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Riding a motorcycle provides us with joy and pleasure, however we must not forget that operating a motorcycle comes with responsibilities. One of the most important parts of safe operation is the tires and it is our responsibility as riders to inspect our tires before every ride. Regular inspection can can ensure maximum lifespan of your tires and sustain ride safety. The following should help you monitor your tires throughout their lifespan.

1. Check pressure before you ride: Doing so ensures that your wheels are provide the best performance. Under inflated tires can wear out considerably faster, thus hurting your wallet and your chance of staying upright. Consider investing in an air pump and a tire pressure gauge. Inflate tires in the temperature you plan to ride, to put it simply, do no inflate tires in a warm garage if you plan to ride in cold weather and vise-versa.  Refer to the tire manufacturer as pressure can vary (for example it may not be uncommon to differ between single and 2-up riding)

2. Check the manufacture date: Alongside the walls of a motorcycle you will see the word “DOT” followed by a four digit number. The first 2 numbers is the week of the year it was made whereas the last 2 digits are the year. General advice is to discard tires within 5 years of use and 10 years from manufacture date. For example the following picture shows that tire was manufactured in the 44th week of the year 2014. Provided that the tire is in good shape, there should be no problem operating with this wheel.20161228_172155

 

 

3. Check for wear: Most tires are developed with grooves in them to designate when to replace them. When the thread reaches the groove it would be in your best interest to replace your rubber. Below are a few pics that show tires with plenty of life left and the groove indicator.tire-1tire-2

 

4. Inspect for damage on a tire: nails, staples, shards of glass, etc. All these can puncture your tire and decrease the performance of your bike . Also look for cracks within the thread and sidewalls as this will make it unsafe to operate your motorcycle. The following is a picture of an unsafe tire that needs immediate replacement.ylfc2j1

 

5.) Squared out tires: while not as dangerous to operate if using motorcycle for commuting purposes it will affect your handling. Consider replacing them when seasonal weather gets bad as roads will be slicker and wet. Notice how this tire is flat at bottom and doesn’t have the curve that motorcycle tires usually do.

but, I didn't estimate it was *that* worn out

but, I didn’t estimate it was *that* worn out

 

This is a good primer in inspecting you tires. Obviously the life of your tires will vary with the manner in which you ride and the weather it is exposed to. When in doubt regarding the condition of your tires ask a tire technician or mechanic. Until next time, keep the dirty side down.

Here at AK Motors we are proud to offer one of the best used motorcycle selections you’ll find in the Bay Area. If you’re in the market for a used bike, check out our online inventory or contact us for an appointment. To see our current inventory and explore more details, check out our Inventory page! We are located in the heart of the Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, CA with easy access from all over the Bay Area. We offer financing for all credit levels! Apply online here, and contact us with any further questions.

Some people know squids as Cephalopods that are consumed as calamari, to others squids are a careless motorcycle riders. Real life squids are known to have short lifespans and for this reason experienced motorcyclist refer to careless riders as squids.

let us observe a squid in it’s natural habitat

squide

Image from https://thedandooligan.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/squide.jpg

Here we see a motorcyclist who isn’t equipped with adequate protection, is not focused on the road, and is improperly operating their motorcycle as he only has one arm in on the handlebars. This is a squid, DON’T BE A SQUID. There is no conceivable reason to operate a motorcycle this way, this will result to in harm to yourself and those that love you. While squids may think that they look better/cooler without proper motorcycle attire, seasoned riders think they look stupid.

I always thought that motorcycle apparel looked cool and set riders apart. With advances in technology motorcycle gear doesn’t have to look as clunky or “unique” as it used to. Manufacturers now are coming up with new styles for everyday use such as Lightweight jackets, Kevlar jeans, and armored flannel shirts . Full body riding suits offer the best protection and are becoming more affordable. There is something for everyone such that there is no reason to be on the road without any form of protection.

Ultimately when on a motorcycle you dress for the slide, not the ride.

Here’s a nice checklist of what to wear.

1.) Helmet: Choose something that is full face or modular as most impact is at the lower jaw region of the face

2.) Torso: Abrasion resistant jacket (leather is recommended). It should be zipped up otherwise maximum isn’t guaranteed.

