Motorcycle Helmet – How to choose the right one

You may not realize it but the purchase of a motorcycle helmet may be one of the most important decisions you make when it comes to riding a motorcycle.  When it comes to motorcycle helmets, as the old saying goes, YOU GET WHAY YOU PAY FOR.

HJC CL-16 Rubbertone

If you go into a well stocked dealer such as Contra Costa Powersports, you will see a wide assortment of helmets. These helmets will typically range in price from $69 to over $600 and often times higher.

At the low end of the price spectrum, you will have polycarbonate (better known) as plastic helmets. These will be DOT approved so you are legal but thats about it.  Some of these brands include Fulmer, AFX, Helmet City and many more.  These are typically heavier than most helmets, have little or no venting and will have less choices when it comes to color and/or patterns.

In the middle of the pack, you start moving up to more well known brands such as HJC, Icon, Scorpion and more.  These helmets will have more/better venting, a combination of polycarbonate and epoxy resin for the shell and typically a face shield that is easier to remove.  Several color options will be available along with an assortment of graphics to match your riding gear and motorcycle. Helmets in this segment range in price from around $160 to $250.

Shoei RF-1100 Conqueror

The last segment of helmets is what we call the premium helmets.  This type of helmet is worn by every member of our staff and will be safest on the market. With the premium helmets you get superior venting, one hand simple switch out of the face shield, removable liners, cool graphics and the lightest helmets on the market. Brands in this class include Shoei and Arai. We feel Shoei is a better helmet which is why we carry it in our store. To see first hand all that goes into the making of a Shoei Helmet check out this video on the Shoei RF1100. Shoei helmets range in price from $300 to over $600.  This may seem like a lot for a helmet but if you ever get in an accident, you’ll thank god that you were wearing a good strong helmet.  If you have any questions about helmet choices, feel free to contact one of our Helmet experts at Contra Costa Powersports.

2012 Honda CBR250r entry level sportbike hits the showroom floors

It’s been talked about all over the internet for the past 9 months and now it’s finally starting to hit the showroom floors. We’re talking about the brand new revolutionary entry level sportbike, the 2011 Honda CBR250r. In stock now at Contra Costa Powersports.

With sleek lines, a narrow tank, aggressive styling and a fuel injected motor that gets an estimated 60 mpg, the CBR250r is going to not only join the entry level sportbike market, it’s going to dominate it.  With a price of $3,999, these won’t be sitting on the showroom floor for very long, if at all. Get prequalified for Honda financing ahead of time thru Contra Costa Powersports secure online credit application.

2012 Suzuki Dirtbikes – Just Announced

Motocross fans will be happy to know that Suzuki will be releasing a wide variety of dirtbike models in 2012, including the RMZ450 that has allowed Ryan Dungey to maintain 3rd place in the current AMA supercross standings.  While only the RMZ250 and RMZ450 were released in 2011, both of these models along with the popular RM85 and RM85L two strokes for kids will be produced for model year 2012.

The fuel injected four stroke RMZ race bikes have been wildly popular the last couple of years and are going to be even beter in 2012.  Suzuki’s production of these motocross monsters was dramatically cut back in 2011 and we expect the same for 2012. Contra Costa Powersports was only allocated two each for the RMZ250 and RMZ450.  With production still low, we expected to receive only the same number of 250’s and 450’s this year. If you are thinking of a 2012 RMZ250 or RMZ450, don’t delay.

The RM85 and RM85L were last produced in  2009 and 2008 respectively.  While other manufacturers have gotten away from the two stroke market, Suzuki still sees a demand,

RM85L Given away by Contra Costa Powersports on January 25, 2011.

especially for the younger riders. That is why thye have brought back the 2012 RM85 along with the 2012 RM85L.

Feel free to contact a sales associate at Contra Costa Powersports to get more information about the 2012 lineup of Suzuki dirt bikes.

2012 Honda Goldwing – Now Available

The first 2012 Goldwing’s are just hitting the stores.  With the 2012 Goldwing, Honda has taken what is clearly the world’s best touring motorcycle and made it even better with the following new features:

–  Satellite Linked Navigation System – For the the models with navigation, you can now update your map on the go and also record where you have been.
–  New Styling – Honda redesigned the saddle bags and front end to give it a crisp new look.
–  Enhanced Storage Capacity – The saddlebags are larger and you now get a center mounted lockable glovebox (non-airbag only).
–  Ipod Connectivity – Bring along your favorite tunes and listen to them thru the built in stereo system.
–  Comfortable Seat – New seat cover is waterproof and made from a more pleasing material.
–  Audio System with Surround Sound – The new surround sound system offers a rich three dimensional sound.

Contra Costa Powersports has the new 2012 Goldwing in stock and ready to go.

Tips for Buying Used Motorcycles in the Bay Area – Part 3

In part 1 of this 3 part series, we discussed the benefits of purchasing a new motorcycle.  Part 2 discussed the advantages of buying a used motorcycle from a dealership. This 3rd and final part of the series will discuss purchasing a used Suzuki motorcycle (or any other type of motorcycle) from a private party or thru the website Craigslist.

