6 tricks for motorcyclists

Motorcycling is one of the more thrilling forms of transportation, but the freedom is also dangerous. Here are some tips for staying safe on a motorcycle:

Make yourself easy to see

If you ride a motorcycle, you have to put extra effort into being seen — your life depends on it.

During the day, ride your motorcycle with the high-beam headlight on.
Check the alignment of your headlight and running lights to make sure motorists can easily see them. Many headlights are pointed too far down.
Replace weak brake lights with bold halogen lights that will command attention.
Adding side lights and reflective devices to your cycle and clothing will reduce the odds of getting smacked by another vehicle in an intersection at night.
Also, if your cycle is dark-coloured, customize it with a touch of contrasting light colour to increase your visibility.

Beware of oil slicks at tollbooths

When you’re riding long-distance on your motorcycle, remember that tollbooths are one of the most treacherous locations you will encounter.

There are fewer spots on the road that are more likely to be slimy with oil — a tricky

Tips on how to choose a car mechanic


There’s no doubt that owning a car will cost you money, but when it comes time to take your car in for repairs, you can save by asking the right questions and shopping around for the best service and price.

1. Ask the right questions

Does the shop honour your car’s specific warranty?
Does the shop display its warranty information?
Does the warranty cover both parts and labour?
Is pricing displayed? You should be able to know immediately how much the shop charges per hour for labour and/or particular jobs.
Are the mechanics in the shop certified by a recognized Canadian body?
Does the shop display training certificates and service awards?
Will the shop provide you with a written estimate?
Does the shop have any complaints lodged against it?
Is the staff helpful and courteous?
Do you feel comfortable asking them questions?

2. Record repairs

Keep a logbook filled with details about every repair made to your car.

Write down who did the work, what it entailed, and when it was done. It will help you know immediately if a suggested repair

5 tips for inspecting a rental car


Whether you’re renting a car for a road trip vacation, a business trip or because your own car has let you down, car rental can be a simple affair if you follow these tips.
1. Go with who you know

It’s generally better to use car rental companies you know and trust, or ones that have outlets where you live.

It’s helpful to get to know the car rental company you’re using so you can familiarize yourself with their process and regulations.

2. Take your time

Regardless of the situation, it’s important that you take your time when signing up for a rental car. Ask questions and have the clerk take you through the agreement to make sure you fully understand it.

Some questions to ask:

Will there be an inspection when you return the car?
What happens if you drop off keys after-hours?
Will the clerk you are signing up with be working when you return the car?
What happens if there is a dispute?

3. Inspect it together

When it comes to the actual inspection of the vehicle, make sure you walk around with the clerk to ensure he or she

5 great tips for a long distance motorcycle trip

Long-distance motorcycle trips can be a wonderful experience, providing plenty of adventure and unforgettable thrills. However, it’s important to properly prepare for, and realise, the challenges that a long-distance motorcycle trip involves. The following five tips should help you avoid any pitfalls, and stay safe and comfortable throughout your ride.
1. Know when to stop

If you’re travelling over 150 km in one day, your body and behind will likely get sore.
You should try not to push 450-700 km in a single day if you can avoid it, as riding multiple days at that rate will put a serious strain on your back.
If you feel fatigued at any point, be sure to stop, or at the very, least take a break.
Riding a motorcycle for long periods of time can be physically and mentally exhausting.
Knowing your limitations is essential to avoiding serious injury and in making sure you’re alert enough to react to danger.
You can extend the length of time you can stay on the road by staying hydrated, eating plenty of healthy snacks, and making sure you’re fit before attempting a longer trip.
You should avoid caffeine and other stimulants, however, as they can quickly make

Best motorcycle road trips

The best motorcycle road trips from California to Australia

For a true motorcyclist, there are few things better than the open road and the following destinations represent the five best motorcycle road trips from California to Australia.

