint them, but that requires a wind-free place to work and a bit of light sanding and paint and a few hours.


Alternatively, if you know how to work with fiberglass, you could build the bags you want yourself, but this is a long-term project that will eat up a lot of your spare time to do it quickly. You can also look on a few of the catalogue sites. In addition to that, try some of the e-groups for Kawasaki and Vulcan’s. There are a lot of specialized e-groups out there for specific makes and models of bikes. Look there, as there may be someone who is getting rid of a set that will work on your bike. It will certainly be less expensive than new.


Honda pretty much washes their hands of responsibility of supplying parts after about 10 years after end of production. They have made thousands of different models and dozens of variations of many of those, so the parts inventory and production considerations are staggering in any case.


Honda does have a vintage parts division, apparently in Japan who will make small quantities of some items that they still have tooling for, like exhaust systems for some of the fours. CB750 primarily. CMS in Holland is tied to them, to a certain extent and almost had them remake the missing #2 pipe for the 350Fs but the cost got too high.


Companies like apex cycle, retrobikes and a few others are having Asian companies remake some items. You won’t be seeing any new crankshafts or engine cases coming from Honda or anyone else. Tooling and production of this stuff is way too expensive nowadays.

I have a source in Australia who makes new Dream and CB77 mufflers from stainless steel.


It is a small company and he’s willing to do the tooling in-house just to produce the parts, but he’s getting near retiring and that source will dry up one day. A company in NZ made some beautiful new CB77 mufflers a few years back, but the supply is now gone, I believe and they don’t seem interested in doing another run again.


If there is sufficient demand, someone usually steps up and takes a shot at having parts made, but there are so many parts in a bike and so many models, that it is impossible to expect that the supply line for 40+ year old motorcycles is going to continue indefinitely. Brit bikes and scooters remained relatively unchanged for many years, so making parts for those is less of a stretch, than doing Honda camshafts for 250-305s… there were three versions of splines on just those parts.

Victor Epand is an expert consultant at http://www.SellUsedMotorcycleParts.com/. Sell Used Motorcycle Parts is a community of various independent used motorcycle parts sellers from around the world. Each used motorcycle parts seller represents a unique style of products all their own.