We’ve all been there—the feeling that our motorcycle doesn’t seem to be pushing out enough power when we need it. Perhaps we feel that we’re ready for a bit more power or feel that we’ve simply gotten used to the capability of our motorcycle. If you’ve found yourself in a slump with how your motorcycle has been performing but aren’t ready to spend a bit for a new motorcycle, there are still a few things you can do to reignite a bit of life between you and your motorcycle. Here are 5 cost-effective modifications to make your motorcycle faster.
If you’re looking to increase your motorcycle’s acceleration and are alright with sacrificing a bit of top speed for a significant increase in torque, then a sprocket modification might do some good for your riding style. Riders can typically go 1 to 2 teeth down on the front sprocket and go 3-5 teeth up for the rear sprocket in order to increase torque experienced at the wheels. Your motorcycle may sacrifice a bit of top speed, but your motorcycle’s engine will feel a lot peppier and alive. Jumping from stoplight to stoplight will feel like an absolute blast with a sprocket change and can certainly breathe new life into how your engine performs.
Maximizing speed through corners can also excite the riding experience and give riders the confidence in knowing that there is more available grip at the wheels that can be relied on. When choosing tires, it’s important to stick to the specification of your manufacturer in order to achieve the best results. Choosing to go wider will make your acceleration feel more sluggish, and narrower tires might not provide enough cushion for everyday riding. Stick to the stock tire specs of your motorcycle and find a tire compound that’s at least one level up from the ones you have on now. Do note that grippier tires don't often last as long as economy tires, but will surely put a grin on your face as you ride through corner after corner.
Brake pads and lines
Upgrading your brake hardware with performance brake pads and steel braided brake lines can also help make your motorcycle go faster. While it does seem contradictory to invest in stopping power for increased speed, having a better braking system will allow you to brake a little bit later and finetune your braking technique in order to carry out a higher average speed when riding spiritedly or on the race track. Steel braided brake lines will help reduce brake fade when you’re consistently hard on the brakes. As for brake pads, street performance can be improved with sintered brake pads. These brake pads typically wear out rotors faster due to their material but provide a strong initial bite for that responsive feel.
Suspension is perhaps one of the most overlooked motorcycle components and often gets overshadowed by the array of engine modifications when achieving faster speeds. Having a properly tuned suspension set can greatly increase your confidence in riding fast. It will allow you to feel the road a lot better and will provide you with a better feel of grip through acceleration, braking, and cornering. Adjustable suspension can be dialed in by your dealership or a bonafide suspension tuning shop. Preload, rebound damping, and compression damping must be set for rider weight and riding style in order to achieve the best results. Non-adjustable components on the other hand could be upgraded to reputable and adjustable components, or can simply be maintained to provide optimum performance even as the suspension component ages.
While not necessarily a modification, basic maintenance is perhaps one of the most important things you can do for your motorcycle in order to ensure that it performs as best as possible given your current components. Chain cleaning and lubrication will smoothen out power delivery and can even increase power. Replacing an air filter can help restore lost horsepower. Inflating your tires to the correct air pressure will maximize grip and feedback to the rider. Repairing damaged suspension will help provide more grip and confidence in your machine, and regular engine oil changes will protect your engine from wear.