Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ten Tips for Purchasing a Motorcycle

Many of you may be thinking of purchasing a new or new-to-you motorcycle. With the plethora of models, brands, and styles out there, filtering all the information you're going to be hearing and seeing to find the bike that's just right for you can be a daunting exercise. It can also be lots of fun.

Here are some general guidelines to follow whether you're buying new or used.

   1. Determine what kind of riding you want to do. If you are fortunate enough to have more than one in your stable, it's less of an issue. For most of us, we have to decide which model best incorporates the kind of riding we will be doing most of the time. Not only do you need to think about whether it's a cruiser, sport bike, touring or off road - think about whether you'll be regularly carrying a passenger and luggage and the weight capacity of the bike.

   2. Purchase a bike that's compatible with your skill level and riding experience. Don't buy something that you can "grow into". This is risky behaviour and will jeopardize your safety. It's much better to become proficient on a bike suitable to your skill level and then, when you're ready, move up to a more powerful bike.

   3. Sit on the bike in the riding position. How comfortable is it for you? Is it a stretch to reach the controls or the ground? Can you picture yourself in this position for extended periods? Feel the wind in your face.

   4. Consider how often you are going to have to take it in and how convenient the location and their hours of operation are. Talk to others who have used the service resource to determine their credibility and service level.Ask about the frequency of maintenance and the subsequent costs.

   5. Assess. If you like to perform routine maintenance yourself, how simple is it to do? Do you need to purchase other equipment such as a lift? How readily available are replacement parts?

   6. Purchase from a salesperson who is also a rider. Enough said.

   7. Remember that all bikes can be customized - at least to a certain extent. If you see one that's just right for you except for a few adjustments or accessories, ask what's available (and where) in parts and accessories to make that bike yours.

   8. Bring an experienced rider with you. They may pick up things that you miss.

   9. Resist the temptation to purchase the 1st bike you see. There are lots to choose from. It's an important purchase and even more important to make an objective decision.

  10. Research. Talk to other trustworthy riders, retailers, insurance companies. Beware of forums - they can have valuable advice; on the other hand, you usually don't know who you're talking to so can't reliably assess their level of expertise - even though they may sound like an expert.

Do your homework, ask lots of questions, then listen to your heart. Make an informed decision - and enjoy the ride!

Liz Jansen

Liz Jansen is an author, speaker, coach and rider extraordinaire. She's thrilled that her work now brings her experience in the corporate world together with her love of adventure.

Her mission: to create the environment for others to discover their personal power and grow. Through her practice, she has served hundreds of clients and her network reaches across Canada, the US and to Europe and Australia.

Liz has worked with individual and corporate clients, in both private and public*sectors. She has contributed articles to the Toronto Star, several national magazines as well as online ezines. Her expertise has been sought for interviews on television, traditional and on-line radio, magazine and newspaper articles.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Top Best Biker Bars

There's nothing like having a great time at the bar with some of the world's best motorcycle riders or bikers. You've seen in the movies where a group of bikers ride down the highway and then pull over into a bar where everyone knows their name. There's always the random person comes who is already in the bar sitting in the bikers section and everyone knows that's a major mistake. A fight is bound to happen with the bikers winning each time. The bar is often time left with the tab to clean up the mess. These bars can be found all over the world. Some of the most famous bars are right here in the United States of America.

The first bar is the "Coyote Ugly." I know you're probably thinking of the movie Coyote Ugly, but were talking about the bar located in New York City, New York. The movie did take place in the bar and was about a girl in her early 20's named Violet an aspiring artist was hoping to become the next great songwriter. This bar was already popular before the movie. However, when it was showcased it made it a hit for all to see. The bar is known for its snappy attitude with wild bartenders that almost insult you for everything. They get it away with it because they wear some of the highest cut jeans around town.

The second bar is called the "Greasewood Flat!" This bar which is located in Phoenix, Arizona has been around for over 30 years and is located in a 120-year-old bunkhouse. Now, you're probably thinking what is a bunkhouse? Well, a bunkhouse is a hostel or barrack, which were used to house working cowboys on ranches in North America. What makes this bar special is that you can eat some of the most amazing food, go outside to enjoy the sun set or eat a meal under the stars. Some bikers even take back inside to enjoy some foot stomping, hand-clapping two-stepping music.

