Category Archives: Automotive

Quad Bikes

Quad Bikes

Much beyond many peoples beliefs, the humble quad bike started to become a household name back in the late 70’s early 80’s, yet not for the reason you may be thinking. Should you decide to look up the word “Quad” in the dictionary you will find the following definition;

  • Adjective: designation or compromising of four persons or things.

Now, never could a stranger expression be used for something that was in fact, based on a Three Wheeled Machine and not as it is today, a Four Wheeled Machine.

The early days of Quad Bikes was purely an agricultural affair, where by farmers would use them to do the easy tasks like rounding up sheep or cattle or where they just needed to get from point A to B slightly quicker than using a tractor. Let’s face it, we have all been stuck behind a tractor or two in our time and they are never the fastest moving vehicle on the road.

Now, if you looked up the word “Quad Bike” in the dictionary it would say;

  • Definition: An off-road four-wheeled motorcycle; also called quad

And not even a mention of the three wheeled version of the Quad Bike ancestry. The strange thing is that when you look at the wiki answer to the word Quad Bike it is one of the first things they mention about it being derived from a three wheeled machine.

So from humble beginnings as a three wheeled bike, the Quad Bike evolved with its rightful four wheels. The market started to grow in the late 80’s where 3 manufacturer’s started to produce machines that were specific to the nature of an off-road vehicle and called them ATV or All Terrain Vehicles. Progressing into the 90’s was when the market interest started to increase, forcing the hand of manufacturer’s to make them look a little more up to date as well as for a more general purpose.

This is when the market started showing signs of divide, the two classifications went their own ways and the Quad Bike was a formally known machine in it’s own right.

By the time we were in the late 90’s the market was showing sure signs of growth potential. More machines were being imported into the UK from China, Japan and other Asian countries where manufacturer’s could see business starting to increase within the field.

The turn of the millennium became the breaking point for the industry, vehicles were now being used on the road as well as off road, and more and more garage’s started to stock known brand machines so that they could take a little section of the market share.

From 2007-2008, the industry became uncountable in respect of how many manufacturer’s were popping up out of the woodwork. In the early part of 2008, the manufacturer count was nearing 35+ and there was no sign of it letting up.

Due to it’s ever increasing popularity you know have more manufacturers of Quad Bikes than you do Motorcycles. The Chinese are getting more intelligence saying that this market is still growing, and more and more machines are hitting the retail world by storm.

The only one issue you have with the Chinese Manufacturers over the Japanese counterparts are that parts and accessories are harder to come by because they do not have dealer support. Where as, with your Japanese manufacturer they have been in the market for so long now that they have engaged support and parts ordering through most Motorcycle Dealerships.

The Details of an Automobile Insurance Deductible

The Details of an Automobile Insurance Deductible

Choosing insurance is not a popular job for anyone, but it has to be done. When requesting a policy, there is a description of what is covered. This is the most important reference document to have if an accident happens. Some words are thrown into a policy to intentionally mislead the person applying. The best thing to do when ironing out these misleading words, is to question the insurance company. When questioning, make certain you ask to have these terms defined in a language you can grasp. Insurance companies have a lingo, unless you have experience selling insurance this lingo might as well be a foreign language.

While dissecting a possible policy. Pay utmost attention to what will have to paid by the insured besides the premium. This is considered the deductible or excess amount. When this fixed fee seems too high, the applicant is able to design a coverage that suits better.

An example to communicate the importance of the amount of insurance excess is the following. An applicant wants insurance on a 2,500 USD vehicle. There is an accident causing 400USD worth of damage. When the policy is checked, the excess or deductible is 300 USD. The insured would pay 300 USD, and the insurance company would pay 100USD. The insured would have to make the decision as to whether reporting this accident would be wise.

It is urgent to make sure the insured will benefit financially from an accident. Use common sense when deciding if reporting an accident to your insurance company, is a wise decision. It may be a better financial decision to repair the vehicle on your own, or continue to operate it with a dent or two. Filling out a claim, will commonly increase the price of an insurance policy.

There are benefits for not reporting every little fender bender. This is a reward for keeping a safe driving record, and choosing a wise alternative. Either a lower premium, or a check from the insurance company is used.

