5 Ways to Make Your Bike More Visible

When riding a motorcycle, visibility is paramount to your safety. Defensive driving is almost second nature to most drivers, but unfortunately, that usually means they are looking out for other cars and trucks. Motorcycles, because of their size, are simply not on most drivers’ radar. The more you can attract the attention of other drivers, the less likely you are to be involved in a collision. Here are five ways to help make your motorcycle more visible to other drivers:

1. Ride a Brightly Colored Motorcycle

Because motorcycles accelerate and decelerate faster than cars, and they are significantly smaller than other vehicles, they are both harder to see and more difficult to gauge distance from. Darkly colored bikes can exacerbate the problem, making them almost invisible to other drivers on the roadway. A bright color will significantly increase your visibility, meaning another driver might notice you a fraction of a second sooner – possibly saving your life. We have lots of brightly colored used motorcycles for sale near Elmhurst, IL!

2. Use Safety Tape and Wear High Visibility Gear

A motorcycle rider takes up almost as much visual space as the bike does. Therefore, what a rider wears is as important as the color of the motorcycle. This means that wearing a high-visibility jacket or helmet, like orange or yellow, will immediately draw the driver’s eyes instantly in the rider’s direction. This is also less of a commitment to neon colors than driving a brightly colored bike.

Using reflective tape automatically increases the visual footprint of your bike. Put it on the front of your forks, around your wheel rims, or on the edges of your panniers. It won’t do much good during the daytime but will be extremely helpful at night as each piece acts as an independent light source.

3. Stay Out of Blind Spots

Never position your motorcycle where a driver can’t see you without moving their head. They are called blind spots for a reason, and even though they can’t be avoided completely, adjusting your lane position to minimize this danger is vital to your safety.

4. Use Your Lights Wisely

If you need to draw attention to yourself, tapping your brakes will turn your brake light into a giant blinker. This works well for tailgaters and anyone who is following you who doesn’t seem to be paying attention. It also works to warn others who are riding with you of a dangerous road condition ahead.

Use your high beams during the day. It won’t upset other drivers, as the brightness isn’t as much of a contrast as it would be at night, and often that bright glimmer is all they need to notice you’re there.

Add auxiliary lights, as they provide similar benefits as reflective tape, but are visible even in the daytime. Add them to both the front and back of your bike and consider using a strobe on the back when stopping.

5. Use your Horn

Horns aren’t always used as a sign of aggravation – they can actually be quite useful to let someone know you’re there. This is especially true if a car is pulling out and hasn’t looked in your direction. A polite “beep, beep” often makes them look your way.

Used Motorcycles For Sale Near Elmhurst, IL

Stay safe – and if you’re in the market for a motorcycle, you’ll find lots of used motorcycles for sale near Elmhurst, IL at Chicago Cycles and Motorsports.

How to Clean Your Motorcycle

With the spring season in full swing, many people are making progress on their various spring-cleaning projects. If you haven’t had a chance to begin yours yet—don’t worry—there’s still plenty of time left before Summer. Today we’ll cover a few best practices when it comes to cleaning your motorcycle at home.

Things to Avoid

Don’t make the same mistakes that others have made before you! Before you get started, it’s important to make note of what NOT to do. Be sure to avoid:

– Cleaning products that aren’t designed for use on motorcycles or cars

– Working on your motorcycle while it’s still warm from use

– Using machines that expel high-pressure water or air

Washing Your Motorcycle

Unlike with cars, motorcycles can’t simply pass through the car wash. Cleaning your motorcycle properly involves a multi-step process:

Step 1

Use cool water to rinse loose dirt and debris from your motorcycle, carefully avoiding spraying water into the muffler outlet or electrical parts. For those sensitive areas, it’s better to use a sponge or soft cloth.

Step 2

Using a cloth or sponge, clean stubborn grime away from the plastic components of your bike using a solution of mild detergent and water.

Step 3

When you’re done cleaning your motorcycle, rinse lingering soap away with more cool water. Dry the bike using a soft cloth and then lubricate the chain.

