The Motorcycle Helmet Buying Guide

Motorcycle Helmet

It is not recommended to buy a motorcycle helmet based solely on its appearance, material and size. There is much more to consider when buying this key piece of safety equipment. There are some brands that are know for safety more than others, such as Arai, Bell, Erex, HJC, Nolan, Shoei and Suomy. Most of these companies manufacture helmets that carry the safety approval of SNELL or the DOT. There are four main aspects for which to look when choosing the right helmet. These aspects are color, liner, shape and visibility.

Color

Most people think that color is an easy decision; however, these people are mistaken. When it comes to safety, you need to be highly visible to other people on the road. Bright colors tend to stand out better than dark colors such as black. This is why motorcycle safety experts always recommend bright colors above any other color, especially for riders who like to take their bike out at night.

Liners

Liners are another important safety consideration in terms of choosing a helmet. The main function of a helmet liner is to give you not only comfort but also a snug fit. You can tell whether or not a liner is the right one for your head by the pressure points. If the points on your head feel an uneven distribution of pressure, you should avoid that particular liner. Generally, skull cap liners are known for being the most comfortable and evenly distributing pressure over the head’s surface.

Shape

The helmet’s shape is also a vital purchasing point. No two rider’s heads are exactly the same. Some people have slim, oblong heads while others have oval-shaped heads or round heads. The only way to really determine if a helmet is the right shape is by wearing it. The helmet should fit comfortably and securely. In addition, the helmet’s weight must be properly distributed in order for your head to easily support the helmet.

Visibility

The last aspect on this motorcycle helmet buying guide is visibility. The manner in which some bike helmets are designed make it difficult for the wearer to see from their peripheral vision. A helmet that allows full visibility is one that will help you see the road better, allowing you to avoid accidents.

Always Try On the Helmet

Once you have finally found a helmet that seems to meet all of the above purchasing criteria, you need to try it on before buying the helmet and using it. If you plan to buy a helmet online in order to save money, try the brands on that interest you in the store first and then buy your final choice online.

Buying Points for Purchasing a Harley Davidson

Purchasing a Harley Davidson

The process of buying a Harley is enjoyable and unforgettable. But new riders are usually intimidated by the sheer selection of bikes. Most beginning riders gravitate toward Harley’s Sportster models because of their light weight. All in all, Harley-Davidson carries 31 motorcycle models that can be categorized into five various families of bikes. Regardless of the model, there are a few points to keep in mind when purchasing your Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which all revolve around the three contact points your body will make while sitting on a Harley. These points are the bottom, feet and hands. As you sit on a motorcycle, pay attention to the way your hands fit around the handlebars and remember that while holding the handlebars, your heels should touch the ground and your knees and elbows should remain slightly bent.

Foot Pegs and Floorboards

Motorcycles with floorboards are definitely the most comfortable for the rider’s feet. However, some bikes only have foot pegs. For foot-peg bikes, there are accessories that create a greater width and are made with rubber inserts that allow the rider to feel less vibration and enjoy greater control.

Handlebars and Risers

In order to get just the right fit, you have to test out and find the ideal combination of riser, the piece connecting the fork to the handlebar, and handlebar. Always take into consideration the bars’ width because wider-set bars provide additional leverage.

Seats

Perhaps one of the most important points, in terms of comfort, is the bike’s seat. There are numerous seat accessories available for purchase, some of which sit high and have extra padding. However, lower-profile seats are better for shorter riders. The seat height for some accessories can be lowered by two inches, which makes more of a difference than you might think. The type of bike trips you plan to take should also influence your purchase. Thick, wide seats are best suited for long-distance trips, especially if the seat is shaped like a chair. These seats have optional suspension lowering kits so the rider can not only enjoy a more comfortable trip but also better control.

Other Accessories

After you have finally chosen the right model of Harley, you can purchase accessories to better fit your style of riding, such as rain gear, saddlebags and windshields. Of course, be sure to thoroughly compare products and talk to fellow riders. Perusing bike magazines can also give you great ideas. Soon enough, you will be enjoying a long relationship that so many Harley-Davidson bike owners have.

The Honda motorcycle that does it all

The biggest motorcycle manufacturer in the world stole a march on the rest of the motorcycle-making industry this year, with the launch of an all-new model that plans to be all things – fun, frugal and practical – to all men, and women, the 2013 CRF250L, from Honda. Here’s why it’s already selling well.

