A Beginner’s Guide to Shopping at Motorcycle Dealers

So you’ve decided to saddle up into your next adventure, but you’re new to the bike scene and not sure where to begin. Motorcycle dealers work in a very similar way to car dealerships, so you can be prepared in some of the same ways. You will want to make a list of everything you absolutely must have in your new bike, and a few of the things you don’t want, as well. Before you get started on all that, you will want to verify that you’ve passed all of your certifications and legal requirements.

Logistics and Legalities

It is important to start off by getting all of your ducks in a row for paperwork and legality. First, you will want to ensure that you have the appropriate motorcycle endorsement for your state. Keep in mind that some dealers even offer to let you use company bikes to train for this certification. However, until you’ve been endorsed, it’s technically illegal to drive your bike on the road. Some states even require that you take a motorcycle safety class or another educational course, so make sure you’ve jumped these hurdles before hopping on your new bike.

Sales Floor Strategy

Once you’ve secured all the paperwork, you’ll want to start visiting motorcycle dealers in your area. The salespeople at these establishments can be extremely helpful in matching you to the right bike. They have extensive experience finding out what kinds of people work with which machines. In fact, this unique skill allows them to save you a lot of time when narrowing down the right choice. Build a relationship with a salesperson by visiting their location multiple times and trying something new every time you can.

Also, make sure to test drive the bikes that they recommend, even if the choice seems counter-intuitive. Remember, they’ve met a huge variety of personalities, and there’s a good chance that you will be pleasantly surprised by their endorsements. Even more, you might discover a specific element you prefer, from a louder exhaust system to a lower center of gravity. You won’t be able to tell until you try it!

Be Prepared for More

Browsing through bikes at motorcycle dealers isn’t complete once you’ve made a choice. You will still have to shop for everything else. Most dealers offer additional perk packages and discounts on customization, such as exhaust pipes and exterior details, so if you’re interested in these, be sure to ask about your options beforehand.

Many motorcycle dealers get kickback from successfully selling extended warranty packages. While these are sometimes worth the investment, an even better choice would be a maintenance package. Either way, offering to purchase one or both of these additions gives you a lot of negotiating power. If you really like a helmet that they have in stock, they might be willing to throw it in for the guarantee that you’ll be using their mechanics in the future. Before you sign the final paperwork, see if you can try to offer a higher down payment for a lower percentage of interest rate to try to get the best deal.


Tips to Maintain Your Motorcycle

Love your bike and want to keep it in mint condition? You can easily do it by following a few maintenance tips.

Tyres

  • Regularly check the tyres for scratches, cuts and embedded stones
  • Check if the air pressure in the tyre is correct
  • Periodically check the tire alignment

Brakes

  • Make sure the brakes are not too tight or lose
  • Replace worn-out brake pads if you consistently hear the screeching sound
  • Make sure that the brake fluid is at the correct level
  • Periodically check to see if any dirt or grime is accumulated in the brake shoe

Spark Plug

  • Once in a while you should check if the spark plug is working fine
  • Remove the spark plug and wipe the area
  • Dip it in a little kerosene or petrol and then wipe it with a clean cloth
  • Check if the electrodes are clean and properly connected
  • Reinstall it
  • Replace corroded or damaged spark plugs immediately

Battery

  • Regularly inspect battery terminals and remove sediments or dirt build-up
  • Use a brush to remove the dirt and sediments
  • Check if the fuse is working properly
  • See if there are any leaks in the battery
  • If you have a distilled water battery, then you should change the water once in two months
  • Disposable batteries are easy to use and don’t require much maintenance. But you should not use it once it’s life time is over

Headlights/Taillights

  • Wipe the headlights and tail lights with a clean cloth everyday
  • You can do the same thing for indicators and brake lights too
  • Switch on the light and check the beam aim and light brightness
  • If light beam is misaligned, have it repaired immediately
  • Replace cracked tail lights and indicators immediately

Horn

  • Check if horn wires are properly connected
  • Wipe it with a dry cloth everyday

