Well, day 10 and counting without a bike. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but when it is used for about 70% of your transportation needs, you tend to notice when it is not setting in that special spot in the garage. If you missed last week's letter, I was riding down the road last Friday when major clanking start coming out of the lower end of the motor. I was a half mile from Arrowhead HD so I pulled and dropped off the bike to be looked at. The next day I find it looking like this. The entire motor had been grenaded due to a $30 part that broke off and started a chain reaction of destruction in the motor rendering it useless except for the heads. For those of you with enquiring minds or just curiosity, I took some photos of the damaged parts of the engine for you to see what it looks like when metal starts floating around your engine where it shouldn't be. Click Here to See Photos.
You can see by the pictures, these parts are not fit to use, so a new engine is currently on the way from Milwaukee to replace the old shredded one on the bench. As you probably know, engines are not cheap and I did not have an extended warranty, which leads me to my subject matter today. From the emails that I got, if you own a Gold Wing, you can skip the text below and go on to the events. Apparently they never break down. But if you own a Harley, BMW, Victory or other air cooled brands, you might want to read on.
Like most of us, when setting in front of the sales guy at the dealership, you start out with a moderate monthly payment for a stock bike that seems well within your budget. Things are good, you can't wait to get out on the open road with your new bike. But then you are introduced to the "Chrome Consultant" that comes in with a catalog full of items that you surely need on your new bike. You can't possibly pass up those chrome lower forks, running boards, grips, inner primary, covers for just about everything or many other items that will become eye candy for you and your buddies every time you take it for a ride. That mild mannered stock bike that you bought 5 minutes ago has now become semi-custom. The once reasonable cost of your bike has now been elevated by $3000 and your payment has ballooned by $50 per month. Not bad, you can still afford that, but the payment is now firmly on the ceiling of what you had in your mind that you wanted to spend per month to participate in the motorcycle lifestyle.
It's all good, the chrome consultant is gone to install your new parts and you are happy with your new upgrades. Now the finance guy comes in to close the deal with you and suggests that you might want to get an extended warranty that would protect you from major out of pocket expenses from breakdowns that might happen over the next 2-7 years. Breakdowns??? Is my new Harley with all that shiny new chrome really going to breakdown so bad that it would cost me more than what an extended warranty would cost? I don't think so. Watching him crunch those numbers on the computer, adding $26 a month to my payment for an extended warranty really wasn't something I was interested in doing. It doesn't even shine like all that chrome I just bought. And besides that, I am already at the ceiling for the payment I want to make. So, no thanks, I'll pass on the extended warranty. I mean really, is my new HD going to fizzle out in a couple of years? It's new, the quality is better these days, I change the oil regularly, get it serviced and take good care of it. It's not going to blow up on me is it?
The answer in my case was a resounding YES. For some of you it might not be an issue. But I am fortunate enough to use the bike enough that the miles get racked up on it pretty quickly, 40,000 in this case. So if you ride it even moderately, the miles will pile up faster than you think and before you know it, normal where and tear and even a freak incident like happened to mine can rear its ugly head and take out your entire motor in a matter of seconds costing you $4000-$5000 in repair costs. Even minor incidents tend to run $700-$1000. But if you don't have an extended warranty there is some good news. You can still look at all that chrome you bought instead of the extended warranty as you are pushing the bike home to sit in the garage because it is too expensive to fix right now.
My situation was extreme and would have obviously been a good idea to have gotten the extended coverage. But is it a good idea across the board to add this to your purchase? That is really the luck of the draw, just like any other insurance. But I did some research to take a closer at the extended warranties and will present some facts below. You can make your own decision as to how you split up your expendable funds between accessories and warranties. There are many programs that you can look at. The information presented is taken directly from the Harley Extended Service Plan. Stated figures are approximate. Talk to your own rep about particulars.
1. What is the cost of an Extended Warranty?
Depends on the term of the policy. All policies are from the in-service date of the motorcycle. (approximate costs)
4 years - $1270, 5 years - $1500, 7 years - $1800. Costs can be added to your loan when purchased.
