We’re all adjusting back to the warm weather after the damp cold winter we’ve just had. There are many ways to keep cool on your long rides in the heat. But remember “riding cool” doesn’t mean stripping down!
Here are some tips on how to keep cool this summer on your bikes:
Hydration: The first tip would be the most obvious, KEEP HYDRATED! Always be sure to travel with water and drink as regularly as you can. You can simply pack a few water bottles or you can always buy a Hydration Pack to bring along with you.
Wear The RIght Gear: You would think that removing your layers of clothing would cool you off but this actually isn’t fully true. You want to be protected and comfortable. Wearing the right ventilated “cooling” outer gear can keep you protected from the sun and can help you stay cool by allowing heat to escape through the ventilation. Stop by the shop and check out our summer gear or ask us any questions!
Ride At Cooler TImes Of Day: The temperature usually peaks at 12 and 5 each day in the Summer. Try to avoid riding around these times and try riding in the morning or in the evening to stay as cool and comfortable as possible. However if you are going to ride at these hot times of day, be sure to stay hydrated and take necessary breaks to avoid heat issues.
Open Up Your Vents: Your helmets have vents for a reason, open them up! This allows air to flow through to keep the temp regulated. All helmets are different so if you’re not sure how to open your vents, or if you don’t have any, you can ask us for help! We can help you find the perfect ventilated helmet.
We hope these tips are able to help you keep cool and enjoy your rides this summer.
Jan and I as well as all our employees are passionate about riding. We work hard serving our customers during the week and look forward to riding on our days off. I thought it might be fun to share with you a few of our favorite local rides.
Trent’s Top Ride: Portland, Missouri
Trent’s top ride is to Portland, Missouri. Trent hops on Hwy Z in Wentzville and picks up Hwy F in New Melle (there a little jog on D to F). Trent may or may not stop for a bite to eat in Defiance depending on the time of day. Trent then heads southwest on Hwy 94. When you get to Dutzow go right on Hwy 47 then pick up 94 again on the left. Take 94 all the way to Portland. Trent then turns around and “hauls ass” back the way he came. I looked online and it looks like there are a few eating establishments in the area. From Troy, Missouri it is just under 100 miles to Portland and around two hours drive time. Hwy 94 is always a good route to travel. I’ve never been disappointed!
Jan’s Favorite Journey: Linn, Missouri
Jan said his top ride this year is to Linn, Missouri. Jan takes Hwy 70 to Jonesburg exit. Go left straight through town. When you get to the T go right and then make a left onto Hwy Y. Hwy Y drops you off at Hwy 19. Go left to Hermann. Depending on the day of the week, Jan will stop by Lionheart Whiskey Co. for a cocktail and a visit with the owner (aka his son-in-law). Lionheart is at the corner of 3rd and Schiller. Continue south on 19. Just past Swiss start looking for Hwy F and make a right. Then left on Hwy W and right onto US 50 to Linn. Dave’s Pizza & Wings is a good lunch spot. Instead of going back the way he came. Jan will take Hwy 50 through Union and then head north on Hwy 47 back home. To Linn from Troy is around 90 miles and approximately two hours. I’m looking forward to going with Jan down there this spring. Last time I was with him we were in the truck back in February.
Reine’s Roadmap: Elephant Rock State Park
My turn! Hmmm, so hard to choose! My favorite local-local ride is W to Clarksville and then 79 to Hannibal. But most of you can take that route easily. Think I’ll take you southeast to Elephant Rock State Park! Head south on Hwy 47 all the way to Washington. Go right on Hwy 100 and then look for Hwy A on your left. South on Hwy A to right on Hwy BB. Then right onto Hwy 50. In Beaufort take 185 south (left). Take 185 to Springtown and pick up Hwy 21 on your right. Hwy 21 to Elephant Rock State Park. Home is usually quicker by taking Hwy 32 to Hwy 67 to Hwy 55. I recommend packing a picnic lunch! From Troy it is approximately 140 miles and just under 3 hours just to Elephant Rock State Park. So much to do in that area. If you have the time, I recommend camping or finding a hotel. You can go to Johnson’s Shut-Ins or hike Taum Sauk Mountain. Taum Sauk Mountain is the highest natural point in Missouri. I believe there is a beautiful waterfall on the trail to the highest point. It’s been a bit since I hiked it so you’ll have to explore that for yourself.
Keep in mind the mileage and drive time is one way without any stops. Build time into your day for your riding style. All of us usually ride gas tank to gas tank and only stop for water, bathrooms and food! Let us know if you try any of these out. Happy riding and remember your sunscreen!
When it comes to customizing your motorcycle, the sky’s the limit! You can add all sorts of accessories to make it stand out and look unique. One popular accessory is underglow lighting. This adds a cool effect under your bike that makes it stand out when you’re riding. There are a few things you should know before adding underglow lighting to your motorcycle.
Know Your State’s LED Rules for Motorcycles
First, underglow lighting can be illegal in some states. Before you add underglow lighting to your motorcycle, be sure to check the laws in your state to make sure it is legal. For the state of Missouri, it is legal to have underglow lighting for your motorcycle.
Cheap vs Quality Lighting: Know the Difference
Second, not all underglow lighting is created equal. Motorcycle LED lights come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including pod lights, strip lights, and lights that can change color and even have lighting effects. There are many types of underglow lights on the market, but they are not all the same quality. Some underglow lights are very cheaply made and will not last long. Others are quite expensive but are made with high-quality materials that will last for years. It’s important to do your research and find underglow lighting that is right for you and your motorcycle. Our shop will guide you through the decision making process, and inform you on all of the best underlighting options for you and your bike.
