How Push Rob Engines Work

If you’re restoring an old motorbike, riding a Harley or even bought one of the cheap Chinese knock-offs, chances are, you’ve got a pushrod engine. While these engines are actually old technology, they still work very well and are extremely simple.

Before you can work on these engines and get them tuned properly, you’ll need to understand how they work. Compared to modern overhead cam engines, these are a little different as the cam doesn’t sit above the valves, which is where the pushrods come in.

Starting with the Crank

Other than the cam, the engine is similar to a cover head cam engine in most ways, including the crank, which is where it all begins. Unlike modern bike engines, there’s no chain around the crack to drive the cam, instead, the car runs off a gear directly attached to the crack, meaning the cam sits just above the crack.

To make it as simple as possible, we’ll look at a single cylinder engine, which would have a cam that has only 2 lobes (intake and exhaust). Bigger engines have the same setup, but some have multiple valves per cylinder and there are also engines with multiple cylinders.

So, the cam attached to the crank at a ratio of 2 to 1, meaning the crack turns double as fast as the camshaft, allowing the lubes on the cam to turn perfectly to over the exhaust and intake valves, which is exactly the same as a modern engine.

How the Valves Open and Close

Since the cam isn’t directly above the valves, it means it cannot control the valves directly. As mentioned, the cam sits just above the crank, meaning the cam is actually lower than the values.

To make it all work, the engine uses tappets that run on the cam lobes and are attached to a push rod, which connects to the valve rocker. Each time the engine turns, the push rod pushes the rocker, which then forces the value to go down and either let air in or out.

To ensure the tappet stays connected to the cam lobe at all times and doesn’t stay open or closed longer than it should, the valve has a spring attached to it, forcing it closed and creating pressure on the push rod that’s connected to the tappet and then the cam rocker.

Why Push Rod Engines Don’t Rev Well

Since these engines have more parts involved with the system compared to regular overhead cam motors, there are some disadvantages. You’ll commonly find push rod engines don’t rev nearly as high as overhead cam motors and most can’t understand why that is.

Well, it’s rather simple when you think about it. For the engine to run smoothly, the tappet has to remain attached to the cam lobe at all times, meaning the spring that closes the valve has to react fast enough. However, with 5,000 RPM and higher, the spring develops vibrations and simply cannot keep up with the lobes, causing pressure to escape in the engine when it shouldn’t, making you lose power.

Removing, Cleaning and Replacing the Carb

If your bike just isn’t running well, misfiring or just not having the power it should, the carb would be one of the main places where your issues could be. Of course, it’s well worth checking out the ignition timing and the spark first, but once you’ve confirmed those are in good order, it’s best to get the carburettor cleaned out and in good order.

Getting the carb sorted is actually quite an easy job and you’ll only need the basic tools along with a place to make a mess and some decent carb cleaner. Be sure to get a big can with a longer nozzle as this always helps to get into those smaller places.

Remove the Carb

All bikes are different, but the carb(s) are usually attached in a rather simple way. Most simply use 2 screws attaching it to the head of the engine. Be sure to remove the manifold with the carb as you need to inspect it for cracks and possible leaks.

Before you remove it, ensure the throttle line is detached and that the fuel line is removed as well. Take the carb out as level as possible as there will still be petrol in the float bowl.

Taking it Apart

A carb is really easy to take apart, but it’s always worth being careful when you open it and ensure noting jumps out that can’t be found again.

There should be around 3 screws holding the float bowl to the carb from the bottom. Once you remove these screws, you should see the jets, the float and the needle and seat.

This is where you would want to be and where all the action happens. First things first, inspect the float bowl for any dirt, dust and even sand as this would be a great indication as to the condition of the jets.

Remove and Clean the Jets

Most bikes only have 2 jets, the idle and running jet. There are some bikes with a third, which acts as a second stage at much higher RPM.

