Thursday, December 28, 2006

Running a custom motorcyle shop is not for the weak

If you are a fan of the show American Chopper, you may think that running a custom motorcycle shop is a dream job. It might be a dream job, but it is not easy.

Street Chopper Magazine's website features an inside perspective of building custom bikes from Sara Liberte, a bike builder at North Hills Cycle in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Sara and her partners love building custom bikes, but the job also means long hours, demanding customers, and the day-to-day headaches of running a business. Even dedicated bike builders have days where they want to throw a wrench across the shop in frustration. You think you can handle it?

Do you build custom bikes? Do you run your own shop or plan to open one? Give us your perspective the business of building custom bikes and leave a comment below. We want to hear your story. Don't be afraid to brag.

Snowmobiles have trouble with lack of snow

Snowmobiles need more than just fuel and a rider to get going. They need snow.

The Rapid City Journal reports that a lack of snow in the Black Hills of South Dakota is putting the damper on snowmobile riding.

There is snow on the ground in some areas, but patches of open green space make the ride difficult. As the ground stays green, rental snowmobiles are sitting idle under their covers.

Are you a snowmobile rider? Do you have enough snow to ride on where you live? Leave a comment below and tell us your story.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Holidays from Cycle Trader Insider

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

from Cycle Trader Insider

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Give your bike a hoilday season checkup

If your motorcycle has treated you well with hours of smooth riding, return the favor and take care of your motorcyle. Motorcycle USA's website features tips on giving your motorcycle a some basic maintenance.

This article applies to mostly to dirtbikes, which take a lot of abuse and get exposed to heavy ammounts of dirt, but the maintenance tips could probably apply to your standard bike too.

When was the last time you checked your bikes tires for wear? Have you check the belts? No matter what type of bike you ride, checking up on your bike's health is a wise idea.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Picking the right motorcycle cover for your bike

Your motorcycle has enemies. Unless you store your ride in a garage, the enemies of rain and sun can damage your bike, and do not forget the birds looking for target practice.

Putting a cover on your bike to protect it sounds easy enough, but which one is best? Motorcyclecruiser.com features a comparison of different bike covers and suggestions on choosing the right type for you.

Not all bike covers are the same. Pick a poorly made cover and you could end up damaging your bike instead of protecting it. A bike cover can also serve as barrier against cycle thieves.

Do you have suggestions for picking a bike cover? Do you have any suggestions on keeping your bike safe and clean from the elements? Leave a comment below and tell us your story.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Chinese city bans all motorcycles

Chinese city bans all motorcyclesThe city of Guangzhou, China, has a unique and effective solution to curb the problem of motorcycle traffic.

All motorcycles are now banned.

According to The Seattle Times, the solution imposed by the city government goes into effect January 1 of next year. All 260,000 motorcycles in the city are to be off the roads.

This is a tough break for cycle riders in Guangzhou, especially if they depended on their motorcycle to make a living.

The reason for a tough ban? City leaders blame motorcycles for the increasing number of traffic accidents and thickening air pollution.

Some residents suspect that the ban might be a heavy-handed way to encourage more car sales. Car sales are growing in China, thanks to a booming economy.

We can imagine what motorcycle riders anywhere in the world would feel about this, and have to say about it. Tell us what you think. Leave a comment below.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Motorcycle thief bit by Bobcat

Don't get bit by a bad bobcat!If you have read the Trader Online Security site you might be familiar with the warning about bad bobcats. Ads for Bobcat skid-steers are sometimes used by scam-artists looking for a quick buck.

A story on the Gillette News Record features a bad Bobcat of a different sort. A would-be motorcycle thief had his escaped blocked by a driver of a Bobcat skid-steer.

The thief escaped and is currently being sought by the police.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Motorcycle safety in 10 simple steps

About.com features an article by Walter Kern on 10 ways to be safe on a motorcycle.

Kern's recommendations are probably familiar to veteran bikers, but they are still worth reviewing.

While most of the ten tips concern safe driving habits, others focus on the rider's attitude. Road rage and driver inexperience can be just as dangerous as heavy traffic or a darkened road.

The 10 ways article has become so popular that it is available as a mousepad.

What do you think of the 10 rules? Do you have any rules you would like to add? Tell us what you think and leave a comment below.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Motorcycle noise law in Arizona causes controversy

The Arizona Republic features a story on how the town of Carefree, Arizona is cracking down on motorcycle noise.

Signs are being posted warning bikers that if they break the 80 decibel limit with their engine, they could face a fine of $750.

The issue is causing tension in Carefree. A recent town council meeting over the noise issue was marked by heated talk. While bikers and citizens both agree that there should be respect for noise limits, many feel the fine for breaking the noise law is too steep.

How do you feel about the noise law? Do you have ideas about what should be done? Post a comment and tell us what you think.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Texas motorcycle rider transports bikes with care

Moving a motorcycle can be a stressful chore for a devoted bike owner. After spending all that money and time on a custom bike, you do not trust just anyone to pack it up and ship it.

Professional bike mover Scott Harris, profiled in The Dallas Morning News, understands how a motorcycle lover feels. That is why he operates his own bike-moving business.

Harris is a biker who once moved motorcycles for rock stars. He saw how some shippers treated beloved motorcycles with less than tender loving care, so he decided to start his own business in Texas to move bikes right.

Need your bike moved by pros? Check out the selection of bike transporters on CycleTrader.com.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bluetooth headsets allow bikers to talk and ride

No one would advise using a cell phone while riding a motorcycle. Now with Bluetooth enabled headsets, bikers can talk and even make calls on their cell phones while they ride.

The Dallas Morning News features an article on Bluetooth headsets that attach to biker’s helmets, allowing a biker to keep both hands on the handlebars and use their phone.

The headset lets riders hear calls and talk through a wired microphone and speaker that attaches inside the helmet. A windscreen on the headset keeps your voice clear, even as you speed down the road.

For those unfamiliar with wireless technology, Bluetooth is a standard used by electronics manufacturers for devices ranging from cell phones to video game controllers.

If your phone cell phone has a special feature, you can use your headset to dial and answer calls with your voice alone.

Just make sure your boss does not have your cell phone number if you ditch work to ride.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Indian Motorcycle plans a comeback in 2007

Indian Motorcycle company was revived in 1999, only to vanish again in 2003. According to CNNmoney.com, there are new owners of the Indian name, aiming to have new bikes rolling by late 2007.

Indian motorcycle was founded in 1901, two years before Harley Davidson started making bikes. Indian established a reputation for making solid cruising bikes, but fell on hard times and closed down in 1953. Investors attempted a revival in the 1990s that lasted till 2003.

Indian might have better luck this time thanks to previous experience of the new owners: two Harvard Business school grads who successfully revived the famous Chris Craft boat company.

Is 2007 too long to wait? Want to buy an Indian now? Find one today on Cycle Trader.

Do you own an Indian bike? Do you think you might buy one of the new Indians? Tell us your story and post a comment.