Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tips For Painting Your Motorcycle

Here are some instructions to help you paint your motorcycle yourself and save a bunch of money by doing so.

Materials Needed

  • Reducer
  • Plastic Filler
  • Flowable Putty
  • Primer and Hardeners
  • Epoxy Sealer
  • Base Color Paint
  • Clear Coat/Hardener
  • 80,120,400,600,1500,2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper

Homemade Paint Booth

To create a homemade paint booth in your garage or shed, here's what you need to do. First, put plastic over all of the walls. This not only protects your walls, but helps to reflect the light so you can see better. Once you have the plastic up, put fans in the windows. Tape around the edge of the fans to seal it to the plastic around them.

You need to make the paint booth as bright as possible so that you can see what you're doing. You can buy temporary fluorescent light fixtures inexpensively at Home Depot or Lowe's. These work great for this sort of project, and they are easy to hook up since they just plug into an outlet or extension cord.

Safety Precautions

There are some things you need to think about before you paint. First of all, paint fumes can be toxic, and they are also flammable. For these reasons, the place where you are painting should not be attached to your house.

If you wire your light fixtures in, make sure that you do it properly. Be sure that you have the covers over the light fixtures to protect them from the paint. You will also need to use a respirator while painting to protect you from the fumes. Make sure the respirator has the right kind of filter for the type of paint you are using.

Paint Equipment

In order to paint your own motorcycle you will need to have at least two paint guns. You will also need an air compressor, air hose and a regulator with a water trap. The first paint gun is for the primer and the second is for the base coat and clear coats.


You need to check your motorcycle's fuel and oil tanks before you begin painting. Make sure they are pressure tested and free of leaks. You should start by sandblasting the metal parts on your motorcycle to remove the old paint. If you don't have a sandblaster, you can use sandpaper to sand them. Wipe down the parts you sanded with a non oil-based degreaser before you begin painting.

You will need to apply filler to the low spots. Mix it in small batches. It hardens quickly. Make sure you apply it as smoothly as possible. Sand it with 80 grit sandpaper after it dries, then check for any nicks or low spots. Fill them and repeat the sanding process. Once everything is smooth, it's time for the primer.

Apply two coats of epoxy primer. After it dries, use a spray bomb of black paint and spray it over the surface very lightly. This will make any defects in your fill work show. Use a light finishing putty to repair these trouble spots. Apply it in even coats, then use a foam sanding block wrapped in 80 grit sandpaper to smooth it, followed by 120 grit then 400 grit.

Now apply the last coat of primer. Once it is dry, use 400 grit sandpaper to roughen to surface a little so that the base coat will stick better. Apply a coat of epoxy sealer before applying the base coat. This will provide a better surface and help prevent bubbles.

Make sure you read the instructions for the paint you are using and allow the correct about of time between coats. Also, make sure you mix the paint properly and paint when the temperature is within the acceptable range, or in a temperature-controlled building.

Base Coat & Clear Coat

Apply your color according the instructions provided by the manufacturer, then apply a layer of clear coat. After the first coat of clear coat has dried, use 600 grit sandpaper to wet sand it smooth. Sand until the ridges that appear as you sand disappear.

If you are going to paint graphics on your motorcycle, paint the graphics next. Then apply another coat of clear. You may need two coats of clear over the graphics. Wet sand with 600 grit sandpaper between each coat of clear. After you sand the last clear coat with 600, sand it again with 1500. To make the finish even smoother, you can follow that up with 2000 grit.


You will need a variable speed polisher with a buffing pad for the last step, and some polishing compound. The store where you buy your supplies can recommend a good polishing compound to use. Now all that is left to do is buff it out for the perfect mirror finish, then sit back and admire your work.

By Sarah H

Monday, March 17, 2008

Top 5 Cheap(ish) Fast Cars!

This article will bring together 5 fast road cars that YOU could own... It isn't a definitive list, but a group of fast cars from all kinds of different classes that won't require a lottery win. This is only a handful of similar cars so don't forget to shop around.

