It goes without saying that motorcyclists enjoy customizing one’s own motorcycle for the fun of it. After all, modifying a motorcycle to suit a rider’s wants and needs can be one of the most satisfying things anyone can do to their ride. Modifications such as a tire upgrade or a mirror style change can do much for your motorcycle’s feel, performance, and look. However, there are definitely some modifications which are not worth your time, money, and effort—here are 5 common motorcycle modifications you don’t need.
LED light conversions
Factory headlights, especially among older motorcycles, aren't always the brightest. In pitch dark environments, it may be difficult for some motorcycles to get enough light on the road. As such, some riders may decide on converting their current halogen bulbs to LED units. However, headlights which are not designed to house LED bulbs only scatter light to the environment and do not direct light beams properly onto the road ahead. This results in poor quality lighting, wasted electrical energy, and motorists who become victims of the light scattering from the LED light. If you’re thinking of upgrading the lighting system of your motorcycle, you’re best off with a high powered halogen bulb upgrade, or having proper accessory lights installed on your motorcycle.
Loud exhaust systems
Hearing the rumble of your motorcycle’s engine can be one of the most satisfying sounds a rider can enjoy—we love hearing our engines sing after all. However, extremely loud exhaust systems are not only illegal but can be detrimental to your eardrums, and your motorcycle's performance. Louder is not always faster nor is it always better. Your stock exhaust system is expertly engineered by your manufacturer to provide optimal performance without destroying your ears. If you’re chasing performance, your money is better spent on full system exhausts from major exhaust manufacturers. If you’re looking for an audible rumble from your exhaust, a quiet slip-on exhaust with a baffle may do the job.
Pannier racks and bags
If you’ve ever considered going on a long trip with your motorcycle, you may have thought of installing a pannier rack to haul all of your clothes and personal items in. However, motorcyclists who do have panniers installed can often attest to the fact that these bags don’t often get used to full capacity. Panniers make for a great option if you’re going for a long trip that requires you to take more than just a few days worth of clothes and personal items, such as camping equipment or other leisurely items. If you’re looking for luggage options for a simple trip out, a rear rack paired with a storage box and a few securely tied bags can do the trick—leaving you with a bit more money to spare for other important accessories.
Cheap phone mounts
Our mobile phones are arguably one of the most important devices for day-to-day activities. When choosing a phone mount for your motorcycle, it would be wise to spend an extra penny for a phone mount of better quality to keep your device safe. Cheap phone mounts often come in the range of P150 to P500, and are often made out of cheaper materials that corrode, rust, and soften up within a few months which might require you to spend twice or thrice on a phone mount within the span of a year. It would be wise instead to use that money on a more reputable phone mount that costs north of P1000 but can last over 1 year while securely holding your phone with the help of better engineering and materials. Some phone mounts come with vibration dampeners as well, which will help protect the internal components of your phone through rough and imperfect road conditions.
Fork or shock extenders
Known to be more common with old school cruisers, dual-sport motorcycles, and standard motorcycles, fork cap extenders, and rear shock extensions are some of the more unsafe modifications you can make to your bike. Not only is it structurally unsafe, but drastically changing the suspension geometry of your motorcycle can have adverse effects on the way your motorcycle rides and can pose a safety risk. If you’re thinking about having your motorcycle sag a bit less and sit a bit higher, your money is better spent replacing your fork oil and shock oil with a heavier weight or having your preload adjusted.