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Custom Motorcycle Cables by Barnett Clutches & Cables


Custom cables

In addition to a full catalog of available clutches and cables, California-based Barnett Clutches & Cables can make up just about any cable for any motorcycle. We recently had them make us a cable for editor Backus’ 1973 BMW R75/5 and the result was predictable; a quality item at a reasonable price. Our BMW cable is sheathed in traditional black vinyl, and like all Barnett cables features a longitudinally wound casing with stainless steel wire to eliminate flexing. All cables are made inhouse. Price: $34.60, as shown. MC

Stud Removal and Installation Set by BikeMaster


Stud remover/installer

Motorcycle parts specialist BikeMaster has an extensive line of specialty motorcycle tools, including this eight-piece stud removal and installation tool set that lets you remove and install engine case and cylinder head studs without damaging threads. The set includes removal and installation tools to fit 6mm x 1.0, 8mm x 1.25, 10mm x 1.25 and 10mm x 1.50 stud thread pitch. A further plus: The installer tools make it easy to properly torque studs. $49.95. MC

Handlebar Switchgear by HVCcycle


Yamaha switchgear

Two-stroke specialist HVCcycle in Lincoln, Nebraska, now has replacement handlebar switchgear to fit many different 1970s Yamahas including the RD100, RD125, RD250, RD350, RD400 and XS360 and XS500. Available in two different types, the replacement switches are duplicates of the originals and are plug and play on non-electric start models; the right hand switches do not have an electric start button. OEM switches are pretty much unobtanium, making these an excellent option for tired switchgear. $60 each. MC

Ace Cafe Orlando Sets World Premier for May 19

Ace Cafe Orlando logo

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines: Ace Cafe Orlando, the first North American location of the celebrated London-based cafe, makes its world debut on Friday, May 19. Guests are invited to kickstart the grand opening weekend of the all-new, full-throttle, rock ’n roll destination Ace Cafe with a cuppa coffee and tea when the Ace officially opens its doors to the public on Friday at 7 a.m., then stay to enjoy an action-packed weekend of festivities at the 35,000-square-foot motor-centric dining, entertainment and retail destination.

North America’s newest home for all who share the passion for speed, thrills and rock ’n roll is waiving the green flag, signaling that it’s “go time” for Central Floridians and guests from around the globe to celebrate the heritage and history of the most famous cafe on the planet. All three days of grand opening weekend will feature cool cars and hot bikes, live rock ‘n roll inside and outside both day and night, a BMW RnineT Racer motorcycle raffle benefiting Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children (APHC), live demonstrations by three world-famous artists, onsite activities and brand partner merchandise (while supplies last), and a free Friday night concert by Rockin’ Jason D. Williams — direct from Memphis, about whom Rolling Stone magazine says “There hasn’t been raw rockabilly this solid since Jerry Lee Lewis, himself.” A snapshot of Ace Cafe Orlando’s grand opening weekend celebration is listed below; visit to stay up-to-date on the Ace’s grand opening happenings.

Friday, May 19, 2017

• The first Ace Cafe in the USA opens at 7 a.m. Grab a cuppa Julius Meinl coffee — direct from Vienna; tea and grab ’n go breakfast bagels, muffins, burritos, croissants, and cinnamon rolls also available.
• Lunch menu is served and bars open at 11 a.m., with live music on the back porch
• Raffle opens to win a BMW RnineT Racer to benefit APHC
• Register to win a trip for 2 to the 24th Annual Ace Cafe London Reunion Weekend
• Live painting and sculpting works by three world-renowned artists: Japanese chopsticks painter Makoto Endo, Spanish artist Antonio Merinero painting the Ace’s backyard beer garden bocce courts (opening summer 2017), and American sculptor Michael Ulman
• Music in the car park (parking lot) starts at 4 p.m. with live rock ’n roll lasting well into the night. Taking the stage at 8 p.m. is headliner Rockin’ Jason D. Williams.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

• Carbs & Caffeine at 7 a.m. Kick-start Saturday morning and drive in for an early morning cuppa!
• Ace Cafe’s Cool Cars for Kids to benefit APHC. For a $15 donation per car, participants can be a part of the opening weekend car show and receive a limited-edition Ace Cafe grand opening T-shirt.
• Hungry? Start the day with a bang at Ace’s 4-Banger Brunch at 9 a.m. (a buffet-style, all-you-can-eat brunch served every weekend).
• Free activities in the car park starting at 10 a.m. with a variety of local partners and vendors engaging Ace fans until 5 p.m.
• Raffle continues to win a BMW RnineT Racer to benefit APHC
• Registration continues to win a trip for 2 to the 24th Annual Ace Cafe London Reunion Weekend
• Live painting and sculpting continues by Japanese chopsticks painter Makoto Endo, Spanish artist Antonio Merinero and American sculptor Michael Ulman
• Live music starts at 4 p.m. outside with live rock ’n roll into the night.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

• Bikes & Bacon at 7 a.m. Kickstart Sunday morning and ride in for an early morning cuppa and Ace’s Bacon of the Week!
• Ace’s 4-Banger Brunch kicks off again at 9:00 a.m, with full lunch menu starting at 2 p.m.
• Raffle continues to win a BMW RnineT Racer to benefit APHC
• Registration continues to win a trip for 2 to the 24th Annual Ace Cafe London Reunion Weekend
• Live painting and sculpting continues by Japanese chopsticks painter Makoto Endo, Spanish artist Antonio Merinero and American sculptor Michael Ulman
• Free activities in the car park starting at 10 a.m. with a variety of local partners and vendors engaging motor fans until 5 p.m.