3.) Gloves: Grandma’s mittens aren’t going to cut it. Leather gloves with Kevlar protection are strongly advised

4.) Legs: Denim jeans offer very little protection. A set of good riding pants will offer protection against road rash (abrasion).

5.) Footwear: Should go over ankle. Tennis shoes offer better protection than being barefoot but it may not be enough. Leather boots or motorcycle approved sneaker are recommended.

scorpion-covert-jeans

Image retrieved from http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Scorpion-Covert-Jeans.jpg

If you feel encouraged and ready to hit the road then come pay us a visit. We will do everything we can to get you on the road. Until next time, Keep the dirty side down.

Here at AK Motors we are proud to offer one of the best used motorcycle selections you’ll find in the Bay Area. If you’re in the market for a used bike, check out our online inventory or contact us for an appointment. To see our current inventory and explore more details, check out our Inventory page! We are located in the heart of the Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, CA with easy access from all over the Bay Area. We offer financing for all credit levels! Apply online here, and contact us with any further questions.

Residents of the bay area tend to be a little spoiled, but in a good way. The bay area is known for it’s outstanding food, diversity of cultures, great weather (here commuting on a motorcycle is an actual possibility), and the beauty of nature that’s within it. Exploring everything that the bay area has to offer takes a lot of effort but it is rewarding. The perks of riding a motorcycle (fuel consumption and maneuverability) combined with the thrill of the experience make exploring the bay area such a pleasant experience. Get on your two wheels and this is an example of what could be explored in the bay starting from San Jose.

Ride Pacific Coast Highway through Montara and enjoy the scenic beauty.
montara

And while LA is known for movie industry, the bay area’s theater can’t be beat. Why not catch a show in the city
orpheumtheater

Make your way to the Eastbay and stop for a bite at Zachary’s Pizza located in Berkeley.7af96e84fa791ff6378b9c7f61fbd4d0

Make your way back down to San Jose for a drink and some live music at Cafe Stritch
built-to-spill-25-l

This is just a tiny fractional sample of what the bay area has to offer. Suit up, hit the throttle, and hit road. If feeling inspired to get a bike, feel free to browse our inventory here. I’m sure we can find something that suits you.

Here at AK Motors we are proud to offer one of the best used motorcycle selections you’ll find in the Bay Area. If you’re in the market for a used bike, check out our online inventory or contact us for an appointment. To see our current inventory and explore more details, check out our Inventory page! We are located in the heart of the Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, CA with easy access from all over the Bay Area. We offer financing for all credit levels! Apply online here, and contact us with any further questions.

The charging system is one of the most important factors in keeping a motorcycle running. Not only does it provide the electricity to operate our accessories but it also provides the spark required for the combustion process. Bottom line a faulty electrical system can leave riders stranded on the side of the road. Checking the charging system regularly can

Here at AK motors we inspect every bike to ensure reliable operation and customer satisfaction. Here we test the charging system of this beautiful Suzuki GSXR60020161219_144056

First locate the battery (usually found under the seat but varying models will differ)20161219_155250

With the use of a multi-meter, the voltage of the charging system can be measured.
1.) turn on motorcycle and the high beams
2.) turn on multimeter and make sure that it is set to “V” or volts
3.) connect multi-meter to the proper battery terminals, that is red(+) to red(+) and black(-) to black(-).
4.) The Reading on the multi-meter should be between 13.5V and 15V
5.) Rev engine up to 5000 RPM and read voltage measurement
6.) Reading should also be between 13.5V and 15V

This beauty passed both inspections20161219_143843
Final note: A charging system below 13.8 volts may not charge the battery but a charging system below 12.8V is draining the battery and will eventually power off during the operation. THAT IS DANGEROUS.

regularly evaluating the charging system can help the operator avoid accident. It also helps keep the reduce costs as it gives the owner time to plan and explore repair options as opposed to scrambling last minute out of necessitiy.

Safe travels and as always: keep the dirty side down!.

For more information on the Suzuki GXSR600 Click here

Here at AK Motors we are proud to offer one of the best used motorcycle selections you’ll find in the Bay Area. If you’re in the market for a used bike, check out our online inventory or contact us for an appointment. To see our current inventory and explore more details, check out our Inventory page! We are located in the heart of the Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, CA with easy access from all over the Bay Area. We offer financing for all credit levels! Apply online here, and contact us with any further questions.

