You have bought your dream bike, body style, engine, and all the bells and whistles you wanted, the only thing left to do is customize the finish and paint job you envision. Or perhaps you have just purchased a used bike and are ready to customize the body and paint so that it fits the ideal bike you had in mind. Whatever the case you are now left with your decision of whether to traditionally paint the bike or have it vinyl wrapped. Yep, you heard right, vinyl wrapping isn’t just for automobiles and company fleets. In fact more and more motorcycle riders are choosing to wrap their bike versus having a traditional paint job applied. Why? The benefits, cost and protection associated with a vehicle vinyl wrap are so much better than that of a regular paint job. Dan, a friend of mine, who owns Phoenix Auto Wrap, provided me with ALL of the inside info as to why vinyl wraps are a better choice, and if taken care of correctly last longer and offer more protection than an average paint job. We listened to what these experts had to say and are sold on vinyl wrapping your bike! Check out what we found out and you most likely will be too!
Benefits Of Vinyl Wrapping Your Motorcycle
- What Exactly is Vinyl Wrapping- Although vinyl wrapping has been around for some time now, in recent years it’s just started to gain more popularity and exposure. Vinyl wrapping basically consist of using high quality materials to create large adhesive sheets that can be applied to your motorcycle or vehicle to change the color, appearance, and finish. They are 100% removable and do not harm or alter the original paint job that is still in tact underneath.
- How Long Do Vinyl Wraps Last?- It all depends on how well you take care of your bike. This means how you store it, clean it, and drive it. The longevity also depends on the quality of materials used and if you had a certified professional install the wrap. Generally with high quality materials, good bike care, and professional installation a wrap can last anywhere between 4-5 years! Remember it doesn’t alter your bikes original paint either!
- How Long Do Vinyl Wraps Take To Apply?- This adds to the benefit of a vinyl wrap vs. traditional paint job. Vinyl wraps basically cut the time in half compared to regular paint which means you are back on your bike and riding A LOT sooner. Traditional paint jobs can take up to 2 weeks, whereas a vinyl wrap takes 2-3 days.
- Paint Protection- Because vinyl wraps are a film like adhesive they are actually easier to clean using just soap and water and protect the body of your bike. Nicks and scratches from riding on the open rode are inevitable because of small debris and other factors. A vinyl wrap not only protects the original paint job it also protects the body of your bike from scratches and other wear and tear, etc.
- Less Of A Commitment- So you really like that chrome look on vehicles you have been seeing lately and decide to wrap your bike in red chrome. Looks great and you love it all for about a year. With a traditional paint job there is no going back to the original color once the paint job is done unless you have it repainted which lets be real, can be quite expensive especially only after a year. With a vinyl wrap if you get over the look you once desired you can simply have it removed and rock that original paint job or have it wrapped again for ⅓ of the cost of a traditional paint job.
In the end it is entirely up to the motorcycle owner which paint job route he/she wants to take. However, having done a little research ourselves on vinyl wraps we can’t really find the disadvantages to them at all. Check out a PROFESSIONAL vinyl wrap installer near you, ask questions, get a feel for their wraps and compare prices, you may just find that vinyl wrapping your bike is the next best decision you made after purchaisng it!
Whether you are purchasing your very first motorcycle or are looking to buy another bike to add to your collection, deciding to buy a new vs used bike can be quite the tough decision. In the end it is ultimately the buyer’s decision as to what meets their needs the best. We know getting to that point can be a tough choice so we thought we’d give you the pros and cons of buying new vs used!
Buying A USED Motorcycle
- Price- Used bikes are relatively cheaper than their brand new alternative. You will not have to pay any hidden fees such as dealer fees, set up or delivery fees.
- Insurance- Although it depends on the motorist and the style of bike used bikes generally have a lower insurance premium
- Sellers/Dealers- If buying from a private seller they will have all of the general maintenance information on the bike as well as wear and tear. A dealer on the other hand will have had a certified mechanic look over the bike and fix any repairs that need to be done before putting it up for sale
- History- Although private sellers will know the history, accidents and other repairs of the bike it doesn’t mean they will fully disclose it. They could have also done work on the bike with minimal mechanical knowledge. If choosing to go with a private seller it is always best to bring a certified mechanic with you to look at the bike before you decide to purchase it.
- Maintenance- One thing you must take into account is that older/used bikes often require more upkeep and maintenance because their parts are older. Budget the cost of regular maintenance and suggested service before purchasing as well.
- Mileage- While its safe to say most buyers will be looking for a used bike with lower miles, you still need to take in account the mileage. How close is the bike mile wise to needing a big servicing such as replacing the chain, quality of brakes, tires, engine etc.