Another bar is "Stroker's Ice House," located in Dallas, Texas. The bar is considered one of the top due to its involvement with the motorcycle community and other charitable initiatives. This bar is known to have some of the best food in the state and keeps motorcycle riders, non-rider s and tourists coming back for more. The bar also houses a full bar and on occasion can several contests for its guests to participate in and embodies an atmosphere for fun. Live music can be heard blocks away. Stroker's Ice House also sponsors annual car and hot rod shows for charity. One of the last draws to the ice house is the people who keep the old-school feel of the early years. You can also purchase logo apparel, biker wear and even check out the standard or customize motorcycles for sale.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ten Spring Motorcycle Hazards and How to Address Them

An early spring has brought many motorcyclists out of hibernation. Here are some unique hazards to be especially alert to during those first rides of the season:.

   1. Automobile drivers. They haven't had to share the road with you for 4 months. Add to that general inattentiveness and distractions and it's a recipe for trouble. Give yourself plenty of space, watch other drivers closely and make yourself as visible as possible. Assume you're invisible.

   2. Spring fever. There's nothing like those first few rides. Remember, you have the whole season ahead of you - take your time, take it easy and get used to riding again.

   3. Sand, salt, grit on the road. Road crews clean up as quickly as possible but be prepared for sand - especially on corners and intersections. You don't want to discover it when you're leaned over in a curve or trying to stop at an intersection - or behind a bus!

   4. Rusty skills. You likely haven't done much riding in the past 4 months. Muscle memory fades with inactivity and you may not have the same instinctual reactions -even if you've been riding for many years. Practice in a parking lot before heading out into traffic.

   5. Motorcycle - one that's not ready to go. If you've done the proper winter maintenance, it should be in good shape. Before you take it out though, check cables, fluid levels, tires, tire pressure, loose parts

   6. Weather. Early spring can mean unpredictable weather that can suddenly cool off significantly. Wear correct gear and be cognizant of the effects of cold. It can bring on fatigue insidiously, reduce your reaction time and ability to physically respond.

   7. Frost heaves, potholes. Winter in northern climes can be brutal on roads. Watch for heaves, holes and broken edges in the pavement.

   8. Your physical fitness. As wonderful as it feels to be out in the wind, riding is taxing physically. Being rested and fit offers a more enjoyable and safer ride.

   9. Animals - the four-legged variety. They start moving around in spring too and seem to appear out of nowhere - often with young in tow.

  10. Other motorcycle riders. Whether they're experienced or not - and there are more inexperienced riders out there than ever - they too have spring fever, rusty skills and have to be prepared for all the same hazards as you do. This takes on even greater importance when you're riding with a group - i.e. any more than one person.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Motorcycle Safety and Prevention of Accidents

If you own a motorcycle, you understand that this potentially dangerous yet thrillingly exciting action is more than just a mode of transportation - it is a lifestyle. Whether this is the first time you have gotten on your bike, you are a seasoned professional, or you are considering becoming a new bike owner in the future, it is always important to inform yourself on the most current safety standards and behaviors to engage in. When riding your motorcycle, whether it is a sport bike or a cruiser, safety should be your main priority; riding safely can prevent accidents from occurring. Some of the most common and important safety tips are as follows:

Take safety courses, beginner or refresher courses, before getting onto your motorcycle. These courses are taught by professionals and offer many different insightful safety techniques that can be exercised for maximum safety by a motorcyclist. These courses will also give you the information you need to succeed on your bike and to feel comfortable while riding.

Choose a motorcycle that fits you. Be wary of choosing a bike just because it looks "cool." You will want to be comfortable on your bike, so choosing a motorcycle that may be too small or too big for your body can inevitably lead to a serious accident. Additionally, the more comfortable you feel on your bike, the more confidence you will have when riding your motorcycle.

Always wear the correct protective gear. Again, choosing a jacket (or choosing not to wear a jacket) because it looks "cool" may not get you anywhere except a hospital bed. Be sure to have a jacket, gloves, pants, and boots that will effectively protect you from serious injury during a collision, or even just keep you warm! Your helmet is one of the most important parts of your gear, so ensuring that you have a helmet that fits perfectly and is comfortable is key. In some states, choosing to forego a helmet is not an option; it is against the law to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. Look for a helmet that is approved by the federal safety standards when riding your bike.

