Winter Motorcycle Care

As we get deeper into the winter season, it’s important to make sure you’re completing all your motorcycle maintenance and care. Otherwise, especially if you’re riding a used Harley Softail in Chicago, your beloved bike might not last as long as you expect it to.

Fortunately, here at Chicago Cycles Motorsports, we’ve been maximizing the quality and longevity of all sorts of motorcycles, including used Harley Softails in Chicago. And we want to pass the knowledge we’ve gained onto you.

Check Coolant Levels and Tire Pressure

Before winter temperatures take a toll on your motorcycle, it’s important to ensure that your antifreeze levels are adequate for the winter. If they’re not, add antifreeze to your coolant system. 

Also, as temps go down, air will condense which leads to decreased tire pressure. Check tire pressure periodically during the winter and keep the tires pumped up.

Ready your Motorcycle for Storage

If you’re going to be storing your bike all winter, it’s important to do some prep work to avoid problems. Before storing your bike, you should:

  • Remove the battery and store it somewhere it will not freeze.
  • Add fuel stabilizer, top off fuel levels, and ride the bike to ensure the stabilizer is distributed throughout the system.
  • Protect exhaust pipes with plastic bags (or similar) and lightly oil muffler ends
  • Lube up any moving parts including cables, forks, chains, etc.
  • Wash, wax, and cover your bike.
  • Protect your tires by elevating the bike if possible.

If you follow all these winter maintenance tips, whether you ride a used Harley Softail in Chicago or anything else, your bike will be good to go when it’s riding season again.

What to Look for in a Used Motorcycle

Buying a used bike can certainly be an overwhelming experience for a first-time buyer. Knowing exactly what to look for, what to ask about, and how to know you’re not buying a lemon is often somewhat of a learning curve. At Chicago Cycles & Motorsports, we work with buyers and sellers, and our background of the motorcycle market makes us highly knowledgeable. If you’re looking to invest in your first used bike, here are some things to look for when purchasing used Harley motorcycles in Chicago.

Overall Appearance of the Bike

Take some time to carefully inspect the bike’s appearance, including the tight spots and the hard-to-reach places where dirt and grime can accumulate. There’s an obvious difference between bikes that have been quickly cleaned for a sale and bikes that are carefully kept in great condition by a true enthusiast. At the end of the day, the importance you place on the overall aesthetics of the bike is up to you, but a clean bike is typically a happy bike.

Brakes

One of the most important parts of the functionality of your motorcycle is obviously the brakes. Without the ability to safely stop your bike, there is no point in making it move. When inspecting your bike, take a moment to sit on it and take it out of gear, allowing it to roll forward. Gently apply the brakes to ensure the brake lever operates smoothly and the brakes do not make any suspicious noises.

Tires

With most used Harley motorcycles in Chicago, smooth and even wear can be expected and is no reason to worry. However, if there is significant wear on certain sections of the tires, it can be indicative of long-distance freeway riding or excessive burnouts. One-sided scuff marks on the front tire indicate an offset wheel. While tires are replaceable, the current tires can tell you a lot about the state of the bike.

Background

There are plenty of physical aspects to investigate about used Harley motorcycles in Chicago, but one of the easiest and most important things to do when looking for your bike is to ask for all the service records and receipts for the bike. The service records and receipts for the bike will inform you of all prior upkeep and can give you some peace of mind when purchasing.

Contact Chicago Cycles & Motorsports

For more information about buying used Harley motorcycles in Chicago, or to view our current inventory, call us or visit our website!

Motorcycle Storage Tips

The cold front has arrived and we know that you are getting ready to store your used Harley Sportster in Chicago—or any other motorcycle you may have. Here are some things to consider as you put your bike in storage and wait for the warmer weather to return.

Fill The Tank

Put some fresh fuel in your tank and then add the right amount of fuel stabilizer to keep your gas from deteriorating. Turn the bike on and let it run for a couple of minutes so the treated fuel has time to cycle through your tank.

Fill Up Fluids

Check all fluid levels—the brake, clutch, and coolant—and replace or refill whatever is necessary. Consider inspecting the bike’s antifreeze as well to prevent the engine from freezing during the winter.