Engine Oil

  • Regularly check the level of engine oil
  • Replace engine oil after the prescribed kilometres

Air Filter

  • If the air filter is made of paper, simply tap it to dislodge the accumulated dust
  • If the air filter is made of foam, you should wash it in solvent and dry it before fixing it again

Drive chain

  • The slack in the drive chain changes from bike to bike. Check the slack level in your bike manual and ensure that the level is maintained at all times
  • Adjust the drive chain using the rear axle nut and swing arm
  • Check wheel alignment before you tighten the nut
  • Make sure that the chain is properly lubricated so the movement is smooth

Clutch

  • Check the cable connected to the clutch for any loose connections
  • Adjust it using threaded adjuster and locknut


Factors Involved In Selecting The Perfect Motorcycle Tire For Your Need

There is no denying that the motorcycle engine is a very critical component. With that being said the tire is no less important. When it comes to higher criticality both the engine and tire play an equal role. Both these components are vital for a safe riding experience. You would look for perfect acceleration as well as top class handling which is produced by both these components. Just like the engine the tire also helps in a beautiful riding experience.

It is very important to choose the motorcycle tires based on the bike you purchase. The style of the thread, bias, material etc. should go hand in hand with the type of motorcycle. Cars do not require different type of tires for the back and front, however it is not the same case with bikes. The front tires are completely different from the ones at the back. The tires are made to suit the purpose the bike was manufactured for. The rear tire is made in such a way that it takes care of the power and acceleration, whereas the front tires take care of braking.

As mentioned, tires are designed to suit different needs. Motorbikes designed for racing need tires that aid in racing. Similarly sport bikes need tires that aid sporting.

Racing tires

The most sought after quality for a racing bike is that the bikes need a great deal of contact with the ground even when at extreme angles of leaning. Racing requires the motorcycle tires to take a lot of wear and tear and so they need to be resistant to puncture.

Sporting bike tires

These bikes need to run real hard on surfaces. They need good surface contact and also have to perform in extreme weather. The thread to void ratio needs to be increased in order to give these tires a good grip on any kind of climatic condition.

The cruisers tires

These bikes need tires that have a great quality grip on any type of surface varying from concrete or asphalt. The tires are made with a balance between maximum life of the thread and a grip that is superior.

Touring bike tires

Touring bikes usually ride on different weather conditions and will have to move on various surfaces for a long period. This requires the tire to have more grooves because otherwise they may falter in poor weather. The tires also need great stability to allow the rider to stay upright without much effort.

5 Great Tips For Selling Your Motorcycle Fast

So it’s time to put your faithful motorcycle up for sale? Of course you know what a great bike it has been for you all these years, but how do you assure your buyers that your motorcycle is the one for them?

There are some bases that you should be sure and cover before and during your sale. We have put together what we believe to be the top ones that you need to sell that bike fast.

  1. Know the expected value of your motorcycle. You may think your bike is the best one online and worth $5,000, but unless you price it competitively you will not even get people to show up at your door.
  2. Clean the bike. First impressions are everything, and if someone pulls up to your driveway and sees a filthy bike, the deal may have no chance before they even get out of the vehicle. Give it a good detailing.
  3. Tune up the bike. The second thing that will give the meeting a good or bad impression is how well your motorcycle runs. When they hit that start button, if it purrs to life and runs smoothly, it will be another positive check mark in the buyer’s eyes.
  4. Service records. Hopefully you have kept good service records and/or receipts to show any perspective buyers. This will help build confidence with your buyer.
  5. Take pictures from many angles. When taking photos for your ad, take from every angle you can possibly think of, including the gauges, seat, tire tread, engine closeup and more. You can never have too many pictures, but you most certainly can have too few pictures.

It’s never easy to sell your pride and joy, but taking these few steps will make your selling experience a much more pleasurable one and a much quicker one.


The Purchase Of Your First Motorcycle Becomes A Breeze When You Follow These Tips

People who are contemplating the purchase of a first motorcycle find it a daunting task to choose the perfect one. It gets even more difficult because there are so many brands and model in the market these days. The tips mentioned below are the best options if you are buying a bike for the very first time.

