You’re not wrong to want a better-performing bike. In fact, contrary to what you’ve been told, a bike’s acceleration is actually a safety feature. A statistics report by IHS shows that wrong turns cause 42% of motorcycle deaths. And motorcycle riders could avoid these wrong turns if their bikes have high horsepower and torque. Also, considering that 61% of motorcycle accidents happen in urban areas, a bike’s speed has become paramount to its rider’s safety. As you’d agree, one needs to make swift moves in the face of danger.
Little wonder riders often opt for speed-defined motorcycle brands like Kawasaki, MTT, and Suzuki. However, buying a high-end motorcycle is not the only way to get a speedy bike. Your present bike can go faster than it does right now. This article will show you ten upgrades that can make your motorcycle faster than it already is. But first
Why Are Speed Upgrades Necessary?
Apart from increasing your motorcycle’s acceleration, there are other reasons you should consider a speed upgrade. Some of them are;
• To replace worn-out parts. Most motorcycle brands often promise a “forever solid” bike. However, the truth is after riding a bike for three years; some important parts will start to wear out. And if not replaced, they could affect the overall performance of the bikes.
• To keep up with the trends. When you replace some parts of your motorcycle, it’s often with a newer version of that item. This way, you can enjoy more unique benefits without buying a new bike.
• To reduce the chances of accidents. Motorcycle riders face a lot of dangers, especially those who ride on highways and in busy cities. The odds are stacked up against them. Wearing protective gear is good. However, ensuring your bike is in good health should not be underemphasized.
• To make your bike lighter. Most motorcycle upgrades come with lighter components which cause a reduction in friction. It also comes with other benefits like fuel efficiency and smoother rides.
10 Upgrades to Increase Your Motorcycle’s Speed
This is usually the first thing people look out for when considering speed upgrades. With more power, the motorcycle can accelerate faster. And though power is not the only thing that accounts for a bike’s speed. It is, however, unarguably important. There are two basic types of power for every motorcycle—horsepower and torque. Horsepower determines how much work the motorcycle engine does. But its torque determines its turning force. When both are increased, they will affect the throttle of the motorcycle.
Every motorcycle comes with its specific horsepower and torque. However, they’re usually limited to the company’s production specifications. Some common ways to do this are modifying the exhaust and adjusting the fueling, which we’ll discuss later. Replacing the motorcycle’s engine with a higher-powered one is also possible. However, this is not a common approach.
After adjusting the power of your motorcycle, what comes next is modifying your suspension setup. Your old suspension setup will most likely be unable to handle the change in power. Except if it was considered during the power upgrade. A new suspension setup gives you more control over the motorcycle. A motorcycle’s suspension setup is totally different from that of a car. To make your bike faster, you first need to reduce its weight with lighter upgrades. After that, get a professional to install the right suspension for your weight.
Some suspension adjustments include setting the compression, damping, and sagging to match the weight of your body. A new suspension setup will also improve the quality of your rides with enhanced safety. Usually, they start from $50 upward. This depends on the place, type of bike, and the auto shop you go to get it done.
If you’re not content with your motorcycle’s speed, the first thing you should consider is your air filter. Your present air filter might not be sieving air well enough, especially if your motorcycle is an old model. This will, in turn, reduce its power and speed. Air filters are one of the cheapest motorcycle upgrades available. And a common characteristic of new aftermarket air filters is that they have lighter weight. The lightweight increases their efficiency and reduces the overall weight of the motorcycle by a bit. They are also not as restrictive as the original motorcycle filters.
The significance of air filters is often underrated. It might not impact the bike’s speed directly. However, it does affect the performance of the exhaust, which is crucial to the motorcycle. You could get an aftermarket filter for as low as $30. However, if you’re willing to invest more in your upgrades, a $50 to $100 air filter will be more effective.
Price is always a significant burden for motorcycle riders when it comes to gears. Most riders often choose cheaper gearing, forgetting to check their long-term qualities. They also fail to evaluate the conditions under which they’ll be using the gear. Gearing is essential for faster acceleration. It helps to increase and decrease the final drive ratio, as the case may be. With suitable gearing, you can reduce cruising rpm. This will help the engine spin at a slower cruising speed. Another benefit of this is that it helps reduce fuel consumption.
The proper aftermarket gearing can save weight and maximize horsepower more. Changing your gearing can take time and energy, but its ROI is usually worth it. It’s better to have a professional handle this upgrade, especially if you know very little about motorcycles. A gear upgrade can cost as much as $40 to $1300. This depends on the bike and the professional fixing it.
Your motorcycle’s sprockets have a direct effect on the gearing. Apart from this, they affect the overall acceleration and top speed of the bike. To enhance the acceleration, you will need to reduce the size of the front sprocket and increase that of the rear sprocket. However, if your goal is to improve the top speed, you need to do the opposite. To solve both cases, you’ll need to adjust the sizes of the front and rear sprockets proportionally.
