What Not to Ask Motorcycle Dealers When Buying Your First Ride

Just imagine this scenario. You’re sitting atop a gorgeous new motorcycle strapping your helmet on. You start it up, hearing and feeling the roar of the engine as it cuts through the air. You kick it into gear and give it some gas. A few minutes later you’re on the freeway going 70 miles per hour. The wind against your leather covered arms and legs liberates something inside of you. Passing other motorcyclists, you quickly extend your arm in the customary gesture of acknowledgement. You enjoy the ride for hours and return home. Shutting everything down, you close your eyes as you remove your helmet… only to open them and realize you still haven’t bought a bike yet!

You’re still browsing the various motorcycle dealers in your area. You realize the excitement got to you as you sat on a parked bike. Slightly embarrassed, you stand up and go over the list of questions you want to ask. While you’re sure to be careful to ask the right questions, to avoid being the laughing stock of the shop, here’s a list of questions you certainly want to avoid asking any motorcycle dealers.

“What Happens If It Rains?”

You’re on a motorcycle. You’re out in the open. That means you’re in direct contact with all of the elements. You feel the heat from the sunshine, you feel the bite from the cold, and you certainly get soaking wet when it rains, unless you use another method of transportation when the skies are questionable.

“Are You a Biker?”

If a person works with bikes in a shop or at a dealer, chances are they enjoy motorcycles enough to want to be around them all day and enjoy the company of their fellow bikers.

“This is the Same as Driving a Manual Car or Truck, Right?”

Wrong. Very, very wrong. There’s a reason you usually need to get a separate motorcycle endorsement from your state on your driver’s license in order to legally drive one.

“How Do I Look?”

You’re just opening yourself up to anything here. Asking your shopping partner is one thing, but asking motorcycle dealers how you look is likely to get all sorts of sarcastic responses. Or some that may even be a little too honest…

“How Fast Does This Go?”

Most motorcycles are pretty fast, but just like with a car, you’re limited on how fast you can drive. Speed limits and police are there to knock you back into a more appropriate speed.

Before you ask any potentially embarrassing questions and become the laughing stock at all the motorcycle dealers in your area, think twice for your own sake.



Motorcycle Dealers Help Beginners

Are you thinking about getting a motorcycle? It is a great way to explore the countryside or just save money on gas. However, if you are new to the scene, it can be a bit overwhelming. If you are unsure of where to begin, talking to motorcycle dealers can help you navigate the process.

Getting Legal

Before you buy anything, you need to check your state’s requirements on what it takes to drive a motorcycle legally. Each state has different requirements, paperwork, and testing you must complete in order to have your license endorsed. You may even be required to take a training class on how to properly ride, and there are some dealerships that let you train on their company equipment. Just remember, you can’t go on the road until your license is properly endorsed.

Talk to the Sales People

Once you have your endorsement, it is time to head to the motorcycle dealers and begin to take a serious look at what they have. You have probably already been talking to some of the sales people, so you know which dealership you want to work with. If not, you may be surprised to find that the knowledgeable people are very helpful to get you on the right bike.

They will work to help you find a motorcycle that you can feel comfortable with and easily control. Even if you aren’t certain about their recommendation, go ahead and test drive the one they suggest. You might find that their advice is better than what you might have been originally considering.

Experienced motorcycle dealers will make sure that the one they help pair you with is right for you. You might think you want one that is a certain model, but if your feet don’t lay flat on the ground when you are stopped, then it is too tall.

In addition to helping you pick your ride, the sales person can also tell you the accessories you absolutely need. You should buy a helmet that meets the Department of Transportation safety standards. Eyewear is also suggested, especially if you wear glasses to protect them from the elements. Safety garments such as jackets and pants are also recommended, especially for beginners. Motorcycle dealers usually sell these items on the premises so you can get the help you need from experts when shopping.

