How to choose your first bike? This time tips for women

You’re full of determination to take one of the bravest steps in your life and finally decided to buy a motorcycle. Congratulations, the following article is exactly for you! Since we truly believe that our experience is vast enough, we would love to share it with you!

When choosing the fist bike, your expectations might not coincide with your actual abilities. For instance, your heart starts beating like crazy when you see Yamaha R1 and you think to yourself F*ck yeah, this is what I want!

To talk at least a bit of common sense to you, we would like to remind you that any motorcycle is a power keg you’re sitting on. It can explode at any moment. Motorcycles like Yamaha R1 belong to the so called High Performance class and are intended solely for racing purposes – they should be driven only be drivers with sufficient experience and skills, those who are well aware of their actual limits. Breaching those limits usually means inevitable crashes and injuries. To put it simple, motorcycles don’t forgive you for your mistakes. Considering all of the above, you must understand that this is your first, not the last motorcycle!

Properties that you should take into account when evaluating the possible motorcycle options:

  • is it cheap enough (don’t forget that you have to pay for the insurance as well)
  • is it practical enough (by that meaning the engine size and its location)
  • does it have any spoilers or tuning
  • does it fit your dimensions (for instance, can you touch the ground when sitting on it)
  • can you lift it without assistance

We’ve tested many different bikes and have come across such things that would not been able to image in the past. One of such things has been handling – had bought a cycle that was quite difficult to maneuver, it was nearly impossible to drive between two cars with it. This often resulted in hazardous situations – about to fall of, topple to one side or the other etc. Motorcycles we’ve had problems like these are Gixxer 750 ZX7R and CBR900 – large, heavy and the driver can’t support them on both feet. Of course, this is not an issue for experienced drivers, but you have to gain this experience somehow at the beginning.. Do it by steering away from these monsters, and we believe you’ll be fine. More or less, haha!

1998 suzuki GS500The first bike our colleague Melissa had was the 1998 Suzuki GS500E, so called naked bike without any spoilers. Since the bike has only 500 cubes, overtaking maneuvers on highways were quite exclusive events. At about 90 miles per hour engine is roaring like crazy, but it still was possible to keep up with superbikes (if they did not fly faster than 115 miles per hour). She chose this bike cause it was relatively cheap and didn’t have those expensive plastic details that would cost her a small fortune to repair or substitute in case of an accident. Yes, some of her pulled a leg, but it did not matter – she knew her limits and wasn’t ashamed of them. After all, this was her first, not the last cycle!

We suggest to set your budget below $ 3,000. It may sound suspiciously little, but it’s possible to find quite good things if not nuggets! Melissa paid for her first bike $ 2,750 and went a year without any upgrades, just regular checkups and maintenance works.

In our opinion the best models to start with are:

  • Suzuki GS500
  • Kawasaki EX500
  • Ninja 250
  • Suzuki SV650

For additional information we recommend to check the Motor Safety Foundation website, there is plenty of great stuff for appraising motorcyclists.

Cigarette lighter socket. An accessory that is convenient everywhere

Yes, many of us smoke (but hopefully are not on fire). So what? This advice won’t have anything to do with us telling how dangerous smoking is to your health, how it reduced you life expectancy and further on. This post will be about one of the cheapest motorcycle accessories you can get – cigarette lighter socket. Make sure you have one on your motorcycle board in a working condition – it can help you in many unpredictable situations or even save your life

As with any device on the motorcycle, it should have a security switch and should be connected directly to battery, not the ignition key as it is for rest of the accessories and equipment. In such setup the cigarette lighter socket can be used even if the ignition is not turned on.

Since this unit is not waterproof, it should be installed in luggage compartment with its opening facing down.

Do you have a mobile phone? There has been an urgency when you need to call somebody but the battery has gone out? You won’t have to worry about this anymore, simply plug charger in the socket and talk as long as you please. Of course, it’s possible to get by without such comfort in daily situations, but think about times when you’re somewhere far away from civilized places. At that point such feature can be a true life savior.

Have you ever spend a night at camping or in a tent? Do you always get tired of blowing air in a mattress? Usual air pump can be operated through a regular cigarette lighter socket – you’ll get electricity that will do the exhausting task for you.

