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Slip-on vs Full System Motorcycle Exhausts


Ah yes, the exhaust. Every bike enthusiast's favorite aftermarket upgrade. That rumbling of the engine is pure music to our ears. Of all the upgrades a biker makes to his beloved possession, the exhaust system is perhaps the only one that can deliver both performance gains and an improved look and sound (and, some might argue, joy).

There are many considerations to be made when choosing the perfect aftermarket exhaust for your bike. It's not a cheap upgrade after all! You want it to buy one that works well for your bike, not just any one because it sounds good on your buddy's. So let's make sure we understand the workings of an exhaust system and the different models available. We'll also offer some suggestions as well.

Benefits of an Aftermarket Exhaust

A motorcycle exhaust has three parts: the header, the midpipe and the muffler. The header collects the exhaust gases from the cylinder while the midpipe runs the fumes towards the motorcycle?s rear. The muffler modifies the engine sound with the help of baffles and interior diameters.

Motorcycles comes fully ready to ride with an exhaust system already in place. And yet, replacing the stock exhaust is often the first thing a bike owner will do. Though this is somewhat of a costly upgrade, it offers the most value for improved performance. Let's go over the benefits:

Improved sound: Yep, there it is - the number one reason for aftermarket exhausts purchases! Mufflers do just what their name suggest - they muffle the engine sound by trapping sound waves inside a series of baffles. An aftermarket exhaust has less baffles, which will translate into a better sound, as well as better performance. And this brings us to our next point:

Performance gains: An aftermarket exhaust reduces the backpressure created by the typical stock muffler, which will improve the airflow in the engine, therefore letting the fuel burn more efficiently and increasing the bike's power.

Less weight: Stock exhausts are usually clunky heavy ol' things. Today's aftermarket exhausts are much more slimmed down and constructed with much lighter materials. Depending on your bike, you can be shedding as much as 20 pounds! Simply put, less weight = faster and more power.

Better material and aesthetics: Let's face it, most stock mufflers are not winning any awards in the looks department. Aftermarket exhausts are commonly made from titanium, stainless steel, or carbon fiber, which all offer strength while still being lightweight. They all have very distinctive looks that will lend some individuality to your bike. Whatever style you're looking after, there will be a design to suit your taste!

Slip-ons vs. Full System

Exhaust systems for motorcycles have two categories: the slip-on and the full system. While the former connects at the place where the stock muffler is, the latter connects to the head of the engine. Let's look a little closer to understand the differences between the two and the advantages that they each bring to the table.

Slip-on Exhausts

Pros: the cheaper alternative, great value, easy installation
Cons: less performance gains, less weight shed

Slip-on systems are the cheaper option and offer great value for the amount you spend. They basically just replace the stock muffler of the bike and are a popular upgrade for sportbikes. This is a good option for those who want that rumbling sound without having to install the jet-kit or fuel controller. The installation of this system is simple since it is literally "slipped-on" in place of the stock muffler.

Considerations: Slip-ons are great for improving the look and sound, but understand that there won't be a significant improvement to the performance of your bike. Also, the weight isn't substantially reduced since the midpipe and the headpipe remain stock, which also means that there will not be a very noticeable horsepower gain. But that said, a slip-on will still be better than the one that came on the bike.

On an average, the slip-on can increase your horsepower by 5% while reducing the weight of your bike by pounds. Different applications will vary.

Solo's Recommendations:


M4

M4 Performance Exhaust designs and manufactures one of the highest quality exhaust systems available in today's market. The products are developed through racing experience, extensive research, and fine tuning on and off the track. Many systems eliminate the infamous stock 'exhaust box' which makes way for more power and a deeper, meaner sounding motorcycle. They also look crazy cool!

Competition Werkes

Competition Werkes Grand Prix-style slip-on exhausts are some of the industry's bests with their sleek aesthetics, super light weight, and positive effects on performance. They're made of stainless steel and come in a range of colors to suit anyone's taste.



Full System Exhaust

Pros: great performance gains, significant weight shed
Cons: More expensive, more hassle to install

Full exhaust systems replace the entire stock exhaust from the header to the muffler. This is the more expensive option. Aside from the superior sound and look, it is the performance gains that you pay for when opting for a full system. This option is great for drag racers, long distance riding, or those who like to run their bikes on full throttle.

Considerations: The installation of this system requires more time and body work than the slip-on version. It's also highly recommended that you get a professional tuning after installation in order to reap the maximum benefit. We also suggest that you also install a corresponding fuel controller, such as a Dynojet Power Commander. A full system heavily changes the characteristics of your bike and it will be necessary to optimize fuel delivery, in order to avoid harmful side effects.  See our article here for a more detailed explanation.

Solo's Recommendations:


Yoshimura

Yoshimura was founded in Japan in 1954, and since then has been consistently in the forefront of the aftermarket exhaust industry.  Yoshimura has been associated with Factory Honda Racing and GEICO Honda racing for quite some time, and so their products are tested in the harshest environments possible. Yoshimura exhausts are designed to the highest standard of craftsmanship, quality, and aesthetics.


Akrapovic

Akrapovic is widely recognized as a highly innovative materials technology company. The brand is synonymous with the highest level of design, performance enhancement and the creation of an unmistakable deeply resonant 'Akrapovic' sound. Over 80 world champions have already relied on Akrapovic exhaust systems. Furthermore, the company has been blessed with numerous Best Brand awards by readers of the most prestigious motorcycle magazines.