Other Things

There are some other deals you might be interested in that motorcycle dealers have to offer. Some of them offer discounts for those who want to customize their purchase with detailed exteriors or custom exhausts. You don’t have to do any of these things, but you might want to find out about them in case it is something you want to do in the future.

You may also be offered an extended warranty. While these are a nice option, as long as you know what they cover, you may want to find out if the dealership has a maintenance package instead, from which you will probably benefit more.

Tips for Navigating Difficult Roads on a Motorcycle to Prevent Serious Injuries

Motorcycles are a fun and exciting hobby for men and women alike. The feel of the wind on your face as you cruise the open road is unlike any other feeling. Riding on or driving a motorcycle is a great sport, but can be dangerous as well. Novice bikers are encouraged to stay on well-paved roads that provide ample space and long straight-a-ways. Veteran bikers have years of experience and can navigate most road-types, however, even they can come across trouble on more dangerous or hazardous roads. Twisty turns, narrow roads, gravel, and more are all obstacles that can cause even the most practiced biker to crash or hurt themselves. Continue reading for more information about how to navigate dangerous roads and driving conditions on a motorcycle.

Motorcycle Safety

Every motorcycle owner or enthusiast should know the basic rules for bike safety. The most important safety precaution for motorcycle riding is wearing a helmet. Helmets protect the skull, which protects the brain, which is a very important part of our bodies. It is common sense and self-responsibility to always wear a helmet when riding on a moving motorcycle. Additional basic safety knowledge includes obeying all traffic signals and rules of the road, and so on. As far as driving on hazardous road conditions, it requires some pre-thought so to always be prepared if ever faced with such driving conditions.

When facing twisting and bending roads that seem to go on and on, it is important to learn good timing and judgment when on a motorcycle. Be sure to slow your speed down, and let your hand off the throttle to safely navigate the turns. Do this by approaching the turn on the outer edge of the road, then once you reach the turn, lean through it and follow it at its widest angle. Right before you reach the apex, increase your speed and return to an upright position to finish the turn. This is a safe maneuver to use for twisty roads.

For gravel roads, be sure to have your helmet face down because small rocks and pebbles can fly up from the tires and hit you in the eyes and face. You cannot drive fast on gravel. For this reason, slow your speed down to accurately navigate through gravely roads. Driving too fast or recklessly on gravel can flatten tires. Maintain a slow to moderate speed, keep a firm grip on the handlebars, and keep a safe distance from other drivers on the road ahead. This is the trick to driving on rocky roads. The same goes for wet and slippery pavements, and driving in the rain.

Motorcycle accidents happen every day, and most result in serious injuries or death. This is why motorcycle safety is so vital for all drivers and pedestrians. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a motorcycle accident as a result of another driver’s negligence, contact an Indianapolis motorcycle accident attorney for a case assessment. You and your family may be entitled to compensation.

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 and speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney today. If you were negligently hurt by another driver while riding a motorcycle, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. They offer free initial consultations to assess your case and determine if you have a claim. If you do, their highly accomplished and experienced personal injury lawyers never collect lawyer fees unless they get you your settlement! Call 317-881-2700 for more information about filing a motorcycle accident injury claim in Indianapolis, IN today.


The Top 3 Ways To Increase Motorcycle Performance

Let’s face it. If you own a motorcycle chances are that you’re thinking about performance. Motorcycles have been around since the early 20th century and since their inception people have been trying to increase their power. These 3 easy and inexpensive modifications will not only increase your motorcycle’s performance but give you confidence and know-how to keep your bike in top shape.

Air Filters

Motorcycle performance starts with air and air filters are the first point of contact your engine has with the outside world. Air flow plays a critical part in your engine’s performance and a simple way to think about this is; more air = more power but more air = worse filtration so you’ve got to play the balancing game to find the right mix.