Ace Cafe Orlando is located at the corner of West Livingston Street and Garland Avenue on a three-acre parcel in downtown Orlando in the extensively refurbished 100-year-old Harry P. Leu buildings (the former home of The Edge rock venue). The new “Ace Corner” is adjacent to the modern SunRail locomotive station and is a direct ride to the world-renowned Daytona race circuit via Interstate 4. The Ace spans two floors and features a full-service restaurant, two kitchens, four bars, a coffee bar, a communal counter, a mezzanine overlooking the main floor dining area and stage, private and semi-private group spaces, retail shops, and a motor-inspired art gallery. Boasting delectable and affordable American diner fare with a twist and also featuring authentic British favorites, Ace Cafe Orlando connects great food and dining with a passion for motoring and live rock ’n roll, providing a totally unique experience found nowhere else in the U.S.A.

“Our team is privileged to continue the culture and heritage of the world’s most famous motor diner,” said Mark McKee, CEO and Chief Gearhead of Ace Cafe North America. “This is exactly the Ace that we envisioned — a beacon for everyone, from petrolheads and enthusiasts, to the after-hours work crowd, families, music lovers, and everyone in between. We have remained true to the spirit of the Ace, and we have done so in a way that honors this incredible space in the heart of downtown Orlando. It is our hope that Ace Cafe Orlando will serve this community for generations to come.”

About Ace Cafe

Ace Cafe is the most famous motor-diner on the planet. Since 1938, Ace Cafe London has been a mecca for those passionate about cars, bikes and rock ’n roll culture. The original location on London’s North Circular Road began as a simple roadside cafe for truckers, then evolved into a popular destination for rock ’n roll-loving teens riding motorbikes during the ’50s and ’60s. Today, the Ace has a multi-generational appeal from motorsports enthusiasts from all over the world. Ace Cafe North America holds the exclusive licensee rights in North America and South America for this world-famous brand. Ace Cafe Orlando is the first North American venue for Ace Cafe. For more information, visit, and connect on Facebook, Twitter @AceCafeOrlando and Instagram @acecafeorlando_official. #GOAceCafeOrlando #AceCafeOrlando #SpeedThrillsTeaSpills

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Motorcycle awareness

Since motorcyclists accounted for approximately 13 percent of all motor vehicle crashes in 2015, safety should be on the minds of all riders regardless of experience or type of bike. In fact, collision with other vehicles is the most common cause of motorcycle claims at Farmers Insurance, and accounted for 78 percent of all motorcycle claims filed with the insurer group between 2014 and 2016. Below are some tips from Farmers Insurance to help riders minimize the possibility of an accident on the road:

Safety first. Riders can help decrease the chances of an accident before they even get on the bike by performing a motorcycle safety check. A proper safety check means taking a walk around the bike to check for safety issues, measuring the tire pressure and checking for tire cracks, ensuring the blinkers are functional and unobstructed, and adjusting the mirrors properly.
Stay focused, stay safe. The pre-ride safety check is the time to make any adjustments—not when a rider is already on the bike. Adjusting a mirror mid-ride may seem harmless, but anything that distracts a rider from the road could prove disastrous. This goes for cell phones or other electronics, too, which should always remain in a saddle bag any time the bike is in use.
Pick the right helmet. It should go without saying, but safety gear is incredibly important for riders. All helmets should be Department of Transportation-compliant, which riders can easily identify by looking for the DOT/Snell sticker on the inside or outside of the helmet or visiting
Get bulky. Always opt for more coverage when picking safety gear, like pants instead of shorts and riding boots over basic close-toed shoes. Riders should make sure their gear is in good shape before getting on the bike.
Be ready for anything. Riders should keep their motorcycle in gear when stopped on a road way so that they can easily and quickly move out of the way of any sudden traffic problems.
Make yourself seen. Consider wearing bright or reflective clothing when riding to make yourself stand out to other motorists. Riders should also flash their headlight hi-beams when approaching an intersection to help them be seen by other nearby traffic. When stopped on the road and being approached by other traffic from the rear, riders can flash their brake lights by rapidly using one of the brake levers to help prevent being rear-ended.
Keep friends close but not too close. When riding with a group, never ride side-by-side. Always ride in a staggered position to allow for movement in case an accident occurs with another rider.
Pick a lane side. Avoid driving in the center of a lane. Cars and trucks commonly lose oil from the engine and transmissions, which are often in the center of a vehicle and thus deposit oil in the middle of lanes. This makes it more difficult to maintain traction when driving on this part of the lane. At night, try to ride behind a car and in the same path as its left or right side tires. A rider can use the extra light from the car’s lights to help see and will also have a better chance of avoiding contact with road debris if they follow in the car’s tires paths.