Have you ever had a need to charge a battery? Reaching poles of the charger cords have been a terrible nightmare? You have always been afraid of breaking those plastic dowels hold coating? In addition, there is always a possibility that you will accidentally connect the battery to the charger improperly, and hence damage the battery. Want to know the solution? It’s simple – make a jack for the charger that fits cigarette lighter socket and you’ve hacked the problem!

This is just a brief description of the opportunity a regular cigarette lighter socket offers.

This simple, low cost and versatile gadget should be included in every motorcycle’s base equipment, even if that’s politically incorrect.

Random fact: did you know that acceleration helps to save fuel?

From a trustworthy source we have recently found out and tested ourselves that a rapid acceleration genuinely helps to reduce the fuel consumption of any motorcycle type. This should automatically mean that its more environmentally friendly, doesn’t it? Turn the gas handle to two thirds as fast as you can, and your wallet and the environment will thank you for it…

biker accelerating fastSwedish Research Center has tried to prove wrong a general belief that under a rapid acceleration engine does not completely burn the fuel, so the old man who peacefully ride with their rovers use less juice.

Swedish Research Center manager Mark Doherty suggests that the gas must be open to two thirds because at that point is reached the best mixture of air and fuel in a cylinder. Upon an observation of 1,000 motorcycles it was determined that this method ensured a fuel savings of about 15%.

He also disclosed that many bikers that accelerate fast, have a driving style that is closer to the optimum than the majority of motorcyclists. Anyone who used to become worried about the fuel expenses seeing that somebody is accelerating super fast, can now stop worrying and, in fact, be happy and pleased with that!

Moreover, by driving fast you also help the environment around you! What news can be better than theses???

Parking at night, in heavy wind

You are away from your home and stay there overnight. You think to leave the bike somewhere nearby, but notice that wind comes in force. Should you cover it or just leave it like it is, uncovered? And should you put it on the big legs or small will handle just fine?

Let’s start with the second question, perhaps it’s much easier to find an answer on it. Accept it as a rule and leave it on the small leg (except if you’re parking it in a garage or an underground parking space).

Compared to the central support, the side support provides more prop points in a triangular form – ensuring more secure and stable parking for your motorcycle. Only exception could be a situation when the motorcycle with such support is not standing firmly, for instance, if motorcycle springs are damaged or one of the tires is empty, or the luggage is too heavy, or the surface is oblique to the right. If the bike does not stand securely to your side with it’s full weight on the support, it’s easily overthrown to the other side.

As mats function very well in strong wind and rain, we recommend using them when you need to spend time (also night) somewhere by the nature. They have proven to be specially useful in cities – to reduce potential risk of theft and excessive expressions of attention from people around. In worst case scenario you’ll get your mat damaged, but your bike paintjob will remain intact.

Remember to tie up to the bottom of mat through the bottom of the motorcycle, it gives an additional defense and prevents the cover from being blown away. Moreover, this trick can discourage a potential thievery. Take a good care of your motorcycle and it will take a good care of you. Cheers!

Paintless dent repair for cars and motorcycles

Before any new motorcycle or car rolls out of the factory, it’s checked under a special fluorescent lightning for any body panel damages, typically dents or dings. These damages are outlined with a special pencil, and later pulled out applying paintless dent repair technique. What is paintless dent removal, what are the benefits using it, tells our business partner Chuck Garrick – man behind the Phoenix mobile dent repair business. Over the past year he and his team have repaired 100+ motorcycles in Phoenix, AZ and other nearby states for our clients and every single one of them has been super excited about the results paintless dent removal brings.

PDR is faster

First to say, paintless dent removal in Phoenix, AZ have been popular since the 90’s, just like in the rest of the US. It was invented to speed up and make easier the amendment of scourge brought by hail and paranormal size hail stones. Seeing that with PDR it’s possible to save up to 70% of time usually required by regular panel beating techniques, it was quickly adapted as the main treatment for other car, truck and motorcycle panel issues – dents and dings, and even minor scratches. All of these imprints could be averted in minutes, not days.

PDR is cheaper

Yes, speed is one of the factors why paintless dent repair is celebrated by many, but what if you’re in no hurry? What are the other benefits and advantages? Well, there is an aspect that most likely wont leave you completely ignorant – it’s the price. Paintless dent repair in Phoenix and elsewhere are 3-4 times cheaper than any other alternative dent removal technique in Phoenix or any other county, state or even country. It’s not a scam! This is possible because in general, PDR does not require any materials – it’s done by a professional with reusable dent removal tools (typical life expectancy of which are 10, 20 or even 30 years).