Step 4

Start the engine. Let the motorcycle run for a few minutes and then carefully test the brakes before riding—you may need to pump them a few times for normal performance to return. The next time you ride, give yourself a longer stopping distance to ensure the brakes have returned to their typical responsiveness.

Used Motorcycles for Sale Near Elmhurst, IL

Chicago Cycles and Motorsports buys and sells used motorcycles. We have many different types of used motorcycles for sale near Elmhurst, IL. Whether you’re looking for your first bike or are ready to switch things up, we can help you find something that’s a perfect fit for your riding style and preferences. Contact us today!

How to Plan a Great Motorcycle Trip

There’s nothing like seeing the world from atop a motorcycle. Road trips in cars can be fun too, but the open perspective, sense of freedom, and satisfying rush that comes from riding a motorcycle cross-country is definitely something special. We think every enthusiast should experience the deep satisfaction of a long-distance ride at least once. Here are some tips to help you plan a successful motorcycle trip.

Pick Your Destination

Sometimes the destination choice drives the trip, and sometimes the trip drives the destination choice. Maybe you want to travel to visit old friends or family—or maybe they’re coming with you, and you want to experience the ride together. Either way, you can’t start planning for an epic motorcycle trip without knowing the ultimate end-point.

Know Your Gas Mileage

The last thing you want to do is get stranded on the road with an empty gas tank. Even if your bike has a built-in tracking feature, it’s not a bad idea to manually check your gas mileage while riding closer to home. Determining out how many miles you can go before hitting empty is key.

Determine Your Route

Once you know where you want to go, how far your bike can go before needing a pit stop, start drawing out possible routes. We recommend plotting out a path that will allow you to take in scenery on the way, including some areas with twists and turns to keep things interesting. Remember to incorporate gas stops based on your bike’s needs.

Work Out Your Lodgings

Staying with friends? Kicking up your feet at a motel? Camping under the stars? If your trip lasts more than a day, you’ll want to decide where you’re bedding down at night. Try to find stops along your route that are bike-friendly, with a secure parking lot or storage, and won’t put you too far off your ideal route.

Pack For the Road

This is when things can get tricky. It’s important to have everything you need, and nothing you don’t. Overloading your bike can have negative consequences for your safety on the road, so make sure to consider weight distribution when packing. Make sure that your items are very securely attached to your bike—losing an item on the road wouldn’t just be a bummer, it could be extremely dangerous to yourself and others.

Looking for a used motorcycle dealer near Chicago? We’re located in the Village of Stone Park and can help you find the right ride for your road trip. Call us with any questions or stop in to have a look around. Happy riding!

The Importance of Drive Belt Maintenance

Real bikers know that the importance of a well-maintained ride is second to none. But even veteran enthusiasts can make the mistake of forgetting to look after their bike’s drive belt, which is strong, stretch-resistant and made from tensile cords. Because a drive belt can last up to 100,000 miles before needing replacement, riders may lose track of this important part of motorcycle maintenance.

How Often Should I Inspect My Drive Belt?

When your belt is first installed, plan to inspect it after the first 1,000 miles. Whether you take it to a professional mechanic or examine it yourself, a tension check should also be completed. After that, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking out your bike’s drive belt every time you change your oil (about every 5,000 miles). These regular check-ups can help your drive belt reach its maximum lifespan, as well as support the overall feel of your ride and keep you safer on the road.

When is it Time to Replace My Drive Belt?

It’s common for riders to notice their drive belt has been damaged by rocks kicked up from the road below. Damage like this, along with damage to the teeth and shredding that exposes the internal tensile fibers, will necessitate a drive belt replacement before 100,000 miles of use. Motorcycle owners who choose to remove the plastic belt cover for looks make a choice to shorten the lifespan of this part. If you do decide to remove the cover, it’s a good idea to keep a closer eye on the condition of your drive belt.

While rocks are the most likely culprit, any kind of debris trapped in the belt can cause damage to the belt as well as the teeth. Regular inspections and removal of this buildup can help extend the lifespan of your drive belt. Cracking on the outside of the belt may also necessitate earlier replacement.

