Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Packing & Getting Out of my Comfort Zone

When I was a kid I was shy, and I still am to a certain extent. That's why I was nervous about starting a Youtube Channel/Video Blog.... But I did and I posted my first video last night, with the help of a few drinks of liquid courage (of course I wasn't driving anywhere, so no DUI for me!)!! 

Since I'm getting ready to go on my big motorcycle road trip, I thought I'd post something about packing (I'm riding out to Boston for Harley's Annual Dealer Meeting where they'll introduce the 2017 lineup). Because when it comes to packing for a motorcycle trip, you've got to think about things a little differently.

Cagers (definition of "cager") have lots more room to pack what
they want to take. Bikers, on the other hand, have a finite amount of space for what we need to take. Plus I've got to leave room for all the souvenirs & dealer shirts I'm bringing back!!

So keep checking my Youtube Channel for more posts about packing for a motorcycle trip as well as what I see at the HDMC Annual Dealer Meeting. I'll work on my shyness too!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

History coming to life - Harley and the Davidsons

In a recent meeting with our Marketing District Manager, he said to me, "I can see that you bleed Black & Orange!" (the Harley-Davidson colors) I'm just passionate about Harley motorcycles and happen to know a lot of their history. 

For years I've been bugging the motor company and H-D Museum
to do a TV show on how Harley-Davidson went from a 10x15 backyard shed to a multi-million dollar company known the world over. Originally they were just looking for a faster, easier way to the fishing hole. And here we are, nearly 115 years later, with something more than 'just' motorcycles - there's an entire culture attributed to Harleys.

Well finally my wish has come true: the Discovery Channel has
created a 3-part mini-series titled Harley and the Davidsons. The H-D Museum granted extensive access to early documents and photographs so that Discovery could research the story down to the smallest detail. But don't be thinking this is another a documentary- it's not. This show is a dramatization and also a love letter to the era; about immigrant children creating their own American dream.

Because Harley-Davidson was not part of the production and had no editorial control over the content, they will not be advertising the mini-series itself. However H-D will be bringing considerable advertising to the table as this series airs shortly after the 2017
model year line-up is introduced (August 23rd). Add in the fact that dealers across the nation will be hosting "Discover More" Open House Events the weekend of September 22-25, inviting everyone to check out the latest the motor company has produced, it's clear that HDMC will be taking advantage of the show. (Of course FX Caprara Harley-Davidson will be having our own Discover More Open House!)

And I will be excited to see all this history coming to life, even if it isn't 100% accurate. Especially since I'm tired of another company stating that they're "America's first motorcycle" - which is technically true, but then went out of business in 1953. America's oldest, continuously running motorcycle manufacturer to date is the one and only Harley-Davidson.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Three things to remember about Motorcycle Insurance!!

Oops!! You and your bike have fallen... Fortunately you're both back up but not yet back on the road. But on the plus side, your insurance company is going to take care of everything.... sort of.

First, I'm not an expert in, nor do I sell insurance. Also, I'm not an insurance claims adjuster. This blog is just to make you, the consumer, aware of some of the little things that the, "save money now by switching to us" insurance commercials don't tell you.

Next, let me tell you that I'm constantly yelling at the television when those "spend 15 minutes and save 15% or more" come across the screen. Exactly how are they saving you money?? Sometimes by cutting certain insurance coverage you don't need right then.... but you might need it down the road!

This past March I blogged about Insurance Coverage, mainly because our Northern New York H.O.G.® Chapter was hosting a seminar on the subject and I learned a few new things. Now that we're into the riding season, I'm seeing customers in FX Caprara Harley-Davidson® that are regretting the fact that they can't go back in time and change things..... 

So the first of the Three Things To Remember is: 

In New York State, because our riding season is about six months
out of the year (if we're lucky), motorcycles are considered recreational vehicles and are treated as such. That means if you want medical coverage for yourself you'll need to make sure your plan covers you for that.

You might be thinking, "My medical insurance will cover me if I get in an accident, so I'm fine!" But what you might not be considering is if you have to pay any type of co-pays.... What's your plan's co-pay for an emergency room visit? What about physical therapy? And who pays if you have to be transferred to the hospital by ambulance? Or by helicopter (which is around $33,000!!)?? 

Next is:

Is your motorcycle insurance policy written specifically for New York State? If yes, then I'm sure you're aware that New York requires all riders and passengers to be wearing a DOT approved helmet while on a motorcycle. 

But now you're riding through Pennsylvania - a lovely state that
does not force the rider or passenger to wear a helmet. But if you get in an accident and you're not wearing a DOT helmet, your NY motorcycle insurance policy might not cover you because you have a NY policy. Either read all the fine print, check with your insurance broker or agent, or check with a lawyer who is used to dealing with motorcycle accident claims.

Last but not least is:

Here's a recent scenario that actually happened in our shop last week - owner wrecks his bike, bike goes to other nearby shop (not a dealership but a local, privately owned mechanic shop) for repair. Insurance claims adjuster shows up at said other shop, inspects the bike to see what he thinks needs to be replaced, writes up the claim complete with part numbers, gives paperwork to other shop, authorizes repair cost. Shop calls us, orders parts by giving us the part numbers the insurance adjuster gave them. The parts come in, get back to the other shop only to find out the part is the wrong year for that bike, or just the wrong part all together.

Of course the correct parts for that particular bike will be
covered.... once the insurance company realizes their mistake. How long do you think that's going to take? Insurance Claims Adjusters do know their stuff.... about insurance claims, not about motorcycle parts!! Neither they nor any local mechanic have the same access a dealer does to see what exact parts need to be ordered. 

Not to mention, did the claims adjuster see everything that should be replaced? Did s/he see the big dent at the bottom of your cross-over exhaust pipe? How about the gouge out of the cylinder fins from the horn hitting? Remember your insurance adjuster is used to looking at claims all day, not motorcycles.

The take-away on this is just for you to double check and see if all your "t's" really are crossed, and all your "i's" really are dotted. Your insurance agent says, "Yup - you're fully covered!!" but what does that really mean for you???