How to pick a motorcycle service shop

Nick from Dallas wants to know “What’s the best way to pick a motorcycle service shop?”

 Find the Best Cycle Shop for Your Bike
The modern motorcycle is a complex machine. No matter how well you take care of it, your bike will eventually have a problem that requires the services of a good mechanic. There are certain things that I like to keep in mind when looking for a new service shop.

Hands-On Experience

A good motorcycle shop will have experienced workers. It won’t be staffed with people who only know how to change oil and spark plugs. You don’t want some amateur working on your custom chopper. You want someone in the shop who has been working hands-on with bikes for years.

Real Education

You also want someone who has real training. By this, I don’t mean that your shop has to employ only people who have had formal training and a wall of diplomas. Not that there is anything wrong with that! Your shop could also have skilled mechanics who have learned on the job or who have worked for race teams. Don’t be afraid to ask about qualifications.

The Right Kind of Professional

Your new shop should be professional. Think about the guys at Orange County Choppers. These are not guys who wear suits and ties. They aren’t that kind of professional. They are the kind of professional who keeps good records and does the job right the first time. You want a shop that values your bike the same way that you do. Make sure that your shop will give you an estimate and can stick to it.

Certifications in Order

Most shops will do everything from inspections to a major overhaul. But not every shop will work on every kind of bike. You will want to find a shop that can work on your make and vintage of motorcycle. Sometimes it’s easy to find out. Harley Davidson has ongoing training and certification programs for bike shops, dealerships and independent mechanics. Other companies don’t do this. Never be afraid to ask any shop you are interested in if they work with a bike like yours.

You can also check the shop’s certifications. Most states require mechanics and shops to have valid licenses to operate. You can normally spot a shop’s paperwork on a wall by the door. It might just be basic maintenance but you still want to use qualified mechanics.

Treat Your Baby like Family

Check out how the mechanics treat other bikes in their care. Are they neatly parked in a protected place? Is the area tidy? Good mechanics don’t leave tools and parts laying out while not in use. A professional place will be careful of the bikes left in their care.

Find Out Where Others Go

The best way I’ve found to get solid recommendations is to speak to other bike owners. Every bike person has their favorite shop and most of them will be happy to talk about it. Check these shops out. If you like what you see, ask them to do something simple for you. When you need more serious service you’ll have an idea of where to go.

 If you are in the New York area Orange County Choppers has you covered for all your motorcycle service and customization needs. Give us a call at 845-522-5203 or E-Mail 
contact@orangecountychoppers.com
for more information or to make an appointment.

Original story: http://www.orangecountychoppers.com/#!How-to-pick-a-motorcycle-service-shop/ivhi1/5735b90d0cf2e405158e21a9

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Motorcycle Gear – What to Wear

Dan from Elmwood Park NJ wants to know “What else do I need to be ready to ride this summer?”

Just because you own a bike and know how to ride it doesn’t mean you’re ready to hit the road. Apart from really making you look like a pro, motorcycle gear is specifically designed to protect you from the type of impact you would experience in an accident. Even if you’re the best motorcyclist out there, you can never be too safe, so get ready to suit up and make sure that you have all of this necessary riding gear before you rev the engine.

  Helmet

By far the most important piece of motorcycle clothing, your helmet will keep you safe from any head trauma that could be inflicted during a crash or a fall. Knowing how to choose a motorcycle helmet will ensure you’re as safe as possible on the road. In order to pick the right one for you, you should make sure that you find a fit that is ideal for your individual head shape, otherwise you can experience problems with pressure points and an ill fit. Check out this helmet buying guide by RevZilla for a step-by-step walkthrough on finding the right helmet for you.

 Boots

There are several questions to consider when buying your biker boots. First of all, how do they fit? They shouldn’t be too tight and compress any parts of your leg, though they should also not be loose enough to slip down on your foot or fly off altogether with sudden movements. Consider the aesthetic and whether or not they look just as nice indoors as they do on your bike, since most of the time you won’t have the option to change your shoes before going into work or any other establishment. Rideapart.com has some great boot suggestions for all types of bike riders.

