Friday, March 15, 2019

Prepping Your Bike for Riding Season



If you live in a warmer climate all year round, consider us jealous. Spring is right around the corner for the rest of us and you know what that means - riding season is officially upon us. We are PUMPED to brush the dust off of our bikes and say goodbye to winter. But before you roll your bike out of the garage, it’s important to make sure it’s fully ready for that first epic ride of the season. If you prepped your bike properly for winter storage, you might not have a lot of work to do before taking your first ride, but there are a few things everyone still needs to check. We’ll give you a few tips on how to prep your bike for riding season below.
  • Make it Shine - First and foremost, we recommend bringing your beauty back to life with a detailed wash/cleaning. Brush all the dust off and make sure your bike wasn’t the home to any rodents or nests during the colder months. Make sure to give your bike a fresh coat of wax so it’s protected from the elements during the riding months.
  • Take a Look at Your Tires - Tires are obviously a crucial component of a motorcycle, so make sure yours are in the good condition before taking your bike for a spin. You’ll want to look for any cracks, punctures, examine the tread condition, and the general wear and tear in both tires. If you see any issues, you might want to consider buying some new wheels for the upcoming season. If you don’t see any red flags, you’ll still want to make sure you check your tire pressure before hitting the road.
  • Check Your Fluids - You’ll want to start by taking look at your fuel. If you used a fuel stabilizer during your winter storage prep, your fuel should be in fairly good shape. Check to make sure there’s no gunk or grime when you open the filler cap. We also recommend taking a look at your oil level before riding. It might be a good idea to change your oil and filter (depending on condition) considering your bike has been stagnant for a while. 
  • How’s Your Battery? If you used a trickle charger during the winter months, your battery will probably be in good shape. If you didn’t, you’ll want to make sure your battery is fully charged before taking a ride. If you see any corrosion, make sure to clean it properly. You’ll also want to check that the battery water level is full, if not, make sure to top it off.
  • Check for Leaks and Examine All the Nuts and Bolts - Take a walk around your bike and make sure there has been no leakage during storage. We also suggest checking that all nuts and bolts are tightened on your unit.
  • Test Your Brakes - It’s a no brainer that brakes are pretty important while riding, so make sure yours are in good condition. Don’t forget to examine your brake pads and brake-fuel levels before riding.
  • Lubrication - It’s a good idea to make sure all of the moving parts on your bike are well-lubricated before you ride. Grab the proper grease for your motorcycle (check the owner’s manual) and get to work.
  • Check All Electrics - Test your lights and signals before every ride. No one wants to be stranded on a night ride with a headlight out.
  • Are You Ready to Roll? If it’s been a while since you’ve ridden your bike remember - it’s okay to take it slow for the first couple of rides (even though it might be hard). Take some time to reacquaint yourself with your bike and it’s ergonomics, and if you’re feeling a bit rusty, we recommend continuing your biker education by taking a motorcycle safety course.
  • Check Your Other Gear - Now that you’ve checked out the entirety of your bike, it’s a good time to take a look at the quality of your other motorcycle gear. Make sure your helmet and protective gear are all in good shape (no cracks or tearing). If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it might be a good time for an upgrade or replacement. 
Anyone else stoked for riding season? Our hands are up. But before you rev your engines this year, make sure your bike is prepped and ready to hit that pavement. Do you have any spring bike prep tricks you swear by? Let us know in the comments below.



Trader Online Web Developer

Are You Following the T-CLOCS Method Before Each Ride?



If you’re a rider you’ve probably heard of the T-CLOCS checklist, but if you’re new to motorcycling or need a quick refresher, we’ve got your back. The T-CLOCS method was coined and created by our friends over at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). This checklist should be followed before every ride to make sure your bike is in good working order and is safe to take out on the road. To help you remember what to check on your bike, the MSF came up with an acronym to help you out - T-CLOCS. Let’s break down what each letter stands for and what you should keep an eye out for before you take your next ride.

Make sure to check your...

T - Tires and Wheels
You’ll want to take a good look at both your tires and wheels to make sure they are in good condition before taking your motorcycle for a ride. Make sure your tires are in tip-top shape, paying special attention to any wear, weathering, bulges, and embedded objects. Don’t forget to check your air pressure as well, keeping in mind that you might need to make adjustments in colder weather. As for the wheels themselves, check the spokes, cast, rims, bearings, and seals; and last but not least, take a look at your brakes to determine function and condition.

C - Controls
Now it’s time to check the controls thoroughly. Examine the handlebars for any bending, and make sure your levers and pedals are in good condition and lubricated. Take a quick look at your cables to make sure there’s no fraying. You’ll also want to make sure your hoses are cut and crack free, and that your throttle moves freely.