1. Great Ocean Road in Melbourne, Australia

Although this trip is only 180 miles and takes just one day, don’t let the duration fool you into thinking that the Great Ocean Road isn’t worth a visit. Running from Melbourne to Petersborough, you’ll experience spectacular ocean scenery with the wind in your hair. Along the way, you’ll wind through a variety of vegetation, including a rain forest along the shoreline, limestone glaciers and the notorious Shipwreck Coast.
2. Pacific Coast Highway in California

California may be the most populated state in America, but along the Pacific Coast Highway you’ll feel like you are riding in an unpopulated space. Stretching more than 200 miles from San Luis Obispo to San Francisco, this trip will have motorcyclists navigating through hairpin turns that overlook the Pacific Ocean before departing into a vast oasis of redwood forests, isolated beaches and spectacular wildlife.
3. Mae Hong Son Loop in Thailand

In many Asian countries, the motorcycle or scooter is the vehicle of choice because

Tips to obtain a motorcycle license

Tips for obtaining a motorcycle license

In order to drive a motorcycle, you need to have an updated motorcycle license, which is different from the one you need to drive a car. Here are some tips that will help you obtain your motorcycle license.
Study the motorcycle handbook

Motorcycle handbooks for your territory contain all the laws and regulations that are part of the licensing test. It’s easy to download a copy of this handbook from your local motor vehicle agency’s website. Study this guide thoroughly, not just so you can pass the test, but so you know the rules of the road and proper safety procedures. Driving a motorcycle can be dangerous if you’re not aware of the local highway laws.
Apply for a motorcycle learner’s permit

Most areas have different age requirements for getting a learner’s permit or a license. A learner’s permit allows you to drive under certain restricted circumstances so that you can get a little practice before obtaining a permanent license. The restrictions sometimes include driving with a licensed motorcyclist, only during certain times of day or in specified areas.
Practise makes perfect

There is usually a practise period for using your learner’s permit before you sit for the

Expert tips to maximize the lifespan of your car’s tires

How long tires last depends on much more than just quality. Here are some handy tips to maximize the life expectancy of your car’s tires.
Who’s driving the car, where and how?

Ask your mechanic and he’ll tell you… tire wear largely depends on how a car is driven.

Take note if your vehicle is used by the whole family andyou find yourself purchasing new tires too frequently. That suggests at least one person in the family drives with a heavy foot, takes curves a little too quickly, or perhaps brakes at the last moment.

What else wears down a tire?

Bad driving aside, the wear on your tires also depends on your driving environment.

  • In the city and suburbs, there are traffic lights and stop signs at every intersection, not to mention traffic jams.
  • In the countryside, traffic moves more fluidly. Just keep in mind that gravel roads are not to be taken lightly.

Beyond road conditions, other factors include:

  1. Total mileage put on tires and the severity of the seasons.
  2. Air pressure, whether overinflated or underinflated, also impacts the wear and tear of tires. Check the tire pressure each month, in summer and winter.
  3. Improper wheel alignment can also unevenly wear out tires. Have the alignment

What you should know when choosing tires for a 4WD vehicle

A 4×4 vehicle, whose engine turns all four wheels simultaneously, needs special tires. This is what should you know when choosing tires for a 4WD vehicle.
The tires of a 4WD vehicle are very different from ordinary car tires. Designed for the unbeaten path, they have performance characteristics suitable for traveling on rough and uneven roads. For example, they will be more flexible, and their tread patterns are deeper and spaced wider apart for the purpose of providing malleability, improving traction and gripping terrain.
Types of 4×4 tires

There are several types of 4×4 tires. The most common are:

All-terrain tires:There are a wide variety of all-terrain tires with different stud patterns. In general, the intersection of the tread on this type of tire is wider than all-season tires, and is adapted for uneven roads surfaces but is also suitable for paved roads. They are perfect for SUVs and trucks used for both off-road, city and highway driving.