 Gloves

Your gloves should fit like a second skin and the kind you buy all depends on the type of riding you do. If you’re a professional racer, the last thing you need to think about is your hands when you’re moving over 100 mph. If you’re hitting the open road, you should never feel like you’re out of control of the bike due to some ill-fitting gloves.

“The importance of good gloves is sometimes overlooked and while it’s often down to personal preference you should always take the time to try on as many pairs as you can from different brands to find the ones that fit you best,” says Lee Block, the President of Racer Gloves USA.

 Jacket

This is arguably the coolest part of your biking getup, making you feel just as tough as the guys of Orange County Choppers. The coveted motorcyclist’s leather jacket doesn’t just complete your look, it can also save your life. Leather jackets are less recommended now because we have access to fantastic synthetic materials that feature air flow systems to regulate body temperature. Most textile jackets also come with protective armor for the best crash and slide protection.

The type of riding you do will make the final call in what type of jacket you buy, but make sure that whenever you’re shopping for biking clothing you consider safety first.

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 Summary

Your bike gear is all about ensuring your safety when in motion. Check out the suggestions from type bike manufacturers like Orange County Choppers and Harley Davidson. These are the best in the business who know exactly what it takes to stay safe and look great on your ride.

Getting Your Motorcycle Ready to Ride

Nick from Manitoba Canada wants to know about getting ready to start riding again this summer

 There is nothing quite like the first ride of the season. Getting back on the road in the open air and letting the bike just take me where it will is always exhilarating but especially when it’s the first trek of the season. But, before I take that first ride, I like to make sure everything is in good working order on my custom chopper, so I don’t get any surprises when I take off on that first trip.

I like to spend a few hours going over things on my bike to make sure that it is in optimal working condition. This practice also helps me avoid any major repairs in the future. To make sure I have completed a thorough inspection, I like to go over all of the functional components.

Tires

I look over my motorcycle tires to make sure there aren’t any cracks or hard spots in the rubber. I also look for punctures or any other worn areas that indicate it’s time to invest in new ones. Before moving on to the next item on my list, I also check the tire pressure to make sure they are adequately inflated.

Belt and Chain

Assessing the belt or chain on my bike is another important step I take during the inspection. Again, I look for wear and any weak spots that may be present and replace the element if I see either. Finally, I check the tension to make sure it is set to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Spark Plug

While a spark plug is often a pretty easy change, it can still be a pain if one goes bad while you’re on the road. I like to check the spark plugs prior to my first ride to avoid failure on my first ride.

Battery

Appropriate care of the battery on my bike is one of my top priorities. I like to remove the batter and charge it overnight after my bike has set for a season. I then check the fluid levels in each cell and perform any refill as necessary.

Air Filter

A dirty air filter can cause all kinds of problems on a ride, so I make sure to pull the filters and check them against a light source. As long as I can see light shining through the filter, I’ll leave the filter until the next assessment.

Fluid Levels

Checking all of the fluid levels is another important component of my pre-ride assessment. I start by ensuring that the bike is completely level so as to get an accurate reading. And, then I check the oil and brake fluid.

Brakes

Checking the breaks on my bike is another thing I do regularly to avoid more expensive repair costs later. Most brake pads have a notch on the top to indicate when they need changed, so I go by this indicator.

Cables

Brake and clutch cables are another expensive replacement cost, so I try to keep these well-lubricated and in good working order. I find it best to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance book on how to detach the cables, but aside from that it just takes applying a little lubricant and allowing gravity to work.

Lights

Finally, I check all the lights on my bike to avoid any accidents related to poor signals, and I’m ready to take off on my first ride.

Taking the time to assess all of these elements and complete some basic maintenance, likeOrange County Choppers, helps me avoid any surprise issues once I get on the road. Regular inspections of my bike is one of my first priorities when I get ready to ride it each season.

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Planning a Lengthy Motorcycle Trip? A Few Things to Consider

Barb from Portland Oregon wants to know about planing a trip on a motorcycle?