Stock airboxes on most bikes are quite adequate but a simple upgrade can quickly increase horsepower as these focus mainly on filtration and not performance. The trick is not to let too much air in because it may contain contaminates that could be harmful to your engine. Race bikes use very unrestricted air filtration because they are strictly focused on power and more air equals more power but they also breakdown and rebuild engines constantly and that’s not what I want to spend every weekend doing, I want to ride! And remember, keep your filters clean and you’ll keep your bike happy.

Spark Plugs

Spark plugs make your motorcycle’s world go ’round, that is to say without them it wouldn’t go ’round at all and quality spark plugs can help your motorcycle’s performance a great deal. Spark plugs need to be changed out 20-30 thousand miles according to manufacturers standards but a great deal depends on how hard you ride. If you are a more aggressive rider you may need to change them more frequently and since they are relatively inexpensive they are well worth it to improve motorcycle performance.

The top choices in spark plugs today are platinum and iridium, both are well advanced of the copper relics providing better power and longevity. Benefits of new spark plugs include: Optimal combustion, better fuel economy, smooth and easy starts and better emissions. These are all key when it comes to your bike’s engine and how long it will last and how well it will perform.

Fuel

Fuel plays a very important role in motorcycle performance. Use the wrong fuel and you could be sacrificing power, performance, and even the life of your motorcycle. Premium fuels have less additives that could potentially harm your bike and have a higher octane rating translating into more power, a cleaner burn and a healthier motorcycle.

Prolonged exposure to subprime fuels can have lingering effects on your motorcycle. Pinging, knocking and backfiring are all potential side effects from using a lower quality fuel. Motorcycles are high-powered machines that require the best gas to run optimally and by using high quality fuel you can ensure that your motorcycle will perform at it’s best.

If you use these 3 performance tips you can be sure that you’ll increase power, lower service intervals and stretch the life of your motorcycle all while giving you an increase level of confidence and enjoyment. Each of these have a litany of options so be sure to do some research and find out what parts match your riding style and your desired outcomes. Motorcycle performance has everything to do with the rider and without a rider it’s just a pretty paperweight.

Scooter Valve Adjustment

In order for any scooter engine to run properly, both intake and exhaust valves must open on time. The rocker arms are responsible for opening the valves. At the end of a scooter rocker arm is the tappet. With wear and tear, tappets go out of adjustment and should periodically be re-adjusted. The recommended adjustment varies from brand to brand and it is recommended that the service manual for the specific type of scooter be consulted.

Valve lash also know as tappet clearance, will have a direct effect on engine performance. Valve lash is the minute distance between the tappet and the corresponding valve stem. It is critical that this clearance be within specification (specified by the particular scooter brand) in order for the scooter to run. Valves that fall out of adjustment over time can cause a loss of compression, reduced power and can lead to engine, damage. In some cases your scooter may not even start.

With regular usage, you should incorporate valve adjustment as part of the regular maintenance schedule. This should be done in line with any recommendation from the manufacturer, which can usually be found in the documentation that came with your particular brand of scooter.

Before you start, one of the first things that is recommended is that you have the right tools for the job. While you can get away with using some very “basic” tools, it’s always recommended that you definitely source out tools that are job specific. For example, while you certainly could make the tappet adjustments with a 9mm wrench and a pair of needle nose pliers (which I have seen done) you would achieve easier, more accurate results using a tappet adjustment tool. At the time of writing this article, a decent tappet adjustment tool was about thirty dollars online. If this sounds like a lot, just remember, as you incorporate valve adjustment into your regular maintenance schedule, you can see that the cost of the tool broken out over many jobs makes the expense really small.

For this job you should have a set of feeler gauges and a tappet adjustment tool. Likewise, if you do not have the tappet adjustment tool, you can use a 9mm wrench and a pair of needle nose pliers. You absolutely need the feeler gauge set for achieving the proper clearance.