When reviewing a policy there will be several types of deductibles. There is one that is a base across the board for every insured consumer that chooses the company. The others are used as a method to raise the amount the insured is responsible for, in order to decrease the monthly amount paid.

Sometimes the decision of increasing your insurance excess is not always yours to make. When a new driver is added to a policy, the risk level increases and an extra amount will be added to the original deductible. Another example limiting the choice in this matter, is attempting to add an individual that constantly violates traffic laws, or has frequent accidents.

In conclusion, deductibles and excesses are detailed in the policy. The option to evaluate, and change this amount to be more than the base amount, is up to you.

Advanced Winching Tips For Off Road Recovery – How to Dig a Dead Man Anchor

Advanced Winching Tips For Off Road Recovery - How to Dig a Dead Man Anchor

Maybe you’ve been there before. You’ve been riding hard for the last couple hours, conquering boulders, mud, and tight spots until suddenly you find yourself good and stuck, and no amount of pushing, pulling, or cursing will make your vehicle budge. You’ve got a winch. The problem is there’s not a rock, tree, or stump in sight and no buddy around to pull you out. How are you going to find an anchor point to winch out? Roll up your sleeves and get ready to move some dirt. It’s time to dig a dead man.

Digging your own anchor is a last resort, but when you find yourself in a desperate situation, miles from civilization, it may be your only option. Here’s how you can make your own winch anchor if the situation calls for it.

If you’re adequately prepared for times like this, most likely you have a shovel stashed in your ATV or truck. Pull it out and start digging. The depth of the hole will depend somewhat on the size and weight of your vehicle and just how good you’re stuck. The deeper the hole, the sturdier your anchor will be. At minimum, it should be deep enough to fully cover an object the size of your spare tire and rim.

Dig the hole directly in line with the stuck vehicle, if possible, and far enough away from your quad or truck to spool out a decent length of cable for a maximum power pull. Spool out the cable ahead of time to measure the distance if you’re unsure where to start digging. Taking the time to plan out where your dead man needs to be is better than making the hole too close or too far away from your vehicle and then having to dig a new one.

A broad, weighty object makes the sturdiest dead man winch anchor, such as a log, large rock, or spare tire. If you carry a spare, you have a heavy, solid object on hand without scrounging around for a log or other large object. The size of the tire corresponds to the size of your vehicle and, if buried deep enough, should hold fast as you winch out.

Attach a chain or tree strap to the anchor and bury the log or tire deep in the hole, angled away from your vehicle for greater resistance during the pull. Fill in the open areas with dirt and pack it down solid. Hook up your winch to the chain or strap and you’re ready to start the recovery. After you winch out your vehicle, make sure to retrieve your makeshift anchor and fill in the hole. Leave as little trace of your digging as possible.

Instead of burying a heavy object, you can also drive in long stakes or axles. They should be at least three feet in length to reach deep enough into the ground. For a solid anchor, pound in several stakes, one behind the other, at an angle away from the line of pull. The stakes must be deep enough and the ground dense enough to sustain the force of the pull or the winch will yank the anchor right out and all your work will be for nothing. This can also create a potentially dangerous situation if the buried anchor pulls free and rockets toward you or your vehicle.

After driving in the stakes, connect them with a chain or strap, and attach the winch hook to the strap as close to the ground as possible. If you have trouble pulling the stakes back out, try winching them out by pulling at the same angle as the anchor.

As you can see, digging a dead man takes time and hard work and is not going to be your first option, but when it comes down to walking back for help or making your own winch anchor, now you have the option of getting out on your own without the embarrassment of calling in the rescue squad.

Dont Buy a Pocket Bike Online – Until You Read This Review

Don't Buy a Pocket Bike Online - Until You Read This Review

Yes, Pocket Bikes are amazingly fun and yes they go amazingly fast but with lack of distributors in your area many are forced to go online to buy pocket bike. If you are one of the many dying to buy pocket bike let me give you a run down of what to look for in a bike.

Beware of cheap imitations!- If you are going to buy a pocket bike I would suggest getting one of the more popular models. There are many “knock offs” that will waste your money and ruin your pocket bike experience. The parts for these knockoffs are hard to find and in the end they will drive you mad. Below I have a link with a list of the most popular Pocket Bikes out there now. So check it out if you are a serious buyer.

