If we’re not busy riding or scrapping with the pals over
whose rides’ the best among the lot – we’re out shopping the block. Stalking
our favourite sites, we’re scouring the web non-stop, all for the satisfaction
of prancing in front of our friends at the next ride out. Of-course, not all
purchases are worth shouting about. We all make mistakes (some that we wish no
one finds out about) even after years of experience on the clock. Starting out
slow however and adding things along as you go, is still the best bet to
moto-shopping happiness, without the wallet-shock.
Stage 1 – Protection:
You can choose between a slider/traditional guard, or a more comprehensive cage for the engine/frame. It depends on your riding environment and the mounting capabilities of your bike. Basis the level of your Excitebike/ RoadRash thrills, a bash-plate should be next on the list – just to ensure that the under-belly is safe from scrapes and stuff. You might as well pick up some protection for the levers as well if you prefer mucking around in places where there’s no tarmac around. Worth remembering though that when choosing hand-guards, it is better to get the ones with an aluminium back-bone and dual mounting points. They’re that much safer than the single-mount, fibre-only kinds.
Stage 2 – Comfort:
Comfort on a motorcycle can add significantly to the fun you have when riding it. Start with the seats. You can change the fabric, play with the cushion density, add gel inserts or get add-on air-cushions. Go with whatever your bottom agrees with. Besides the seat, you can consider adding an inch or two of lift at the handlebar. You can go for fixed/pivoting risers, or swap out the handlebar itself. Either way, you’ll be amazed at just how it can reduce the strain at the controls.
Besides the two mentioned above, you could try out wider foot-pegs, cleated foot-pegs, brake pedal extensions, dual-level brake pedals, adjustable levers, grips – you name it, you’ll find it.
Stage 3 – Convenience
Things that are nice to have, but not-necessarily deal breakers in the riding experience, can be clubbed under here. Think accessory chargers, mobile holders, GPS units, headlamp & auxiliary lighting upgrades, etc. Mechanical items such as kick-stand extenders, luggage fitments, tail-tidy’s, etc. are typical examples of convenience purchases among us motorcyclists.
Stage 4 – Performance
All the go-faster bits, the stuff that helps eke out the most from the engine & the entire motorcycle come under this category. Carburettor jets/carburettors, to air-filters and performance enhancing booster-plugs – there’s a whole spectrum of performance mods that can be carried out. Sprocket swaps, tire changes, exhausts, replacement ECU’s can give you the next level of performance boost you may be looking for. Just know that the stakes get higher here, as most of the upgrades at this stage also tend to cost a fair deal of money.
The good thing is, that even the bad moto-purchases are completely worthless. Sure you may end up burning some money and not getting much use out of it all. But without them we wouldn’t have so many hilarious tales to point & laugh about when getting together at the next moto-hangout!
About the Author
An accidental writer and unabashed dreamer, I’m a paw-loving analog soul in a digital world. A serial power-napper, you’ll occasionally find me tripping along, one tank of fuel at a time.