Category Archives: Motorcycles

New Or Used Motorcycles

When deciding between new or used motorcycles, how do you decide which is right for you? On the one hand, a new bike comes with fairly iron-clad guarantees of reliability. On the other, used motorcycles tend to require far less initial cash outlay. Which is the right choice? The answer depends on a few factors.

Price is a deciding factor for many riders. Once a new bike rolls off the lot, depreciation sets in, making a used vehicle a sensible choice, strictly in terms of impact upon the wallet. Simply stated, the price for last year’s model is likely to be far lower than the shiny new rides on the showroom floor. With a small sacrifice in terms of bells, whistles, and the latest technology, it may be possible to buy a higher quality bike than one could otherwise afford. It’s important, however, to weigh the total cost. Used motorcycles show the wear and tear of having been ridden. The bike that seems like such a great deal might, in fact, need a lot of work, or be due for major maintenance. If you are not an expert mechanic, it may be wise to buy from a dealer, who has a vested interest in ensuring that the bike is at least mechanically sound. They may hope to build trust with customers who will then return for maintenance, repairs, and accessories.

A rider’s personal mechanical ability comes into play when deciding between new and used motorcycles as well. Most riders are enthusiasts, and many have tinkered around with engines, at least to some extent. Not all riders, however, have the knowledge to spot a bike that has been laid down, causing a bent frame, or know the signs of a hog that has been ridden hard and poorly maintained. An honest assessment of your own ability, willingness, time, and resources is necessary when considering a pre-owned machine. Are you willing and able to perform repairs? Do you have the resources necessary to replace parts, carry out necessary repairs, and recognize signs of damage or wear?

Finally, it’s wise to consider the future. Buying used motorcycles through classified advertising or online sales sites is always risky, but a savvy buyer may choose to go in that direction if a particularly good deal presents itself. It may be prudent, however, to consider buying from a dealer, whether you decide upon new or pre-owned. You will have the assurance that the bike has at least been looked over and assessed for wear, tear, and the potential need for repairs. Most dealers offer more than just motorcycles. They’re an excellent resource over the long term, whether you need maintenance, repairs, accessories, or just advice. The riding culture is built upon relationships. Building a solid connection with a local dealer not only supports the community as a whole, it provides you with a valuable resource for help down the road. Whether you buy new or used, make sure to buy the ride that’s right for your needs.

Motorcycles Care And Maintenance Tips

Motorcycles CareThe winter season can bring out the lazy side in almost everyone. However, before you get ready to relax and enjoy the cold season in the comforts of your home, if you are a dirt bike enthusiast, you should take the precautionary steps to make sure your motorcycle is properly protected and stored this winter.

To make sure that your ride will be ready to go when the snow starts to melt, follow these useful dirt bike care, maintenance, and storage tips:

If your bike has a carburetor, drain the tank, fuel lines, and carburetor bowl. To do this right, keep the gas cap off completely for 24 hours to dry everything out. If you don’t, there will be some leftover fuel. This usually turns tacky and just ends up blocking the jets which, of course, can affect the running efficiency or performance of your motorbike.

Remove old oil. Over time, a running engine’s oil changes from a clean, gold-colored fluid to dirty, black sludge. In just a few months’ time, the contaminants in old oil can corrode into some engine parts and do some serious damage. As such, don’t forget to change the oil and filter plug before storing your ride this winter season to avoid a troublesome situation later on.

Consider running the bike for a few minutes every week. By following this tip, you will prevent fuel from “sleeping,” and if you rev the bike up several times a week, fuel would course through the jets and this will keep the jets clean throughout the winter.

Look after the bike’s tires. If possible, store your bike with the tires off the ground. This is because taking the weight off your wheels is the best way to avoid flat spots or uneven wear. If this is not, possible, fill your tires to the maximum recommended volume, put your ride on its center stand, and rotate the front tire once a week to keep the flat spots away.

Wash, dry, and wax your dirt bike before storing it. In general, the metal on your motorcycle tends to accumulate moisture, which can easily cause rust if your dirt bike is left unattended for a long period of time. Washing, painstakingly drying, and waxing your dirt bike before putting it away for the winter will help prevent corrosion and other damage.

Lastly, if you have a battery-powered bike, make sure to maintain the battery’s charge. You can take out the battery, but this can be too much work for you. As such, simply charge the battery every week whenever you start the bike to prevent fuel from sleeping.