Some considerations for purchasing an exhaust

Be familiar with your State's inspection/legal requirements. Aftermarket exhaust manufacturers are generally not subjected to the same regulations imposed on bike manufacturers. The products are not tested for sound level or emissions control. You can find out your State's requirements from your DMV, inspection station, or bike shop. 

Play it safe and also replace gaskets and hardware. This stuff is pretty cheap to replace, so it's a good idea to just get it done when installing a new exhaust in order to prevent leaks.

Consider also installing an air filter and fuel controller. Modifications often work best in combinations. An aftermarket exhaust improves the airflow through the engine. An air filter will increase the amount of air entering the engine to match the air leaving it, and a fuel controller will ensure that air and fuel are mixed in the right ratio for optimal performance. This is particularly recommended when opting for the full system. 

Once mounted, consider it sold! Typically, retailers will not take back an exhaust once it has been mounted and fired up. This is to protect both us and you, the buyer. You can be assured that any exhaust you purchase from us is brand new and never been used. 

Conclusion

An aftermarket exhaust, whether it be a slip-on or full system, will always be an improvement over the stock exhaust. The slip-on is the better option for those on a budget and only looking to enhance the sound of the bike while shedding some weight and increasing the power slightly. The full exhaust system, if you have the cash to spend, will deliver significant performance gains as well as a powerful sound. Either way, an aftermarket exhaust is one of the best value upgrades for a bike.

If you have any more questions or need help choosing the perfect exhaust for your bike and riding style, feel free to ask below, call us, or hit us up on our Facebook page!

By Daniel Relich


How do Power Commanders Work & Are They Worth The Money


Power Commanders may just be one of the most perplexing accessories in the motorcycling world. There are a lot of questions associated with it. How does it work? What exactly does it do? Is it worth the money?

If you're just getting into bikes and the thrill of buying parts for it, reading about Power Commanders and whether you need one may seem like deciphering quantum physics theory. It's true that there is not the perfect one-size-fits-all answer, but we'll break it down for you to gain better understanding.

Power Commander Overview 

The appeal of a Power Commander for most riders is its promise of boosting the bike's horsepower higher than what you can get out of a stock engine. Does it really do that? It actually depends (we'll get into it later). What it does is adjust the bike's fuel/air ratio to run at an optimum level, and thus improving the motorcycle's overall performance and power delivery characteristics. This is especially important if you've make some upgrades to your bike, like installing an aftermarket exhaust or a air filter.

The Power Commander itself is small and plugs directly into the bike's electronic control unit (ECU) and generally requires absolutely no additional modifications, thus making it a very simple solution for that additional desired performance.

Understanding the EFI

The modern motorcycles we ride today have a Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) system. Gone are the clunky old carburetors of the bikes from the century past. The new EFI system is a no-brainer way to mix fuel and air in the right proportions for optimized performance. Essentially, a computer (ECU) is constantly assessing the current operating state and communicating how much fuel to inject in order to keep an optimal fuel/air ratio.

For most bikes, this system performs reasonably well when the bike is in stock trim.  However, if you're anything like the average moto-fanatic, one of the most exciting things about bike ownership is sweetening it up with aftermarket upgrades. An exhaust or air filter upgrade will increase airflow, likely making it run leaner or richer than it should. There's various side-effects from this including a high running temperature, exhaust popping (awesome fireballs), power surging... all because the stock ECU is not able to adapt to the aftermarket accessories in most cases.

The stock ECU is programmed according to the stock specifications, so it can only adjust within a certain range. Effectively this means that the EFI ends up delivering an air/fuel ratio that is not optimized. This is when the Power Commander comes in handy!

What a Power Commander does

A Power Commander allows you to remap your bike's air/fuel ratio to be optimize for your aftermarket modifications. It adjusts the fuel injection to optimize the fuel/air ratio in accordance to the increased airflow and modified power delivery dynamics. It allows for a full range of adjustments, thus can adapt to almost any modification. This makes the bike perform faster, smoother, better overall, and yes, will help deliver added horsepower. You will see an improved throttle response and smooth power delivery which translates into a better riding experience and faster times at the race track.

The PCs have an on-board microprocessor that makes changes to the ignition curves and fuel output. Every PC unit comes with software and a cable link that allows you to change between different maps or make adjustments to a map file. It's also possible to download existing map files to best match your bike's mods from the power commander website.

Some considerations 

Most motorcycles, even stock ones, will benefit from a power commander in some way, but as this is a costly purchase, it's necessary to assess what your upgrade goals are and weigh the pros and cons.

A good rule of thumb is that a power commander is likely a required addition when purchasing a full exhaust system (or 3/4 system) because a full system heavily changes the characteristics of your bike and it'll be necessary to optimize the power delivery to avoid those unwanted side effects and any possible long term harm to your engine.

In the past, to really reap the benefits of the power modifications you've made to your motorcycle, a professional tune can be done on a Dyno by a performance shop to create a custom map for the modifications you've installed. This option is generally reserved for high performance oriented riders, racers and track day enthusiasts as it is very expensive. Dynojet has considered this, and for most riders, the addition of a Dynojet Autotune (see accessories below) with your Power Commander will help keep things under control and your bike purring like a kitten at a fraction of the cost.

