Listen in as we discuss advanced riding courses, valve inspection/adjustment and the Missouri Ozarks … Read More
For some of you, this method of bleeding brakes is going to read as old hat. You’re seasoned and experienced, with volumes upon volumes of efficient solutions, including this one, for a variety of tedious motorcycle maintenance tasks. There is a chance, however that you’re like me (an intermediate wrench at best) and that you have yet to attempt this “one weird trick”.
In the case of motorcycle brake bleeding, I’ve seen my fair share of frustrating experiences. Brittle tools that are purposed specifically for said job can fall apart mid-effort, creating a mess of corrosive chemical compounds and even damaged paint/plastic if you don’t clean things up in time. While having a Mightyvac on hand isn’t a bad thing, it’s operation requires more work than brake bleeding should involve.
As for how to bleed brakes by yourself, get ready because things are about to get a whole lot easier. I recently overheard a friend, one who rides the same second generation Bandit 1200 as my own, explain to another rider how instead of pouring brake fluid into his master cylinder and subsequently downward into his fluid lines, he injects it into his bleed outlet. That is to suggest that he back flushes brake fluid via the bleed screw, forcing it to lift all hazardous bubbles/sediment to the master cylinder where it can then be extracted.Read More ...
Having motorcycle toured through forty-eight states and seven provinces of Canada over the last forty years, not surprisingly I have a few favorite roads. My absolute favorite, balancing traffic density, police presence and intersecting driveways/roads is Arkansas Highway 341, otherwise known as “Push Mountain Road”. To access it from Mountain Home, take Arkansas 201 towards Norfolk and turn right onto 341. It’s twenty-four miles long with over a hundred and thirty five turns and feels distinctly like two different roads.
It starts out with less than perfect pavement, narrow shoulders and residential driveways. About eight miles later, it enters the Ozark National Forest where the surface becomes stellar. There aren’t any driveways or intersecting roads and the shoulder is five feet wide. From here, it climbs Push Mountain which includes some lower speed switchbacks before continuing onto a series of varying speed corners and short straights.
This is one of the few roads I still ride fast enough to wear the edges of the tires. Visibility is wide open in the corners and there’s a complete lack of gravel on the roadway. I usually run the road back and forth several times and there’s even a micro brewery (Gravity Brewing) located a few miles West on Arkansas 14, just outside of Big Flat (open Monday-Thursday from noon until 6pm).Read More ...
The headline above doesn’t aim to disrespect motorcycle luggage manufacturers. It merely acknowledges that they jump through a lot of hoops to provide us with safe and reliable products. Research and development is no easy road, so when designers arrive at a “universally compatible” result, I personally think a favorable nod is in order.
There’s an unspoken truth behind soft luggage, though and it applies to motorcycling of all types (welcome, non-demographic cruisers). I’m of the opinion that the excessive fasteners included with every pair of soft bags I’ve ever owned are safe to remove once a rider finalizes their installation scheme … but companies can’t just say that. Instead, their instructions point to defaults that rarely fit more than one bike, mostly so that corporate insurance disclaimers aren’t responsible beyond said defaults.
Our own Givi Easybags are top shelf as far as sportbike luggage is concerned, as are Nelson Rigg’s SPRT-50 series and Chase Harper’s thermoformed Stealths. The Givis include two large velcro cross straps that we’ve since removed, reducing the total textile support points to a single cross strap that runs under the seat. The thing is, it’s this “lesser” strap that’s more useful. Over the seat, we’ve buckled a custom click-strap through the handle loops, summing six total secure points. That’s one under the seat, another over, two lower/rear D-rings at the frame and two lower/front D-rings using additional hardware near the passenger footrests.Read More ...