Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Prepping Your Bike for Storage

We’re bummed to say it, but colder weather is officially upon many of us, and for some, that may mean the end of riding season. Hopefully we’ll still have some great riding weather before winter fully hits, but in the meantime, it is crucial to know what you need to do when it comes to prepping your bike for storage. We’ll give you some tips to keep your bike in great shape as we ride out the winter.
  • Enjoy One Last Ride - This may sound like a no-brainer, but putting the bike away for the season sucks - yeah, we said it. Enjoy one last long ride of the season and savor every moment. 
  • Prep the Exterior - Before storing your bike, you’ll want to make sure it has had a detailed cleaning. That means breaking out the brushes and sponges to get into those hard-to-reach areas of the bike. You don’t want mud, or who knows what else, to tarnish or corrode the finish. When you’re finished washing your bike, you’ll also want to make sure that you dry the bike thoroughly, and throw on a fresh coat of wax so you can avoid rusting. 
  • Fill Up Those Fluids - You’ll want to make sure after your last ride of the season you’ve filled up your gas tank completely. A half-empty tank can cause major issues in the long run - including rusting. You’ll also want to treat your fuel with a good fuel stabilizer before storage as well. Last but not least, make sure to check your antifreeze levels. 
  • Change the Oil - Even if your winter season doesn’t last very long, it’s still important to change your oil before any type of storage. Dirty oil can increase your chance of corrosion, which can lead to engine wear. So, run your bike until the engine warms, then drain the old oil, change the filter, and refill it with fresh oil. Once spring rolls around, you’ll already be ready for your first ride. 
  • Lubricate Moving Parts - Keep the moving parts of your bike lubricated during the winter months to avoid rusting or binding. Any basic chain lubricant from PepBoys or somewhere similar should do the trick. 
  • Battery Protection - We recommend removing your battery before winter storage to avoid any damage the cold could cause. We also suggest investing in a trickle charger that will provide a low, steady stream of electricity to your battery which will allow it to stay charged during long periods of inactivity.
  • Don’t Forget Your Tires - Tires can be easy to forget when it comes to storage, but they are important to protect through the winter. Grab a motorcycle stand to put your bike on so you can keep your tires off of the ground to avoid flat spots. If you can’t invest in a motorcycle stand, we suggest rolling your bike around slightly every couple of weeks. 
  • Cover Your Ride or Find Shelter - If at all possible, the ideal place to put your bike in hibernation is in a heated garage or storage facility. If that’s not an option, an unheated garage or shed will work. Avoid leaving your bike out in the elements if you can, but if this is unavoidable and you have to park in the street, invest in a high-quality cover for your bike - you won’t regret it. 
We’re obviously sad the season has come to an end, but if you follow these winter prepping tips, your bike should be in great condition when warmer weather hits. Until then, we’ll be anxiously counting the down the days until spring.
Trader Online Web Developer

Taking a Look Back - Top Motorcycle Manufacturers

There are a lot of motorcycle manufacturers out there, and we all have a favorite, but did you ever wonder how these moto giants got their start? Let’s take a look back at a few of the most popular manufacturers, their history, and where they’re headed.

Harley-Davidson - Harley-Davidson is one of the most well known and popular motorcycle American manufacturers. The company started out of a small shed in 1903 by William S. Harley and brothers Arthur and Walter Davidson in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since the company’s inception, Harley-Davidson has remained a staple in the motorcycle community and is often considered to as an American classic. The company is known for producing cruiser-styled motorcycles, but they have also rolled out street models, racing models, and most recently they’ve come out with brand new models (including an all-electric bike) in the hopes of attracting new riders. 

Image: Harley-Davidson

Indian Motorcycles - Indian is America’s oldest motorcycle brand. They got their start in 1897 when George M. Hendee founded a bicycle production company called the Hendee Manufacturing Company. At the time, they had bikes like Silver King, Silver Queen, and American Indian. American Indian was then shortened to just “Indian” and the name has stuck ever since. In 1901, Hendee hired a man named Oscar Hedstrom to build gasoline engine-powered bikes to help pace bicycle races - and soon after, Indian Motorcycle sales began. Indian has had some ups and downs throughout their history, but in 2014 Polaris bought the manufacturer and they have been growing nonstop ever since. The company is known for its famous Scout, Chief, and Spirit models and they plan on consistently expanding their bike selection in the future to attract new riders. 

