Which Is the Right Choice for You

wicWhen deciding between new or used motorcycles, how do you decide which is right for you? On the one hand, a new bike comes with fairly iron-clad guarantees of reliability. On the other, used motorcycles tend to require far less initial cash outlay. Which is the right choice? The answer depends on a few factors.

Price is a deciding factor for many riders. Once a new bike rolls off the lot, depreciation sets in, making a used vehicle a sensible choice, strictly in terms of impact upon the wallet. Simply stated, the price for last year’s model is likely to be far lower than the shiny new rides on the showroom floor. With a small sacrifice in terms of bells, whistles, and the latest technology, it may be possible to buy a higher quality bike than one could otherwise afford. It’s important, however, to weigh the total cost. Used motorcycles show the wear and tear of having been ridden. The bike that seems like such a great deal might, in fact, need a lot of work, or be due for major maintenance. If you are not an expert mechanic, it may be wise to buy from a dealer, who has a vested interest in ensuring that the bike is at least mechanically sound. They may hope to build trust with customers who will then return for maintenance, repairs, and accessories.

A rider’s personal mechanical ability comes into play when deciding between new and used motorcycles as well. Most riders are enthusiasts, and many have tinkered around with engines, at least to some extent. Not all riders, however, have the knowledge to spot a bike that has been laid down, causing a bent frame, or know the signs of a hog that has been ridden hard and poorly maintained. An honest assessment of your own ability, willingness, time, and resources is necessary when considering a pre-owned machine. Are you willing and able to perform repairs? Do you have the resources necessary to replace parts, carry out necessary repairs, and recognize signs of damage or wear?

Finally, it’s wise to consider the future. Buying used motorcycles through classified advertising or online sales sites is always risky, but a savvy buyer may choose to go in that direction if a particularly good deal presents itself. It may be prudent, however, to consider buying from a dealer, whether you decide upon new or pre-owned. You will have the assurance that the bike has at least been looked over and assessed for wear, tear, and the potential need for repairs. Most dealers offer more than just motorcycles. They’re an excellent resource over the long term, whether you need maintenance, repairs, accessories, or just advice. The riding culture is built upon relationships. Building a solid connection with a local dealer not only supports the community as a whole, it provides you with a valuable resource for help down the road. Whether you buy new or used, make sure to buy the ride that’s right for your needs.

Why All Riders Should Take Motorcycle Classes

3yThe idea of total freedom on the open road is appealing. You can enjoy feeling the wind in your hair with nothing but you, your bike, and the road. However, if you’ve never ridden a motorbike before, you will find that this idea may sound wonderful, but it is not as easy as you think. Traffic can be dangerous. Being around moving vehicles without the same protection can be more than just scary. All motorbike drivers, especially new operators, can benefit from some form of motorcycle classes.

Most Classes are Designed for Novice Riders

The design of the basic courses is for those who have little or no knowledge about operating a motorbike safely. They start with about five hours of in-class instruction and discussion. After that introduction to key principles, the instructor will take you out on a real bike exercise on a closed course. You will get anywhere from 10 to 15 hours of additional instruction on the vehicle. During this practice, you can expect to drive 10 to 15 miles and cover basics such as starting, slowing, stopping, accelerating, and shifting. You will also learn to anticipate and accommodate different traffic situations.

The primary focus of these courses is to get you ready to take the practical exam and receive your state license. However, there is an added benefit for some students. Some insurance companies will give you a discount for taking the class. That benefit could significantly lower your insurance rates.

Motorcycle Classes are Good Refreshers for Experienced Riders

There are times when even experienced drivers need a little instruction. Maybe you have been injured or had to sell your ride. You may have stopped riding due to bad weather. No matter what your reason is, going to professional motorcycle classes is a good idea.

You may feel that the basic course is too rudimentary for your needs. There may be different levels of courses, depending on the facility. You should be able to find an intermediate class that will offer you some instruction and techniques that will enhance your riding experience. It also serves as a refresher to help break bad habits you developed.

Improving the Reputation of Cyclists

The main goal of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation is “to make motorcycling safer and more enjoyable.” In order to do that, they want to ensure that all riders have access to quality education and training.

The sad fact is that in over half of all accidents involving a motorbike, the operator of the vehicle had less than six months of experience. Many members of the public believe that cyclists are reckless and have a general disregard for public safety. That perception can change if the operators would hold themselves to a higher standard and continue to educate themselves on proper safety habits.

Motorcycle classes are not intended to make getting your endorsement more difficult. If anything, the design is to teach you how to operate your vehicle safely. When it comes time to test for your state license, you should have no problem passing the exam.

Motorcycle Service Guide to Keep Your Bike Running For Years

bikYou 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.

Things You Need To Check Before Riding Your Dirt Bike

mikNowadays, individuals are more into motorcycles than cars due to numerous benefits such as lower fuel expenses and maintenance costs. Apart from that, individuals can also choose different types of motorcycles from sport bikes, mopeds, and even dirt bikes. If you wish to enjoy driving a motorcycle on different terrains, it is best to choose dirt bikes. But, before spending quality time riding under the open skies, it is important to check your bike. Below are the things you need to check.

Oil and coolant levels

Before doing anything on your bike, it is important to check the oil and coolant levels. These items are very important to ensure that your bike is running properly. Bikes with low oil can ruin the whole engine which can be costly. On the other hand, bikes that run on low coolant levels have higher risks of overheating.

Tyre thread and pressure

It is also important for individuals to check the tyre thread and pressure since it can affect its maneuverability, acceleration, and speed. Checking tyre thread is also important to ensure that you have good traction in any terrain to help you avoid slips and falls when doing tricks.

Brakes

Make sure that you also check the brakes. Brakes are essential to help you reduce speed when doing tricks or when riding. Malfunction of brakes may cause serious injuries. Therefore, check the brake fluid, determine if the brake pads are still adequate, and assess the brake hoses for any leaks.

Chain and sprockets

Chain and sprockets are the most neglected parts of a dirt bike. Unfortunately, these items play a huge role since they are used to move the power from the engine into the tyres. Worn out sprockets or loose chains can affect your bike’s performance.

Suspension

It is also vital to check the suspension of your bike before riding it since issues like leaks can alter its recoil and may affect the maneuverability in tight corners or steep slopes. Dead suspension can also make rides on rough terrain irritating and dangerous.

Rim spokes

Rim spokes are essential in keeping tyres straight. So, loose or broken spokes can spell disaster even during a simple trip. Hence, tighten up spokes by using the right tools and replace broken spokes to ensure that the tyres are leveled out.

Clutch adjustment and cable

Lastly, it is also important to check clutch adjustment and cable. This is important to allow individuals to accelerate and shift gears easily. However, make sure that the adjustment is right to avoid burning the clutch plates or snapping the cable.

With all these simple tips, individuals can enjoy a fun-filled day of cruising and doing tricks with their dirt bike.