The new Honda CRF250L has only just gone on sale, but a quick chat to a couple of Honda dealers reveals that they can’t get enough stock to supply customers’ hungry demand for this new multi-purpose motorcycle. Apparently, the Honda factory in Thailand where it’s made is flat out. It seems that the all-new 250cc on-road-off-roader is ticking the right desire boxes with UK riders that want to get to work on a thimble of fuel, look dirt-bike-cool, and hit the trails at the weekend for some muddy fun.

Fit for purpose

Honda motorcycles, the Japanese super-auto-brand, has been making dual purpose motorcycles for years, generally single cylinder, dirt-bike-style machines that leave the factory with road legal parts such as a speedo, a full lights set, horn etc, but still feature the tough, long travel suspension and torque-tuned power delivery needed to chuck some mud on the green lanes (designated country trails favoured by off-road bikers).

Fast and frugal

But this all-new, 2013 CRF250L is different; a thoroughly modern motorcycle. First up these’s the motor. It’s a (relatively) new 249cc single cylinder, double overhead cam, petrol motor that’s also used in the Honda CBR250R supersport machine. But here it’s tuned more for lower-revs torque than higher-revs horsepower. Still, the little motor makes 23bhp and 22Nm of torque, and, very important for these tough economic times, can return around 90mpg. You’ll not see 90mpg in any car!

That potential 90mpg fuel frugality makes the Honda CRF250L a distinctly viable every day work commuting tool, as does its 6-speed gearbox, 80mph motorway cruising speed and light weight, at 144kg. It’s a big, tall, bright red, mean-looking Honda dirt bike, but with a modern twist, so if you loved “scramblers” as a kid, you’ll certainly raise a smile at the CRF250L.

Jumped up

The CRF250L is tall because it needs ground clearance – the distance between the lowest point of the bike (the bottom of the engine) and the dangerous rocks and logs you’ll find on the trail. The CRF gets 255mm of ground clearance thanks to its beefy 43mm Showa front forks and single-shock Pro-Link rear suspension. The forks can compress by up to 249mm and the rear shock by 239mm, and that’s plenty of big-bump-soaking suspension travel, meaning that the CRF can fly off jumps!

Sorry, shorty

However, shorter riders may struggle to get both feet down on the CRF, as its 88cm seat height makes it much taller than any 125cc or indeed big-cc sports bike they might be used to. Confident riders should be ok with one foot on the floor, mind.

This is a cool-looking bike that’s big on big-dirt-bike attitude, is built to take the tough knocks of city and trail life, has enough engine punch for faster fun, and can get you car-thrashing fuel economy for your everyday commute. Oh and there’s the very reasonable new price of £3,950 and two year Honda warranty to further sweeten the deal. No wonder the CRF250L is selling like red-hot-muddy-Honda cakes.

A Comprehensive Motorcycle Purchasing Guide

Motorcycle Purchasing Guide

It is not easy figuring out the true value of a motorcycle you are thinking about purchasing. While a new motorcycle’s value is already predetermined by the bike’s manufacturer, a used motorcycle has a lot of variables that must be considered in order to determine it real worth. While research and planning are imperative to a successful motorcycle purchase, these guidelines will help if you need to come up with a negotiation price for a used motorcycle you have an eye on.

Make, Model and Year

Generally, newer motorcycles are more expensive than older models. However, some antiques, specialty bikes and Harley-Davidson motorcycles do not follow the rule of depreciation, causing their values tend to increase with time.

The Style

Certain styles of motorcycles come at various prices. Dirt bikes, cruisers, custom choppers and sport bikes are simply generalized classifications so motorcycles should be compared with others that fall into the same category.

The Size of the Engine

Most often, the bigger the engine size, the higher the bike’s price tag and cost to insure regardless of the motorcycle’s make and model. If it helps, consider large sports motorcycles to be comparable to fast sports cars. Insurance agencies will assume that you plan to drive fast so you will have to pay a higher insurance premium.

Total Mileage

Unlike cars, trucks and SUVs, the mileage is not as big of a concern with motorcycles because motorcycles have more durable motors. And just as if you were purchasing a vehicle, find out how the previous owner maintained the motorcycle. Ask for its service records.

