Motorcycle grips are essential for comfortable and safe riding, especially on long trips. If you don't have the right grips on your bike, it's time to find the perfect pair.
Benefits of Motorcycle Grips
Wrist and hand comfort. Some say that the numbness you feel in your hands is from the vibration or poor circulation. The right grips can cushion your grip and give your hands comfort.
Control. Depending on the type of aftermarket grips you buy, you can improve the control you have over your throttle. The right grips will prevent your hand from slipping.
Style. Changing out your stock grips for aftermarket ones is about more than comfort. You can choose a set of grips that can enhance the look of your bike. You could choose chrome accents or a color that matches your bike.
Types of Motorcycle Grips
These grips are ideal for long-distance riding or bikes that have a lot of vibration through the motorcycle handlebars. They’re designed with vibration-isolating features that will relieve the pressure transferred through your hands.
BILLET RUBBER GRIPS
These are the most common types of grips with varying combinations of rubber and metal. They’re typically anodized and come in a wide variety of color schemes. These grips will give you the ideal combination of functionality and style.
If you like to ride in cold climates, then heated grips will be a lifesaver. These grips come with special wiring that will connect to your motorcycle battery. You can then change the temperature of your handlebar grips throughout the seasons.
How do you rebuild a carburetor?
There's heartache and joy that come with owning, and caring for, an older vehicle. It's helpful if you can sort out a number of problems on your own, it will save you cash and trips to your local mechanic. One of the more seemingly puzzling aspects of old-car ownership occurs when you drive a carbureted vehicle. Hagerty is here to demystify the deliverer of air and fuel for you.
The best way to familiarize yourself with any car part is to disassemble it. So the first part of Hagerty's two-part video guide involves a walkthrough of a carburetor teardown. There are floats, jets, needles, valves, and springs all waiting for your venture into the world of your carb. You don't need of tools to get started, just a few pliers and screwdrivers should get you moving. And a bottle of carb cleaner will get plenty of usage as well.
If you're going to tear down and rebuild your carburetor, you'll want a simple rebuild kit handy. A proper kit includes all of the diaphragms, seals, needles, seats, and more.
As you tear down the carb, you'll find parts that are either due for replacement or just need a simple cleanup. That's the beauty of a carb rebuild. Once properly addressed, and the carb rebuilt, your car will be running better than ever.
Once you have the carb completely broken down and cleaned up, it's time to crack open the rebuild kit and put everything back together. It's an entertaining puzzle, but a puzzle that makes more and more sense every time you tinker with it.
These two videos serve as a great guide for carburetor rebuilding. While we love the Hagerty time lapse videos, it's also nice to see one that's teaching us as well.
How it works: Brakes
If you've ever experienced brake fade or, god forbid, brake failure, you'll have an appreciation of just how important it is that brakes work consistently. Here are the basic principles and components for modern brakes – and by that we mean hydraulic ones, with discs not drums.
It's all about hydraulics
Modern motorcycle brakes work by transferring movement and force at the lever through an incompressible liquid to the caliper pistons, which then press the brake pads against the disc. For that force to be transferred efficiently, the brake lines must not expand, there must be no leaks and the fluid must not compress. If any of those happen, you get spongey-feeling brakes, or indeed no brakes. Gulp.
