If you are a Harley Davidson® owner, you take pride in riding one of the leaders in American motorcycles. Since your bike is your baby, you want to protect it at all costs.
But, since you ride regularly, you must undertake regular maintenance on the vehicle. Autumn is a great time to review your insurance, vehicle and personal safety options. Given that seasonal changes often make you re-evaluate your usage for the next few months, now is your chance to improve your bike's reliability. What can you do to keep the bike (and yourself) in the safest condition possible?
With a few practical safety steps, you can remain a conscientious bike owner. That'll go a long way towards protecting you now and in the future.
1. Review Your Insurance Coverage
Every driver, including motorcyclists, must carry vehicle insurance as required by their state. However, the coverage you need will depend on lawful requirements and personal risks. If you don't carry coverage that's specific to you and your bike, you might not have appropriate protection. Some of the policy elements to review include:
- Your Demographic Information. If you moved in the last year, changed your name or experienced other changes, update your policy. You'll need to make sure the policy applies to you in your current location.
- Financing Information. Bikers with financed vehicles list the lienholder on their policy. Furthermore, your lender might require you to carry certain coverage on the bike. Make sure you still have adequate information and coverage based on your financing.
- Policy Limits. Your policy will likely include all limits required by your state. However, you have a lot of leeway beyond this to get more coverage. Ask your agent if your coverage still suits you appropriately. In some cases, you will need more protection, but in other cases, you can reduce your coverage. In the end, your policy should match the value of your bike and personal liabilities.
By calling your agent, you can get a full review of your coverage. They'll likely help you determine where you can make improvements on your policy. That includes price savings. They might key you into new savings and discounts you can pop for the next time you renew your coverage.
2. Perform Seasonal Maintenance
You've likely rode your bike a lot this summer, and there will be future times to ride in gorgeous fall weather. However, there will come a time when you'll need to cut back on your usage as seasonal changes become hazardous. By taking care of standard maintenance now, you might be able to avoid potential problems.
- Receive an oil and fluid change by following your dealer's recommendations. Clean oil, fluids and antifreeze will help internal systems perform under cooler conditions.
- Check your battery. Batteries must work harder in cooler weather to generate power. Therefore, if yours has begun to reach the end of its life, it might run the risk of failing this autumn or winter. Change it now, if needed, before problems beckon.
- Keep an eye on your tires. Your tires are some of the most important assets to check as we approach cooler weather. Autumn and winter bring higher chances of hazardous, wet or slick roads. If your tires don't perform appropriately, your chances of accidents might skyrocket. Make sure the treads and stability remain intact.
- Test your lights and replace broken bulbs. Shorter days mean more time driving in the dark.
- Start thinking about ways to store your vehicle during the upcoming off-season. Since you won't likely use it as much during the winter, storing it in a covered environment can help prevent wear and tear. You might place it in a garage, carport, storage shed, or under a cover in the driveway.
If your mechanic notices developing problems on your vehicle, have them repaired expediently. The safer your vehicle, the lower your chances of experiencing risky problems.
3. Get Personal Protection
Since autumn might bring cooler, hazardous weather, protect yourself on the road. Your bike leaves you exposed to the environment in a way that your car does not. Therefore, safety gear is not just recommended, it is also critical towards your safety. Some of the gear to buy includes:
- A helmet. Even if your state doesn't have helmet laws, wear one anyway.
- Eye protection.
- Insulated, waterproof clothing. You'll need to stay warm if exposed to colder temperatures.
- Sturdy riding boots.
The more you protect yourself, the lower your chances of experiencing a costly incident on your Harley. And as safety risks decrease, so do your motorcycle insurance risks. That could save you a lot of money on policy costs down the road.
So, start today, and work with your insurer to keep your policy costs low in the first place. Then, do what you can to keep your bike, and yourself, safe whenever you get behind the handle bars.