Question: What’s worse than a stranded motorcyclist?
Answer: When that motorcyclist is you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Check fluid levels. Check for leaks.
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.
Be sure the spring is working correctly. Check for cracks or bends.
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.
Here’s a list of some useful stuff to bring along on your rides to deal with roadside trouble:
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 (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 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.
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.
Get ultra-level coverage for up to two H-D motorcycles and three personal vehicles, including automobiles and light-duty trucks.
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.