- Value- used bikes depending on how old they are and the make and model of bike can lose a lot of their value over time. It is suggested to look up the make and model as well as year of the bike on a platform such as Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book before choosing to purchase.
Buying A NEW Motorcycle
- History- With the bike being brand new there isn’t really too much history to worry about. You are starting with a bike that has generally a completely clean slate
- Mileage- Where as high mileage can be a downfall of a used bike, new bikes have 0 to very few miles on them. There’s that clean slate again!
- Warranty- Most bikes will come with some kind of warranty or you can purchase an extended one. This offers a little more protection and piece of mind should anything go wrong once you own the bike.
- Technology- If you are looking for a bike with the latest bike technology and newest upgrades purchasing a new bike is the way to go
- Expense- While you are getting a new bike the hidden dealer fees can increase price drastically. Also once you have ridden your new motorcycle off the lot it has already depreciated in value
- Insurance- Although like we said before it does depend on the driver and the type of bike new motorcycles tend to have higher insurance premiums
- Depreciation- Worth mentioning again. It is usually advised against to buy a brand new car. Example its 2018 buying a 2018 car is ill advised because of the amount it depreciates once taken off the lot. Instead waiting even 1 year so that the model is a year older will help somewhat with expense and also the bike will not depreciate as much when driven away.
In the end you must weigh out the pros and cons to both purchasing new or used. Should you still be indecisive compare values with online platforms and try to calculate a total overhead cost with fees, maintenance etc factored in.
Let’s talk about motorcycle maintenance and how important it is for the overall performance as well as safety of your bike. Just like an automobile, bike owners need to keep up with regular maintenance for their bike and its many individual parts. That being said, a lot of routine maintenance can be done by you, the bike owner. However, if you are new to the motorcycle life or just aren’t quite sure how to exactly perform these maintenance procedures it is best to seek the help of a professional mechanic. The first thing to remember when going through our list of maintenance criteria is that every make & model of bike can differ. It is a good idea to study your owners guide and follow the advice of the manufacturer.
Routine Motorcycle Maintenance
- Engine Oil- Just like your car or truck, motorcycles run off their engine oil. It is usually suggested that an oil change is done every 4,000-6,000 miles but again this depends on the model of your bike. Regularly check oil levels and make sure to never put TOO MUCH oil. It is also recommended that you change your oil filter with every oil change as well to maintain optimal performance.
- Valve Adjustments- These adjustments can often be a BIG task and generally require the skill & help of a professional mechanic. Jim, a motorcycle mechanic, based out of a Phoenix Auto Repair shop stresses the importance of not letting this maintenance task go, not only for your safety but for the longevity of your bike.
- Tire Pressure- This should be monitored with the help of a tire pressure gauge. It is also advised to inspect tires visually for any wear and tear or other damage caused by nails & other debris that can be found on the road.
- Drive System- Bikes generally come with 3 different drive systems, Chain/Sprocket, Shaft Drive, and Belt Drives. The drive system connects the ear wheel to the engine through a shaft, chain or belt drive. Debris from the road as well as lubricants can cause wear and damage on your drive system. Sfat drives generally require the least amount of maintenance but their fluids still need to be topped off and checked periodically.
- Brake Fluid Line- this fluid line should be bled and changed at different intervals depending on what your bike is used for, For example, if you are performance focused the line should be bled and changed at least once a season. If you have a sports bike and are running it on the track the brake line should be bled and changed routinely!
- Coolant- Some bikes have an air cooled engine while others have a radiator. It is vital to your bike that you keep your coolant levels topped off and clean! Cooler engines make for a better running engine overall. If you live in a hotter climate, think Arizona summers, it is advised that you change your coolant AT LEAST once a season!
As always it is advised that you read up on your owner’s manual and check for manufacturer suggested maintenance schedules. The more love and care you put in to your bike the better it will perform for you and the longer it will last. Motorcycles have a bit of danger surrounding them so it is always best to maintain your bike to also provide the best safety for you and your passengers. If you are able to perform your own maintenance routines that is great, however if not seek out and establish a relationship with a trusted, experienced, and professional motorcycle mechanic!
Riding a motorcycle down a long stretch of highway, wind in your hair the feel of the the throttle beneath your hand and the general thrill that comes from cruising on this incredible machine all makes motorcycle riding so great. For those of you bikers out there you know exactly what I’m talking about. For those just starting out their motorcycle journey this may be what entices you in the first place! However, with motorcycle riding comes safety guidelines that all riders should embrace and take seriously. Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous and while some are addicted to the thrill of that danger, safety precautions can be the difference between life and death.
