The Dennis Kirk Blog
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When you rode your cruiser for the fist time, you were probably pretty smitten. But, if you are anything like us, it wasn’t long before you started asking yourself “What’s next?”. Stock is good, but when it comes to your motorcycle, you’re looking for great! Now, as your bike waits patiently in your garage, you’re not really sure where to start. We’ve been there. We know what you are going through, and we’ve taken the time to make a list of all of the most popular upgrades that you might be interested in. These include comfort upgrades, aesthetic upgrades, and performance upgrades. Go ahead and have a look; we might have just the thing you are looking for.
Altering your bike’s slip-on mufflers is on of the most common alterations that new owners will make, and it is a great way to change your bike’s aesthetic. It won’t just change your bike’s appearance. It’ll also change the sound and can give a slight boost in power as well! Slip on exhausts are easy to install, cheaper than a complete exhaust system, and may not require much tuning. This is a great first project if you are looking to dip your toes into the waters of motorcycle customization.
LED headlights won’t just change the way that your bike is seen, they’ll change the way you see from your bike! These headlights are fantastically bright and they draw less energy than their predecessors. Some people will tell you that they don’t belong on a classic Harley. We disagree.
Handlebars could have fallen under the scope of a comfort-based modification, but we have feeling that most riders buying new handlebars are doing it for the look, not the feel. You’ll have plenty of options for handlebars, from matte black with no rise to shiny chrome ape hangers that will drain the blood from your arms. You might be buying handlebars for the look, but don’t forget that you actually have to ride with them!
Swapping out your bike’s full exhaust system will offer all of the same sound and appearance benefits that you’ll gain with a slip on exhaust. But, the benefits don’t stop there. The right aftermarket exhaust will even improve your bike’s performance, adding extra horsepower and reducing weight to the list of benefits. But, if you want this extra horsepower, then the aftermarket exhaust is just the first step. You’ll need to adjust your bikes fuel delivery system to compensate for the changes in your bike’s exhaust. This might mean a new fuel controller, or a re-jetting, and probably a tuning on a dyno. Still, if the extra steps are no objection, this is a great way to improve your bike’s performance, appearance, and sound, all at the same time.
Oxygen is an essential ingredient in the recipe for horsepower, and the more you put in, the more power you can get out. Aftermarket air cleaners are easy to install, look great, and they do their job a lot better than the OEM option currently does on your bike. Of course, if you are going to be adding more air, then you’ll need to add more fuel to compensate. Expect to need a tuning after you install your new cleaner!
Highway Bars won’t improve performance like the other parts on this list. It won’t add horsepower, it won’t make your bike faster, and it won’t run any smoother. In fact, you won’t even see your engine guards in action unless you tip your bike over. But, if you do tip your bike over while sitting at a red light, you’ll be glad to have them. They protect all of your Harley’s shiny bits, and when you’re not tipping over, they make the perfect place to mount some highway pegs or you can rest your feet right on the bars.
One of the first things you feel when you sit on your motorcycle is the quality of the seat. That feeling is rooted out even more after a long day of riding. Maybe it’s too big and soft, and you want something smaller, meaner. Maybe you want something plush enough to absorb the bumps instead of your spine. Maybe you want something a little softer, or a little wider. Maybe you want a sprung solo seat! The options are endless, and there is something out there for every behind.
There is nothing wrong with a set of foot pegs, but if you are going for long rides, you might find yourself itching to stretch out a bit. Floorboards offer the rider a variety of positions to put their feet in, helping you stay comfortable longer.
If you don’t have a windshield, we seriously recommend getting one! Getting blasted in the face with wind is fine in short bursts, it might even feel somewhat freeing. But, after picking a few bugs out of your teeth, you might find that you’d like a little bit of shelter from the winds screaming past. They are easy to install and you can even buy quick release options that allow the windshield to be easily taken off and put back on again in seconds. Even a small windshield is better than nothing!
Well, there you have it. We can’t tell you what to do with your bike, but we can tell you that a good place for you to start is likely somewhere on this list. If you have any questions about the modifications listed, or you’d like to recommend a modification yourself, list them in the comments below.
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