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Motorcycle windshields do not just add oomph to a bike, they do much more. Among other things, they intercept discarded cigarette butts, bugs and other assorted highway missiles. They also conduct the all important task of redirecting airflow away from the riders head and torso thus saving him from wind fatigue on long hauls.Little wonder then that windshields are the most sought after accessory in the market. The demand has also spawned a whole range of windshields, e...

Motorcycle Windshields Do More Than Add Oomph To A Bike

Motorcycle Windshields Do More Than Add Oomph To A BikeMotorcycle windshields do not just add oomph to a bike, they do much more. Among other things, they intercept discarded cigarette butts, bugs and other assorted highway missiles. They also conduct the all important task of redirecting airflow away from the riders head and torso thus saving him from wind fatigue on long hauls.Little wonder then that windshields are the most sought after accessory in the market. The demand has also spawned a whole range of windshields, each claiming its own USP. However, before buying one you must keep the following five points in mind:1. The Fit: Try and get a windshield thats made by your own bike manufacturer. They are more likely to fit your bike seamlessly. You can also try the universal shield. This type is lightweight, handlebar-mounted and can be fitted on almost any bike. Universal windshields provide just a very basic shield between you and air. 2. The Plastic: It is important that the plastic has good optical properties. Distortion around the edges or near the curvature of a shield can be especially dangerous.3. The Size: Bigger windshields do not always mean better protection. A high windshield might work well to block the icy wind but during the rains, it could become a wet wall that you cant look over. Short windshields are good because they let the cool breeze fan your face in hot weather, but they can cause havoc to your helmet when the wind is sharp. Much depends on the kind of bike you have and how you sit on it. The best is to sit on a bike and then check how the windshield will work.4. The Height: A windshield that sits just below your line of vision while seated comfortably is a good option. You should be able to see over it without straining and yet be comfortable dropping your head down to look through the glass. In any case the height at which you are most comfortable is probably the right height. Sit before several windshields and youll know which works for you.5. The Mounting System: Check the mounting system before you buy the windshield. Mounting hardware can vary radically from shield to shield. While putting up your windshields make sure you don't bind cables or block either lighting or brake lines. Give controls and mirrors ample space. Make sure that nothing touches the windshield when the fork is fully compressed. Also make sure that the shield doesn't interfere with steering. Take a short test ride, but take it slow.

