900 CI Engine; Power Commander; Stock Cam; 5 Speed Transmission; Paint Good Condition; Overall Condition Great! Travel Bag & Stock Exhaust included.
900 CI Engine; Power Commander; Stock Cam; 5 Speed Transmission; Paint Good Condition; Overall Condition Great! Travel Bag & Stock Exhaust included.
When it comes to tires there are several things to look at. First thing you need to check is your air pressure. Second thing is to check your tread life. Third item to monitor is the age of your tire. Proper maintenance of tires is the key to having them last longer and keep you safe.
Tires have a weight rating associated with the amount of air in the tire. Michelin tire company did a study that the air pressure in the tire in association with the weight applied changes the temperature of the tire surface. The lower the air pressure the higher the temperature. High
temperature of tire surface causes the tire to permanently change shape over time.
To maintain proper traction you are relying on proper tread depth. The minimum safe tread depth is 2/32”. This can easily be measured with a tread depth gauge. If you don’t have a gauge you can use a penny. By turning the penny upside down and inserting it in the tread of the tire.
If the tread is above Lincoln’s head, the tire is good. If below Lincoln’s head your tire requires replacement.
Additionally the age of the tire plays a major role. If a tire is over five years old the department of transportation states that it is not safe for use. You can identify the age of a tire by looking at the DOT number. The last four digits of the number are the week and year the tire was manufactured. When tires get old the rubber gets hard and slick.
To recap, check your tire pressure regularly; check the tread wear prior to riding; keep an eye on the tire age. I challenge everyone to stop by the shop and pick up your free tire tread depth gauge. If you have any questions, ask one of our technicians and we will assist you.
Note from Reine: Please be careful purchasing tire “deals” off the internet. We have had customers come in after purchasing on line and tires are over five years old. They may have never been used, but the rubber is hard and slick. Light Love Peace Out
We have officially made it through 2020! Maybe you spent some time in quarantine and had a chance to think about what you would like to accomplish this year; or how you would spend your stimulus check. Most of you think motorcycle, and that’s ok. Now come all the questions. Do you want to go faster, further, louder or just tweak some cosmetics? How do you go about making these changes? Face lifts aren’t cheap and toning can take time but that’s what we are here for. Knowing what you want to accomplish in the end is the first step. So 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 saddlebags. 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 with a new audio system? 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 how will your baby celebrate the New Year? In hibernation on a battery tender; getting 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
I’m sure many of you have seen the post going around that Mad Dog has been telling us for years “2020 was going to be a bad year”. I know it only took one night of drinking it to know that for sure! I have to agree with it in many aspects, but not all. Let me tell you about our journey here at Chariots of Fire Customs LLC.
There’s a PANDEMIC and no one has an option. You MUST get on this roller coaster. For us it started with canceling our customer appreciation day that we always had in March. Next we canceled the first bike night in April. Those decisions were not hard to make because of the statewide shutdown. So the ride began.
Next was May’s bike night. The state was just beginning to open up. I personally had been doing distance learning with my occupational therapy students (ages 3-5 that in and of itself was a roller coaster) therefore I was really feeling the need to distance. The media was hard to follow with so many different reports saying different things. So many different camps from “hoax nothing out there” to “extremely serious we will all suffer greatly” and everything in between. Lord knows how much I prayed for the correct decision. I wanted to be a responsible shop owner, but also not to panic. I’m sure I drove Jan nuts with this part of the roller coaster, so many ups and downs! Lucky for Chariots they were smaller hills. Jan made the call by looking to the community. “If the churches open up, we will have bike night”. So we went to the top of the next hill with a loop thrown in as May was by far our biggest Lincoln County Bike Night to date! Everyone was soooo tired of being isolated. No one wore masks and everyone was hugging and kissing one another. I had fun wearing my bubble wrap making a public display of my unease!
Those of you that follow us closely know that we went on with all of our scheduled events after that with small changes. We kept the number of people coming into the shop to 25 or less; wiped down all door knobs and tables and chairs after events; and dropped the chili competition at our fall festival. We have been so very blessed as all of you continued to come and support us not only at events and fundraisers, but also bringing us work. Chariots hired another mechanic this year and are looking for another as we continue to grow. Thank you for that. That part of the roller coaster ride has been a blast!
We have all made sacrifices this year. Not all of you have been experiencing great fortune. Many have lost jobs, income, beloved friends and family have died or gotten ill from this pandemic, mental health, stress, depression. Our personal sacrifice is not being able to see our elderly parents. Had I not had all the events this year I would have been able to see mom and dad as their health conditions made them hunker down to stay safe. Jan’s mom is in a long term care facility so no one can visit. The sad, scary, low part of this roller coaster ride. So, yes, Mad Dog 2020 has been a “bad” year in that sense.
