Thursday, January 19, 2017

T -1 Day before Mr. Trump goes to Washington

Thanks Captain Obvious 
No matter who you wanted as president, Trump will be sworn in as our 45th President in Washington this Friday. ---Sorry, Captain Obvious took things over for a minute!

Apparently there are quite a few people upset about that and plan to protest in Washington, DC and other cities across the country. 

In addition, there's Bikers for Trump vowing to put a 'wall of meat' between our new president and anti-Trump protesters. 

For my non-biker friends who might think Bikers are something to fear, please know that those of us who live a life behind bars don't want to hurt anyone. 

From Bikers for Trump "about us" webpage: Bikers for Trump™ does not endorse violence nor do we endorse confrontations with paid protesters at Trump for President appearances.

So here's a short list of what to do should you encounter a Biker:

  1. Treat the Biker(s) just as you like to be treated, with respect.

It's really that simple, I guarantee it. (See? I said it was short.)

But just in case, here's a clip from Ree Drummond's (aka The Pioneer Woman) recent blogBut this morning I woke up giving thanks ..... and remembering Mother Teresa’s words: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Victory wasn't victorious...

So, if you're following along with the motorcycle side of the world, you heard that Polaris is no longer claiming Victory. Starting now they are winding down their Victory Motorcycles line.
I don't think Harley-Davidson is claiming victory over this news (yes, pun intended).
As a Harley-Davidson Enthusiast - aka "Harley Snob" - you might think I'd be elated to see a piece of the competition close it's doors, but I'm not. (Of course I'm not in tears about it either!) But here's why:

Competition keeps any company at the top of their innovative game. It was, in part thanks to Indian back in the day, that Bill Harley came up with the Flathead and then the iconic Knucklehead motors. And you can bet the newest motor to come from Harley-Davidson - the Milwaukee-Eight - didn't just happen because the motor company had nothing better to do. 

For a while and for some reason unknown to me, having a competitive nature and competition was seen as something negative. "No child left behind" and participation medals were real popular in the late 1990's and early 2000's. Quite a few people felt it damaged a child's self esteem if they lost at something.

But if a child always "wins," even if all they did was just show up, then they don't really win at all. Of course a child will have hurt feelings if they loose at something. However, this is the perfect opportunity to learn how to pick themselves up, do it better, and go on to really win the next time.

Of course I don't think the Victory Motorcycle line
lacked a competitive nature - they did well up until 2012. It just makes good business for Polaris to go "all-in" with their Indian line. 

And in that sense, Harley-Davidson's competition isn't just fading away. Polaris is the sixth corporate successor to have ownership of Indian (the original motorcycle manufacturer closed it's doors in 1953). With more resources now being dedicated to the Indian name, it'll be interesting to see what happens in the future.  

The competition hasn't really left, it's just the players on the field have changed once again. I don't think Harley-Davidson is claiming victory over this news (yes, pun intended). In fact I think they are feeling up to the challenge to make more legendary motorcycles. And I am more than happy to ride along with that!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Are You Plotting Your Partner's Death?? (Getting Real Serious Now - Part III)

Anyone who's been in a semi-serious relationship for more than a few months has probably had this thought cross their mind.... But more than likely not from my point of view. 

Allow me to get a little personal here: Are you guys renting an apartment? Buying a house? Bought a car together? Is s/he helping to pay your cell phone bill? The more your finances are intertwined, the more things have a potential for unraveling. 

Then there's the physical side of it: Does your
partner help cook, clean, take care of the kids, shovel snow, mow the lawn, perform home maintenance, balance the finances, keep to the budget, and/or keep track of your calendar? And have you ever thought what would happen to you if the unthinkable ever happened to your spouse?? 
....if you think having this coverage means your insurance will pay you what you think your bike is worth, you'll need to think again.
In Part I we talked briefly on motorcycle insurance and how it differs from auto insurance. Then in Part II we covered how insurance companies want to save YOU money (in the short term). Now I'll talk about the different parts of a motorcycle insurance policy and things you should consider.

