Thursday, March 7, 2019

How Do I Know If My Motorcycle Has a Recall?

Riding around on a motorcycle with a recall is dangerous. If you've recently purchased a used motorcycle, search for open recall notices. If you're notified or find a recall, then bring the bike to the manufacturer for a repair as soon as possible.

What Is a Recall? 
Image of a motorcycle on the highway, representing information about recalls given by Blue Ridge Riders of Asheville, NC

A recall occurs when a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a model (or several models) has a safety-related defect or does not comply with a federal safety standard. When this happens, the manufacturer is obligated to alert owners to the problem and (usually) offer a free repair.

If My Motorcycle Has a Recall, Will I Be Notified?

Manufacturers are required to send written notice via first class mail to the original purchasers and registered owners of vehicles affected by a recall. Manufacturers get information from their records and state DMV records. However, if you recently purchased your motorcycle as a used vehicle, then the manufacturer will likely be unaware of your ownership of the vehicle. Therefore, if any open recalls predate your purchase of the bike, you will likely not be notified. Instead, you should be proactive when purchasing a used motorcycle to make sure that there are no open recalls affecting your vehicle. The good news is that whether you received a letter or not, the manufacturer is still obligated to repair the defect (for free, in almost all instances).

How Can I Check for Open Recalls?

To check for open recalls, you will need the Vehicle Identification Number (the “VIN number”) of the motorcycle. The VIN number can be found on the state DMV registration for the motorcycle, the title of the motorcycle, and on the frame of the motorcycle. Once you've found the VIN number, run it through the NHTSA's website or to search for open recalls.

What Should I Do If I Received a Recall Letter or Found an Open Recall for My Motorcycle on the Internet?

The written recall letter should have detailed instructions for the steps to take to have the vehicle repaired. In most instances, the written recall notice will instruct you to call the local dealer to set up a repair appointment. If you did not receive a written recall notice and instead found an open recall using the VIN number search, call the local dealer and tell them about the recall that you found and the VIN number for your vehicle. They should then set up an appointment to repair your motorcycle. 

If you have any trouble researching whether your motorcycle has any open recalls, give us a call at 828-505-7575 today and we will help you research the issue. All of our employees at Blue Ridge Riders are motorcycle enthusiasts who regularly ride. We want to help you make sure that your bike is safe and ready to ride.

Friday, November 30, 2018

How Cold Weather Affects Tire Pressure

Cold Weather Affects Tire Pressure

The lingering chill in the morning air here in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a reminder of the need to check your tire pressure.  The ambient temperature outside directly affects cold tire pressure.

How Does Cold Weather Affect Tire Pressure?

From physics, the ideal gas law states that PV = nRT, where P is absolute pressure, T is absolute temperature, V is the volume (assumed to be relatively constant in the case of a tire), and nR is constant for a given number of molecules of gas.  

In plain English what that means for you is that your tires lose about 1 to 1.5 psi for every 10 degrees of temperature change.

For example, if your tires are at a 32 psi setting on an 85-degree Fahrenheit day in the summer, they will lose 5 to 7.5 psi on a 35-degree Fahrenheit winter morning.

Remember to always check tire pressure when the tires are cold (before the vehicle has been driven for any long distance).

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

How to Winterize Your Motorcycle

As the morning temperatures drop here in Western North Carolina, we receive a lot of questions from motorcycle owners involving what steps should one take to winterize their motorcycle if they will not be riding it during the winter months.  We know that not everyone enjoys riding in cold weather.

Here is a great overview on the basic steps that you can take to winterize your motorcycle:


After reviewing the above article, if you have any specific questions please feel free to stop by our Shop or give us a call at (828) 505-7575.

Monday, October 1, 2018

What to Know Before Buying Your First Motorcycle

Whether it's the visceral experience of riding out on the open road, the skill and precision required to control a bike, or the fascinating technical and mechanical aspect of motorcycles, everyone has their own story of why they decided to buy their first bike. Regardless of motivation, there's one thing every first-time bike owner has in common: they need to know biking basics before making a purchase.

Take a New Rider Course 
A bunch of motorcycles in front of Blue Ridge Riders

Responsible drivers know that safety comes before style and speed. First-time buyers should enroll in a new rider course to learn about staying safe on the road. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation's courses are generally considered the gold standard of training, consisting of 15 hours of formal instruction over a three-day period.

