Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts
Awesome Or A Waste Of Time?
Aftermarket motorcycle parts chosen wisely can make you faster, make
your bike look trick or protect the value of your bike. But you can also
totally waste your money if you are not careful.
Maybe it is because I am a girl but I never quite understood why you
want to spend hours in the garage fitting every aftermarket part under
the sun and then talking with you mates about how "sexy she looks".
For me those parts have to fulfill one or all of the following criteria:
1) make you ride faster or better
2) protect the resale value of the bike
3) be useful e.g. add an adjuster
4) add to the looks without compromising functionality
it only looks trick but actually adds weight to the bike then why would
I want it? If I battle to put all my horsepower to the ground why waste
my money on an exhaust? Some guards are so heavy that their main effect
is to compromise the handling of the bike.
Lets take a closer look at some of the available aftermarket motorcycle parts and see if they fit in one of the above categories:
- Steering dampers: a bike that is set up fine will not necessarly need a steering damper. The danger is that steering dampers can mask handling problems. The mounting is also important in order to avoid handling problems.
- Open cartridge vs. closed cartridge forks: The big debate! But even though closed cartdrige forks are more expensive they are not necessarly the better choice for all enduro riders.
- Air bleeders: they can come in quite handy especially when you tend to drop the screw. But you need to know how exactly to use them otherwise they are a hazard to your suspension.
- Protune fork caps: On the fly adjusters for your forks. Quite costly but once you had them you don't want to miss them anymore.
- Guards: You obviously want to use a good bash plate for your bike.
But consider that every extra weight on the bike will have an
ininfluence on the handling.
Handlebars should be as low as possible and bar raisers avoided at all
costs. The higher the handlebars the less traction you will have on your
- Dirt bike tires:
Tire choice and tire mounting are very important factors for a good
ride. Good name brand tires will have the right side wall stiffness.
- Dirt bike tubes:
Get the balance right between flat tires and too much weight on the
front wheel. You might notice with extra heavy duty tubes in the front
your forks feel too soft.Or that you get deflected from your line in
- Decals and dirt bike stickers are
not just for the looks. Good stickers can be good protectors for your
bike e.g. forks or swingarm.
- Progressive springs don't use them for your dirt bike. They are only useful for dual sport bike because of the big load changes.
- WP Cone Valve Forks and Trax Shock: after the merger with KTM, WP aftermarket products were basically non existent. Only recently WP seems to be back on track with their aftermarket material. The Conve Vavle forks and the Trax Shocks are excellent products but seriously expensive.
- RC3 Fox shock and how it came about: Bob Fox machined his first design
manually in a friend’s garage. Today the RC3 is one of the most competitive
aftermarket shocks for Dirt Bikes.
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