L - Lights and Electrics
Examining your lights and electrics is a crucial part of the inspection. You should check your battery condition and the vent tube to make sure it isn’t kinked or routed incorrectly. Inspect your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals as these are all important components for safe driving. Don’t forget to also take a look at your switches, mirrors, and reflectors. You want to be seen out on the road, that’s why checking your lighting is so critical.

O - Oil and Other Fluids
To avoid being stranded out on the road, check your gas and oil levels before each ride. When you’re walking around your bike, we also suggest taking a good look for any leaks that your motorcycle might have.

C - Chassis
Make sure your bike feels just right before you ride. This means checking to see if your suspension feels normal. You’ll also need to examine the frame of your bike as well as the chain/belt, and make sure all nuts and bolts are properly tightened.

S - Stand
Last but not least, inspect your center stand or side stand for any cracks or bending and make sure the springs are sturdy to keep your motorcycle in place.

While it might seem like a lot to take on before each ride, checking your bike doesn’t have to take long if you do it on a regular basis. Once you know what to look for, spotting a problem should be easy, and we hope the solution will be easy as well. Once you conduct your T-CLOCS inspection you should be good to go and ready to ride. To print off your own detailed T-CLOCS checklist, click here.
Trader Online Web Developer

The Motorcycle News You Need to Know



It’s that time again. We’re here to hit you with the motorcycle news you need to know. We’ve got all the manufacturer news this month - from new models to test drives. So sit back and relax - check out the latest motorcycle headlines below.

Indian Collaborates with Jack Daniel’s, Klock Werks for Limited-Edition Motorcycle - Indian Motorcycle and Jack Daniel’s recently unveiled the Jack Daniel’s Limited Edition Indian Springfield Dark Horse. This bad-ass bike has premium design features that give the motorcycle an exclusive look. The design inspiration came from Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select and the entire bike is hand-painted by specialized Indian Motorcycle craftsmen. The bike is two-tone Heavy Metal Crystal & Thunder Black Vivid Crystal and has Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel badging throughout. The limited-edition bike features a 116 cubic-inch Thunder Stroke engine with an estimated 127 ft-lbs of torque - talk about power. To top it all off, the motorcycle includes 2-inch mid-rise ape-hanger handlebars, quick release tinted flare windscreen, custom precision machined wheels, end-to-end LED lighting, and premium gloss black finishes throughout. You’ll want to see this model for yourself. Read More.

In Other Indian News… The Manufacturer Reveals 2019 Roadmaster Elite - Indian doesn’t seem to be slowing down with their new releases and we are here for it. The manufacturer has announced its latest ultra-premium touring motorcycle, the 2019 Roadmaster Elite. This bike is also a limited edition and every Roadmaster Elite features Wildfire Red Candy over Black Crystal paint with real 24-karat gold leaf badging, taking more than 30 hours to paint - now that’s a true custom job. The Elite has upgraded to a 600-watt PowerBand Audio Plus system providing exceptional sound quality throughout the bike. It also includes leather passenger armrests, spacious billet aluminum rider and passenger floorboards, a premium touring console, billet aluminum pinnacle mirrors, and chrome bumpers. Check it Out.

Zero launches all-new SR/F - Zero Motorcycles has introduced their new SR/F, coined as their most innovative and powerful motorcycle yet. The new street fighter electric model boasts 140 ft-lbs of torque and 110 horsepower. The bike is powered by Zero’s new ZF75-10 motor and ZF14.4 lithium-ion battery. A single charge delivers up to a 200-mile range with the addition of Zero’s Power Tank (available fall 2019). The SR/F is the first fully “smart” motorcycle due to its Cypher III operating system. The system gives the rider the ability to monitor the bike in four main areas: Bike Status and Alerts, Charging, Ride Data Sharing, and System Upgrades and Updates. We are excited to see more electric model offerings on the market and we’re eager to see how they continue to improve and expand in the coming years. Read More.

Slingshot Offering $50 Credit for Test Ride - Polaris’ Slingshot has just announced a new program called “Rev-n-Roll”, allowing consumers to test drive one of their units (at specified Slingshot dealerships) to receive a $50 Live Event Credit Voucher. This program will run through April 30th and the voucher can be used for sporting events, concerts, theater shows, and more. This deal from Slingshot sounds almost too good to be true, but the company says with spring approaching, they want to give more consumers the opportunity to experience all that Slingshot models have to offer riders. We love these units and we’re interested to see the participation in this program and how it will potentially increase sales. Read More.

There you have it. The top motorcycle-related stories you needed to know this month. Stay tuned for more motorcycle news roundups in the near future. Did you have a favorite story this month? Drop us a line in the comments below.
Trader Online Web Developer