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Cycle Shanty

Q’s, A’s and Tech Tips – Page Five


Q’s, A’s and Tech Tips – Page Five

More on Tires

                So, you think wrong again. No, heavier tires will not “better protect you”. They were designed by one company in particular and the best use for them is in racing. They were not intentionally built for racing. All tires need to flex to accommodate road conditions and handling and, no, a solid tire just won’t make it.

                 While weight is critical in racing, the less the better, the heavier tire heats up faster and runs hotter enabling greater traction. Look at slicks on cars at the track. They smoke them before the light changes to heat them up for more grab. The extreme abuse the tire incurs on the track is far greater than the conditions you will incur on the road. While friction does gobble up both torque and horsepower it’s worth the trade off for better handling and control especially at high speeds. Many race teams use inert gas to fill the tire and premium dynamic balancing to counter act the increase in weight.

             On the road it’s negative effect will cost you money. In the long run you’ll consume more gas, and wear them out a lot faster if you cruise for hours upon hours a day. On the road your torque and horsepower will be greatly effected. You need torque to overcome inertia and horsepower to keep you moving. The heavier and hotter the tire, the more torque your engine has to deliver at the time it’s needed like when your sitting there waiting for the light to change and need torque to get you going or when you’re trying to climb a hill. Heavier tires will also eat up a lot of your horsepower just to keep the machine moving leaving you with a lot less ponies to pass that truck quickly.

                If you really want a “sticky” tire then get one that will not leave you penniless. Dunlop manufactures them, true you won’t get the mileage out of them although if you use them as they were designed for you’ll have an enjoyable riding experience. Remember, sticky tires are designed that way for the street and heavy tires are like lead balloons and fly like lead balloons.

Porting your engine?

“If you get careless or go romanticizing scientific information, giving it a flourish here and there, Nature will make a complete fool out of you. It does it often enough anyway even when you don’t give it opportunities.” Robert Pirsig

                   Porting is done to maximize the amount of air taken into your engine with the hope of more atomized fuel yielding more power. More airflow does not always mean a faster motorcycle. The most important move you can make is the simple valve job. You can gain most of the benefits of porting by simply doing a standard valve job meticulously. You need to be a mechanic.

                   Polishing is a myth. Port polishing merely “sells” expensive port jobs. It’s eye candy. About 90% of effective porting takes place within an inch of your valve seat and what is usually polished is far away from that. Polishing your heads is unnecessary and only gives you something to look at. As a matter of fact it can have the opposite effect on power gains. A rougher surface yields less air drag and more air flow which is what you want. Experienced engine builders know velocity is just as important as total flow, and that port shape is the means of gaining both. Increasing cross-section will get you only flow, resulting in losses of velocity that will reduce power at middle rpm. Professionals leave polishing for valve covers.

                   Leave your engine stock and just do a standard vale job.

Painting your bike

                  If your not experienced just leave it to a pro. The days of lacquer are past and only one auto manufacturer on earth still uses it and yes, there is brush-able lacquer for those of you who understand lacquer. Today finishes are urethane and you do need a spray booth. The fumes are deadly so make sure you have the right protective gear.

                 Since I am not a painter I can only relate what I know and nothing at all about airbrush. For airbrush you need to be an artist and a painter. Okay, let’s start from scratch. You have a tank, frame and fenders. The frame is the easiest and hides those little imperfections best. Sandblast the frame down to bare metal, clean it thoroughly, let dry and then you’re ready to give it a good coat of epoxy primer, next prime it with automotive primer. Some primers are two stage and this isn’t a bad idea to use although any primer should work, smooth out the primer (water sand it), wipe it down and dry it, tape off anything you don’t want covered with paint and begin to apply the paint (for frames that are black a good high gloss or flat epoxy is a real good idea. The procedures for the tank, fenders, etc, are the same although use a good premium paint as opposed to an epoxy finish and follow it up with a good coat, better yet, two coats of clear and DON’T forget to use hardener in the clear.  Premium paints resist ultraviolet light damage and the hardener stops gas from ruining your paint job. Polish, etc to get the look you want.

                  Bare in mind, I am not a painter and will update this when I have feedback from a painter I know and trust.

Chains, belts or shafts?

                  The debate goes on so I’ll try and simplify it.

               Chains are less expensive, need regular maintenance and wear out faster. The great advantage to chains is that your bike will be much easier to chop or personalize since you can add or remove links as needed. You can buy the to the desired length.

                Belts are more expensive, need minimal maintenance, last longer, unfortunately, take up more space and if they’re on the exhaust pipe side can place the mufflers way out, nope you can’t buy a belt to the length you need nor can you shorten or extend them.

                Drive shafts, require no maintenance cannot be shortened or lengthened with out major expense and no you can’t buy one the exact length you want, the drive gearing also gobbles up horse power and torque ,although, they do offer a smooth ride and are very quiet.

                Do hopes this helps.

Questions? Contact the Shanty