In the motorcycle culture, squids are often a source of open mockery. Too many rookie motorcycle owners make far too many mistakes in how they handle a bike. Many of them involve behavior such as trying to show off too much and believing stunts one sees on TV can easily be performed in real life.
An even bigger issue is that squids tend to go overboard on modifications on their motorcycles and that makes them the subject of many jokes. Most involve trying to make a bike look “cooler” via unnecessary decorations—such as slapping multiple stickers on the frame, which just makes it look worse. There are also attempts to modify engines, which can cause major problems. Too many squids have little to no experience in motorcycle maintenance and more than a few repair shops are lining their pockets by fixing their mistakes.
The mods can be incredibly foolish and often lack common sense in basic motorcycle rules and maintenance. They can alter a bike far too much and make it harder to drive. They can just look ugly while other times can appear to be damaging and annoying for other drivers. And in a few cases, these mods can actually cross the line and be completely against the law—and yet squids continue to use them. These mods are nowhere near as effective as squids think yet continue to pop up on roads a lot. Here are 20 mods squids just don’t realize are pretty much useless and only serve to make them look more foolish to serious bikers.
20 Steering Dampers
On some bikes, steering dampers can be a good idea. They can help increase the control and speed by aiding the steering system's output. The issue is that not all bikes need them and they can actually hurt a bike because having them slows the steering down. Squids will make the error of adding dampers to a perfectly good bike that already has great balance. Perhaps they’re just paranoid about the slightest wobble equaling a huge accident and they think they're “better safe than sorry.” Ironically, this is one “safety mod” that can hurt a bike more because the slower steering means it's harder to make a turn at the right moment.
How this got started is beyond anyone’s guess. It’s one thing to have a furry seat because that can seem a bit comfortable for long rides. Nowadays, squids go the extra mile by wrapping their bike in animal furs, either real or fake, and think it’s terrific. It obviously isn’t and it looks terribly tacky and is a source of derision in the biking world. Plus, fur does not interact well with moisture and even a puddle or sprinkler can cause it to be soaked and thus, hurt the bike’s body. It just looks absolutely terrible and yet it's amazing how it seems to have caught on with squids.
18 Skulls and Flames
It’s one thing if a biker is in a club of some sort and wants to stand out. A lot of squids are not members and so the idea of making their bike look like some sort of monster machine isn’t that impressive. In fact, most real serious bikers openly snort that the more someone adds flames, skulls, or other “intimidating” art to their bike, the more it proves they’re a squid. It doesn’t buy you “street cred” and even makes a bike look much worse. It also turns an otherwise perfectly good bike into an ugly machine that gets reactions of laughter. A newbie biker is better letting their bike speak for itself rather than decorating it.
17 Stretching Out
Okay, in some cases, stretching a motorcycle can be required. It can help for taller bikers who need some more space to move. It also is helpful for racers because it can increase their speed. Sadly, this has made too many random bikers think they should do the same thing for their bikes. This leads to the frankly horrible sight of such great small bikes, such as a 250 Ninja or Honda Grom, getting massively stretched out. This ruins their agility and power and frankly just looks bad. Yet squids think a “stretched” bike is somehow better than the originals rather than leaving well enough alone.
16 Automatic Flashing Headlights
Having a top-notch headlight is always important for any motorcycle. Even if one doesn’t do a lot of night driving, being able to count on a light in the weather is important, not just for the biker but other drivers. It's too bad some squids think a great idea is to get a headlight that’s constantly flashing. It seems to indicate that you should always be noticed, no matter the weather or how dark a night. It’s a huge distraction to other drivers and can actually cause more messes on the road. Also, having a strobe light is less effective than a single solid beam.
15 Carbon Fiber
Few things instantly identify a squid more than an abundance of carbon fiber on a bike. Squids insist that replacing a lot of a bike’s frame with carbon fiber cuts down on the weight and increases the speed. The truth is that the tradeoff is so low that it’s barely worth the effort of such replacement. Plus, it makes a bike look truly unattractive and ruins the original body and design. Also, the cost of all that carbon isn’t worth the effort and it can be better to use money on some actually good mods. Yet carbon fiber is a sin that instantly goes with the squid culture and it doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon.
14 Sportbike Top Box
Having some extra storage on a bike isn’t a terrible idea. One never knows when they might need to carry something without warning and it’s good to leave extra space for supplies for a long run. Yet the sportbike top box isn’t the best design for storage. It requires extra work to put the box on the very rear and the raised platform throws the design off. It also hurts the handling and steering of the bike. Should some accident occur, the box can easily be broken and its contents lost. It’s much better having the storage lower on the bike as putting up this big box is a true waste of space.
This is just...weird. Maybe it’s some sort of influence from WWII history buffs. The fact is that sidecars are an absolute waste. Even if you are carrying a passenger, creating an entire side seat attached to the main bike isn’t worth the hassle. A sidecar drags down with the extra weight and makes it harder to handle simple turns and curves. It also means it’s a lot harder finding a decent parking space. The brutal truth is that sidecars just look silly and are a huge eyesore. Even most motorcycle collectors avoid them. A passenger is better off on the back of a regular bike.
12 Get Back Whips
Defenders of this mod use the idea that it signifies their toughness and often used as part of motorcycle clubs. Squids take the mentality that adding one on makes them look tougher. This ignores the tiny detail that these whips are against the law in several states. Police do not look fondly on the idea that a biker can use a whip to hit other drivers or random passersby. More than a few squids have found themselves pulled over and getting tickets for this random decoration. It’s also another mod that makes a squid look more foolish than tough. If a squid wants to end up paying a big fine for a useless mod, this is a great way to do it.
