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Where to Start. by: Reine Knobbe

   

   Heading into winter so are you putting your baby to bed, giving her a facelift, or toning her up so she is ready to ride come spring?  Although many of you ride year round, the vast majority of Missouri riders take the winter months off.  So how do you go about making changes?  Face lifts aren’t cheap.  Toning can take time.  How can you be prepared when you come into your favorite motorcycle shop with a specific design or upgrade in mind?

   

   The process of any new build is to have your end vision in mind.  Jan suggests going through magazines and picking out what you like.  It could easily be a front end from one picture, back end from another, and wheels off a completely different model bike.  Are you into the latest trends?  Then Hot Bike or Baggers are good magazines to look at.  If you attend bike shows take pictures of what draws you to a specific bike.  Handle bars can change the whole look of a bike as can bags.  The more information you have of what you want to achieve the better we can help you.  While your bike is on the table, do you want to upgrade your sound?  New audio system?  How’s that budget?  Try to think of everything you are wanting and what works for your style.  Once you have the end vision in mind, then we can help you pick out the parts that work together on your frame and within your budget.  Having all the changes you want to make ahead of time can help with the budgeting also.  Making changes midway through a build will increase the expense as well as increase the time frame to complete a build. 

 

   Updating your engine is a completely different animal.  Again, what is your end game?  Do you want your engine to go the distance for cruising America?  Are you more interested in fuel economy for your daily driver to and from work?  Or is being the fastest in your group of riders important to you?  Make sure you talk to a professional before rebuilding an engine.  In Jan’s own words “don’t try to mix match a bunch of shit that doesn’t work together”.  It becomes a nightmare and more expensive to make it right.  One brand or part of an engine may advertise that they will make your ride go fast and another brand/part may help with fuel economy, but that doesn’t mean they work together and the end result can be a sluggish bike with great fuel economy or just not working at all.

 

   I learned the following about engine upgrades while writing this article:

            Stage I – upgrade air cleaner, exhaust and tune

            Stage II – upgrade internal cams and small changes to the pistons

            Stage III – upgrade to a more aggressive cam and larger pistons

            Stage IV – upgrade cams, cylinders, pistons and head work

 

   So what are you doing this winter season?  Putting your baby to bed with a nice drink of fuel additive; giving her a facelift with new curves; or toning her up with a fresh engine rebuild?  Whatever you choose, know we are here to help!  Peace Out,  Reine

 

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