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Why gap spark plugs? A quick overview.

Spark plugs need to be gapped to operate properly.
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What are spark plugs and why do they need to be gapped?

“He can check the spark plugs and see if the engine’s runnin’ rich,” said the woman behind the counter.

I’d never been to this shop before, even though I’d driven by it hundreds of times. I’d stopped because of the sign that read Certified Harley Mechanic. I was just a little too skittish to drive my bike all the way out to the local Harley-Davidson dealership because I was afraid of stalling.

The place looked rough, with its worn sign and wobbly handrail, but I took a deep breath and walked in anyway. The inside looked just as rough, with creaky floor boards and yellowish dog-eared posters on the walls.…

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Riding a motorcycle involves risk

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It was a few days before my New Rider Course.  My 17-year-old daughter was giving me a lecture at the dinner table. “Riding a motorcycle is dangerous. I don’t support this decision at all.”

In a single moment, I felt awash with warmth from her concern, but also stunned into speechlessness.  I stared back at her with no ability to form words or respond.  I’d been talking about learning how to ride a motorcycle for months.  Not once had she shown any signs of worry before now.

After a few moments of silence, I assured her that I would be a careful, defensive driver.…

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I dropped my motorcycle. I was alone.

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There I was, in an empty parking lot, practicing how to ride my new wheels (lacking the confidence to venture out on the road yet) when I braked to a stop with my front wheel turned slightly to the left.

In slow motion, the bike started to fall.  I strained to hold onto the handlebars and keep the 560 lb. SuperLow® from falling over to its side.  I was doing okay—holding off the fall—until I accidentally rolled the throttle.  The engine roared like a plane and the bike lurched forward, fell to the ground, and stopped.

I was stunned.  It happened so fast I really didn’t know what had happened at all.…

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7 tips for buying your first motorcycle

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It took me a month to find the right bike, but I did it!  I finally bought a Harley-Davidson SuperLow®!


Ever since I completed the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy New Rider course, I’ve been looking for a bike.  I’ve negotiated online and in-person with dealers.  I’ve looked at lots of ads on craigslist.  I’ve posted my own ad on craigslist (“Looking for…”).  I’ve sent and responded to countless emails.

It took a while, but I finally settled on a private sale, pre-owned bike.  Based on my experiences,  I thought I’d share a few tips.

1. Take your time.

If you’re a new rider or unfamiliar with the Harley-Davidson families of bikes, it may take some time to settle on a bike that suits you.  …

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