Start with your scooter engine COLD. The reason you want the engine cold is because as an engine heats up, metal expands. This expansion would most assuredly make the clearance larger once the engine cools. This would result in too large of a valve lash which would likely not allow the valve to open properly. Put the scooter on the center stand so that the back wheel is off the ground. Remove the valve cover and place the screws in a small container so they do not get lost. There will be two valves. One is the intake valve and the other is the exhaust valve.

Next rotate the engine fan until it reaches “Top Dead Center”, which is when the piston is at the highest point on the compression stroke. The Top Dead Center marking is stamped on the flywheel and is denoted usually as a “T”. At this point, both valves should be fully closed and the valve lash between the rocker arm and valve stem should be at its max. Both rocker arms will be at minimum height positions on the camshaft lobes. In addition to the marking on the flywheel, and/or there are also markings on the outside of the cam sprocket that can be used as well.

Once you’re at Top Dead Center, loosen the locking nut. To adjust the clearance, use a set of feeler gauges. You should be able to slide the correct sized gauge (per manufacturers specifications) between the tappet and the top of the valve stem with only the slightest resistance. Likewise if you can freely pass the gauge through, the clearance is too big. Once you have the correct clearance set, tighten down the lock nut, and re-check it. Now do the same thing again for the other valve. Again, the recommended adjustment varies from brand to brand and it’s recommended that the service manual for the specific type of scooter be consulted.

Motorcycle Service Guide to Keep Your Bike Running For Years

You enjoy riding through the streets on your motorbike. It is a true feeling of freedom to have the wind whipping around you. However, if you want to keep the bike on the road, motorcycle service is important. By doing basic maintenance, you can keep your cycle going indefinitely.

Breaking It In Properly

If you want to start maintaining your bike, you have to break it in right. The most crucial part of your cycle’s engine is how you handle the first few hundred miles. You need to treat the first couple thousand with care, as well.

Check with your owner’s manual to find out exactly what limits you should take. Each brand is slightly different, and some have a long list of restrictions, such as the type of oil to use for the first few hundred miles. The manual will indicate what other oil type, if any, you should use. Some machines require that you do not go past a certain RPM until after you hit a few thousand miles.

Read the Manual

Your original manufacturer’s manual is going to be the best place for maintenance information. The manufacturer knows what motorcycle service your vehicle needs more than you may. It is important for you to read and study it to ensure that you know what to do.

Additionally, you can buy a service manual. This book can cost anywhere from $40 to $100. However, it is worth the investment if you want to do some of the more sophisticated maintenance procedures yourself. This manual includes instruction on things like how to rebuild parts of your motorbike and includes hard-to-find torque values for each bolt on the vehicle.

Oil Changes

Routine oil changes can extend the life of your engine. It can help ensure that your engine maintains proper lubrication. If the oil is old and filled with dirt and debris, the oil cannot do its job as it is supposed to.

You should check with the manual in order to determine how often to change the oil. If you drive in a dusty or dirty environment, you probably should have it changed more frequently.

Bearings

Motorcycle service should include greasing your bearings. Those who ride a dirt bike learn this maintenance tip early, as new motorbikes need attention in the steering-head bearings and suspension linkages. Additionally, those who ride street bikes need to get into the habit of this maintenance. Even though sealed bearings are relatively maintenance free, suspension linkages need care on a regular schedule.

On occasion, these parts will need to be replaced. While greasing, you will get the opportunity to inspect the bearings. In addition to physical inspection of the bearings, being in tune with your bike and knowing when the front or back suspension is loose, you will know when to change the bearings.


DIY Motorcycle Service in a Pinch

The first line of defense against an on-road bike disaster is preparedness. Bike owners everywhere have heard it before: you can’t stop an accident from ever happening, all you can do is be prepared for it when it does. This means many things for the two-wheeled enthusiast, all of them having to do with becoming familiar with the inner workings of their machine. For the uninitiated this can be a daunting task, but ultimately advantageous. While you should have your vehicle checked regularly by professionals, learning the basics of motorcycle service can save time, money, and maybe even your life.

