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Harley Davidson owned Serial 1 electric bicycles are now in stock and available for purchase. You can order a Serial 1 e bicycle online and have it shipped directly to you, or in the next few weeks a participating Harley Davidson dealership near you will have Serial 1 e bicycle models on the show room floor to be seen in person and taken for a test ride. Here is the Serial 1 website link used to find a participating Harley Davidson dealership near you:

Dealership Locator

Also, Serial 1 e bicycles can be delivered to your participating Harley Davidson dealership for assembly and pickup if you choose.

Click on image to view Serial 1's website:

2021 Serial 1 Rush/City Speed electric bicycle
American V-Twin Motorcycles. / To Chrome Stud Or Not To Chrome Stud
« Last post by smallengineshop on March 22, 2021, 06:01:47 PM »
Harley Davidson set the standard for decorating leather seats, saddle bags and accessories with chrome studs and conchos on production motorcycles starting as far back as the 1940's. The style has been used on the modern Harley Davidson Heritage Classic motorcycle for years. Other manufacturers followed suit with similar looking classic cruisers of their own. However, recently the style has seemed to run it's course and fade out of popularity, or has it.

In 2018 Harley Davidson dramatically changed the look of the Heritage Classic by removing the leather chrome studs and conchos from the motorcycle. They were replaced with black decorative shapes (I'm not sure what to call them). It's a good look and seemed like an good change, and I expected to see other manufacturers follow Harley's move, but they haven't.

Both Suzuki and Kawasaki continue the classic leather styling on the 2021 Vulcan Classic LT and C50T motorcycles. The leather seats and saddle bags on both models are lined with chrome studs. The Kawasaki Classic LT includes a passenger back rest that is also lined with chrome studs.

When Harley Davidson changed the look of the Heritage Classic I thought the leather chrome studs and Chonchos were out style, but now I'm not sure. There seems to be enough motorcyclists out there that prefer the old style for Kawasaki and Suzuki to continue using it. I think the classic leather style look may just hold on and survive a bit longer, and maybe even rise in popularity again.

2021 Harley Davidson Heritage Classic

2017 Harley Davidson Heritage Classic

2021 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic LT

2021 Suzuki C50T
What motorcycle do BLM rioters prefer? Knowing the answer to this quesiton would require a poll, which I don't have, but I did see a photograph used for an article showing two BLM rioters in Washington DC riding a Yamaha Vstar 650 Classic (see first photo below). The motorcycle is modified with custom paint, missing turn signals and a Kuryakin Hypercharger replacing the stock air filter cover.

The Yamaha Vstar 650 was manufactured from 1997 to 2019, but was only available in the United States from 1998 to 2015, and maybe 2016. The Vstar 650 was a cruiser style motorcycle available in several different versions. There was a Silverado model that came with studded saddle bags, studded seat, windshield and studded passenger sissy bar. The Classic model was a stripped down Silverado without those extra features, and a Custom model that looked more like a high performance cruiser. All VStar 650 models were powered by a 649cc vtwin, air cooled, SOHC engine. The power train also included a 5 speed manual transmission with shaft  final drive. The little vtwin engine produced 40 HP and 37.5 lb-ft torque. The curb weight was 500 lbs for the Custom model and between 545-600 lbs for the Silverado and Classic models. Seat height was around 28 inches for all models.

What made the Yamaha Vstar 650 so popular was it's classic cruiser styling at a low price making it a direct competitor with the Honda Shadow models. The lower price, smaller size and low weight made it a good entry level motorcycle.

I don't know how many Vstar 650 motorcycles Yamaha sold over the years, but I have a feeling it was quite a few. Imagine the number of people over the last 20 years that wanted a classic cruiser motorcycle, but couldn't afford a new Harley Davidson, so they turned to Japanese cruisers like the Yamaha Vstar 650 or Honda Shadow. So don't be surprised when you see an Antifa or BLM rioter using a Yamaha Vstar 650 to help terrorize the next neighborhood on their list.

