Paint color: Black
Aftermarket Exhaust and Handlebars, Chrome Backrest and Pad, Chrome Shocks.
Paint color: Black
Aftermarket Exhaust and Handlebars, Chrome Backrest and Pad, Chrome Shocks.
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.
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!
Motorcycle & Powersport News Ride of the Week
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!
by Jan Knobbe
Going into the new year, we thought it would be interesting to look at how far technology as come over the years we have been upgrading engines. We opened in 2005, and a lot has changed over the past 18 years!
Fifteen years ago we were working on twin cam and evo engines. Engine upgrades often included valve jobs and hand porting. We took 88 cubic inch motors to 96 cubic inches or 96 cubic inches to 103 cubic inches. Big builds then produced 110 cubic inches to 117 cubic inches.
Now we are working with twin cams and M8s. Engine upgrades often include CNC porting of heads; air research benches to see what the air flow is; big valves and four valve heads. Technology in cam shafts have progressed. Cam shafts now allow more air in and out of cylinders causing much better cooling of exhaust chambers which then increase horsepower with less octane detonation.
M8s have come a long way in five years with two over and four over valves along with CNC porting heads. This allows almost doubling what the air flow is in the factory head. With the M8 cam configuration of a single cam there is less drag on the cam chest which allows freeing up of horsepower very different from the factory twin cam. M8 standard upgrades are 107 cubic inches to 124 cubic inches and 114/117 cubic inches to 128 cubic inches. These upgrades are dependable daily drivers. We know this because we have modified our personal bikes. Major engine upgrades can exceed 155 cubic inches.
Years ago 88 cubic inch motors were built up to 96 making maybe 95 horsepower. Now factory motors are 107 cubic inches and 114 cubic inches making 100 horsepower. When built up to 155 cubic inches they make 200 horsepower at the ground. There are also pro chargers and turbo chargers available for you gear heads.
The evolution of motors is never ending. There are always better and smarter ways of gaining horsepower. We are proud of our efforts to stay current and knowledgeable about what is out on the market so that we can continue to provide the best possible service to our customers. We work with each individual customer to fit their needs.
If you’re interested in making some changes, come talk to Jan to see what modifications will work for you and your machine. Call us at 636-775-1385 and ask about our January engine upgrade specials.
The end of the busy season in the motorcycle industry means vendors and dealers can take time
to reconnect. The networking and bonds we establish during this time transfers into better
customer service for you, our customers. Jan and I are blessed to be a part of the Drag
Specialties family. We bought in as new shop owners in 2005 and have benefited from this
business relationship ever since.
The ”Drag Ride” takes place every fall. The first day is spent on vendor row learning about new
products coming out. Jan often connects with vendors to talk research and development. Jan can
also be very direct in asking why/what is happening to the supply chain! Jan goes to bat for our
customers taking concerns directly to the vendor/manufacturer. I net work with our vendors to
secure product for our many fundraisers and Lincoln County Bike Night.
The next couple of days are spent doing what we all love, RIDING! We enjoy net working with
other dealers throughout the weekend. It was a blast to have Sparky and Trent along for the ride
this year. They too were able to connect and learn from the vendors. This and other
vendor/dealer events during the year are important for us to attend. These events help us stay
current as the industry continues to become more and more technologically advanced.
Enjoy the GoPro footage from this event, compliments of Sparky.
Peace Out, Reine
There’s nothing quite like being on a bike, so it’s no wonder why people get into motorcycles. It’s exciting to find a great bike and make it your own through upgrades and custom work. But after years of fixing all kinds of bikes for riders of all experience levels, our technicians have some recommendations for what you should be focusing on based on your riding experience.
When you’re new to anything, building a strong foundation of knowledge and skill is what takes you from novice towards expert. Especially with motorcycles. Practice builds experience. So, new riders should focus on these foundations before making big adjustments to their bike:
You have the basics down, you know your riding style and what you enjoy best about your bike and it’s time to build on those preferences. Riders with moderate experience should be thinking about these things:
By now, you know the nuances of riding and have your favorite routes. You know if you prefer taking the highway versus touring or winding back roads. You know if you get a thrill with going fast to beat your buddy or just enjoy the relaxation of a leisurely ride. You’ve done it all so you know what you like…and what you don’t. For the seasoned rider, fine tune your bike for the ultimate riding experience:
* Why do our technicians keep repeating “check your tire pressure?” It turns out that 90% of problems with suspension, wobbles, cupping tires, tires not lasting as long as manufacturer suggests, etc. can all be traced to…you guessed it, incorrect tire pressure. Here at our shop, we have had motorcycles come in with only 18-20 psi when most should have 42 psi or higher, recommended by tire manufacturers. You can find the tire pressure recommendations on the side walls, don’t forget to check and save yourself more hassle down the road!
