6 Popular Motorcycle Mods to Personalize Your Ride
For many riders, modifying a motorcycle is an essential part of making it their own. No matter what kind of stock features a bike comes with, a lot of folks will be itching to get it into the garage and start customizing.
Are you the proud owner of a new bike, ready to hit the throttle on your customizations? Or perhaps you’ve finally got the extra cash to add a few new bells and whistles to a bike you’ve had for a while. Whatever your budget and whatever your taste, we’ve got six great bike mods for you to consider on your journey towards the ultimate speed machine.
1. Crash Bars/Engine Guards/Frame Sliders
Crash bars (also called engine guards or frame sliders) are metal bars that mount onto your bike’s frame and help keep its most important parts safe in a crash. Many motorcyclists choose crash bars as their first mods on a new bike because they’re relatively inexpensive, usually easy to install and serve an extremely practical purpose.
Engine guards won’t save your bike’s engine from a high-speed crash, but they’ll help prevent a minor drop from turning into a major mechanical problem—and as most riders will attest, a drop is going to happen sooner or later. Take note that different crash bar materials are available and have different properties, so do some research and decide which is best for your motorcycle.
2. Luggage Storage
Adding luggage storage mods to your motorcycle is a great choice for anyone who plans to use their motorcycle for long touring runs, but it’s also a practical addition for those who commute on a motorcycle or make two-wheeled grocery runs. Luggage mods also come in a variety of styles.
Panniers are a type of sturdy saddlebags that motorcyclists mount on their bikes. Many riders, particularly those who ride with expensive gear in their saddlebags, prefer the secure attachment of panniers that mount directly onto the frame. For those who want a more versatile solution, try attaching a motorcycle luggage rack to the rear of the bike. You’ll be able to carry just about anything that will fit!
Most motorcycles’ OEM windscreens leave a lot to be desired. The wrong windscreen can blast air straight into your face, or it might be so small and dinky that it barely does anything to cut the wind. That’s why a lot of riders choose to install an aftermarket windscreen.
Windscreens tend to be specific to a particular motorcycle model or family of models, so be sure to look for compatibility with your bike. Consider important factors such as your typical riding speed and your height. And if you like to record your rides with a GoPro or phone camera, choose something that won’t obstruct the view.
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A motorcycle’s exhaust is a key part of its style and personality. There are an almost unlimited number of things you can do to your exhaust, so how you want to mod yours out depends most on your personal taste and performance goals for your bike.
Aftermarket motorcycle exhausts can do anything from providing a little bit more horsepower to simply making the bike louder and more distinctive. Slip-on models are often surprisingly easy to install, while a full replacement exhaust will require more work. Just make sure to check local noise level laws and avoid mods that will make your bike louder than is legal.
5. Suspension Sag Adjustment
It’s not technically a mod, but getting your bike’s suspension sag adjusted is one of the most important ways to customize the bike for your body. A suspension that sits properly will help adjust the bike for your preferred riding style and minimize the effect of bumps in the road.
Suspension adjustments are possible to DIY for an experienced motorcycle mechanic, but beginners should usually leave it to a professional. The process can be a little complex and requires precise measurement, as well as help from a friend who knows what they’re doing.
6. USB Charger
These days, many riders use numerous electronic devices on their ride, such as a smartphone, motorcycle intercom, GPS or Bluetooth motorcycle helmet speakers. When it’s time to charge those devices, adding a USB charger to your motorcycle is a no-brainer, and it’s typically an easy and inexpensive mod to install.
Most motorcycle USB chargers include an SAE cable that allows you to snap the charger directly into your bike’s electrical system with very little fuss. Do remember, however, that your charger may be draining your bike’s battery even when not in use, so make sure to disconnect it when you’re done charging your helmet speakers or whatever other device you use.
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