Keeping the hands in a happy place during long rides is critical to a safe and enjoyable experience. Don’t skimp and opt for dirtbike grips because they aren’t designed for the weight and vibration of a streetbike and will wear out quickly. Spend a little more now and be happier down the road with improved style and comfort.
The two small threaded holes on either side of the swingarm aren’t for attaching training wheels, but rather rearstand swingarm spools. They make jacking the rear up on a race stand quick and easy, not to mention much safer than any sort of car jack balancing act you may have incorporated previously. Various colors and finishes are available so you can have them stand out as functional bling or blend in for that subtle performance feel.
When the weather rises above the 70-degree mark a bike starts getting temperamental, particularly when waiting at a traffic light. First a fan kicks on expressing the bike’s displeasure with the heat, followed shortly thereafter with bubbling coolant. Once the stock fan is running it’s already too late to cool down though, so the key is outright prevention. What if you could turn the fan on manually to keep the engine temp at a reasonable level? Actually—you can.
One of the most common eyesores on any sportbike is a scratched tank. It’s so easy to prevent the blemishes it’s a wonder that more riders haven’t picked up on the part. A tank pad isn’t much of a pad at all, but more of a simple barrier between your zippers, buttons and belts and the gas tank. The designs are as bountiful as Beyonce’s booty so you can find the right pattern to match your style while keeping your tank clean. Some companies will even make custom designs for you so your tank pad can be totally unique.
If there’s a hacksaw in the garage with black plastic shavings stuck to it we have a good idea what you’ve been up to. Nobody likes the look of a stock license plate hanger, and hacksaws have been trimming them down for years. It rarely works out well though, and slicing plastic apart in an attempt to clean up the bike’s lines doesn’t really make sense.
That’s why there are aftermarket fender eliminators. Other folks have put in the time and effort to devise a clean and neat look for your bike’s rear, so spend the money and make it look right. All wiring, hardware and a light to keep it (mostly) legal are usually included with the kits, too.
Installing a power adder like an exhaust or nitrous offers good results after some tedious tuning, but for the ultimate instant gratification there’s nothing like a new sprocket to make your bike feel faster than it actually is. By adding a couple teeth to the rear the bike will feel as if it had a horsepower injection because the power will come on lower in the rev range—where you do the bulk of your riding on the street. Color coordination is available for a little extra spice in an otherwise “all business zone.” Changing a rear sprocket is an easy enough task for most weekend warriors, too.
All of that dark dust on your front wheel didn’t fall from the sky, but rather came from the brake pads as they sacrificed their skin to slow the bike. But if the lever is feeling a little soft and the brakes aren’t biting as hard as they once did, the pads likely need to be replaced. While you’re at the counter ask for a more aggressive pad and you’ll feel a world of difference in stopping power.
Preventing a flat battery is simple and inexpensive, yet they still die by the thousands each winter. A trickle charger simply monitors a bike’s battery and gives it juice when needed to assure it’ll start when the button is pushed. Why take the chance of missing the first ride of Spring? Hook one of these bad boys up and forget about bump starting or buying an expensive new battery every season.
Riders buy all sorts of items yet don’t bother to spruce up the seat. It’s one of the most neglected areas of the bike—but it shouldn’t be.
If your bike needs a new seat cover due to damage then this mod is a no brainer, but even bikes with brand new seats will benefit from a custom cover of your own design or something from the aftermarket to accentuate the stock paint scheme.
Upgrading to an aftermarket windscreen is one of the most common mods on the street, and for good reason. Sportbikes are, after all, race replica machines, designed for riders in a fully tucked position (except during braking when you want the wind blast to help slow the bike). That means riders on the road in an upright position aren’t going to get much use from the stock screen for deflecting wind and bugs.
The solution is in the aftermarket where companies provide taller profiles without destroying the bike’s lines. Most screens come in numerous color options too, so you’re getting better looks and less wind in your face with enough cash left over to fill the tank with the good stuff.
A quick-release gas cap isn’t a mod for everybody because access to your tank is available to anybody who wants it—including sugar-water toting ex-girlfriends and disgruntled neighbors. But if your bike has a safe parking zone (garage) the convenience of a quick-release cap is unmatched. Plus, the various color options add a nice bit of racebike bling.
Still rocking the stock turn signals? Lots of bikes have a cleaned-up tail with sleek indicators, but for unknown reasons still have the bulbous and unsightly stock signals up front. Stop the insanity and install a set of flushmount indicators. They’re a cost effective way to clean up the bike’s lines without losing functionality. From inexpensive plastic all the way up to billet pieces, there’s a flushmount with your name on it.
Attempting to service your bike with anything less than a proper rearstand is futile and certain to end in tears. Car jacks, ratchet straps and cinder blocks all have their place in the garage, but they shouldn’t be supporting your bike.