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Gearing Up for the Trails: Great Tips For Taking Your ATV Out of Winter Storage

When winter recedes and the trails and fields begin to thaw, the time comes to dust off your utility ATV and prepare it for a long, fun summer. Before you strap on your helmet, gather your friends and head to the trails, make sure that you properly inspect your ATV four wheeler to ensure that it is trail-ready. This way, you can remain safe and have nothing to worry about except pounding the trails.

According to the experts at All Wheels Auto Storage, an Atlanta, Ga., based company that provides utility ATV storage and maintenance services, there are several important steps you should follow to care for your ATV four wheeler. Follow these guidelines to keep your ATV in good condition, and you will be on the trails in no time:

Lubricate the joints - While you should lubricate all of the mechanical parts on your ATV, All Wheels recommends you pay extra attention to the pivot points, center and side stands and cables. If applicable, lubricate the drive chain, too.

Change the oil - Oil tends to degrade over time and can cause engine corrosion in your ATV. Drain the old oil, which could contain particles and debris, into a receptacle. Change the filter and add the appropriate amount of new oil. This way, you will have a clean supply of oil that can keep your engine running smoothly for the new riding season.

Replenish the vital fluids - Replenish any brake, clutch and hydraulic fluid that has evaporated over time or collected contaminants. Add a fresh tank of fuel, as well.

Recharge the battery - If you connected your ATV battery to a trickle charger to keep it alive during the winter, reconnect it to your ATV and check the charge. Be certain that the battery is fully charged before you take it to the trails. Add distilled water or battery acid as needed, or purchase a new battery.

Inspect the tires - Lydia McDonald, an ATV sales expert at Dynamic Motorcars, an ATV retailer located in Northeast Ohio, stresses the importance of properly inflated tires. "Tire inflation can be critical to a successful outing on your ATV four wheeler, since they are often ridden in rural areas and subject to un-groomed trails," she says. Properly inflate tires, and inspect them for any cracks, weak spots or leaks before venturing out on a riding trip.

Check for rodents - McDonald recommends checking the filter box, exhaust and expansion chamber for mice and other small rodents. "It's actually quite common," she says. "Many people store their ATV in a barn or shed, and mice make themselves a nice little home in there during winter. You don't want to be surprised when you start your ATV for the first time, so use a stick or coat hanger to probe the exhaust and other areas for vermin. Usually, they will just come out on their own."

Prepare a safety kit - McDonald suggests putting together an emergency repair tool kit that includes a spark plug wrench, a spare spark plug and a can of fix-a-flat to mend any punctures your tires may suffer while on the trail.

Finally, before you get your helmet and go, make sure that you have adequate ATV insurance to protect your investment. An ATV insurance policy can protect your ATV four wheeler, as well as yourself, in the event of damages or an accident. Enjoy the great outdoors without the stress of worrying about whether your ATV is covered. Contact a Nationwide agent today for your free ATV insurance quote.


Considerations When Buying Motorcycle Batteries Online

Everything mechanical eventually wears out and needs replacement. Whether your motorcycle battery is leaking, weak or won't hold a charge, there comes a time to replace it. It has never been easier now that you can take of the whole thing online.

But before you get started, there are a few things to keep in mind when you do your search. They are pointed out in the remainder of this piece.

To find a good site to buy your product from, you can either just openly browse the Internet of use search engine to pinpoint your search. If you plan to buy offline but research online, checking Google places might be a good place to start. Query for motorcycle batteries or even the model/make of your existing battery.

Look until you locate several sites so you can comparison shop across them. Also only use sites that are secure, have a privacy policy and readily available customer service.

You can expect a large selection to choose from, so be prepared to look for exactly what you need. You'll need to know the make and model of your bike, engine size, and any other battery data you have on hand to narrow your search. This also applies if you are considering a charger for your replacement battery.

It may surprise you to learn that replacement batteries often exceed the original's warranty and quality. You can expect a better buy for your money and a longer lasting product. There are many brands to choose from online.

The standard for warranties is usually 2 years full replacement. Extended warranties may be available by brand.

With the right information, (make, model, year and engine size) you may be able to find an exact replacement. This is mostly just a consideration about personal preference as many replacement batteries are as good, or better, than the original.

Sometimes the age of the battery will preclude doing this. Some batteries simply aren't available on the market anymore and may be out of production.

With identity theft on everyone's mind these days, it is critical to use only secure sites to do your bidding with. Most sites use at least 128 bit encryption; just like the military uses. Some even go to 256 bit encryption. These type sites are completely protect and very safe to use and completely protected.

The best sites also offer you a privacy policy for added protection. Look for badges from sites like the Better Business Bureau for added comfort.

Last but not least, you'll want to see evidence of an active customer service function. You'll need this capability should you need to return the product or ask questions about a product or a problem.

Whether making your actual purchase online or off, you'll most likely find all the answers to need with a comprehensive search online first. Do your shopping from the safety and convenience of your living room.


Top Six Reasons You Should Buy a Motorcycle

Peter Fonda, Steve McQueen and James Dean all became the pinnacle of cool on this iconic mode of transportation - the motorcycle. While increasing your cool factor may not be the main objective of buying a motorcycle, you can still receive a wealth of benefits by owning one. In addition to the financial benefits motorcycling offers, you can also enjoy an exciting new way to travel and more. If you are thinking about making the switch to motorcycling, consider the following benefits.

The Top Six Reasons You Should Buy a Motorcycle

1. Higher fuel efficiency - With summertime gas prices often topping $3 per gallon, switching to a more fuel-efficient mode of transportation is a compelling reason for many. Midsize motorcycles average 35 to 50 miles per gallon for city driving, and many reach over 60 mpg on the highway.

2. Lower purchase price - According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, the average purchase price of a new car in 2008 was $28,400. Compare that with the cost of a new motorcycle, which The New York Times reports is just over $12,300, and you have a considerable amount of savings from the initial purchase price of your new ride.

3. Increased mental awareness - A study published by Tohoku University in Japan shows that cognitive functioning improved for men between the ages of 40 to 50 after riding a motorcycle on a daily basis for two months. The study compared results with a control group consisting of men in the same age range who did not ride motorcycles. Riders in the test group also reported feeling generally happier and making fewer mistakes at work. Researchers attribute these results to the fact that riding a motorcycle requires a high level of awareness, and therefore stimulates the brain to remain alert.

4. Leisure travel - The purpose of a vacation is to escape, and what better way to do so than through the freedom that motorcycling offers? You can experience amazing scenery, such as the Rocky Mountains or the California coast, without the confines of a car. Even better, you can easily cruise back roads and fill up the gas tank without breaking the bank. When you travel by motorcycle, the only schedule you have to follow is your own.

5. Environmental friendliness - Help save the environment and reduce your carbon footprint by riding on two wheels. Motorcycles produce less carbon gas emissions than cars or SUVs and use fewer natural resources, such as oil, too.

6. Parking ease - Motorcycles can be easier to maneuver than you might think, especially in tight spaces. If you're motorcycling, you can zip in, zip out and reduce your parking frustrations considerably.

Now you have all the reasons you need to justify buying a new motorcycle, the only thing you may be missing is the money to pay for it. Apply for a motorcycle loan from a company like Nationwide Bank for affordable and easy-to-mange payments. Also, be sure to protect your new investment with a comprehensive motorcycle insurance policy that keeps you and your new ride covered.


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