Want a chopper? Build your own!Written by Michael Holmes
Motorcycle chopper kits are a growth industry. But what does that mean to you and me? Well one thing that we know is that we will have more choppers to ogle at. There is not a single day that goes by without more and more pictures of chopper bikes that have just been finished showing up in all motorcycle magazines. Then at weekends, when we are on our “hot” rides, we will see four or five show finish level bikes. There are more choppers around now than there have been in last twenty five years.
Most of these choppers have been built from motorcycle chopper kits, “bike in a box” approach. But hey, don’t knock it! Building your own chopper has never been easier. There are rolling chassis kits, complete bike kits, and frame manufacturers give you a multitude of choice when it comes to take plunge and buy a motorcycle chopper kit.
Thirty years ago, old school chopper builders had to start with a stock bike off-the-shelf and literally chop it to pieces. With modern chopper kits, there is a viable alternative to taking cutting torch to your favorite soft tail!
Nowadays, you have a cheap and easier way to build bike from ground up. When you take cost of buying a new bike and expense of chopping it, it works out much cheaper to start from step one, and your chopper kit. Instead of tossing away parts that you'll never use again, you can start building your own bike with parts that you really need. All parts are included in motorcycle chopper kit, along with comprehensive instructions.
One of first questions that people ask when considering buying a kit is how will my bike stand outs from all other chopper kits? Well think of it this way, you are going to buy a chopper kit. A pile of unassembled raw metal. No paint, no real finish, just a blank canvas. Is your taste in paint jobs likely to be same as next guy, who buys very same kit? I don't think so. What about your taste in bolt-ons, seats, exhausts? Just because you buy kit doesn’t mean every little thing has to be just so. That is whole point isn’t it? It's very easy in this way to build your own custom chopper from a chopper kit.
Another big question is, “How long”? The answer to that is as long as it takes. Even on kit bikes, which are supposed to be designed to fit together like a glove, you are going to run into some snags. It can’t be avoided!
Buying A Fuel-Efficient CarWritten by Andrea Susan Glass
Whether you buy a new or used vehicle, fuel efficiency--good gas mileage--is high on list of most buyers' concerns. The difference between choosing a fuel-efficient car or one that guzzles gas, will either save or cost you money over life of vehicle, which could be substantial. Fuel efficiency varies widely from one car to next. Obviously you can check EPA rating for city/highway MPG on window sticker, although most of us know average car never reaches those numbers.
You can also check consumer guides, car magazines and Web sites, Web site forums or ask friends, relatives and co-workers which vehicles they recommend as fuel-efficient cars. Don't buy more car than you need, as larger vehicles generally have bigger engines that are less fuel-efficient. Find most fuel-efficient car in size group you're interested in, whether a two-seater, compact, mid-sized, SUV or pickup truck. There are several online sites where you can compare fuel consumption ratings of any car.
Your choice of transmission can also affect fuel efficiency of vehicle. Generally, a car with manual transmission is a more fuel-efficient car than one with automatic-assuming you shift properly. And a manual with overdrive, tachometer or shift indicator is biggest fuel saver, saving up to 10% on fuel costs. If you do buy an automatic, which makes more sense for larger cars, more gears better.
Under normal driving conditions, smaller engines offer better fuel efficiency and economy than larger ones. All other things being equal, larger engine and more cylinders it has, more fuel it consumes. Additionally, cars with smaller engines usually cost less and gas costs are lower because you don't need higher octane gas. That doesn't mean a bigger engine is never a good choice. In some cases, a larger, more powerful engine may provide greater fuel efficiency. If you use your vehicle for work or often tow heavy loads, a smaller engine could burn more fuel if it has to work too hard and function beyond its most fuel-efficient range.
Depending on type and size of motor vehicle you purchase, you may have choice of front-wheel, rear-wheel, four-wheel or all-wheel drive. The majority of passenger cars and minivans have front-wheel drive, a design that supplies better traction and more interior room than rear-wheel drive. Although front-wheel drive was originally adopted to improve fuel economy over rear-wheel drive by reducing weight and size of cars without giving up driving performance or interior space, there's really not much difference in fuel efficiency between two.