Dynojet Power Commanders

In the fuel controller market, Dynojet Power Commanders dominate.

Dynojet PCs use OEM equipment style connectors and plugs directly inline with the bike's stock fuel injection system (no splicing or cutting required!). The installation is fast and simple, taking as little as 15 minutes. The Power Commander merely overrides the factory settings of the ECU, so don't worry about permanently altering your settings! Once the PC is removed, the bike goes back to its stock condition.

Dynojet Power Commander V (the newest version) has some exciting new features including: a built-in two position map switching function, allowing you to adjust on the fly (switch not included - see accessories below). The gear position input allows each cylinder to be mapped individually and for each gear. It also has 10 throttle position columns.

Some of the other noteworthy features of Dynojet Power Commander V are:

- has the world?s largest downloadable map database
- Dynojet collaborates with the leading exhaust manufacturers of the world to offer pre-tested settings for your bike
- Compact, USB powered from computer for quick and easy map changes
- The notes from the map are stored in the on-board memory along with the map making it easier for the notes to be retrieved easily when the unit is connected
- A cylinder trim adjustment feature facilitates offsetting fuel to one or more cylinders
- An expansion port lets you connect various accessories with utmost ease

In custom or specialty applications cases, where a map is not available, there is a network of Official Dynojet Tuning Centers to help develop custom maps for the bike. So whatever you've got, they've got you covered!

The Power Commander V is Dynojet's newest model. Some older models of motorcycles are available on the Power Commander III platform.

Power Commander Accessories

The Dynojet Power Commanders V comes with a range of accessories to aid performance.

The AutoTune kit automatically corrects the fuel mixture while riding. Just plug in the unit and it'll do all the work for you! This is a perfect addition for most riders.

The Quick Shifter allows you to shift up to the next gear without having to roll off the throttle or pull in the clutch. It does so by momentarily cutting the fuel and/or ignition. This accessory is great for the serious racers who understand that every split second matters!

The Map Selection Switch allows for switching between two different maps. For example, you could switch between a "fuel economy map" (for long leisure rides) and a "full performance map" (for racing).


You can order Dynojet Power Commanders and their accessories here:
http://www.solomotoparts.com/DynoJet-Power-Commander/

Conclusion: so is a power commander worth it?

Purchasing a power commander will most likely depend on what you want from riding and what kind of modifications you have on your bike.  Generally, the benefits of a power commander will work best with a full system exhaust (not a slip-on), as it creates more power and allows for a wider range of adjustments. If you're more performance oriented, then a power commander may be worth the investment to get a smoother, more powerful ride.

What have your experiences with a Power Commander been like? Got more questions? Free feel to ask below in the comments! 


By Sir D


A Hell-a-va Guide: Zero Gravity & Puig Windscreens



A windscreen (or windshield) may not be the most drool-worthy or sexiest accessory on a bike, but it is in fact one of the most user-friendly upgrades for a rider. With the hundreds of options out there in the market, choosing the right one is a daunting task. Not to worry! We'll go over the benefits, what to look for in a good one, and our personal picks. 

BENEFITS OF A WINDSCREEN


The windshield vs. no windshield conundrum could turn into a hot debate item with riders, so let's quickly review the benefits of installing a windscreen! 

Decreasing wind blast: A windscreen redirects the wind blast away from your face and chest, which in turn reduces riding fatigue, which equals a much more comfortable ride and the ability to ride farther. Whether your ride is morning jaunt through the mountains or a week-long tour along the coast, you'll be thankful for a windshield to take the majority of wind strain. 

Protection from weather: A windscreen will also divert cold wind and rain, allowing you to stay dryer and more comfortable when riding in less-than-ideal weather. 

Protection from bugs and other debris: Ever rode through the countryside during summertime? Yuck. Bugs in your beard is not a sexy look. Need we say more? A windscreen also protects from gravel kick-ups and other unexpected incidents.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:


Now that we all understand the benefits, let's go over how to select the one right for you. Here are some general qualities to consider when choosing the perfect windscreen:

Material: Generally, windscreens come in either polycarbonate or acrylic, both durable plastic materials. The benefit of acrylic is that it will stay clear and shiny and won't yellow with long-term sun exposure, while polycarbonate is more scratch-resistant, but will yellow with age. 

Height: This is one of the most important considerations and the hardest to get just right. A too tall windscreen may block your vision, which will be dangerous especially during rainy weather. A too short windscreen won't offer the protection you need and may even direct wind into your face. 

An ideal height should be so that the top edge is just under your line of vision (at the nose level). That way, you can easily see over it, but still be able to slightly drop your head if needed. 

Fixed, detachable? A fixed windscreen is well, exactly that. Once mounted, it's a permanent addition to your bike. A detachable one has quick detach mounts, and may be a good option for those who want the flexibility to go with or without a windshield depending on your ride and weather conditions. 

SOLOMOTO'S PERSONAL PICKS:


Okay, so all that information is great, but what about the look?? 

Now, being moto junkies ourselves, we understand that you're concerned with destroying the sexy body lines of your bike. We get it, really. No one wants to work hard sprucing up their bike, getting everything just perfect, only to have an ugly windshield sticking out like a sore thumb. But having a windshield on your bike doesn't have to look bulky or dorky. In fact, a windscreen can look cool and still complement the sleek lines of your bike. 