  1. Ford Mustang - Believe it or not the mustang first arrived in 1964, making a cameo appearance in Goldfinger. More recently in 1994 Ford began production of the forth generation, with the Mustang GT available as a coupe model V8 outputting 260 horses and producing a 0-60 time somewhere around 6 seconds. Of course if you're not worried about pricing issues than naturally you'll want the limited edition Cobra GT, or even the Ford Mustang Shelby GT... She's a beast of a muscle car.
  2. Golf Gti (MKIII) The MK3 arrived in 1991, it had a larger chassis than previous versions (now weighs over a ton) and this time was built to last, but boy aint it fun?! You can grab one of these cars with a 2.0L 16v engine that will punch out 115BHP. This will do 0-60 in 8.7 seconds and a top speed of 124mph, not too shabby when you can get a high spec version for less than £2000 now a days...
  3. Honda civic type R Although the new Civic is more weighty than its predecessor, its still very quick for its class, it has a 0-62mph time of 6.6 seconds. The top speed hasn't changed and remains at 146MPH. The suspension set-up has also been changed, Honda claim it's now more responsive and rigid. You can pick one up for around £9000, don't forget though this is new and you're paying for quality here. Read the full review of the Honda Civic.
  4. Nissan 300zx The Nissan 300zx is no longer a production car, but you can easily pick up a good used model for under £10,000 and even reaching as low as £5000. Performance wise the twin turbo packs 276BHP, which gets you from 0 to 60 in 6 seconds and with a top speed of around 155mph - it will please. Read the full review of the Nissan 300zx.
  5. Daihatsu Charade Gtti This truly is a little gem. It's the fastest and most powerful 1litre production car EVER. It produces 100BHP and goes from 0-60 in an unbelievable 7.5 seconds. This thing will keep up with your 318i, your Golf Gti and your Escort RS turbo. Granted, its not a family car - it's a pocket rocket. You can pick one up in a good condition for under £2000 and don't worry its very economical too in comparison to your standard sports car! Impress your mates and buy this...
By Tony O'donnell

Friday, March 07, 2008

Dynamometer History - A Timeline of Innovation

Dynamometers have been a part of performance measurement since the days when the presence of horsepower was usually accompanied by four hooves and a tail. This versatile tool is applied around the world, as companies like Taylor Dynamometer build on past innovations with new breakthroughs in data gathering and system control technology.

1828 Gaspard de Prony invented the de Prony Brake, one of the earliest dynamometers

1838 Charles Babbage, known to historians as the Father of the Computer, introduces a dynamometer car to measure the pulling power of English railroad locomotives

1877 William Froude of Great Britain invents the first hydraulic dynamometer, with the first commercial models produced in 1881

1921 Professor E.V. Collins of Iowa State College develops a draft horse dynamometer, used to measure a horse's capability to pull the era's heavy metal farm implements

1930 Using designs pioneered through a collaboration with Rudolph Diesel, John Taylor forms the Taylor Dynamometer and Machine Company to produce engine dynamometers

1931 Martin and Anthony Winther introduce the first eddy current dynamometer

Throughout the past seven decades of continued dynamometer development, Taylor has maintained its status as a leader in advancing power measurement technology. Contact us to learn about the latest developments in dynamometers and engine diagnostics, or to inquire about a specific dyno product or application.

How Dynamometers Work
All dynamometers perform the same essential function, measuring the torque, rotational speed and power output of a combustion engine, electric motor or other power source. While the outcome is the same, many technologies are used to achieve the desired result.

Two Main Types
Most dynamometers can be placed within two distinct categories. Engine dynamometers are designed for coupling directly to the driveshaft of an engine under test, and chassis dynamometers measure the power output of a drive train by using rollers turned by the tires of a vehicle under test. In addition to the two traditional types, Taylor offers a line of portable dynamometers that attach directly to the flywheel of an engine. This allows accurate measurement of engine output without removal of an engine from its drive train.

A Variety of Designs
The work of handling and measuring input power is performed by instruments with a variety of different designs:

• Eddy current dynamometers present a measurable resistant force to engines under test by harnessing the magnetic flux between fixed and rotating electromagnets spun by the engine under test.

• A variant of the eddy current design, powder dynamometers create flux through the application of a fine magnetic powder between the rotor and coil

• Electric motor/generator types are a variation on the adjustable speed drive, using solid state components rather than the physical relationship between electromagnets to create measurable power transfer

• Fan, hydraulic and water brakes use air, water or hydraulic fluid to deliver physical resistance to the power applied by an engine or motor under test. The amount of resulting force absorbed by the fluid is measured to provide an indication of the power applied to the system

The best resource for details on dynamometer function and application is a Taylor Dynamometer application specialist. Contact us for full details on putting the latest in dynamometer technology to work in your application.