1.  Price – At first glance, it may appear that buying a used motorcycle (such as the Suzuki GSXR600) thru a private party is less than thru a dealership.  But when you factor in the low financing rates that are typically available thru a dealer, the overall cost of the

2007 Yamaha Vstar 650

purchase may be the same or even less thru a dealer.
The other difference has to do with the speed or timing of the transaction.  A dealer can offer on site financing and complete the entire transaction at the store, usually in a little less than an hour from start to finish.  If you want to finance a purchase thru a private party, you first need to view the used motorcycle, negotiate a price, go to your bank to obtain the financing, go to the DMV and process the transaction and finally submit proof of registration (with bank as lienholder) to the bank.  Typically this process takes 1-2 weeks to complete.  To speed up the process even more, dealers such as Contra Costa Powersports offer a secure online credit application so that a buyer can get pre-approved before they even walk into the dealership.

2.  Condition – With regard to the condition of a used motorcycle (such as a Honda CBR600rr), when purchasing from a private party, the word is “Buyer Beware”. The used motorcycle may look good on the outside but there are some questions to ask the seller or at least ask yourself before making the purchase:

2007 Honda VTX1300r

–  Has the oil been changed regularly?
–  Has the scheduled maintenance been performed at the correct intervals?
–  Was the motorcycle used as a “Stunt bike”?
–  Are the forks in need of repair due to “Front Wheelies”?
These are just a few of the items we have encountered on used motorcycles for sale by private party.
If you decide to purchase thru a private party, have it checked out by a factory trained mechanic who will give you an accurate opinion of the condition of the motorcycle. Contra Costa Powersports offers this service thru our Service Department. If the motorcycle is as good as the buyer says it is, he won’t have any problem at all with you having it inspected.

3.  Scams – It is unfortunate that I have to talk about this but the reality is, there are a lot of scams out there, particularly on Craigslist.  Craigslist is a great site and this has nothing to do with them, it’s just that the crooks out there have found this new medium to try to rip people off. 

2003 Suzuki GSXR750 - Purchased thru Craigslist

We have a 2003 GSXR 750 currently sitting in our shop that a customer purchased on Craigslist.  He paid $2,500 for the motorcycle and made the payment for the motorcycle prior to seeing it in person.  He was told to pick up the motorcycle at a random location (should have been the first clue that something was up). When he went to pick it up, what he found was a trashed motorcycle that looked nothing like what he had seen in the add.  The used Suzuki GSXR750 is probablhy worth $500.
To top it off, the motorcycle has not been registered in over 2 years so the back registration fees (with penalties) will probably add up to another $500. Unfortunately, this happens all the time.  Bottom line, never pay for something that you have not physically seen and better yet, have it professionally inspected before you lay out any money.

Tips for Buying a Used Motorcycle in the Bay Area – Part 2

The first post in this series discussed the advantages of buying a new motorcycle from a dealership.

2003 Suzuki Intruder 1300

Once you have made the decision to purchase a used motorcycle, there are two options you have: 1) Purchase from a dealership or 2) Purchase from a private party.  This posting will cover purchasing from a dealership.  The next posting will cover private party purchases.

The following advantages can be found when purchasing a Used Honda Motorcycle or Used Suzuki Motorcycle from a dealership:

1.  Quality of the Vehicle – At Contra Costa Powersports, every used motorcycle , scooter or ATV sold at our store under goes a complete safety inspection by our service department.  All mechanics are factory trained and know what to look for whether it’s a used Yamaha motorcyle, a used Kawasaki motorcyle or any other brand.  When the vehicle leaves the store, you can have confidence that’s it is in good working order.

2.  Financing – A dealership is able to provide onsite financing at the time of purchase. 

2009 Suzuki GSXR600

You don’t have to leave the store, find a bank, fill out an application and then wait for a response.  All that can be accomplished at the dealership, usually within an hour.  If you want to get pre-approved for a loan, Contra Costa Powersports has a secure online credit application that you can use.

3.  Extended Warranty – At Contra Costa Powersports, we can offer one or two year extended warranties on all the used motorcycle we sell.  The warranty varies by Make but typically covers the engine and the transmission (the expensive items to repair).  The warranty can be included in the financing so you don’t have to come up with money out of pocket.  The extended warranty will come with either no deductible or a very small deductible and is good for unlimited miles.  An extended warranty is something we recommend for all the used motorcycle we sell.

4.  Peace of Mind – Last but not least, when you buy a used motorcyle or used scooter from a dealership such as Contra Costa Powersports, you know that there is a sound business standing behind your purchase that you can go to with any issues or problems.  We once

Used 2006 Honda CRF450X

sold a motorcyle to a customer and even though it was thoroughly checked out by our trained technicians, the battery failed a week after he purchased it.  The customer purchased an extended warranty but this typically does not cover batteries.  We wanted the customer to have a good experience with his new motorcycle so when he came back and explained what had happened, we installed a brand new battery.  Try doing this when buying a used motorcycle from a guy on Craigslist!