How many times has it happened that we set out to a bright and sunny morning only to encounter this later in the day.
20161212_150212_hdr
As the holidays are approaching so is the cold, wet weather. Riding through the rain can be a daunting challenge especially to inexperienced riders but worry not there is somewhat of a science to it.

First of all a motorcycle should be in proper working order. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to keep your motorcycle functioning properly. Failure from the suspension, brakes, tires or engine can be catastrophic in regular weather. The way a motorcycle performs in the rain is significantly different as water reduces friction in brakes and grip on the tires. 20161212_145458-1

Secondly, Technique is key. A rider should have a different approach when navigating though the downpour. Give your self plenty of distance between other object and that includes: other vehicles, pedestrians, traffic signals, etc. Doing so gives the rider time to accommodate and react to dangers and obstacles that may not be seen easily as rain reduces visibility. Riding slower is also important as is gives the rider more time to react to dangers present. Braking should be distributed evenly between both wheel, however braking in the front tire should not be as vigorous as in dry weather but more smoother.

Lastly, Confidence. A rider should not be nervous of panicked at any time as that can greatly impair the riders ability. If weather is too intense pull over and seek shelter, enjoy a coffee or hot cocoa. Look for a break in weather and proceed with caution. The overall goal is to have make it to your destination safely

Safe travels! and keep the dirty side down!20161212_145508

Here at AK Motors we are proud to offer one of the best used motorcycle selections you’ll find in the Bay Area. If you’re in the market for a used bike, check out our online inventory or contact us for an appointment. To see our current inventory and explore more details, check out our Inventory page! We are located in the heart of the Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, CA with easy access from all over the Bay Area. We offer financing for all credit levels! Apply online here, and contact us with any further questions.

If you’re considering investing in a motorcycle to get around but are unsure what to get, may we suggest the Honda CB600F. The sleek naked design offers great performance while accenting it’s aggressive style. Weighing in at a light 414Lbs combined with a 25.5° rake this bike has good handling and maneuvering through traffic is a breeze which can be useful during rush hour. Motorcycle geometry is something that consumers often overlook but can greatly impact the riding experience. Fortunately the CB500F offers an upright riding position which is a more natural sitting position with your weight resting on your seat and not on your arms as is the case with most sport bikes. The upright sitting position makes this bike a perfect commuter and your back will thank you for it. Mated with a 500cc engine this is not a bike that will quickly be outgrown as it produces 46.1 horsepower at competent 8500 rpm. One of the great joys of riding a motorcycle is the rolling on that throttle and feeling the rush of wind, The CB500F will not disappoint as it can easily reach 60 mph in 5 seconds. Another beauty of this 500cc engine is how efficient it is, and is not uncommon to achieve upwards of 65 mpgs. Ultimately it the Honda CB500F is a great motorcycle all around and would be highly recommended for anyone especially for those living in urban areas. For more info regarding this motorcycle click here
20161205_123908-1

Spotlight: The World’s largest manufacturer of Motorcycles

Exploring a short history about Honda

success-story-of-soichiro-honda1946 marks the first year production of Honda motorcycles by Soichiro Honda. (picture provided by findlayhondaflahstaff.com) WWII had just ended previously in 1945 and a war-devastated Japan needed an answer to the high demand for cheap transportation. Soichiro spent the next three years designing and developing his engine for his bicycles. In 1949, Japan got it’s answer with the first Honda motorcycle called the Model D for Dream. As a kid, Soichiro was infused with mechanical skills he attained from working on mechanical devices given to him by his father. Gihei Honda was the town’s local blacksmith and Soichiro refined his mechanical skills over the years as he helped his dad, Gihei, fix and sell bicycles and motors. He became so proficient by the age of 17 that he was picked as the mechanic for Shinichi Sakibahara, a famous race car driver in Japan at that time. Soichiro eventually opened his repair shop four years after working for Shinichi, where he continued mastering his engineering and mechanical skills. In 1958, Soichiro disrupted the motorcycle market in the U.S by selling the first Honda, a C100 Super Club. What’s the bike’s claim to fame? It is widely recognized as the largest-selling motorcycle of all time with more than 60 million units to date and counting. The bike will happily give the rider an astounding 90 mpg along with a cheaper price tag than most current small motor bikes. Picture provided by Motorcyclenews.com.
c100