· It is vital to understand your ability without overestimating. It is vital that you invest only as much as you can afford. As a first timer you need to be purchasing a bike with average engine instead of investing in a 600cc.

· Be realistic about the needs you require the motorcycle for. A motorcycle meant for racing is not right if you require it for daily riding. This is why it is important that you know what exactly it would be used for. The feature and models must be the most suitable for your needs.

· It is vital that you recognize your options. There are so many models available that it gets very easy to fall prey to something unsuitable. Therefore you need to research all the options and understand what exactly your requirement is before making your pick. The best way to do the research is by looking online.

· A trial run of the researched options is absolutely vital. Visiting the dealer so that you can go for a trial will ensure you are comfortable with your choice. It is essential that you bond with the bike in terms of comfort, style and size too. The trial run may actually help you in many aspects.

· One of the first considerations to make is to identify if you want a new motorcycle or a used one. Anybody with a tight budget is better off purchasing a used motorcycle. Also a new rider will find a used motorcycle to be comfortable and would not have to worry about the damages you may pose to it. It is also worth considering that a used bike may need a lot of repair and money spent on it before it is used. If you intend practicing for competitions then a used motorcycle is the best option. This consideration is thoroughly worth and truly depends on the individual.

These tips are vital especially if you are purchasing your first. You will highly benefit by making careful considerations leading to practical decisions. You can also ask professionals for advice if you are having a tough time coming to a conclusion.


The Best Motorcycle Maintenance Tips

A motorcycle maintained in top form is always a safe one to ride on. Following a set of rules when it comes to the maintenance of motorcycles will help in keeping the vehicle in top form. This will in turn aid in the smooth functioning of the motorcycle making it safe to ride.

Keeping the bike clean and rust free is the most important rule. This is the first step of maintaining the bike. On cleaning a bike you would be paying a lot of attention to the various parts and would easily be able to identify a faulty part. This will help in replacement which improves the ride.

Cleaning of the motorbike can either be done with or without water. When using water it is always wise to use plain water and a soft cloth. One can use a little bit of mild detergent but care must be taken to avoid overuse of soap. This detergent has to be dissolved completely in a bucket of water. It is absolutely not recommended to spray water with pressure because then the water might get into some of the sensitive electrical parts and ruin it. Particular care is to be taken to avoid spraying water into the air filter area.

It is advisable to avoid dissolving the chain lubricant when using detergent because it might get washed and if this happens ensure to lubricate it again before riding. Looking at the tires and wheels can give you indication of excessive wear and tear which needs to be replaced at once.

The surface of the bike is prone to damage on exposure to the sun and various chemicals therefore it is better to apply a wax coat over the painted surface. The availability of thin-film covers in the market made of urethane clear membranes helps reduce damage caused. This will also give the bike a glossy look preventing the yellowing of the bike with age.

Polishing the bike with wax requires a lot of consideration. The wax polish needs to be resistant to high temperature because the machine working expels heat. Care has to be taken to choose chrome resistant polish on chrome surfaces to prevent damage and scratching on the chrome based areas.

Plastics and vinyl parts need to be cleaned using particular products intended for that purpose. Using of petrol for cleaning purposes is not recommended at all. Ensure the protection of your bike by covering it completely when not in use.

A Few Motorcycle Issues That You Need To Take Of

If you are a motorcycle owner then regular visits to a mechanic is inevitable. Since motorcycles are in motion through terrains that may or may not be suitable, wear and tear is almost certain. It is vital that you have sufficient knowledge of your vehicle and its parts so that you can enjoy rides on the motorcycle. Keeping a good watch and rectifying some common problems helps you extend the life of your vehicle. In order for you to keep a watch you must have the knowledge about the working and parts of the motorcycle.

There are a few issues that are common and you would need the help of an experienced individual to get them rectified. A few such problems are listed below.

