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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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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