2. What does it cover?
Fender to Fender protection against mechanical breakdowns including engine, transmission, primary, suspension, electrical system, seals and gaskets among other items. Does not cover wear items such as belts, tires, brakes, cosmetics, etc. See brochure at dealership for listing of all parts covered. Click Here for the first 2 pages of the brochure.
3. What are the benefits?
Locked-in repair costs: All you'll ever pay is the $50 deductible for covered repairs per visit, not per repair.
Travel Protection: Reimbursements provided for a rental car, pickup charges, hotel and your meals per the agreement if your bike breaks down over 100 miles from home.
4. Can I purchase the plan later if I didn't buy it when the bike was purchased?
Yes. It is cheaper to buy the plan at the time of purchase. It will cost an extra $150 to add it later, but you can add the ESP to your bike UP TO the time that the factory warranty expires. You CAN NOT buy it after that. If you have bought your bike in the last 24 months, you can still get the ESP.
5. Is the plan transferrable?
Yes. The H-D Extended Service Plan can be transferred to a new owner for free. This gives the new owner peace of mind and ensures that you'll get the highest possible resale value for your motorcycle.
6. Can you cancel the plan and get a refund?
Yes. You can cancel the plan and get a pro-rated refund at any time. The charge for this is $35. See contract for details.
7. What would a 5 year plan cost per month?
If you financed the entire amount of a new Road Glide for 72 months and added a $1500 Extended Service Plan to the loan, it would cost you approximately $26 per month. If you added another $1500 for accessories, total added to your monthly would be about $53 per month.
So how does this all shake out? Is it worth it? That is up to you. What it looks like to me is that for less than $1.00 per day, you don't have to worry about a crank position sensor that decides to come apart and grenade your engine. You will only be out $50 instead of $5000. And if you have room in your budget for $50 per month in additional payments, you can add $1500 worth of chrome at the same time and have peace of mind and bling at the same time.
My personal spin on it is this. I will probably be adding accessories to my bike the entire time that I have it, but chances are if I walk out that door after my purchase of the bike, I'm not going to come back later to buy the warranty. Unless there is a problem, I likely wouldn't give it another thought. And it has to be done before the factory warranty is up. The likelihood of an air cooled engine developing some sort of mechanical problem over 5 years and several thousand miles to the tune of $1500 is very likely. And if you sell it before then, you can always get your pro-rated refund. So if you are considering buying a new bike in the near future, I would take a serious look at the extended warranty. If you have bought a new bike within the last 24 months, you might want to take a look at adding a plan to your bike before the factory warranty runs out.
The above numbers are approximate. Check with your dealer for specifics.
Highlights This Week
Saturday, August 23rd
Justin's Journey - To Live Strong.
A few stories of survival come along every year that really have an impact on me.
I would encourage you to read Justin's Journey and then count your blessings.
READ JUSTIN'S STORY.
Sunday, August 24th
Pink Ribbon Tour Kick-Off.
Firefighter Dave Graybill and crew are looking for support from the motorcycle community
as they begin their 2 month tour across America spreading the word about breast cancer awareness.
Bike Nights This Week
Chandler Harley-Davidson Bike Night at Tilted Kilt Mesa. Stop by the brand new Tilted Kilt in Mesa for Thursday Bike Night sponsored by Chandler Harley-Davidson. Sit out on the spacious patio or the cool inside. No matter where you are there will be the Tilted Kilt girls there to wait on you. Enjoy great food and drink, Door Prize Drawings, Music and 15% off your entire ticket on Bike Night. The NEW Tilted Kilt is located at 1910 S. Gilbert Rd. in Mesa. 480-507-5458.
Chester's Harley-Davidson Bike Night at Dos Gringos Mesa. Ride by the New Dos Gringos Mesa located on the northwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline in Mesa. Dos is sure to make an impact and add some flare to the east valley. Enormous patio, complete with its own outdoor bar and separate dining areas on each side. Dos is a casual neighborhood hangout with great food and cold cervezas. Feel free to dine at one of our four tops, relax at one of the booths lining the edge or just belly up to the bar. Click Here to View. There will be drink and food specials and Raffles and Fun from Chester's Harley-Davidson. Ride with Chester's from the dealership at 5:30pm every Thursday located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa. 480-894-0404.