Click on image to enlarge:

Link to Article

Yamaha VStar 650 Classic

Yamaha VStar 650 Custom

Yamaha VStar 650 Silverado

What I know about the Harley Davidson Pan America Revolution Max engine:

  • Displacement is 1252cc
  • 150 HP, 94 llbs-ft torque.
  • 48 mpg
  • Liquid cooled, 60 degree V-Twin, DOHC, VVT (variable valve timing)
  • Oversquare: bore to stroke ratio 1.46
  • 6 speed manual transmission
  • Oil system uses 3 scavenge pumps.
  • Uses friction reducing low tension piston rings
  • Hydraulic valve adjusters
  • Compression ratio is 13.0:1
  • Transmission shafts are vertically stacked for a high output sprocket position and short engine size.
  • Slipper/assist clutch uses 8 friction discs
  • Clutch, Alternator and Cam covers are made from Magnesium for lighter weight

Click on any image to enlarge it:

I don't think this is the same Revolution Max engine used on the Pan America, but very similar if not the exact same design

I don't think this is the same Revolution Max engine used on the Pan America, but very similar if not the exact same design

No motorcycle is forced to exist within the category given to it by the manufacturer

The question of whether or not a motorcycle is worth it's price can really only be answered by the buyer. What I consider a good value might be different from someone else. A better question might be, are expensive adventure touring motorcycles the only choice for on/off road riding with a mixture of long distance touring? The answer to that question is 'no.'

A fun and less expensive motorcycle for this type of riding is a used or new dual sport or smaller adventure touring motorcycle. Both types have the potential to provide just as many adventures as their larger cousin. These motorcycles can cost as little as 2 or 3 thousands dollars used, and some new models are under $5k. That's a big savings when compared to motorcycles that cost $14k or more.

The features found on dual sport and adventure touring motorcycles are often times similar. Both types of motorcycles are designed for on and off road riding. Some commonalities are longer travel suspension, tires for on/off road use and standard riding position. Where they seem to differ the most is the stock adventure touring motorcycle is designed more for street riding than dirt by having a windshield for wind protection, larger engine, larger frame and tires that are more oriented for street use. Even different model dual sport motorcycles will vary in their features and design for street or dirt use. However, any motorcycle can be modified to improve whatever type of riding you prefer. No motorcycle is forced to exist within the category given to it by the manufacturer. Meaning, it's possible to modify a dirt bike for street use and vise versa.

A stock big adventure touring motorcycle provides better on-road performance for long distance travel or commutes. A bigger motorcycle provides a larger payload and usually more space for luggage or a passenger. A more powerful engine is better for passing cars and traveling at higher speeds, and taller transmission gear ratios are better suited for highway travel. The higher weight and longer wheelbase provide better stability for high speeds making the motorcycle more stable in winds, or in situations when larger vehicles like a semi truck passes by. However, these features that provide better freeway performance come at a cost.

A motorcycle with a bigger engine provides more power and performance, and a larger frame provides increased payload, but these features also increase motorcycle weight. A higher weight can make riding at slower speeds on or off road more difficult and less fun.

Most dual sport and smaller adventure touring motorcycles weigh less than the big expensive adventure touring motorcycles. This means the bike can be ridden with less work required from the rider, and this makes riding more enjoyable and fun. It becomes very difficult for most people to keep a big adventure touring motorcycle upright when riding off road and faced with obstacles like ruts, narrow trails or big rocks. A real life example of this is a yearly event created by a BMW R1200GS motorcycle club in Colorado when the R1200GS was BMW's only adventure touring motorcycle. The club is located near mountains with good fire roads and trails for off road riding. The club got together one day and created an annual motorcycle riding event through local mountain fire roads and trails that lasted 24 to 48 hours. Anyone can signup for the event as long as you have a motorcycle that's 650cc or larger in size. The ironic thing about this story is the ride event was formed by BMW R1200GS owners, but after a few years of it's existence, most people participating in the event, including club members, were showing up on Kawasaki KLR 650's. The big BMW R1200GS adventure motorcycle, especially with luggage, were too big and heavy and hard to ride on rough dirt roads and mountain trails.

There aren't many examples of dual sport motorcycles being used for long distance touring, but there is one guy named Dr. Gregory Frazier. He rode around the world on a Kawasaki KLR 650. I actually posted a link to some of his articles several years ago, which you can find here: Touring on a 2009 Kawasaki KLR 650. How long will a KLR last?. The Kawasaki KLR650 has been manufactured since 1987 and has always been considered a dual sport motorcycle, but has recently been called an adventure motorcycle in advertising print by Kawasaki, only because the word 'adventure' has gained marketing value in today's motorcycle market.