Contact Us

Harley Davidson motorcycles began switching to drive belts in 1980. Ever since then, drive belt maintenance has been a regular part of owning and loving a Harley. If you’re looking for a used Harley Davidson near Chicago, give us a call with questions or come visit our shop in person. We’re located in the Village of Stone Park, a short distance from the city. Hope to see you there!

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.

What to Pack for a Motorcycle Road Trip

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of packing your bike full of the necessary gear and heading out on a little road trip with some of your friends. This is especially true in the summer when the weather is warm and the sun is shining. If you’re in the process of planning a motorcycle road trip with your friends, here are some helpful packing tips from our used motorcycle dealer in Chicago to keep in mind.

Roll Your Clothes

Your clothes will likely take up the most room on your bike, so strategically packing them is ideal. Rolling your clothes is a tried and true way to save space while still bringing everything that you want with you.

Use Your Boots for Storage

Another way to save space is to put smaller items into your boots. Of course, this only applies if you are bringing an extra pair of boots that you are not wearing while riding, but it is something to consider! If you aren’t bringing boots, you can try putting smaller items into your regular shoes as well.

Develop a Packing System

You likely don’t have a set packing system in place, so taking the time to stay organized will suit you well in the long run. Packing efficiently is a lot easier when you have a system in place, and you can implement this strategy during your future trips as well. Each bag that you pack can hold a different category of clothing and you should try to always put your items back in the same place when you are done using them.

Lock Your Valuables

Regardless of where you are going, it is always a good idea to keep your valuables locked up and stowed away. If you don’t have a locking compartment of some sort on your bike, this is a good investment for both current and future rides.

Don’t Overpack

This goes without saying but packing too much for your bike will be a hassle. Stick to bringing the bare essentials so that you aren’t stuck trying to keep track of fitting too much onto your bike. You can also pack detergent to help reduce the amount of clothing that you need to take.

A successful road trip starts with a reliable bike! Our team at Chicago Cycles Motorsports is dedicated to ensuring you have a high-quality bike no matter the situation. If you’re looking for a used motorcycle dealer in Chicago, look no further than our team.

The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

We’re all motorcycle enthusiasts here, but that doesn’t mean that accidents don’t happen. Riding a used Harley Davidson in Chicago is one of the more exhilarating things that you can do in life, so taking the extra steps to stay safe is always a good idea. Did you know that motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash and are five times more likely to be injured? The following are common reasons that motorcycle accidents occur; make sure that you are aware of these incidents to help stay safe!

Unsafe Lane Changes

Changing lanes even in a regular motor vehicle can be tricky, but doing so while riding a motorcycle is even harder. You’ll want to make sure that you check your blind spot before you switch lanes. The last thing that you want is to get hit by a car while you are switching lanes. Double and even triple-checking for other vehicles before you switch lanes is never a bad idea.

Car Doors Opening Unexpectedly

Parked cars may not seem like a danger to motorcycle riders, but it is when a driver unexpectedly opens their car door while they are parked that motorcycle riders are caught off-guard. Always proceed with caution when it comes to riding past a parked car!

Speeding

Regardless of if you are driving a used Harley Davidson in Chicago or if you are in a standard motor vehicle, you should always obey the speed limit. Speed limits are a tool to help control the flow of traffic and reduce the number of accidents on the road. Disobeying the speed limit, especially by more than 10 miles per hour, puts you and other drivers in a dangerous position. It’s no surprise that speeding is one of the main causes of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S.

Dangerous Road Conditions

Motorcycles aren’t always the best method of transportation if the weather isn’t ideal. If you have a choice, opt for taking a car if it is snowing, raining, hailing or anything between! If you don’t have a choice and you need to take your used Harley Davidson in Chicago, don’t drive too fast and keep a safe following distance behind other cars on the road.

Don’t let the fear of driving a motorcycle keep you away from your bike! Being aware of potential dangers on the road is half the battle when it comes to your safety.