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Visits since 2002 09 12 - 68266266
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First Bike
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I was hangin' around Geoff's Bike shop, a couple weeks back, when they walked in; a father and his seventeen year old son. Funny, the father didn't look like a moron. The kid made a beeline for a barely used 800cc four cylinder ultra-Kamikaze. You know, the kind you ride with yer butt up in the air layin' flat on the tank. Those who know whereof they speak concede that bike to be good for about 140 MPH. I should have gotten a clue by the way they walked right by one of Geoff's bikes (he's a Brit., they spell...

 Dave Murray
Cruisers and Performance Cruisers
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Call them sport cruisers, power cruisers, performance cruisers or whatever you like, the hottest class of street bikes in 2004 is the high performance cruisers. Bikes that not only look stylish, but also can back up their show with real go. The majority of the e-mail I get from Motorcycles and Riding Online readers involves questions about what new bike in a certain class or of a certain brand I would recommend. This is the cruiser article in a series that will be updated annually and is intended to answer some of those questions before they are asked.

Want $2000 Bucks off a 1200cc Sportster?
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The engine roared? No, that's not strong enough. The sound of the (now) 74 cubic inch Sporty's politically incorrect straight pipes inside four concrete walls, even wearing earmuffs, was a pummeling, physical force. Sorta like the one-oh-fives when you have to call them in close. It fell off to merely deafening, and then Geoff again rapped the throttle to the stop for the third dyno run. He looked at the CRT for a moment, three identical curves atop one another, shut down the engine and turned to me grinning: "Don't change anything!" The readings? Tell you in a minute.

 Dave Murray
Sportster Vibration--How to Deal With It
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Introduction I really like the XL Sportster. And I particularly like the powerful 1200cc versions. Sportsters are quite versatile, and are an awful lot of fun to ride. However, XL's are not good bikes for long trips at freeway speeds, due to the vibration that makes itself evident somewhere between 60 and 70 MPH (depending on the individual bike and the rider's tolerance). This vibration comes from the solidly mounted engine/transmission unit, and is usually felt most in the handlebars, and to a lesser extent in the footpegs.

 Chuck Hawks
Painting an Old FL
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As the owner of an older Harley FL I have, over the years, made a number of changes and modifications to the bike. I'd like to say they have all resulted in "improvements" however, in all honesty, some have been more successful than others. Some were just plain dumb and should have never been attempted, at least not by me with my skill level. Thus, when I decided my ride needed a new coat I didn't want to gamble on my skills, so I shopped around at a number of professional paint shops. Only after hearing the prices did I...

 Rabbi Moshe DiLaura
The Harley Tax
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The "Harley Tax" should in fairness be called the "Officious, Nitpicking, Largely Ineffective, Expensive, and Intrusive Tax." It was imposed by a gubbamint which sureashell ought to have better things to do. The Motor Company has responded to ridiculous noise and exhaust emission regulations primarily by installing restrictive air cleaners and exhausts to reduce induction and exhaust noise, and by running very lean mixtures, which supposedly reduce emissions. This is pretty much the same approach taken by all of the motorcycle companies, and all brands of new bikes will respond positively to the sorts of modifications mentioned below--but this article...

 Dave Murray
Harley Paintin' for the Under-funded and Under-skilled
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The previous owner of my '96 Sporty obviously stored his polishing rags in his kid's sandbox. The paint looked like it had been cleaned with #1 steel wool. There were a few dings, a pretty good kink in the rear fender, and it needed a bigger tank. I was definitely in for a paint job. In the Peoples' Republic of New Jersey a basic single-color repaint on a Harley costs $1500. If I wanted the 74 cubic inch big-bore kit, and I did, then I was lookin' at the painter in my mirror, as well as the mechanic.

 Dave Murray  Comments Comments: 1
Further Thoughts on Polishin', Paintin' and Ridin'
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I leaned into the turn, just a tad too close behind Mildred annoyed at her "five MPH under the limit" pace, the back end of a HUGE thunderstorm looming five miles overhead. Then we drove into Niagara Falls. Mildred got all over her brakes, and got sideways, the road went instantly to Vaseline, and the bike got that loose feeling it gets when there is NO adhesion. I saw some grass, figured it was softer than concrete, and sorta herded the bike toward it. I got a little braking done before we hit the wet grass and went down. Classic...

 Dave Murray
The Art of Harley Polishin'
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There I stood, new bill of sale in hand, staring at my '96 Sporty. She was freakin' beautiful! Well, she was if you stood back about fifteen feet. Her former home had been in a salt-air environment, and she was parked outside. She is the mostly "polished" aluminum model, but now the rocker boxes, engine cases, triple tree, and a set of PM spun-alloy wheels were all gray and salt-pitted. The paint had seen better days, too, but that's another article. Well, Winter was comin' on, and I would have some serious polishin' to do. Why? Well, if I have...

 Dave Murray
How To Buy Automobiles
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Anyone can give crummy advice on how to buy automobiles. In order to learn how to master this art of sales, you need to take advice from a "buy automobiles pro." There's no advice like that which comes from years of experience, and I consider myself to be a true master at the science of auto negotiations. As with anything, knowledge is your best tool in figuring out how to buy automobiles. There's nothing like entering an auto dealership armed with specific knowledge about every auto and what they are worth. Don't let inexperience stop you from getting the information...

 Staff Writer