There are pistons at each end
The brake lever operates a piston, which operates as a plunger in what's called the master cylinder. Both are housed in the casting that holds the brake lever. A master cylinder piston is pretty small - around 10-20mm in diameter. The pistons at the other end, in the calipers, are much bigger – around 25-50mm. Why the different sizes? That leads us to…
Forces are amplified
The first way that forces are amplified are at the lever itself. This is purely mechanical – if your fingers are 10cm from the pivot point, and the master cylinder piston is 2cm the other side, then forces will be magnified 5 times, but there will be five times less movement. Then there's amplification due to piston sizes. The smaller the master cylinder piston, the more pressure it will apply to the system for a given force at the lever. If that sounds counter-intuitive, imagine your foot being trodden on by someone wearing a stiletto heel. It'll be a lot more painful than if they're wearing a broad shoe. The pressure in the system is then transferred to the caliper pistons, and the force they generate depends on the ratio of the areas of the piston faces. So let's say the master cylinder piston has a diameter of 15mm, meaning its area is 177mm squared. Our caliper piston has a diameter of 25mm, giving a surface area of 1964mm squared. So the force is multiplied 11 times. Combine that with the lever, and in this case you're magnifying the force 55 times. And that's just with one caliper piston. On a modern front end there are usually four pistons in each caliper, and there are two of those. That gives a 440 times force multiplication in our example. No wonder you can use two fingers to make the bike stand on its nose.
Changing piston sizes changes everything
A smaller master cylinder piston will apply more pressure and create more braking force but it will move less fluid, so the lever will have to move further to move the caliper pistons enough make the pads grip the discs. That means there is a limit to how small you can go with master cylinder pistons, and how big the caliper pistons can be. Also, big caliper pistons mean you need big discs (check out a cruiser rear brake), which are heavy.
Different size caliper pistons are a good idea
Many modern four-piston calipers have two smaller pistons. This is to increase feel. The smaller pistons will move further than the larger ones and therefore push the brake pad before the others join in.
Caliper design has changed
There have been two main caliper innovations in the last couple of decades. Radial calipers (named because they are attached by bolts which radiate from the wheel centre, rather than laterally from a mounting bracket) are stiffer and perform better under extreme conditions, such as racing. For 99% of us, they make no difference. Monoblock calipers, as the name suggest, are made from one lump of metal, rather than two bolted together. This eradicates the tiny amount of flex between the two halves of a normal caliper and in theory gives better feel. Again, most of us can't ride hard enough to notice the difference.
What is a carburetor?
Gasoline engines are designed to take in exactly the right amount of air so the fuel burns properly, whether the engine is starting from cold or running hot at top speed. Getting the fuel-air mixture just right is the job of a clever mechanical gadget called a carburetor: a tube that allows air and fuel into the engine through valves, mixing them together in different amounts to suit a wide range of different driving conditions.
You might think "carburetor" is quite a weird word, but it comes from the verb "carburet." That's a chemical term meaning to enrich a gas by combining it with carbon or hydrocarbons. So, technically, a carburetor is a device that saturates air (the gas) with fuel (the hydrocarbon).
Carburetors have been around since the late 19th century when they were first developed by automobile pioneer (and Mercedes founder) Karl Benz (1844–1929). There were earlier attempts at "carbureting" in other ways. For example, the French engine pioneer Joseph Étienne Lenoir (1822–1900) originally used a rotating cylinder with sponges attached that dipped into fuel as they turned around, lifting it out of its container and mixing it into the air as they did so.
The diagram below, which I've colored to make it easier to follow, shows the original Benz carburetor design from 1888; the basic working principle (explained in the box below) remains the same to this day.
How does it work？
Air flows into the top of the carburetor from the car's air intake, passing through a filter that cleans it of debris.
When the engine is first started, the choke (blue) can be set so it almost blocks the top of the pipe to reduce the amount of air coming in (increasing the fuel content of the mixture entering the cylinders).
In the center of the tube, the air is forced through a narrow kink called a venturi. This makes it speed up and causes its pressure to drop.
The drop in air pressure creates suction on the fuel pipe (right), drawing in fuel (orange).
The throttle (green) is a valve that swivels to open or close the pipe. When the throttle is open, more air and fuel flows to the cylinders so the engine produces more power and the car goes faster.
The mixture of air and fuel flows down into the cylinders.
Fuel (orange) is supplied from a mini-fuel tank called the float-feed chamber.
As the fuel level falls, a float in the chamber falls and opens a valve at the top.
When the valve opens, more fuel flows in to replenish the chamber from the main gas tank. This makes the float rise and close the valve again.