Motorcycles: The Cure for Spring Fever

(ARA) – Bikers who have been cooped up inside during the long, cold winter are aching to get outside and ride as soon as the snow starts to melt. If the thought of hitting the streets for that first springtime ride has your motor revving, here is a simple checklist of 10 basics to inspect before taking your motorcycle out for the first time this year, courtesy of the experts at Big Dog Motorcycles.
1. Remove and inspect the spark plugs, and replace if necessary.
2. Clean the air cleaner element.
3. Start the engine and run until it reaches normal operating temperature, then turn it off.
4. Check the amount of oil in the oil tank.
5. Check the transmission lubricant level.
6. Check controls to be sure they are operating properly.
7. Check steering for smoothness by turning the handlebars through the full operating range.
8. Check tire pressure. Incorrect pressure will result in poor riding characteristics and can affect handling and stability.
9. Check all electrical equipment and switches, including the turn signals, headlight and horn for proper operation.
10. Check for any fuel, oil or brake fluid leaks.
Even minor mechanical problems could spoil a trip. Before you hit the open road for one of the spring rallies or for just an afternoon ride, make sure your bike is running well.
Bikers are marking their calendars for upcoming spring rallies where they can get a jump on the latest trends and newest bikes. The Heritage Motorcycle Rally is held April 14 to 18 in Charleston, S.C.; Laughlin River Run takes place April 21 to 25 in Laughlin, Nev.; Myrtle Beach Bike Week is held May 7 to 16 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and the Republic of Texas Rally is scheduled for June 3 to 6 in Austin, Texas.
If you attend any of these rallies, you’ll have a chance to see Big Dog Motorcycle’s 10,000th bike ever made. The leading designer and manufacturer of high performance, highly-styled custom cruisers, Big Dog Motorcycles is celebrating ten years of perfecting custom bikes and will be showcasing the commemorative bike at its display on Beach Street.
The bike, a misty midnight blue chopper-style Ridgeback, is nearly 9 feet long, features a 117 polished cubic inch engine, Baker 6-speed transmission, a 250 rear tire, and a custom graphics package with a patriotic theme. “There is an adrenaline rush that comes with riding a bike of this caliber, not just from the power and the thrill, but from the looks you’ll get. It has what we call ‘stoplight appeal,’” says company president, Nick Messer. The Ridgeback, introduced in 2004, was awarded the “Best New Model of the Year” at the V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati in January.
If you need a new bike to start the season, there are all kinds of custom options. Big Dog offers customers a myriad of choices for their custom bikes. Choose from one of six models, then add a bigger engine, custom graphics and paint, full polished motor and transmission, painted struts, accessories like a luggage rack, and more. “Each bike we turn out is truly custom,” says Messer. “Your bike will stand out even among other Big Dog Motorcycles.”
“The first Big Dog motorcycle was put together in a garage; the company’s reputation grew by word-of-mouth from one loyal customer to the next,” says Messer. “What started as one bike has grown to a six-bike arsenal of radically styled models, all with big tires and equally big engines. The passion to build cutting-edge cruisers for real-world riding will always be at our core.” The company’s network has grown to 90 dealers and 120 authorized service centers nationwide.
To see the special edition 10,000th Big Dog, head to any one of these events, or visit the company’s Web site,
Courtesy of ARA Content
EDITOR’S NOTE: Big Dog Motorcycles started production in 1994 and quickly became a leading designer and manufacturer of American heavyweight custom cruiser motorcycles. The company’s entire line of six motorcycles uses high-performance V-twin 107 or 177 cubic inch engines, 6-speed transmissions, stretch tanks, wide tires, chrome components and an extensive variety of custom paint colors and graphics. The 2004 line also includes new Big Dog Motorcycles customer-designed electronics, hand controls, foot controls, mirrors, air cleaner cover, coil cover and other components. Big Dog motorcycles are distributed through 90 dealers throughout the United Sates — seven are Big Dog Motorcycles branded dealerships. Designing and manufacturing is performed at the company’s world headquarters in Wichita, Kansas. With over 300 employees, the company has enjoyed nine consecutive years of record sales and is celebrating its 10th anniversary. For more information, contact Big Dog Motorcycles at (316) 267-9121 or visit

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