Archive for the Product Reviews Category

www.ArtBikerWorld.com is now LIVE!!!!

Posted in American Motorcycle, ArtBiker's Thoughts, Biker News, Biker TV, Book Reviews and Author News, Build Your Own, Custom Bike Show, Custom Motorcycle, Fine Art Fridays, Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle Club, Motorcycle Event, Motorcycle Industry News, Motorcycle Rally, Motorcycle Tour and Travel, movie mondays, Outlaw Biker, Press Release, Product Reviews, Tattoosday, Uncategorized, Weekend Pass : Biker's Rights and the Law with tags , , , , , on September 29, 2009 by ArtBiker

Yes Friends!  www.ArtBikerWorld.com is now live and all the new posts are going to be at the new site.  Don’t worry if you have not been here before, everything ever done here has been ported over for your perusal.  So, please do yourself a favor and head over to the new site, add it to your favorites, bookmark the RSS Feeds, and let everyone know!

We really appreciate you reading this little blog of ours and we love you all for it… I think big things are about to happen with the new site.

Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,

ArtBiker

Sidecars Part II

Posted in American Motorcycle, ArtBiker's Thoughts, Custom Motorcycle, Product Reviews, Uncategorized with tags on October 23, 2008 by ArtBiker

I have listed a few of the OEM Sidecar Manufacturers in North America, but again, there are sure to be more out there… Here is an attempt at a more complete list.  Please feel free to add companies and builders, as we would love to find them!

Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,

ArtBiker

 

www.CaliforniaSidecar.com

www.ChampionSidecars.com

www.CycleSidecar.com

www.DauntlessMotors.com

www.Harley-Davidson.com

www.IMZ-Ural.com

www.LibertySidecars.com

www.Motorvation.com

www.SidecarCanada.com

www.SideStrider.com

www.SpaldingSide.com

www.TexasSidecars.com

www.VelorexUSA.com

Cool sidecars, past and present… http://www.bikemenu.com/photossidecar.html

Other really good sidecar sites to check out:

www.sidecar-industry.com

www.sidecar.com

www.hackd.com

 

Trikes… part III

Posted in American Motorcycle, ArtBiker's Thoughts, Biker News, Custom Motorcycle, Motorcycle Industry News, Product Reviews, Uncategorized with tags on October 18, 2008 by ArtBiker

I have spoken about a few bike companies that specialize in trikes, but I have not mentioned them all… Here is a more complete list of OEMs in North America… again, there may be more and there are, of course, a lot of custom builders out there as well.  If you have someone to add, please do so, we would all love to know about them.

Love, Respect, and Ride Safe

ArtBiker

 

www.BoomTrikesUSA.com

www.BossHoss.com

www.CheetahTrikes.com

www.DFTTrikes.com

www.HanniganTrikes.com

www.Harley-Davidson.com

www.IronHorseTrikeworks.com

www.LVTrikes.com

www.LightningMotorcycles.com

www.MTCVoyager.com

www.mysterydesigns.com

www.RatRaceProductions.com

www.RenegadeTrikes.com

www.SantiagoChopper.com

www.sstrikes.com

www.TetraTrikes.com

www.TrikeEnvy.com

www.USTrikes.com

Cool trikes from the past… http://www.bikemenu.com/photostrikesorig.html

Trikes, Trikes (part II)

Posted in American Motorcycle, ArtBiker's Thoughts, Biker News, Custom Bike Show, Custom Motorcycle, Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle Industry News, Product Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , on October 17, 2008 by ArtBiker

 

 

 

Finally, the exciting world of custom bikes has not left the three-wheeled world alone.  We have all seen the Exile trike by Russell Mitchell and the crazy semi engine turned trike by Mr. Jesse James, but there are others out there that turn out really nice trikes for an affordable price.  Other custom builders like Covington’s cycles make the occasional trike as well as high end OEMs like Bourget Bike Works.  You can’t deny that the trike is becoming trick.

 

 

Besides the really nice kits we looked at in the last section of this blog, there are a few other builders/companies that turn out some sweet sleds.  Let’s start with Santiago Choppers.  This homegrown family business is built on five, count ‘em 5, generations of bike enthusiasts.  Alan Bernard is the man behind the scenes at this great shop in Gibsonton, Florida.  The trikes they turn out come in a softail and hardtail version.  They also make some kick ass Harley to trike conversions as well as some sweet traditional chops.  They have too many cool examples of their work to mention here, so I am going to send you directly to their site.  Enjoy! http://www.santiagochopper.com

 

 

