Tips for Winter Motorcycle Storage

For some riders, December 1st is the cutoff date for the riding season. While others will battle the cold and wind during January and February, many consider winter to be off-season.

If you plan on waiting for the return of warm weather before riding again, you have a decision to make regarding bike storage. Unless you have a garage or basement with room for your cruiser or street bike, you’ll have to find a way to keep your bike safe from the hazards of winter weather.

Here are a few ideas for motorcycle storage this winter.

Garages

motorcycle covered for the winter It can be costly, but a covered garage space is ideal. Winter in Connecticut often includes blizzards, ice and sleet storms and heavy winds that can harm your motorcycle. With a reserved spot in a well-maintained and secure parking garage, your bike will be protected from the elements.

Motorcycle Covers

If a garage is too expensive or not available in your area, another solid option is an all-weather motorcycle cover. These durable covers are often made of heavy duty polyethylene and are resistant to wet weather conditions. Available in several sizes, these covers can be used when blizzard warnings arise in the forecast and easily removed if you feel like revving the engine when the first warm day arrives.

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What Your Motorcycle Says About You

There is certainly no shortage of motorcycle designs. From large touring cruisers to sleek street bikes, there’s a motorcycle for every personality. Similar to cars, the type of motorcycle you choose often reveals a lot about your character.

People don’t simply buy a motorcycle because it’s on sale; quite the contrary! Most experienced riders will carefully select a bike based on who they are.

Here’s a brief analysis of what popular motorcycles say about the rider.

The Crotch-Rocket

motorcycle-blogEveryone remembers the classic Kawasaki Ninja Tom Cruise rides around on in Top Gun when he’s not flying F-16’s. This sharp and stylish bike design is tailor-made for the thrill seeker who isn’t satisfied unless he’s living life at full speed. People who choose these street bikes are often lone wolves who need their space and enjoy living on the edge. Speed is a necessity for this pack and it’s not uncommon to find a few tickets on their record.
Typical Rider: Usain Bolt, Ronda Rousey

The Chopper

Though it looks nothing like a street bike, the chopper guys are also known for standing apart from the crowd. Made famous by the classic biker film Easy Rider, choppers are part of American folklore and combine a rebel spirit with a “ride or die” manifesto. The chopper guys and gals often rebel against societal norms and are more comfortable roaring across desert landscapes than socializing in large groups.
Typical Rider: Jesse James, any member of the Hells Angels

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Great Holiday Gear Gifts

With the holiday season in full swing, lists are getting longer with gifts for family and friends. Everyone on your shopping list has their own unique preferences, but for your hardcore motorcycle riders, only certain gifts will do.

Check out these gift ideas to surprise your loved ones this holiday season.

Alpinestars Celer Gloves

Practical and functional, these ultra-durable, full-grain goat leather gloves feature chassis reinforcement with EVA foam and PU knuckle protection, comfortable for all-day rides. These superior motorcycle gloves also include ergonomic TPR sliders on the first two fingers for additional abrasion resistance. The third and fourth finger bridges are perforated to prevent finger roll and separation during impacts.

Tour Master Element Cooling Leather Jacket

REVITAkiraCool and stylish, the protective Tour Master biker jacket is the ideal gift for the rider in your life. Available in sizes X-Small to 3XL, this jacket features:

  • 1.1 – 1.2 mm cowhide leather
  • Removable, CE-approved armor at the elbows and shoulders with an articulated triple density back protector
  • Polyfill insulation in the body
  • 5 OGM in the sleeves
  • Adjustable waist straps with TPR pulls

Garmin Zumo 660LM GPS

Never get lost again with this handy GPS unit from Garmin. Featuring Bluetooth wireless technology that enables hands-free cell phone connectivity, a 5-hour battery life, advanced 3-D navigation and high resolution touch screen, this GPS system fits most bike models and has a rugged, waterproof design.

2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber

If money is no object and your loved one is in desperate need of a new ride, consider the 2017 Bonneville Bobber from Triumph. Featuring drag bars, bar-end mirrors, a hardtail style and single tractor-style saddle, this brand-new model is an update of the original 1960s Bobber.

Essential Safety Gear for Fall Motorcycle Riding

Motorcycle riding in Connecticut takes dedication in the fall and wintertime. Spring and summer are ideal for riders, offering great weather and decent road conditions. However, when autumn rolls around, the roads can become slick and hazardous with rain, dead leaves and other debris. There’s no reason to store your motorcycle during these months, but it makes sense to have the right motorcycle safety gear to ensure your trips are safe.

Here are just a few of the items you should consider for riding in cooler weather.

Gloves, Boots & Jackets

close-up of leather motorcycle glove High-quality leather jackets and gloves, as well as sturdy, steel-toe biker boots are always a good idea – but even more so when the conditions get hazardous. With a durable pair of leather riding gloves, you can ride with confidence knowing rain and sweat won’t interfere with your grip, shifting and braking. Cool and rainy fall days can make riding difficult and a reliable pair of motorcycle gloves can be a wise investment. Also, a comfortable leather biker jacket offers that all-important layer of second skin that can protect your body from serious road rash. And with steel-toe biker boots, you give your feet exceptional protection from cold weather and road debris.