Clean Oil

Your engine’s oil can become dirty over time, so make sure you avoid corrosion by changing the oil and filter before you begin riding again in the spring.

Conserve Battery

If you notice your battery drains quicker than usual, make sure you get a maintenance check for your bike before you store it. For the wintertime, consider removing the battery completely and trickle charging it all season. Another option is to store your bike with a battery that is fully charged, but also keeping up with the charge once a month in the time it is not being used.

The Tires

If you are storing your bike with the tires intact, make sure you fill up your tires to the maximum recommended volume and place the ride on its center stand. Once a week, rotate the front tire to avoid flat spots.

Wash, Dry, Wax

Before you put your bike away for the winter, wash it and then thoroughly dry it. When you are finished drying off your bike, wax the surface to prevent corrosion and other damage. You can also spray your exhaust pipes with WD-40, which helps keep the moisture and rust away while your bike is idle.

Storage Place

Did you know that sunlight can damage your leather and fade paint? If you choose to store your bike in the garage, make sure you park it away from a window and in a cool, dark corner. Cover it with a breathable cover in order to protect it from dust, grime, and moisture.

 

If you are getting ready to store your used Harley Sportster in Chicago or any other motorcycle and have some questions about the process, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Stay warm this winter!

 

Used Motorcycle Tips

We are excited to offer many different used motorcycles for sale, such as our used Harley Sportster in Chicago. However, if you are in the market for a used bike, make sure you are purchasing one for a fair price and avoid bikes that will need more maintenance than they are worth. Here are some tips to follow when searching for your next motorcycle purchase.

Check The VIN

Check the VIN numbers to make sure that they were not re-stamped. Believe it or not, but Harley-Davidsons have a high theft rate, so make sure you know what re-stamped VIN numbers look like. Make sure you are also buying from a credited company, such as CCM Rides, so you don’t have to worry about buying a faulty bike in the first place.

Examine The Bike Cold

Once a bike cools down from usage, feel the jugs and pipes to make sure that the bike is ice cold. If you try to start the bike and it sounds like rocks in a blender in the first minute, you may have some issues.

Examine The Bike Features

Check if the levers are in good shape, meaning they don’t “curl” or they weren’t reshaped after the bike hit the pavement. Aftermarket lever and pegs are a clue that the motorcycle has once been in a crash. Inquire about this with the seller. Check for other damage such as cracked pol pans, busted fins, or tweaked handlebars. These will all cost money to fix so try to avoid bikes with these issues.

Pop The Seat

Make sure you take the time to look at the wiring and what is hooked up to the battery. Factory connectors are ideal, but if you see things like a GPS, fog lights, or other power leads hanging off the bike, you may have an issue.

Test Ride

Consider taking the bike for a test ride before you decide to go through with the purchase. Safety-check the bike, especially those that have not been ridden for a while.

We look forward to helping you find your next bike, especially our used Harley Sportsters in Chicago. If you have any questions about owning a used bike, don’t hesitate to ask us. Make sure the motorcycle you choose to look into is right for you and you are investing the right care into it. We want you to have a bike that will last you years to come.

The Essential Riding Items

If you’re looking to get one last road trip before the weather cools down, make sure you are fully prepared. However, make sure you are fully prepared for your trip with these essential items. 

 

A Fully Functioning Bike

Think about purchasing a new bike at CCM Rides for your trip. We have used Harleys for sale in Chicago if you want to road trip with a new bike! When figuring out your road trip path, plan, and time frame, you should have a reliable motorcycle to do it all.

 

A Map And GPS Unit

Believe it or not, it’s beneficial to have both of these. Using a satellite navigation system can help you figure out which way to go when you are in unknown territory. Mount your cellphone on your motorcycle to save money and allow your hands to stay on the handlebars. However, if your phone dies or breaks, it’s important to have a backup plan—a map. A waterproof and tear-resistant map will never fail you with its directions and is perfect to have in case of an emergency. It’s also a cool way to see an overview of your trip and pick out some good roads and sites to see. 

 

Earplugs

You must get earplugs to help drown out the sustained high-speed travel noises inside your helmet. Avoid fatigue and pick up a pair of disposable or reusable earplugs to keep your ears from ringing.

