8 Tips to Gear Up to Motorcycle Season

mechanic tightening the wheel nut on a motorcycle

To steer this riding season in the right direction, you’ll want to make sure your motorcycle — and your motorcycle insurance policy — are in good working order before hitting the open road.

While you should always check your owner’s manual for specific guidelines, here are some general tips for getting ready:

Change the oil and filter.

Many manufacturers recommend changing the oil and filter before storing a bike for any extended period of time and again when you bring it back out for riding season. Be sure to first start up the motorcycle to warm the engine and then shut it off before changing the oil and filter.

Check the belt or chain.

Make sure it is set to the manufacturer’s recommended tension. If you have a chain, lubricate it.

Check nuts and bolts.

Start off the riding season with a solid bike. Make sure everything is tight. “A well-maintained motorcycle not only assures a fun time, it can save you money by avoiding accidents, which helps to keep your insurance rates down,” says Rick Stern, motorcycle product manager, The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies.

Inspect tires.

Look for any damage and also make sure each tire is inflated to the correct pressure. You’ve only got two tires, so for maximum stability it is very important to avoid underinflation as well as overinflation.

Look for fluid leaks.

The easiest way to check for this is to look at the floor under the motorcycle. Leaking oil or brake, radiator or clutch fluid can cause their own special problems. For example, being low on brake fluid could make it hard to stop your motorcycle. You don’t want to find that out after you’re already on the road.

Check all lights.

Make sure headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are all functioning properly.

Brush up on your riding skills.

Find a safe place to practice riding skills such as fast stops, figure eights, U-turns, etc., so you’re ready for the season. You’ll be glad you did.

Update your policy.

Perhaps one of the most important things you can do at the start of the season is review your insurance coverage to be certain you, and your bike, are covered. Talk to your local independent insurance agent.

Independent agents represent many companies and they can help you to understand the coverages you need. An independent agent can also help you find the combination of price and service that’s right for you. Call Bob Johnson Insurance, Inc. at 865-922-3111 or click here to contact us.

Motorcycle Insurance 101: The Essentials

motorcycle insurance considerations

A motorcycle is a significant investment. Before you get your motor running and head out on the highway this season, you owe it to yourself to make sure your insurance is up-to-date and you’re properly covered.

“Just as riding a motorcycle is much different than driving a car, riders should know that their motorcycle insurance needs are different, too,” said Rick Stern, motorcycle product manager, The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies.

Here are some tips.

Update your policy.

First, verify that all your coverages are still in force. Be aware that some companies have a winter layaway period during which some coverages are restricted. Check with your insurance company to see if you currently have any type of limited coverage. Next, note any changes such as additional riders or a new garaging address. A quick call to your independent agent or insurance company will ensure coverage that reflects your current needs.

Consider additional liability coverage.

If you have significant assets, it may be to your benefit to carry a higher limit just in case you are involved in an accident that causes injury to some-one else or damage to property.

Look into medical payments coverage.

Medical payments coverage pays your medical bills as well as your passenger’s and is available in limits up to $25,000 in most states.

Make sure custom parts and equipment are covered.

Additional parts such as chrome plating, a custom paint job, saddlebags or special rims usually increase the value of your motorcycle and may not be covered. If you’ve added any custom parts or equipment, you’ll want to check your policy or call your independent agent to make sure they’re covered.

Know your options.

Rates can vary, so shop around to see if another company offers you a better rate or if you qualify for any discounts. If you have comprehensive and collision coverage, consider raising your deductibles. Doing so can help to lower the cost of your policy.

Choose a company that specializes in motorcycle insurance.

For example, Progressive is one of America’s largest motorcycle insurers. Progressive agents and brokers understand the special needs of motorcycle owners and offer specialized coverages that are designed for them and their bikes.

As an independent agency, Bob Johnson Insurance, Inc. can help you decide if Progressive or another company is the best fit for you.  For more information about motorcycle insurance or to find an agent, call Bob Johnson Insurance, Inc. at 865-922-3111 or click here to contact us.

How to Get the Best Rate on Motorcycle Insurance

the view over the handlebars of a speeding motorcycle

How about some other tips! If you want to get the best insurance rate for you, consider some of the major factors that will be considered.


Did you know?

Safeco Insurance Company offers motorcycle & ATV insurance.  Safeco offers discounts for belonging to rider clubs, completing a certified safety course, and having additional policies with Safeco.  Also Safeco’s claim service is fast, fair, hassle free, and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Consider the Company

Name your ride, and we probably cover it!

As an independent insurance agent, Bob Johnson Insurance can offer you options from multiple companies so that you can choose the best coverage with the benefits you want.

For example, Safeco covers some categories many insurers don’t. They also offer special discounts for belonging to rider clubs, completing a certified safety course, or multiple lines of coverae. Just in case something does happen, Safeco offers hassle-free, 24-hour claims service.

Getting the best rates for your motorcycle or atv

Consider Your Ride

Your Bike: Newer, flashier bikes cost more than older, basic motorcycles.

Your Age: Just like auto insurance, rates usually decrase as you become older. Be aware though that being new to motorcycles can sometimes affect your rate category until you are more experienced.

Your Address: Living in high crime or accident areas can sometimes influence your rates.

Your Driving History: All accidents count — even auto accidents. The cleaner your driving record, the cheaper your insurance will be.

Your Job: Where you are driving to and parking your bike may influence your rate. For example, parking daily on a construction site may increase your rates.

Consider Other Factors for saving money on motorcycle insurance rates

Secure Your Bike: By keeping your bike more secure (keep it in the garage, alarm it, etc.) you may find additional discounts. We can help you find them.

Don’t Over insure: Your motorcycle is only worth market value. If something happens to it, that’s what you will receive. Overinsuring will not get you more money. We will help you choose the coverage that is right for you.

Mileage: Keeping your mileage low sometimes helps keep your rates the same way — low.

Special Motorcycle Training: Many insurance companies offer discounts when you take a special DMV or other motorcycle classes. We can help you find those discounts.

Would you like more information or a free quote?

We would love to answer any questions you may have or to provide a quote for you. For questions, please give us a call at 865-922-3111 or click here and fill out our contact form. One of our experienced agents will contact you as quickly as possible.

If you would like a quote, please click here.  One of our experienced agents will view your information and contact you to make sure you receive a quote for the insurance that best fits you and your situation.