As 2020 comes to a close it will certainly be one for the books I’m ready to get off this roller coaster. . . however, let the new ride begin! What adventures await us? What have we taken away from 2020? A new appreciation of the little things in life? Did you slow down a bit? Spend more quality time with family? Realize what is really important in life? Were you one of the lucky ones and had time to clean out closets, add a deck to the house, paint rooms? Did you come up with a new hobby? With all the motorcycles coming in to our shop we know many of you were able to enjoy your current hobby and got out in the wind putting more miles on your ride. SWEET! Life is good. So blessed are we!
CHEERS! Bring on 2021!
Light, Love, Peace Out Reine
There are many things that us riders take for granted. One of which is the state of the battery in our bike. When I think about how to keep my battery reliable I look at how I treat it. As in how much I stress the battery and how often I charge it.
When it comes to increasing the longevity of an automotive battery there are a few things you should be aware of. First, is it clean? If the battery has corrosion on the terminals it will start to cause connection issues due to the deterioration of the lead post. Second, is it charged? If the battery is not at its optimal level when not in use the plates on the inside of the battery will start to sulfate, causing the battery to die faster. Third, evaluate the age of the battery. Manufacturers use the rule that the warranty will last the life of the battery; i.e., 24 month battery free replacement. This is not always true. Batteries are commonly known to exceed their warranties when properly maintained.
How do you keep the battery happy so it will last longer and save you a headache later? Charge your battery when you are not riding the bike. There are many options available for charging your battery. From battery maintainers that plug in and float charge your battery to chargers that have the ability to jump start your motorcycle. Not all of these options are portable and need an electrical outlet to plug into. However, there are float chargers available that are solar powered and can fit in your saddle bag when you travel. The key point is, if it is charged it will survive.
There are some batteries that require electrolytes to be added as needed. These are wet style batteries and are older or cheaper versions. You will need to be aware of the fluid level and check it regularly to increase longevity of that battery. Unfortunately due to this type of maintenance they do not last as long as absorbent glass mats (AGM) or a gel cell battery. Can you understand why we recommend AGM batteries and battery tenders to all of our customers at Chariots of Fire Customs? It saves you time, money and stress! We are offering everyone 15% off battery tenders for the month of November but if you mention this article, we’ll give you 20% off!
By: Reine Knobbe
As most of you are aware, the new helmet law went into effect the end of August. The law states that Missouri motorcyclists ages 26 and older can ride without a helmet, if they have both medical insurance and proof of financial responsibility. A national highway safety organization urged the governor to veto the bill, saying the helmet law saves lives and prevents life-long brain trauma. The organization “Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety” also worries the new law will be difficult to enforce, saying it will be hard for police to know if a motorcyclist is 26 or older. Supporters of repealing the helmet law say it’s an issue of freedom. They say Missourians 26 or older should be able to decide whether or not they want to wear a helmet.
No matter which side of the fence you are on, it is now a choice. Now that we are given the choice, we have to be informed citizens. We all know that riding motorcycles come with risks. These risks include: poor decisions by the operator; hazards created by other motorists; weather; wildlife, and helmet use. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety “Helmet use is about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcyclist deaths and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries”.
We do not have control over hazards created by other motorists, the weather or wildlife. We do have control over operator “error” and helmets. Operator errors include: driving under the influence; driving tired; driving and texting (yes! I’ve seen it); driving too hot; driving too cold; not being completely focused on other drivers; riding in blind spots; going through an intersection too quickly. The list goes on.
Bottom line is to do what we can to stay safe.
Chariots of Fire Customs LLC carries the following protective gear: leather coats, chaps, gloves, and helmets. We have vendors that sell jackets with Kevlar in them for extra protection in your jackets; heated gloves and jackets; pretty much anything you need. Not boots though. Even though I’m a big proponent of ALWAYS wearing boots, even in the hot summer. I recommend going to Chucks Boots for protective foot wear.
As for me, I choose the following protective gear: boots and long jeans and helmet ALWAYS no matter the weather. I will continue to monitor my driver for his alertness (Jan did you sleep well?); his drinking habits (it’s hot out, drink water! Are you SURE you only had a couple of drinks?); and my driver has me help him when I can (Reine, which way do I turn? #$#*# “I thought you said left!” Reine, wake up! Help me keep an eye out for deer). What am I lacking and choose to take a risk with? My arms. I like to get sun on them and choose to ride in t-shirts and tank tops in the summer. There are some light-weight jackets out there and I have a summer one I will wear after dark as it is reflective, but not when the sun is out.
Enjoy your freedom. Enjoy the road. We all take a risk stepping outside our front door, but we do it anyway!
That is the question you should ask yourself when deciding what lights to add to your motorcycle. We have been testing products for 15 years so when we come across not only a good product but a great company that backs their product as well, we get very excited! Both Custom Dynamics and XKGlow have reliable products to offer.
