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Can installing aftermarket auxiliary lights and other accessories damage your motorcycle?

Do you have a bunch of electrical aftermarket accessories, and are worried they may be damaging your bike?

Can installing aftermarket auxiliary lights damage your motorcycle?

If you ride yourmotorcycle on a daily basis, day in and day out, chances are you’re considering, or have already installed a variety of aftermarket accessories centered towards safety and convenience. Now this is all well and good as it makes your journey a whole lot easier, and sometimes even safer, especially when it comes to improving your visibility at night. However, did you ever stop and think that maybe these accessories are putting a strain on your bike’s electrical system?

It's worth noting that most motorcycles make use of a 12 volt charging system, and in theory, should be able to run most aftermarket electronic accessories designed for a 12 volt application. That being said, when it comes to fitting electronic stuff to your bike, it’s always best to make sure you’re doing it right, as making a mistake on such a delicate system on your motorcycle could be an expensive lesson to learn. Here are a few important things to consider when it comes to fitting your beloved steed with aftermarket electrical accessories. 

Make sure the accessories are made for your bike and are from a reputable manufacturer

Motorcycle auxiliary lights

It always pays to do your research before pulling the trigger on any major purchase. This includes upgrades and accessories for your motorcycle. Yes, it may be very tempting to buy the cheapest set of knockoff auxiliary lights from Shopee or Lazada, but is it really worth ruining your motorcycle and being slapped with a hefty repair bill should the products fail to meet their claims? Of course not. 

This is why it is absolutely essential to do your research first and make sure the products you’re looking for are indeed compatible with your motorcycle. Check reviews, as well as the history of the specific item you’re looking for. Are the reviews generally positive? Is the manufacturer a mainstream brand with warranty coverage? Once you’re sure the parts are going to work, take it to a professional mechanic who knows what they’re doing. This is especially true if it involves cutting and splicing wires from your motorcycle’s wiring harness—a job you absolutely want to get right the first time around. 

Moderation is key

Sportbike with neon underglow

While it may be true that fitting a pair of fog lights and maybe a phone charger will do your bike zero harm, it’s important to take moderation into consideration. Remember, manufacturers produce motorcycles out of the factory to be capable of withstanding the electrical load of its stock, or as-standard electronic accessories. Understandably, adding too many accessories such as multiple sets of high-power auxiliary lights, a loud horn, or maybe even a full-on sound system, could simply be too much for your bike to handle. 

Once your motorcycle’s electrical system is constantly overloaded, you’re practically opening up a Pandora’s box of potential electrical gremlins. For starters, your battery could take a serious hit and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere. Furthermore, higher-end, performance-oriented machines manifest electrical problems in many different ways, some of which can be incredibly difficult to diagnose. All that being said, it’s best to consult a trusted mechanic, as well as the forums specific to your specific motorcycle before installing any major aftermarket modifications. 

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