Decide if you want automatic or manual shifting! When reading up on a bike check to see the shifting options. Some bikes offer both manual and automatic. If you want that real motorcycle feel then go manual and look for bikes with a hand clutch. If you are nervous then go automatic when you buy pocket bike.

Know Your State Laws! -Before you buy pocket bike you have to know what is street legal in your state. Speak to local law enforcement agencies or search online. If you are going to spend a couple hundred bucks you should know which models will work for you. You don’t want to be stuck cruising around on your pocket rocket in your driveway.

Go to specialized Pocket Bike distributors online! Amazon.com is great for some stuff BUT not pocket bikes. There Pocket Bikes are more expensive then more specialized sites. You can save a couple hundred bucks or spend the same amount and get a much superior bike at different online vendors.

Lastly Be Safe just because it’s a mini bike doesn’t mean you can’t get hurt. Some of these puppies can go 60 M.P.H. so gear up. You will definitely need a helmet!

Selecting the Right Sized Motorcycle Helmet

Selecting the Right Sized Motorcycle Helmet

Selecting a correctly sized helmet is an essential component of motorcycle safety. Yet, many people do not know how to select the helmet that is best suited to the size of their heads. In fact, most people tend to select helmets that are too large and will not provide them with much protection if they are involved in an accident. Therefore, it is important to know the dos and don’ts of selecting a motorcycle helmet in order to be certain it provides you with a good fit.

Things to Look for When Sizing Your Motorcycle Helmet

The most important rule to remember when selecting the correctly sized motorcycle helmet is that it should fit snugly on your head. At the same time, it shouldn’t be so tight that it feels uncomfortable and cannot be worn for longer than 10 or 15 minutes. In order to accurately determine the helmet size that is right for you, you should measure your head with a measuring tape. Be certain to measure about ½ inch above your eyebrow, which is the area where your head is the largest.

Whether you are able to measure the circumference of your head or not, it is a good idea to try on a few helmets in order to determine the size that is best suited for you. If a helmet is the proper size, it should provide uniform pressure around your head and on your cheeks. The pressure the helmet places on your cheeks should be enough to make your cheeks squeeze in slightly so you are almost biting the inside of your cheek.

Things to Avoid When Selecting the Properly Sized Motorcycle Helmet

When trying on helmets, there are a few things to look for that will indicate that the helmet is too large. For example, if the helmet slides on easily, keep in mind that this means it will come off easily as well – which means it won’t provide much protection if you are in an accident. In addition, you should not be able to easily twist the helmet from side to side. In fact, if you grab the chin and move it from side to side, your skin should move along with the helmet.

Another area to check is where the helmet meets your forehead. If you can fit your finger in this area, the helmet is too loose and may actually get pulled off your head by the wind as you ride. Similarly, you should not be able to pull the front of the helmet down on your face so it covers your eyes or so the chin piece is below your chin.

Taking your time to find a helmet size that is the right one for you is an essential part of motorcycle safety. Even if you plan to purchase your helmet online, it is a good idea to try on helmets at a store if possible in order to be certain about which size to purchase.

Extending the Life of Your Vehicle

Extending the Life of Your Vehicle

If you are like most people, you take the reliability of your vehicle for granted. Make sure you are doing everything possible to extend the life of your vehicle. Take care of the car and it will take care of you.

At least once a month, check all of your vehicle’s fluids. This includes the engine oil, transmission fluid, radiator fluid, brake fluid and power steering fluid. If anyone of these fluids is too low or runs out completely it could destroy major components of your vehicle. Be sure to check the color of the fluid as well as the level for radiator fluid, engine oil and transmission fluid. Radiator fluid is usually green, pink, or yellow. Be sure to flush the radiator if the fluid is a dingy brown color. Oil should be clear, not brown or black. When looking at your oil keep in mind that it starts out a golden honey color. Transmission fluid should be red. If it smells burnt, that may indicate that it has overheated. Brake, power steering and radiator fluid all need to be flushed about every 2 years.