What You Need to Own

First things first: buy a set of tools. Start with the bare necessities and disregard more expensive tools intended for specific problems, like fuel injector synchronizers or brake bleeders. A set of socket wrenches, preferably ratchet, and an assortment of hex keys will come in handy in virtually every situation. While some variation does exist depending on the manufacturer, all motorcycle service tasks need these basic tools. As for tires, you should always carry a string-type tire plug. This handy tool can fix a puncture in a few quick steps, but you’ll still need to find an air compressor to refill the flat. Plan to carry these things in your backpack or, if you have them, leave plenty of room in your side saddle bags.

What You Need to Know

Imagine you are in unfamiliar territory, racing down the interstate, when your brakes start gluing up. Or your engine won’t turn over even though you just filled up on gas. Whatever the scenario, you need to be ready to respond in case no one else is around. The great thing about motorcycle service, however, is that it is surprisingly easy to handle on your own. The brake problem, for instance, could be solved by pumping the handle until the gunky hydraulic fluid passes through the threshold. No tools necessary. Equipping yourself with bits of knowledge like this can keep you moving so you can get to a professional for a more permanent fix. It’s attainable knowledge, too, most likely hiding in the owner’s manual underneath your seat.

What You Need to Do

Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty when tuning up. Though they are complex machines, bikes tend to be very simple compared to cars and trucks. The best way to familiarize yourself with the guts of your vehicle is to open it up and look around. As mentioned earlier, there are specific cases that require certain tools. If you make it your goal to know your bike left and right, you will be able to stock up accordingly. It is highly recommended that you do so.

The key, though, is remembering that you are only performing part of the motorcycle service. There is ultimately no replacement for a professional when things go south. But if you keep yourself up to speed on your bike’s health, you will be ready to beat that roadside break down and continue your journey.

The Importance Of An Oil Cooler Upgrade For Your Motorcycle

For many motorcycle owners, proper maintenance of their ride is a very important thing. A lot of motorcycle owners make the mistake of thinking that motorcycle engines overheat simply because of the ambient air temperature. Many think that an air-cooled engine will suffice in keeping the engine cool.

The truth is that these are not necessarily true. On one hand, you have to factor in the poor quality of fuel currently available in the market today. Additionally, your bike may need an air cooler upgrade.

There are numerous benefits when you upgrade you air cooler. As you know, it cools oil by using a heat exchanger strategically placed behind the fans. It facilitates the flow of the oil through its fins even when the fans are not activated. Now, when the temperature of the oil breaches the 220 degree Fahrenheit mark, the fans will activate to blow air through it.

The fans will continue to blow air until the oil temperature is lowered to 190 degrees. The oil cooler will continue to work whether your motorcycle is moving or not, ensuring that the oil maintains a stable temperature. It does not add unnecessary noise as well. The fans of the oil cooler are quiet.

Additionally, you will not feel the air blasting from the fans because the air moves under the bike. Essentially, you will not even know that the oil cooler is there unless you look at its LED indicator which can be mounted practically anywhere you like to. Apart from cooling the oil and keeping the temperature of the motor at an acceptable level, an oil cooler offers additional benefits, including reduced ping and knock in the engine which translates to improved performance. This is also one of the reasons why many motorcycle owners invest in this upgrade.

Installing an air cooler is very easy. However, you need to make sure that you undertake all the recommended steps outlined by the manufacturer. Before installing the oil cooler, you will need to start your motorcycle and let it run idle for a few minutes. After that, shut the engine off and check for leaks. If you cannot find leaks, take your bike out for a quick spin. After riding for a few miles, stop your bike and turn off the engine to look for leaks. And lastly, you should also check the adaptor hex bolts which you can find along the perimeter of the oil filter.

The Importance Of An Oil Cooler Upgrade For Your Motorcycle

For many motorcycle owners, proper maintenance of their ride is a very important thing. A lot of motorcycle owners make the mistake of thinking that motorcycle engines overheat simply because of the ambient air temperature. Many think that an air-cooled engine will suffice in keeping the engine cool.

