After getting a brand new motorcycle, taking it home, gazing at its beauty, and being proud of your decision, something may still feel missing. What that is for most riders is the sense of uniqueness. Having a stock bike, for some, is just simply not enough. This inherently leads them to find new ways to innovate and modify their two-wheeled toys. However, the barriers to completing these changes (like many things) involve the budget.
Some of the "dream parts" and desired modifications can have an intimidating price tag, especially when the rider in question has spent most of their funds on purchasing the bike itself. What motorcyclist need is a set of affordable, well-built, and beneficial upgrades that will not only increase performance, but looks and zest as well. In this regard, here is a list of 10 cheap motorcycle modifications that are sure to turn some heads.
10 Frame Sliders
First on the list are frame sliders. Although the general public may not notice this modification, other motorcyclists will easily pick up on these small changes. Not only do frame sliders have the potential to add to the aesthetics of the bike, but they also aid in safety for both the rider and the motorcycle itself.
Frame sliders serve to (simply) stop the frame of the bike from sliding along the road after an accident. They help to limit damage to the bike when a crash has happened, as well as potentially save the rider from crushing their leg too. Even though this mod can be small, there is still a lot of wiggle room to change it's color, design, and position on the bike. A good example can be found on the mid-2000's Kawasaki 636, who's frame sliders help add to the bike's appearance.
9 Tank Pads
Compared to some of the other potential mods, tank pads are more for visual aesthetics rather than performance. Tank pads are almost sticker-like, where the rider places these decals onto the fuel tank of their motorcycle. The primary objective of tank pads is to limit the amount of contact between the rider's clothing and the painted fuel tank. When motorcyclists constantly lean forward and backwards on their bike, the various zippers and metal pieces of their gear may chip away the paint and add ugly scratches.
This benefit, alone, is outstanding. However, these tank pads also come in various shapes and designs which can be used to just about any style of motorcycle. Pads are, arguably, one of the most common modifications that one can do. And for good reason: They look amazing and offer a valuable service.
8 Fender Eliminator Kits
Like tank pads, fender eliminators are more about visual appearance than performance, although, the reduction in weight can help to achieve a similar result. Fender eliminator kits are pretty self-explanatory. They simply remove parts of the bike's stock fenders to give the motorcycle a better-looking appearance.
Most of these delete kits revolve around the tag area, removing the plastic plate, ugly blinkers, and making the rear more "slick" and less cluttered. With this simple mod, riders will surely turn a few extra heads. This phenomenon is chiefly due to the more race-like look of the rear end.
7 Swingarm Extensions
If you've ever been on a motorway before, there is no doubt you have witnessed a motorcycle with a swingarm extension. Swingarm extensions, in layman's terms, put the rear tire and rear axle of the bike further back. This, in turn, increases traction off the line. Since the wheel-base is longer and the tire is further back, there are fewer chances of the bike wheelie-ing when the rider pins the throttle.
This mod does not only help with speed and traction but also has the potential to make the bike look even better (as long as it is done well). Motorcycles with a "tasteful" swingarm extension appear longer and mimic the design of drag bikes.
Just try not to go overboard with this modification, as it can make a bike look more silly than cool if it is done without much care.
6 LED Light Kits
Once again, this is a mod which is used primarily for visuals rather than outright speed or aerodynamics. Along with good looks, light kits also add a degree of safety and visibility for motorcycle riders. Similar to a loud exhaust system, having an array of bright lights surrounding the bodywork of a motorcycle will help other motorists see your bike before they might have otherwise. L.E.D. light kits are especially effective during night time rides, where drivers can't see as well as they normally do.
Additionally, most light kits come in several different colors. With an array of choices for colors, strobing patterns, and placement of the bulbs themselves; customization options are virtually unlimited. This gives the rider plenty of room to decide how they want their specific bike to look and is unlikely that one bike will look identical to another.
5 Brake Pads
Many riders focus on trying to go faster, but very few ponder the importance of being able to stop. Brakes are, without a doubt, one of the most important components to having a fun and safe riding experience. The last thing you need is a failure that can cause terrible injuries, so it is best to modify and improve the capabilities of your brake systems, even with something as simple as performance pads.
To the untrained eye, this particular modification won't be noticed, mostly due to their smaller size and being somewhat hidden behind a series of rotors and forks. So, the brakes themselves may not turn many heads, but the newfound ability to stop on a dime surely will.
4 Custom Windscreen
For sportbike riders, the stock windscreen can be quite tedious and even useless. The best way to fix this is by getting an aftermarket/custom windscreen. This will not only improve comfort during long rides but also has the potential to really alter the appearance of any motorcycle.
Furthermore, good looking windscreens aren't very expensive. Some may believe that they need to drop over $100 to get something decent when, in actuality, trusted companies make products like those for less than $50.
One thing that is really insufficient being left stock is the tires. Although the tires from the factor (or from the seller) seem fine, the odds are that they will need replacing before too long. Not only this, but they are more than likely not as good as some of the higher end compounds offered by Michelin and Pirelli.
New tires also offer better grip and handling. There is a reason why competitive racing series, such as MotoGP and World SBK, have new tires and different types of rubber for every situation.
As far as looks, new tires have a particular shine to them too. The rubber glistens a reflective black and makes the rest of the bike even better in conjunction. It shows that the rider cares about its maintenance and has good taste too.
2 Flush Mount Lights
Like the fender eliminator kits, flush mounts give the motorcycle a cleaner and more sleek presence. Flush mount lights are, essentially, turn signals or front/tail lights that sit more snugly against the bodywork, rather than protruding out as the factory blinkers do.
They don't offer much in terms of performance, however, their appearance more than makes up for it. This is one of the best modifications someone could do to their bike's exterior without spending much at all.
The number one mod on this list is a new exhaust. There are many reasons as to why this one takes the top spot, primarily though is its sound. Literbikes (Motorcycles with 1000cc + engines) with the right aftermarket exhaust sound like 4-Rotor group C race cars screaming down the street. The noise they make could wake an entire neighborhood or even shatter glass.
Exhaust improve performance and awe in other motorists, but they also aid in safety too. Believe it or not, a loud exhaust system is more often than not better on busy roads, as it alerts other drivers to your presence near them.
Similar to light kits, it's very hard to miss someone riding next to you on the road with such a distinct sound and appearance.