Mud Flaps and Mud Guards Prevent A Potential Accident

Mud Flaps and Mud Guards Prevent A Potential Accident

Rocks, sticks and debris meet their doom when they hit a mud guard. There's plenty of other benefits to slapping-on a set of mud guards, including:- Cleaner fenders that'll save you a car wash or two - Dent and ding protection that preserves your paint - Sweet looks that go from mud-running master to smooth-style cruising - Durable, long-lasting materials that stand-up to virtually any barrageCleanliness it's godliness for your vehicleNobody likes that telltale sign they've been off-roadin' or trolling through puddles when you've only been cruising the streets. There's nothing decorative about the resulting splatter spread on your wheel wells, fenders and doors, either. By the time you get a chance to spray the mud off yourself or run your vehicle through the local touch-free car wash, that dirt is caked-on and dried like spackle.Any mud guard, splash guard or mud flap stops the cycle of splatter marks. In fact, a mud guard keeps the mess contained in the wheel wellout of sight and out of mind. Plus, mud is more likely to just fall off if it cakes inside the wheel well or on the back of the mud guard. Most times, you'll just need a few minutes with a garden sprayer to dislodge the dirt and get back to a showroom shine. By keeping the splatter away, your truck or SUV stays ready for any on or off-road adventure.A guide to mud guard protectionThere's a lot more than mud that can fly-up and hit your paint, and they do much more than cause a mess. Think of all the obstructions you see on or off road that tires could be shooting right at your doors and fenders: rocks, sticks, random metal pieces, tire treads and even roadkill. A good set of mud guards acts like an all-star goalie with all the kick-saves you need to keep your paint pristine. Dings, dents and chips meet a brick wall of coverage.Don't forget about potential damagers that are much more difficult to see and steer around. Sometimes it's freshly-painted lane lines or turn arrows. It might be new asphalt or tar that isn't quite dry. The corner cutting of a lackadaisical road crew can rob a few hours of your time, especially if enough tar or road paint makes its way onto your fenders. Thankfully, mud guards turn back the assault of these potential paint damagers, saving you time, energy, and rubbing compound.A reference on mud guard and mud flap looks Whether you spend your weekends churning through the deepest muck, or shuttling the kids to and from soccer with a side trip to the mini golf place, a nice set of mud guards or mud flaps can give your vehicle the look of an off-road commander. Or, a super long and flexible set of mud flaps helps you blend in with any convoy of 18-wheelers, which use these flaps to deflect costly windshield-wrecking rocks tossed at top speed.Some mud guards offer not only serious protection, but eye-catching ornamentation, too. These include steel or aluminum sheet mud guards that offer premium gleam and rigid protection. While they look great, they can be quite troublesome if you're wheel well-deep in the mess with your mud guards digging-in. Then again, if you're that deep in the mud, you're probably in trouble anyway. Best to stay on the hardball with a set of these metal mud guards.Looking for the pinnacle of mud guard looks? Many of AutoAnything's mud guards can be color-matched to your vehicle's finish. That's because they employ a textured surface that receives paint without the need for primer. Basic colors can be done at home; any paint tone can be matched by a local shop. The finished product blends seamlessly with the fender and wheel well shape of your vehicle, giving you an extra dose of custom looks the other rigs on the road don't have.The basics of mud guard materialsMud guards are offered in two basic material styles: sheet metal and rubber or rubber-composite. Both bring durability and longevity to your wheel wells, but they have a few distinct differences.Rubber/rubber-composite mud guards and mud flapsThey can be a flexible mud flap, or a stiff mud guard. Either way, rubber and rubber-composite guards bring the rigidity you need to thwart debris, and the durability to last through the rigors of life on your wheel well. Certain rubber mud guards come ready to paint match with your vehicle's original color.One issue with flexible rubber mud flaps is sail. At high speeds, wind resistance blows the flaps out of position to reject the full compliment of rocks, mud and moisture. That's why a premium flap-style mud guard employs bottom weights and/or a specialized frame that limits sail when you need coverage most.Sheet metal mud guardsOffered in both stainless steel and aluminum, sheet metal mud guards are usually best for decoration use only. Sure, they'll stop the splatter tossed rocks and even small-caliber bullets, but they can be a liability if they get caught in soft ground. Still, there's no other mud guards packing an extreme shine such as the one displayed by these. If looks and on-road protection are your goal, this is the way to go.

Unforgettable Television Sports Cars From The 1970's

Unforgettable Television Sports Cars From The 1970

In the seventies it seems that most shows were to an extent, known for the cars that the stars drove in them as well as the stars themselves. Some of the shows you will find listed here, the cars in the shows were even known to receive their own fan mail. The weekly hero of the action packed T.V. show was almost assuredly driving a fast and expensive sports car. Most people tend to think they used the same car in every episode but usually there was a whole team of identical cars that followed the stars through the series.See how many of the following cars you can remember from the seventies:1. Gran Torino on Starsky and Hutch.This was everyones favorite Muscle Car it seemed, at least the most recognizable.The paint job (red with that big, white stripe) and the style prompted Ford to add it to their line. Gran Torino enthusiasts still get together to show off their rides to this day!2. Do you remember Dan Tanna and his 1957 Thunderbird from Vegas?In this program Robert Urich played a cop in Las Vegas named Dan Tanna who just loved cruising around the strip in his T-Bird. It was a bright and shiny red and was actually two identical cars used that they switched back and forth when taping the show. The character started out with a corvette but ended up with his signature T-Bird instead3. Who can forget that bumbling detective Columbo and his beat up, old Peugeot? Well it can be categorized as a sports car technically, but it sure didnt look like one or act like one. But Columbo and his Peugeot was a match made in heaven with their unkempt appearance. Some folks in Ohio ended up with the car after the show was cancelled but they revived it for the Columbo movie in the 80s.4. The golden Firebird Espirit of Detective Rockford is another classic. James Garner played Detective Rockford and always seemed to be having financial troubles but he could always afford to drive around in his signature Firebird.5. 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado from Mannix. Another one of those great detective shows. Joe Mannix was played by actor Mike Connors and it was a very customized vehicle indeed and one that most people remember. Mannix had secret compartments all over the Toronado and it was a little more high tech then many cars of its era. In later episodes Mannix had an array of cars at his disposal but the 1966 Toronado seem to make the most impact.Each one of these cars is memorialized by film. If you asked anyone about the 70s famous cars undoubtedly they would mention one or more of these cars. Of course there were a lot of others but these five seem to be the most likely to come up in a conversation about the era. After all they certainly did seem to steal the show right out from under the human stars.