You’ll see the jets have a slot to fit a Philips screwdriver that you can turn anti-clockwise to remove it. The running jet has multiple holes in it while the idle jet is much simpler.

To clean these, do not use any brushes and don’t stick anything don’t the jet. All you need to use is the carb cleaner as these cans have more than enough pressure to blast them clean and get the dirt out. It’s well worth cleaning it on a white piece of paper as this would show if anything comes could and could be the reason for your problem.

Make sure you can see through the jet holes and ensure the carb itself it clean 100% before putting it all back together and getting it back on the bike. It might struggle to start a little, but as long as your idle and air screws are in the same position, you’ll get it going without any problems.

Best Bikes for Learners

As a new rider of someone who is interested in getting onto motorbikes, you might be looking at a big flashy sports bike that has lots of power and the ability to run close to 200 miles per hour.

While these bikes are extremely exciting and certainly have what it takes to give you a thrill, it is important to begin and a couple of steps back and take the time to really understand how these bikes control and what you can do with it.

There have been way too many people who kept on a big 1000cc bike with little experience and end up crashing before they even hint second gear, which is completely understandable when you consider the amount of power the bigger bikes have.

Below, we look at the best option for new riders and how you can get the best experience in the shortest amount of time. Not only will the experience help you control the bike, but you’ll learn how to have fun and why you need to respect it at all times.

Start with a Dirt Bike

Yes, that’s right, you would want to start off road as this gives you the ultimate experience in handling a motorbike. Not only will it teach you how to react when a bike tire slips, but also the control you need to take corners and understand the limits.

Sure, dirt bikes and superbikes are completely different, but it is the way you react while riding that makes the big difference. Surprisingly, your skills from a dirt bike can easily be used on a superbike, especially with the way you control the bike through corners, stopping and even accelerating. There are certain things dirt bike riders do that never get learnt by those who begin with a road bike.

Start as Small as Possible

This might pop your bubble again as you might be thinking about a powerful 450cc off-road bike or even a 500cc. It is important to remember that these bikes are heavier than the 125cc and even the 250cc. If you really want to have fun, avoid giving hurt bad and really focus on the skills you need to take advantage of a motorbike, it is best to start with something that is as light as possible.

Even if you weigh around 200 lbs, a little 125cc will have all the power you need to have fun off road, pop wheelies and go more than fast enough. Anything from 2008 and newer is a great choice, especially if you can get a 2 stroke as these have unbelievable amounts of power and are extremely fun to play with.

Before you Get a Road Bike

Don’t rush yourself to get a big road bike, but rather take the time with the off-road toy and learn how to ride properly. If you go play with the bike every weekend, it will be a matter of just a few months before you do just about everything you’ve ever wanted to, which is a good indication that you have much better riding skills already, making it a good time to good a bigger bike for the road.

Easiest Ways to Increase Your Bike’s Performance

Whether you’re looking for some extra thrill above the 120mph mark or to get some additional power while riding off road, there are always reasons to get more power from your wheels. It’s important to know your goal as the tuning of your bike might be completely different.

For example, when we look at sprocket sizes, we’d use them to increase the bikes speed by either making the front bigger or the back smaller while for better off-road power, which would be down low, you’d want to either decrease the front and increase the back. If you happen to put a bigger back sprocket on a bike that already has loads of power down low, you’ll simply turn it into a wheelie machine.

So, now that you know what the end goal is (higher speed or more low power), you can have a look at the following options and change your performance in ways you need. Some of these would be for both options, making them the ones well worth starting with.

Getting More Clean Air

An engine needs air, petrol and spark to ignite, but most of the time the factory-tuned engines done really have the best flow as they need to consider restrictions, efficiency and many other aspects of the bike. Sure, superbikes already provide excellent engineering, but there are still ways to improve on the amount of air entering the engine.