Source: Farmers Insurance/Communications Strategy Group

Motorcycle Seat Cushions by Wild Ass


Seat cushions

If your butt hurts after a day in the saddle, check out the Motorcycle Air Seat Cushion from Wild Ass. Available in three configurations and three levels of comfort, the cushions feature pressure-sensitive inflatable air cells that spread out weight to reduce pressure points for better blood circulation and more comfort. The Lite features lightweight polyurethane cells, the Air Gel adds gel pads for additional cushioning and the Classic is made of medical grade neoprene for the ultimate in comfort. $99.99 (Sport Lite, shown) and up. MC

Remembering John Parham, 1954-2017

John Parham with a Harley-Davidson

John and Jill ParhamJohn Parham dedicated most of his life to motorcycling and to his wife, Jill. With passion and perseverance, through tough times and success, together they created J&P Cycles in 1979 and helped motorcyclists worldwide enjoy two-wheel adventures. Later, John devoted his time and resources to amassing one of the world's largest and most comprehensive personal collections of motorcycles, in excess of 300 machines, and found a home for many of them when he moved the National Motorcycle Museum to his hometown of Anamosa, Iowa. Then he again invested his time and talent to make this a great place to preserve and present American motorcycling history. He worked tirelessly until his long battle with pulmonary fibrosis consumed him, and now he's at rest with the Lord. John's battle ended peacefully with Jill and son Zach at his side.

5-year-old John Parham

John at age 5.

John's parents were the late John William Parham and wife, Anna. He had two siblings, both younger, Luann and Mark, and the family originally lived in Shelby, Iowa, both parents involved in education.

The National Motorycle Museum

Inside the National Motorcycle Museum.

John would remind us that a lung transplant in 2010 gave him almost seven more years to enjoy his grandchildren, Kaiden and Kinlee, wife Jill, son Zach and his wife Bree, and all his motorcycling friends, and to see the new Museum to its finish and current state of success. John has been so appreciative of the organ donation program, his doctors and the person who lost their life, but in the end helped John live on for so long.

John Parham with the American Pickers

John and the American Pickers.

If a man is to be measured by the size of his circle of friends and, in this case, those who admired his work building J&P Cycles and the Museum, the list would be very long, perhaps as long as any in motorcycling. Those experts who helped John locate and restore many motorcycles, locate fine memorabilia, John would credit in his success as well.

The members of the industry he asked for counsel and ideas, John was careful to remember and give credit as well. Though J&P Cycles is now in the capable hands of their son Zach Parham, those same confident customers follow and support the Museum as well. Unmatched drive helped John perfect product development, point of purchase and direct marketing through catalogs of up to 1,100 pages earning industry awards for the sheer volume of retail sales; John turned his motorcycling passion into successful retailing. Detail oriented, always evolving the product line at J&P Cycles, and creating new Museum exhibits, John loved to see fellow riders taking in whatever the show or event might be, enjoying their part of motorcycling. DealerNews magazine named J&P Cycles the "World's Largest Aftermarket Retailer" and the company has been a Top 100 Dealer many times. With over 300 local employees, the success of J&P Cycles also strengthened the Anamosa, Iowa, Jones County community. In whatever way they chose, John wanted people to enjoy motorcycling, was very conscious of customer service, always working for happy customers and, if asked, sharing what he'd learned in his broad personal motorcycling experience.

Enjoying motorcycles in action John created events like swap meets, bike shows, drag races, even first organized vintage motorcycle dirt track racing at the BlackHawk Antique Motorcycle Club swap meet at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa. Taking the store to the customer, John set up massive displays at events like Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and March and October Bike Weeks in Daytona Beach, Florida later building an impressive 40,000-square-foot store at Destination Daytona.

John Parham at the AMA Hall of Fame ceremony

Along the way, in 2015, John was elected into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, a grand reward for his decades of work in the motorcycle industry and motorcycle museum world.

Painting of John Parham by David Uhl

Painting of John done by David Uhl.

John Parham on a motorcycle

Photo used for the J&P Cycles 2015 Vintage Catalog.

The motorcycling community has lost one of its most passionate, considerate, entrepreneurial and successful people and he will be greatly missed. Anticipating what would be John's choice, friends are encouraged to sign up for and support the organ donation program in their community and continue their support of the National Motorcycle Museum where a special Exhibition Development Fund will be created.