Skip to main content

Top 5 Best Motorcycle Modifications

Top 5 Best Motorcycle Modifications To Enhance Your Riding Experience

Sponsored by 360 Twin

Do you love to ride? Do you spend time tinkering with your motorcycle looking for ways to enhance your riding experience? We have the 5 best motorcycle modifications that you can make to your bike. There is something very special about customizing a bike and making it uniquely yours. It’s almost like an art form. We all have our own personal tastes. Some riders prefer a subtle look, while others want over-the-top designs that turn heads everywhere they go. No matter what type of rider you are, there is a modification for every taste level that will help you fall in love with your bike all over again.

1. Tires

The tires and wheels are the parts of your bike that are in contact with the road, so it’s important to have the right ones to ensure your safety and performance on the road. Some riders buy the wrong type of tire. You want to make sure you have the right rubber for the road conditions where you ride. Those who like to carve canyon roads on the weekend will want sportier tires with extra grip, but if someone is using their bike for frequent long distance trips and has the same tires, they would get tired of replacing them all the time. That biker would be better served with a touring/cruiser tire that is built to be durable and hold up after countless miles of use. If you can’t make up your mind between which type of rider you are, there are also hybrid tires which provide a mixture of features. Every motorcycle manufacturer has specific specifications for tires and you should check your owner’s manual and talk it over with your local dealer/mechanic.

2. Exhaust System

There are many different styles of exhausts and they can give your bike an entirely new look. Some will change the sound of your engine and others will affect the performance. Some will do both. Changing out the exhaust can also have an effect on your bike’s warranty. Do your research and talk with your dealer/mechanic to see which pipes are best suited for your bike.

3. Handlebars and Foot Pegs

By swapping out the handlebars and foot pegs you can give your bike a whole new look and feel. The handlebars are responsible for controlling your speed and steering. Swapping out your foot pegs can not only give your ride a style refresh but can also make the ride more comfortable. If you want to add a little flair to your bike and make it stand out from others on the road, you can easily swap out the stock parts for aftermarket parts. has some great options for you to consider.

4. Performance Mods

When you start to delve into the performance mods on your bike, you open up a whole new world of customization which can give your bike better engine performance along with some aesthetic upgrades that are sure to turn heads. Some common performance mods include upgrading your brakes, air filters, clutch, and replacing the stock suspension. With these simple modifications, you can improve the performance of your bike and make your riding experience more enjoyable.

5. Accessories

One of the easiest ways to customize your bike and give it a truly unique look is by adding accessories. There are so many options out there that you are sure to find one that perfectly matches your style and adds some personality to your bike. There is nothing more satisfying than taking a motorcycle and making it unique. When you fall in love with your bike all over again, it’s like falling in love for the first time.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Continue reading

Rubber on the Road: The Key Differences Between Auto and Motorcycle Tires

Rubber on the Road: The Key Differences Between Auto and Motorcycle Tires

By Art Yntel

Tires are a crucial component of any vehicle. They provide traction, stability, and safety while driving. However, not all tires are created equal. Automobile and motorcycle tires may appear to be similar, but they have significant differences that affect their performance, design, and construction.

The most obvious difference between automobile and motorcycle tires is their size. Motorcycle tires are much smaller in diameter than automobile tires, with widths ranging from 90 to 200 millimeters and aspect ratios of 50 to 90. In contrast, automobile tires can be several times larger, with widths ranging from 175 to 335 millimeters and aspect ratios of 30 to 70. The smaller size of motorcycle tires makes them more agile and maneuverable, allowing for quick turns and sharp movements that are not possible with larger automobile tires.

Another key difference between automobile and motorcycle tires is their tread pattern. Automobile tires typically have a symmetric or asymmetric tread pattern, which helps to improve traction, stability, and handling on various road surfaces. Motorcycle tires, on the other hand, have a more complex tread pattern that is designed to provide better grip on both dry and wet roads. Motorcycle tires have deep grooves and channels that allow for efficient water dispersion, reducing the risk of hydroplaning and increasing safety in wet conditions.

The construction of automobile and motorcycle tires is also different. Automobile tires are typically made of steel belts and radial plies, which provide stability, durability, and resistance to wear and tear. Motorcycle tires, on the other hand, are often made of bias-ply construction, which is less stiff and more flexible than radial construction. This allows for better shock absorption and a smoother ride, which is particularly important for motorcycles when they encounter bumps and rough terrain.

The mounting method also matters. Automobile tires are mounted on metal rims that are bolted to the wheel hub of the vehicle, while motorcycle tires are mounted on spoked or cast alloy wheels that are attached to the bike's frame. This difference in mounting affects the way the tires handle, as motorcycle tires have to cope with lateral forces and centrifugal forces that are not present in automobile tires.

