Saving with 6abc: Pet cleanup and motorcycle care

March 26, 2013 3:02:53 PM PDT
We've got ways to save for pet owners and motorcycle riders.

Consumer Reports has found a relatively inexpensive vacuum to keep your house virtually pet-hair free.

"Dog hair is everywhere, but it's just something that we have, we put up with," says Samantha Boege).

But you don't have to put up with it! Consumer Reports testers evaluated more than 100 vacuums, including uprights and canisters, bagged and bagless. To size up performance, testers go to great lengths. First, they measure exactly five grams of pet hair and spread it over a piece of carpet. Then they use a weighted roller. Next, testers weigh the vacuum, then vacuum for 14 strokes.

After that, the vacuum gets weighed again, so testers know exactly how much hair it picked up. They also check the carpet for any hair left behind.

In the end, one of your best deals is the $130 Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Rewind. This bagless upright offers impressive cleaning and superb pet hair pickup.

But emptying any bagless vacuum can be a dusty, messy affair so if you have allergies, a vacuum with a bag is a better choice.

For that, Consumer Reports recommends a Kenmore Progressive upright, model number 31069. It's $200 and available at Sears.

Motorcycle Savings

Motorcycle riders, pay attention. Consumer Reports surveyed more than 4,000 motorcycle owners to see which are most reliable. Turns out - Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Honda seem to require the fewest repairs.

But the survey also showed owners of Harleys and BMWs were among the most satisfied with their bikes. No matter which brand you buy, by following basic owner maintenance procedures you can keep repair costs down.

For instance, replace $50 brake pads before they're worn down to save you hundreds on damaged rotors and other parts. Also, keep your tires properly inflated. If your motorcycle calls for premium gas, use it.

If your motorcycle is going to sit for any period of time, be sure to add fuel stabilizer to a full tank of gas.