Those First Sportbike Mods
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Those First Sportbike Mods

This article will make suggestions on how to improve your new sportbike.

OK. you just picked up the new sportbike. Man, she sure is purdy. And she's fast too. I love just looking at her in the garage. Sound Familiar? It should be if you have ever purchased a new sport motorcycle. Your spouse or significant other still really doesn't understand why you spend so much time out there in the garage, do they?

What am I going to change first?

Actually, you probably know exactly what you are going to do. You have been planing every detail of this purchase for months, maybe years. You may have even pre-purchased these parts and they're sitting in your garage right now. Before modding your bike, you need a few necessities.

  1. Service Manual for your bike. Download a PDF version or buy the factory service manual paperback
  2. Metric mechanics tools. Buy some decent quality. I just picked up some Kobalt tools from Lowe's. Excellent quality at fair prices. They are better than Sears Craftsman. Check out Kobalt.
  3. Motorcycle stands. You really need a rear stand. The front stand can wait a little bit. Buy the Pitbull brand if you can fit it in the budget. Pitbull stands will last a lifetime.
  4. Shop towels, rags, old t-shirts, sponge, brush, hose........you know

It's not a good idea to start tearing apart your bike before you have the basics, OK? Everyone wants to spend a fortune and mod their bike to death in the beginning. It's only natural. Everyone wants their bike to be unique, one of a kind.

Here's a list of the first 8 mods you might make that won't totally break the bank:

Frame sliders:

Frame sliders will save the sportbike rider money, plenty of money. Frame sliders will protect the frame and much of the plastics in a tip-over at a gas station or even in your driveway or garage. A simple tip-over or drop can easily cost you $750 in damage. Sportbikes are fragile toys. There are no-cut and fairing cut sliders available. Buy the no-cut variety. Eventually you may want to remove your frame sliders and buy rails or a cage.

The more you spend on frame sliders the better they are in most cases. Look for delrin plastic, heavy duty bolts and billet aluminum. Frame sliders won't help much in a serious crash. They won't hurt, though. Some popular frame slider brands include:

  1. Sho-gun
  2. Vortex
  3. Sato
  4. Evo-Tech
  5. GSG
  6. Motovation
  7. Speedy-Moto

Fender Eliminator or Undertail:

Most of us want to get rid of that big ugly rear mudguard the manufacturer has decided to hang out on the rear of the bike. This rear fender usually supports the turn signals, the tail light and the tag. The fender adds weight which is the enemy for the sportbike rider. Look at fender eliminators from Competition Werkes.

Adjustable Front Brake and Clutch Levers:

Consider this mod even before the inevitable exhaust mod, OK? Sure, the front brake lever is adjustable from the factory for many modern sportbikes, but the clutch lever is not. Clutch lever pull can be substantial in some bikes. An adjustable lever can make this clutch pull more comfortable and less fatiguing.

Levers are available in regular length and shorties. Most go with the shorties. After you've ridden awhile, you'll want to go back to the long version. Well, it happened to me anyway. I've been riding for 30 years. Buy the cheap knock-offs sold on ebay at your own risk. You'll have a little more piece of mind if you buy the name brands like:

  1. Pazzo
  2. ASV
  3. CRG
  4. Rizoma
  5. Brembos are very expensive but maybe the only thing available for your OEM Brembo clutch and front brake master cylinder

Aftermarket Exhaust:

Almost every new rider wants one of these. I mean the OEM exhaust is just too quiet, right? I've got a suggestion. Ride your bike for at least a few weeks with the stock exhaust. It may grow on you. Your buddies will understand if they really are your friends.

Some new bikes have an excellent exhaust from the factory. Most are too quiet and sound really restricted. You may find that you actually lose performance when you install that slip-on, though. The slip-on does sound much better, doesn't it? When you are searching for that exhaust, go online and listen to some You Tube videos. There are tons of them. You won't get the true sound, but it will be close.