Art Morris at Trike Envy in Sherwood, Oregon also creates some beautiful ground up customs.  These bikes remind me much of that big wheel I used to ride as a kid, long, low, and a mother of a back end.  These trikes come with HUGE rear tires.  We are talking funny car, dragster rubber.  Put yourself on one of these sleds and hang on! http://www.trikeenvy.com/

 

 

Alas, we cannot forget the trikes of yore.  Yes, those three wheeled creations that meld the world of bikes and cages, the hybrid of the VW Bug and the stretched out chopper.  Big in the 70’s, these bikes are sure to come back with a vengeance, and the company who will lead the way?  Well, it could very well be Phoenix, AZ locals, Rat Race Productions.  These guys have been turning out badass VW based trikes for over 30 years.  I know you have seen their work in magazines past, but check them out today.  They are still on the ball and at the forefront of their craft. http://www.ratraceproductions.com/

 

 

The last few posts have focused on the trike as art form and ride able machine.  As stated, I do not have any personal experience on trikes, but am hoping to get a demo machine to try out soon.  As soon as I do, I will be letting you know.  Until then, keep your feet on the pegs for a change and enjoy profilin’ on a three-wheeled machine.  Next up?  Sidecars!

 

Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,

ArtBiker

Trikes, Trikes, Trikes (part I)

Posted in American Motorcycle, ArtBiker's Thoughts, Biker News, Custom Motorcycle, Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle Industry News, Product Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 15, 2008 by ArtBiker

I have very little personal experience with these three-wheeled animals, unless you consider the Big Wheel I loved as a kid growing up in the desert of New Mexico.  Boy, I rode the wheels off that thing.  Anyway, I have had an eye on the adult variety of these machines for a few years now and have my own favorites.

I think it can be stated without too much dissent that the major trike manufacturers are Lehman, Motor Trike, DFT Trikes, and Boss Hoss.  Each has been in business for quite a while and turn out some beautiful products.  Motor Trike has its manufacturing plant and HQ just outside a little town called Troup in East Texas.  They have a few different models available, but I am partial to the “Trog” line.  The Trog is specifically set up for Harley Davidson models and works with the Electra Glide, Road King, Heritage, Fat Boy, and even the Deuce and V-Rod.  Motor Trike also makes kits for a variety of metric bikes and even has one for the Triumph for those interested in an English trike.  Drop them a note for more info on their various kits, conversions, and installation. http://motortrike.com/

DFT is located in Addison, Illinois and has been turning out wonderful kits for a long time now.  They have been adding new dealers all year and those include Genes H-D Repair of Smithfield, RI, Arnolds Motor Sales of Zanesville, OH, Texas Trike Werx of Belton, TX and Longbow Motorcycles in Rome, GA.  Truth is they have dealers all over the country as well as located internationally.  I suppose this lets you know their popularity.  DFT makes kits for both Harley and Honda and both sets are really good looking.  For more info on them, please be sure to check out their site at http://www.dfttrikes.com

Lehman makes the other, and perhaps most well known, trike on the market today.  They have a couple manufacturing plants with the original still residing in Alberta, Canada and the newest plant in Spearfish, South Dakota.  Mr. Lehman created the first trike for his wife because she could not take her kids on a standard bike… and the rest is history.  The brand took off and is now publicly traded on the market.  Lehman is also the only manufacturer to have a factory sponsored trike owner’s group.  But, perhaps the most impressive program that Lehman offers is the “Good Turn Trike” program.  This began in the 90’s when Lehman built a trike with special controls and components for a man who had lost his leg and could no longer ride.  This has become a regular program of the company and Lehman installs kits free of charge for customers on a case-by-case basis.  Now that is good PR.   Harleys, Victorys, and metrics accept the Lehman kits and conversions.  For more detailed info visit Lehman Trikes directly at http://www.lehmantrikes.com/

Lest we forget the Boss Hoss… this company has been making trikes for at least ten years and introduced the first V-8 powered bike in 1990.  In fact, in 2006 Boss Hoss received full vehicle approval from the European Commission making them the only globally approved V-8 motorcycle!  That is a pretty beefy achievement.  And speaking of beefy, you have not been on a muscle bike until you have been on a Chevy V-8 powered two (or three) wheeler.  Boss Hoss is famous for their crazy car like trike bodies.  They look like the back ends of a ’57 Chevy with a nice trunk and tons of space for two to ride comfortably and very, very quickly.  Check them out at http://www.bosshoss.com

Yup, it is a three-wheeled world all right and there is a lot more power out there than was available to my Big Wheel and me thirty some-odd years ago.  Check back for the next installment when we look at a few custom trikes and eventually get to sidecar hacks.