Safety Googles

Fall can be a beautiful time in New England with all the colorful foliage. However, it also can mean a lot of falling debris, which can be kicked up by wind gusts and interfere with your vision. Riding is hard enough without having to constantly rub dust and debris from your eyes. While sunglasses can help, safety goggles are specifically designed to keep all sorts of particles from getting in your eyes. If you still want the slick look of shades, you can find plenty of motorcycle safety goggles that come with a number of tints to match your biker style.

Rain Gear

Autumn in New England can often be cold and wet. Before you hit the road, consider purchasing gear that is specifically designed for rain. From boot covers to breathable rain jackets and pullovers, there are a number of great items that will not only keep you dry, but also feature fluorescent stripes that give other motorists a clear indication to share the road.

This season, be safe when riding and wear the right gear to make your trips more fun.

Best Motorcycles for Beginners

Although an interest in motorcycles can start at a young age, it will be a few years before you are legally able to take your steel horse on the road. While many people dream of a massive Harley hog or sporty Honda, the fact is that beginners need to start out with much less powerful bikes. Learning on a big bike can lead to fatal accidents for amateur riders.

Harley motorcycles are extremely powerful and quite heavy. If you don’t have the bodyweight to control these behemoth bikes, chances are you will be thrown off faster than a bucking bronco. Speed bikes like Kawasaki Ninjas will have you clipping 140 mph faster than you’re used to and such high speeds can even be dangerous for the pros.

Three Beginner Motorcycles to Consider

man receiving the keys to a new motorcycle When choosing your first motorcycle, check out these excellent bikes that will help you to master the art of riding.

  • Yamaha FZ-07: This is a bike for beginners, but it’s not a scooter. This 4-stroke, liquid cooled DOHC, 8-valve V-twin bike is perfect for people just starting out. The inline twin cylinder features a unique linear torque curve, giving the rider a smoother feeling in throttle response. With dual front brakes and a compact wheelbase, the FZ-07 can handle a lot. The design of this bike is ideal for city and country riding and even has a look that says anything but beginner.
  • Moto Guzzi V7 II Stone ABS: A retro-style bike with modern features, this Italian-made bike is made for rough terrain and winding roads. The Stone ABS is inspired by vintage 7’s from Moto Guzzi’s rich history with lighter-weight materials. The bike only weighs 417 lbs., making it ideal for beginners and riders with smaller frames. Enjoy taking long trips to learn with a large fuel tank that can hold 5.8 gallons.
  • Suzuki GW250: Featuring a displacement of 248cc, a 4-stroke, 2-cylinder SOHC engine and 6-speed transmission, the GW250 won’t make you feel like an amateur rider. A stylish entry-level bike, the GW250 has a mass that is very manageable and is helpful for new bikers negotiating weight distribution and leaning. Ideal for city riding, the GW250’s 6-speed gearing is helpful when learning how to shift properly.

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Benefits of Taking a Motorcycle Safety Class

Some bikers start riding early. As young teenagers, they are romping through the woods and open fields on dirt bikes and ATVs. Handling an off road vehicle can be quite different from a motorcycle. Riders do not have to deal with the same weight, maneuverability issues, traffic or other obstacles, but by the time these individuals buy their first motorcycle, they have a grasp on riding. Other riders are brand new to the experience and may be getting on a motorcycle for the first time when they make the decision to ride. Either way, taking a professional motorcycle safety class is highly recommended for anyone preparing to ride the highways and back roads of Connecticut.

Learn Safety Tips

closeup of a motorcycle on the road As the old saying goes, it never hurts to be reminded. From lifetime riders to amateurs, a safety course can help refresh or introduce basic safety concepts to make everyone a more careful rider. Some experienced bikers may have missed a few seasons due to work, an injury or lack of a working motorcycle, in which case a refresher course can help get you back in the saddle. For beginners, the lessons taught in a safety course will help in passing a state license test, cover the appropriate gear recommended and the many traffic scenarios one may encounter.

Receive Insurance Discounts

Did you know that some insurance companies offer discounts on motorcycle insurance rates when a rider has successfully completed a safety course? These days, every little bit helps when it comes to saving money and being able to lower your insurance rates. The discount can range from five to 20 percent, depending on the insurance carrier. Before taking a motorcycle safety course, ask your insurance agent if they provide this discount and what is necessary for eligibility.

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Indian Motorcycles Announces 2017 Lineup

If you like your bikes brand new, check out the new 2017 lineup of Indian Motorcycles. The company, a subsidiary of Medina, MN-based Polaris Industries, recently announced the bikes it is ready to roll out in the new year. The collection will feature upgraded models including Scout Sixty, Indian Springfield and Chief Dark Horse with new color choices.

One of the technological improvements being offered is a new touch-screen information and entertainment system that features:

  • A 7” display with turn-by-turn navigation
  • Bluetooth audio
  • USB flash-drive support

New Chieftain models will come with 100 watts of audio and the high-end Indian Roadmaster will pump out 200 watts. Forget smartphones – Indian is looking to create smart-bikes with booming stereo systems to match.