2008 New Car Release Strategy

2008 New Car Release Strategy

Why do automobile manufactures release new models at all times of the year?People shopping for cars today, face the same decisions they did in years past, 2-door or 4-door, car, truck, van, or SUV. The idea of buying versus leasing is now on the table once again. The idea of buying a car in the middle of 2007 and having to decide between a 2007 and a 2008 muddies the water. Some of these vehicles will be all-new models, others radically different, while still others with only slight alterations.Manufacturers are using the release of the new 2008 products as more of a strategy than in years previous years. They realize they have the power to create targeted traffic at given points of the selling season with these new releases. They no longer have to share the same pie with every other automaker. The traditional introduction of the models in early October created to much competition between the manufacturers. All the automakers were introducing their new lineup at the same time and sharing the spotlight with all the other automakers. A model can be deemed a 2008 so long as it goes on sale after January 1st of the current year.Consumers are split relatively evenly between the bargain of the left over model and the idea of having the latest and greatest. There is certainly a price to be paid for stepping up into a new 2008 model. Many consumers opt to pay more for the 2008 because the 2007 does not seem quite so new anymore. While the bargain hunters can save even more during the buzz of the newly released models.This is a win-win for the dealerships. The manufacturers need to assist the dealers in moving out the 2007 products (heavier incentives) and the profits for the dealers can be significantly higher on the fresh 2008 products.More and more new models for 2008 are being produced monthly.

What Kind Of Motorcycle Gloves Do I Need?

When it comes to motorcycle gloves there are a lot of choices, some of these depend on your riding style and what you want to wear. I personally like full fingered gloves but a lot of guys that ride cruiser's will not wear a glove at all or they wear half fingered gloves. These look a lot like weight training gloves where the palm and top of the fingers are covered but the tips are exposed. The advantage to these gloves is that you don't loose all the sensitivity where with a totally closed glove you will. Also the short fingered "motorcycle gloves" will keep your hands from sweating. Hatch makes a really nice pair of these gloves called shorty gloves. Hatch makes quality gloves so I would recommend those if you like short fingered gloves.Short fingered gloves are a favorite of the cruiser crowd. I guess they go with the whole image and they do offer some protection in case you go down. I have seen a guys hand that had a spill without any gloves on and the road took all the meat of the palm of his hand. Not a real nice feeling I am guessing, therefore it is essential to wear some sort of hand protection when you are out riding. If you do fall I can almost guarantee 99 percent of the time your hands are going to touch that pavement and unless you have some leather on them your hands are asking for a serious case of road rash if youre lucky. So at a minimum a set of short fingered gloves will do the job nicely.Full fingered gloves offer a bit more protection then their short fingered counterparts. Most of your sport bike crowd will use a full fingered glove. Some are gauntlet style or just a regular glove. Icon makes some really nice gauntlet style gloves as does AGV and Alpinestars. I personally own a pair of Alloy Alpinestars gloves which I have had for about 3 years now. These gloves are perforated and a are perfect for warm weather riding which is about 9 months out of the year where I live. I also like these gloves because they are simple and even when I am out on my chopper they look good where some of your more flashy hard core sport rider gloves are a bit to flashy for a cruiser these do double duty quite nicely. Icon also makes a set of gloves called pursuit gloves that are much along these lines. However if you want the ultimate in protection you will want to get a pair of gauntlet style road racing or track gloves. These types of gloves are made to really do the best job when it comes to protecting you in a spill. Most of them offer some sort of knuckle protection as well as a reinforced palm, also the seams are usually reinforced in order to ensure that the glove will stay in one piece under extreme conditions.Ultimately the choice is yours, whether to wear gloves or not period. You will find that most bikers that have been riding for a while do wear some sort of hand protection. Their are many different styles of glove available so there is bound to be one that suits your needs. It doesn't matter who makes them but I would recommend you go with a quality manufacturer of motorcycle apparel like Alpinestars, Hatch, Icon or AGVSport. When you go with one of them you can be ensured that the gloves you are getting are of the best quality and will do the job they are designed for.