What To Know About Motorcycle Safety
- ALWAYS Wear A Helmet- Not only should you wear a helmet but one with a safety shield for your face as well as protective eyewear should be worn too. Helmets are the best way to protect yourself and any passengers against severe and sometimes deadly head injuries. In fact riders who do not wear a helmet are 5X more likely to suffer a serious head injury.
- Protective Gear- Not only do helmets protect you against severe injuries, wearing protective gear can help protect your entire body! Should you skid or have some kind of accident protective gear especially that made of leather can help protect your body against rode rash and and other scrapes. Adding reflective material or tape to your gear also helps other drivers to better see you.
- Obey Traffic Rules- We have traffic rules and speed limits for a reason. Obeying these rules will help to ensure your safety while out on the road. When you are at high speed on a motorcycle or any motorized vehicle it takes a longer time to come to a complete stop. Should you have to break suddenly following the speed limit will help to prepare you a bit more. Sam goes for using your signals!
- Defensive Driving- There are probably a lot more cars and trucks on the road compared to the number of motorcycle riders. Practicing defensive driving will help to ensure your safety. Stay out of other drivers blind spots, drive with your headlights on at all times, Stay in the line of site of others especially big trucks so that they are aware you are sharing the road.
- Do Not Ride Intoxicated- You should never mix alcohol with rising a motorcycle. The two DO NOT mix EVER! Same goes for being overly tired or under the influence of mind altering medications. You want to ALWAYS be fully alert when deciding to take a ride on your motorcycle.
- Educate Yourself- All riders should take a motorcycle safety and/or operating course before acquiring your motorcycle license. Formal training can help all riders and inform them of safety precautions and operating techniques they may otherwise have not known. Brushing up on your training every so often can also help you stay informed and riding at optimal safety levels.
- Inspect Your Bike Regularly- It is always good to do an overall inspection every so often or before you take your bike out for a ride. Check the tires, fluids, signals/lights, undercarriage, clutch/throttle, mirrors, brakes, horn, and chain. This allows you to spot problems or safety concerns before you are out for a ride
When it comes to motorcycle riding it is always best to air on the side of caution. Although the thrill is amazing you want to be able to continue riding your bike for many years to come, as well as help to keep your passengers safe at all times.
When it comes to motorcycles and deciding what type of bike is right for you, there are a variety of different bike styles to choose from. If you are an experienced rider you probably already know the difference between bike styles. For those of you that are new to motorcycles or looking to buy your first bike our guide may help you!
Different Styles of Motorcycles
- Standard Bike- This is probably one of the best options for a new rider. Why? Standard bikes have an upright riding position, standard size engine, they are very user friendly and are easy to operate for new riders
- Dual Sport- Can be driven on or off road. These bikes are equipped with a high center of gravity so that they are easier to handle when off road. They have high seats, smaller engines lightweight frames and are also a great choice for new riders
- Cruiser- Most people think of Harley Davidson’s when they think of a cruiser! These bikes have twin V-engines, offer a low, leaned back riding position, with high handlebars. These bikes are not suggested for new riders or those who want to ride at higher speeds for a long amount of time.
- Touring- These bikes are designed for riders that want to go long distances. They have bigger engines, fuel tanks and storage compartments. With their comfortable upright seating they offer an enjoyable long distance ride. Because of the size and often higher cost of these bikes they are recommended for the seasoned biker.
- Sport Touring- This is a hybrid of a sport and touring bike. It offers a lighter frame like that of a sports bike but has the storage capacity of a touring bike. With relaxed seating it makes for a comfortable ride
- Sports Bike- This bike is designed to handle high speeds and acceleration. With it’s high performance engine, lightweight frame and longer handlebar reach, it does great at handling high speeds in the wind.
Whatever bike that you may choose to start with or perhaps upgrade to, its always best to make sure that the fit is right for you and your level of riding expertise. It is also advised should you just be starting out on your motorcycle journey that you take a class or read up on the do’s and don’ts of owning and driving a motorcycle. It is important that you are comfortable on your bike and that you feel comfortable handling in when out on the road. That being said it is best to start with a bike that will help you ease into the art of riding a motorcycle. These machines can be quite dangerous if not operated properly and with all safety precautions adhered too!
Hello All! Welcome to our blog all about motorcycles, brands, bikes, parts, accessories etc. If you love bikes, are a biker, a biker babe, or simply a motorcycle enthusiast we think you will love our site! We know our love for motorcycles is something fierce and wish to share all of our knowledge, reviews, facts, and little tidbits of information on bikes with you all. We love to hear feedback and encourage our readers to leave comments. Please stay tuned for our first blog post that will be coming soon! We are excited to share our passion for motorcycles with all of our readers!
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