Hooter's Thursday Bike at Peoria location. The parking lot will be blocked off and it will be a night for MOTORCYCLES. Ride by Hooters in Peoria every Thursday night for Prizes, Giveaways every 1/2 Hour, Specials and of course great service by the Hooter's Girls. Enjoy $2.00 Bud and Bud Light Pints and $5.00 Bombers as well as those tasty Hooter's Wings. Sit on the huge outdoor patio and watch your favorite sporting event or inside with TV's every where you look. Enjoy this perfect riding weather with a ride to Hooter's this Thursday. Plan to check out the first night. 16550 N. 83rd Ave. just South of Bell Rd. 623-776-0123.
The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. Voted "BEST BIKER BAR IN PHOENIX" by New Times. There is no better place to watch all the Bikes ride down Scottsdale road than from The Billet Bar Patio. The Billet is ALWAYS packed with bikes Every Day. Stop by and take a look at the New Flamed Booths on the Paradise Patio. The new bars front and rear provide spacious seating, fresh air atmosphere, perfect temperature and courteous staff. The food is amazing and always the latest in cold libations await. You can sit at the back bar and watch your favorite TV on any of the seven big inch televisions. Play pool, listen to the latest music and socialize. The front patio seats over 75 people and is perfect for people watching on Scottsdale Rd. The Billet Bar is located on 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. Check it out this Thursday night and all weekend long. Info: at 480-941-1876. Click Here for the New Billet Bar Page with pictures.
Saturday, August 23rd
Justin's Journey - To Live Strong. A common myth is that cancer affects older people and that young healthy men are not at risk for cancer. This is absolutely wrong. Testicular Cancer affects men between the ages of 15 and 35 and most often goes undetected until it may be too late. Justin Moyers has Testicular Cancer. He was active, seemingly healthy and in great shape when he was diagnosed. Justin was getting ready to go to the fire academy in less than 3 weeks when he got the news. It hit him and his young family like a ton of bricks. Justin still has the dream of going to the fire academy once this is all over, but now he also has the dream of spreading the word of the dangers of this disease and ignoring the symptoms to the young men in his community, state and the nation. But right now, Justin is fighting for his life and needs help to get through this rough time. To beat this he needs to go to Indiana for surgery. But with Justin not able to work, and his wife working 3 part time jobs, they need help with childcare, hotels, travel, etc. to make this happen.
The next time you think you are having a tough day, READ JUSTIN'S STORY. Things might not be as bad as they seem for you.
To help Justin get to Indiana for his surgery, friends have organized Justin's Run on Saturday, August 23rd. The ride starts at Chandler Harley-Davidson at 6895 W. Chandler Blvd. in Chandler, AZ. Registration at 3pm. $35 Entry Fee. Dinner included with paid ride. Bikini Bike Wash by donation. Final Stop the Detour Restaurant and Bar with music by Sweaty. Auctions and drawings held throughout the entire event. Click Here for flyer.
Saturday, August 23rd
Ridenow Powersports Bikini Bike Wash. Just get back from Sturgis and haven't had a chance to clean up your bike yet? Stop by Ridenow Powersports at 17202 N. Cave Creek Rd. in Phoenix (Just N. of Bell Rd.) and get it cleaned up by the Ridenow Girls. While you are waiting grab a FREE Hot Dog and other goodies from 11am - 3pm. One day only you will find 10% off ALL Parts and Accessories including special orders. Also check out the Olympic Service Specials. Get your own Gold, Silver or Bronze level care for your street bike. For more information call 602-992-8620.
Sunday, August 24th
Pink Ribbon Tour Kick-Off. Join Dave Graybill and the Guardians of the Ribbon at 10:00 A.M. at Arrowhead Towne Center. Firefighter Dave Graybill and crew are looking for support from the motorcycle community as they begin their 2 month tour across America spreading the word about breast cancer awareness. The firefighters are looking for hundreds of motorcycle rider volunteers to escort them to Westgate City Center and on to Tucson. Come and check out the firefighters in pink suits, the pink ribbon fire truck and the 10 ft. stainless ribbon before escorting the "Men in Pink" out of town as they begin their "Cares Enough to Wear Pink Campaign". Riders are encouraged to wear pink proudly and donations will be accepted to help with fuel costs. Ride to honor a loved one who survived breast cancer, to remember one who didn't, or to encourage those women who have recently been diagnosed. To read more about Dave's vision from start to finish, to see pictures of the truck before and after as well as pictures of Governor Janet Napolitano with the truck, visit Dave's website at www.pinkribbontour.com. Click on "See It" and "Read Dave's Blog". For additional information, contact Dave at 602-380-8714 or email@example.com.