I own a 2009 Kawasaki KLR650, which I bought new and have put close to 40,000 miles on it. I have no plans of trading it in on any big adventure touring motorcycle, and if I forced to get rid of it, I would probably trade it in for the newer version KLR 650 set to be released in 2022.

Examples of lower priced, smaller motorcycles that can easily be ridden on or off road:

The 2022 Kawasaki KLR650, which Kawasaki calls the 'Adventure' model. MSRP $7999

Kawasaki Versys X-300, MSRP $5899

The 2021 Honda CRF300L. MSRP $5249

The CSC RX3 Adventure. MSRP $4195. This is a Chinese made motorcycle. I don't think they're as reliable as Japanese or American made motorcycles and they lack good dealership support outside of the one dealer in California, but they are less expensive and some people do swear by them. The engine displacement is 250cc and the motorcycle can be ridden on the freeway. A RX3 riders group rode this motorcycle from California into Mexico and back. CSC also has a larger 450 version called the RX4 with an MSRP $4995.

2021 Suzuki Vstrom 650. MSRP $8849

The 2021 Harley Davidson Pan America Adventure motorcycle specifications and pricing were release today and the bike will be available for sale at  Harley Davidson dealerships in USA on May, 2021.

Curb weight is 534 lbs and engine horsepower is a whopping 150. Torque is 94 ft-lb.  The base price is a $17,319. See video and specs below. Visit the Harley Davidson Pan America website here: Harley Davidson Pan America

<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>

Base model specifications:

Length - 89.2 in.
Seat Height - 31.8 in.
Ground Clearance - 8.3 in.
Rake - 25
Trail - 6.2 in.
Wheelbase - 62.2 in.
Tires, Front Specification - 120/70R19 60V
Tires, Rear Specification - 170/60R17 72V
Tire, Type - Michelin®Scorcher®“Adventure”, Radial
Fuel Capacity - 5.6 gal.
Oil Capacity (w/filter) - 4.75 qt.
Weight, As Shipped - 503 ln
Weight, In Running Order - 534 lb.

Engine - Revolution® Max 1250
Bore - 4.13 in.
Stroke - 2.84 in.
Displacement - 76.3 cu in
Compression Ratio - 13.0:1
Fuel System - Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Exhaust - 2-into-1-into-1; catalyst in header

Engine Torque Testing Method - J1349
Engine Torque - 94 ft-lb
Engine Torque (rpm) - 6750
Horsepower - 150 HP / 112 kW @ 9000 rpm
Lean Angle, Right (deg.) - 42
Lean Angle, Left (deg.) - 42
Fuel Economy Testing Method - Estimated City/Hwy
Fuel Economy 5 - 46 mpg

Drive Train
Primary Drive - Gear, 49/89 ratio
Gear Ratios (overall) 1st - 13.11
Gear Ratios (overall) 2nd - 9.687
Gear Ratios (overall) 3rd - 7.509
Gear Ratios (overall) 4th - 6.057
Gear Ratios (overall) 5th - 5.08
Gear Ratios (overall) 6th - 4.436

Front Fork - 47mm inverted fork with compression, rebound and spring preload adjustability. Aluminum fork triple clamps.
Rear Shocks - Linkage-mounted, piggyback monoshock with compression, rebound and hydraulic spring preload adjustability
Wheels, Front Type 9 - Aluminum cast, satin black
Wheels, Rear Type 9 - Aluminum cast, satin black
Brakes, Caliper Type - Front: radially mounted, monoblock, 4-piston caliper; Rear: floating, single piston caliper

Lights (as per country regulation), Indicator Lamps 8 - LED Bullet Turn Signals
Gauges - 6.8 inch viewable area TFT display with speedometer, gear, odometer, fuel level, clock, trip, low temp alert, side stand down alert, TIP over alert, cruise, range and tachometer indication BT capable - phone pairing to access phone calls, music, navigation (H-D   App ONLY)

