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Archive for the ‘Motorcycles’ Category

About Big Turbo Motorcycles

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What’s the story with big turbo motorcycles? Looking at some gasoline engines and many diesel engines in automobiles, one finds forced induction almost everywhere, turbochargers and superchargers in cars and trucks of all sizes. Where they used to be mainly found in performance vehicles, forced-induction engines have been adopted to improve economy in all kinds of vehicles, but not motorcycles. Well, at least not many motorcycles. In fact, only four makers have ever dabbled in production turbocharged motorcycles, the big four from Japan, including Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki.

The first semi-production turbocharged motorcycle was the Kawasaki Z1R-TC, built by Turbo Cycle Corporation, and then there was the 1982 Honda CX 500 Turbo and 1983 650 Turbo, the 1982-83 Yamaha XJ 650 Seca Turbo, the 1983 Suzuki XN 85 Turbo, and the 1983-1985 Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo – also a late-2003 supercharged scooter, the Peugeot JetForce Compressor, but we don’t talk about that one.… Read the rest

Motorcycle Tire Types and Uses

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Compared to automobiles, motorcycles are far simpler vehicles. Thus, each component is significantly more important to the bike’s performance, handling, and safety characteristics. Of all the parts on your bike, perhaps tires are the most important, impacting traction, cornering, and ride comfort, but what kind of motorcycle tire should you use? It all depends on what kind of bike you have and how you plan on riding it.

Street / Sport Tires

Street and sport bikes usually come with street or sport tires, giving them exceptional grip on pavement. Made of soft rubber compound, they offer the best performance carving corners – think winding canyon roads.… Read the rest

Motorcycle Tire Basics – Video

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Many motorcyclists know little about the tires mounted to the wheels of their trusty two-wheeled machine. However ignorance of tire knowledge can be potentially dangerous. Once the tires are on your bike, its easy to forget about them. However some routine care is essential to get the best out of them and also ensure your safety while riding. Check out this video on motorcycle tire basics:

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Road Bike vs Dirt Bike – What’s the Difference?

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How are dirt bikes and road bikes made to handle different riding types? Riding both off-road and on-road, you’d note the difference between them. Of course, there are the obvious things, like suspension height and ground clearance, but also subtle things, like rider position and the difference between “turning” and “leaning” to steer. On pavement, putting your foot down for a turn could result in disaster, while attempting to lean into a turn off-road could easily send you off the trail. Here are a few differences between motorcycles for the road and dirt bikes, and how they make or break your ride.… Read the rest

What is the United States Motorcycle Coaching Association?

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Asked why they ride motorcycles, riders will probably give different answers. Maybe commuting is easier or fuel economy is higher, which reduces stress and spares spending cash for other things, like an extra cappuccino. Some people ride because it’s fun, free, or ”cool.” Aside from just riding, there’s also off-roading, adventure riding, and racing. No matter the reason we ride, it’s clear that there are also dangers, within and without, that threaten the sport.

Motorcycle Trends

Motorcycle sales in North America have been stagnant over the last decade, while previous decades showed nearly-consistent increases. In Europe, though, motorcycle sales are rising.… Read the rest

What is a Seamless Shift Gearbox?

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Generally-speaking, there are three types of transmission, including manual, automatic, and continuously-variable (CVT). Interestingly, CVTs are only available on scooters and a very few motorcycles, and the rest of the motorcycle fleet is equipped with manual transmissions. Automatic transmissions are practically unheard-of on motorcycles, but there is a relatively-new transmission, found in racing, which is making waves and winning titles, the seamless-shift gearbox. It’s good to note that this is not a dual-clutch transmission, which is illegal in MotoGP racing.

Speed Shifting

As in all racing, speed is the name of the game. In motorcycle racing, there is plenty of upshifting and downshifting, and this creates a problem.… Read the rest

Honda Dual Clutch Transmission – Video

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Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission has three modes which ensures smooth and seamless gear changes.  It offers the choice of manual gear shifting along with two fully automatic modes.  One of the automatic modes (D) is for general use and the other (S) for high performance riding. Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission features new software logic with added functionality.

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American vs Japanese Motorcycles

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If you’ve ever seen how our rider-friends across the sea handle two-wheels, you’ll probably conclude that they’re riding very different bikes. Indeed, they are, because Japanese motorcycles are not American motorcycles, but why? First, as much as there is a vast ocean between the West Coast and Japan, there’s practically a 5,500-mile gap between the way that Americans and the Japanese think about motorcycles, not only what or when to ride, but also how to build them.

Cultural Differences

In the United States, there are very few people who view the motorcycle as a legitimate form of transportation. Instead, Americans buy motorcycles for recreation or for the image.… Read the rest