The company says its new system has the largest and brightest touch-screen display in the industry, with the highest resolution and fastest response time. The screen is glove compatible with two-finger touch capabilities. Previous screens would not operate if a biker was wearing gloves, which made the product almost obsolete. Most serious bikers know that high-quality gloves are essential to riding.

Indian is looking to close the gap with Harley-Davidson, the Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer synonymous with legendary bikes, with their new models and innovative technology. Indian was actually founded two years before Harley in 1901, but went out of business in 1953. Harley-Davidson came to dominate the market until Indian was relaunched in 2011 after being acquired by Polaris.

Redesigning the Indian bikes from scratch, Polaris aimed to become a serious rival to Harley-Davison and, though the climb has been tough, it believes its new technology will help propel the brand into the future.

To see the new 2017 Indian Motorcycles, visit http://www.indianmotorcycle.com/en-us/motorcycles

Preparing to Ride your Motorcycle in the Fall

We have good news and bad news. The bad news is that summer is almost over. However, the good news is that extremely bad weather likely won’t arrive until mid-December. So, you and your friends have plenty of time left to enjoy motorcycle road trips before snow and icy wind make riding difficult and dangerous. While you still have time to soak in the sun and enjoy warm summer nights riding, now is a good time to start preparing for fall. With the foliage and Indian summer weather, fall trips in Connecticut and New England are some of the best around.

Motorcycle Maintenance

two men riding their motorcycles in the sunshine Chances are you’ve used your motorcycle quite a bit during the summer. This means it is probably in need of a solid tune-up. Now is a great time to take your ride to a mechanic you trust and get a thorough tune-up that will prepare your ride for fall. Have your brakes checked, as well as the exhaust, engine and tires. Knowing that your bike is in great shape will make fall riding much more fun.

Fall Safety & Riding Tips

Check The Weather & Wear Seasonally Appropriate Gear

While September and October in Connecticut can be fairly warm, you always want to be prepared for that sudden cold front. To ensure you and your body are protected from the cold, start looking for high-quality leather biker jackets, gloves and eye protection that will fend off sudden cold spells and allow you to enjoy the beautiful scenery while riding.

Additionally, wearing the proper gear gives you an important second layer of skin to protect against severe road rash or prevent serious injury in the event of a fall.

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Keanu Reeves Enters the Motorcycle Matrix

Movie stars and motorcycles are no strangers. From Tom Cruise to Mickey Rourke, many of the silver screen elites are also bike enthusiasts. But some go beyond just riding other people’s handiwork. Known for his star-making role in the successful Matrix movie franchise, Keanu Reeves has often pursued interests outside of the Hollywood arena. During the 1990’s the enigmatic actor played bass guitar in a band called Dogstar and today, though he still takes on acting roles, Reeves has returned to one of his early passions, motorcycles.

Keanu ReevesAlong with partner Gard Hollinger, Reeves is ramping up production on a motorcycle manufacturing company called Arch Motorcycles. Founded in 2011, the company specializes in custom-made bikes that target the higher end of the motorcycle world. Custom Arch motorcycles start at $78,000 but are well worth the price as each features a combination of elegant design, handcrafted workmanship and superior power and handling.

Reeves recently told CNBC, “For me, riding is a kind of freedom. Just the sound, the feeling of it. The connection to the road, to riding, to the environment, to the journey”.

An avid rider since the age of 22, Reeves, now 51, is well known for riding bikes to the movie set he is working on. However, it was in 2006 when the idea of starting his own motorcycle company started to kick in. Reeves took one of his Harley-Davidson’s to Hollinger, a well-known Los Angeles chopper expert, simply to customize the seat. Instead, Hollinger designed a custom-made bike just for Reeves.

By 2010, the duo had a working prototype and with a little convincing from Reeves, Hollinger agreed to go into business under the title of Arch Motorcycle Company. To date, the company has produced only one model, the KRGT-1, but Reeves expects more models to launch in the near future. But for now, the KRGT-1 is more than enough for most riders.

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Preparing for Summer Traffic

ct ride blogIt’s no secret that traffic greatly increases during the summer. While school buses are off the road, many other motorists are on the back roads and highways for vacations and day trips. Summer is also a time of holidays, outdoor concerts and other events that will add to the number of vehicles on the roads. If you want to avoid the headaches and frustration traffic causes, try following these simple tips.

The first tip is to know what you are getting yourself into. There are plenty of apps on your phone that can inform you of traffic conditions on just about every road. So, if you are planning a ride or long trip, we strongly suggest checking the traffic conditions first. Alerts about accidents, construction work and jams allow you the chance to find alternate routes that will bypass the parking lot forming on the highway.

You will also want to check the weather forecast for the areas you plan on riding through. Summer can stir up sudden storms of heavy rain, lightning and strong wind gusts. This is dangerous enough for cars and trucks, so imagine how you will feel if caught in a what people in Oklahoma call a “sooner” while on your bike! It’s hard to trust meteorologists, but if the sky looks threatening, consider postponing your ride for another time.

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