Finally, the type of rubber used in automobile and motorcycle tires is also different. Automobile tires are typically made of harder rubber compounds that provide better durability and longer tread life, while motorcycle tires are made of softer rubber compounds that provide better grip and handling. The softer rubber used in motorcycle tires wears out more quickly, but it provides better performance in terms of acceleration, braking, and cornering.

In conclusion, while automobile and motorcycle tires may look similar, they have significant differences in size, tread pattern, construction, mounting, and rubber compound. These differences affect the way the tires handle, perform, and wear over time, and they are important to consider when selecting the right tire for your vehicle. Whether you are driving a car or a motorcycle, choosing the right tire can make all the difference in terms of safety, performance, and enjoyment on the road.

Continue reading

Modulating Headlights

Modulating Headlights

By Gregg Geerbaux

Since 1978, motorcycles in the U.S. have been designed to have the headlight illuminated when the engine is running. It was a voluntary change made by the motorcycle manufacturers in an effort to increase a motorcyclist's visibility. Back in 1978, there were few automobiles equipped with daytime running lights so you might have been more likely to spot a motorcycle heading in your direction if the headlight was on. Times have changed when it comes to automobile lighting and it might be time to consider a change from the standard motorcycle headlight to a modulating one.

A modulating headlight flashes or modulates in intensity, providing an increased level of visibility for riders. At this time, I don't know of any models that come with this type of headlight  as a factory installed option. Modulator kits are priced from about $50 to $150 and use a microprocessor to control the intensity of the light. Depending on the manufacturer, the microprocessor causes the light to flash at a specific frequency, between 240 (plus or minus 40) cycles per minute (CPM). This frequency is chosen because it is the most noticeable to the human eye and helps it to stand out against the constant light of traditional headlights. A word of caution, if you don't fully understand your bike's electrical system, and if you don't want to mess up your warranty, have the work done by your local bike shop.

The lights are legal in all  50 states. In Florida, they're addressed in FS 316.405 which says, “During the hours of operation between sunrise and sunset, the headlights may modulate either the upper beam or the lower beam from its maximum intensity to a lower intensity, in accordance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 571.108”. To ensure they're only used during the day, the modulator has a sensor that allows only the regular headlight to operate after dark. Kinda makes sense, doesn't it?

While there aren't any scientific studies that support headlight modulators as an effective safety device it's hard to deny they can give you additional visibility. Traditional motorcycle headlights can be difficult to see during daylight hours or in low-light situations. A modulating headlight, on the other hand, is much more noticeable, helping other drivers and riders to see you more clearly. This can help prevent accidents and make you feel more confident when riding.

Modulating headlights is a relatively new technology in the world of motorcycles, but their popularity is growing as bikers look for ways to make other motorists aware of their presence. They can help reduce the risk of distracted drivers by providing a more noticeable and dynamic light source. This means that other drivers are more likely to see you, even if they are not paying attention as they should.

Do they help? The best example I can give is a conversation I had with my wife when a bike equipped with this type of headlight was coming towards us. “That blinking light is annoying”, she said. “Perhaps, BUT you did see the motorcycle.” 

Continue reading

Lovin' the Love Bugs

Lovin' the Love Bugs

By Mike Savidge

Larry was screaming at the top of his lungs, “I love you Louise and I want to spend the rest of my life with you”. 

Louise, shouting to be heard over the din of the passing traffic, replied, “Don’t worry, I’ll hold you close and never let you go until the day I die.”/p>


Actually, I don’t know if Larry and Louise were their real names. And, I can’t say with total certainty that was the exact conversation they were having immediately prior to their demise. However, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it’s going to take more than Windex to clean up the remains. From my bike's windshield, that is. That’s where the amorous couple, along with dozens of their friends, said adieu to this world and punched their tickets for Love Bug Heaven on a recent warm spring day.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

If you do some riding in Florida for a few years you’ll become accustomed to the biannual swarms of love bugs that seem to be attracted to highways and byways like bargain hunters to those blue light specials. You know you’ve seen them, flying two-by-two, attached end-to-end, doing their own fluttering insect version of the mile-high club. They’re also called the honeymoon fly, telephone bug, double-headed bug, and March fly, but the scientific name is Plecia nearctica Hardy.  They’re less than an inch long, black in color, with a patch of red behind their heads. Girl bugs are a bit bigger than the boy bugs but they need the extra heft to enable them to maintain flight with the male corpse attached. You see, once the male performs his reproductive duty, he dies but continues to remain attached until the female lays her eggs and also dies. (Unless they happen to meet a certain windshield prior to that event.) If successful in avoiding the deadly roadways, or getting devoured by a hungry bird or lizard, the typical love bug can expect to live about two to three days out of the three to five weeks when they’re active each season. 

