Upgrading your motorcycle can be one of the most exciting parts of the ownership experience. Like most things in life, we often like making our motorcycles more our own by fitting them with upgrades and accessories. While a lot of upgrades can be made without much detriment to the overall health and performance of our beloved machines, there are a few which you need to think twice about installing, especially if you want to get the most out of your bike in terms of longevity and performance.
Multiple sets of auxiliary lights
Indeed auxiliary lights are a useful upgrade,especially if you have any plans of riding your motorcycle to far away places once the sun has set. While most bikes are capable of handling one set of driving lights, installing multiple sets of lights can have a significant draw on your bike’s electrical system, so much so that the stator is unable to keep up with the voltage. Naturally, this could result in the premature wear of your bike’s electrical system, with parts like your battery, stator, regulator/rectifier taking the brunt of the damage.
Furthermore, when installing any form of electrical accessory to your bike, make sure you take it to a reputable shop that knows exactly what they’re doing, as any shortcuts in installing these accessories could lead to short circuits in your bike’s electrical system—an expensive problem that can sometimes be a huge pain the neck to solve.
Most motorcycles come out of the factory equipped with exhaust systems that are extremely quiet and restrictive so as to conform with noise and emission standards, as such installing an aftermarket exhaust pipe is a common, if not ubiquitous choice among motorcycle owners. While you’ll most likely not have any issues with installing a slip-on system, installing a full exhaust system on the other hand, may necessitate further upgrades. In most cases, a full exhaust system will require an ECU remap in order to reduce backfire and optimize fueling. A free-flowing exhaust system usually results in a leaner air-fuel mixture, so an ECU reflash can correct this by adjusting the engine’s air-fuel ratio accordingly. This will result in power gains across the rev range, as well as overall smoother performance.
Major engine upgrades
Of course it goes without saying that any major upgrades to your motorcycle’s engine will pretty much put reliability and dependability in the back seat. High performance and reliability don’t usually come hand-in-hand, and installing a big piston kit on your motorcycle's engine may very well increase horsepower output, but it will certainly increase the heat and overall stress of the engine, while operating at load. In addition to all this, just like installing a full exhaust system, installing major engine upgrades, will undoubtedly necessitate an ECU tune or reflash. On top of that, you may need to purchase support and modifications, such as an upgraded air filter, upgraded exhaust system, injectors, and spark plugs.