Contamination of fuel

The motorbike can have starting problems or even sometimes refuse to start if you leave the bike unused for a long time with fuel in the tank. The fuel system is completely clogged by the stale gas. During winters when you have to retire the bike it is advisable to buy and add a solution that is designed to prevent the fuel from getting spoilt so that the gas remains good and clogging is prevented. If by chance you are not able to prevent the clogging then it is ideal to get the tank cleared by someone who knows the job at a repair center.

Old or punctured tires

Tires of new vehicles are usually low-grade causing them to wear out easily. It is better you upgrade the tires as soon as you purchase the bike. You need to get the tires replaced at least once in two years or as advised in the manual. A professional is in a better position to replace your punctured tire so it is better you rely on them and avoid doing it yourself.

Low chain lubrication

The rare tire of your motorcycle spins because the chain of the drive train is powered by energy from the motor. This is why you need to take good care of the chain. Riders can be exposed to serious situations when one misses to oil and maintain the chain in good condition. Greases are available in the market and you need to ask your mechanic which one is the best.

Being unclean

The bike is in continuous use and so there is a lot of dirt that accumulates both inside and outside. If not checked properly ant constant intervals then the grime deposits leading to bigger issues. These issues can easily be detected by regular checks so that dirty parts can be cleaned and problems kept out-of-the-way.


Top Seven Movies Made Cooler by Motorcycles

Motorcycles have appeared in hundreds of movies since the inception of the big screen. Some movie directors, however, used the genius tactic of shining a spotlight on these fine machines in their movies, instantly making these flicks much cooler than they would have been with a mere glimpse of the bike, or worse, no bike at all. Here are the top seven movies that were made that much cooler by their inclusion.

7. Wild Hogs

Even the comedic genius of the combination of Tim Allen, John Travolta, William H. Macy, and Martin Lawrence would not have been enough to save this movie without the constant presence of the actual “hogs.” These iconic bikes bring instant credibility to the screen while giving Allen, Travolta, and Macy at least a little street cred.

6. Robocop 2

Okay, Robocop by himself is already pretty cool. When you bring motorcycles into the mix, however, it is cinema gold. In the movie, Robocop mans a stray soft tail custom bike and chases down a box truck with it! Just like that an already cool movie got a lot cooler.

5. Rocky III

By this third installment of Rocky, the boxer (and the movie franchise itself) had started to lose his cool factor. Instead of being the tough, brash, unrefined fighter, Rocky was now rich, polished, married, and a dad. The only thing that could save Rocky in this current state is a motorcycle. Rocky rides the bike through Philadelphia and up to the statue that was erected in his honor, only to pelt the metal monument with his helmet in his anger and disillusionment at the loss of his trainer, Mick.

4. Animal House

This movie has a pretty high cool rating to begin with, but the injection of a motorcycle only adds to the cool factor. The scene that makes this movie is the character D-Day ripping up a flight of stairs on that beloved bike and ending his joyride by belting out a tune through his throat.

3. The Cannonball Run

What can be cooler than Burt Reynolds in a screwball comedy about a bunch of amateurs racing throughout the country? How about, as an added bonus, Peter Fonda riding a motorbike and mocking his own role as Easy Rider.

2. The Expendables

Generally action flicks are pretty cool, especially when they include the likes of Sly Stallone, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. What makes this movie incredibly cool, however, is the scene where Rourke uses his chopper as a portable tattoo parlor and inks up Stallone right on it.

1. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

On its own this movie would not have much cool factor. While Harrison Ford has a large role, Shia LeBeouf has a larger one, and that fact hurts this movie. What helps the movie, though, is LeBeouf’s use of a motorcycle to rescue Ford and then ride through a library in an intense chase scene.


Eight Types Of Bikes At Motorcycle Dealers

The first motorized bike was invented in 1867 and powered by steam. In 1894, the first mass-produced model was built. Since 1894, hundreds of millions of choppers, scooters, and off-road motorbikes have been produced and sold by motorcycle dealers throughout the world. In 2013, over 8,400,000 were registered in the United States. California, Florida, and Texas accounted for about a quarter of all registrations. They are very popular in dense cities and developing countries due to their low rates of fuel consumption and relatively inexpensive purchase price. Here are the eight main styles of bikes that you will find at motorcycle dealers.