Hold off on that full competition exhaust for a little while unless you just absolutely have to have it. It's only going to be good for 8 to 15 HP realistically. It will be very light though. It will sound fantastic.

Some Popular Slip-On Exhaust manufacturers:

  1. Yoshimura
  2. Two-Brothers
  3. M4
  4. Akrapovic
  5. Leo Vince
  6. Graves
  7. Arrow
  8. Arata
  9. Devil
  10. Vance & Hines

Aftermarket Windscreen:

Everyone has one of these also, don't they? Windscreens are available in many colors. Most riders install a dark smoke or light smoke. Eventually you will get back to an aftermarket clear screen. Note: If you use a tank cam, the clear screen will be much better. I have a lite smoke and a clear one. I change it out when i feel like it. Just buy some more well-nuts for the extra screen and you can change it out in a few minutes.

Price and quality are closely related like most sportbike mods. There are screens available in many styles. You can get double bubble screens, touring screens, race screens and adjustable screens. Screens aren't too expensive for the most part. You will probably buy several from different manufacturers over the next few years.

I guess I've owned at least 20 screens mostly from different manufacturers. Look at the MRA brand. I've found this brand to be the best so far. It's made in Germany and imported from England. Here's a short list of the more popular windscreen makers:

  1. Zero Gravity
  2. Puig
  3. Fabbri
  4. MRA
  5. Hotbodies (not highly recommended)
  6. Magicalracing (super expensive)
  7. Sportech

Aftermarket Grips:

New sportbike riders like to customize their bikes with grips featuring their bike's manufacturer name. There might be a model name on these grips too. Grips are relatively cheap. They cost less than $30.00 a pair. They're easy to install. I usually change out grips one a year just for the hell of it.

The standard OEM grips on your bike are damn good. Consider just keeping them.. They should last a couple years. I've tried all kinds of grips from the gel grips to foam grips and even broom handle covers. There are those knurled aluminum grips. I wonder how comfy they are. They do look cool. Yea, there are the chrome grips and the spiked grips too.

You might try these brands in grips:

  1. Pro-grips
  2. Spyder grips
  3. Harris grips
  4. Renthal grips
  5. Driven grips
  6. Rizoma grips

Tank Pads:

This is a very popular mod that doesn't cost a lot. This is a stick-on piece of soft plastic or carbon fiber that protects the rear of the gas tank when the rider is rubbing against it. Does it do a lot to protect the tank paint? Not really, but it looks cool and every rider seems to have one. Some of the newer bikes come with a tank pad standard from the factory.

Tank pads are available online from countless vendors. You will find them at your local dealership and Cycle Gear too. I used to use them. I use the stomp grip tank panels now. There is a universal v-shaped rear tank pad from stomp available.

Front Brake Reservoir Sock or Cozy:

This mod is an absolute necessity, isn't it? If you don't have a sock, you just aren't cool. This mod is supposed to either catch leaking brake fluid from front brake reservoir or protect the brake fluid from breaking down due to being exposed to the sun.

OK, there is some oceanfront property for sale in Kansas I saw for cheap. You interested? These things are cool. I use them. I buy mine at amazon for twenty bucks, but they can be found in tons of places. Note: If you have a hydraulic clutch, you will surely want a sock for your clutch master cylinder reservoir too.

Conclusion:

These upgrades or mods are fairly common for the new sportbike or sport touring rider. You maybe able to complete all these mods for $1,000.00 more or less. The next regular mods are going to start costing more money. You are going to need new tires soon. That may cost you $350.00.

We will never get done modding our bikes. Well, unless we have an older classic that we have restored to be original. Funny how a 30 year old bike looks fantastic just as it came from the factory. So keep all your OEM parts. When it comes time to sell, turn your bike back to stock. The bike will sell faster and for money if it's 100% original.


Street Talk

They're not doing too well in Florida in general. Until the construction industry comes back, the Florida economy will remain extremely weak. But that means it will only get better, right?

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Bike sales are going up great read here.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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