Whether you’re an experienced motorcyclist, learning, or thinking about returning to motorcycling, it’s imperative that you stay safe. That means you must wear the correct personal protective equipment (PPE), including proper weather gear in bad weather. This will ensure that you have many enjoyable and safe years of riding ahead of you!
These PPE items are essential for your safety as a motorcyclist:
If you have any questions about PPE gear or you’re wanting to get your own, we have plenty of options at the shop that are not only safe but stylish! Come in and let us help you pick out your gear!
Engine CI: 1140
Transmission: 5 Speed
Paint color: Sun Glow Yellow
Overall Condition: Good
Accessories: Factory Security System
Here’s a little story about my first visit to a motorcycle road course in the home of Harley Davidson at the Milwaukee Mile Race track. This, among many others, was a first for me. First I’d like to say thanks to Jan and Reine and our Drag rep for taking care of us on this venture in our life.
This is going to be a long article, so grab a beer, whiskey or twist a green one and get comfy. I like to start from the beginning, and that’s checking the weather, oil level, tire pressure, overall condition of your machine, and don’t be scared to check your bros bike too. Never hurts to triple check, packing appropriately for the weather and day’s you’re going to be gone. Once everything is good to go with us, we roll out from the shop about 7:30 am. Everyone loaded up and excited about what the next few day’s hold in store for all ten people on this trip. A chilly and slightly damp 480…ish mile trip to the hotel that included some beautiful scenery and the chance to get lost in those thoughts and enjoy the ride. There was a brunch stop in Monticello for lunch at a nice restaurant and a stop for gas, we all had the opportunity to rag on and get to know each other a little better.
After arriving at our hotel we got some food maybe a whiskey and coke or two a short time in the hot tub and a good night’s sleep…kinda… I was super excited about this. Not sure what or how to compare it for others to relate to, but I fell asleep late and woke up early, had a double breakfast early one by myself and one with my beautiful better half and Jan and Reine. We headed for the race track which was about 20 minutes away and I got to lead everyone to the track, and let me tell you it was hard not to go 80 mph, I behaved and kept it within about 10 mph of the speed limit.
Doing my best to contain the inner child, we wind thru the small town that is built up around this race track to the center of the race track thru the pits to the motorcycle parking area. As I was parking Kayla was telling me something about you have to pay to park here, we’ll F that I don’t pay for parking, normally, so I get ready to move. I’m approached by a friendly gentleman asking me about paying the fee and he said the magic word’s “pay 10 dollars to ride your motorcycle around the race track”. I couldn’t get my money out or get signed up fast enough, so saying I was excited would be an under statement. Money paid, waivers signed, time line’s provided, we set out to see what the BRL pits have to offer. I saw some people that I met from the Drag specialties NVP event in Madison Wisconsin in August. We decided to get some souvenirs from the BRL swag trailer.
It’s finally getting to be that time to go ride the Milwaukee Mile on my Harley. Just a quick fun fact, before the BRL came here to race, motorcycles hadn’t been on this track since 1993…ish, while waiting for the track ride to start I had the opportunity to talk with some of the other riders and BRL fans. It’s finally time to go ride the track. I was kindly reminded by my better half that they said 40 mph is the speed limit. We had a fun lap, I’m thinking to myself that motorcycles haven’t raced here since 93 and I just got to ride my bike on the same track the pro’s get to!
Once the ride over was over it was time for some lunch and to find some good seats. We found them above the start/finish line just below the press box. Even with us being that high in the stands I could still feel that rumble when the bike’s went by. Once all 7 classes ran, we start our return trip to the bike’s, with one last look around the pits, I see a bike laying on its crash guards helmet placed like a crown, pit crew’s and riders having a laugh some having a cry, some working on a better strategy, the guy that drove 5 hour’s by himself with his self built race bike strapped in the bed of his small pickup just because he enjoys racing Harleys. I could feel and see the passion and love that everyone in the pits has for this sport. I hope that I have helped inspire some of you to get a bunch of your riding buddies together to take a trip to watch the race’s but also to have the experience of all of it.