Don't break the law. Drinking and driving, speeding, driving recklessly, and any other unlawful action can easily lead to a serious collision on your motorcycle. In cases such as this, the prevention of a motorcycle accident rests mainly on your own shoulders. While other drivers on the road may be driving irresponsibly, you alone can prevent an accident from occurring by simply abiding by the law.

Preventing motorcycle accidents can be one of the trickiest subjects, as many people blame motorcycle riders for their accidents even when they aren't at fault. In some cases, a pre-trial bias in regards to a motorcycle accident claim may prevent a motorcyclist from obtaining compensation for his or her injuries; the juries in these cases simply throw out the evidence and place the blame on the rider, as history shows.

It is up to you to exercise safe riding methods to prevent an accident. If you act safely and have still been involved in an accident, then you will need the legal help of an attorney. After seeking medical treatment for your injuries, you will need to see a personal injury attorney to understand more about your claim. As mentioned before, a pretrial bias sometimes prevents motorcyclists from obtaining the compensation they need and deserve. Only a skilled injury lawyer can help you prevent this from happening and fight to hold the at-fault party accountable for their reckless actions. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, now is the time to speak with a lawyer.

The personal injury and motorcycle accident law firm of Ardalan & Associates has helped dozens of individuals and families throughout the San Diego community in obtaining the financial compensation they need after an accident. Motorcycles are often an extremely dangerous mode of transportation, and the legal team from this firm understands this. They will do everything they can to ensure that your rights are protected and that your future is advocated after an accident. Additionally, the firm has an attorney on staff who has a professional motorcycle license by the AMA and focuses in the area of motorcycle accident cases. With an extensive understanding of this area of the law, the firm is ready to help you today.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Harley Helmets Sefety

Harley-Davidson helmets are an excellent choice when it comes to motorcycle safety. Many things can be used to ensure the safety of the rider, but the helmet is the most important piece of equipment that a rider can wear. Harley-Davidson helmets provide some of the best protection and at the same time are very comfortable for the rider to wear and come in many stypes and styles to choose from so there is sure a helmet to fit your needs.

Harley helmets are created with some of the most advanced materials and designs to enhance your safety on the road and also look great too. Harley offers many helmets that offer a large array of features that are sure to fit your needs. Even though Harley-Davidson helmets look great and are designed for comfort and style, they never forget to keep safety of the rider and the number one concern when they design these helmets.

Harley helmets have four distinct components which make them safe and also meet Department of Transportation guidlines. A rigid outer shell is used as the primary source for protection, an Expanded Polystyrene liner which has impact absorbing qualities, padding to ensure that the helmet is comfortable, and a retention system that ensures a proper fit and is also adjustable to have a unique fit.

To explain a little bit about four layers and their uses we'll first start with the rigid outer shell. This part of the helmet is one of the most important aspects of every helmet Harley-Davidson makes. It is very strong but also flexible depending on model which resists against penetration in the event of a collision. Second, the Expanded Polystyrene layer is made from specially formulated materials which absorb energy and force that act as a shield to deter this energy away from the rider's head. Next, there are a few layers of padding. The padding not only aids in giving the helmet a snug fit, but it also aids with the Polystyrene liner to absorb impact and shock. Lastly, there is a retention system that every Harley helmet has. This retention system is designed differently from helmet to helmet and it makes sure that the helmet has a great fit and doesn't let the helmet move from front to back. This retention system is adjustable and should always be fastened.

Now that you understand the four major components that go into each and every Harley helmet, we can talk about the four basic types of helmets that are available.

   1. Thermoplastic helmets- These are made from a single layer or thermoplastic which offers the lease amount of protection, but is the most comfortable fit. They are a bit heavier than other helmets because more padding and impact layers are used to ensure safety.

   2. Fiberglass helmets, The shell on these helmets are made from fiberglass. Fiberglass is extremely light and strong so this is a popular choice for a rider who wants a lighter helmet.

   3. Hybrid Ultra-Light helmets- Made from Aramid reinforced fiberglass that are mixed with a resin which provide an even stronger helmet than the regular fiberglass

   4. Carbon Kevlar Helmets- Harley-Davidson's most advanced and strongest helmet offered. It is reinforced with Kevlar which achieve the greatest possible strength while keeping the helmet very lightweight.

In conclusion, Harley-Davidson helmets are sleek, stylish, use advanced technology but most importantly are some of the safest helmets you can buy. Motorcycle safety should be the number one concern when riding and using a Harley helmet is a great start.