Here are our favorite windscreens for both aesthetics and performance (and also our best selling brands!):


PUIG Windscreens

PUIG Windscreens was founded in 1964 by Josep and Jaume Puig, brothers who shared an interest in mechanics and a passion for motorcycles. Since the beginning, the windscreens have been designed, produced, and distributed from their Granollers facility in Spain. PUIG Windscreens was introduced in the USA market almost a decade ago, and since then has expanded to include other motorcycle accessories. Finally in 2013, the first PUIG USA opened in Orlando, FL. Now, PUIG products are being exported to more than 60 countries all over the world. 

The racing and touring Windscreens are designed in Orlando using data generated by a virtual wind tunnel. This research and development method is used to create new shapes and screens with proven real world performance.Their extensive research has resulted in significantly minimized wind bast, thereby improving the bike experience for riders. PUIG windscreens are unparalleled in the moto world for their superior quality, unique shapes, and fit and finish.

There are currently three types of windscreens manufactured by PUIG. Briefly, here are the differences between them so you can choose which one best suits your riding style:

PUIG Racing Windscreens

The PUIG Racing Windscreens have been derived from competition and have a "race bubble" design, helping to minimize wind blast on the rider's helmet. These are made from high-impact acrylic, which makes them stronger and more flexible. These windscreens are resistant to cracking and scratching and are able to absorb vibrations at higher speeds due to their 3mm thickness. 

All of PUIG's racing screens are developed based on virtual wind tunnel tests. This improves their aerodynamics and enhances wind protection. Please note however, that the Z racing windscreens have better aerodynamic characteristics due to a more aggressive bubble.

PUIG Naked Windscreens

Like the naked look but need a little wind protection to make those longer rides more enjoyable? PUIG's Naked New Generation Windscreens are specifically designed to fit the shape and style of a naked bike and they look great! These windscreens are similar to the Racing ones in the material and the way they are designed based on wind tunnel tests, however, they have been specifically made to ensure a cozy fit on the naked bikes. 




PUIG Touring Windscreen
The PUIG touring series has been specifically designed for long distance rides, and can fitted on any naked or touring bike. The top edge is several centimeters higher in order to minimize wind blast. The lower section of most of these screens has a shaded part to hide the cable behind the speedometer. It is made up of high-impact acrylic as well. Although easy to mount on any bike, windscreen adapters are also available for some bike models.




You can order Puig Windscreens here:


Zero Gravity

Zero Gravity has built a reputation manufacturing lightweight windscreens with superior optical quality, fit and finish. Zero Gravity windscreens have helped many race teams win major championships around the globe and is constantly striving to push the envelope of windscreen design in both performance and efficiency. All their windscreens are constructed with a specialized "vacuum forming" technique (like that used for aircraft canopies!), which results in a virtually distortion-free lens. They're made from a high grade acrylic, strong enough to resist cracking and at the same time flexible enough to absorb vibrations. 

There are four types of windscreens offered by Zero Gravity, each unique in design and target toward different riders. All windscreens are factory pre-drilled and ready to install and match the O.E.M. fairing for a precision fit and finish. Here are the brief descriptions of each:

SR Series

If you like the bike lines of your original stock windscreen, then the SR series may be just what you're looking for. The Zero Gravity SR Series windscreens are shaped like the original factory screens and are designed to work with your stock motorcycle lines. They're great for replacing a damaged screen or for riders wishing to change the tint without altering the profile. These come pre-drilled and are designed to fit your motorcycle fairing with precision using your stock mounting hardware/fasterners.


Double Bubble

The Zero Gravity Double Bubble windscreens have a "bubble within a bubble" design, which has changed the face of the sportbike industry. This innovative concept was pioneered by zero Gravity in 1995 for Team ZG's race bikes, and is now seen on race tracks all around the world! This unique windscreen design perfectly complements the sportbike's sleek, futuristic lines while providing added aerodynamics.  



Sport Touring

If more long distance rides are your thing, then look no further than the sport touring screens! Zero Gravity's Sport Touring windscreens are the tallest windscreens in their line-up, designed to maximize longer distance ride comfort with enhanced wind protection. These taller screens reduce the windblast by raising the point at which the wind hits the rider by several inches, ensuring more comfort while in the upright riding position.   


Corsa

For the more serious racers, Zero Gravity's new Corsa Series was designed in collaboration with professional racers from around the world! The Corsa Series screens have a taller bubble that offers more wind protection when tucked in at speed, even for the larger riders. Once a "racers only" windscreen, the Corsa is now available to all riders. This is only available in limited sport bike models. 








You can order Zero Gravity Windscreens here:



CONCLUSION

After seeing these sleek windscreens, I hope we helped change your mind that windscreens can be cool. They help provide a safer and more comfortable ride, no matter how long or short or the weather condition. We hope this guide has helped you get a better idea of what kind of windscreen you're searching for.
By Sir D


Lowdown on Rearsets & Why We Love Sato Racing



Let's talk about aftermarket motorcycle rearsets today! They're not just there to spruce up the look of your sportbike (though that is a definite bonus). We'll go over the benefits of installing an aftermarket set and introduce you to our favorite: Sato Racing Rearsets.