Since then, Honda has continued to build its reputation as being most “reliable” with its continued success over the years from their Honda CB 77 to the super hawk models and into the modern age of sportsbikes with the 87′ CBR600F and the street legal 92′ NR 750. In 2007, Honda also became the first manufacturer to feature air bag crash protection on a motorcycle. In addition to Honda’s motorcycle superb reliability, they have continued to manufacture motorcycles with consumer safety as it’s top priority. Apart from being the largest motorcycle manufacturer, they are the largest engine builder and 6th largest automobile producer in the world. Check out our Honda Inventory for more details on any of Honda’s most dependable sportsbikes.
Here at AK Motors we are proud to offer one of the best used motorcycle selections you’ll find in the Bay Area. If you’re in the market for a used bike, check out our online inventory or contact us for an appointment. To see our current inventory and explore more details, check out our Inventory page! We are located in the heart of the Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, CA with easy access from all over the Bay Area. We offer financing for all credit levels! Apply online here, and contact us with any further questions.

As a manufacturer, Triumph, most recently claimed the unofficial title of producing the most balanced 3 cylinder sports bike on the market. Competition is nipping at their heels with the closest competitor being the Yamaha FZ-09. Nevertheless, triumph seems to edge itself over the finish line for the naked bike segment. Here’s why with the 2014 Triumph Street Triple R ABS. The bike features light steering, superior handling and eye-popping brakes as compared to it’s previous models. Many popular motorcycle review websites have listed this bike as one of their top choices for best value all around! The street triple is packed with a punch of power, yet, light enough and compact. For the strength and simple assembly, the triumph’s new tubular frame (aluminium) is only made from a handful of component parts as opposed to 11 previously.  It has a rock solid chassis and steers heavier than the FZ-09. The Street triple has a fitted gear-driven balance shaft so long rides at high speeds aren’t interrupted by vibration. The bikes most obvious change is the placement of the exhaust pipe which runs beneath the engine, giving the tail a clean and modern look. This particular year model motorcycle is more responsive than ever thanks to the weight distribution towards the front end making the bike more centralized. The Abs system is automatically activated once the ignition switch is turned on. For the wrong kind of attention, there is a technology security system installed that detects a microchip in the key body. If the microchip is not present, the ignition system will be disabled. This also prevents copies of the real key being used to turn the bike on. For more information about this bike, check out the link provided for the 2014 Triumph Street Triple R ABS that we have in inventory:

Year: 2014
Model: Triumph Street Triple R
Motorcycle Class: Standard and Naked Motorcycles
Engine: 675cc liquid-cooled inline four cylinder
Fuel System: Fuel Injected
Transmission: 6-speed
Suspension: Kayaba 41mm telescopic forks with fully adjustable preload, rebound and compression up front, and Kayaba rear monoshock with fully adjustable preload, rebound and compression
Brakes: Dual 308mm discs in front with four-piston calipers, single 220mm disc in back with two-piston caliper
Wet Weight (Including all fluids): 416 pounds

triple-01
Here at AK Motors we are proud to offer one of the best used motorcycle selections you’ll find in the Bay Area. If you’re in the market for a used bike, check out our online inventory or contact us for an appointment. To see our current inventory and explore more details, check out our Inventory page! We are located in the heart of the Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, CA with easy access from all over the Bay Area. We offer financing for all credit levels! Apply online here, and contact us with any further questions.

Tips for riding safely on the freeway

From beginner riders to advanced

The freeway can be an intimidating place for most beginner riders. Here at AK Motors, we highly value our customer’s safety; so we’ve put together a list of tips for safe riding on the freeway! On-ramps are highly dangerous where traffic is merging onto or off the highway. They often consist of sharp turns, forcing motorcyclists to lean hard to turn their motorcycle. Even more so, riders should be aware of the increased dangers on-ramps pose when they are wet or slippery. Successfully negotiating the curve of the on-ramp comes as the first challenge to any rider. As a rider, you must always monitor the traffic around you at all times. As you approach the freeway from the on-ramp, you must identify a safe spot that you can merge into and signal to accelerate (at a safe and controllable speed) into that spot safely, essentially merging with the freeway traffic. If you are already on the freeway and passing an on-ramp where traffic is getting onto the highway, move away to the far left lanes as possible. Most drivers will not see you (motorcycle) and mistake the space you occupy as free to merge into. One important thing to remember, riding on the far right lanes where you are passing on-ramps poses higher risks as many drivers make the last minute cross over lanes to exit. Below is an illustration showing a vehicle crossing a lane to exit at the last minute and what dangers are present for those riding in the far right lanes.
l98lsraa5wx4f2cekvnmIllustration by John L. Stein.