Brightness and Safety
Third, underglow lighting can be very bright! If you are not careful, you can end up with a blinding light show under your bike that is more annoying than anything else. Be sure to consult with an expert or do your research to find underglow lighting that will provide the right amount of light for your needs. At Chariots of Fire Customs, we help you determine the proper brightness and saturation for your lights so that your bike can look just the way you want it and ride safely on the roads also. Be sure to educate yourself on how to utilize the controls to change the colors and patterns as needed.
Underlighting and Motorcycle Battery Life
Fourth, underglow lighting can drain your battery. If you are planning on using underglow lighting for long periods of time, be sure to have a backup plan in case your battery dies. If you are not driving the motorcycle or if you are away from it, you should turn off the LED lights. If done frequently, leaving the LED lights on while the motorcycle is turned off will drain the battery and eventually cause it to fail. We recommend only using the LEDs in small time frames and start the bike periodically to ensure battery voltage is adequate.
April’s Lighting Specials at Chariots of Fire Customs
Adding underglow lighting to your motorcycle can be a great way to make it stand out and look unique. If you are considering adding underglow LEDs to your motorcycle soon, this is a great time to do so! Now through the end of April, our shop is running specials on all lighting projects. Our team is equipped and ready to help you install your lighting safely and legally, so that your bike can get that killer glow just in time for summer and all the competition shows! Come by the shop today to talk about what you’re looking for.
To me this means a safe ride. We’re stocking up on the best motorcycle tires for riding season at Chariots of Fire Customs, LLC.
Tires play a big role in the safety department of your motorcycle. As you ride, those new tires begin to break down. The way you ride and your bike’s set-up will determine the wear on them as you rack up the miles. Some riders just naturally have a longer life on their tires than others.
In terms of handling and performance, motorcycle tires set the tone for your journey. When your tires exhibit substantial indications of deterioration, your bike may feel very different, increasing the risk of losing control. Here’s what you should know about taking care of your motorcycle’s tires, whether you do it yourself or have a reputable professional do it for you.
Check the Pressure
It’s critical to double-check that both tires are adequately inflated. Pressure is affected by a number of things, including how long you’ve been riding on the tires and the current weather.
If the pressure is low, you’ll need to use compressed air to inflate both tires to the necessary PSI. If the tires are over-inflated due to warmer weather or the load you’re hauling, use the Schrader valve to bleed them and recheck with a tire gauge. Don’t just kick them and say “that should do”.
You should also thoroughly inspect both tires for nails or glass shards embedded in the rubber, broken material, tread separation, bubbling, or bulging. These factors affect tire pressure as well as your likelihood of an unsafe tire which could potentially cause a blowout.
Look at the Tread
Worn tread is a warning sign that your tires are nearing the end of their useful life and will no longer be able to withstand slick or harsh conditions. Make it a practice to inspect your tire tread each time you go for a ride.
Check to see if the rubber has begun to create a smooth appearance. Too much material has worn away if the rubber and wear bars look the same. If the cord on the tire is visible, there isn’t enough material left to ride safely. A gauge or penny can also be used to show how many millimeters are left.
Since there are only two tires, tread plays a vital role in safety as you ride. Direct touch with the road and how quickly a tread pattern deflects water can reduce your chance of hydroplaning.
Check the DOT number on the sidewall. The last four digits are the only ones you need to concern yourself with. How do you decipher these numbers? For example, 0218 means that the tire was manufactured in the 2nd week of 2018. Tires older than five years need to be replaced no matter how good they may look. Reasons: tire deterioration starts from the inside out because of moisture from compressed air and temperature variation. Also, tire rubber gets harder with age and does not have the same traction as when new. This means wet riding is compromised when taking off and stopping power is not as good. Look at the tire tread closely as it will show you whether cracks have begun forming because of aging.
When to Seek Help
Not all rubber compounds are the same. Having a professional help you decipher the best decision to make for your bike’s tires is the best solution. Need new tires, or help checking your old tires? Stop by our shop during the month of March and April for special deals on tires. 20% off all Dunlop and Metzler tires while supplies last!
If you have been thinking about adding some horsepower to your bike there are many different routes you can take. Here are four of your best options.
Exhaust/ Air Intake. After-market exhaust will reduce back pressure. This makes it easier for the engine to receive oxygen, which leads to more power at the wheels and even improves fuel economy.
Cams. Cams increase the cylinder pressure as the engine’s RPM’s rise. This is done by the scavenging effect from the valve timing and overlap in the cam, which raises the cylinder pressure and increases horsepower with RPM.
Increase Motors Cubic Inches. There are only two ways to increase an engine’s cubic inches. You can bore it (engine boring increases the cylinder diameters) or you can stroke it (engine stroking increases the crankshaft stroke).
Dyno Tune. A proper tune will help ensure maximum performance, durability and reliability. We can also tell from the graph if your motorcycle is running properly, wasting fuel, or is not up to its full potential. In addition, the graph will also show potential problems in the drivetrain which helps us better diagnose any issues you may be having or would be having in the future.
We understand that every rider wants complete performance from their motorcycle. We also know that it is a top priority to ensure that any changes you make suit your bike and won’t harm anything along the way. Keep Chariots of Fire Customs, LLC in mind when it comes time for these upgrades. Custom is in our name, quality is in our product and service is our reputation. Happy and safe riding!
MPN found themselves in the St. Louis area recently and stopped at our place to check out our “new” location. They were treated to nearly 100 motorcycles currently being worked on, and got the full details of one custom in particular – our Zombie-themed Harley-Davidson Road Glide!
Check out the video for details from our very-own Sparky!
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