 

Flat Repair Kit

If you are riding your motorcycle on bumpy and dirty terrain, it’s possible a tire can be punctured. If you get a flat, your repair kit will get you up and running fairly quickly without having to call in for extra help.

 

Rain Gear

Rain gear—such as waterproof gloves and a jacket—is an amazing thing to have, even if you think you won’t need it. It doesn’t take up too much space and you’ll be glad you have it in case the weather takes a wet turn. 

 

Power Bank

Avoid dead batteries and bring a few power banks to keep your phone alive with GPS directions. You may also want to book a hotel room or check out your next destination—all of which require a working phone.

 

Hop on one of our used Harleys for sale in Chicago, and get in that one last road trip before winter settles in. Contact us today to find out what other bikes we have for sale.

Keeping Your Hands Warm

Chicago seasons are pretty drastic and before you know it, you’ll feel a little chilly as you ride your motorcycle. As a used motorcycle dealer serving Chicago, we want to make sure you have all the tips and tricks to stay comfortable during the colder months while you ride.

Purchase Cold Gloves

A quality pair of cold gloves goes a long way in keeping your hands comfortable while controlling the bike. Make sure the gloves you choose are not too bulky and you’re satisfied with the benefits, such as good insulation, and what type of temperatures the gloves can handle.

Invest In Hand Warmers

Hand warmers can be inserted into your gloves before begin your ride. Make sure you give the hand warmers some time to heat up and place them comfortably in your gloves so you don’t notice them as you drive your motorcycle. The only downside to hand warmers is that they do not last as long as other products, but they are cost-effective and you can buy them in bulk, using them for shorter spurts of rides.

Muffs For Hands

Most muffs are fleece-lined on the inside and waterproof on the outer side, so they work well to keep your hands and arms warm and dry. They are removable so you can put them on your handles as needed and take them off during the warm, summer months. The downside to the muffs is that they are huge and bulky, but if you know you get cold, they could still be worth it for your rides.

Consider Heated Grips

Heated motorcycle grips are great in that they are effective and not bulky in the least. Their popularity has risen exponentially, so much so that many manufacturers have started to include heated grips with a standard package. The heating element underneath the handlebar is connected to the motorcycle’s battery, so once the bike starts, the heaters begin to take effect and riders will immediately feel some relief from the cold weather.

Final Tips

Make sure you consider these tips before you purchase any warming products.

  • Always buy leather as it’s best at preventing wind impact
  • Look for breathability in the product so you have ventilation and avoid moisture buildup
  • Think about your safety when it comes to bulkier products and how it may affect your driving abilities

 

If you are still unsure of what warming products to buy, contact your used motorcycle dealer in Chicago today and we will be happy to help you figure out what will work best for you.

What To Consider When Learning How To Ride

The summer and fall are perfect seasons to learn how to ride a motorcycle. If you are new to motorcycles and want to test out your used Harley in Chicago, make sure you understand how this machine works, take some classes, and learn how to ride the motorcycle safely. Here are some tips to follow.

Take A Class

If you want to ride a motorcycle, you need to take a course in order to get on the bike. Having someone physically show you what you’re doing right and wrong will help you become a better rider and more confident on the road. Even if you are a seasoned rider, consider taking a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course to brush up on your riding skills.

Insurance, License, Registration

While the DMV can be frustrating and time-consuming, it’s important to obtain all of these documents in order to become street legal on your motorcycle. You need to pass a written test in order to obtain a license. Additionally, make sure you are insured while riding because the danger that comes with riding a motorcycle is written all over the news. In case you end up in an accident—which hopefully never happens—you’ll be glad to have motorcycle insurance.

Buy A Cheaper Bike

For your first bike, try not to get the coolest, most expensive one out there. Instead, be more cost-conscious and look for bikes in the under $10k range. Buying a used motorcycle, such as a used Harley in Chicago, can be beneficial while learning to be on the road for the first time.

Wear Safety Gear

Make sure you are dressing in the right safety gear before you get on your motorcycle. Protective gear helps you stay comfortable while riding in various conditions and helps prevent or reduce injuries. Of course, the most important gear you can wear is a helmet. No matter the law in your state, you should always wear a helmet while riding your motorcycle.

