Motorcycling Under the Influence?

When it comes to numbers in fatal crashes and accidents on motorcycles and automobiles that alcohol or other drugs has a good chance of being involved in one of the parties. Nearly 40% of all vehicle fatalities is due to drugs or alcohol. Of all these accidents nearly all of them could have been avoided had they not been under-the-influence.

motorcycle police

When someone is found guilty of being under-the-influence while driving or riding a motorcycle in California, their license is suspended for at least 6 months for the first offense. Many motorcyclists believe that they can justify that a motorcycle can not do as much damage as a car and that it shouldn’t or can’t be the same violation as a motorist. This is completely false. A motorcyclist would face the same punishment a motorist would had he been driving under-the-influence.

In Los Angeles County the court would also add an Ignition Interlock Devices or IID in their vehicle for at least 5 months after the suspension. These devices are installed for around $100-$150 and can cost $2.50 each day for operation.  However, these devices are not designed to work on motorcycles, which can be a problem if your motorcycle is your only source of transportation.

Riding a scooter or a moped while impaired, you can still be charged with a criminal misdemeanor even though the device is not considered a “motor vehicle”.

If you have to drink, do it responsively and hang up the keys. Call a friend or a taxi to get you home safely or else it could end up being your last night out. Never drive or steer a motor vehicle if you are impaired from alcohol or drugs in your system.

If you are ever involved in an accident call The Reinecke Law Firm for a free case evaluation at (800)275-8326. The Reinecke Law Firm has helped thousands of motorcyclists with their accidents and will help you the best they can to make a full recovery.

How to buy a used motorcycle

Congratulations on stepping up your game about thinking of buying a motorcycle. If this is your first, second, or third time buying a motorcycle there are things you need to watch out for. A price tag can tell you a lot about the past of the motorcycle you are looking at. Be sure to do some research and know the average cost of the motorcycle you are looking at. In your research you should look for problems or recalls, how much are others are selling their motorcycles for?, what upgrades have they done, if any? Normally when buying a used motorcycle the price is never fixed and can always be negotiated, even when buying at a dealership. Never buy a motorcycle without looking at it first, sometimes a motorcycle can have a good deal but it should be an indicator of a red flag.

It is always a good ideal to bring a friend or two when checking out a motorcycle to buy, especially if your friend is a mechanic. Two pairs of eyes can detect for more flaws and defects than if you were to do it alone. It is also safer to go with someone than going alone, especially if you dont know the owner of the motorcycle. Also be sure that you have your motorcycle license with you at all times as it is against the law to ride a motorcycle without one.

  1. motorcycle riderCheck to make sure the paper work lines up with the motorcycle you are looking at. It is possible that the owner could have more than one motorcycle with multiple records, be sure they match the VIN numbers. Be sure to see that the title is clean and not rebuilt or salvaged.
  2. Look for cosmetic wear. Check the sides, fenders, handle bars, under the bike, and everywhere for scratches, dings, cracks, repaints, random welds, and other things that could indicate the bike’s use. Indications could mean the motorcycle was crashed, tipped over, dropped, or other abuse. Look for rust and scratches on the bodywork, tank and fenders.cosmetic damage
  3. Put the motorcycle on a stand and check for any play, indicating worn bearings, in the steering head, front wheel and rear wheel. Although the parts might be inexpensive themselves the labor to have them replaced could be costly.
  4. Look for aftermarket parts. Although these parts could be better than the OEM, they could indicate signs of a crashed motorcycle.
  5. Check the oil and see how clean or dirty it is. Look for leaks around the pepcock, gas tank, transmission, floor, and engine. If they are all clean there is not a leak present.motorcycle leak
  6. Check the tires for wear as they can tell you how much riding has been done on them. If they are bald consider paying a couple hundred dollars for new ones. Brakes that appear blue have been ridden hard and have lot of heat from excessive braking.
  7. Check the leaks in the front fork and rear fork, they should be clean of debris and dirt. A tiny amount of lube is okay but if the forks are runny with oil they will need to be serviced for replaced.motorcycle seals
  8. Inspect the electrical systems such as the starter, horn, head lights, tail lights, blinkers, and brake lights to make sure they are all functioning properly.
  9. Ask the owner to not start the motorcycle until you go over to see it. This will be an indication that the bike might be difficult to start from a cold start or the motorcycle has not been started in a while if it does not start when you arrive.
  10. Start the motorcycle from a cold start and let it warm up, listen for strange or funny noises. Check for smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe as it could be a good indicator that there may be an internal leak or it could be burning too much oil.motorcycle smoke
  11. Once the motorcycle is warmed up take it for a test ride. Be sure to always wear a helmet. Shift through all the gears while riding, make sure the clutch works good and there is no slipping. When changing gears make sure the motorcycle shifts smoothly and not with any irregular noises or grinding. Test the front and back brakes to make sure they are in proper working order. Do not ride the motorcycle fast or hard as it could cause a crash leaving you to buy it in pieces.
  12. When everything checks out determine a price with the seller. Ask what price they are asking for the motorcycle as they may have changed it a few times since they have first posted it. Their response will normally be higher than what they are willing to let the motorcycle go for so be sure to offer a much lower price and barter up. If you don’t ask in the first place you may never know how much less you could have got it for.price-image
  13. Sign the paperwork and pay up. Be sure that you fill out the paperwork properly so that you do not have to go back to the original owner to clear things up so that your registration process can go quickly and easily.
  14. Before registering the motorcycle you will need to purchase insurance. Shop around and ask for quotes from multiple insurance companies. When insuring a used motorcycle be sure that your Uninsured/ Under-insured Motorist Coverage is high as it will help you the most in a motorcycle accident where the one at fault can’t afford to recover your medical bills and payments. You would be better to pay an extra hundred dollars in insurance coverage in the beginning than to not have it and be in a serious accident and your insurance not be able to afford your bills, leaving you stranded with a large bill in the end.Motorcycle insurance
  15. Buy the right gear. Never ride in short sleeves, whether that be pants or shirts. Always wear a helmet, wear thick jeans or leather pants as well as a leather jacket or a proper armored riding jacket. Wear gloves to protect your hands and wear a full faced helmet as often as possible.motorcycle gear

