Group Riding

Riding Harleys is as much fun when you do it alone as when you do it in a group. This video explains some commonsense techniques for riding in a group.

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Clothes Make The Rider

Riding clothes

Whether you own a Harley, or just want to look like you do, the clothes you wear can make or break you. The true Harley-Davidson experience requires a little preparation besides the bike. Most dealerships also sell clothes, or purchase them online.

Jackets

The Black leather jacket is the first clothes item that comes to mind. Harley-Davidson has a trademark black leather jacket. This jacket is worn not only for attitude, but to protect the rider from the elements. It is important to get a jacket that fits. Leather sizing is not always the same as regular street clothes sizing. Also remember that leather will stretch a little and mould to your body shape with frequent wearing. This does not mean that you should buy a size smaller as leather only gives in areas that it needs to. If you can’t afford a leather jacket, a vest made of leather or denim with a Harley-Davidson logo may be a good substitute.

Pants

Black leather pants are important for the rugged rider clothes look. Buying leather pants at the same time as the jacket will ensure that the color of the dyes matches if that is important to you...

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Saddleback Mountain

Saddleback Group Photo

Last week, 43 of us headed out to Saddleback Mountain. Just over an hour down the south coast from my home in Sydney, Australia. It is my favourite lookout and one of the most scenic rides you can do here.

Of course, we didn’t get there that quick, as we always try and find the most twisty and long way to get anywhere. After all, isn’t that what riding a Harley is all about?

Leaving Sydney we travelled south through the standard hour of traffic just to get out of town. Then we snaked our way through a beautiful place full of rolling green hills all year round called Jamberoo. This town is at the foothills of Saddleback Mountain. There is also another fantastic ride you can do from there up another mountain called Macquarie Pass to visit the best pie shop in the area called Robertson’s Pie Shop. This place is a favourite hang-out for motorcyclists of all persuasions! But I digress…

From Jamberoo, it’s a very steep climb up to the very little known and hardly visited Saddleback Mountain. The view always takes people’s breath away and every time I take people there is the first time for most of them.

The Return Leg

Down the other side you are greeted with views of the ocean on one si...

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Why Buy A Harley-Davidson

Why a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle

There are several manufacturers of motorcycles around the world. BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Ducati are all popular motorcycle brands. So why a Harley-Davidson?

Why are Harley-Davidson motorcycles so popular around the world? It’s that unmistakable sound, the sense of freedom and exploring whats over the next hill.

Sound

The sound of a Harley-Davidson is synonymous with the bike. It’s what sets it apart from every other brand. Infact, the sound of a Harley is trademarked! However, it doesn’t sound that good on the showroom floor and this is because of EPA restrictions. A quick upgrade to a set of Vance and Hines pipes, and your Harley will be rumbling in no time.

Freedom

Even if you’re still pulling 6 day weeks just trying to get ahead in life, a short ride on a Sunday gives you an incredible sense of freedom and relaxation. It’s actually quite mediative. Now who said bikers don’t meditate?? Well they do, even of they don’t know it yet.

Exploring

Owning a Harley-Davidson and being a member of H.O.G. (the Harley-DavidsonHarley Owners Group) gives you so many opportunities to explore your local region or venture to the other side of the country and even worl...

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Top 10 Must Have Harley-Davidson Accessories

Top 10 Must Have Harley-Davidson Accessories

Harley sell you half a bike, the other half you have to finish off yourself, or ‘customise’ it. There is a whole bible (catalogue) of accessories available, from rims to bling and windshields to footboards, the list is endless. The limit is your own imagination and like anything, you can take it to the extreme if you want. Without further ado, here are our top 10 picks of accessories:

10. Headlight Brows

These chrome “eyebrows” attach to your headlight nacelle and give your Harley a great look up the front. I have these on my Road King and love them.

9. Speedometer

You can get some really nifty speedos from Harley now. This is one of my favourites:accessories

8. Exhaust system

Until you add a set of Vance n Hines exhausts to your Harley, it will just sound like a Honda. Now you don’t want that do you? You will also need a race tuner and hi-flow air filter.

7. Saddlebag

My preference is the hard panniers because they have more room, they’re lockable and they’re waterproof.