Contact Us Today

Fall is upon us and if you are ready to learn how to ride a motorcycle, we are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have. If you want to embark on the world of motorcycles, contact us today and we will be happy to help you choose an affordable bike. As a first time rider, we will walk you through all the necessities and make sure you are comfortable and confident before you leave our store.

How To Maintain Your Used Harley

Any motorcycle new or used must be maintained correctly. Properly maintaining your bike will ensure that it is always ready to give you the smoothest, safest ride possible. It is especially important to perform regular maintenance on your used Harley in Chicago because as the miles go up the wear and tear does too.

Know Your Bike

Many of us think that we know our bike, but to keep it properly maintained it is important to understand all the ins and outs of your ride.

Read the Manual

While you may know the basics and then some, the creators of Harley Davidson motorcycles might know a little bit more. Before you start cruising on your used Harley, you should read the bikes manual to learn about maintenance requirements and other important information about the cycle.

Know How to Operate It

If this is your first time buying a used Harley or your hundredth, you should know exactly how to operate it before setting it in motion. Failure to operate the bike properly can lead to unwanted damage that requires pricey repairs. One part of maintenance is making sure that you are operating the Harley with care.

Oil Changes

Oil changes are just as important for your bike as they are for your car. When the oil is old it can clog filters and make your engine run less smoothly. Keep an eye on the miles you’ve been traveling and know when it’s the right time to change out your bike’s oil. Most used Harleys will need an oil change sooner than newer ones, so check in with your odometer regularly. It is recommended to get an oil change every 5,000 miles and at least once every year.

Air Filter Replacement

Any motorcycle requires good air filters to run properly. Be sure to replace or clean yours regularly to keep it from clogging. This maintenance step is crucial for those of you who plan on riding in dusty or dirt-filled terrain.

Tire Replacement

To keep your used Harley in Chicago maintained and safe, it is best to ensure the tires are in good shape. One thing you should check often is the tire pressure, this is important to keep your handling and fuel economy where it should be. Checking your tire tread height will also help you maintain your ride. Tires are critical to safety, make sure that yours are properly maintained.

If you would like any more information on how to maintain your used Harley take a look at our website or call (708) 397-5151.

Why You Should Invest In Detailing Your Motorcycle

Giving your motorcycle a good wash regularly is always a great idea, but what about regular detailing? It can be a hard thing to justify paying for in some cases, but the benefits of having a newly detailed motorcycle might be a good decision for you. Here are some reasons why investing in detailing your used Harley Davidson in Chicago is well worth it. 

More Invasive Than Just A Wash

Basic washes rinse off dirt and dust, detailing is much more invasive. When the professionals get their hands on your used Harley Davidson in Chicago you will be happy you spent the extra money. Detailing services to keep the exterior of your bike looking good for much longer than just a basic wash. At home detailing is also an option, but for the best end result, it’s good to leave it up to the professionals. 

Protects Your Ride

The process of detailing the exterior of your motorcycle can protect your ride for miles. The process includes a little pre-wash, wheel cleaning, dash and control shining, engine scrubbing, chrome polishing, leather treating, and after the rinse and dry, a paint sealant applying. This over-the-top process is worth every penny because in return your ride’s exterior will be protected for longer and the resale value of your bike will go up. 

Helps with Maintenance 

Maintaining your used Harley Davidson in Chicago isn’t just about the engine and tires, the exterior is important too. With the added processes that come with detailing your vehicle will need fewer washes to keep it in tip-top shape. The paint sealant and leather treatment save you time in the future for repairs, so consider investing in detail now might save you money later on. 

Keeps Your Ride Looking Good

We all know that appearance is important for any vehicle, detailing can give your motorcycle a fresh shine. While waxing after a wash can add that shimmer, detailing can make it last much longer. After professional treatment, your bike can shine like it just rolled out of the showroom. Regularly washing your motorcycle to keep its shine can wear down the exterior, so if you are extra conscious of its appearance detailing might be perfect for you. 

If you are interested in getting your motorcycle detailed visit Chicago Cycles & Motorsports off of Mannheim Road in Stone Park, IL or visit our website for more information.