Rearsets and their benefits:

In the simplest terms, rearsets are just replacement foot pegs. Many riders see it as the required bling for their bike, replacing the boring, standard cast aluminum stock ones with sleek machined-from-billet pieces of moto-artwork.

But apart from just looking good, they actually have quite a few benefits for your riding experience. Most importantly, rearsets allow you to customize the perfect foot position, which creates a more stable base and makes for a much more comfortable ride.

The mounting plates usually have many positions for bolting the foot pegs. By being able to raise, lower or move the foot pegs backward and forward, you can find the perfect position for your leg length and riding style. This makes your whole riding experience much more comfortable and safer. Rearsets are also a necessary upgrade for track day junkies, performance riders and racers as the foot pegs can be higher-mounted, which provide a greater ground clearance and will allow the bike to lean more.

Sato Racing Rearsets

There are many brands that carry rearsets, but our personal pick is Sato Racing. 

Sato rearsets are well-known brand in the racing circuit for their good looks and functionality. Founded in 2001, Sato Racing has earned its place in the motorcycle industry for their wide range of beautifully designed and excellent quality racing products. Their parts are designed and manufactured at their state-of-the-art production facility in Osaka, Japan and keep to the Japanese spirit of design.

Sato's rearsets have been developed after intensive tests on the roads and also in World GP and more than 15 seasons of All Japan Road Race. As a result, their rear sets are truly top-of-the-line for the track as the design and development are based on feedback provided by experienced racers.

Here are just some of the features that make them such a favorite:

- Precision made, CAD/CAM/CAE designed and CNC machined
- Shift and brake levers have double miniature stainless ball bearings for precise and smooth movements without wobble
- Knurled foot pegs have enhanced non-slip characteristics, providing optimal grip even in wet conditions 
- Anodized finish to prevent scratches and oxidizing
- Multiple adjustable positions to help you find the perfect one for your size and riding style
- A GP-style reverse shifting pattern is also available in many of the rearsets models
- Choose between silver, black, and gold for most models

Sato rearsets come in a lightweight package but deliver tons of high performance features and are durable enough to withstand the conditions on the racetrack. However, please note that the lightweight design is not intended to endure the stress of wheelies and other stunts, so let's just...not.

Sato Race Concept Rearsets

Sato has a new exciting line of  Race Concept rearsets that have been designed especially for the track! These have a wider range of positions which will let the racers position their feet even higher (which equals more lean!). Sato warns that the rearsets in this series are strictly for racing bikes due to the very high position and the lack of brake light switch or ABS compatibility. 

So, are rearsets worth it?

Rearsets are certainly a more costly upgrade, but we feel they are absolutely worthwhile as they do make your ride more comfortable and for performance riders & races, give the benefit of a higher ground clearance. And of course, they also look damn cool on your bike in silver, black or gold!

You can order Sato Rearsets here:
By Sir D


Electric Motorcycles

Today's Electric Motorcycles

Advances in battery technology are making it possible for electric motorcycles to transition from a novelty vehicle into a genuine transportation contender. It?s easy to see why since electric motorcycles are environmentally friendly, quiet and affordable to drive. They?re also easy to maintain. Regardless of the many benefits that come with electric motorcycles, the industry continues to face challenges.

Industry Challenges 

Because electric motorcycles receive their power from batteries, operating range, speed and refueling are a few of the challenges that the industry is facing. In spite of being more efficient than an internal combustion engine, batteries continue to suffer from disadvantages due to their bulk and weight. These factors force electric motorcycle manufacturers to choose between power and range.

Gasoline is more energy dense than batteries, so bikes fueled with it can travel farther. In addition, electric power doesn?t have the infrastructure to support refueling as the gasoline industry does with gas stations on every street corner. For electric powered vehicles, quick and easy refueling is not readily available. Because of this, manufacturers must focus on vehicle range.

Demand for electric power will make a difference. When you consider the modern battery industry, it only got its start about 20 years ago, and it just began making serious progress about 10 years ago to provide power to the mobile computing segment. During the last few years, battery energy density has doubled, and experts speculate that it will do so again soon. Driving this demand are electric vehicles, laptops, smartphones and other products.

Price is another problem that the industry is facing. Right now, the cost for an electric motorcycle ranges from around $7,000 to $15,000. These prices will not put a bike in every garage, but as the technology continues to improve, prices are likely to come down.

Current Specifications 

The electric motorcycle with the best range can go 185 miles with a single charge from its 15.3 kWh battery setup. It can do this as long as the rider has the bike?s extra power tank plugged in. This range will vary according to how the bike is ridden as well as the rider?s weight. In the electric motorcycle industry, speed has been an issue. The fastest bike on the market today can go about 65 miles per hour. Electric motorcycles are capable of going faster. During prototype testing, they?ve reportedly reached speeds of at least 145 miles per hour, so the technology is there. However, the electric bikes that are on the road today are designed for urban settings. Because of this, their gear ratios are set for acceleration instead of sustained high speeds.

Gas powered motorcycles are fuel-efficient, but under today?s emission standards, SUVs operate 95 percent cleaner than motorcycles do. Gas powered bikes decrease oil consumption, but they come with the price of dirty air. Alternatively, electric motorcycles offer the best of both worlds since they decrease oil consumption and eliminate tailpipe emissions, so they don?t add to air pollution.