PDR leaves no trace

Ok, you have plenty of time and money, and don’t care about any of the green stuff, so probably all of the above will leave you indifferent… How can this method prove it’s superiority over others? Luckily, paintless dent repair still has an ace up its sleeve. Imagine you have a motorcycle or car that has been once repaired with a traditional filling and finishing technique and now you want to sell it. How are you going to convince the potential buyer that the vehicle hasn’t been in a collision, if he is holding a paint thickness meter that suggests paint layer is 220 microns (standard factory paint is 120 microns thin)? You won’t! But guess what – paintless dent repair does not alter the thickness of paint, technician simply pulls out the dent and original paint job remains intact.

To sum it up, paintless dent repair in Phoenix has three main advantages – the speed, the cost and the invisibility. Contact us if you have a bike or car that craves for PDR, we will figure something out.

Driving with a motorcycle can cause pain. What to do?

After you’ve taken necessary measures to protect your motorcycle, it’s a good idea to protect yourself from potential health issues!

Wrists

After driving long hours with your bike, it wouldn’t be a surprise if you would experience so called wrist bone syndrome (also known as carpal tunnel syndrome). Carpal tunnel is a combination of ties and bones in your wrist and anyone who performs repetitive movements (clutch, brake, gas, middle finger gesture etc) will face swelling and tissue damage because wrist tendons are constantly irritated. Cold and vibrations expedite this process, but there are certain things you can do to avoid this risk of painful wrists. First, adjust properly the steering wheel horn height so that the wrists, hands and brakes habel is on one imaginary straight line. It is important that your wrists sits in a neutral position – not bend at the top, nor the bottom.

Back

back pain illustrationThe posture your back is in while you’re driving the motorcycle is often between something that can be described as unnatural and impossible. Worst posture to be in for a long time is with your back bent – exactly as your back is in while you’re driving. You need to avoid excessive curvature in the lower back as it squeezes nerves and spinal discs and causes muscle cramps. Remedies for the particular issue are only a proper rest or a quick appointment to your doctor. If you’re at home, lay down on the back and put a cushion under the knees. Such posture helps to relax all major back muscles and has the least strain on your back and spine. Of course, remember what healthy lifestyle preachers say – have a morning workout, eat healthy and regularly, lose excess weight etc.

Neck and shoulders

Head is a pretty heavy body part itself, but when you put a helmet on it, load on the neck is even bigger, about 8.9 pounds. Neck tends to incline in an unnatural position while you’re driving, as a result squeezing the nerves. Rapid acceleration and braking worsens the situation further. There’s nothing much you can do about this – change sitting posture and stop for a few minutes frequently.

Lungs

Last year 20,000 deaths related to disease associated to air pollution were recorder in UK alone. If you suffer from a chronic bronchitis or asthma expect your problems to intensify, especially in urbanized areas. Exhaust gases cause more than 25,000 new chronic bronchitis and 500,000 asthma attacks per year. Only preventive action you can take is to gen an anti pollution mask, like the ones people use in urbanized areas in Japan and China. Breathing through the nose also helps to reduce the impact of pollution on your body.

Ears

problems with hearingVirtually all motorcyclists at some point experience varying signs of deafness. Vehicle produced noise may exceed 85 decibels that scientists assume as maximum sound strength that is harmless to human hearing. Louder sound than this stimulates inner ear cells that transmit sound signals to the nerves too much. These cells regenerate if the noise is brief, but are destroyed if it is long. Biggest threat to your hearing is not the exhaust or engine sound, but the wind, so it’s advisable to get a helmet with extra padding or use earplugs. If you decide to use the latter, among other things, you will be able to hear your bikes sound even better.

Stomach

Stepping on a bike after having a saturating meal is like boarding on an American roller coaster – driving postures compresses it and road bumps will rock it neatly. Your stomach, simply put, is a muscular bag that produces acid to digest the food. Layer of slimes prevent the acid from spreading to other internal organs. At the top of the stomach there is a special valve that prevents the acid of splashing out. Tight outfit and driving posture can squeeze the stomach and thereby stimulate the acid ingress into inappropriate places. If you plan to eat a lot, better get some analgesic tablets for the stomach.

