Monthly Archives: March 2018

Automotive and Motorbike Riding

Automobiles and homes are the two largest investments that many people make. Some cars today even costs as much as some lower cost homes in town. Just down the street here there is a home in foreclosure that is listed for around $40,000. It is a frame home with a small lot, but is on a nice street. Around the corner, I drove by a new car lot that was sporting signs on their windshields that say, “Sale! $42,000 New Luxury Car”. With the amount of money that people spend on cars and automotive related items, it is only natural that one would need lots of information on various car topics.

In many countries, one must have a license before driving. Here in the United States when someone is 16 years old they begin the process to become a licensed driver. First, a written test is given based on the driver’s manual. If passed, then the person is issued a learners permit. This allows the beginning driver to drive with another licensed driver. These cards can be renewed several times, but the learning driver cannot drive by themselves until they pass the driving test. As soon as the learning driver is ready they can go back to the driver’s license center and take a driving test with a police officer. This can either take place on a driving course or on the actual streets. If passed then the person receives his full fledged driver’s license. One major benefit of waiting to get a driver’s license it the cost of insurance. Most premiums that cover a family do not change while a family member is on the learner’s permit but as soon as that driver has a license the premiums can increase dramatically.

With the cost of fuel and cars themselves, some people prefer motorcycles or motorbikes. London and other European cities are frequently full with many motorbikes in the streets. Similar to here in the states, a license is required for operating a motorbike. Instead of a written test, such as we have here in the US, drivers have to first invest a day of their time taking the Compulsory Basic Training course or ‘Motorbike CBT Test”. This training gives the person instruction on safety equipment and hands-on riding on a track. In the hand-on section the rider is asked to drive in and out of traffic cones, make emergency stops, and other maneuvers with the bike. Once the CBT scooter training is finished someone is then issued a license for 24 months. This allows them to ride on streets and roads without a passenger. They are also not allowed to travel on the motorways. In order to keep the certification though, the driver has to return within two years and take a module one and module two motorbike exam.

Once someone owns their own car it is only natural that they will turn their attention to maintenance things such as tires, windshield wipers, oil seals, and batteries. Car owners also like to make their cars unique with the installation of things like GPS tracking systems, custom paint jobs, new sound systems, and really good tires. The world of automotive has something to offer anyone who prefers to handle their own transportation.

What to Look For and How to Mod It!

When you are looking for a pit bike you will quickly find that some pit bikes sell for only 500 dollars, shipping included. Now I am not saying that it is 100% sure you are buying junk that will break down easily. Some of these bikes ARE well constructed.

Some say this quality of the bike depends of the region where they are manufactured. Some of these manufacturers are located in regions known for the mass production of toys. Here the quality will be rather poor. Now, some other regions in China are known for their experience in automotive productions. These factories and the production processes are highly regulated and DO deliver quality products. For instance, the Jialing motors used by Honda ARE produced in these areas. Other quality brands from these regions proved to be Lifan and YX engines.

Now, whether you are buying a cheap one or a more expensive brand, always bear in mind that some components will determine how safe it is to ride and how easily the bike might break down and need maintenance.

One of the most important things to check is the frame. If you are considering jumping and heavy duty racing you really have to stay away from single beam frames, because they tend to break easily. Snapping your bike in half landing a jump may cause serious injury and of course you will need to get a new frame and mount the components of the old bike to the new frame. I advise you to look for a frame with a twin beam design. This frame should have a (preferably chrome moly tubing=lighter and stronger) cradle to support the engine from below. This way you make sure your bike will last.

The next thing to look for is a decent engine. If you are considering a Chinese bike, look for a Jialing, Lifan or YX engine, and make sure that the engine is fitted using superior quality bearings. This will result in lower maintenance and the engine will start easier.  Also look for SDG wheels (stronger rims and studier spokes) as non-SDG wheels are weaker and can fall apart while driving. Make sure the bike has a KMC chain because cheap chains tend to stretch and break easily.

Now, when you finally found a bike with the required specs, you can modify it to gain speed and horsepower.

Start with replacing the carburetor. Look for a performance carburetor. You will notice some improvement. Now, when you add a performance air filter and performance exhaust you will notice that your pit bike gains power (higher mid range torque, better top end, small increase in horsepower).

Next you will want to replace the restrictor in the CDI unit for a performance CDI, which will result in smoother and more powerful acceleration and higher top end.

Most of the times you wil need to fix the gearings (standard= 14tooth sprocket in front and 40 tooth on back)  Replace the front with a larger one and the back with a smaller one. Depending on how much acceleration you want to trade for top end and vice versa.

How to Keep Your Bike Safe From Thieves

Here are a few simple tips that you can follow to keep your bicycle from getting stolen.

1.) Invest in a good lock

Sadly the fact remains that no bicycle lock is totally fool proof. But the good news is that higher quality locks are definitely harder to break. Considering this, make sure you get a high quality lock for your bicycle. The types of locks in the market range from D or U locks, to cable locks to locking nuts and many others. As a rule of the thumb spend around 15% to 20% of your bike’s cost on locks. You can also consider using a combination of different locks together for better security.

2.) Never leave your bike in a secluded area

As far as possible, leave your bike in a public area and not a secluded place where no one can see a thief trying to steal it. Even if it means you will have to walk a bit more to reach your destination, try and find a place with lots of people

3.) Lock your bike to something solid

Make sure that your bicycle is secured to an immovable object. Cycle anchors or railings are the best. Sometimes things that look solid are actually not, so double check to ensure that the anchor is strong enough and not brittle.

4.) Lock your bike to a post that is long enough

If you lock your bike to a post that is less than 4m in height, thieves will not have any difficulty simply lifting the bike off the top. So always ensure that the post you lock your bike to has sufficient height.

5.) Lock it tight

No matter what lock you are using to secure your bike, make it a point to lock it tight. Leave no space between the bike and the object it is locked to. This will make it all the more difficult for the thief to lever the lock open. Another important point that you got to keep in mind is to invert the keyhole so it is pointing down. This will ensure that the thief is not able to pour it with corrosive fluid and break it open.

6.) Take care of removable accessories

If possible always remove accessories like lights. Make sure that your bike seat is fixed to your bike with locking nuts.

7.) Register your bike

Registering your bike is a great way to ensure that the police are able to trace and identify your bike in-case it gets stolen. There are many websites run by the police where you can get your bike registered. All you need to do is take a picture of your bike and note down details like your bike’s model, color and frame number.