Tips to Winterize Your Motorcycle

For those of us in Connecticut, the early fall means more time to ride. However, as the days get colder and the calendar approaches December, you’ve got to think about winterizing your motorcycle. While you might be tempted to park it in the garage or throw a tarp over it, how you store the bike now directly influences its quality and rideability come springtime. Ultimately, a lack of preparation could mean a rusted, gummy bike with lumpy tires.

So, where should you begin?

When to Store?

man performing maintenance repairs on his motorcycleAlthough there’s no set timeline, those in the Northeast often retire their bike toward the end of October or whenever the temperatures turn noticeably cooler. On the other hand, some people extend it until there’s no more sun. Through a combination of these factors, your bike should be prepared and covered before the season’s first snowfall.

Pick a Location

Never leave a motorcycle bike outdoors, exposed to the elements. On a basic level, keep it covered with a secure tarp or in a portable garage. In either instance, the polyethylene material prevents water from building up and rusting the exterior and blocks UV damage. However, make sure the cover doesn’t completely seal off the bike. Otherwise, moisture trapped inside could result in mold, mildew and corrosion. Even inside your garage, a cover prevents dust from accumulating on your bike’s surface.

In an ideal situation, the garage should be a temperature-controlled spot – one that doesn’t get too cold nor too warm. No matter how you monitor the temperature, be wary of condensation and freezing. Condensation invites rust and can damage the tank, while freezing temperatures can result in cracked parts and rodents nesting in your bike.

Make a Maintenance Checklist

So your motorcycle remains in good condition during its time in storage, be sure to have the following done ahead of time:
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Harley-Davidson Announces 4 New Bikes

For certain age groups, Harley-Davidson represents the ultimate bike – a high-quality investment that continues to perform trip after trip. Younger demographics that have less brand allegiance have approached Harleys with a tepid attitude. After a few years of slumping sales, the long-time motorcycle brand decided to retool its strategy and announced its plan earlier in July, right in time for the company’s 115th anniversary.

New Bikes

close-up of leather motorcycle gloveFor the first – and perhaps most crucial – part of their progression, Harley-Davidson revealed four new models. While the new bikes will diversify the brand’s lineup, the company’s plan further targets:

  • A younger, most cost-conscious demographic
  • Customers who would otherwise go for a Ducati or BMW
  • Riders who would like a second bike

Covering three types, the new models include four 500-cc to 1,250-cc middleweight platform bikes:

  • Pan America 1250: Part of the popular Adventure Touring line, this model is geared toward on-road overland travel and on-off use and is expected to debut in 2020.
  • Future Streetfighter: This 975-cc model is strictly a street bike, albeit with an updated design. Like the Pan America, it’s slated for 2020.
  • Future Custom: Another 1,250-cc model, this bike blends classic and modern design themes while being relatively compact overall.
  • Livewire: Previewed four years ago, this electric bike will be the first to appear, with sales to the public starting in 2019. This concept, considered an advancement in motorcycle design, has already gotten a significant amount of buzz and will see additional electric models launched through 2022. Design wise, this no-clutch, twist-and-drive model will be lighter and smaller, offering more cost-effective operation. Its ease of use is expected to attract a larger swath of potential riders and for more experienced customers, the bike will give a reliably fast yet quiet ride.

By comparison, existing Harley models average around 1,700-cc and weigh about 1,000 lbs.

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4 Summer Road Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

Our favorite time of year is here: Summer! As motorcyclists, we especially love the longer days, open roads and bountiful sunshine. While this season often has the perfect weather for riding, it’s important to keep safety in mind. The following tips can help everyone to be safer on the roads this summer.

1. Watch Out For Traffic

motorcycle driving through trafficSummertime brings a tremendous amount of traffic to roadways statewide. Be sure to watch out for all vehicles, including cars, trucks and bicycles, as well as pedestrians.

Never ride in another motorist’s blind spot, as a sudden lane switch or door opening could spill you off your bike. Ride safely and defensively to protect yourself and other drivers on the road.

2. Get Your Practice In

While charity motorcycle events can be the highlight of the summer, it’s important to be prepared for a large organized ride. If you have never participated in a group ride, be sure to get some riding time in beforehand.

During the journey to your shared destination, keep a two-second stagger between yourself and other riders and never lane switch. If one rider goes down, it could lead to a dangerous domino effect.

3. Be Prepared for Construction

All motorists should approach construction sites with caution, but motorcyclists have particular risks to keep in mind. When the road is being milled, slow down and ride at a comfortable pace, relaxing your grip on the controls. Do not make any sudden maneuvers for your own and the workers’ safety. If you have a narrow front tire, know this can magnify the effects of road milling.