(I'll just remind everyone that I'm not an insurance agent or broker, nor am I an attorney of any type. I'm just someone who has seen a few things while working at FX Caprara Harley-Davidson.)

The Requirements:

  • Bodily Injury - protects the other guy when you hit them.
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage - protects the other guys vehicle when you hit them.
  • Collision Coverage - protects your bike (and the bank if you have a loan on it).... sort of. It's no-fault coverage that will cover the damage from almost any collision (but read the fine print on that). But if you think having this coverage means your insurance will pay you what you think your bike is worth, you'll need to think again.
So, the first three °requirements° for a rider to carry on his/her motorcycle insurance policy do absolutely nothing to protect the person actually riding!!

Are you starting to see where I'm coming from?? If your spouse suffers an accident while riding their motorcycle, who is going to protect them? And should that accident be fatal, who is going to protect you??

This is why I implore every Biker I meet, especially those that are new to the sport, to please review your insurance policy before it's too late!!!

Part IV will be on the road soon....

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Where the Rubber meets the Road

Saving money.... we all want to do it, Bikers
included. But to a Biker the term does not mean "cut corners" - especially where tires are concerned.

As someone new to motorcycling, one of the first realizations is that it can get expensive buying the bike & the parts to customize it. Usually the first 'add on' is a Stage 1 Performance upgrade (i.e. exhaust, hi-flo air intake & computer download). 
He thought he was saving a sh*t ton of money, but he nearly cost him & his girl their lives.
Then comes all the riding gear = leather jacket,
Good riding gear = always worth it
helmet, nylon jacket, rain gear, boots, gloves, etc. Over time it adds up, however it's definitely not a place to skimp on.

The same thing can be said about your motorcycle tires. Depending on your tire maintenance, how you ride, how many miles you ride, and how the tire was made, they might only last one or two riding seasons. At about $150 for a front tire, and around $300 for the rear tire (before labor), some 'newbies' look for a cheaper deal.... just remember you get what you pay for.
Old school new tire delivery

We once had a rider with a passenger traveling from NYC, riding a Dyna Super Glide Custom, stop in because they felt a "slight wobble" at highway speeds (FXCHD is right next to Exit 42 off of I-81).

This owner was very cost conscious and believed that getting tires from an auction sight online and having his non-biker friend/home mechanic put them on was saving him a sh*t ton of money.... but it nearly cost him & his girl their lives.
Just remember: you get what you pay for.
Car & motorcycle tires come with a date code because, even if they're not used on a vehicle, there is an 'expiration date' you should know about. In other words, there was a reason the tires this guy bought online were sssooo cheap.
How many birthdays have your tires had?
Check the date code!

The date code on a tire can easily be decoded - the four digits translate into the week and year; so 4708 is the 47th week of 2008. The older the tire, the faster the rubber degrades and likely to fail. Any tire over six years old is best used as a tire swing. 

As a motorcyclist, when you only have two wheels instead of four, you should want them to be the best they can be!!
Money doesn't buy happiness.... but it can buy a Harley - and that's just about the same thing!
Can you believe this guy didn't want a new tire??
Not only was the tire old, but it was the wrong size for his bike (too small), and his friend mounted the rear tire so that it was traveling in the wrong direction. Add in the fact that the tires were grossly under-inflated and steel belts were showing - yes, steel belts! - we were all wondering how they'd manage to survive the 300+ miles getting to us.

Can you believe this guy didn't want new tires?? He thought we were trying to scam him into something he didn't need.... It was only when we were insisting he and his passenger sign a release, that their families weren't going to sue the dealership, that he realized we were literally trying to save both their lives.

So, before that first ride in Spring, check out your tires: How is the tread depth and wear? Tire pressure ok? How many birthdays have your tires had? 

Should you need new motorcycle tires, you can always contact our Parts Department online or by calling 315-583-6177.