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Motorcycle Roadside Assistance: Expect the Unexpected

Added July 22, 2020
Two motorcycles on a road

Question: What’s worse than a stranded motorcyclist?

Answer: When that motorcyclist is you.

Three ways to avoid roadside breakdown

1. Punch T-CLOCS

Sure, you get free Roadside Assistance as a H.O.G.® member. But why use it if you don’t have to? Even with all that help on tap, getting stranded is still a massive pain. One you can avoid with a simple inspection. Yes, we’re talking T-CLOCS – the pre-ride checklist developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Learn it. Live by it.

Tires, Wheels, & Brakes

Carefully inspect tread depth, wear, weathering, bulges, and embedded objects. Check air pressure. Check wheels for loose or bent spokes, or cast wheels for cracks. Check rims for out of round. Check bearings for free play in tires. Check brakes to determine that each brake alone keeps the bike from rolling.

Controls

Inspect levers and pedals for broken, bent, or cracked parts. Be sure mounts are tight. Check cables for frays or kinks. Check hoses for cuts, cracks, leaks, bulges, chafing, or deterioration. Be sure hose routing doesn’t interfere with steering. Check throttle to be sure it moves freely, snaps closed, and doesn’t rev when the handlebar is turned.

Lights & Electrics

Check battery terminals for clean and tight connections. Check headlamp for high and low beam operation and aim. Check tail lamp for operation and activation with both front and rear brake application. Check left and right, front and back turn signals. Adjust mirrors and check that horn operates. Check wiring for pinching or fraying wires, and be sure wiring doesn’t interfere with steering.

Oil & Other Fluids

Check fluid levels. Check for leaks.

Chassis

Check frame for cracks. Check accessory mounts. Check handlebar movement for full travel. Check front forks for smooth travel. Check the belt for tension and embedded objects.

Stand

Be sure the spring is working correctly. Check for cracks or bends.

2. Read the owner’s manual

As advice you’ve heard too many times, it’s right up there with “eat your vegetables.” But if you don’t do it and you do get stuck, who’s the joke on? A little reading can spare you many headaches.

Take key fobs, for instance. Many riders lose them on a trip, can’t disarm their bike’s security
system, and have to call for assistance. But if they’d cracked open the manual and practiced a couple of times at home, they’d know the sequence of control activation that disarms the system. And they’d be on their way.

Also noted in the owner’s manual are the maintenance schedules. Follow these for added assurance that your bike operates like new. In addition to reading the manual, just like your motorcycle insurance card, bring the manual with you on every ride.

3. Bring a “just in case” kit

Here’s a list of some useful stuff to bring along on your rides to deal with roadside trouble:

  • Swiss-style pocketknife or multi-tool
  • Bike lock
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Tool kit
  • Rain gear
  • Sunglasses
  • Energy food bar
  • Water
  • First-aid kit
  • Duct tape
  • Cell phone + charger
  • Utility light
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • List of current medical conditions and medications
  • H.O.G.(R) Touring Handbook
  • Bike registration and insurance information
  • Motorcycle owner’s manual
  • Sidestand board
  • Sunscreen + lip balm
  • Bathroom tissue
  • Credit card
  • Emergency cash

How Roadside Assistance can help

One great thing to travel with is the peace of mind provided by a Standard Roadside Assistance package. Harley-Davidson Insurance provides Roadside Assistance coverage which can be purchased for a very reasonable annual rate whether or not the rider is a HOG® member.

H.O.G. members may purchase upgraded coverage as well.

Standard Roadside Assistance Package

Standard Roadside Assistance (included with full H.O.G. membership) provides for one assistance per calendar year for one registered H-D® motorcycle, with $100 U.S. maximum coverage. Covers roadside needs such as fuel, oil, fluid, and water delivery; lost (or locked) key assistance; and help to extract your H-D motorcycle when stuck in a ditch or other inaccessible areas. For flat tire or battery assistance, a tow to the nearest H-D dealership or another location of your choice is provided. You’re responsible for any non-covered expenses or expenses in excess of $100 per calendar year.

Deluxe Roadside Assistance Package

Deluxe Roadside Assistance will extend coverage to two H-D motorcycles registered to an active full member. It also offers unlimited services per year, with all covered towing/roadside costs paid in full.

Ultra Roadside Assistance Package

Upgrading to Ultra Roadside Assistance will add emergency travel reimbursement when the H-D motorcycle is disabled due to a collision or the mechanical breakdown of a warranty-covered component.

Ultra Plus Roadside Assistance Package

Get ultra-level coverage for up to two H-D motorcycles and three personal vehicles, including automobiles and light-duty trucks.

Wrapping Up

Finally, while some breakdowns are impossible to prevent, an Extended Service Plan offers peace of mind by protecting you from costly repairs. See your local dealer for Extended Service Plan information.

Contact us or call toll free at 800-909-8393 for more detailed information on Roadside Assistance options.

A version of this post appeared in HOG® magazine.

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