You can start with the basics, including a better filter (K&N is a great way to go). Alternatively, replace the head with something like a mushroom head, which could provide up to 50% more air into the motor. There are also gas flowing options, which would mean stripping the head off and taking it for engineering, but if you’re on the hunt for power, it might just be the best way to go.

Get More Fuel

With more air, you’ll need more petrol as these go hand-in-hand. In most cases, thins is easy to use as it consists of quick changes to the carb. Those who have injection system might need to take the bike for tuning, but if the mods aren’t too much as once, you should at least be able to ride the bike to where it’s being tuned. However, to avoid burning spark plugs, rather have them come to you.

Those with carbs could also look at adjusting the air mixture of their bike by checking the colour of the spark plug as it tells you whether the plug is running hot or cold. Tuning the airflow has a similar effect as the sprocket as some tuning would give it a big harder drive down low while other might take away from that and rather add some additional horses to the top end.

Upgrading the carb’s jets might be a requirement with major changes in air flow, but these should be easy to find. It might require some research and you’ll need to know what you’re running at the moment. If you’re new to all this, best have a friend or mechanic show you the first time.

Best MX/Off-Road Boots for Under $200

Sure, there are motocross boots out there that less for less than $150, which provide excellent protection for your ankles and skins. However, with a full MX kit, you need boots that don’t only accommodate additional gear such as slip-in knee guards, you’ll also keep better protection when you head off to terrines that are a little more demanding.

When it comes to MX boots, it’s not just about having the best protection or having something that looks stylish, it’s also important to choose boots that are comfortable. There are many boots out there ranking well over the $500 mark and some even over the $1,000, but if you’re just looking for boots that work well both on-road and off-road while giving you excellent protection, choose one of the following.

Answer AR1

At just $139, the Answer AR1 is one of the best choices as it has all the features and benefits of the more expensive options without the same price tag. The outside offers a stylish back boot with white soles and a metal tip for maximum toe protection while it also offers a flatter design on the inside of your ankle for maximum move-ability and grip to the motorcycle.

Unlike other boots of around the same price, the Answer AR1 also features a wider top, making it really easy to add slip in knee guards that let keeps your kit in place. Furthermore, the inside of the boot is well-designed with materials that won’t let you own after using it just a few times. It also includes the D3O in-sole with shock-absorbing capabilities and for the best comfort.

Fox Comp 5

The Fox Comp 5 boots have gained an excellent reputation as excellent quality and highly secure MX boots. Sure, it’s a little higher in price, but still comes in under the $200 mark, making it one of the best entry level boots. It offers a molded sole and has a much better finish overall.

It providers more shin protection than most other entry level boots while also offering nicer buckles that feature aluminium for a stronger and more secure fit. It provides additional protection around the toes without having the metal brace, making the boot look better while also giving you a low profile finish for excellent riding comfort.

Another advantage is just how flexible it is, even as brand new, adding yet another aspect to comfortably. The interior consists of high-quality materials, offering a long-lasting option, no matter what you’ll be using it for.

Alpine-stars Tech 1

Now, these are the most expensive on the list, which is expected with the brand. However, it’s well worth taking out the additional cash and investing $199 in your safety as they have what it takes to give you the ultimate in comfort and safety.

The boot is available in 3 colors and provides the features you’ll commonly see with higher priced boots, including an actual flex system with moving parts that allow you to put it on for the first time, have flexibility and don’t keep to wear them in.

It offers much better protection all around, starting with the heat shield on the inside of your leg through to the additional padding on the outside. The boot also includes a metal tip, hard toe cover and excellent internal material for long-lasting boots.

Choosing the Best Gear for Off-Road

Hopping on your off-road bike is a lot of fun and allows you to discover all types of brilliant roads that only few others have found in the past. It doesn’t matter where you stay, and there’s always a place where you get to have the back wheel slide out as you kick up some dirt for an awesome day of fun.