Hybrid Tires:These tires provide outstanding off-road traction and good performance on paved roads. The tread patterns allow it grip better than traditional all-terrain tires. This type of tire is preferred by owners of 4×4 vehicles who ride more kilometres off-road than on the highway.

6 steps to repairing a bicycle flat tire

There’s never a good time to have a puncture, and you should always carry a compact repair kit and some tire levers with you on a two-wheeled outing. Repairing a puncture is a simple process, but it takes time; inserting a new tube is quicker when out on the road.
1. You will need:

Time needed to fix a flat: 10 to 25 minutes.
You will need: two tire levers or flat screwdrivers, wrench, new inner tube or puncture repair kit, and a bucket of water.

2. Here’s how

Take the wheel out. Loosen the nuts or quick-release lever on the wheel axle, then remove the wheel from the frame. (For a rear wheel, lift the chain off the cogs first.)
Insert a tire lever — a plastic tool that you can buy from any cycle store — between the wheel rim and tire. Lever the edge of the tire away from the rim and hook the other end of the lever onto a wheel spoke to keep it in place. Insert a second tire lever about 25 cm (10 in) farther along the rim. Lever away the edge of the tire and run the lever all the way around the rim until

Choosing the best tires for your trailer

There are trailers for all sorts of purposes and tires differ depending on the function. Here’s some sound advice for choosing the best tires for your trailer.
Type of trailer

To determine what type of tires you should buy, first identify what type of trailer you have.

In general, all standard trailers on the market are equipped with resistant and sturdy tires. They are designed to withstand heavy cargo loads while maintaining enough flexibility to handle bumps in the road without breaking. However, depending on how (and how often) you use the trailer and your driving conditions, you may require specialized tires.

Boat trailers, for example, require special tires. Since the trailer will be used to unload a boat into water the tires must have a few distinctive features: specifically, their tread pattern must provide exceptional traction.

Choice of tires

Keep in mind the manufacturer’s recommendations when choosing tires for your trailer. What you must ensure is that you:

  1. Get tires that correspond in size and fit right. The information is on the side of the current trailer tires or in the trailer owner’s manual.
  2. Determine what type of cargo your trailer will transport to make sure the tires can support the weight.

Trailer tires are

13 things your car maintenance schedule should include

Thousands of kilometres on the road wear down your car’s parts. A proper maintenance schedule can help you avoid costly repairs and inconvenient breakdowns. Here are 13 things you should regularly check.

Being a responsible car owner means sticking to a car maintenance schedule. Why? Because the better care you take of your car, the longer it’ll last and the less trouble it’ll give you.
Basic guidelines to follow

When it comes to a schedule, most car experts agree that:

-Regular oil and oil filter services are very important. You should plan for this at least every 5,000–10,000 km or every three months.
-Tune-ups are essential. They ensure your spark plugs, filters and hoses are clean, intact and can do their job. Each piece varies in the amount of time between replacements and depends upon your car’s make and model. A rule of thumb is every 60,000–100,000 km for spark plugs and every 80,000–100,000 km for the belts and hoses.
-An air filter replacement is recommended every 20,000–30,000 km. Fuel filter replacement is recommended only every 50,000–100,000 km.
-Get your car’s timing belt changed every four or five years. If it ever breaks, replace it immediately.
-Add a fuel system additive or cleaner

Preventing and dealing with a vehicle fire

1. Maintenance is the best prevention

Arguably, the best way to prevent a car fire is to go for regular checkups.
Professional mechanics can diagnose issues, such as leaking fluids, before they become major problems. They can also offer solutions and make repairs.
Although it may be inconvenient and costly to deal with the issues now, such foresight can avoid damage and injuries later.

2. Be careful what you carry

Anything that holds flammable liquids, such as lawnmowers or chainsaws, can potentially cause a blaze, so be extra careful when carrying such items in your vehicle.
If you must transport gasoline, such as for emergencies, make sure it’s in a certified gas can that is sealed. Put the container in the trunk and never inside the car.
To prevent noxious fumes from filling your car interior, always open a window for ventilation.

