It doesn’t matter what motorcycle you ride, chances are you want to add a dash of aesthetic flair that makes the bike more your own. Perhaps you’ve just purchased your first scooter, or maybe you’re a veteran rider with years of experience under your belt who has just purchased a shiny new liter-class sportbike. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to spruce up your ride with accessories that could elevate its overall aesthetic.
Before we get to the rundown of accessories, it’s important to note that there are certain rules and regulations when it comes to the level of modification you subject your motorcycle to. So always keep in mind when adding or replacing parts on your bike, that you must always ensure that your upgrades fall within the legal parameters prescribed by the LTO. Additionally, the aesthetics of a motorcycle are indeed a subjective thing—so what may be cool to you, might not be as nice for someone else. That being said, here are the top 5 subtle aesthetic mods we think are best for your bike to make it stand out.
The first subtle modification you can add to your motorcycle isn’t solely an aesthetic mod. In fact, tank grips and pads make for pretty solid ergonomic enhancements which could make your motorcycle even safer and more stable to ride. Additionally, tank grips make for pretty cool aesthetic pieces, as they give your motorcycle a more sporty appearance.
Now, tank grips and tank pads come in all shapes and sizes, and occupy various price segments. For starters you could cop a set of generic cut-it-yourself tank grips online for around P500. If you have a popular sportbike or naked bike like the Kawasaki Ninja 400, or KTM 390 Duke, higher end name brands like Oxford and Stomp Grips manufacturer tank grips and pads specifically for your bike.
Bar-end side mirrors are a common modification done to all types of motorcycles. Both big bikes, scooters, and underbones alike can be seen sporting this accessory. Although usually not having any functional benefit to the rearward visibility of your motorcycle, there’s no denying that they give the bike a unique look. Additionally, the installation of bar-end mirrors is practically a universal fit, either using bolt-on units, or once that slot inside the ends of your handlebar.
Bar-end mirrors are a dime a dozen on online shopping platforms like Shopee and Lazada. However, buying cheap bar-end mirrors can be quite a gamble given the variance in quality that these manufacturers offer. Sometimes, your bar-end mirrors can be too zoomed in, making it extremely difficult to see what’s behind you. It’s best to buy bar-end mirrors that you can actually see before fitting them onto your bike, just to be sure that your ride remains as safe as possible.
The next modification in our list is both an aesthetic and audible mod that, when executed correctly, can drastically improve the aesthetic as well as the sound of your beloved steed. There are a few caveats, however, when it comes to modifying your motorcycle’s exhaust. For starters, several local governments have their own respective ordinances when it comes to aftermarket exhausts. Additionally, per LTO mandates, your exhaust must not exceed 99 dB at 2,500 RPM.
Admittedly, swapping out your motorcycle exhaust can be rather risky as some motorcycles require an ECU tune in order to run the exhaust system efficiently. Other cases, a faulty exhaust system that your engine hasn’t been tuned to could cause some problems with your O2 sensors. That being said, tread lightly when it comes to modifying your exhaust.
Another popular motorcycle modification among sportbike and naked bike enthusiasts is a tail tidy. Also known as a fender eliminator kit, a tail tidy can give your bike that iconic cropped tail look giving it an unmistakably sporty aesthetic. This comes particularly in handy because most sportbikes come with bulky, and unsightly stock rear fenders.
That being said, there are a few things to consider when opting for this modification. Of course, if you remove your rear fender, you subsequently allow all the dirt, mud, and water to fling up and land directly on your back and your helmet. This could result in your fancy riding gear getting all gunked up after a rainy ride.
Wheels and tires
For dual sport motorcycles, cafe racers, and scramblers, changing out your tires can massively change the bike’s aesthetic. For instance, stock dual sport bikes usually come with tires designed for optimal performance for both street and off-road use. Fitting a set of trai-spec tires not only improves you bike’s off-road capabilities, they give it a more aggressive and sporty look.
Scramblers and cafe racers can also receive a nice aesthetic boost from a set of wider tires. Knobby tires on a scrambler exude ruggedness, while semi-slicks on a cafe racers give off that timeless race aesthetic. Having said all that, it’s important to take into account the effect a specific type of tire could have on the way your motorcycle handles.
The last modification on our list will drastically alter both the look as well as the ergonomics of your bike. Most sportbikes and cafe racers come equipped with relatively aggressive clip-ons. It is, however, not uncommon for sportbike riders to upgrade their bikes to sport even more aggressive clip-ons. This type of setup is mostly beneficial for the track, so doing this kind of modification on a daily rider will definitely result in an aching back and sore wrists.
Dirt bikes and scramblers can also benefit from wider bars—not only do they provide more leverage, they also make the bike look extremely aggressive. A good set of handlebars can also reduce weight, making the bike feel more nimble and light on its feet.
So there you have it. A rundown of 6 different subtle motorcycle mods that can make your bike look better and standout in a crowd. As mentioned, always take caution in modifying your motorcycle, as each upgrade you make on your bike will, in one way or another, change the way your bike performs.