Standard

Standard bikes are designed for basic street use. They generally do not have a windshield, and the driver sits in an upright position.

Cruisers

Cruisers are larger than most other motorbikes, and they offer a more reclined seating position. They have more torque, which allows beginner riders to not shift as much. Cruisers are popular with many motorcycle groups.

Dual-Sport

Dual-sport motorbikes are, as the name suggests, designed for both street and off-road use. Since they are driven off-road at times, a taller suspension is required, giving the rider a more upright seating position.

Sport

Sport bikes are designed for high levels of street performance. They are generally the fastest motorcycles on the road. They also offer the best braking and handling. As a result of the emphasis on performance, sport models generally offer lower fuel economy than their counterparts, and a less comfortable riding experience. Since they are designed with minimal air resistance in mind, riders sit leaning over the handlebars.

Touring

Touring models are built with the comfort of the rider in mind. They are used for longer distance trips, and often allow seating for a second rider. Most types have storage areas on the bike for luggage, and some even offer options such as radio and GPS navigation. Touring types can weigh well over 1,000 pounds when fully loaded.

Sport Touring

As the name suggests, sport touring bikes are a blend of the two models previously discussed. They are generally smaller and lighter than touring models, but larger and more comfortable than sport models. Due to their combination of comfort and sportiness, these models are one of the most popular.

Mopeds and Scooters

Scooters and mopeds are the lighter versions of the models discussed above. They have smaller engines, an upright seating position, and they often have an automatic transmission. As a result, they are very easy to drive. The small engine offers excellent gas mileage, as well. Worldwide, mopeds and scooters are the best-selling types of motorbike.

Off-Road

Off-road models are used exactly how the name suggests. They offer riders a more upright seating position and long suspension travel to deal with bumps and dips. The tires used are generally, specifically designed for their use on dirt, mud, and rocks.

In conclusion, motorcycle dealers offer potential riders a lot of options. If you are in the market for a new motorbike, use this list to help pick the model that is right for you.


What You Need to Know About Custom Motorcycles

Seven million people were registered with motorcycle endorsements in 2007. Most people aren’t satisfied with a run-of-the-mill stock bike. If stock bikes aren’t your style, it’s definitely worth looking for shops in your area that specialize in custom motorcycles. You’ll probably wind up with lifelong riding buddies and learn more than you ever thought possible.

You Won’t Be Starting From Scratch

A great thing about customizing a motorcycle is that you won’t be building it from the bottom up. You’ll probably start with a stock bike or a partially customized, used bike, and start piecing everything together. Whether you’re a do-it-yourself person or a person with the ideas who will let an expert do the work, the benefits of starting with an already built bike will start to show in your wallet. If you’re still in the dreaming phase, there are free websites available that list hundreds of different parts where you can build virtual, custom motorcycles without the expenses of actually doing it.

You Won’t Be Alone In Your Journey

Stop by your local dealer to see if they work with custom motorcycles or are willing to order any parts you may need. If they don’t do work in-house, they’ll point you to the best expert in the area. Motorcycle sales have been in a recession since 2011, so anyone in this industry is sure to give you the best service to get and to keep your business.

You’ll Learn A Whole Lot

Most shops are willing to share any knowledge they have. They’ll ask about your bike, your ambitions, do some research, maybe ask to test drive it, and give you their suggestions regarding parts. For example, you will want to always make sure your front tire is in tip-top shape. When taking turns, the majority of the bike’s grip comes from this single tire. Going through a good parts shop can help you collect discounts and perks from manufacturers, as well. If you choose to order anything online yourself, be sure that the part you’re ordering will fit on your bike and perform the way you want it to.

The thrill of riding your fully customized and personalized motorcycle 70 miles per hour down the highway is something that can’t be compared. Be sure to be courteous to the millions of other cycle riders in the United States with the customary biker hand wave, and always enjoy your ride cautiously with regards to larger vehicles on the road, too.