While it’s all fun and games, it’s important to remain respectful of the powerful machine and understand it’s a dangerous sport that could lead to serious injuries without trying too hard. The kit you wear is by far the most important as this is what protects you from hitting your head on a rock or going straight into a branch that smacks on your chest.

We all want to have fun on the bikes, but the last thing we want is to end it with a rush to the hospital or worse. So, whether you’re a beginner or pro, here’s just some of the equipment you need as part of your protective kit.

Get a Decent Helmet

This is one area where going cheap isn’t optional. Think about it this way, if you can buy the bike, you need to ensure you can afford an approved helmet as well. If you can’t afford both, start with a smaller bike, but don’t even cheap-out on the quality of your helmet.

For off-roading fun, it’s best to choose a helmet without a visor and get a set of goggles instead. You’ll want to ensure the helmet had passed the quality and drop tests as many of the cheapies actually shatter when you knock them really hard the first time, like falling on a sharp rock for example.

Even though you’ll be paying good money for a helmet, if you fall with it and kick it hard to a point where you say to yourself “thank goodness for the helmet”, it’s time to replace it.
Boots and Gloves

Just think about it, if go to you racing down a dirt road with sand and small sharp stones and happen to slip and small, your log just would be quite the same if it gets stuck between the bike and the road, right? Chances are the doctor would have to amputate. Oh, and ask your doc what hands look like as well.

Isn’t it just better to get decent motocross boots and avoid all the bloody mess? And no, we aren’t talking about your dad’s old safety boots with a steel tip or your mom’s winter gloves either. Choose boots that have hard souls and are made for motocross as they ensure everything from your ankle through to your toes stay together, even if you slide foot-fight into a sharp rock. Your hand require hardened knuckles and protective padding and help keep your fingers together.


Once your head and feet are covered, it’s time to take care of your back and chest with a decent set of body armour. There are many different types out there, each offering an excellent fit and are completely adjustable to your body style.

These are great for all falls as they give you the best protection when you fall at slow speeds against rocks or when you and slide for a good couple of meters.

Why the BMW F800GS is the Best

The BMW adventure series has grown to include multiple models, starting off with just the 650GS and the 1200GS you now have access to a much large variety. The 650 now comes in the new F700GS, which might be consider more of an on-road bike, but it still carries the off-road abilities of its older brother. The 1200GS remains the monster it’s always been, deliver 125bhp and having all the abilities you want from an adventure bike.

The manufacturer also introduces the F800GS, completing with the 1000cc bikes from other brands and simply smashing them all with one of the best designs that deliver the ultimate in adventure opportunities, in ways even better than the 1200! So, what makes the F800GS so good and why doesn’t BMW create a 1000cc adventure bike?

The F800GS Is the Companion for all Adventure

The 1200GS has always been somewhat intimidating to most who seek adventure bikes. It’s huge and doesn’t seem all that easy to get though tight spaces. Although, it really impresses with what it can do, but what BMW introduces with the lighter and taller 21” wheel F800GS simply calms all those concerns without substituting much on the power and ability of the 1200.
With just about all adventure riders being able to get through more places with the 800, how can you not want it more than the bigger 1200?

One of the biggest changes from the 1200 in the bigger and comfier seat that allows you to travel all day, but with 800 is far from uncomfortable and still sits much better than most competitors. The older F800GS also lacked the huge fuel tank, but with the introduction of the F800GS-A, you now get the same incredible distance, thanks to a massive 24-letre tank.
With the bigger tank beneath the seat, it’s no wonder BMW beefed up the front of the bike as well. Not only making it a little wider, but also including the bottom crash frame as well. Some would look at the wider bike and not be a fan but go ride it in rainy weather to discover just how brilliant this design is.

Those who’ve had the pleasure of living with the older F800 for a while would know it gets a little vibrational above 120km/h as the gearing on the bike is rather low to give it that additional grunt while off-road. The new bike has the same excellent off-road features but comes with another 33lbs that allows the vibrations to be a lot less and much better for long distance riding.