Eddy Current Dynamometer History
The story of the eddy current dynamometer is a tale of two Danish boys from Wisconsin, growing up in a time when innovations required an inquiring mind and a machine shop rather than a supercomputer and a doctoral degree. Martin Phillip Winther arrived at Ellis Island, New York in 1892 from his native Denmark. The family ultimately settled in Kenosha Wisconsin, where Martin and his American-born brother Anthony began their working lives as laborers at the Jeffry Company, makers of the Rambler automobile. At Jeffry, the brothers were involved in the engineering of a four-wheel-drive truck, which led them to break away and found the Winther Motor and Truck Company in 1917. While Winther Motor and Truck made several types of motor vehicles (including light trucks, fire engines and a sporty automobile) the firm's chief product was innovation. Beginning around 1920, Martin and Anthony Winther were granted patents for almost 300 mechanical devices. These included the first successful air conditioning system for Pullman railroad cars, a four-wheel-drive post hole digger for AT&T, the first induction coupling, a magnetic clutch, a cycle-car, variable-speed transmission gears, as well as a giant press drive, brakes and couplings for the oil field industry.

Although prolific, only one of the Winther brothers' inventions proved to have lasting impact. They are chiefly known for the invention of the eddy current dynamometer, a type of high speed, high power dynamometer capable of far surpassing the products then available in terms of power handling capability. The eddy current dyno was able to turn fast enough to test the turbine engines used in aircraft, wind tunnels and high speed automobiles of the day. The eddy current dynamometer was the chief product of the Dynamatic Corporation, founded by the Winthers in 1932. The firm was successful for many years both before and after the brothers sold their interest to Eaton Corporation in 1946. Variations on the eddy current design still serve as the basis for dynamometers today. The designs continued use is a testament to the ingenuity of two men who never rose above the eighth grade in formal education, yet parlayed their considerable on-the-job insight into a lasting legacy of technical achievement.

By Lauren Peters

Monday, March 03, 2008

Pursuing a Motorcycle Accident Claim

You can ride safer by following these quick tips on motorcycle safety:

  1. Always assume that you and your motorcycle are totally invisible to other drivers.
  2. Leave plenty of space in front and back and to the sides from all other vehicles.
  3. Beware of motorists turning left in front of you at intersections.
  4. Never drink or take drugs and try to ride a motorcycle.
  5. Avoid riding at night, especially late Saturday night and early Sunday when drunken drivers may be on the road.
  6. Beware of taking curves that you can't see around. A parked truck or a patch of sand may be awaiting you.
  7. Do not try to 'get even' with another rider or motorist by giving in to road rage.
  8. If someone is tailgating you, either speed up to open more space or pull over and let them pass.
  9. Take a motorcycle safety course to learn what to look for to avoid accidents.
  10. Wear protective clothing and a helmet.

There is no New York No-Fault insurance available to motorcycle riders. This means that in the event of injury in a motorcycle accident, private health insurance must pay the bills. If the rider wins a lawsuit, these bills must usually be paid back to the health insurance carrier. If there is no health insurance available, the issue of medical bills and paying for medical care becomes complicated, indeed. Consult an experienced accident and personal injury attorney.

As a lawyer and rider who has held a motorcycle license for many years, I have some definite thoughts on this topic. But I'd like you to "cram down" some statistics about motorcycle safety, which relate to accidents and injuries, and which I find fascinating:

  1. Approximately 3/4 of motorcycle accidents involve collision with another vehicle; most often a passenger automobile.
  2. Approximately 1/4 of motorcycle accidents are single vehicle accidents involving the motorcycle colliding with the roadway or some fixed object in the environment.
  3. Vehicle failure accounts for less than 3% of motorcycle accidents, and most of those are single vehicle accidents where control is lost due to a puncture flat.
  4. In single vehicle accidents, motorcycle rider error is present as the cause about 2/3 of the time, with the typical error being a slideout and fall due to overbraking, or running wide on a curve due to excess speed or under-cornering.
  5. Roadway defects (pavement ridges, potholes, etc.) are the accident cause in 2% of accidents; animal involvement causes 1% of accidents.
  6. In multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violates the motorcycle right-of-way and causes the accident 2/3 of the time.
  7. Drivers inability to recognize motorcycles in traffice is the main source of motorcycle collisions. The driver of the other vehicle involved in collision with the motorcycle does not see the motorcycle before the collision, or does not see the motorcycle until too late to avoid the collision.
  8. Deliberate hostile action by a motorist against a motorcycle rider is a rare accident cause.
  9. The most frequent accident type is the motorcycle proceeding straight and the automobile making a left turn in front of the oncoming motorcycle.
  10. Intersections are the most likely place for the motorcycle accident, with the other vehicle violating the motorcycle right-of-way, and often violating traffic controls.
  11. Weather is not a factor in 98% of motorcycle accidents.
  12. Most motorcycle accidents involve a short trip associated with shopping, errands, friends, entertainment or recreation, and the accident is likely to happen close to the place the trip began.
  13. The view of the motorcycle or other vehicle involved in an accident is limited by glare or obstructed by other vehicles in almost 2 of multiple vehicle accidents.
  14. Visibility of the motorcycle is a critical factor in multiple vehicle accidents, and accidents are significantly reduced by the use of motorcycle headlamps (on in daylight) and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets.
  15. Fuel system leaks and spills are present after 62% of motorcycle crashes. This means that there is usually a fire hazard.
  16. Significantly overrepresented in accidents are motorcycle riders between the ages of 16 and 24; motorcycle riders between the ages of 30 and 50 are significantly underrepresented. Although the majority of accident-involved motorcycle riders are male (96%), female motorcycles riders are significantly overrepresented in accidents.
  17. Motorcycle riders involved in accidents are essentially without training; 92% are self-taught or learned from family or friends. Motorcycle rider training experience reduces accident involvement and reduces injury in the event of accidents.
  18. Almost 1/2 of fatal accidents show alcohol involvement.
  19. Motorcycle riders in those accidents have difficulty avoiding the collision. Most riders overbrake and skid the rear wheel, and underbrake the front wheel, greatly reducing the ability to slow down and avoid the accident. In the presence of alcohol, the ability to countersteer and swerve are just about absent.
  20. The typical motorcycle accident allows the motorcyclist just less than 2 seconds to avoid the collision.
  21. Motorcycle modifications such as those associated with the semi-chopper or cafe racer are definitely overrepresented in accidents.
  22. The likelihood of injury is extremely high in motorcycle accidents - 98% of multiple vehicle collisions and 96% of single vehicle accidents result in some kind of injury to the motorcycle rider; 45% result in more than a minor injury.
  23. Half of the injuries to motorcycle riders are to the ankle-foot, lower leg, knee, and thigh-upper leg.
  24. Crash bars are not an effective injury countermeasure; the reduction of injury to the ankle-foot is balanced by increase of injury to the thigh-upper leg, knee, and lower leg.
  25. The use of heavy boots, jacket, gloves, etc., is effective in preventing or reducing abrasions and lacerations, which are frequent but rarely severe injuries.
  26. Speed, alcohol involvement and motorcycle size increade the injury severity.
  27. Seventy-three percent of accident-involved motorcycle riders use no eye protection, and it is likely that the wind on their unprotected eyes contributes to impairment of vision which delays hazard detection.
  28. Approximately 50% of the motorcycle riders in traffic use safety helmets but only 40% wear helmets at the time of their accident.
  29. Voluntary safety helmet use by accident-involved motorcycle riders was lowest for untrained, uneducated, young motorcycle riders on hot days and short trips.
  30. The most deadly injuries to motorcycle accident victims are injuries to the chest and head.
  31. The use of the safety helmet is the single critical factor in the prevention or reduction of head injury.
  32. Safety helmet use does not decrease the riders ability to hear or see, and causes no fatigue or loss of attention; no element of accident causation is related to helmet use.
  33. Helmeted riders and passengers showed significantly lower head and neck injury for all types of injury, at all levels of injury severity.
  34. The increased coverage of the full facial coverage helmet increases protection, and significantly reduces face injuries.
  35. There is no increase in neck injury by wearing a safety helmet; helmeted riders have fewer neck injuries than unhelmeted riders.

By Gary E Rosenberg