Getting your bike ready for the shows does not require a giant budget or the skills of a custom motorcycle builder. Riders stand out from the crowd with bikes custom made to suit their personalities and preferences. You can be one of them.
Keep reading to get the top 13 ways to dramatically improve your placement at the bike show, enhance riding performance or just to look badass as you roll up as a spectator.
13 Ways To Trick Out Your Motorcycle Before The Big Bike Show
1. Upgrade The Wheels
If you want to feel like the king or queen of the shows as you roar up, and elicit feelings of rabid jealousy among your fellow attendees, upgrading your bike’s wheels will do the trick. A new set of wheels – or even just one wheel – can dramatically alter the look of your bike when you trick out your motorcycle. There are many styles of motorcycle wheels on the market. The real challenge is deciding on the look and function you like best. Wheels are one of the best modifications for supercharging both the look and performance of your motorcycle. Choose between a solid or spoke wheel, and different finishes from traditional chrome to black contrast cut.
2. Get A Handle On Your Ride
The handlebars are one of the most noticeable features of your bike, so it makes sense that changing them can alter the appearance of your motorcycle in a major way. You should know when choosing a handlebar that both higher and wider bars can make it substantially more difficult for you to hold yourself against windbreak when you are traveling at high speeds. This is because the design spreads you out further in the wind. Wider bars can also make full-lock turns at low speeds awkward to execute. Also, don’t forget about comfort. While ape hangers may look super badass, on long trips they may be a tad uncomfortable.
3. Do Not Settle For Just Any Suspension
While the purpose of the suspension is to provide a comfortable and stable ride, factory-installed suspensions are not designed with a system pre-adjusted for each rider. Any of the several changes you can make to your suspension offer significant benefits including creating a better fit for your dimensions, weight and riding style and improving the way your bike handles.
4. Lower The Suspension
Lowering the suspension of your bike is one of the most noticeable modifications you can make when you trick out your motorcycle. Different riders lower the suspension for different reasons, but doing so can serve more than one purpose. In terms of aesthetics, it gives your motorcycle a long, slow, sleek look. And when it comes to function, a low suspension allows shorter riders to set their feet flat on the pavement when they need to stop at intersections, providing secure footing. Bear in mind, however, that you will sacrifice a bit of comfort and performance if you choose to lower the suspension, as your bike will have less support from the springs.
5. Find The Best Rake Angle
Everyone will remember your motorcycle when you lower the suspension and change the rake. Determining the best rake angle is entirely dependent on what your preferences are when it comes to handling your bike. Decreasing the rake angle will make steering easier, although it will also compromise the stability of the bike when it is traveling in a straight line. Increasing the rake angle will make turning more difficult, but improve the stability of the motorcycle at high speeds and its overall ability to maintain a straight course. Also, when upgrading to larger wheels most of the time rake adjustment is a must.
6. Stretch Out With Forward Controls
The factory design of a motorcycle places your feet beneath your hips with your knees bent. Adding forward controls moves the placement of the foot controls to the front of the bike. This change gives you the ability to brake and shift with your legs outstretched while preserving the distance between the controls and the footpegs.
7. Get New Foot Pegs & Floorboards
If you want to enhance both the style and comfort of your bike with just one part, getting new footpegs and floorboards are the way to go. Different types of footpegs and floorboards suit different situations. For example, forward-facing pegs are the best bet for those who prefer lengthy rides. They allow the rider to stretch out their legs while the bike is in motion.
8. Swap Out Your Seat
Getting back in the saddle, so to speak, is always exciting. However, it can become painful many miles later if your seat is uncomfortable. Many of the comfort complaints from riders are fueled by the fit and shape of the saddle. It if is not a good fit for your unique anatomy, your seat can leave you wishing the road trip would come to an end. You may want to think about investing in a custom saddle that is crafted specifically for you. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort. Lots of the newer low profile custom saddles are equipped with gel inserts and memory foam for maximum comfort and support.
9. Pump Up The Paint Job
You are limited only by your imagination when it comes to customizing your motorcycle with a fresh paint job. Paint your entire motorcycle or just parts of it including the handlebars and rims. The options are virtually endless. Add a design or use a single color all over the bike. Regardless of what you decide to do, the new paint job will make a splash wherever you take it. Want a less permanent solution? You can wrap your bike in film that comes in a variety of sick colors, finishes and special effects. You can even print on some of these film substrates.
10. Show Off With Show Plates
Why should automobiles have all of the fun with vanity plates? Show plates, also referred to as customer number plates, allow you to make a bold statement without saying a word. You can get them offline or online and typically you have a large variety of borders, backgrounds and badges to choose from. Some plate makers will even allow you to make your show plates extremely personal by uploading your own design element. You can also choose a variety of placements on your bike’s rear end and flip the orientation from horizontal to vertical.
11. See The Light
Upgrading your motorcycle’s headlights and tail lights is more about safety than aesthetics. Headlights, riding lights and tail lights serve a critical dual purpose: they illuminate the road and ensure that other motorists can see you. Get the brightest headlights you can find for maximum protection. LEDs also can add color to a bike for riding at night or just showing off.
12. Make Your Fenders Fancy
In a badass way, of course! The sky’s the limit when it comes to customizing your fenders. You can graft on fenders with another bike or modify the stock bodywork if you are not able to find parts for your particular model.
13. Put The Brakes On Boring
Upgrading your brakes may sound mundane, but doing so can supercharge your motorcycle’s performance. Replacing stock brake pads with aftermarket pads ensures longevity, provides a higher degree of friction and decreases occurrences of brake fade. Other effective brake modifications include upgrading the brake master cylinder for high-performance riders and adding braided brake lines for consistent performance. For shows you’ll also see custom matching rotors that have the same design elements as the custom wheels. Larger rotors also allow for better braking and they have more surface for the calipers to grip.
An Easier Way To Fund Your Bike’s Custom Job
The FLEXPAY interest-free payment program makes it easy to trick out your motorcycle regardless of the size of your budget. Get all of the parts you need, like wheels, from the best manufacturers in the business including SMT Machining, American Suspension, Bad Dad and Fat Katz.
FLEXPAY is better than traditional financing because you get a decision within 24 to 48 hours of completing the secure, convenient 5-minute application and we do not conduct credit checks. Once you have been approved, you will start making payments:
- Pay ⅓ of your total balance upon approval
- Pay ⅓ when your parts ship in 8-10 weeks
- Spread the remaining ⅓ out over 3-6 months
Get ready to make everyone at the motorcycle shows you attend wish they were riding your motorcycle! Apply for FLEXPAY today.