Focus-ing Attention

They're not usually backwards in coming forward at Ford, but you certainly can't accuse them on being first past the post with the first power operated coupe cabriolet they've put on the European market...In fact, they've sat back and watched their main rivals take the plunge before giving the nod for this neat version of the Focus.So are they coming up on the rails after giving the rest a head start? Well, not exactly. Because while the Focus CC is undoubtedly a smart looker that retains all the good points of the Focus hatchback crisp handling, neat interior etc in other areas it's a little disappointing. It's fairly well documented elsewhere that there have been the odd hiccough of two with the mechanism of the Pininfarina designed and developed hood. Problems that manifest themselves in more rattles per square centimeter than you would reasonably expect from a car that outwardly shows such flair and brio and is so downright desirable if you hanker after the merits of open top motoring if the sun ever shines and a snug interior come the cold dark days of winter.With the roof down (it takes 29 seconds) the Focus comes into its own. Eveything feels nailed down and there's no scuttle shake (windscreen flexing) to worry about, and it's down to you to enjoy the experience of this full four seat coupe cabriolet. It's not as smooth an operation as some of its rivals, in that the opening and closing of panels at the rear is accompanied by a resounding clunk in some instances that literally shakes the whole car. With your finger on the button you can feel it all happening behind you, and I guess some people won't take to that experienceOur test car came with the 136PS 2.0 diesel engine, the same unit as in the C-MAX that passed through our hands the week before, but it came into its own in this guise, where the lower kerbweight made it feel quicker still. Its certainly more responsive and economical too. I managed to top 40mpg over a mixed few days that included a cross country run to Goodwood for the Festival of Speed (mark it in your diary as an event not to be missed on any count next year) and a lot of motorway miles.Ah yes, the motorway. Make a mental note to scan the sky more carefully before lowering the hood and setting off. The first few drops of rain were soon followed by a torrential downpour between suitable parking areas on the A3 and the 29 seconds it took to shut out the weather quite enough when I eventually stopped and ensured the interior of the Focus was well and truly wet. Me too. Don't you just love the English summer? On a smooth road the Focus is in its best environment you just don't notice any rattles at all. But unfortunately roads in Britain tend to be far from smooth these days... You name it manhole covers, potholes, discarded ring pulls from beer cans, they all have the ability to make you wince. It's not a secret either that there are 'issues' with leaks developing on the early cars we had a dribble of rainwater in ours but it's not a problem Ford are unaware of and they've been working hard to sort it before letting cars go out to customers. Nice gearbox, no sloppiness and it has a precise feel to it which helps you build up a good flow on a cross country run as the Focus has the ability to change direction quickly and efficiently. And of course it's a safe car with roll hoops that 'fire' into position in just a tenth of a second if the sensors detect the car is going to roll.Price wise, if you're in the market for a car like this you're going to have to spend in the order of 20,000 for the privilege of a top end version. The Focus CC sampled here (CC3) costs 20,887 with its Bluetooth hands free option, but prices start at 16,795.It has that dash of Italian elegance, no doubt about that. The design is distinctive but still a Focus for all that.A Ford in an Italian designer suit, if you like.

Summary

Motorcycle windshields do not just add oomph to a bike, they do much more. Among other things, they intercept discarded cigarette butts, bugs and other assorted highway missiles. They also conduct the all important task of redirecting airflow away from the riders head and torso thus saving him from wind fatigue on long hauls.Little wonder then that windshields are the most sought after accessory in the market. The demand has also spawned a whole range of windshields, e...