Saturday, August 30th
Buddy Stubbs Hogs and Dogs. Join Buddy Stubbs and lots of other riders for their monthly last Saturday of the month HOGS and Dogs Party. This Saturday’s event will feature Matco Tools Giveaway, From 11am - 3pm, enjoy free hot dogs and soda, Live Music by Dok and Gal, Pool Tournament for prizes and at 12:30pm take a tour of over 125 Vintage motorcycles in the onsite museum with Buddy Stubbs. And while you are there take a look at the new 2009 Harley-Davidsons and the latest in Motorclothes. Bikini Bike Wash from 11am - 2pm. Ride by Buddy Stubbs and enjoy the festivities at 13850 N. Cave Creek Rd. in Phoenix, AZ. 602-971-3400.
Saturday, August 30th
Billet Bar Lucky 13th Anniversary Party. The Billet Bar has been a staple in Scottsdale for motorcycle riders and is celebrating their 13th Anniversary this weekend. They will be featuring A Big Piece Band live on stage in the famous climate controlled Paradise Patio this Saturday night with drink specials all evening long. And as always, no cover charge at the Billet. So if you are looking for something to do Saturday night, The Billet is where the action will be located 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. in Old Town Scottsdale. 480-941-1876.
Sunday, August 31st
The Wounded Warrior Regiment (West) Fundraiser. Event time 12 Noon to ?. Raffle Prizes, 50/50, Food, Drinks, Dancing. Live Music. Event takes place at Waddell's Longhorn Saloon located at 1629 N. 195th ave. in Buckeye. Exit 121 N. of I-10.
Paul Yaffe Originals
$49.95 Oil Change + 10 Point Safety Inspection. Don’t get lost in the crowd!
Discover a refreshing customer service experience at Paul Yaffe Originals. Get
in Get Out Saturday Special 9-5pm, $49.95 + Tax & EPA Fee.
Oil Change +10 Point Safety Inspection. Special Includes: Genuine H-D oil & oil filters. Up to 4 qt. oil, black or chrome oil filter. Synthetic oil available at an additional charge. And as always, get great ideas for customizing your H-D.
· “Experienced” PHD Certified Mechanics
· Pick-Up and Delivery Available M-F
· Shop Rate - $75.00 Hr.
(No Flat Rate - If It Takes an Hour You Pay an Hour)
· New Saturday Hours 9am-5pm
Ride by Paul Yaffe Originals this Saturday located at 2211 E. Indian School
Rd. for the personal service you deserve. For more information call 602-840-4205.
Here is a police chase of a biker on the freeway that you wouldn't expect to see. Pretty amazing and amusing. Click Here to View.
The HD dealerships are really starting to kick it up a notch with some good events. Can't wait to see what they come up with this Fall. This last weekend there were a couple of them. Stubbs had a Saturday night party that attracted close to 1000 people. And Arrowhead Harley had a very successful Bikini Contest that drew a lot of riders even in the heat of the day.
Click Here for Photos of the Bikini Contest.
Click Here for a Music Video of the Bikini Contest.
This is a total spoof on the Olympics. But this guy is actually pretty good. Click Here to View.
Here is a perfect example of Substance over Style. Heard it might have been from a movie. You guys are going to love this one. Click Here to View.
Harley-Davidson recall news. Harley-Davidson Motor Company is recalling all of its 2008 Touring models because the fuel-filter shell may crack, causing the bikes to slow or stall. The voluntary recall covers 47,579 of the Touring motorcycles. Harley-Davidson dealers will replace the fuel filter shell for free beginning on or before August 4th. Call your local dealership for more information.