Type - Color TFT w/ Touch
Screen Size - 6.8 in.
Headset Specifications (if equipped) - Bluetooth
Languages - Arabic, Chinese (Simplified/Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (default), Finnish, French (Canada/France), German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal/Brazil), Indonesian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish (Mexico/Spain), Swedish, Turkish, Vietnamese, Thai
Hands-free Mobile Phone - via Bluetooth - Yes
Voice Recognition Languages: Phone functions only - Phone dependent
Voice Recognition Languages: Tuner/Media/Navigation - Phone dependent
Text-to-Speech (TTS) Languages - Phone dependent
Rider/Passenger Intercom - Headset function only
Vehicle Information Screen (Air temperature, oil pressure and EITMS) - Engine temp, Battery Voltage
USB - Charging and Instrument update, USB-C, 5V, 3A
Bluetooth - Yes

Vivid Black - $17,319
Color - $17,569
ABS Option - Standard Cornering ABS
Security Option - Standard
Cruise Control Option - Standard
California Emissions - $200
Freight - $390

Motorcycle General Topics & Repair. Questions. / Yikes! Brake Line Ready To Pop
« Last post by smallengineshop on February 16, 2021, 11:21:02 PM »
In my last post I talked about the right side front brake line that ruptured on a 2001 Ford vehicle. You can read about it here:

Ruptured Brake Line

This post is about the left side front brake line on the same vehicle. You can see in the photo's that the brake like is about to pop. Caught it just in time.

Click on image to enlarge:

Click on image to enlarge:
Motorcycle General Topics & Repair. Questions. / Ruptured Brake Line
« Last post by smallengineshop on February 14, 2021, 06:53:12 PM »
Most brake lines on a car are made of metal, bent and formed in such a way to fit the contours of the cars body/frame and help connect the brake master cylinder to each brake caliper. However, the brake line must be made of a flexible material at certain points to allow movement of the wheels whether it's up and down for suspension or rotation for turning. Take a look at the brake line in the photo. This brake line is made of a flexible rubber/nylon like material and is an original Ford part from a Ford car manufactured in 2001, and connects the metal brake line to the front right brake caliper. This brake line ruptured after 20 years or use.

The rupture occurred at point B in the photo. Point A and C are where the brake line attaches to brake line support brackets on the car. The end of the brake line closest to point A is where the metal brake line connects. Point E is where the brake line connects to the brake caliper. When I removed this brake line I cut the line at point D and B not knowing at the time I was going to need a photograph of this line. Before I cut the line it was holding together at point B by a few threads because of the rupture.

Rubber gets hard and brittle over time and will eventually fail. Its why tire manufacturers recommend replacing your car tires after 5 or 6 years after the manufacture date regardless of the amount of tread left. The property of rubber changes over time and effects the performance of the part. This is why this brake line failed. It got hard and brittle after 20 years of use and ruptured.

When this brake line failed the brake system lost hydraulic pressure and the brake pedal dropped to the floor when applying the brakes. Braking performance was greatly reduced to the point of being a very dangerous situation. Brake fluid shot out of the ruptured brake line and went all over the front right wheel well. If you keep applying the brakes in this situation eventually the master cylinder brake reservoir will empty of all brake fluid.

If you find yourself in this situation try not to panic. I think most parking brakes on most cars on the road today are cable operated and can be used to help stop your car. Also, engine braking can help slow your car down. Engine braking is when you down shift and allow the engine to slow the car. If you ever apply the brakes and it feels like the brake pedal is dropping farther than normal, immediately pull off the road and stop the car and inspect your brake system. The best thing you can do is regularly inspect your brake lines and prevent this type of problem from ever occurring.

Click on image to enlarge
1987 - 2018, 2022 Kawasaki KLR 650 / Its Back!
« Last post by smallengineshop on January 27, 2021, 05:13:20 PM »
The Kawasaki KLR650 is back for 2022 and is available in 3 versions: KLR650 base model, KLR650 Traveler and KLR650 Adventure (see photos below). News of it's release came on January 26, 2021. optional on the base model, but standard on the other versions.  From what I can tell, the engine and transmission are the same as the second generation model KLR650 and the old Kawasaki KLR650 carburetor is gone and replaced with fuel injection. Vehicle features on the base model are:
  • NEW Improved ergonomics and ride comfort
  • NEW Bodywork including fuel tank
  • NEW Taller two-position adjustable windshield
  • NEW Larger aluminum rear carrier
  • NEW Increased generator capacity
  • NEW LED headlight
The Kawasaki KLR 650 Traveler version comes with a reat trunk with USB and 12v DC outlets. Vehicle features of Traveler model are:
  • Top Case (optional One-key System)
  • DC and USB Sockets
  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
The Kawasaki KLR650 Adventure model comes with hard saddle bags and these other features:
  • Side Cases (optional One-key System)
  • Fog Lamps
  • Frame Sliders
  • Tank Pad
  • DC and USB Sockets
  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Special color & graphics: Cypher Camo Gray
It's nice to see Kawasaki did increase alternator output to power more accessories like heated gloves and heated vest without having to worry about the battery discharging.