Today?s electric motorcycles are also low maintenance since they don?t require oil or valve changes. With most electric bikes, maintenance merely consists of brake pad changes and new tires.

Disposal Regulations 

To provide a power source, electric motorcycle manufacturers equip the bikes with a nickel metal hydride battery or a lithium-ion one. Both power source options are durable and capable of lasting for at least 10 years. Lithium-ion batteries are lighter than nickel metal hydride making bikes powered with this technology easier to manage.

The safe disposal of lithium-ion batteries is a concern when it comes to expanding the number of electric motorcycles on the road. The United States classifies these batteries under the Class 9 Miscellaneous Hazardous Materials section. This classification makes it tough for people to dispose of lithium-ion batteries legally. It also increases costs in the form of transportation and treatment. With the 10-year lifespan, the industry has time to develop a strategy. Responsible recycling would be the best result.

Can Tesla Help?

To tackle the problem of range and speed, electric motorcycle manufacturers should consider turning to Tesla. The company has a longtime history of developing major electric vehicle mechanisms for other manufacturers. In fact, Tesla has worked with the industry since it developed the electric drivetrain and the battery pack for electric motorcycles. The company has invested heavily in its battery production. In addition, Tesla?s cars have the longest range out of the current batch of electric cars. Theoretically, the company could modify this technology for electric motorcycles.

Finding Balance 

While China may stand to benefit the most from electric bikes due to the country?s excessively poor air quality, other countries will see advantages from them as well. With a few tweaks regarding the operating range and top speed of electric motorcycles, the vehicles are an ideal transportation option for environmentally conscious motorcycle enthusiasts. If Tesla decides to come onboard, the industry may get the support it needs.

By Daniel Relich


Exhausts 101 & Why We are Digging Competition Werkes GP Exhausts


For those not well versed in motorcycle-speak, it may be hard to explain the appeal of a slip-on exhaust. Let's just say that for the hardcore riders, a good exhaust is like that shiny shirt a guy might wear to the nightclub to show off his muscles and get more attention.

It's not going to make up for skipping all those trips to the gym, and it certainly won't make him a better dancer, but it will make him look like he's got game. And yes, the ladies will be impressed.

In much the same way, an exhaust won't make you a better rider, but it will sound cool to the guys at Bike Night, or even when showboating with a Honda Civic down the main boulevard. The appeal for most people is in how much sound an exhaust can produce.

On a more serious note... trash talk aside, there are performance advantages to be made with a slip-on exhaust. Very few upgrades can deliver additional performance gains as well as a rock-star way to announce your arrival all in one shot. Rarely does an aftermarket upgrade manage to do both so effectively, so we need to give credit where credit is due.

If your goal for your motorcycle is improved performance, then design, weight, and material are all important considerations when selecting a slip-on exhaust.

But first, let's spend a minute to understand the muffler design and the benefits of installing an aftermarket exhaust. Bear with us as we get a bit technical:

A muffler is a necessary part of a bike that reduces engine noise in order to meet certain noise level regulations. The baffles inside the muffler trap generated sound waves and let them bounce back and forth until a series of sound waves cancel each other. However, a lot of backpressure is created in this process, which reduces the airflow through the engine and subsequently reduces the engine's performance. (Yes, backpressure may be good for certain applications but let?s proceed with this line of thinking since we're on the topic of maximizing performance, shall we.)

When this happens, fuel is less efficiently combusted due to increased backpressure from the muffler. Now add to this the regulation limiting the amount of exhaust pollutants produced by road-fairing motorcycles, and the muffler design ends up being a watered down version of the high-performing race application from which it was developed.

This is why an aftermarket slip-on exhaust is often the first thing a new sportbike owner will purchase, due to the immediate improvement in aesthetics, cooler sound, and ease of installation.

A slip-on exhaust is basically just a muffler with a small mid-pipe that replaces the stock muffler(s) on a motorcycle. Technically, an aftermarket muffler has less number of baffles, which reduces backpressure and improves the airflow, therefore letting the fuel burn efficiently and increasing the bike's power. They are also lighter which means a reduced power-to-weight ratio and another boost of power. However, not all slip-on exhausts increase horsepower.

The stainless steel Grand Prix-style (GP) slip-on exhausts from Competition Werkes are some of the industry's bests with their sleek aesthetics and positive effect on the bike's performance. Some features include:

* Unique design and aesthetics
* Lighter than the stock muffler
* Greater flow for higher horsepower
* Tapered baffles for better performance and advanced tuning
* Handmade welding from straight section tubing

The Competition Werkes GP slip-on exhaust is as light as a feather compared to your clunky anchor of a stock exhaust. With a high-quality finish and fit, it also produces a thunderous sound. It is constructed with carbon and stainless steel which gives an outstanding look to your bike.