11 Front Brake Delete
No mod crosses the line from “foolish” to “absolutely absurd” like this one. It should be an absolute no-brainer that messing with the brakes of a motorcycle is a huge no-no for any mod. It can’t be counted how many bikers’ lives have been saved by being able to stop in time. Yet, squids tend to listen to stories of bikers thrown off a bike by these stops and the “logic” is that removing the front brakes is, therefore, better. It also is believed to aid with increasing a bike’s speed, as well. The reality, of course, is that this is an absolutely silly change that can ruin not just a bike but the rider, as well.
10 Ape Hangers
On some bikes, ape hangers can look good. Quite a few classic Harley Davidson hogs look amazing with some large apes. Of course, they don’t really do anything but look good—and it’s not too bad if done right. Sadly, too many squids don’t do them right. They make the classic mistake of “bigger is better” and have the hangers sometimes extending to above their heads and arm length and they end up majorly spread out. This can actually make it harder to drive and frankly, be painful on the arms. Many states have regulations on hanger size for a good reason because making them too large and wide is dangerous.
9 Loud Pipes
It’s good to have an excellent exhaust system as it helps the entire bike's aesthetic. Sadly, squids seem to think it’s better to go for pipes that sound louder when the better ones muffle the sounds. This leads to one of the most annoying squid traits, which is revving the engine at stop lights and letting the bike roar majorly. Somehow, squids think having bikes that can be heard for blocks away is proof of what a monster machine they have. There’s also tricks like those annoying “tailgun exhausts” which look fun but do nothing to help the bike’s performance and just make it easier for other bikers to hate on squids.
No one is sure how the whole “slammed” thing got started but it’s gotten out of control. True, there’s something striking about a bike whose wheel frames are just centimeters off the ground. They pop up a lot at shows and look interesting. What squids ignore is that a show bike is a world apart from a regular road one. Just try taking a slammed bike out on the interstate and see what happens. The chances of a blow out increase majorly as the slammed frame means the bike doesn’t have the maneuverability or reaction time of a standard motorcycle. It can’t respond as well and the frame means it drags so it’s slower.
7 Hidden Turn Signals
This is another mod that isn’t just useless but downright idiotic. Some squids are just obsessed with totally changing a bike’s appearance to make it look cooler. Thus, they find those turn signal indicators some sort of distraction that mars the bike’s look. Whether on the rear or the handles, the squid will dump the signals and just leave them hidden so that, technically, he’s still following traffic laws. It should be obvious how terrible an idea it is to give the drivers behind you no warning that you’re about to make a turn. It’s not as if the biker actually sees their own signals so it can’t be that much of an annoyance. This mod is just a very bad turn for a bike owner.
Some bikers use a bit of chrome now and then to enhance a specific part. It can be helpful for repairs or just to showcase a nice part of the ride. Squids go the extra mile by laying on more chrome than is needed. Rather than focus on mods that can truly improve a bike’s performance, a squid will deck out chrome on just about every part of the bike, even the seat. Not only does it look ugly but it also slows the bike down and makes it harder to pull off some maneuvers. Chrome not only looks ugly but hurts a bike’s performance to land it high on the list of most useless mods a squid can perform.
5 Huge Tires
One of the biggest misconceptions of any mod driver is that bigger is better. Most bikers are smart enough to know that having the right tires is critical to making a motorcycle work right. It requires the right balance and strength to make it flow well. Squids take the idea that having a massive tire is a great idea. It’s usually for the rear tire, which they believe aids with balance. It actually throws it off because getting a tire too big for a frame mars the performance and can slow it down. It also affects much of the chassis and causes long-term damage. It’s always best to stick to the same size of tires rather than a monster pair of wheels.
4 Licenses Plate Obscurers
Side license plate holders are bad enough and squids tend to think that putting them at an angle on the side of the bike is somehow a cool sight and sets them apart. It does all right but in the wrong way. Worse are full-on plate obscurers. Squids use these with the idea that, technically, they have a license plate even if it just can’t be clearly seen. This gives the idea that a biker enjoys doing some illegal moves and doesn’t want anyone to get their license number. It’s also blatantly illegal in several states and can land a squid in some major trouble. It’s another mod that goes beyond just foolish into actually dangerous.
3 Chassis Lighting
You can thank some movies for pushing the idea that decking your motorcycle out with massive LED lights is a good idea. It’s a problem for squids with regular cars yet on motorcycles it looks even worse. It wastes a lot of energy on the battery making these LEDs work and can also weigh down the bike a bit. Plus, it’s all too easy to crack some of these things if you hit a road the wrong way and can cause bigger problems. It just looks incredibly unattractive as adding lights doesn’t mean your bike looks like a Tron lightcycle. Too many squids waste money turning their bike into a theme park parade float.
2 Removed Mirrors
Here’s another mod that goes from useless to downright dangerous. For some reason, squids cling to the idea that removing their mirrors can lower the drag of a motorcycle and thus increase the speed. That’s actually not true and removing the mirrors does little to increase speed, at all. More importantly, it takes away one of the key safety features of any automotive vehicle. Anyone with common sense should know that being able to glance at a mirror and see what’s behind you is vital to a safe driving experience. Removing the mirrors is just another vain attempt to look cool.
1 Stereo Systems
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to listen to some tunes when you’re driving. If you’re in a car, a top-notch stereo system is key. The issue is that a motorcycle is not a car and listening to tunes while you ride isn’t really a major option. You’re racing at high speeds and from the open air to the loud engine and the exhaust roaring and wearing a thick helmet—ot to mention there’s barely any room for a decent sound system so the stereo adds up to little more than an old-fashioned boombox—it’s a complete waste to add speakers because no one except the people around you can hear the music anyway.
Sources; Jalopnik, Reddit, and Cycle World.