Determine New or Pre-owned

Although it may be hard to hear, many bikers' first few rides will include a mishap. New riders are likely to drop and damage their bike while they're honing their skills. Because of this, many advise that a first bike be pre-owned, which gives new owners a chance to get a sense of riding before investing in a long-term bike. In the right condition, these first-time bikes can also be traded in to work toward a newer model.

Get a Bike That Fits

In cars, seats and steering wheels can be adjusted. On a bike, this isn't the case. Bikes can vary drastically in fit, with some requiring riders to lean forward and crouch over the handlebars, and others allowing riders to lean back. Deciding on things like seat height and weight are best done in person, so, to get the right fit, it's important to physically be present when checking out bikes.

Take a Test Ride

In order to ensure a bike fits, first-time buyers should take new wheels out for a spin with a test ride. Many sellers only allow serious, qualified buyers to take a test ride, so buyers need to clearly demonstrate that they are sincere; it's best to buy a bike knowing it's as comfortable on mile five as it is parked on the dealer room floor.

Get the Right Gear

"Dress for the slide, not for the ride" is a common saying in the motorcycle community. Although riders may want to show off a certain biker style, it's much more important to wear a DOT- or ECE-approved helmet first and foremost. Riders can also benefit from impact-absorbing padding, gloves, and ankle-high boots—at least for the first several rides.

The only feeling better than taking a bike out for its very first ride is the satisfaction of knowing the purchase was the best and safest choice. If you have questions about becoming a first-time bike owner or financing your next bike, give Blue Ridge Riders a call at 828-505-7575 today!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Don't Miss These Four Mountain Roads Around Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains

Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains feature a variety of mountain roads that are breathtaking any time of the year. Here are some of our favorite roads to take in nature and get away from it all.

Blue Ridge Parkway 
A road going through a tunnel

When trying to find the best views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it's hard to ignore a road that was named in their honor. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers stunning views and is completely devoid of stoplights, billboards, and commercial vehicles. It also boasts easy curves, making it particularly good for breaking in a new or pre-owned bike. But be sure to plan ahead: the Blue Ridge Parkway also features drastic altitude changes of up to 3,000 ft. within an hour, meaning the weather can change dramatically during a ride.

Spanning 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina, Blue Ridge Riders is conveniently located under 2 miles from the parkway, making it an easy access point for riders. Keep in mind that the speed limit is only 45 mph, dropping down to 35 mph in curvy areas, so this is not a speedy ride. But with more than 200 pull-off areas and overlooks to enjoy the natural setting, riders will want to take their time.

NC Route 9 South to Chimney Rock

Black Mountain Rag (also known as "The Sidewinder") is a scenic route on NC Route 9 South that carries history in its name. It was named for a "rag," or a tune with many twists and scales. Black Mountain Rag offers a number of twists of its own as it winds to the top of the village of Chimney Rock overlooking Hickory Nut Gorge, an especially beautiful sight when seen at sundown. Riders can even continue past Chimney Rock to enjoy the stunning Lake Lure, also the setting for countless movies, including Dirty Dancing and Forrest Gump.

Around 31 miles total, riders should plan for about 2-3 hours of travel time. The start of this route is located just on NC Route 70 at its intersection with Route 9 South (just 15 minutes from the Blue Ridge Riders dealership) and is conveniently accessible from I-40. For a loop, take NC 74 towards Asheville and then get on Route US 40 East toward Black Mountain.

Cherohala Skyway

After 34 years of construction, the majestic Cherohala Skyway was finally completed in 1996. This 40-mile long dream road for riders gets its name by crossing through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests, and it also connects Robbinsville, North Carolina to Tellico Plains, Tennessee. Along the way, elevations can range from 900 feet to over 5,400 feet above sea level when crossing from North Carolina into Tennessee!

This ride should be saved for a longer trip, as riders will need to travel around two hours to reach the start of the skyway at Santeetlah Gap from Asheville. It's also best to avoid this route during winter nights, as inclement weather can make it frosty and hazardous.