See our Competition Werkes GP Exhausts here:
http://www.solomotoparts.com/Slip-On-Exhaust/?b=Competition+Werkes

By Daniel Relich


Q&A with Sandro from Galfer Brakes

We've carried Galfer braking products since we opened our web store in 2004. This is a brand that's close to our hearts. Galfer brake pads and brake lines have been such an integral part of my sport bike experience that it's hard to imagine riding without them. From my first sportbike, a 2003 Yamaha YZF-R6, to the 2006 R6 race bike you've seen with SoloMotoParts.com livery, all my motorcycles have benefited from Galfer products in one way or another. This Q&A with Sandro gives a unique insight into Galfer USA! Read on:

Q. How are you involved with Galfer? Please introduce yourself.
A. Alessandro Milesi, Galfer Braking Systems, V.P. US Operations

Q. What does Galfer make?
A. We manufacture brake pads, rotors and brake lines. Our products are manufactured either in Barcelona, Spain or in the USA at our facility in Southern California.

Q. How and when did Galfer start? What's the origin of the idea?
A. Galfer was started in 1946 by my grandfather, Maffio Milesi. His primary idea was to provide quality brake components to Italian brake manufacturers in Northern Italy. He eventually moved to Spain and opened the motorcycle division and production facility.

Q. What's the best selling product line here in the US?
A. We do well with all 3 families: rotors, pads & lines. Honestly, it depends on what product line you look at as we have much better performing products than others, Off-road or Sportbike, Cruiser and our extensive UTV / ATV product lines.

Q. Any new and exciting upcoming products we can look forward to?
A. Yes, there are a several new designs as well as an ever growing list of applications set to be unveiled at the AIMExpo in Orlando!!!!!! Everything from our custom Grom race kits to the new and exciting R3 and R1 as well as our expansive V-Twin product line.

Q. What's in your dream garage?
A. A Ducati 916 and a Husky 450, each clean & prepped; the Ducati hopefully by my friend Eraldo Ferracci, the Husky by our friends at Husky USA. Also, a big tool box that is only for my use, I hate losing things. Lastly, a refrigerator full of cold beers and a big screen TV to watch the races!

Q. Does Galfer offer a warranty for their products? If so, how does it work?
A. Every product family has its own warranty: rotors 6 months, brake pads are on a case by case basis and brake lines are lifetime?. There are several people involved with any issues that concern technical or warranties, all starting with a friendly and knowledgeable customer service person who is an avid rider and understands this passion & can relate. We strive to get things resolved in 24hrs: meaning, a solution should be in place or in gear within 24hrs of the problem being brought to our attention.

Q. How does Galfer use feedback from racing partnerships to improve product performance?
A. Galfer learns from its race teams, and we have a few: MotoGP, SX, MX, MotoAmerica as well as national championships like the CIV or CEV in Italy and Spain... Every team has the obligation to give us feed back, positive and or negative and also they have the obligation to spend time with our technical team doing testing at least 2 or 3 times per year. We take our sponsorship very serious from the giving side to the receiving side, we can only be as good as they make us. The next level of braking can only be achieved by being very analytical and proactive towards new technologies, and definitely not being afraid to try and test...

Q. Anything else to add?
A. At Galfer we take pride in assuring the very best in our brake components, and leading edge technology to further our research and testing to bring the very best to the people who want more in a quality Performance Brake Company.

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If you're looking for better braking performance and feel, hop on over to the Galfer Brakes section of our site and get yourself a set of brake lines and brake pads!
By Daniel Relich


Pazzo Levers: A Must-Have

Motorcycle hand levers are one of the most important accessories for a bike owner. And yet, how many of us actually make it a point to properly "fit" the controls? 

There are a lot of distractions that can occur on the road and poor motorcycle levers shouldn't be one of them. Too long or too short or too far or too close can all be disastrous when it comes to your hand controls and levers. 

We've all been in close call situations. Just mere seconds can mean the difference between accident or escape, and it's not safe to be fumbling with your hand controls in such a pressure situation. A good set of brakes and clutch levers can really make all the difference in your riding experience. 

Our personal pick for hand levers are, hands-down, Pazzo Levers

Pazzo Racing Levers, officially, are the result of 25 years of machining experience and expertise. Check out what makes Pazzo Levers a must-have accessory: 

Nearly indestructible material 

Pazzo levers are made from CNC machining using a 6061-T6 billet aluminum to precise tolerances. This is the leading material of choice for many street riders and professional racers alike. 

But what exactly is 6061-T6 Billet Aluminum? I went an asked my brother, the mechanical engineer, for clarification. 

In simple terms, it's a very high quality, aircraft grade aluminum that is difficult to flex or break and is among the strongest aluminum alloys available. Perfect! This is exactly what I would want for such an important part of my bike! 

Adjustable and fully customizable lengths 

In their most basic form, Pazzo levers allow you to adjust how close or far the lever is from the grip. Trust me, this is a godsend for riders with smaller or larger-than-average hands. 

Additionally, the length of the lever blade itself can be purchased in either short (shorty) or standard (long). The shorty can be considered a 2 or 3 finger lever and is most often used for the brake. For reference, it's about 1-1/4 inches shorter than the OE lever. 

Sets can also be purchased with varying lever lengths and combinations depending on what you need. For example, you can get "long clutch and short brake" for the same cost as "long clutch and long brake" or "short clutch and short brake". The goal here is to feel comfortable with your controls and have a setup you love.

New Pazzo folding levers

Aside from the standard configuration on long or short, Pazzo Levers also recently added folding levers to their product line. These provide a dual pivot folding action which helps prevent breakage in the event of a tip-over or low side. The levers will fold out of the way to help prevent the levers from breaking on impact. 