3. Carry a fire extinguisher

A fire extinguisher can prevent a small fire from turning into a major disaster. Look for one that’s compact enough to put it within easy reach in the interior.
Because your vehicle contains different fire hazards, such as gas, oil, wiring, and upholstery, your extinguisher must handle all of them. Look for a dry powder extinguisher that is

4 noises from your car’s suspension that could mean trouble

Noises from your car’s suspension usually mean you’re in for a bumpy ride, especially if the issue isn’t addressed. But what do these different sounds mean and can they be fixed?

Most people think of a vehicle’s suspension as a feature that allows you a smooth, comfortable ride. But when your car or truck begins to sound funny as you go over a speed bump or turn a corner, more than just your comfort is at stake. Here’s why.
How car suspension systems work

Attached to your vehicle’s frame are springs that absorb the jolt of the road’s ups and downs.

The shock absorbers should dampen the shock of the springs’ bouncy movement when they’re in good working order.
Around the shock absorber, is a coil spring called a strut. The strut adds to the shock dissipation.
These parts work together to deliver a smoother ride and to keep your tires firmly on the road, which is why maintaining the proper tire pressure is also critical. Tires are part of the suspension system, too.

Don’t ruin your tires

One clue the suspension system in your car isn’t working properly is an uneven wear pattern on your tires.

Shocks in proper working order should be exerting an even amount of

9 essential tips for buying an extended car warranty

You just bought the car of your dreams and are wondering if you really need an extended warranty. Read on to find out whether or not it’s the right thing for you.
Here are nine key things to consider before purchasing a plan:

1. Do you really need it?

First and foremost, you should ask yourself if an extended warranty is something that you really need.

If you’re purchasing a new car, it will come with a manufacturer’s warranty, whether you want it or not. If you only plan to keep the car for the duration of the original warranty, then it’s unnecessary to purchase an extension.

Knowing how reliable your vehicle is can help you decide whether or not you need an extended warranty. If your model is traditionally known to be reliable, opting out of the extended warranty seems like less of a risk. That being said, it’s never a bad idea to take a portion of what you would have paid for the warranty and put it away in case you encounter future maintenance expenses.

2. The sooner you buy, the better the price

The longer you wait to purchase an extended warranty, the more expensive it gets. Not only will there be

7 smart tips for buying a used car

Buying nearly new is the easiest way to pay less for your car, but you need to make a careful selection. Here are seven smart ways to buy a used car for less, and get exactly what you’re looking for.
1. Consider buying from a dealer

Buying from a dealer may, at first glance, appear more expensive than buying privately, but will provide more recourse in case of problems.
2. Franchised dealerships

Dealerships that sell new and used cars tend to carry used cars that are only a couple of years old. Since many new models can lose up to half their value in the first two years, buying a two-year-old car gets you a half-price bargain that is still in good shape and unlikely to incur high repair bills.

The full warranty may still be current on the car, or they may offer some sort of limited warranty, though there is no legal requirement for this.
A good used car has been checked by the dealership and it should be able to provide some limited assurance of condition.

3. Used-car lots

You will find older and cheaper cars on these lots.

Most provinces require used-car dealers to be registered and to follow minimum requirements for

6 things to help you buy a car that will suit your lifestyle

Knowledge is the best tool for finding the right new car. Here’s how to prepare for the dealership, so you drive away with the car you need.
1. Budget

The first step in buying a car is setting a budget. Carefully consider your income and costs to see how much you can spend, factoring in payments, maintenance, gas, insurance and taxes. Once you settle on a number, you can start looking for cars you can afford.
2. The right vehicle

Choosing the right vehicle depends on your lifestyle and needs. Consider the number of people and kinds of cargo the vehicle will carry, plus how much you’re willing to spend on fuel. Size matters. Smaller cars are harder to handle in snowy conditions while large trucks and SUVs can be difficult to maneuver in many downtown cores.
3. The right model

