Wednesday, July 12, 2017

You can bet your sweet App on that!!

Here's what happened last week in our Service Department at FX Caprara Harley-Davidson:

As you might already know, I also take pictures of damaged bikes for warranty claims. Within the last year or so, that's expanded to taking pictures of wrecked bikes for the insurance claim.

What I recently found out is that quite a few insurance companies no longer have an insurance adjuster come out to the shop to do the estimate. You just download their app - bing, bang, boom and you're done! And now, one company I just got off the phone with, is doing claims completely through their app on my (or your) smart phone. 
"Isn't that better?" I hear you ask, "That means I don't have to wait on the adjuster, right? So I'll get my money faster." Well, the answer is yes and no.

Yes - it's better if all you care about is getting some money for your accident. Notice I didn't say "enough money" to fix your motorcycle. 

This is the point is when my answer is No - it's not better because there are things that'll get missed (and I get the feeling this is why insurance companies have embraced this practice).

The particular company our customer has told him for us to download their app to my smart phone. I punched in the claim number I had, only to learn that the app allows just three - 3!!! - pictures of the damaged area. But this bike has more than three damaged areas....

So I called the insurance company through their national 1-800 number and, after going through the automated system, got a real live person on the phone. 
"Jake" was quite pleasant to speak with - so that was a plus, but the only one. As it turns out I can only submit photos through their app - I have no way to email them to a claims representative

Jake even seemed a little dismayed to hear that the owner had brought their bike into the dealership. "Oh, the owner could have done that [on the app] - he didn't have to take his bike to you."

Alarm bells going off!! This insurance company has done away with claims adjusters in favor of inexperienced representatives who are writing estimates based on pictures taken by the owner (whose primary job isn't as a automotive or motorcycle technician). To say something is going to get missed is an understatement.
Getting something done faster and easier is not always going to be best for you, the customer. Insurance companies are hoping you'll accept the check for a substandard, below cost estimate and just shut-up about it. Consumers need to wake up!!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Carpe Diem = Seize The Day on Your Harley!!

Hallelujah - the Sun Gods have finally smiled upon us in Northern New York!! Now's the time to ride out and put some miles on your bike. 

Don't have time for a long, overnight trip? Then it's a good thing there's lots of riding adventures within a day's ride of FX Caprara Harley-Davidson. Here are my favorites:

Thousand Islands Region:
This video, which features members of our Northern New York H.O.G. Chapter, pretty much says & shows it all. Literally right in our back yard, so even if you only have half a day or even just wanna take the long way home, it's very easy to do here.

If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, then a video is 10,000

Cooperstown, NY: 
In addition to the Baseball Hall Of Fame (and even if you're not that into baseball, it's still pretty cool to check out because the game is America's pass-time and our history as a nation is sssooo intertwined), there's the Fenimore Art Museum & Brewery Ommegang. Be sure to ride through the Illion Gorge on your way - south of Illion on NY-51.
More than just Baseball lives here....

Saranac Lake & Mount Baker:
Located on NY-3 in the heart of the Adirondacks, this mountain town is a nice alternative to the hustle & bustle of Lake Placid (except Whiteface Mountain, if you haven't been, is very "Ride List" worthy). Canoeing, Kayaking & Hiking - oh, my! The later is my fav with a hike out to Baker Mountain to see & photograph the High Peaks region.
The breathtaking High Peaks Region

Finger Lakes Region:
A visit to the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum is a must!! A pioneer in aviation and early motorcycle manufacturer, Glenn H. Curtiss was an innovative genius. The museum is home to original and reproductions of early aircraft, automobiles, boats and motorcycles - including a V8 bike from 1907.
Curtiss earned the title "Fastest Man on Earth" with his 1907 V8 Motorcycle

Letchworth State Park:
I'm actually leading a ride with our NNY Harley Owners Group there at the end of this month, and it'll be my first visit there. Hailed as the "Grand Canyon of the East," the state park offers nature, history and performing arts programs, guided walks, tours and more. Wanna ride with us? Meet at the Adams Center Sunoco Gas Station (by FXCHD) on July 30th, 7:30am; KSU at 8:00am
One of three falls on the Genesee River inside Letchworth State Park

Still looking for places close by to ride to? Want to find new roads? Check out Go Tour NY

You got your motorcycle for a reason, remember? And it wasn't to collect dust in your garage. Now, turn off your computer or tablet and get out. Go Ride.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Go Fourth & Ride • Top 5 Tips for a Better Trip

'Tis the Season!! And if you're lucky enough to have a motorcycle to ride (hopefully a Harley-Davidson 😎), then you're lucky enough and hopefully you get time to go ride. 

And when you do get time to go ride, no matter if it's just to work & back, over the next mountain or off to another state, here's what you need to know to make your ride that much better:


  1. Get the right gear: The most important thing to
    know is your riding gear can make or break your trip. You should have gear that's made by riders for riders: tough, reliable & able to hold up. The essentials are a versatile riding jacket, over-the-ankle boots, jeans or riding pants, a good quality rain suit with heat shields (that won't melt on your hot exhaust), and a DOT approved helmet.
  2. Embrace the challenge: Starting out on your motorcycle, even on a short trip to work, might not seem that challenging... but don't ever underestimate the physicality of any trip. Recently I started off for work knowing I'd encounter rain (so had my rain suit on) but halfway there the rain turned into a deluge. The idea of pulling over to wait it out was attractive, but instead I pushed through and when I arrived I felt even more accomplished.
  3. Bring your charger: My life is on my phone!
    Checking my work email, looking up a route on Google Maps, listening to Pandora, and taking pictures to post to Instagram. Even taking a lunch break on the road I'll charge my batteries so I won't miss taking as many pictures as I want.
  4. Stay comfortable: Nearly as important as the right
    gear, getting out of your riding gear - especially on the longer road trips - is a must do. Flip-flops and/or slippers, shorts and a t-shirt, and a hoodie are easy to pack (and feel really good at the end of a long day!).
  5. Go Slow: I'll be the first to admit - I like to go fast! The thrill of speeding down the road, feeling the wind, maneuvering my bike through the twisties is a lot of fun. But I have to remember that when I go too fast I'll miss the scenery (no matter how fast I'm going I always take time to see what other riders/drivers are doing!). Remember that on a bike you're seeing much more than you do in a car, so take the time and enjoy the view.
Your motorcycle trip should always start by planning ahead. What's the weather going to be like? What gear should I have with me? Thinking it through in advance will help you to have a great experience instead of being preoccupied with the other stuff.