Tips for Buying a Motorcycle in the Bay Area – Part 1

We’ve all been there when deciding to purchase a motorcycle; “Should I buy new or used?”.  This post is the first in a three part series that will discuss the benefits of purchasing a new motorcycle. Parts two and three will discuss the benefits of purchasing a used motorcyle.

The following are the advantages or benefits of purchasing a new Honda motorcycle or new Suzuki motorcycle from a dealership such as Contra Costa Powersports:

1. Brand New Motorcycle – There is nothing better then the smell and feel of a brand new motorcycle.  Whether it’s the nubs on the tires of your new 2011 Honda CBR600rr or the smell of the kosmolene (the special preservative installed on new engines that burns off the first time the motor is heated up) coming from your new 2011 Suzuki GSXR750, you’ll know that every mile put on the bike was with you in the seat.  You won’t have to worry that the scheduled maintenance wasn’t done or that some cheapskate put off brand 87 octane gasoline in the tank.  It’s your bike and you can maintain it how you like. In addition, some models, such as the Honda CBR250r are so new that there are very few used ones on the market so you ahve to buy a new one.

2. Factory Warranty- All new Honda motorcyles and Suzuki motorcycles sold at Contra Costa Powersports come with a full one year factory warranty.  The warranty is comprehensive and essentially covers all parts of the motorcycle except for “wear type” items, or items that would naturally wear out under normal operation of the motorcycle, such as tires, brake pads, fluids, etc.  The warranty has a zero deductible, is good for unlimited miles, is fully transferable if you decide to sell your motorcycle and covers repairs at any authorized dealer. Up to four years of exteded warranty can also be purchased from the dealer.

3.  Incentivized Bank Financing – Suzuki and Honda are offering amazingly low finance rates right now.  Buyers can currently receive fixed rates as low as 1.99% on approved credit.  This is not a low teaser rate for the first two years that will skyrocket to 18-20% as some manufacturers are offering.  With Suzuki and Honda, the rate you are approved for is the same rate you will have throughout the loan. These incredibly low rates will save you thousand of dollars over the term of the loan. You can even get pre-approved for financing thru a secure online credit application.

4.  Newest Technology/Styling – There’s just something cool about having the newest motorcycle on the market.  Whether its the new 2011 GSXR600 boasting a new swing arm design and a dry weight that’s 22 lbs less than the 2009 version or the new 2012 Honda Goldwing with redesigned luggage and an upgraded premium sound system, you won’t be disappointed with a new Honda or Suzuki.

If you choose to purchase a new motorcycle, you won’t be disappointed.

Motorcycle Safety Classes Concord CA

If you have never ridden a Honda motorcycle, or it’s been many years since you last took out a Suzuki motorcycle, a motorcycle safety class may be just what you need.  Whether you’re looking to buy a used motorcycle or a new motorcycle, a training class is recommended.  The main governing body for motorcycle training in the US, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), offers classes for both street motorcycles and dirt bikes.. 

For street bikes, there are two MSF classes in the vicinity of the Honda motorcycle dealer Contra Costa PowersportsCycle Lloyd’s located in Oakley CA and Bay Area Motorcycle School in Benicia, CA.  Both classes offer classroom instruction, live training on motorcycles and certified instructors.  They provide the motorcycles, all you have to bring is some basic riding gear.

If you are new to dirt bike riding, or just puchased a Honda CRF250r and need some help clearing the triples, MSF offers a dirt bike riding school also.  The dirt bike school is a fun, one day hands on training session open to anyone 6 years or older.  Fortunately, there is an MSF dirt bike training class with 45 minutes of Concord Ca at the Carnegie State Vehicle Riding Area. The class if offered most weekends and during the week by appointment.

Concord Motorcycle Dealer to receive Hot New Sport Bike

The first shipment of the brand new Honda CBR250r is on it’s way and will be arriving at Contra Costa Powersports in April 2011.  The Ninja 250 will finally have some competition out there and fortunately it’s a Honda.

If you’re looking for an affordable, smart, capable and fun way to enjoy life on two wheels, Contra Costa Powersports has a bike for you: the all-new Honda CBR250R! Avaialble in either red or black, this sharp looking honda m

The new, fuel-injected CBR250R offers everything you want in a first-time bike:
–  A light weight chasis.
–  A powerband that’s user-friendly.
–  Excellent fuel economy.
–  Unmatched reliability.
–  And a fun factor that can’t be beat.

Since the new CBR250R is a Honda, it’s full of features few other bikes in its class can match. With it’s superior build quality you’ve got dependable cross-town or cross-country transportation.

To get on the waiting list or to receive more information, feel free to contact a sales associate at (925) 687-7742.