Then there are also small touches that enhances the benefits of the bike beyond believe. The throttle features a drive-by wire that makes it incredibly sooth, no matter whether you’re on-road, off-road or just in some sticky situation. Talking about those tight corners and stick spots, with a steering lock that’s 7% steeper than your average adventure bike, getting around objects, turning around or just knowing the option is there certainly makes a massive difference.

Beginners Guide to Helmets

There are basically three categories of helmets, including cheap, mid-range and the expensive range. While each of these have their benefits, there are a few things you’d need to consider when buying your first helmet, which isn’t all about going for the most expensive or the best looking, but rather the safety features and the testing the helmet survives.

The cheaper helmets are of course the most popular as the cost less and seem to do the same thing, right? Not exactly, especially not when you consider the different shapes and exact sizes that might work best for your head. Firstly, the cheaper helmets don’t really cater to different head shapes as they are mass-produced on the most common shape, which is round. Someone who has an oval head won’t feel comfortable with these helmets, and they won’t get the same level of safety from the helmets during an accident.

Cheaper helmets also don’t go through the same testing and aren’t approved, meaning you don’t have any idea just what this helmet might do in case of an accident. When you read up about helmets, you’ll find many cases where it actually just bursts on impact, leaving you without a helmet at all. Therefore, it’s important to choose a helmet that has been tested in multiple ways such as the SNELL certification, which comes at a higher price as those tests are expensive and the manufacturer had to take the time and research to create the helmet to pass the tests.

Get the Right Size

It is important to remember that each helmets model and brand has its own distinctive way of fitting. Therefore, it is not as simple as ordering a helmet online and using it no matter how it fits. Once you have found a helmet that passes or the safety tests, you need to measure your head and the shape of it to ensure you’re getting the best possible fit.

To measure your head, ask a friend to help you with a soft tape measure and measure around the biggest part of your head, which would usually be about an inch above your eyebrows. Be sure to check the size according to the specific helmets as manufacturers don’t provide the same size for all helmets. In some cases, your size might be a medium while in others it might be large.

Once you have the right size, you need to consider the show of your head as this will ensure a secure fit, which is important as you wouldn’t want too much space around your head. Once again, you can ask a friend to look at your head from above to determine the shape. Most are oval heads, meaning your head is longer back to front than it is side to side.

Once you have these measurements, you can head over to the bike shop and try a few helmets on. The dealer would also be able to assist with sizing and give you more tips on how it should fit. Be sure to purchase a helmet with better ratings and one that doesn’t fit too tight, but also can’t slide around.

Best 250cc Bikes for 2018

The 250cc class is a great choice for riders who need something bigger than a 125cc or 200cc, but also don’t want the huge amounts of power that 500cc and up bikes have to offer. Many manufacturers have made the shift to not only providing 250cc bikes but also slightly bigger models such as the 300cc options.

While these bigger models still provide the fundamentals of a midrange motorcycle, they give you just that edge, especially when it comes to keeping up with traffic on motorways.
Luckily, there is a perfect option for all rider styles, making this section a brilliant starting point for just about everyone. Below, we look at some of the best midrange bikes available, not only including the sport bike range but also many other categories.

Best from Yamaha

Some of the very best small capacity motorbikes come from Yamaha. And there are multiple options choose from in this category, making them one of the leaders when it comes to the midrange bikes. Of course, they are also a big player in larger bikes and keep their level of reliability to a standard few can compete with.

In the sport bike range, they offer the YFZ-R3, which runs in the 250cc range with an engine of 321cc. It’s a twin cylinder motor that provides an impressive 41HP. The great thing about this bike is that it still offers the same styling as the bigger R6 and even R1 models, and since it has a slightly bigger engine, it really delivers the power you would expect from a sportbike. At the same time, it is manageable for new riders and it comes with the best optional extras, including ABS.