After making your new purchase be sure to ride smart and safely. Motorcycles are full of fun  and exciting times but they are still dangerous and can be fatal if ridden improperly and unsafely. We encourage all riders and drivers to look twice before turning and changing lanes.

If you are ever in a motorcycle accident contact The Reinecke Law Firm  at 1(800)275-8326 for a free case evaluation. The Reinecke Law Firm has been helping motorcyclists for over 30 years in the state of California. Tom Reinecke is an elite motorcycle lawyer that has settled millions of dollars for his clients. Call today with no obligations!

CHP Motorcycle Officer involved in an accident

A California Highway Patrol officer was injured after colliding with a car on Grand Avenue and the 22 freeway on ramp Tuesday afternoon.

This week a Motorcycle CHP was involved in a crash that sent him and the car driver to the hospital. The person driving the car was a female Uber driver who was driving a Honda Accord that the CHP office collided into.

At 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday May 3rd, the officer was traveling with his sirens and lights on heading northbound on Grand Avenue while an Uber driver was traveling the same street in the opposite direction.

The Uber driver turned left for the eastbound 22 freeway when the motorcycle and sedan collided, said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

The street was closed for a couple of hours for investigation and cleanup of the accident. On Wednesday an update was released of the condition of the Police Officer. He is doing well and injuries are not life-threatening. An extensive list of injuries was not released. The female Uber driver suffered only minor injuries.

For more information: click here

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month!

May is the month for motorcycle awareness. Motorcycle Awareness shouldn’t be confined to a single month but should be observed every single day of the year. However, May is the month when more riders come back to riding on the roads because it is the time when the weather is normally optimal for cruising.

Drivers and motorists everywhere should be aware of motorcyclists around them. Motorcyclists are the most vulnerable when traveling on the roads because of them not being encaged in a vehicle but practically exposed to what ever is coming their way. Motorcycle Awareness month is to remember to “share the road” with motorcycles and to help keep them safe.

“Surviving the ride must be foremost in the mind of every motorcyclist. This means taking a motorcycle safety course, wearing the proper gear, using a Department of Transportation compliant helmet and staying alert,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “Every vehicle has its place on the road, but motorcyclists face additional dangers because motorcycles require exceptional handling ability and are more difficult to see.”

group ride

The Los Angeles Police Department is taking the opportunity this year to encourage drivers and motorists to keep motorcyclists safe on the roads. About one-sixth of all vehicle accidents fatalities are motorcyclists. Below is a list of cities with counts of motorcyclists deaths in four southern California counties in 2013.

  • In Los Angeles County, 102 motorcyclists died in crashes.
  • In San Diego County, 43 motorcyclists lost their lives in crashes.
  • In Riverside County, another 38 bikers died in accidents.
  • San Bernardino and Orange Counties lost 32 and 31 motorcyclists in wrecks, respectively.