Also, stock sprockets are not usually lightweight because most are made of steel. If you choose to replace them with aluminum, they may wear out quickly because they are weak. Your best bet would be alloy sprockets. They do not wear out quickly and have relatively lightweight. Alloy sprockets are not too expensive. You can get one at an average of $20 to $60.
Many motorcycles come with a lead-acid battery. This battery type is usually heavier. And though many riders know this, they’ll rather ignore it. A lithium battery is preferable if you’re keen on improving the speed of your motorcycle. Most lithium batteries weigh almost one-third less than their lead-acid counterparts. However, the weight is not a hindrance to its power. Instead, it complements it, providing 50% more energy than others. What’s more, lithium batteries do not lose power quickly like lead-acid batteries. And they have a long lifespan.
Apart from all these, lithium batteries improve the starting performance of motorcycles. You can get your bike on and about without much stress. However, do proper research before buying a lithium battery. It’s advisable to check out trusted brands and not forget other requirements like the voltage and current. On average, good lithium batteries cost between $200 and $400. The price varies according to the battery’s specifications.
Another upgrade you should seriously consider to make your motorcycle faster is the exhaust. If one of your goals is to add more horsepower to your bike, you should replace your stock exhaust. Most stock exhausts are pretty heavy and sometimes less effective, depending on the model. An aftermarket exhaust can help improve your motorcycle’s performance by reducing the weight and boosting your throttle response. An exhaust can act as a silencer by reducing the noise of the motorcycle. Apart from this, it reduces the effect of the hot gases released by the combustion chamber.
For your new exhaust to work well, you should consider changing your air filter to a better one. It would help if you also changed the tune. By combining these three, your torque curve and power increase. Motorcycle exhausts can be pretty expensive but are worth it in the long run. You should budget an average of $300 to $1300 for buying and installation.
Before complaining about the speed of your motorcycle, first, check your tires. Tires are the first victims of an automobile’s overuse. The more you ride your bike, the faster it wears and tears. Most tires last an average of three years. After which, they’ll need replacement. When buying an aftermarket tire, make sure it’s better than the stock tire. That way, it can really seem like an upgrade. Also, consider other factors that made the former tires wear quickly. They could be the roads you ply, the speed, and the function of your motorcycle. Do not buy racing tires for touring purposes and vice versa.
If your motorcycle is for racing, then go for tires with less than regular grooves. This is to maximize the tire’s surface area for more grip. For touring, buy tires that are quite flat with a wide space between their grooves. This will help withstand mileage and traction. The price of tires depends on the quality and the manufacturer. However, with $80 to $500, you can get one that suits you.
Chains are a crucial component of every motorcycle. It has replaced belts and shafts in the final drive system. The final drive is in charge of transferring power to the wheels. Therefore the importance of the suitable chains cannot be overemphasized. Most stock chains are not specific to a particular bike. Brands would instead use chains that are not selective. For optimal performance, it is advisable to get chains that are a perfect fit for your motorcycle.
Apart from this, stock chains can be quite heavy, adding to the overall weight of the motorcycle. Consider buying lighter chains like the 520 bike chain to reduce friction instead of the 530. Also, O and X ring chains are quite in vogue. Most high-speed bikes use these chains. They don’t wear quickly and are self-lubricating. This means they can work at a faster speed and last longer. If you’re upgrading from standard roller chains, consider one of them.
Brake Lines and Pads
Improved speed performance would be incomplete without something to stop it at the right time. This is what brake lines and pads are for. Sure, your motorcycle has its stock brake lines and pads. However, upgrading to better aftermarket ones can add quality to your rides. To improve the braking power of your brake lines, replace the stock ones with braided lines. For brake pads, you could choose between organic and HH pads. Though, there are lots more of them.
Like many other pads, organic pads withstand heat easily. However, HH-rated pads are much better at resisting heat. They’re very resilient and can deal with friction to a great extent. When brake lines are paired with suitable brake pads, they can prevent warping due to high temperatures. Brake pads are one of the most affordable performance upgrades. Replacing both brake pads can cost between $150 and $300.
Nothing sucks more than a motorcycle that can’t move at its rider’s desired acceleration or with optimal performance. If you apply these ten upgrades listed above, your bike will become faster than it is right now. However, do not forget that regular maintenance keeps an automobile in the right state.
Your motorcycle may not be running fast because its air filter is clogged. Your carburetor might be dirty, or the gas in your tank may be stale already. Your spark plugs as well could be dirty or worn out. Before upgrades, clean and unclog your air filter and carburetor. Check your spark plugs from time to time. And exchange them for new ones when it becomes too dirty.