 

Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,

ArtBiker

The Future is Coming

Posted in American Motorcycle, ArtBiker's Thoughts, Biker News, Custom Motorcycle, Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle Industry News, Product Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , on October 13, 2008 by ArtBiker

Taking a queue from our Native American Brothers of yore, I have been keeping my ear to the ground.  What do I hear? A rumble.  But, there is something a bit different about this roar.  You can hear the bikes running side by side, two by two, flying down the highway as they come closer and closer.  Problem is, the engines are too in tune, the rpm’s too in time, the cadence of rubber to asphalt, too in sync.  It is almost as if the bikes are in perfect time.  One barreling forward as the other keeps time in a high and mighty wheelie, running perfectly alongside his Brother.  But that can’t be, can it? No, it is something else. I hear the future coming down the road and it is a three-wheeled world.

We all know that baggers are the hot things going right now.  I myself have been a big fan of Brian Klock of Klockwerks for about six or seven years, and I have really appreciated some of the newest works by Paul Yaffe.  Not that I wasn’t a fan before, quite the contrary, it is just that the new work he has been doing with Bagger Nation is really exciting.

It seems that as the current biker population continues to age, and as a new population of riders comes into the fold because of rising gas prices, and as those with certain physical limitations refuse to be kept back, trikes and sidecars are going to be more prevalent on the road.  As you have probably heard, the Motor Company itself has come out with their own production trike.  For Harley-Davidson to put it back into production, there has to be a market (their last trike, besides the servicar, was produced about 30 years ago). And as far as sidecars go, HD has had them available for a long, long time.

But the Factory is certainly not the only company with a foothold in this segment of three-wheeled fun.  In fact, they may not even be considered the leaders.   Depending on your point of view, there are a few industry leaders.  Everyone has his or her own opinions, and you are soon to be subject to mine.  Watch for the next few posts focusing on trikes and sidecar rigs.  And keep your ear to the ground; you can hear the rumble.

 

Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,

ArtBiker

 

A New Helmet for ArtBiker

Posted in ArtBiker's Thoughts, Product Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2008 by ArtBiker

Today is the perfect day.  The temperature is in the mid 80’s, the humidity is low, the sun is shining, and the pollution level is mild enough you don’t choke as soon as you leave the house.  I have spent the day tooling around town looking for a new helmet.  You see, helmets have been a major topic of discussion around the homestead as of late. My Ol’ Lady has become less than happy with my novelty skidlid.  So she has been trying to convince me to move to a DOT model.  In her words, she and the kids like my noggin’ the way it is.

I suppose I am a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to helmets.  I want a tiny lid or nothing at all; I want my wife in a good DOT number, and I want my girls in the best full-faced jobs money can buy.  Perhaps that is how most of us are.  I value the lives of the ones I love more than my own… I also feel I have some control in a world that is hell bent on proving that no one has control.  Foolish? Yes.  But that is the way it is sometimes.

If I am going to consider this, I have a decision to make.  Half Helmet? Three Quarter Job? Full Faced?  Each has its own qualities.  I personally prefer the look and feel of a half helmet, so this is what I am gunning for. I have found that the carbon fiber models seem to be the smallest and lightest. Three quarter helmets have come back into vogue lately and my lovely wife looks as cute as can be in her Biltwell, even if it is not a DOT approved model. Fulmer and Davida make ¾ models that have the low profile, kool old school look and they are both DOT approved.  Be careful of the Davida though, I thought the monthly note on a new bike was high, the cost of this thing is pretty outrageous.  Lastly is the full-faced model.  I have a few Bros who swear by these and they are the only helmets they will don.  Besides offering exceptional protection in the event of a high-speed get off, they also offer ID protection if the situation ever calls for it.  I have found that HJC has a youth line of full-faced lids that I will be getting for my girls.  Full coverage protection and they come in pink… what little girl doesn’t like pink?

So, after a few years of unhappy looks as I ride off in my old brain bucket, I have finally decided to buy a new lid. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I considered slapping a DOT sticker on my existing pudding bowl, but that could end up badly.  If you happen to be caught by Johnny Law with a sticker on a novelty helmet you could be looking at a very large fine, and in some states, they will impound your bike right on the spot!  Hitching a ride home with a novelty helmet in my hand sounds like a drag to me, so I decided to avoid that all together.

I ended up at the local, independently owned biker shop and took a peek at what they had.  The helmet that fit me best was a HCI Naked Front (no lip or visor to catch the wind).  The sizes run a bit large, and I may have been able to squeeze my skull into a medium, but after the ride home I figure this one was going to do the trick.  And at under $50, who could complain.  Besides, riding off with a kiss and a smile from the Ol’ Lady is worth much more.  You have to pick your battles and, this time, she was right.

 

Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,

ArtBiker