There are few modern products of any type that are currently in production in a form anything like what they were 60+ years ago. A time traveler from the 1950s would barely recognize our modern cars, appliances, televisions, aircraft, or ships, yet the 2019 Honda Super Cub would immediately be recognized by anyone who had one back then. The new Super Cub (C100) evolves the same essential ingredients Soichiro Honda combined into the first prototype in 1957, and it has only gotten better with time. As a testament to the Honda laydown single, in all its variations, our manual for the 1965-99 Honda 50-110cc OHC singles is one of our top 25 books every year, even now.… Read the rest
Archive for the ‘Motorcycle History’ Category
America and Japan are very different countries, with different cultures and styles, but on top of that there are the basic physical differences. The Japanese motorcycle industry really got going after WWII, when they needed light, reliable machines to get around a country that had been heavily damaged by the war. The American industry, and Harley-Davidson specifically, has been plugging along since the dawn of motorized transportation, building big torquey machines great for eating up the miles.
There is a vast ocean between the West Coast of the US and Japan, and there’s practically a 5,500-mile gap between the way that Americans and the Japanese think about motorcycles, not only how they ride, but also how to build them.… Read the rest
What’s in your toolbox? If you have one of the classic “black beauty” air cooled BMW boxers, you need the Clymer Manuals 1955-1969 BMW 500cc and 600cc Twin Service Manual. Looking much like the pre-war twin, BMW kept the classic looks but consistently evolved and upgraded their bike throughout the 50s and 60s. Our manual for the R50, R60, /2, and R69 is actually a newly printed version of Floyd Clymer’s 1970s original, written specifically for home users and enthusiasts, with clear pictures and explanations in plain English. Unlike the German OEM factory service manuals, which are designed for the professional, Clymer Manuals are written with the do-it-yourself mechanic in mind, not the expert.… Read the rest
The third annual Women’s Motorcycle Show put on by Moto Lady and the Lucky Wheels DIY Garage in L.A., happened this past weekend and it was so much larger than expected it got raided and shut down by the police. It seems they thought there was some street racing going on, or possibly that it was a big outlaw biker club rally. Nevertheless, everyone had a good time and some talented ladies got to show off the bikes they had built or at least commissioned.
No matter whether you like new bikes or old, sportbikes or cruisers, there was something for everyone at the show, plus music, welding and blacksmithing demonstrations, snacks, and a raffle with many valuable prizes.… Read the rest
What’s in your toolbox? If love classic British twins, you need to get yourself a copy of the Clymer Collection Series – British Street Bike Service Manual. An updated reprint of the manual we first put out when these bikes were the latest and greatest, it covers BSA 500 cc and 650 cc unit twins from 1963-1972, Norton 750 cc and 850 cc twins from 1969-1975, and Triumph 500 cc, 650 cc, and 750 cc twins from 1963-1979. Like every Clymer manual, it is written specifically for the do-it-yourself enthusiast, with clear pictures and explanations in plain English. Unlike OEM “factory” manuals, which are designed for the professional motorcycle mechanic, Clymer shop manuals are designed specifically for the first time user.… Read the rest
Seasonal changes affect plants, animals, and motorcycle riders much the same. As the weather turns colder, deciduous trees lose their leaves, migratory animals head for warmer southern climes, and riders put their motorcycles away. For those who love to ride, snow and freezing weather couldn’t be more of a downer. To keep from going completely stir crazy, many turn to motorcycle magazines and fond memories, but these can only go so far to ease an itchy throttle hand. One of our manuals makes a great gift for those taking on a winter restoration or improvement project, but what if it is too cold in the garage?… Read the rest
“Because it’s there” could be the only reason that anyone would attempt a stunt like “jumping the Grand Canyon.” Of course, it all started out when we were kids, betting who could jump the furthest over the puddle, the campfire, or the creek. Most grow out of it, while others, like movie stuntmen and people like Evel Knievel, just kept going bigger. Wearing the stars and stripes and a cape, Knievel was as much a superhero as any, because he was real flesh and blood, but even he recognized that he wasn’t Superman, and spilled blood and broke bones just like any man.… Read the rest
Girls need Men to take them places. Women can get there all on their own. – Unknown
We have no idea who said that first, but we think that female motorcycle riders are rockin’, and they’ve been rollin’ pretty much as long as motorcycles have been motorcycles, perhaps even before. The sad fact is that our male-dominated society has repressed female rights, including the right not to be judged for riding, for decades, but times are changing. Still, don’t call them “Biker Chicks,” because lady riders are not outcast rebels or deviants of society, but professionals and capable human beings and stunning riders in their own right – they just happen to be women.… Read the rest
Not everything is built to last, usually outmoded or killed within a very short time. Automobiles reinvent themselves every few years to keep from falling behind the competition, and the exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 killed itself after just 70 days! Some things just never seem to go out of style, though, so why mess with a good thing? Yamaha VMAX is just one of those, basically an engine with a seat strapped to it, originally released in 1985 and still going strong some three decades later.
Yamaha V-Max – 1985 to 2007
Released in 1985, the Yamaha V-Max could best be described as a muscle-car on two wheels, the 1,197 cc DOHC V4 generating 114 hp in a 630-lb package.… Read the rest
In the biking world, type distinction can be stark. No one would ever mistake a cruiser for a trail bike or a street bike for a scooter. On the other hand, there are bikes that blur the lines, dual-sport bikes that are designed for on-road comfort and off-road capability. Among these, the Kawasaki KLR650 stands out with an exceptionally long history. Introduced in 1987, the KLR650 is going on thirty years of age!
Perhaps the secret to the KLR650’s longevity and popularity is not messing with a good thing every year, that is, not adding a new feature to every new model year when it comes out.… Read the rest