Friday, January 16, 2009

Ask Dale: Do I Really Void My Warranty By Pulling a Trailer?

Q) "My Harley dealer says if I put a hitch on my bike, my warranty is voided. Can they really do that?" - Bob B.

A) Bob, since warranty work is generally done at the discretion of the dealer, it really depends on the type of trailer you pull, the problem you're having, and the
relationship you have with your dealer.

An informal survey I've made of Harley dealers finds that many take a reasonable position. If the problem you're having with your bike is not related to trailering, they're happy to repair your bike under Harley's warranty program.

Let's say you have a hitch on your bike and you develop a problem with the bike's fuel injection system. Is that problem related to trailering? Probably not. A typical dealer would repair the bike and send you on your way.

Now, let's say you went out and bought a trailer that was not designed for a motorcycle but rather for a car (I've seen bikes pulling trailers designed for cars on more than one occasion). After a couple thousand miles you burn through your clutch or stretch your belt drive. Should your dealer honor the warranty? I wouldn't. Clearly, there is a correlation between the problem at hand and pulling a trailer that's too big for your bike.

So the bottom line is that if you install a proper hitch, good wiring, and pull a trailer designed specifically for motorcycles, you shouldn't have a problem with warranty issues.

If your dealer is adamant that they will not honor your warranty, it's time to find another dealer.

2009 Event Calendar

We've just posted our 2009 event calendar. In addition to the usual shows, we've added a couple new events this year. Among the highlights:

- April 18th - Open House. We'll demo our Rampage bike loader, show how our campers set up and fold, and we'll have trikes for demo rides. Free lunch, too!

- May 3rd - We'll be joining a sport-touring group in Winchester, Virginia for a ride. We meet and return to a common spot, but there are three or four self-guided routes to choose from. Pick the route YOU want to ride, and when you return, join others for dinner to recount the day's ride.

- June 19 & 20 - Camp Night at Blue Grass. One of my favorite events, this camp night benefits the local children's book bank in Blue Grass, VA. This event requires registration and will book early, so visit the link to their site on our web page and get registered. Expect registration to open some time in late January.

- August TBD - We'll host our own camp night at the Brandywine Recreation Area in Brandywine, WV. More details to follow.

Open Road's 2009 Event Calendar

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How to Install a Harley Hitch

We've just posted a new Google video "Installing a Motorcycle Trailer Hitch on a Harley." This demo shows how easily our popular hidden hitch installs. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Santa Trike

When I first spoke to Sam and Darlene Jones in Feb 2008 about converting their Harley to a trike, I new this was going to be a special project.

The Joneses spend their holidays at many special functions that benefit local charities with Sam playing the role of Santa Claus while Darlene, her sister, and other friends and family join in as Santa's Helpers.

Sam's Harley had always been an important part of the holiday program, with kids anxious to see Santa on his motorcycle. As part of the conversion project, Sam and Darlene decided to repaint the bike in a "Santa's Ride" theme with work done by Ed Webster in Ruckersville, Virginia.

We converted the bike in mid-summer and sent it to Ed in September. Over the course of the next couple of months, Ed completely transformed the trike into a spectacular custom ride with dozens of elements of hand-drawn, air-brushed art works.

These pictures are from a local Southern Maryland newspaper. I hope to have more pictures from Ed Webster that show the work in more detail. All-in-all, a great looking ride for a jolly old elf.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Motorcycle Camper Testimonial

I know its a little difficult to judge whether a camper you see on the Internet is something that will work for you, so as I get testimonials from our customers, I'll make sure to post them here.

Darrell Morgan, a rider from Georgia, rode up a few weeks ago to purchase a camper and left in pouring rain, heading for Skyline Drive. Here's what he had to say:

"Dale, it wasn't the very best of weather to leave in last Tuesday. I was a bit nervous with the wet pavement. When I got down to Front Royal I decided to take in the top part of Skyline Drive and maybe spend the night in one of the campgrounds up there. I didn't take long to figure out that one blanket would not be enough so down to Luray I headed. Found a Wal Mart (Heater and sleeping bag) Found a KOA within 10 miles. Perfect first night. All of the old motorcycle riders and campers had to come down and take a look. All were impressed. Love the camper and can't wait till next spring. I'll keep you posted along the way."

Turns out Darrell didn't wait till next spring. He's planning a trip to Two Wheels Only in Suches, GA and has more on the board for this year. In fact, he created a page on his company site, just to show his camper and his adventures:

Darrell Morgan's Mini-Mate motorcycle camper page.

Thanks Darrell - Many happy Journeys!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Video: Mini Mate Motorcycle Camper Setup

This is a short 8-minute video that shows how to set up and take down the Mini Mate motorcycle camper. At only 245 lbs, the Mini Mate is the lightest motorcycle tent trailer available. Despite its small size, it still offers a full-size bed and 15 cubic feet of cargo space.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Note From Steve In Seattle

We recently shipped a trailer to our customer Steve in Seattle and he took a few minutes to drop us a line. Steve purchased an Escapade Elite and sent us a note to say he was really enjoying it, so permission to post his comments. Steve writes:

"I'll endorse this trailer all you want! Loaded, empty, 90 MPH or 5 MPH, it just doesn't matter. I think the suspension is better than the one on my ride! I just made a 500 mile trip with a passenger and half loaded trailer on scenic roads and still averaged 38 MPG on my Wing! I am not only ecstatic with the trailer, but your staff and the support as well! I spoke mostly with Sandy and enjoyed our conversations. She has such a congenial personality you just don't want to get off the phone. I've already recommended Open Road to two of my buddies. I have a 1700 mile trip (round trip) scheduled in July so I will try to send pictures.

Use my endorsement all you want, I couldn't be happier."

Thanks Steve -- Ride Safe!