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4th Annual MDA Benefit Ride & Concert

Trantolo & Trantolo, LLC and TSI Harley-Davidson present the 4th Annual MDA Benefit Ride & Concert on Sunday, July 15, 2018. This annual event is back at it’s original venue, Sun Valley Beach Resort in Stafford Springs.

Ride, Rock & Make a Difference for the MDA of Connecticut!

Purchase Tickets

MDA Tickets Tickets are $30 in advance and include the scenic motorcycle ride and admission to the concert. They can be purchased at:

  • The Law Offices of Trantolo & Trantolo
  • Four Seasons By The Lake at Sun Valley
  • TSI Harley-Davidson
  • Yankee Harley-Davidson
  • Sheldon’s Harley-Davidson

Join the Ride

Don’t miss your chance to take part in the largest one-day charity motorcycle ride in Connecticut! The scenic motorcycle journey to Sun Valley is police-escorted and will leave from three satellite locations:

 

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5 Scenic Rides for Summer in Connecticut

When warm weather arrives in Connecticut, many of us cannot wait to get outside and enjoy it! A beautiful day is an invitation for motorcyclists to take the bike out and explore what our state has to offer. This time of year, we love riding to the following scenic destinations.

Sun Valley Beach Club

two men riding their motorcycles in the sunshineSun Valley Beach Club is a family-owned and operated private campground in Stafford Springs. The lake covers 10 acres of peaceful land, including 300 seasonal camping spots. Four Seasons By the Lake at Sun Valley, formerly known as Clubhouse Café, is the new on-site restaurant to enjoy a meal overlooking the water.

The Cornwall Bridge

If you’ve never visited Connecticut’s Appalachian Trail, you are missing out on some truly breathtaking views! To get there, the West Cornwall Covered Bridge is must-stop along your route. This wooden truss bridge over the Housatonic River is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which would be a great weekend adventure.

Bull’s Bridge

This single-lane wooden covered bridge is a historic landmark in South Kent. As one of the only three surviving covered bridges in the state, Bull’s Bridge is a must-see. While crossing 109 feet over the Housatonic River near the Connecticut – New York border, stop to admire the reinforced trusswork and surrounding waterfalls.

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5 Spring Riding Safety Tips

When spring weather arrives in New England, motorcycle riders can barely contain their excitement. After months of snow and ice keeping us off the roads, the temperature is rising and the pavement is drying – it’s time to ride!

Before you head out, be sure to keep the following safety tips in mind for spring.

Perform Routine Maintenance

riding a motorcycle in the rainFor your own safety and the safety of others sharing the road, never assume your motorcycle is ready to ride. If your bike has been in storage all winter, it likely needs some work. Be sure to check the following components before rolling out:

  • Test the brakes in your driveway or take a quick spin around the neighborhood.
  • Refill the gas tank and change the oil. Also have the fluids flushed and replenished.
  • Check the tires for proper inflation. Months in storage can lead to air loss.

Review Insurance & Registration

Before planning your first motorcycle trip, make sure your license and registration are up-to-date. You should also contact your insurance carrier to make sure you’re sufficiently covered in the event of an accident. Motorcyclists who are caught on the road with an expired registration or no insurance policy can be fined and have their bikes towed.

Update Your Gear

Although the weather is getting warmer, it’s important to keep your body protected in the event of a spill. Durable riding boots, gloves, a helmet and leather jacket are recommended to prevent damage to your body. Riders should never hit the road wearing sneakers, a t-shirt or shorts – even on the hottest of days – or they risk road rash. This occurs when skin makes contact with the pavement after a spill off a moving motorcycle.

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Indian Chieftain Elite vs. Harley-Davidson Street Glide CVO

On March 1st, Indian released their 2018 Chieftain Elite bagger motorcycle. Following its release, some enthusiasts began comparing this motorcycle to Harley-Davidson’s Street Glide CVO. Just how similar are the two touring bikes?

Legendary Motorcycles

Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles are two of the oldest motorcycle manufacturers in the world. As America’s first motorcycle company and oldest continually running manufacturer respectively, many riders can identify these brands on sight. Longtime enthusiasts know they can expect solid bikes from both Harley-Davidson and Indian, which is why we’re taking a closer look at how these two new models stack up to each other.