Custom Dynamics offers a wide variety of lighting. Our mechanics had the opportunity to personally test out a few of these items on their own rides and they are more than satisfied! These include, Windshield Trim Lights, Front Fairing Lights, Fender Fillerz Lights, Low Profile Saddlebag Lights, Saddlebag Latch Lights and Front Reflector Replacement Lights. You can also add a flashing or sequential module that will increase the visibility of your lights as well. If that doesn’t sell you on their product, Custom Dynamics LEDs also come with a lifetime warranty.
When referring to lighting that illuminates your accents we recommend the XKGlow Underglow Kit. This is a very user friendly kit with a fully expandable system that can be controlled directly from your phone. The XKGlow kit has many settings to help you accomplish the being seen factor which includes coinciding your brake and turn signals with the rest of your bike’s lighting. Another one of our favorite products of theirs to pair up with the kit is the XKChrome headlight and riding lights. Both feature colored Halo lights which are my personal favorite.
Anyone in the motorcycle world can tell you it is just as important, if not more to be seen as it is to see. With that being said, we have everything to bring your lighting dreams to life. Just to sweeten things up a bit more, lighting is 15% off for the month of September.
88″ Evo Motor
2-Tone Paint Job 8/10
Vance & Hines Longshots Exhaust
Replaced Charging System in 2019
Comes with passenger seat, painted hard bags, soft bags, windshield, and Harley helmet
Mileage: 30,000 since rebuild
Asking: $6,000 OBO
By: Reine Knobbe
It is so important you just gotta do it! I’m talking about routine maintenance. As one of the owners of Chariots of Fire Customs LLC, I often perk my ears up and, yes, as much as I hate to admit it, I listen in on conversations at the parts counter. There are so many times I over hear someone complaining that they did not get very many miles on the tires they bought. Did you maintain the tire pressure? You gotta do it! Jan checks the tire pressure on our motorcycle EVERY time before we go riding. Your tires will last longer.
“My battery is dead. It did not last as long as it should have.” Did you put it on a battery tender?
You gotta do it! Especially if you are unfortunate enough to only ride a couple times a month. Jan uses his battery tender year round. Not just during the off season (is there such a thing?). Your battery will last longer if properly charged up.
“The motor locked up.” Did you check your fluid levels? You gotta do it! Checking the color of your oil is just as important as checking to see if it is full. New motor oil is typically amber and transparent, similar to the color of honey. It doesn’t retain its original color for long though as each heat cycle darkens its color. Besides the natural darkening of oil every time you ride, there are other reasons that your oil can change color that may indicate issues with the engine. If the engine oil contains more than the usual trace amount of water, it will appear milky and diluted when you pull the dipstick. Water droplets clinging to the end of the dipstick are
especially problematic. Besides the heat cycle, contaminants will also darken engine oil. Tiny metal particles from engine parts will break free and circulate in the oil. The dust and dirt kicked up from the road and not trapped by the oil filter is another contributor to the oil’s darkening
process. Check your owner’s manual or check with your trusted mechanic on how often you should change your oil.
Remember TCLOCK? This acronym will help you keep your ride running in top condition.
You should run through this list before EVERY ride. Get into the habit. You gotta do it!
T- Tires and Wheels
Tires- Check tread depth, wear and air pressure
Wheels- See if any spokes are loose or if the rim is bent or cracked. See if it turns freely, but is not loose on the axle.
C- Control Levers
Inspect levers. Verify they are not bent or broken and move easily.
Check cables for fraying and lubricate them.
Check hoses for cracks, leaks, bulges and chaffed areas
Make sure the throttle moves freely. Closes easily. Lube if needed.
L- Lights & Battery
Check that the battery terminals are clean and tight and that the electrolyte level is correct. Plus make sure the vent tube is hooked to the vent outlet and not kinked
Check the turn signals and brake lights for proper operation. Make sure the lenses are not cracked or broken
Headlight- Check for proper operation and alignment
O- Oil Levels
Check engine oil level plus transmission and primary drive fluid levels
Observe the color of your oil as mentioned above
Steering Head-Move handlebars back and forth to check for tight spots or binding.
Hold the front brake and rock the bike front to back to check for any free play in the neck bearings.
Suspension- Check the front forks and the rear shocks for smooth travel and right air pressure (If equipped)
Belt- Check tension and visually inspect for any rocks or other objects stuck in it.
Fasteners- Check for any loose nuts or bolts and tighten if needed
Side stand- Check for ease of operation and spring action.
Oh, and check the gas dummy! LOL you don’t want to get stuck on the side of the road because you ran out of gas.
This month’s special just so happens to be oil changes. Be sure to make your appointment today. Those of you heading off to Sturgis should have already called. We will do our best to make sure your ride is ready for the long trip, but we book up fast this time of year! Don’t wait until the last minute.
When you come back from Sturgis, or any long trip, be sure to get that engine oil changed. You just gotta do it!
While you’re in here, we also have 20% off shirts, sunglasses
and helmets in August.
15 years and going strong! Peace Out, Reine
Lehman Tramp Trike Kit
V2 – 4 Stroke Engine