With spring comes the sweet sound of rolling thunder (and we’re not talking about the weather!).
Motorcyclists itch for the first nice day of spring, when the sun is shining, the temperature hits above 60 degrees and the conditions are just right. Before that long-awaited ride, take care of spring motorcycle maintenance to get ready for the road.
Ready, Set, Go
When getting your bike out of winter storage, give it a fresh oil change and have a professional do a thorough inspection to check on the brakes, fluid levels, tire pressure, battery and other mechanics.
Once the big spring motorcycle maintenance items are taken care of, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends a quick assessment before every ride. The acronym T-CLOCS reminds riders to look at their tires, controls, lights, oil, chassis and stands.
A specialized motorcycle insurance policy can provide full coverage for you and your bike.
Like car insurance, a minimum amount of liability coverage for bodily injury or property damage caused to others by you, is required in almost every state. Other types of coverage, like collision, which can help cover the cost of repairs if your bike is in a crash, and comprehensive, for damages from events such as fire, theft or vandalism, are usually optional.
The beauty of a specialty policy is that it can provide a wider range of customizations, a perk that any motorcycle owner can appreciate. Each policy is as unique as its rider. When requesting a quote, mention if your bike has any modifications, if you own a vintage model or have more than one bike, which will likely affect your coverage needs and premium. If you frequently carry passengers, you may also want to consider adding guest passenger liability.
Depending on state and provider, discounts are sometimes offered for multi-bike owners, mature riders, training course completion and memberships in rider associations or clubs. Check with your insurance agent to find out about the laws where you live, coverage options and available savings.
Learn more about motorcycle and scooter coverage through AAA Insurance.
At the Roadside
Whether it’s just a drive around the neighborhood or you’re headed all the way to Sturgis, no one wants their trip delayed by unexpected holdups. You should always be prepared to “shift gears” when needed. If you do find yourself stuck at the side of the road, pull over to a safe location and call roadside assistance for any repairs too significant to fix on your own.
AAA Plus and Premier members can sign up for motorcycle coverage for 24-hour roadside services including jumpstarts, tire inflation, fuel delivery and towing for all street-legal motor bikes. Roadside assistance is also included with motorcycle insurance policies acquired through AAA, so you can get the help you need and keep on riding.
Safety and Gear
Motorcyclists are four times more likely to be injured and 29 times as likely to be killed than car occupants, according to the most recent research by the National Traffic Safety Administration.
Don’t forget that motorcycles have different reaction times and are less visible to surrounding vehicles. Follow traffic laws, never drive impaired and always wear a U.S. Department of Transportation-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
Sharing the Road With Motorcycles
If you don’t own a motorcycle, you probably know someone that does. Keep their safety in mind when sharing the road, especially between May and September when riders are more likely to be out.
- “Look twice, save a life.” Check mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before switching lanes and at intersections.
- Signal before changing lanes or merging and allow enough time to determine a motorcyclist’s intention before proceeding.
- Increase following distance and provide enough time to stop in an emergency.
There’s a camaraderie among motorcyclists that can often be seen by a passing wave or a cool thumbs up. An upside-down peace sign from one rider to another means to keep your two wheels on the ground. In other words, stay safe out there.
Get in touch with a AAA Insurance agent to find out about coverage options for your motorcycle, boat, RV or other leisure vehicle.
What are your spring motorcycle maintenance tips? Tell us in the comments.