Image: Indian Motorcycle

Honda Motor Corp. - Honda Motor Corp was founded in 1946 by Soichiro Honda as Japan struggled to rebuild following the Second World War. Soichiro Honda saw the need for affordable transportation in Japan during this time period and began attaching two-stroke motors on to bicycles, and thus began Honda Motor Co. Since then, Honda has grown into one of the top motorcycle manufacturers in the world and has produced iconic models like the Super Cub, Honda CB, and many more. They continue to add to their lineup with innovative, technologically-advanced models, and remain a staple in the motorcycle community. 

Image: Honda

BMW - BMW formed in 1916 and began by producing truck and aircraft engines for Germany during WWI. After the war, the Treaty of Versailles banned the manufacturing of aircraft engines, so BMW steered their focus to motorcycles. BMW Motorrad, BMW’s two-wheel division, rolled out the first motorcycle under its name in 1923 - the R32. The R32 has two traits BMW bikes still have to this day - a shaft drive and the iconic Boxer powerplant. The model became the foundation for all future boxer-powered motorcycles. Since then, BMW has grown into an increasingly popular motorcycle brand and has recently come out with a self-balancing motorcycle and an electric scooter. 

Image: BMW

Yamaha - Yamaha was founded In 1955 when Genichi Kawakami acquired equipment used in the production of metal airline propellers to develop the first Yamaha motorcycle. Yamaha's first product was the YA-1, a 125 cc two-cycle, single cylinder motorcycle. The YA-1 was a successful racing motorcycle and competed internationally. Yamaha is still well known for their racing models, as well as touring and street models, and they remain one of the most famous Japanese motorcycle manufacturers. 

Image: Yamaha 

We’ve covered just a few of the top motorcycle manufacturers and it’s fascinating to see how far they have come in such little time. Each manufacturer started small and have since grown into world-renowned brands that we all know, respect, and love to ride today.
Trader Online Web Developer

In Case You Missed It - November Motorcycle News

We’re early into November, but the motorcycle industry hasn’t slowed down. We’re here to catch you up on the motorcycle news you need to know this month. Check out the most recent headlines below.

Ducati Releases 2019 Motorcycle Lineup - Ducati recently presented their new 2019 motorcycle lineup that will be featured at EICMA 2018 in Milan, Italy. The new lineup will include a complete overhaul of their iconic Scrambler, and a renewal of the Diavel and Hypermotard models. Another exciting 2019 bike included in this lineup is the new Multistrada 950 S. This model is a major upgrade of the smallest Ducati ‘multi bike’, which includes state of the art technology that will boost safety and rider enjoyment. We can’t wait to hear more about these models from the manufacturer. Read More.

Image: Powersports Business

Indian Announces Accessory Kits For FTR 1200 - America’s oldest motorcycle brand has some exciting news to report. Indian Motorcycles just announced new accessory kits for their FTR 1200 after just recently announcing the new model itself. The FTR 1200 includes a powerful liquid-cooled engine, aggressive styling and ergonomics, and a flat-track racing-style. This bike is getting riders excited to say the least. Indian announced four - you read that right, four - new accessory kits for the model that will transform the FTR 1200 for specific types of riding: Rally, Touring, Sport, and Tracker. You’ll want to see this model and new kits for yourself - trust us on this one. Read More.

Image: Cruiser 

Curtiss Unveils Production-Bound Zeus Electric Motorcycle - This motorcycle is INSANE looking - and we mean that in the best way possible. Curtiss Motorcycles is joining other manufacturers on the trend of electric models by introducing the Zeus, an electric motorcycle that could become the fastest in the world. They are developing a new battery, motor, and control system technologies that will enable the company to deliver a clean and modern-styled motorcycle. Once production begins, the Zeus is set to compete with other electric motorcycles like Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire. Read More.

Image: The Drive

Speaking of the LiveWire...Harley-Davidson Gives Us a Closer Look at the Model - The company showed off what their all-electric motorcycle will actually look like at the EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show. Harley showed off the final production prototype of LiveWire and we think it looks pretty badass. Many people doubted if sales of the LiveWire would actually begin in 2019, and the company is putting those doubts to bed with this reveal. You’ll want to take a look for yourself. Read More.

Image: Electreck

There you have it - the November moto news you couldn’t live without. Stay tuned for our December edition of “In Case You Missed It” and let us know your favorite headline in the comments below.
Trader Online Web Developer