Body Condition

Dings and scratches are common to see on used motorcycles. But the bike’s overall amount of damage and appearance are the two most important factors when gauging its body condition. By taking a glance at all sides, you can quickly tell the shape of the motorcycle’s body and how the owner has cared for it.

Economy Conditions

A motorcycle’s value is also determined by the economy, especially when gas prices are high. Since bikes are better on gasoline, the demand for motorcycles has risen.

The Season

During the summer and spring, motorcycles sell at a higher price. If possible, buy your motorcycle during the wintertime and sell it during the springtime in order to save during the off-season and profit from the prime riding season.

Geographical Location

Depending on the area of the country, a motorcycle will have a higher value. This is usually due to traffic congestion and climate conditions. Check out the local newspaper and compare several similar bike models to figure out the average selling price in your part of the country.

Preparing Your Motorcycle for the Prime Riding Season

Motorcycle Riding Season

It can be a hard task getting your motorcycle cleaned and prepared for the upcoming riding season after it has been sitting in your garage all winter. Regardless of the type of motorcycle you own, you need to learn how to properly fine tune and prepare it for the springtime.

List of Preparation Tasks

The following is a list of preparation tasks you should follow no matter if you own a Ducati, Harley, Yamaha or some other make of motorcycle. After your bike has been sitting in storage for several months, it is also important to read over your service manual for any additional cleaning and tuning tips that are relevant to your specific bike. Even though a task may seem inconsequential, it must not be overlooked.

* Look over your battery terminals and clean them with water and baking soda if necessary
* Apply one of several after-wash products and dry after application
* Check all lubricants including the oil
* Look over all cables and apply the specific type of lube made for cables
* Check the bike tires’ wear and pressure
* Check and either recharge the battery or install a new one if necessary
* Make sure all lights are operational
* Look at the brake pads for any signs of wear and check the level of brake fluid
* Make sure you have washed the bike to clear away dirt and debris that has built up
* Follow the proper maintenance for leather care in regards to the seat and saddlebags
* Be sure the drive belt, shaft or chain is in working order
* Give all the painted parts and chrome a good polish and wax
* Add octane booster if you desire
* Use mild soap to clean the inside of your motorcycle helmet
* Take note of the current mileage
* Address any issues you may have noticed right before you put the bike away for winter storage.

Although you have completed all the tasks on your pre-riding season maintenance list, there are still other chores to be done before you actually get to ride on the open road. Since the bike has been sitting for months without being used, you need to get used to the feel of your motorcycle again and make sure the bike is running properly. So take the bike out to a vacant lot and practice breaking, riding and using the clutch. If this is your first year of being a proud motorcycle owner and you are unsure as to how to do some of the above maintenance tasks, take your bike to your local motorcycle mechanic; they can answer all of your questions.

Tips on How to Get Cheaper Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle Insurance

In the same way that car insurance can really sting, insuring your motorbike can also be a rather unpleasant experience, particularly for your pocket. However, there are some rather helpful hints and tips out there that can help ease the financial pressure that comes with making sure that you and your motorcycle are covered in the event of an accident, or even theft or damage for that matter.

Here, for your delectation, are a few of these insightful little hints which, assuming that they are right for you could help you to save on your motorcycle insurance.

Firstly, deciding which cover you actually need is very important. It might sound obvious, but many motorcyclists, particularly on their first attempt to provide themselves with the adequate level of cover will spend over the odds for an insurance scheme which is over the top. By considering just how much cover you need, you can vastly cut down on costs. For example, a first time motorcyclist might not need to spend a fortune on Fully Comprehensive insurance when Third Party, which is far cheaper, might be all they need.

Our best advice is to discuss your actual needs with a current biker and he or she should be able to point out which level of insurance is required for your specific needs.

Of course, how you treat your bike can also make a huge difference to your insurance premium. An insurer will not only take into account how long you have been riding, but will also want to get a good idea of just how secure your motorbike is at night, for example. In order to cut down on your outgoings, making simple changes to how you look after your beloved machine can make a difference. For starters, if you can, try and keep your bike in a garage or secure space, this will cut down on the chances of it getting stolen and vastly decrease your premium. Also, by fitting an alarm you can make a bold statement to any would be insurer that you are a careful and considerate owner.