Having knowledge of important details for specific models shows salespeople you’re serious. Read car reviews and descriptions of similar vehicles from various manufacturers, paying careful attention to complaints about longevity and maintenance. With a basic understanding of the similarities and differences, you can find which model offers the best value within your budget.
4. Features

Extra features can make driving safer and more

4 best money tips for saving up to buy a new car

Buying a car can be a huge investment, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. It can be easy if you take the time to save money strategically.
Learn more about easy ways to save up for a car with the tips below.
1. Set a budget

You might not know what kind of car you want to buy right off the bat, but you should set a spending budget to help you figure out how much you want to spend. That way, you can save up the amount of money you’ll need to buy the kind of car you want. And when it comes time to purchase it, you’ll have the correct amount of money in the bank.
2. Set a time frame

Choose a time frame for when you want to buy the car. If you’re starting to save from scratch, be sure to give yourself a realistic amount of time. Most cars can take at least a year to save for, if not longer. Once you’ve set your time frame, divide the amount you want to spend by the number of months you have to save—and put aside that amount each month.
3. Cut your excess spending

The best

7 great tips to book a one way car rental

Discover the pros and cons of a one-way car rental, and then six tips to help you book your trip and save money along the way.

One-way car rentals are a great way to get from one location to another, without having to return your car to its original location. But one-way car rentals can be hard to get.
Here are some tips to make it easier

1. One-way rentals are often restricted by province, city or country. For example, Hertz allows you to rent a car at one location and return it to any of their Canadian locations — but not their American locations. If you plan to drive to the United States, you will need to inform your rental car company so you have all the proper paper work to cross the border. It is always best to ask about any restrictions or special requirements before you leave on your trip.

2. Some rental companies are more flexible with one-way car rentals than others. Luckily, there are car rental search engines that will let you know your options.

3. If you can pick up or drop off at an airport, you will have a lot more options for a one-way car rental.


Tips for renting a car with an additional driver

When renting a car, follow these tips to make sure you register an additional driver at the best rate you can, with the flexibility you need.

The fun of the open road is greatly reduced when you’re exhausted from doing all the driving. Adding an additional driver to your car rental can help you share driving duties, and also give you some time to enjoy the scenery. Here are some tips for renting a car with an additional driver, to make sure you get the best opportunity you can.
Keep your friends close

It probably goes without saying, but you’ll want to make sure you know the person you’re adding to the car rental contract as an additional driver. Because you’ll both be liable should anything happen, it’s important to make your driving partner someone you trust to reduce the chance of mishaps.
Keep it clean

Most rental outlets have regulations about who can rent a car, and these extend to the additional driver as well. For the most part, these are related to driving record and trying to ensure that anyone who gets behind the wheel is a responsible driver.

Your additional driver will:

Need a valid driver’s licence
Have a driving record clean

5 ways to save big money when you rent a car

Don’t get hosed next time you rent some wheels. Here are five tips to saving money.

The good news is you’re renting a car. That means travel is on the horizon. The bad news is a cheap rate can quickly balloon into big money if you’re not careful. We’ve complied a list of tips beyond bringing your own GPS and car seats so you can keep your wallet safe before you even hit the road.
1. Beware of hidden fees

Oh yes, there are all sorts of hidden fees. Most expensive? When the rental car company has to refill the gas tank. They charge much more per litre than if you were to do it yourself. They’ll slap on other things like taxes, vehicle license and something called an “arena fee”. Best to look at the fine print on the company’s reservation page.
2. Don’t rent at the airport

Convenient? Yes. Expensive? Even more so. Rental companies generally charge you for the privilege of renting so close to the baggage claim. If you can, rent a car from your hotel. Some hotels even offer shuttles from the airport so you can save on cab fare.
3. Decline the insurance

Chances are you don’t need