One of the most important things you can do to lengthen the life of your vehicle is to change the oil regularly. It is recommended that you change the oil every 3,000-5,000 miles or every 4-6 months. If you are running synthetic in certain vehicles you may be able to get away with 8,000 miles and beyond but why take the chance. When changing the oil, make sure the oil filter is changed as well. New oil will also increase your MPG and ease the pain at the pump.

Changing your air filter is another routine maintenance item that shouldn’t be overlooked. Make sure that you install a new filter (or clean your existing filter if you have a reusable filter) every 12 months or 12,000 miles. This will ensure that your engine is getting a sufficient air supply and isn’t being choked due to a clogged filter. Fuel filters are another necessary replacement. Have it changed every 2 years or 24,000 miles.

Check your pads and rotors. Brake pads should be replaced when the depth on the pad is ¼ of an inch or less. If you wait too long you will begin to hear a high-pitched screeching noise when braking. This is an exposed piece of metal in the brake pad scraping against the brake rotor. This is your last warning. Beyond this is the risk of damaging the rotor and ultimately the calipers, both which are much more expensive to replace than pads.

Rotate the tires every 6,000 miles to reduce uneven wear that can decrease the life of the tire. If you have your tires rotated at a shop, they should be able to tell you if your car is out of alignment based on the wear pattern. Catching an alignment problem early can save a set of tires from meeting their early demise. Check your tire pressure at least once a month. Check the vehicle’s door jam on the driver’s side for proper inflation levels. Don’t reference the PSI numbers on the tires. Having properly inflated tires will help ensure the tires wear evenly and will help you get the best MPG possible.

These tips are just the beginning to helping get your vehicle to 200,000 miles and beyond. Driving smoothly and not racing around like a Formula 1 driver will also help the vehicles longevity. Always keep your ears tuned and listen for anything that may sound strange. If you hear a troubling noise and can’t pinpoint the problem, take your vehicle into a trusted mechanic to catch a small problem before it explodes into a larger one. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Buying Parts at the Swap Meet – Some Tips For the Novice Buyer

Buying Parts at the Swap Meet - Some Tips For the Novice Buyer

Swap meet, flea market, garage sale, auto jumble, or Carlisle, no matter what you choose to call it attending events to search out that perfect part for your restoration or vintage driver is a necessity for the classic and antique car owner. Having success at such events is a matter of strategy, knowledge and planning. After 30 years of clawing through heaps of old car parts and bins of miscellaneous in the search for parts, I have learned a thing or two. Here are timely tips for the novice part seeker.

The vast array of parts available at a swap meet can be mind boggling. At larger events such as the Spring Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet & Corral, held in Carlisle, Pennsylvania there are literally miles of vendors. They say that to pass by each of the vendor’s spots at an event like Carlisle swap meets is a 14-mile hike. Add that to the 1/4 mile walk just to get into the place and you really need to focus on your objective. Good sturdy walking shoes are a must at a big event.

Take it from a veteran when I say you will need more than a strong back to heft your prizes home. You will find your childhood little red wagon, with a big box attached is just the ticket for carrying your parts. While you may be able to heft parts you found at a local garage sale back to your car, carrying a water pump all day will get tiring. At the very least, take a back pack.

Dress for the weather. While it may seem obvious, it is not unusual to encounter cases of heat stroke, sun burn, or even hypothermia at outdoor events. It may seem like a nice sunny, summer day, but after four hours on a concrete parking lot, you may soon appreciate the benefits of cave living. At the very least, take a hat to outdoor events. A sun baked cranium may seem like a good excuse for some of your more questionable purchases. No part is worth the price of having the medics cart your lifeless corpse from the field.

Know what you need, what you want and what you would like. Taking a list is a must. Not only does it assist you in narrowing your search, it will stop you purchasing duplicates of parts you have stacked on the shelves of your workshop. By having a list of needs, wants and desires, it will also assist in making those optional purchases. Knowing that you have the things you need frees up resources for the special little options you would like. Never ask a vendor, “Will this part fit my car?” The vendor has no idea what car you have.