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

A popular myth is that an environmental experiment at the University of Florida created the bugs. The story goes that they were being bred to help control the mosquito population in Florida and some of them were accidentally released into the wild and began to flourish. Good story, but not true. The love bugs are native to Central America and arrived in the United States on cargo ships and spread from the ports into several southern states. Since the mid-1940’s the bugs have been annoying Sunshine State motorists. And, unfortunately, they’ve never been known to have developed that taste for mosquito meat. 

If you ride, it’s almost impossible to avoid them because one of their favorite places to lay eggs is in the dead grasses along our roads and highways. That’s when they perform their only useful chore by feeding on the decaying vegetation. They then take flight looking for love. I’ve gotta believe they’re at, or above, the curve on social networking as you never see them flying alone so they gotta be hooking up somewhere before taking flight. Are there singles bars or perhaps a Starbucks? Mated pairs of love bugs are not what you’d call aerodynamically efficient and I doubt they’re giving their full attention to where they’re going. This results in the bug-splattered vehicles you see on the road and also makes it easier to figure out the bikers who ride without a windscreen. Dude, what is that crawling around in your beard? 

Removing the bugs from your bike should be done quickly and with care as those little carcasses can be lethal to some paint jobs along with looking downright nasty. Come to think of it, those bugs in the beard could be lethal to some relationships. 

(Originally published in Go For A Ride Magazine June 2011)  

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Continue reading

Copycats and Copyrights

Copycats and Copyrights

By Mike Savidge

Technology has made certain kinds of theft easy. It gives us access to an incalculable number of photos, videos, and music files and it's fairly easy to download copies. Therein lies the problem. Many people seem to believe that anything posted online is free for the taking and they can use it as they wish. In some cases, that's true. Some of the stuff posted online or through the social media sites is put up there with the hope that people will see it and share it. That “going viral” type of distribution is precisely what some people want. On the other side are designers, artists, and others who expect, and deserve, credit for their work. The credit could be monetary or some other form of attribution, but the key point is that the item can't be used without the owner's permission.


What is copyright? The United States Copyright Law gives protection to the creators of certain works, such as books, magazines, newspapers, photos, recordings, songs, and so forth. Collectively these items are known as Intellectual Property and the creator of a particular piece has the right to determine when, where, and how the work is used. The law extends that protection until 70 years after the creator's death. You’ll find copyright notices on all kinds of products but a lack of that notice doesn’t mean it’s not protected.

Copyright protection is pretty much automatic. When you take a picture of something, you own the copyright to that image. Even if you post it on your Facebook page, you still own the rights to that image and someone else can’t legally use it unless you give them permission. Using the Share function on Facebook is not a copyright violation.

If you take the time to actually read the Terms of Service for the main social networking sites you’ll see it includes a rule against posting images that you don’t own the rights to. If you do, you could be violating the U.S. Copyright law. I've seen many music clips posted online with a disclaimer, “I don't own the rights to this song”. Exactly, so you shouldn't be using it. It's like walking out of the store with merchandise and saying “I didn't pay for this” but you're taking it anyway.

You are not allowed to use those images commercially. A few years ago a professional photographer I know found a company using one of his images to promote a holiday sale. He put his signature on all of his work, but it had been removed. He was frustrated but summed it up by noting that the mindset is that if it's on the web you can use it.

So, unless you have the original creator’s permission, you can’t use that photo. Right? Not quite. You see, we’ve also got this very gray area called Fair Use. Section 107 of the Copyright Law addresses Fair Use and lists some of the factors which might allow a copyrighted piece to be used without the need to get permission. Those include when the work is used in news reporting, teaching, parody, comment, criticism, scholarship, and research. Yep, it’s a gray area and the fog gets thicker as new ways to share data evolve. It’s unlikely that any individual person is going to hear from the Copyright Cops for posting and sharing on their personal social network pages. Sharing is what this online socializing is all about.  

The problems arise when commercial entities, such as a motorcycle parts company, use images they don’t own to promote their business. This is especially prevalent on social media sites like Facebook. There’s a lot of pressure these days to have a dynamic website or Facebook page and everyone is trying to be the one to post the next “It’s Gone Viral” online sensation. And as long as you’re using your own creations, that’s a good thing.  But thievery should not be rewarded. However, policing the entire Internet is an impossible task, and it’s very likely you won’t get caught. And hey, everybody else is doing it! Why should you be left behind? Uh, perhaps because you’re an honest person with some integrity?

Continue reading