If you’re a big fan of motorbikes (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) then you’re probably into speed. You want something that will allow you to feel a sense of adrenaline, without the excess weight you get with a car. After all, a motorcycle is pretty much just an engine attached to a pair of wheels.
Many motorcycle owners, however, aren’t aware that there are some simple things that they can do to make their bikes go faster. Many of these upgrades will make your 125 CC feel more like a 600.
So what’s out there? What can you use to make your bike go even faster?
Add A Power Commander
Aftermarket exhausts are all the rage right now – and a great way to make your bike go faster. Most of these systems let you drop a lot of weight and add both power and torque. A result is a machine that feels like it should have felt when you bought it.
Remember, a lot of manufacturers aren’t interested in pure performance. So when you buy a motorcycle with stock parts, you’re often getting compromises. Swapping out the exhaust system for something a little more powerful changes the dynamic and allows you to completely overhaul how your ride feels.
Get Adjustable Suspensions
Companies like Ohlins have been making motorcycle suspension units for decades. And in that time, they’ve built up a repertoire of features that you can use on your bike.
Don’t underestimate the power of being able to adjust your ride. When you can dial in the compression and damping, it totally changes the ride characteristics of the bike – as it does a car. With the right adjustments, you can prepare your ride for race day and make sure that it responds to your inputs the way you would like it to.
Wear Lighter Gear
You don’t have to make adjustments to the bike itself to make it go faster – you can also change your gear. For instance, with lightweight Nolan motorcycle helmets, you can cut down on bulk while also lowering your center of mass. The same goes for high-performance leathers. You can shave off up to a pound in weight just by choosing better fabrics.
Get Lighter Wheels
Many motorcycle brands invest their money into the engine and suspension but then cut corners on the wheels. They do this because problems with their bikes are much more likely to emerge with these components. But it does mean that riders get lower performance.
Remember, rotating weight is much more important than sprung weight when it comes to performance. You could have the lightest chassis in the world, but if your wheels are big steel monsters, then you’ll never get the performance you want.
Aftermarket wheels are usually much lighter and come with advanced aero features. They allow you to accelerate faster and maintain stability, even at high speeds.
Improve Your Tires
When it comes to performance, the tires you choose can make a considerable difference. Grippier tires increase your confidence on the track and provide more speed through corners. They won’t last thousands of miles, but they can be a catalyst that makes you want to improve your skills.
Use Aftermarket Brakes
As your bike becomes more powerful, the need for quality brakes goes up. Unfortunately, the stock equipment on your bike might not be up to the challenge.
Aftermarket brakes tend to have more features and higher performance. Many have special heat dissipation systems that take energy out of the brake pads and transfer it to the environment. They’re also lighter than their standard counterparts, with many using lighter metals.
Go To Track School
If you don’t know how to corner properly on a motorcycle yet, now’s the time to learn. It can seem scary at first, but once you get the hang of it, you can deploy it every race day.
It all comes down to body control, throttle position, and how you enter corners. Once you get all three of these skills nailed, you’ll start looking like a pro. You could even make a career out of it.
Get Your Engine Rebuilt
Getting your engine rebuilt is one of the most extreme ways to upgrade your motorcycle, but it also brings significant rewards. Specialists install new components that increase the physical strength and operating capacity of the engine, improving horsepower. You can take a regular 300 CC engine and nearly double the power output with the right modifications. That way, you can match the power to the other upgrades you have made.