Along with your list of needs, wants and desires, carry a list with interchange information. I have a little black book that fits securely in my pocket. Unlike the local Lothario, my black book is filled with part numbers, drawings and other vital information about my cars. Included in the information packed pages are interchange lists. Just because a part isn’t labeled specifically for your car, doesn’t mean it doesn’t fit. Knowing there are interchanges available between your car and others can save you money and anguish. Few things are as frustrating as finding out later that the cheap part you passed up, fits your more expensive purchase.

“He who hesitates is lost.” If you find a rare part you need, buy it. With miles of vendors at large venues you may never cover all of them in one day. The chances of the part still being there after two days is pretty slim. That it is almost impossible to remember where that first guy’s booth was is another matter. Going back also assumes that the part was not snapped up by another buyer, or vendor, while you are dithering. This is why you brought the list and your wagon. Buy it, cross it off your list, load it in your wagon, and move on.

I have lost track of the number of times I have heard, “I don’t want to lug it around with me all day”.This is why one of the first tips was bring a wagon. I have yet to find a vendor that will not let you store the part you just bought at their space until you’re ready to go. Speaking as an occasional vendor, “You paid for it. If you want to forget about it and never come back, it’s money in my pocket.”

Similarly, vendors often hear, “I saw one on the other side of the field for less”. Vendors know that if you were too cheap to buy that one, then forget about this one. Chances are the vendor saw that cheaper one on the other side, too. That is why you are looking at the exact same part, but with a higher price tag.

Imagine the wad of cash you will need to take if you were actively looking for parts. You should add a bit extra to your wad for the unexpected bargains that you had not planned on purchasing. A dozen point sets may seem a bit excessive, but if you’re planning to use the car regularly the bulk price tag will more than pay for itself. That little bit extra you take may make the difference between patting yourself on the back for your special purchase, or kicking yourself in the parking lot at the end of the day. Make sure that you have small bills. It is easier to haggle when you have exact change. Never flash the entire contents of your wallet at a vendor. Security concerns aside, it makes it difficult to plead poverty when you have a fistful of dollars.

Set your limits and know your prices. This goes both ways, for vendors and buyers. There is nothing more frustrating for buyers than encountering vendors who do not have clear pricing. Worse are the vendors who want the buyer to tell them what the part is worth. It is equally frustrating to encounter buyers who believe everything should be priced by the pound, preferably pennies a pound. Know what you are willing to pay for a part and be ready to haggle if the price is close to your budget. No foul offering less than asking price, but be reasonable.

At large events, if they have a map of the venue, get it. If they haven’t make one. At some events, you can wander for hours only to find that you have been circling the same vendors over and over. A map or location notes will also assist in revisiting vendors that may have had something you wanted as an after thought. If you have some extra cash at the end of the day, a map can help you spend it before you head for the parking lot. Your map is also a great place to write down the names of vendors and other contacts.

The best bargains can often be had at the end of the day. While it is true that vendors often do not want to pack the parts home again, waiting till the end of the day could loose you the rare part you really needed. Better to leave behind a business card with your contact information and type of parts you are seeking, or buy it when you see it.

Your Price is Probably Not Your Problem

Your Price is Probably Not Your Problem

A day goes by… no calls. Two days go by… still no calls. A week goes by… “I can’t believe no one has called.” Two weeks go by… impatience and worry creep in, if they haven’t already consumed you. Your knee-jerk reaction — which in 95% of all of life’s situations should not be the first course of action — is to lower your price. Take it from me… your price is probably not your problem.

The truth is… most people are not salespeople. And when it comes to selling your vehicle as a private seller, we find out quickly whether or not Sales is in our blood. It’s not uncommon for an inexperienced private “seller” to spend a couple of hours pricing his vehicle just right — figuring out the payoff, incorporating the average yearly mileage, estimating how some aftermarket customizations have added value, etc., etc., etc. And then, when the first tire-kicker comes along and makes a $7,000 offer on what the seller figured to be a $10,000 vehicle, he gets all excited that an offer has been made, his blood starts pumping, and he thinks to himself, “If I just say ‘Yes’ this will all be over… I won’t have to think about it anymore.” And he finds himself standing on his front porch with one hand waving good-bye to the nice man that just bought his perfectly maintained car, while holding a check for $3,000 less than he originally anticipated in his other hand, only to realize moments later the magnitude of the mistake he just made.