Testicles

Both tight fitting trousers and sports bike seat design badly affect the testicles. Testicles are located outside the body, but riding in tight outfit can push them deeper into the body, which is not only uncomfortable, but more importantly – endangers your ability of having descendants. Testicles need about 4 degrees lower temperature than rest of the body to allow normal sperm production. Without driving naked, a normal way to deal with the problem is to include vitamin C and E containing products, as well as zinc rich sources. Zinc has also a positive effect on the prostate which is responsible for seminal fluid production.

Bottom

Prolonged sitting can lead to hemorrhoids. It occurs when the tissue holding anus loses their elasticity. Blood filled pillows supporting your anus simply drop. Another undesirable side effect of being a motorcyclist is pruritus ani cause by spending too much time in leather clothes. This Latin name stands for irritated anus – skin on your bottom should be dry, but it inevitably becomes wet. Friction from the bike seat irritate the skin around the anus, causing itching and rash. Hemorrhoids can be treated by using special creams, but pruritus ani can be overcome by keeping your sensitive body part as dry as possible.

Knees

While driving leg joints receive large load – superbike owners cut corners in unnatural angles to improve their lap times, while the cross country and enduro motorcycle fans are very well aware of how much tension they put on their knees performing any jump or trick. Motorcyclists are exposed to the risk of knee cartilage tear that is usually described as a sudden sharp pain in the knee. If cartilage is teared, seek for a medical attention immediately.

Joints

The older you become, the more susceptible to tendon swellings your body gets. It threatens all major joints where the tendons are attached to the bones. Deterioration process starts when you become thirty years of age and lasts until your death. Namely, after a lounger journey pain may occur in the shoulder, elbow, knee, heel etc. There is no antidote to pain like this and it can strike like a lightning from a clear sky. Only advice that can be given is try to have a plenty of rest. Once the pain will be pass, you will be able to proceed with your journey.

Legs

Medical condition of dilated veins occur when the vein walls situated in the lower part of the body relax. Veins are full of valves that regulate the blood path to the heart. When the vein walls have become weakened, the valves does not close completely, resulting in reverse blood flow and vein inflammation. Heat released by your motorcycle interferes with your blood flow to your veins and can stimulate blood aggregation in the legs. So you won’t have legs like those of your grandfather, get off the bike and move around! Leg muscles activity helps to level out the blood flow and restore a normal order.

Dehydration (fluid deficiency)

motorcyclist with water bottlesIf at a day when even asphalt is melting you are wearing leather clothes, then you will almost certainly suffer from dehydration. On average, human body loses 2-3 liters of fluid an hour at conditions like these. Losing only 2% of body’s fluid results in about 20% loss of it’s capabilities. After loss of 4% of body’s fluids person experiences real fatigue. As you can probably imagine, this is nothing you would like to experience sitting behind the wheel. In addition, risk of muscle cramps increases. Through sweating your body loses no only fluids but also electrolytes that are responsible for electrical signal transfer in nerves that give impulse to shrink or relax the muscles. An excellent way to make sure your body is not lacking water is to check the color of urine – it must be transparent. If it is not, get a drink.

Summary

Relax: You have to allow the blood to circulate through the muscles, so stop at least every 2 hours and read new on www.chopperheadroad.com. This will help them regain elasticity and firmness.

Drink: Mitigate the risk of dehydration by providing the body with fluid in advance – drink about 0.5 liters and hour or a bit more if it is a longer journey.

Breathe: Stay away from apparel made of synthetic materials, instead choose light and natural materials like cotton in summer time and wool in winter time. Synthetics interfere normal air circulation in your body and can lead to your sweat glands to overwork.

9 tips to protect your cycle from thieves

We have collected 9 most popular methods to save a bike (even if it’s HD roadster) out of trouble, check them out.

Lock it up

First of all – lock it or it may disappear. Focused and professional thief will get his hands on your bike no matter what, but there’s thousands of motorcycles that get stolen simply because they are carelessly tossed in shady places. motorcycle anti theft chainSteering lock is just the beginning. Add a brake disc locker, it’s better but why stop here? Get a strong U-shaped lock or chain and using it connect he bike to a solid object, it may as well be another motorcycle. Chain through the frame, not just a single wheel because it can be easily unscrewed.