Kawasaki now includes a lockable door for the tool box, and the rear rack has been redesigned (see photo). The dash has been completely redesigned with digital instrumentation. (see photo)  I wonder if accessories like the new saddle bags and rear trunk will be available for older model KLR650's?

2022 Kawasaki KLR650 Base Model. (MSRP NON-ABS: $6,699 / MSRP ABS: $6,999)

2022 Kawasaki KLR650 Traveler Model (MSRP $7,399)

2022 Kawasaki KLR650 Adventure Model (MSRP $7,999 )

The 2022 Kawasaki KLR650 dash with new digital instrumentation.

2022 Kawasaki KLR650 redesigned rear rack and tool box.

2022 Kawasaki KLR650 rear side view.

2022 Kawasaki KLR650 fairing with new fog lights and new LED head light.

2022 Kawasaki KLR650 Website

Click on photo to enlarge:

Chrome and Hot Leather is a biker movie released in 1974 about four Army Green Beret search for a biker responsible for the death of their friend. The four soldiers take a break from military duty to go undercover and start their own motorcycle club in order to infiltrate the biker community. The great part of about this movie is the 1971 Kawasaki 250E enduro motorcycles purchased by the soldiers to start their motorcycle club, which is kind of weird to say the least. All four soldiers rode the exact same model Kawasaki 250E enduro motorcycles. I believe this motorcycle was nicknamed 'Bison' in Japan. I mentioned this same motorcycle in a post about Rosey Greir in the movie The Think with Two Heads. Here's what I wrote:

This particular model Kawasaki 250 enduro was manufactured in 1971 and 1972, and is a dual sport or dual purpose motorcycle with a single cylinder two stroke engine. This motorcycle is designed to be ridden on and off road. Having a two stroke engine makes this bike unique among modern motorcycles, but it was also unique among two stroke motorcycles of its day. It has a carburetored fuel system like other two strokes, but the carburetor is connected to the crankcase instead of the engine cylinder. The carburetor sits inside the right outer crankcase cover along with the 2 stroke oil injection pump. Fuel enters the crankcase from the right side and is controlled with a rotary valve instead of a piston port or reed valves. This made the right outer crankcase cover stick out farther than other 2 stroke engines, which you can see in the photo below. You can also see where the throttle cable and cable controlling the 2 stroke oil injection pump enter the cover.

Chrome and Hot Leather is an OK biker movie. You could do a lot worse. I don't recognize most actors except for William Smith who plays T.J., the leader of the Wizards MC who's member is responsible for the murder. I've seen William Smith in a couple of biker movies, and I think he was a popular actor in the 1970's for playing villain roles.

The 1971 Kawasaki 250E when the four army soldiers first see it displayed in a Kawasaki dealership window.Side note:  Notice the Hodaka sticker in the window. Hodaka was a motorcycle brand popular in late 1960's and early 70's who specialized in small displacement 2 stroke powered motorcycles. Hodaka went out of business in 1978.

The four army soldiers that go undercover to infiltrate the biker community.

Here's the four soldiers learning how to ride their new 1971 Kawasaki 250E motorcycles.

A picture of the soldiers right before they go to war with the Wizards MC. The fourth soldier is driving an army vehicle loaded with weapons stolen from their army base.

Actor William Smith who plays T.J. in the movie Chrome and Hot Leather

Here you can see the right outer crankcase cover and where the carburetor and oil injection pump cable enters the cover on a 1971 Kawasaki 250E. This photo is from the movie The Thing with Two Heads.

Another photo of the right engine crankcase used on the 1971 Kawasaki 250E.
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