6. Sissy Bar Bag

Installed at the back seat of the motorcycle, the sissy bar bag will provide an extra storage that is easy to access.

5. Backrest

Your pillion will be so...

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Gears. Why We Need Them.

gears

Gears. Why We Need Them.

Understanding what gears do makes it easier to know how to ride smoothly and save the gearbox. We ask the engine to move the 300 plus kilos of Milwaukee metal from a standing start to a top speed of around 200Kmh. Without gears, this impossible for the engine.

An engine will only just keep running at 1000 RPM (revolutions per minute).

If the engine were connected directly to the rear wheel, the wheel would have a minimum speed of 1000 RPM as well. This equates to roughly 120Kmh of road speed. This would be difficult when starting off at lights!

The catch is that it takes a great deal more force, known as Torque, to move all that weight from a standing start and keep the revs low.

So we have first gear.

The faster we go, the less torque we need to keep going so we move up through the gears.

In your gearbox there are two shafts working together.

One shaft, the Input Shaft,  is connected to the engine through the clutch and the second shaft, the Output Shaft connects to the rear wheel through the belt (Or chain or shaft).

At slow speed the input shaft turns  faster than the output shaft so you have lots of torque and can ride slower at higher revs.

You can...

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What fuel is in your tank and why you should care.

Pumping Fuel

What fuel is in your tank and why you should care.

91, 95, 98 are all octane ratings of the types of fuel readily available at your local service station. Then there is E10, which is a blend of 91-octane petrol with 10% ethanol. Ethanol (alcohol) is made from sugar cane, red sorghum and the waste from starch production. Because ethanol is present, the octane rating of E10 is boosted to 95. E85 (85% Ethanol) is also on sale now but not suitable for many engines.

When a piston in an engine travels up in the cylinder on the compression stroke, the air and fuel which were drawn in on the intake stroke, are compressed. Just near the top of the compression stroke, when the air/gas mixture is compressed as far as possible, the spark plug fires causing the “explosion” which forces the piston down under great force. This plug firing must happen at precisely the right moment to develop the maximum power.

Detonation, or pre-ignition, is where the gas ignites while the piston is still travelling up and hasn’t finished compressing the air/gas mixture...

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Chrome Plating – All About The Process

chrome platingIt Just Looks Great

Many of us love the look of chrome plating on bikes, cars and many other items.

There is little else that stands out so much, whether under bright sunlight or the illumination of streetlights on a night ride.

I, for one, have customized my bike with additional chromed parts to add “highlights” to the appearance and enhance the overall look.

The Process of Chrome Plating

So, how are things chromed and what do we do to look after that beautiful chrome surface?

The process is quite involved and begins with each part chemically stripped back to reveal bare metal. The parts are then evaluated to see if they will achieve the desired finish. Sometimes the stripping process can uncover areas of heavy pitting rust or even holes that need to be repaired if possible.

This usually isn’t a problem with new parts.

The next step is linishing which involves abrasives used to cut away at the metal service to remove all the corrosion, scratches and pits to create a clean flat, smooth surface.

Then a mopping process uses a number of mops and compounds to take the linished work from around 400 grit to a scratch less, smooth, shiny finish.

Cleaning follows which removes all th...

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Why We Ride Movie Review

Why We Ride Movie ReviewWhy We Ride Cover Image

In 2013, Why We Ride, a documentary movie, was released which epitomises the motorcycle experience.

It’s available through iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay and others.

There have been many movies over the years that centre around motorcycles.

Some of the more memorable ones are;

Easy Rider, TT- Closer to the Edge, Wild Hogs, Terminator, The Wild One, On Any Sunday, Stone, World’s Fastest Indian and many more.

Why We Ride was produced by James Walker and Bryan H. Carroll and  directed by Bryan H. Carroll.

About Why We Ride

It is an hour and twenty nine minutes of sheer indulgence for all types of riders.

A “cast” of several generations of riding greats are interviewed and blended with music and stunning scenery.

The opening scenes show dawn over the ocean. We see a desolate beach with rich orange hues and waves surging to the sand.

With serene music drifting behind the view, a lone rider appears on the sand and then disappears as the vision changes to a ballet of Superbikes flowing through a chicane.