The truth is that these are not necessarily true. On one hand, you have to factor in the poor quality of fuel currently available in the market today. Additionally, your bike may need an air cooler upgrade.

There are numerous benefits when you upgrade you air cooler. As you know, it cools oil by using a heat exchanger strategically placed behind the fans. It facilitates the flow of the oil through its fins even when the fans are not activated. Now, when the temperature of the oil breaches the 220 degree Fahrenheit mark, the fans will activate to blow air through it.

The fans will continue to blow air until the oil temperature is lowered to 190 degrees. The oil cooler will continue to work whether your motorcycle is moving or not, ensuring that the oil maintains a stable temperature. It does not add unnecessary noise as well. The fans of the oil cooler are quiet.

Additionally, you will not feel the air blasting from the fans because the air moves under the bike. Essentially, you will not even know that the oil cooler is there unless you look at its LED indicator which can be mounted practically anywhere you like to. Apart from cooling the oil and keeping the temperature of the motor at an acceptable level, an oil cooler offers additional benefits, including reduced ping and knock in the engine which translates to improved performance. This is also one of the reasons why many motorcycle owners invest in this upgrade.

Installing an air cooler is very easy. However, you need to make sure that you undertake all the recommended steps outlined by the manufacturer. Before installing the oil cooler, you will need to start your motorcycle and let it run idle for a few minutes. After that, shut the engine off and check for leaks. If you cannot find leaks, take your bike out for a quick spin. After riding for a few miles, stop your bike and turn off the engine to look for leaks. And lastly, you should also check the adaptor hex bolts which you can find along the perimeter of the oil filter.


With So Many Motorcycles for Sale, Here’s How to Pick the Right One

When looking at the variety of motorcycles for sale, the costs can quickly add up. It’s not just the sticker price; things like gear, maintenance, and insurance can all contribute to the bottom line. Luckily, there are ways around these steep prices. A knowledgeable buyer can get the bike they want at a price they can afford. Here are some tips on cutting costs.

Bike Price

The biggest cost associated with a bike will be the initial price. There are a couple of ways to get around a sticker price that’s simply too big. Most dealerships offer pre-owned motorcycles for sale alongside their new ones. These bikes, just a few years older than their shinier counterparts, are often good, reliable vehicles that will last for years to come. And, just as with new ones, pre-owned motorcycles can be upgraded with many of the same bells and whistles.

Gear

Since most of your body is exposed during a ride, gear-like jackets, helmets, and gloves-is very important. Just like when shopping for motorbikes, it is possible to find used gear. Check with local shops to see if they offer discounts on pre-owned jackets or gloves. For the most important piece of equipment-the helmet-it is better to purchase new. Wait for sales, especially around the holidays, at your local supply store, or see if you can find an older or outdated model. It might not look as slick as the newest helmet, but it will certainly do the trick in the event that you are in an accident.

Maintenance

Maintaining a bike, especially the engine or transmission, can be costly. Work with the dealership where you made your purchase to see if there are maintenance packages available. Some dealerships offer to do regular maintenance-oil changes, tire changes, fluid checks-for a special price.

Insurance

After initial costs, insurance is one of the more expensive issues that a bike purchaser must deal with. Insurance varies from person to person and even model to model. To keep the cost of insurance as low as possible, talk to your agent about the cost before your purchase. Discuss with your agent what classes or models of bikes carry the lowest insurance cost. Also look into safe driver classes; some insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who have completed these classes. If costs still seem high, look at the rates offered by other insurance providers. Since the prices at insurance companies are always changing, it might be that having car insurance through one company and bike insurance through another is your best option.

Don’t let sticker shock bring you down when looking for motorcycles for sale. Anyone who wants a bike can get one by being a smart buyer and following these tips.