Of all these motorcycle deaths 95% were wearing a helmet at the time, so it is sad to see that helmets do not always save lives, but it does give you a greater chance of you surviving a crash than to not wear one.

The age in a rider also seems to play a factor in motorcycle deaths. The age range of the highest amount of deaths are motorcyclists in their 20’s and the second most is in the 50’s. The lowest amount of motorcycle deaths were riders above the age of 60 years old.

IMPORTANT SAFETY REMINDERS FOR MOTORCYCLISTS

  • Wear the proper safety gear at all times, including a DOT-compliant helmet
  • Obey the speed limit – excess speed is the most common rider-related factor in motorcycle related crashes
  • Don’t drink and ride – DUI is a leading cause of motorcycle crashes
  • Ride within your own limits – don’t be a victim of peer pressure
  • Ride defensively – assume other drivers don’t see you

In addition to ensuring motorcyclists drive safely and responsibly, they should know their legal rights. If you are a motorcyclist that is involved in a motorcycle accident call The Reinecke Law firm at (800)275-8326 for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or damaged property.

How to decide what kind of Motorcycle to buy

There are thousands of makes and models of motorcycles to buy on the market today and depending on the type of riding style you are into there are numerous things that go along with it to fit in with the motorcycle crowd. In this post we are going to talk about some of the different kinds of motorcycles there are and ways you can determine what kind of motorcycle you should look for to purchase. When picking out a motorcycle you need to consider aspects such as: how far will I be riding the motorcycle? how often will I be riding it? am I going to be riding it alone? how much power can I handle? and many other questions. Our recommendation when starting to ride motorcycles is to look for a used motorcycle as they are cheaper and not a big worry if and when you take a fall. Lets start out with some basic beginner motorcycles.

Standard Motorcycles

Standard motorcycles are motorcycles that are in the small and medium size engine, between 150cc and 700cc. These motorcycles are great for beginning as they have enough power to get you going but not too much to be jumpy. Their acceleration is smooth and typically have great gas mileage. These bike are normally made to keep the rider upright and not bent over.

victory

Cruiser Motorcycles

Cruisers are typically good for relaxing and riding comfortably. Cruisers make the rider sit in a relaxed position and upright with feet faced forward. They are heavy and do not turn as well as other motorcycles because they tend to sit low to the ground. Harley Davidson’s fall into the cruiser category and are often typically seen with a v-twin engine. Chopper’s as well fit into the cruiser category as they are cruisers that have been in a chop shop and modified to a cut-down version.

CVO Harley

Touring Motorcycles

There are regular touring motorcycles and sport touring motorcycles. The difference between the two is the weight and power of the motorcycle. Touring often means going great distances or covering long- distances. They are very comfortable and have lots of fends and a big windshield to help fight the whether and the wind. They tend to be heavier than regular bikes and have larger engines to handle the higher speeds.

touring

Sport Bikes

These bikes dominate for speed and cornering. They are heavy in power and light on weight. They can accelerate in the blink of an eye and are recommended for racing on the track. These motorcycles put you in the position of leaning over the gas tank as to make the rider feel comfortable at high speeds above 100 mph. Brakes are strong and big to help the bike slow down and can cause a good amount of force to be pushed on the handlebars. Not a good bike for having a passenger.

superbike

Dual Sport Motorcycles

Dual Sport motorcycles are neither great for on the roads and off the roads but they do good to allow you to ride almost wherever you like. These motorcycles are for riding in areas where there are dirt roads and paved roads. They tend to be a little bit heavier than dirt bikes and a little lighter than a road bike. They are mostly made with a dirt bike chassis but have added lights and other features to allow them be on highways. They tend to not do as well as most dirt bikes do but they still can be fun on and off road.

dual sport

Scooters & Mopeds

Scooters and Mopeds are smaller than motorcycles and typically have an automatic transmission making them easier to learn how to ride. Their engine sizes are typically small ranging from 50cc to 150cc and have smaller wheels than motorcycles. Mopeds are closely related to bicycles but with a motor and are typically the cheapest to own and have less laws governing them.

mopeds_vs_scooters

Off-Road Motorcycles

Often referred to as dirt bikes, these motorcycles are made to be ridden off-road. They are constructed to be light weight and power happy. They have a lot of clearance in suspension and are able to take a beating when crashed. Dirt bikes are made to go fast, grip the dirt, and jump in the air, sometimes a hundred feet in distance. They are ridden standing upright and slightly forward to clear bumps, jumps and rocks that are in it’s path. Most are not street legal and have to be transported to where you can ride them.

dirt bike

When looking for the right kind of motorcycle to purchase you need to know what kind of riding you will typically be riding. If you are riding in the cities in congested areas a standard motorcycle will fit you needs quite well, if you are going to be riding across the desert but still need to get on the highway choose the dual-sport, and if you are going to be riding up and down the coast line for a couple of hours get yourself a cruiser. Riding the right kind of motorcycle will help you out wherever you decide to ride and you will be the most comfortable.