While no car can replicate the feeling of freedom that comes with riding a motorcycle, riders who have never taken long trips need to make sure they’re prepared for the process. Small mistakes can lead to misery on the road, and failing to prepare properly can quickly derail a trip. Here are a few things to consider before embarking on a long journey on your bike.

Is Your Bike Properly Equipped?

If most of your riding is done in the city or suburbs, you might not be prepared for a long ride. While riding below highway speeds, problems with the windshield might not be clear until you reach 70 miles per hour. In addition, you’ll want to check out your seat, as the ride can quickly become unpleasant if it’s not comfortable enough. Make sure your posture is right, as tweaking your back while on the road can force you off the road and end the journey prematurely.

Do You Have the Right Gear?

It’s rare for the weather to stay the same during long motorcycle rides, and you’ll want to ensure you’re prepared for whatever it brings. If you’re heading into warm weather, make sure you have the right clothing to stay cool, and bring an extra jacket if you’re heading into cooler temperatures. Make sure you have a way to check the upcoming weather conditions, and make sure to regularly check for rain, which can come up quickly in some parts of the country.

Maintenance Matters

Just like any vehicle, motorcycles need regular maintenance, and finding out something is wrong with your bike while on the road can end your ride quickly. Unfortunately, some problems can be exacerbated by lengthy periods of high-speed travel. Unless you’re an expert in motorcycle maintenance, have your bike inspected by experts at Orange County Choppers to make sure you’re ready. You also might want to bring along a maintenance book to help you look for problems while traveling.

Plan B

Expect the unexpected before you hit the road, as travel problems are more difficult to handle when you’re riding a bike as opposed to traveling by car. What happens if highway traffic slows down and you can’t make your destination when planned? Do you have a way to find a hotel for the night? If you run into mechanical issues en route, do you have a way to pay for repairs? Envision your journey, and make sure you aren’t caught unprepared.

Proper Mindset

When preparing for your first trip, it’s important to make sure you don’t push yourself too hard, as exhaustion and frustration can be dangerous while you’re riding a motorcycle. Make sure you schedule breaks to give your body and mind time to refresh. Since you’re saving on gas money, go ahead and plan fun stops on the way if your ride covers several days.

Nothing can beat traveling by motorcycle, but it’s important to prepare. Taking time to ensure you’re ready can make the journey safe, productive and, most of all, fun.

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From RAW to RADICAL!

Some quick pics from one of our latest builds. This is one bad bike for sure!

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And the winner is…

THANK YOU to everyone at the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association [NYSCOPBA] for all you did raffling off the custom Orange County Choppers NYSCOPBA bike and raising $60,000.00 and awareness for Make a Wish New York! Congratulations to the winner of the custom Orange County Choppers NYSCOPBA bike we are sure you’ll enjoy it! Thanks too Lisa M. Suominen for taking some great pictures and allowing us to use them.

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We are BACK!

American Chopper returns with 7’1” basketball legend Shaq contracting Paul Sr. and the OCC team to build him an enormous Superman themed chopper.  The OCC team faces the challenge of building their largest bike to date, on the tightest of deadlines.  Paul Sr.’s zany son Mikey returns for some bonding time with dad but when Paul Sr. goes to Florida and leaves Mikey in charge of the Shaq bike build, all hell breaks loose.  The OCC team’s typical hijinks, explosions, laugh-out-loud moments and dramatic arguments are all a plenty in this very special episode of American Chopper.
And it doesn’t get more mega for MEGA WEEK than the legendary Shaquille O’Neal! American Chopper returns to Discovery Channel on Thursday Dec. 11 at 9 PM ET/PT with 7’1” basketball legend Shaq contracting the OCC team to build their largest bike to date, an enormous Superman themed chopper.

 

The OCC team faces the challenge of building their largest bike to date for the legendary Shaquille O'Neal, on the tightest of deadlines. American Chopper returns to Discovery Channel on Thursday Dec. 11 at 9 PM ET/PT
The OCC team faces the challenge of building their largest bike to date for the legendary Shaquille O’Neal, on the tightest of deadlines. American Chopper returns to Discovery Channel on Thursday Dec. 11 at 9 PM ET/PT

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