Now certainly many would negotiate a little less pathetically than the gentleman in the previous scenario. But the bottom line is that this gentleman, and the majority of America, would not have ended negotiations closer to the $10,000 price than to the $7,000 offer. In other words, most sellers are easily “talked down” by buyers, usually closer to what buyers are looking to spend, rather than closer to what the sellers are looking to make. But why? Why settle? Did you not just closely research the market value of your vehicle for two or three hours? And in the blink of an eye some random tire-kicker has convinced you that your vehicle is less valuable?

Sellers, I urge you… Do not lower your price too soon. And if I were to preface this entire thought with the notion that you need to set your price at the price you want — that also being the only price you will take — then I would urge you to not lower your price at all. Why? Because your price is probably not your problem. After you have spent good time and energy setting a reasonable price on your vehicle, leave it alone. And feel free to tack on the word “FIRM.” Buyers love that. They ignore it sometimes, but it makes a statement. It says, “I have done my research. If you want this vehicle, pay what is on the sign. Thanks for not wasting our time.”

So if price isn’t your problem… what is? You’ve figured a proper dollar figure and two weeks have gone by with no bites. The two biggest factors are time and exposure, both of which — if you’re like everyone else I know — you don’t have much of.

Getting enough exposure is a quick fix, if done correctly. Because your goal should be to put your vehicle in front of as many buyers as possible at the same time, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and put a couple hundred dollars into different advertising means (newspaper classifieds, web classifieds, For Sale signs, etc.). Don’t worry about it. A properly priced vehicle will get that money back. Your other option is to advertise in one venue at a time and spread what will eventually be the same cost (if not more) out over time, but, oh yeah, you almost forgot… you need to get this sold NOW because time was one of those things you don’t have. And if you’re just going to end up spending the same amount of money (or more) anyway, because it’s a much less effective means of advertising, why not just put your time, money and energy into one massive marketing party from the get-go? Not only does it sound like more fun, but more importantly, it’s more effective.

One final thought about time… don’t wait until it’s “crunch time” to think about selling your vehicle. So many people wait and wait and wait and then expect to make money in a week. If that were the case, we’d all be used car salesmen. It doesn’t work that way. My advice is to plan ahead. Get ahead of the game. Try to see that day coming when you know it’s about time to start looking for a different vehicle. Get the ball rolling before you feel like it’s about to roll on you. Start marketing early and put a proper price tag on it. You are more likely to get the price you want — again, the only price you should take — if you’re not in a rush to get it sold.

Good Resale Value – One More Reason to Buy the Right Used Truck

Good Resale Value - One More Reason to Buy the Right Used Truck

Whenever it comes time to buy a new vehicle of any type, the resale value of the vehicle should be considered as one of the key deciding criteria that you use to make your buying decision. The resale value of a used truck helps to offset the cost of the truck by ensuring that you will receive a portion of your total costs back when it comes time for you to sell your used truck.

Here are a few things that you need to think about when considering the resale value of a truck:

Value varies based on models and features

The resale value of used trucks can vary a great deal depending on the model of the truck and on the type of truck. For example, one model by one manufacturer may have a traditionally higher resale value than a different model by another manufacturer. The Canadian Black Book can help to give you some insights into the projected resale value of the used trucks that you are considering for purchase. Also, a dealer can give you some insight as well.

Resale value is not guaranteed

Many people can safely consider the resale value of their used trucks when they go to make purchasing decisions. However, it is also important to note that the resale value of a used truck is not guaranteed. Therefore, do not completely depend on being able to sell your used truck for a certain amount of money when you are making your purchasing decision. For example, you never know if your used truck will get into a collision and lose part of its resale value (or all, if the vehicle is totaled.)

Trade-ins help to lower overall costs

When considering the resale value of a used truck, it is important to remember that there are two ways to make money when you go to unload your truck. One way is to sell the used truck to a dealership or through a private transaction. The other is to trade the used truck in for a portion off of the cost of a new or used vehicle that you are purchasing. Both methods help to save you money in the long run by helping you get money out of your used truck.

Contact us today http://www.autoloansalberta.ca to learn more about used truck values or to see the variety of used trucks that we currently have in stock that might also suit your needs and budget.