Always remember that The Reinecke Law Firm is here to help you recover if you are ever injured in a motorcycle accident while highway riding. Call The Reinecke Law Firm as soon as possible for a free case evaluation, you may be compensated for your injuries and property damage.

Group Motorcycle Riding Etiquette

18 Things that you should know about Group Riding

If you are reading this posting it probably means that you have purchased a motorcycle and you want to hit the road and meet new people or you are new at riding in groups and need to know how to ride in a group. You have come to the right place for learning.

1. The first thing you want to do is organize the ride. This can be as informal as standing around in a parking lot, or as formal as a special meeting to hand out maps and cellphone numbers.

2. Remember that riding in a group does not mean you surrender any decision-making when it comes to your safety. Ride your own ride, and don’t go any faster than you feel comfortable going. Large groups carry more risks of injury and crashing.

3. When picking your route and the stops you’ll make along it, consider the stamina of the group, the experience of all the riders, and the limits of the motorcycles in the group. Remember, these are your friends. If it’s going to be a long ride, be sure to take a few breaks along the way.

4. You’ll need to communicate while on the ride, so make sure everyone knows the signals you’ll use. Make the signals simple, some suggestions are in the image below.

Motorcycle-Safety-Hand-Signals


5.
When creating your formation, it’s wise to have your experienced riders at the lead and running sweep. Consider positioning the less-experienced riders immediately behind the leader. This allows the front rider to adjust the pace if necessary.

6. Ideally, the sweep rider will have a cellphone to call for help if a motorcycle is disabled, or if there has been an accident.

7. If the goal of the ride is to keep the group together, the leader should only go at the pace of the least-experienced rider.

8. While riding, don’t fixate on the motorcycle in front of you. Instead, remember your basic training. Look well through the turn to where you want to go.

9. If the group is riding faster than you are comfortable with, let the sweep rider know you’re dropping out and ride at your own pace. So you may reach your destination a few seconds behind the others, but you will get there, and that’s what’s important. Keep in mind, it’s all about fun.

10. All riders are also responsible for making sure their motorcycles are mechanically up to the task. Before you even meet up with the group, make sure you’ve got plenty of fuel in the tank, and that you’ve taken care of all maintenance issues. Not sure what to check? Use T-CLOCS. You really don’t want to be the reason for stopping the group for something mechanical you could have prevented.

11. If it’s going to be a large group, consider establishing a buddy system among the riders, or divide the group into smaller five- or seven-rider packs. That way, if something goes wrong, you don’t have 25 motorcycles sitting on the side of a busy highway. Also, smaller groups can more easily navigate through city streets.

group ride12. On the road, motorcyclists should have at least a 2-second cushion in front and behind them. If you want to keep the group tight, consider a staggered formation. Leave enough room per lane so each rider can maneuver side-to-side if need be. Avoid side-by-side formations as they shrink your space cushion.

13. Trikes and sidecars should stay in the center of the lane, and should be given the same amount of cushion as if they were a car. Never lane-share or lane split on a trike or sidecar.

14. As turns get sharper, or as visibility decreases, move back to a single file formation. You’ll also want to use single file when entering or exiting a highway, at toll booths, or when roads have a rough or questionable surface.

15. At intersections where you’ve come to a stop, tighten the formation to side-by-side to take up less space. As the light turns green, or when traffic opens up, the bike on the left proceeds through the intersection first.

16. Remember we share the road with many other vehicles, and it’s against the law to block an intersection.

group ride17. When parking, try to get the group off the roadway as quickly as possible. If you can, arrange in advance to have pull-through parking at your destination, or at the very least, make sure there is ample parking for your size group.

18. Hold on tight and have lots fun riding with your friends and Staying Safe. Ride like you want to ride again tomorrow.

If you or a loved one are ever in a motorcycle accident contact The Reinecke Law Firm immediately at 1(800)275-8326 for a free case evaluation, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The Reinecke Law is proud to represent motorcyclists in the community for 30 years.