Tighten the chain as strongly as you can, leaving as little place for cutting tools as possible, and put the locks in hard to reach places. Chaining process requires more time, thus more time will be necessary for somebody to crack it up and ride away with your bike. If you’re lucky, perhaps the thief will choose another, more accessible target.

There are a few bikes which can be connected to the central support, making it nearly impossible to push them back or forward. Gearshift blocker and clutch additions ensure extra problems for the thief, especially if the bike is left in a gear and the gear lever is removed.

Cover it

Well of course bike cover won’t stop a professional thief, but covered bike will definitely attract less attention. So, after locking up your bike, cover it! Do it with a simple overlay that has no bright details, inscriptions, ads etc. After all you want to keep it safe not only from rain and dust, but unnecessary glances as well.

Install an alarm

Alarm system in a combination with chain can be a tough combo for any thief, especially if the alarm system is somehow obscured. Attempts to cut or break the chain are likely to trigger the alarm.

What if the bike is parked at a place from which you won’t be able to hear the alarm? Or what if your neighbors protest about the sensitivity of your alarm system? There are special alarms which can be connected to dedicated pager that will signal you in case something bad happens to your motorcycle. There are also alarms with an adjustable sensitivity, different type sensors, there is options to set range of alarm triggers like inclination change, luggage compartment opening etc.

Don’t show off

Some are so fond of their own bike that they can’t resist to show them off for general public. They are so proud of their property that park in a manner so that more people would see it. But they forget that thieves are also out there looking for their next pray – and you’re just easing up their task.

If possible, always park in a garage or underground parking lot. Hold the doors and windows shut. If you need to park outside, always take a cover with yourself.

Strengthen your garage

Use the key and alarm in your garage, just like you do anywhere else. But of course, this is not all, you have to also strengthen your garage.

Plain garage door lock is not safe, you should at least use a regular padlock. It will detain the thief for a while, and possibly make the thief to noise that could draw attention. Unlocking effort and nervousness may frighten off an unprepared beginner. It’s also possible to mount a special anchor in the garage floor where it would be later possible to chain the bike. If you think you require an additional security, perhaps it’s a good idea to set up a cheap CCTV network. Place the cameras in the premises and a display in your bedroom or guestroom so you would have a more restful sleep.

Make bike stationary

Lock your bike to something stationary so it would be nearly impossible to get it in a van or trailer and take away. Or you can make it undrivable, for example, remove the main fuse when the bike is parked. Some install hidden switches that can disable the ignition or fuel pump. The key is to make these switches hardly spottable so that the thief would lose patience and leave the motorcycle alone.

Choose parking spot smartly

Don’t park behind all sorts of coaches or lorries as they can give a perfect cover for thief’s crime. bike parking spotChoose a place with non obstructive view where thieves can’t access with a van or any other vehicle on which the bike could be loaded on and taken away.

When you’re traveling around, ask hotel staff if you can place it close to main entrance, in such case administrator could keep an eye on it. But that’s not all, try to get a hotel room that has a window view on it as well, and, if necessary, you can get to it quickly. Many hotels offer an option to store your bike in a garage or in hotel’s lobby, don’t refuse this wonderful offer!

Watch an eye on potential buyers

Some thieves present themselves as potential buyers. A guy in the United States Bob Kruse, member of the AMA, had a situation when a potential buyer came to the deal meeting on foot, claiming a friend of his had dropped him a few blocks away of the meeting spot. He asked for a test drive, and Bob agreed. When the buyer didn’t return, Bob began to chase him. He tracked him down just because the thief was unfamiliar with street network and get lost.

If you ever give a stranger your motorcycle, then at least find out his identity: name, surname and social security number.

Mark your property

If nothing above has helped and the bike is gone, at least complicate their further moves. Most of the motorcycles that are stolen by professionals are dismantled and parts sold in black market. There’s a great chance that thieves will get caught sooner or later, and at least part of the bikes retrieved. So it’s smart to mark your bike somehow so that the police can identify it. For instance, you can engrave the plate number in secret places on most expensive parts like frame, engine, wheels etc. Also it’s useful to keep a few bike photos at your disposal, especially with focus on special features – color tone, aerography, carbon detailing, even defects like scratches, dents and dings can be extremely important for identification.

Hope you found these 9 tips useful. And remember, the more effort you put in to implement them, the more effort a thief will need to take the bike away from you. Think you can’t handle it yourself? Then contact us, we’ll help you.