Other tips include being aware of your lane positioning. Avoid riding in vehicles blind spots or right beside vehicles. Pressingly important, is your distance from other vehicles on the freeway. Always keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles, especially SUVs, trucks and semi trucks. The rule of thumb is the larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot. Changing lanes requires extreme caution on the freeway. Before changing lanes, you need to ensure that there is enough space between you and the vehicles around you. Ensure that space you want to merge is clear and that no additional vehicles are trying to merge into the same space. Miscalculating the speed of the traffic, especially the speed of the vehicles behind you, can cause serious or fatal accidents. Showing your intention of merging into another lane on the freeway is recommended as the turn signals on motorcycles are small and hard to see. Holding your hand out to indicate left/right merging intentions helps other drivers see your position. Again, always monitor the traffic around you at all times! If you want more information, please check out the DMV website for motorcycle safety on the freeway. We, AK Motors, also recommend reading our other blogs on lane splitting safely and riding your motorcycle in the rain. Check out our inventory for some of the hottest used bikes around town!

Here at AK Motors we are proud to offer one of the best used motorcycle selections you’ll find in the Bay Area. If you’re in the market for a used bike, check out our online inventory or contact us for an appointment. To see our current inventory and explore more details, check out our Inventory page! We are located in the heart of the Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, CA with easy access from all over the Bay Area. We offer financing for all credit levels! Apply online here, and contact us with any further questions.

Spotlight: Yamaha YZF R1

2013 YZf-R1 crossplane

Yamaha launched the YZF-R1 in 98′ to create a small engine by doing a “stacked gearbox” design which was considered revolutionary at the time.  The R1 hardly needs an introduction, its dual front ram air intakes and under-tail dual exhaust are enough to make anyone aware that this machine means business. The YZF-R1 has a 7-level traction control system (MotoGP) that has been developed, so it’s rider may not feel the harsh/unnatural intervention from the system. Additionally, traction control reduces tire wear owing to less wheel spin. The bike is powered by a 998cc in-line four cylinder engine and has all the technological advances developed for the previous model. This beautiful piece of machinery features a Yamaha Chip Control Intake; this intake system widens the spread of power, and the fuel injection system provides maximum smooth throttle response. The bike has excellent cornering capability and crisp handling due in partly to the aluminum frame that offers exceptional rigidity balance. The sound that they YZF-r1 makes is dissimilar to any inline-four cylinder supersport. Sulthoni from Topspeed.com writes “Crossplane crankshaft technology proven in victory after victory on MotoGP® machines provides a high-tech uneven firing interval. Unlike typical inline-four engine design, where the two outer and two inner pistons move together in pairs with 180°intervals, the crossplane crankshaft has each connecting rod 90° with a unique firing order of 270° –180° – 90° – 180°. This overcomes the inherent fluctuations in inertial torque during each engine revolution, and the accompanying peaky torque characteristics. Instead, combustion torque continues to build, giving the rider more linear throttle response with awesome power and traction out of the corners. Seven-level Traction Control System allows the rider to get more traction and drive while exiting corners.” Furthermore, the engine elects a coupling-type balancer, which effectively spins in the opposite direction as opposed to the crankshafts; this maximizes power output as well as rider comfort. The first feature of the crossplane appeared in the 2009 YZF-R1 model, and it was claimed that the rider would experience two engines in one. Yamaha’s incorporation of the cross-plane crank design offers more low-end pull than traditional layouts and you can ride more confidently in tricky conditions with Yamaha’s simplistic, but effective traction control system. Below, we have a beautiful 2013 YZF-R1 for sale. Please click on the link for more information.2013-r1-01

Here at AK Motors we are proud to offer one of the best used motorcycle selections you’ll find in the Bay Area. If you’re in the market for a used bike, check out our online inventory or contact us for an appointment. To see our current inventory and explore more details, check out our Inventory page! We are located in the heart of the Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, CA with easy access from all over the Bay Area. We offer financing for all credit levels! Apply online here, and contact us with any further questions.

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