Tail of the Dragon

Just around 90 miles outside of Asheville, the Tail of the Dragon has become a rite of passage for motorcycle owners—maybe because it navigates 318 curves in 11 miles through Great Smokey Mountain National Park, and it's a great way for riders to get their kicks. It's not the best ride for those who enjoy more lonesome roads, though, as its popularity means it can see up to 15,000 motorcycles and sports cars in a single day. In fact, riders may even run into wildlife along the way, as bears, deer, turkeys, and wild boars have all been spotted on the road. The Tail of the Dragon is not recommended for beginner riders as it is very technically challenging.

This infamous passage of U.S. Highway 129 starts around Robbinsville, about a two-hour drive west of Asheville, and has a speed limit of 30 miles per hour to help navigate the endless curves.

Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains offer some of the most memorable sites for motorcyclists of any skill level. If you'd like to get a bike and take any of these rides, give us a call at 828-505-7575 today for more information about our inventory, trade-ins, or financing! Also, feel free to call us to discuss local rides and riding conditions. All of our staff at Blue Ridge Riders are motorcycle enthusiasts who regularly ride.

Thursday, August 2, 2018


U.S. 74A AND THE HICKORY NUT GORGE: Known as the old Charlotte Highway, U.S. 74A runs Southwest out of Asheville to join U.S. 64 in Rutherfordton. As most motorcyclists can attest, the ride uphill can be more enjoyable, so these route descriptions approach the route from the piedmont. From the west, the road follows the Broad River as it flows out of Lake Lure. Travelers hug the western edge of the lake as they travel up the gorge. On the left, towers Chimney Rock, the iconic monolith from which visitors atop the landmark enjoy stunning views. This road proves popular with motorcyclists, who can stop and enjoy the many shops, restaurants and Chimney Rock State Park. 

The highway climbs through the Hickory Nut Gorge and crests the Eastern Continental Divide, which runs along much of the Blue Ridge Escarpment from Virginia to Georgia. The Gorge offers views of rugged cliffs and the 400-foot Hickory Nut Falls, one of the highest waterfalls east of the Rockies. The section nearest the crest of the mountain is the most technically challenging with a series of hairpin turns descending into the valley southeast of Asheville. In summer, the northern side of the ridge offers a cool, green escape from the heat.

Continuing north brings riders to the Blue Ridge Parkway near Interstate 40 just 23 miles from Lake Lure. This makes a good starting point for riders traveling out of Asheville and descending the escarpment.

Several side roads off U.S. 74A make for enjoyable diversions. U.S. 64 West heads up out of the gorge toward Hendersonville. N.C. 9 to the east takes you on a scenic route to Black Mountain. After you crest the mountain range, Upper Brush Creek Road to Cane Creek Road serves as nice detour as you head towards Fletcher.

The details and photograph of this ride were graciously provided by Michael E. Gouge a seasoned motorcyclist here in Western North Carolina.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Questions you should ask a dealer when buying a Motorcycle

Hey motorcycle enthusiasts we want to take the time to make sure when you are looking to purchase your next bike that you ask the dealer the MOST important questions. We all get that “giddy” moment where we walk in to a dealership, find a ride we fall in love with, sign papers and leave. When in reality, we all need to take a step back and think about what is truly important. Are customers asking these 10 questions to assure they are getting a quality bike that is road ready? At Blue Ridge Riders our staff offer up this information without you even asking! What about other dealers? Even if you are not a customer of ours we want to make sure no one is being mislead or taken advantage of. Use these questions as a guideline for your next motorcycle purchase and take charge of YOUR decision:

1.      How many owners has this bike had?

2.      Is the mileage accurate on the odometer?

3.      Does the bike have a “clean title” or is it a “salvage title” or are there any negative brands on the title?

4.      Have any on-staff mechanics serviced and inspected the bike?

5.      Where did this bike come from?

6.      How much tread is left on the tires?

7.      What has been serviced or replaced? Example: oil, oil filter, air filter, brakes, brake fluid, tires

8.      Is there any existing warranty, if not can I purchase one?

9.      What, if any, accessories come with the bike?

10.   Will this dealer charge any additional fees such as document fees, prep charges or delivery/destination fees in addition to the negotiated price for the motorcycle?

 Please make fully informed decisions when buying your next ride. This lifestyle is about the Fun, Freedom, and Adventures a motorcycle offers you!