Deus Ex Machina USA Bike Build Off – Venice Beach, CA

Deus Ex Machina is known for the amazing custom bikes that come out of their workshops around the world, and are ridden by celebrities, or just displayed in living rooms. Despite that, for years now they have held custom bike contests for amateurs that reward them for “making the most from the least”. This past weekend the only United States outpost of Deus, in beautifully quirky Venice Beach, held their portion of the worldwide competition and your Clymer editor was there (though we did not build a bike this year, unlike in 2015 when our Bosozoku Honda got an honorable mention).… Read the rest

Beginners Guide: Gear Up Before You Ride!

Many people live by the motto, “All the gear, all the time!” (often seen online as ATGATT) and are very vocal about it. At the opposite end of the spectrum, are riders who demand freedom to ride with no helmet, their hair blowing in the wind. New riders may not want to invest in expensive gear, only to decide riding isn’t for them after a few months, but buying a few strategic pieces now is wise. It can actually change your whole experience on the bike, and help lead to a lifelong love of riding.

Buying and using a few crucial pieces of gear from day one, not to get too serious too soon, can also help you live a long healthy life even if you never ride again.… Read the rest

Born Free 11 Chopper Show – Silverado, CA

Here at Clymer we take apart and put together bikes, and ride them, and race them, but that is still not enough. We like to go out to see the work of master craftsmen, sculptors, and painters who build the choppers and other custom bikes shown at Born Free every year. Going to this show, located in a grassy, semi wooded area in the foothills of Orange County, CA completely unlike the dry dusty desert most people expect in So. Cal. it is hard to image that it only started ten years ago. From the humble team up of Born Loser, and Freedom Machine, this show has gotten huge, with Harley-Davidson themselves, Vans sneakers, and 805 beer helping to provide corporate clout, funding, entertainment, and libations.… Read the rest

Clymer Goes Minibike Racing – Glen Helen, CA

Just like Ricky Bobby, most of us here at Clymer want to go fast. In the past we’ve raced all sorts of bikes, starting way back with our founder Floyd tearing up the tracks and hill climbs on Indians and Harley-Davisons before the war. Because of the way things go and changes in how we do things, there are not typically bikes back in the shop we can borrow for a club race (our author Ron Wright has his own shop hundreds of miles from HQ).

Instead myself, Bryan, and our technician Mark who does most of the shop work for Haynes on the car side of things, have been working on some inexpensive, low impact race bikes.… Read the rest

3 Reasons Buying a Parts Bike Is a Good Idea

Does this sound like you?

You’ve got a bike with some sentimental value, or that you got a killer deal on, but it has major issues. You might be feeling elation or despair, or both, but you are now definitely in need of some parts. Depending on the bike and parts needed, the best solution might be buying a whole second example of the bike you are trying to fix.

The first thing most people consider is purchasing new replacement parts direct from the manufacturer or the aftermarket. Everyone loves fresh, shiny parts, and you can trust that they are fully functional and will be for years to come.… Read the rest

Don’t Believe the Hype – Young People Do Want To Ride!

It seems you can’t look at a news source or social media without hearing about some new thing the young people are ruining because they spend too much time with their phones. Harley-Davidson new bike sales seem to be off by another 10% every year, and nearly every motorcycle expert says riders are aging out of bikes, and new riders are hard to find. Flying in the face of that doom and gloom though is a new survey from the people behind the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows and their Discover The Ride initiative.

This year, at motorcycle shows in seven major cities as well as the Dallas-Fort Worth Auto Show, Discover the ride introduced a large number of people who have never ridden to the fun of motorcycles.… Read the rest

Electric Revolution at the Petersen Museum – Los Angeles, CA – now thru 2020

Whether you like it or not, electric vehicles of every type are gaining traction in every market. Electric power may just a tiny percentage of the vehicles on the road (and off the road, and in the sky, and on the water) right now, but it increasingly looks as if they are here to stay. The Petersen Automotive Museum (with guest curator Paul D’Orleans of the Vintagent) just opened an exhibit featuring custom, concept, and racing bikes, all powered by electricity; with backing from Harley-Davidson, who just released their first production electric bike , the Livewire.

Back when Floyd Clymer started selling cars as a teenager steam, gas, and electric were all competing for dominance.… Read the rest

Spring Lawn Mower Tune Up Time

Baseball season is back, and even though there may still be snow on the ground up north, it is time to start thinking about lawn car again. No matter how big your yard is, or what you use to mow it, just like your car, your lawn mower will last longer and work better with a little periodic maintenance. A poor running mower that gets bogged down easily in long grass just makes a weekend chore that much more work, but a little work in the shed now can mean less work in the yard later.

If you winterize your lawn equipment properly – storing it indoors with no gas in the tank or float bowl – that first mow of spring is much easier.… Read the rest

Electric Motorcycles vs. Power Assist Bicycles – What’s the Law Say?

When does an electric bicycle become a motorcycle?

There are more and more options on the market that blur the line between bicycle and motorcycle, thanks to the proliferation of inexpensive batteries. But how much “power assist” can a bicycle have before it is a motorcycle? Can you ride an electric moped on a bike path? Or in the bike lane? Do you need a license?

Juiced Bikes Scrambler

What about the increasing number of off-road focused electrics? Can you ride them on mountain bike trails? Are there environmental concerns? Are park rangers going to chase you out of the forest for having too much fun?… Read the rest

Top 5 Collectible Old Tractors

When one thinks of collectible vehicles, most think of things like Corvettes, Mustangs, European exotics, or even a few classic Ford and Chevy pickups. It’s not uncommon to see whole warehouses filled such vehicles in various preserved states, after all.

However, would you consider a farm tractor as a collectible?

Turns out there’s a whole different world out there, where the likes of John Deere, International Harvester, and others have garnered a level of attention normally associated with old muscle, classic luxury, and performance vehicles. Some of the desirability is nostalgia for the family farm of days gone by, and some is the simplicity and honesty of these old fully manual workhorses, with their exposed works.… Read the rest