This is a great concept for road racers as broken levers can easily cause your race to end. New riders will appreciate them as well because unintentional tip-overs do happen (yes, I've been there). 

What's more, is that installation isn't rocket science and can be done relatively quickly for most models. However, we do recommend a professional mechanic if you're unsure.

Crazy cool color options 

Besides the technical aspects, the coolest feature may be that the Pazzo levers come in a variety of anodized colors. You can mix and match lever blade colors with different color adjusters so you can achieve nearly endless customization. (I myself love how black levers look on a modern sportbike.)

For those who like more color, you can select from a wide variety including red, blue, gold, and silver, just to name a few. It's incredible the combinations of colors available and I bet you'll take the longest time deciding what colors you want. Even if you're bored of standard anodized colors, IFX Candy and powered coated colors add an entirely new color dimension.

With these mind-boggling combination of custom options and features, Pazzo Lever are our top pick for hand lever upgrades to your motorbike.  

You can order very attractive and functional Pazzo Racing Levers here:

By Daniel Relich


Update: $1000 Product Giveaway Winner!


Last year we offered the chance to win $1000 in aftermarket motorcycle parts/accessories/gear, in honor of SoloMotoParts.com's 10th Anniversary. We had a great response, awarded the winner, and neglected to cash in on the publicity. Doh!

I would hate to have a digital archaeologist comb through the archives and assume that we were just blowing smoke, so better late than never, I'm posting the winner now.

CONGRATULATIONS to Ryan Beaini of Santa Monica, California! He used his winnings to buy himself a Two Brothers S1R Full Exhaust for his Yamaha FZ-09. Sweet bike. Sweet pipe, and he got it for free!

SoloMotoParts.com started out of nothing by two guys that sucked it up and did what they had to do, as so many Americans have done before us. We manually entered product on the website night after night, part number by part number, fueled by Diet Coke and cigarettes, often sleeping in the office/warehouse space we had just rented.

We had vision- a vision that consisted of a level of technology that had never before been seen in the motorcycle industry. There was no 'bike selector' before we arrived for God's sake! None of this was praised by anyone other than our customers, but why would we care?! Our customers were who allowed us to exist! We were marginalized and put down by our peers- even mocked at industry shows where we sat at tables with big OEM dealers that dominated the landscape of the market at the time. Little did they know that OUR business model, the lean, mean, disruptive and intensely customer-centric machine we built from scratch would put most of the bitter, irrelevant dinosaurs out of business in the following years.

Thanks to everyone that participated in the contest. We appreciate your patronage and support! Solo Moto has a lot of new and exciting incentives planned for all of our customers coming up in the near future, so stay tuned!
By Aram


Q&A With Kyle Martin of M4 Exhaust

We've offered M4 exhausts on our website for years now and we felt it was time to dig a little deeper into who they are and what makes them tick. Last month, we did a quick overview of their exhaust systems. This month, we shot them an e-mail with a series of questions we thought would interest the riding community. The origins of their name is actually pretty cool! Read on:

Q. Please introduce yourself.
A. Kyle Martin, VP of M4 Performance Exhaust

Q. What does M4 do and where did the name M4 come from?
A. M4 manufactures performance exhaust systems for popular sport bikes.  Four Martin's started this company so M to the 4th power was fitting.  Also, my uncle Michael Martin was a great road racer in his day, his nickname was M2 for MM but then it became M4 for Miracle Man Michael Martin.  So M4 fit the company from a few different angles.

Q. How and when did M4 start? What's the origin of the idea?
A. M4 started in 1997.  My family owned Tube Forming Inc. which made all kinds of copper parts for air conditioning.  It became a big company and was sold, so with the knowledge of tube bending and the love of motorcycle roadracing M4 was created.

Q. How did M4 get into racing sponsorship and how does racing help with your R&D?
A. Racing was what got us started in the business. We built race pipes and want our pipes to out-perform others.  In order to showcase that, we needed to help great racers.

Q. Anything new on the horizon that we can look forward to?
A. We just finished building products for the new Yamaha R3, then on to the 2016 Suzuki GSX-S 1000.  Mid-2016 we are hoping to get a new GSX-R1000 that will help with our racing efforts and also sales.

Q. How does M4's R&D team do what they do? You guys always seem to have new pipes on the market super quick.
A. WE would actually like to get products on the market quicker but sometimes we take our time to make sure we create the best products possible for M4.  We build pipes to fit the bike using our knowledge of what we think will make power.  Then we go to the dyno and try numerous combinations of lengths and diameters until we find the sweet spot.  After that, we find a way to make that combination fit the bike correctly.

Q. Does M4 offer a warranty for their products?
A. 1 year limited warranty for defects in workmanship and materials.

Q. What's in your dream garage?
A. Wow tough question.  I have a decent garage now.  TTR125 (156cc) flat tracker, DRZ125 (170cc) flat tracker, 2016 KTM 350 SX-F, 2013 KTM 250 SX-F, Honda Grom, Yamaha Zuma 50 (80cc) and a golfcart!  Love my golf cart!

Q. Anything else to add?
A. M4 is a family business and we like to talk with our customers.  Any questions feel free to call us up 972-481-9300.

By Daniel Relich