Picture this scenario: It’s saturday morning and you flip on the morning news. Today’s forecast, sunny and mild with a high of 75 degrees. You finish up breakfast, put on your riding gear and head out to the garage to hop on your motorcycle and carve the canyons. You insert the key, turn it to on, pull in the clutch, push the electric start and then you hear it….. the dreaded click-click-click. You have a dead battery.
The frustrating part is that this can be avoided with some basic maintenance on your battery.
Motorcycle batteries are much smaller than car batteries in order to minimize their weight. While you are riding your motorcycle, the battery is being charged by the bikes charging system. The problem comes when you let your bike sit for a while. Due to their natural drain, motorcycle batteries can lose up to 1% of their life per day when not used/recharged.
The easy way to eliminate this problem is with a battery charger such as the “Battery Tender”. The Battery tender has two cables, one that plugs into an electrical socket and the other that attaches to the terminals of your battery. When plugged in, the Battery tender will apply a small current to your battery based upon how much charge it has remaining. Once it becaomes fully charged, the tender switches modes and dleivers less current to maintan the battery at full charge. This one accessory can allow your battery to last for up to five or more years.
The Battery Tender can be purchase at Contra Costa Powersports or any other store that carries powersports accessories. There are several different models of the Battery Tender available starting at $39.95.
Technology has reached the video camera world when it comes to motorcycle riding and racing in the form of the GoPro hero camera.
The camera is very compact weighing in at just over 3 ounces and measuring 1.6” x 2.4” x 1.2”. The HD version sells for $299 and can hold up to 2.5 hours of video on a single charge and up to 9.0 hours with an optional 32 GB SD card. If you don’t need HD, the basic GoPro Hero sells for $179. It can shoot the same amount of video as the HD model, just at a lower quality. If you’re not sure what to get that special someone for Christmas, this may be just the ticket.
The GoPro camera is available at Contra Costa Powersports and other motorcycle dealers.
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.
New for the Holiday Season! Travis Pastrana and the crew are back with their latest installment of the Nitro Circus Series….their Greatest Hits. This special edition 2-DVD set takes you through 15 years of incredible stunts and epic failures.
The first disc is an intimate setting of the cast and crew sitting around a fire bench racing and talking not only about the stunts that have made this the number 1 series of stunt videos in the world, but also the hair-brained schemes that made them push themselves and machines to the limits of physics.
The second Disc is a compilation of all of Travis Pastrana’s jaw dropping stunts on his Suzuki RM250 that has made him the most popular X-Games Athlete to ever walk the face of this earth.
The importance of good safety gear should never be overlooked. A customer who recently purchased a used motorcycle (2006 CBR600) from us was returning home from her job in Napa, CA. On Highway 29 in American Canyon near the new Walmart, a full size buck deer suddenly jumped out in front of her.
She had a fraction of a second to swerve but could not avoid the back half of the deer. Next thing she knew, she was in the air hitting both sides of her helmet and sliding across the pavement. A high quality helmet such as a Shoei can make all the difference in any kind of crash.
Fortunately she had a good helmet, jacket and riding pants. The helmet was scratched on both sides, the pants were torn up but in general, the safety gear served it’s purpose. You never know when you’re going to need it but when you do, you’ll be glad you were wearing the right gear.