Our third tip might seem like a step in the wrong direction at first, but with a little time and effort, you too can find a cheaper motorbike insurance policy. Yes, though it might sound like a hassle, undertaking a course can knock down your premium by a large amount. These advance courses, much like their car-based equivalent can not only improve your riding ability, they can prove to any would be insurer that you are a safe and safety conscious motorcycle enthusiast and this only helps limit how extreme a quote can be. It really is a win-win situation for any rider who is seeking cheaper motorbike insurance.

Our final tip is a rather obvious one, but the importance of shopping around really cannot be overstated. If you are new to the whole process of insuring your motorcycle, it can seem a little daunting at first and many people are too quick to settle for a deal in order to simply finish the annoying process and get out on that open road. By shopping around for the best deal, you too can vastly improve your chances of saving money by locating a cheaper motorcycle insurance quote. Patience is required, but the rewards are plain to see. So, if you are currently in the unfortunate position of having to seek for a decently priced motorbike insurance quote, take these tips into consideration and the whole unpleasant process will no doubt be much easier, and more affordable than you might have thought.

Compare Bike Insurance Quotes with Bennetts – the UK’s No.1 Bike Insurance Specialist.

Installing a Frame Slider Kit for the Ducati Monster

Ducati Monster

The frame sliders made for Ducati Monsters are manufactured in a manner that offers superior protection for S2R, S4R and 600/620/900/1000 Multistradas in the event of a tip over or low-side. The frame protection kits are designed by the same company that makes frame sliders. Every model of is thoroughly tested for slide and drop protection. These kits are known for being tough, durable and able to absorb large impacts.

Before Your Start

Before you start the installation process, read all included instructions. Frame sliders are meant to fit on certain engine mounts of a bike. This is why it is strongly encouraged for riders to look at their manual before starting an installation. Check the manual to find out the tightening torque; there is also information available online if you do not have a service manual.

Included Parts

* Two Frame Sliders and Aluminum Inserts
* One 10mm Stainless Steel Threaded Rod
* Two Washers and Locknuts

Needed Tools

* Two 17mm Deep Sockets
* A Ratchet Drive
* A Torque Wrench
* Pliers or a Vise Grip
* Rubber Mallet
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Customizing Your Harley-Davidson Motorcycle

Harley-Davidson Motorcycle

If your interested in transforming your standard chopper into a roaring, loud, customized machine, you can buy a few custom parts to do the job. Aftermarket custom parts usually run from $100-$500 and do not require a wealth of motorcycle mechanical knowledge to install. Take a look at the four modifications that you can install yourself. Each one will make a noticeable difference on how your Harley sounds and performs. In most cases, custom aftermarket motorcycle parts tend to be superior over stock parts in terms of performance and looks. The best places to make modifications are the exhaust, engine and ignition. Afterward, you can replace the mirrors, handlebars, tires, gas tank and even the paint job in order to give you bike a unique look as well as tons of noise, power and speed.

Carburetors

Aftermarket carburetors are among the first parts people replace when customizing their Harley. The main function of a motorcycle’s carburetor is to mix the ideal amount of air and gas in order to create the torque needed for fueling the bike. An engine will run too lean when there is not enough gas and it will flood when there is too much gas. There are several aftermarket carburetors from which to choose but Mikuni is arguably the most effective at pulling air. And the more air that flows, the more peak power you will enjoy.

Big Growler Exhaust

What good is a chopper if it does not make that “rumble” sound? Big Growler Exhaust systems are sure to catch the attention of those who are stuck driving cars and they will make them envy the freedom only a Harley can give. This system creates an non-muffled amplification due to its long, straight pipe; every grind and hum will be heard as you cruise and accelerate. These exhausts cost several hundred dollars and are worth the price.

Yost Power Tube

For a little bit of money, you can get tons of power with Yost Power Tubes. Since increased power comes from a greater amount of combustion efficiency, the Power Tube is the best way to achieve your power goals. These kits made by Yost have a spacer that provides more throttle and power and will work with Harley-Davidson’s B, E, and G S&S Series. This is among the easiest custom part for bike riders to install on their own.

Spyke Ignition

Ignition kits are popular custom motorcycles because of the huge impact they make. The aftermarket ignitions manufactured by Spyke carry a lot more power than factory-made ignitions, aggressive ignition curves and dyno-proven power gains. Spyke ignitions will reduce strain and kickback while simultaneously allowing for customized timings that rely on engine modifications.