I ride hard so I’ll see ya at the next stop.
Last month I walked into the living room and Jan was watching “The Best and
Worst CVO Line-up” on YouTube. The narrator was Matt Laidlaw out of Laidlaw
Harley Davidson in CA. I was curious if Jan agreed with Matt as this is purely one
person’s opinion. Well, of course, Jan had his own opinion, not quite agreeing
with all of Matt’s picks.
CVO stands for Customer Vehicle Operations for those of you that didn’t know.
They are basically Harley’s “custom” motorcycles/limited editions, special paint
and many extra features above other models. Some of these are older and were
called Screamin’ Eagle models, not CVO. I learned that the change in name for
Harley’s limited bikes started in 2009.
In this little piece I will list Matt’s picks and if Jan agreed or not, but to get a better
feel for why Matt made his choices, I recommend checking out his video on
Here we go:
Ahead of it’s time; nicknamed “the dark side” because of all the blacked-out pieces that were typically chrome. Jan totally agrees that this should be in the top ten. Jan really likes the black over chrome. Just
check out his personal bikes!
Jan agrees, top ten.
Jan agrees, top ten. Jan believes that this bike runs great for the power to weight ratio.
Yes, top ten. Jan likes the tank emblem and is especially fond of the blue/black paint scheme.
Jan is not a fan! Jan thinks this one should be on the worst list. No offence to the V-Rod fans. Remember this is one man’s opinion. Jan is just not a fan of water-cooled bikes. He also does not like the
overall look of the bike.
Jan is especially fond of the paint schemes from this year. It definitely should be in the top ten.
Super cool bike according to Jan. The power to rate ratio is far superior to other bikes and the colors are spectacular in Jan’s opinion.
Definitely in top ten as it was a new direction for Harley Davidson. They followed the after-market world and added the stretch bags. This bike is still sought after today.
Matt believes it is more popular in 2022 than when it first came out. Jan is not a fan! “Total waist of time. Should be on the worst ten list.”
This bike “raised the bar” according to Matt. Jan loves the accents Harley is putting on the motors now. Jan is especially fond of the gun ship grey, very classy.
Jan agrees and is not a fan of the “two headlight thing. “Makes it look like a metric bike.” -Jan
Nothing special about this bike. Agrees that is should be on the bottom of the list. Jan believes it is a nice bike, just nothing new to claim its fame.
Definitely one of the worst. You could take the bags on and off as well as the windshield. Just didn’t work.
Yes indeed! One of the worst “uglier than sin”; terrible design; leather bags looked out of place. Not sure who had more negative to say about this bike, Jan or Matt. Again, no offense if you like this bike or own one. These are opinions only. Pictured with this article is Jan’s most recent bike. A 2021 CVO. It is pictured
here stock. Not for long! Jan will be customizing it out this fall as time permits.
How do you feel about this list? Any that you think should be on the top ten that
were missed? Are they dead on or way off? What’s your opinion?
Peace Out, Reine
As the warm weather motorcycle riding season continues and you have been on a few long distance trips, it’s time to make sure your motorcycle remains in the best condition. Exterior maintenance is an important job to make sure the surface paint isn’t experiencing damage and bugs don’t become a permanent addition to your bike. But, there is something more important to check!
Your motorcycle’s oil.
Just like your exterior cleaning prevents future damage, regularly checking and changing your oil will make sure your motorcycle will perform well for years to come.
Most riders know how important oil changes are for the overall health of their bike, but many forget how often you need to perform this maintenance. Some also wonder, “Should I change my filter at the same time?” Let’s clarify more on these maintenance tips.
How often you need to change your oil will depend on the type of oil it uses, miles and the frequency it’s driven. Your user manual will provide the recommended services for your specific bike, but as a general rule:
Many people wonder if they need to change the filter every time they change their oil. As a basic rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to perform this maintenance service. While it may seem like a small and unimportant task, the oil filter is as important as the oil itself in the aspect of making sure the motorcycle runs properly.
These small components together make sure that your motorcycle oil remains clean by trapping debris, sludge and other impurities from entering the various mechanisms of your bike. If these items weren’t caught by the filter, multiple areas of your engine would become dirty more frequently and potentially harm your motorcycle’s performance.
Make sure the oil you are using is designed for your engine i.e. air cooled vs water cooled bikes;
a motor off the showroom floor vs high performance motors.