Car Tips and Guides

Motorcycle Tire Tech for Racing Treks

Written by in October 31, 2013 at 07:39 AM

web-AVON-STORM-2When you’re racing, all that matters is grip. Well, that and finishing first, but the former is a prerequisite for the latter. Whether it’s a drag race, motocross or the circuit, get the power down and stay facing in the right direction. Those rubber doughnuts we call tires will get the job done.

Regular motorcycle tires have a whole bunch of compromises. Sure, they’re expected to provide good grip and braking, but a quiet and comfortable ride are almost as important, and increasingly, buyers want low rolling resistance, too.

Enthusiastic drivers who revel in the “feel” of their car and live for lateral G’s, have different priorities. They want crisp handling with great feedback so they know how their tires are working. They want superlative grip but don’t care much for noise and even durability.

In short, they want street-legal race tires. If you don’t know the difference between street and racing tires, wise up.

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Keep the Wheels Turning with These Tire Tips

Written by in October 19, 2013 at 13:54 PM

Tire TipsThe most effective way to tell if you need new tires is to look at them. Sounds simple, right? It is if you know what you’re looking for. Check each tire individually because they wear at different rates. You don’t have to stick with the brand, size or type of tire that came with your car from the manufacturer. Your wheels and tires were probably matched to the car based on its trim package. For example, the Toyota Corolla comes in L, LE and S models. The S model comes with 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels while the LE Special Edition comes with 16-inch alloys. The easiest way to know which tire to buy is to understand the rating system for tires, which describes many characteristics for the tires. There are also many tire brands to consider. Goodyear, BFGoodrich, Michelin and Firestone are all solid choices. For example, BFGoodrich has used motorsports testing for more than three decades to ensure quality, according to the write-up of BFGoodrich tires from Michelin, on the other hand, remains one of the largest tire manufacturers on the globe. But more important than brand, motorists should consider the following tire factors.

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For Every Season Turn, Turn, Turn

Written by in September 25, 2013 at 08:33 AM

At the beginning of the 1900s, automobile drivers signaled to pedestrians and other drivers their intention to turn (or stop) their cars with their hands.  There were no turn signals back then. As the graphic below illustrates, the hand signal conventions for right and right turns and stop haven’t changed since that time.

According to the December 1985 issue of Popular Mechanics, the first modern turn electric signal can be attributed to Edgar A. Walz, Jr. who, in 1925, secured a patent for one and tried to market it to major car manufacturers. Believe it or not they just weren’t interested, and the patent expired fourteen years later.

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Automotive Key Types

Written by in September 25, 2013 at 08:19 AM

Standard Keys and Electronic Key Fobs

Automotive Key TypesThe basic car key, which was common up until the mid-1990s, has no security feature other than the unique profile on the shank. It’s easy to copy these basic car keys, virtually any hardware store can do it for about $3.

On most modern cars, an electronic key fob (also known as a remote or transmitter) accompanies a basic car key. Depending on the automaker or complexity of the design, an electronic key fob may incorporate features such as unlocking the car doors, opening the truck and even sounding an emergency alarm.

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From Scooter to Automobile

Written by in September 25, 2013 at 07:50 AM

Odyssey MinivanA lot of us first heard the word Honda when someone was talking about small motor scooters from Japan.  That was in the 1960s.  Honda 50s and Honda 90s were very popular when they came out.  Everyone wanted to have one or at the very least, ride one.  Some places even rented them out by the hour and many times you had to wait for several hours before one came available.

Then Honda came out with some innovative motorcycles that began to compete with American made two-wheelers.  Honda did a great job manufacturing them and marketing them in this country.  At one time, it seemed, the only people riding Harleys and non-Japanese motorcycles were the die-hard biker gangs.  Everyone else cranked up Honda’s or other Japanese bikes.  Honda was the most popular.

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About Engine Oil

Written by in September 25, 2013 at 07:43 AM

Engine OilEngine oil used to be a lot simpler. The local auto parts store typically carried a few major brands, and that was about it. As engines have become more complex, however, engine oil has diversified to keep up. The result is that there are many, many brands and types on the market today.  Fortunately, there are automotive industry standards that explain the salient characteristics of all of them so you can find what is best for your car.

Viscosity ratings

On the front of a typical oil container you’ll see the specified “viscosity rating”. The guys at state that viscosity can be roughly thought of as the oil’s “thickness.” A few common viscosities you will find include 0W-20, 5W-30, 10W-40, and 20W-50, though there are many more. These are multigrade oils, containing additives to tailor their viscosities to various engines’ requirements and ambient operating temperatures.

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