A drag bike performing a slow motion burnout follows and then we see dirt bikes starting a race into a right hand curve.

Such are  the variations of motorcycli...

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Bike Wash Secrets Revealed

the bike washThe Essentials:

After you’ve been riding in the rain, the bike wash is the most important thing you can do. Don’t let it sit for days on end. Road grime full of chemicals eats in to the spokes, the front end and the engine, so best bet is even just to hose the bike down as soon as you get home.

Washing is an important discipline to maintain the bike. After a long trip or riding in the rain, the bike must be washed first, after it has cooled down. After every ride, I blow off the brake dust with a compressor, from the calipers, discs and more importantly, the wheels. Brake dust is corrosive if left on surfaces so it must be fully removed, then I wipe the wheels clean using a damp towel.

Road and rain grime has a cumulative effect. The longer you leave it, the more intractable it gets. That simply means it gets more difficult to remove with time. If you stay on top of it, then you can literally remove most daily grime with glass cleaner and a cloth.

The Pre-Wash:

Remove rings, jewellery, watches and anything else that might scratch your bike as you clean...

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Luggage Set-up For Stability

Luggage Set-up For Stability

You’re riding solo. You’ve bought a nice new chrome luggage rack and a new bag that has pockets in all the right places and will fit everything you need. Well, almost anyway. Remember, you don’t need to bring your whole wardrobe with you. You’ll no doubt buy some souvenir T-shirts along the way and you’ll be able to wash the rest. Who cares if you wear the same outfit a few days in a row?? This is a road trip!

luggage

After riding all over Australia with luggage, my suggestion to you would be to keep the brand new chrome luggage rack, as you can always tie a small item to it and it adds the the style of the bike. But I wouldn’t put my heaviest luggage on there.

luggage

Here’s the secret. If you’re riding solo, get a passenger backrest and place your luggage on your pillion seat and secure it to the backrest, like in the picture above. This will have two very positive benefits:

  1. The centre of gravity will be over your back wheel and therefore closer to the centre of your bike, giving you a more stable and comfortable ride, especially around corners. Not too dissimilar from carrying a passenger.
  2. You get a backrest by being able to lean on your luggage.

If you have pan...

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90 Degree Valve Stems

90 Degree Valve Stems

Those of you who own a tourer with alloy wheels know how hard it is to put air in your tyres using the standard valve stems, right? Especially the rear wheel.

The standard H-D valve stems are housed in the rim in such a way that no petrol station air hose can physically connect to them, unless you bend the valve slightly with your fingers.

There’s only one problem with that: if you’ve been riding the rear brake disc will be bloody hot and you’ll likely burn your fingers.

Enter the 90 degree valve stem.

As the name suggests, these stems are 90 degrees and point away from the wheel to allow easy access. There are two types of stem:

The screw-on type.valve stems

These are easy to use and carry around with you. Just keep one in your pocket and next time you need to top up the air in

your tyres, or just check your air pressure, screw one of these puppies on and attach the hose to it.

Be careful not to burn your hand on the brake disc and remember to remove the valve stem when you’re done.

I once rode with a friend who left his screw-on 90 degree valve stem attached...

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The All-new Milwaukee Eight

Milwaukee Eight

Move over 103 and 110, the 107 and 114 are here in the all-new Milwaukee Eight!

Engine:

With Harley’s all new line up for 2017, the old donk is gone for the Touring models.

The new engines are called the Milwaukee Eight. You get 4 valves per head, 50% more flow and for the first time: dual spark plugs for each cylinder.

The engine is completely brand new, top to bottom, with new cases, new flywheel and new charging system.

Acceleration has been improved with a two to three bike length difference from 0-60. From 60-80 there is a roll-on acceleration improvement of about two bike lengths, so alot more usable power right throughout the range.

  • 9th big twin engine.
  • 10% more torque.
  • 50% more intake and exhaust flow.
  • 50% more charging output.

Suspension:

There’s an all-new front and rear suspension for improved comfort and response. The rear suspension is a new tool-less adjustable set-up. Located just behind the saddlebags or panniers, there’s a turn-dial adjustment with 30% more pre-load range.

With a new ‘double-bending’ valve at the front, it keeps the front tyre positively grounded on the road...

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