If you are more interested in a classical motorcycle style, look no further than the Yamaha V Star 250. Representing a similar riding style to the Harley davidson’s, the V Star appears as a great option for those who just want to cruise comfortably. Its hearty motor delivers 22HP, giving it more than enough power to have fun with. Sure, it might not keep up with the R3 mentioned above, but in this class, it’s not all about speed, but comfort as well, in which case the V Star is the better choice.

What Honda Brings to the Table

As with Yamaha, Honda also delivers an impressive range of small cylinder motorbikes that provide more than just one option and a great selection of cruisers, sport bikes and even touring options. Once again, these bikes are extremely reliable and don’t cost KTM and Ducati prices to maintain either.

Keeping to the classical style, we look at the Honda Rebel 300 that takes classical bikes to a whole new level with a matt black finish. It also impresses with a 286cc engine that delivers 24.4 hp, which ensures you don’t only get to your destination in style, but you also have the resources to make it an enjoyable journey.

The Honda CBR range is their most popular and also includes a smaller option for new riders. Once again, the sport bike comes with a bigger 300cc engine and delivers an additional edge with just over 30 hp. The Styling flows in perfectly with their bigger CBR bikes, making this smaller bike look and feel a lot faster than it should be.

The Best Motorcycle Exhausts for 2018

If you are looking for the ultimate motorcycle exhaust that money can buy but you, unfortunately, don’t have the time to spend on research, we got you covered. We did the necessary legwork by reviewing what buyers and specialists had to say on various exhausts that are currently on the market today. Below, you will find the top-rated exhausts for 2018.

Yoshimura RS-5

If you are searching for a model that features a trapezoid-shaped sleeve, the new Yoshimura RS-5 is the perfect exhaust for you. It comes with a truly appealing design and captures the spirit of racing. When purchased, the exhaust also comes with a variety of additional items, including a tailpipe, muffler clamp, and short springs along with an insulator, bolts, and nuts. You will also get adhesive heat shield, a muffler clamp insulator, and an aluminium fender bracket. Current price is around $494.

Yoshimura TRC Race

This is another product from Yoshimura that you will definitely fall in love with. This incredible model from the company performs best when used during races. The item boasts with a tri-oval design, including a low-volume insert as well as a cone-shaped end cap. This model also comes equipped with a laser-etched heel guard which is both highly functional and sleek looking. You will also receive all the necessary items to make installation a breeze. Current price is around $621.

Yoshimura TRC-D

This phenomenal model from Yoshimura is bound to catch your attention with its dual under-tail configuration. It comes equipped with a tri-oval shaped sleeve as well as a dual-outlet end-cap made from carbon fibre. The unit also features a large volume of material along with a straight baffle for ample-flow. It also comes with a stainless steel pipe that is highly regarded in the motorcycle industry. Current price is around $950.

Akrapovic Yamaha YZF-R6

This is another brilliant item that you need to consider when looking for a new exhaust. The item features slip-on megaphones in the design, offering a remarkable balance between the price and the performance. It also delivers enormous power, contributing to the torque increase over and above the RPM range. It’s also might lighter than other exhausts as the mufflers are made from titanium. Current price is around $270.

EMGO Chrome

This muffler is 12 inches in length which can be used on either the left or right side. It also comes with a reducer set for 1 ¾ or 1 ½ inch pipes. In addition, the outside diameter measures at 2 3/8 inches. Prior to placing an order, please note that each end of the EMGO Chrome muffler has a different size. The mounting bracket is adjustable and can also be rotated. Unfortunately, it does not come with additional clamps. The current price is around $32.

JFG RACING Universal

This is another mind-blowing model that is worthy of both your time and money. The body is constructed from stainless steel and is beautifully covered in carbon fibre vinyl. It also features a removable DB killer delivering sensational sound effects. It can be used on dirt bikes, scooters, and street bikes. The current price is around $100.