Motorcycle Service Guide – Keep Your Bike For Years

You enjoy riding through the streets on your motorbike. It is a true feeling of freedom to have the wind whipping around you. However, if you want to keep the bike on the road, motorcycle service is important. By doing basic maintenance, you can keep your cycle going indefinitely.

Breaking It In Properly

If you want to start maintaining your bike, you have to break it in right. The most crucial part of your cycle’s engine is how you handle the first few hundred miles. You need to treat the first couple thousand with care, as well.

Check with your owner’s manual to find out exactly what limits you should take. Each brand is slightly different, and some have a long list of restrictions, such as the type of oil to use for the first few hundred miles. The manual will indicate what other oil type, if any, you should use. Some machines require that you do not go past a certain RPM until after you hit a few thousand miles.

Read the Manual

Your original manufacturer’s manual is going to be the best place for maintenance information. The manufacturer knows what motorcycle service your vehicle needs more than you may. It is important for you to read and study it to ensure that you know what to do.

Additionally, you can buy a service manual. This book can cost anywhere from $40 to $100. However, it is worth the investment if you want to do some of the more sophisticated maintenance procedures yourself. This manual includes instruction on things like how to rebuild parts of your motorbike and includes hard-to-find torque values for each bolt on the vehicle.

Oil Changes

Routine oil changes can extend the life of your engine. It can help ensure that your engine maintains proper lubrication. If the oil is old and filled with dirt and debris, the oil cannot do its job as it is supposed to.

You should check with the manual in order to determine how often to change the oil. If you drive in a dusty or dirty environment, you probably should have it changed more frequently.

Bearings

Motorcycle service should include greasing your bearings. Those who ride a dirt bike learn this maintenance tip early, as new motorbikes need attention in the steering-head bearings and suspension linkages. Additionally, those who ride street bikes need to get into the habit of this maintenance. Even though sealed bearings are relatively maintenance free, suspension linkages need care on a regular schedule.

On occasion, these parts will need to be replaced. While greasing, you will get the opportunity to inspect the bearings. In addition to physical inspection of the bearings, being in tune with your bike and knowing when the front or back suspension is loose, you will know when to change the bearings.

Steps to Build a Motorcycle Exhaust

Fewer things in the world are more satisfying than a deep, throaty growl coming from a powerful motorcycle. Whether you’re dealing with a 450cc dirt bike or a 1100cc touring bike, putting the right exhaust on it can really enhance performance and improve that sound. That’s not to mention how much better a motorcycle looks with a shimmering stainless steel exhaust. However, aftermarket motocross and road bike manufacturers know how much you love a great exhaust. That’s why they try to charge as much as you might pay for the bike itself. Some straight-through systems, called drag pipes, can cost upwards of $1,000. That’s just for a straight length of metal tube. With a little bit of know-how and a perforated filter tube, you can make your own for a fraction of the cost. Here’s how to do that.

1. Start With The Pipes

There are two kinds of pipe bends. Crush bends are, as the name implies, pipes that look crushed where they’re bent. Mandrel bends are smooth bends without ripples. Those ridges in the metal cause turbulence that increases shaking and robs your motorcycle of power. If you can, get some mandrel bent pipes. You won’t regret the added expense.

2. Build Your Muffler

Next, you can proceed to build your muffler. That might sound difficult, but it’s actually pretty simple. A muffler cuts the amount of noise coming out of your exhaust because it slows down the gas coming out of the pipe. You just need a place to send that gas and something to slow it down.

Your muffler is going to consist of a perforated filter tube, a larger steel pipe to go around it, and some ceramic insulation to fill the space. The perforated tube will allow gas to escape through the dozens of different holes instead of just the end of the tube. The gas will then shoot into the ceramic insulation where it will slow down considerably. The slowing of the exhaust should reduce the noise.

It’s probably easier to make your perforated filter tube a little bit smaller than your exhaust pipe, so it slips inside the exhaust and helps create a little back pressure.

3. Put It All Together

You then want to weld it all together. You might need to contract a professional to put it together for you. Wrap the perforated filter tube in ceramic wool then weld it inside the larger tube. There you go. Just that quickly, you have a muffler. You’ll want to then weld the homemade muffler on the end of your exhaust. You’re ready to ride.

The benefit of making your own muffler is not just monetary. You’ll probably save some money, but you’ll also be able to customize your riding experience. What you have just built is called a straight-through muffler as opposed to a chambered muffler. Chambered mufflers are filled with baffles that disrupt the gas flow. If you want to reduce the sound even more, you can choose a longer perforated filter tube as your muffler core.

Building your own muffler is a quick and easy way to control how your bike rides and how it sounds.