Chieftain Elite Specs

Touring bikes have extensive storage for luggage, making them a great asset for longer trips. The Indian Chieftain Elite has many modern features that riders new and old can appreciate, including:

  • Thunderstroke 111 49 V-twin engine
  • 6-speed transmission
  • Surround sound audio
  • Bluetooth® connectivity
  • Customizable touchscreen split display
  • Pathfinder LED lights

Bagger bikes can be very heavy – the Chieftain Elite is 827 pounds without gas in the tank! Also, weight increases when riders add their belongings to the saddlebags. The extra pounds can make this model more challenging to handle, especially for newbies.

In 2013, Indian released their all new Thunderstroke 111 V-twin engine. This high-quality air-cooled engine is 111 cubic inches (1811 cc) and produces 161 Nm of peak torque. Indian was challenged to combine their classic engine features with modern technology, without disappointing their brand-loyal bikers. Still recognizable as an Indian engine, the Thunderstroke 111 has improved power and better piston durability.

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New Triumph Speed Triple Motorcycles

Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. was established in 1983 by English businessman John Bloor. Formally Triumph Engineering from 1902 – 1983, this motorcycle manufacturer has since grown to be the largest in England. Triumph is known for stylish and functional cruisers, supersports and touring motorcycles. Their first bike in the Speed Triple series was unveiled in 1994; the details of two new models have been released in February 2018.

Speeding into Action

riding on a sunny dayThe two new Speed Triple motorcycles are the most powerful and responsive bikes in the series. The manufacturer has updated the engine, handling and technology to accommodate needs of the modern rider.

Stronger Than Before

The Speed Triple will be available in S (standard) and RS models, with 105 new engine parts for a better performance. Riders will experience a faster spin up and engine rev than previous models. Another improvement is the 117 NM torque – an increase of four percent – for a smooth curve across the range. The Speed Triple S has four riding modes: Rain, Road, Sport and Rider-configurable. In addition to these four, the RS model also has a Track mode.

Improved Rider Experience

As new motorcycle models are released each month, advanced technology seems to be a big factor of modern design. The Triumph Speed Triple is no different, boasting a full-color, 5-inch TFT (thin-film-transistor) instrument display with six different screen styles. Riders will be able to change contrast settings and adjust the position too. The RS model also features a keyless ignition, which can activate the engine through a transmitting signal.
 
Choose from jet black and crystal white to fit your personal style. Pricing and further details will be released by Triumph on Monday, February 26th, 2018. What do you think of these new bikes?

Harley-Davidson Recall for Brake Failure

On February 7th, 2018, it was reported that Harley-Davidson is recalling 251,000 motorcycles worldwide for potential brake failure. Of this number, nearly 175,000 belong to riders on U.S. roadways. The cost to Harley-Davidson is $29.4 million dollars. If you own a Harley-Davidson CVO Touring or VSRC motorcycle from 2008 – 2011, read on for further details.

What Caused the Recall?

motorcycle shock absorberAccording to official documents, there is a module within Harley-Davidson’s anti-lock brake system that can cause these models to fail without warning. When the oil is contaminated by moisture, the brake valves and module can corrode, causing a system shutdown. Either the front or back brakes could fail, but there is a chance of both systems malfunctioning.

When Did the Investigation Begin?

Unfortunately, it took three reported crashes and two injuries to spark an investigation into the potential dangers associated with CVO Touring and VSRC bikes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began examining problems with the anti-lock brake system in July 2016, after 43 total complaints were filed against the Milwaukee motorcycle manufacturer.

Harley-Davidson’s Response

The issue is linked to the motorcycle’s brake fluid, which should be replaced every two years by the bike owner.

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4 Winter Activities for Riders

When winter arrives in New England, it can be a depressing time for many people. After the holiday season passes, the cold temperatures and darker commutes home until late March can be tough. Don’t get us wrong, freshly fallen snow can be mesmerizing, but riders have a distaste for winter for another reason: Their motorcycles go into storage. If you’re already missing your bike, what can you do to ease the separation anxiety?

We offer 4 winter activities to try instead.

Sledding or Snowtubing

skiingThere is no feeling quite like riding a motorcycle on a warm day, but sledding down a steep hill can be another exhilarating adventure. Maybe you haven’t broken out the sled or snow tube since you were a kid; winter is your opportunity to relive those old memories and have fun while off your bike.

Skiing or Snowboarding

Riding a motorcycle requires more skill than driving a car, much like skiing or snowboarding is more complex than walking. If you like a challenge, learn one of these two sports this winter! Skiing is easier for most people to learn, so you could pick it up early in the season. Snowboarding for the first time can be more difficult, but daredevils will get a kick out of learning some of the cool moves they see watching the X Games.

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