Give your bike a new lease of life with these quick and simple mods
So, you want a new bike for the year ahead but can't quite justify it? Well have you thought about a few mods to improve its looks and renew your love for it? Here's some ideas for bolt-on goodies that will give your bike a fresh image. No need for Trinny and Susannah, Visordown is on the case...
If you’ve used your bike at all through winter then its time for a big clean. Cutting through the crud and salt to the paint and hopefully shiny alloy beneath needs serious cleaning kit. Invest in a decent brand like Muc-Off kit and you'll be sorted. It will also help marital bliss as a missing washing up liquid bottle causes untold amounts of emotional suffering and no sex for a week.
Yes, they're expensive, new wheels will put a £2000 dent in your wallet, but they will improve not only your bike’s bling appeal but also handling. It’s all down to unsprung mass – the lighter your wheels the easier it is to get the bike to turn into corners. Look out for secondhand sets and see if you can grab a bargain.
The cheaper option involves making your wheels look trick. The simple way of doing that is a good clean (WD-40 is the wonder cleaning fluid for wheels) followed by careful application of rim-tape for that GP look. Or you could get your wheels painted or power-coated. Expect to pay around £200 and remember: white will need constant cleaning..
What’s the point in fitting a ton of new accessories and getting a paint job when a low speed tip off could instantly make your bike look very second hand?
Crash bungs work, fact. They will save your bike from major damage and in some cases keep it scuff free. Fitting them takes minutes and they usually only cost around £60. It’s better to be safe than sorry but be aware some require cutting a hole in the fairing, ask before you buy.
Although World Supersport Bikes had to have the same silhouette as the road bikes you were always allowed to fit any screen you liked. Why? Well you try tucking in behind a standard screen at 180mph down Monza’s straight! Taller screens give loads more wind protection and look good too. If you are bored of the same old screen colour then you could always colour match it to your bike, but personally I’d always go for a light tint. Blue screens are the mark of a wanker...
Make your superbike stick out from the crowd with a fancy paintjob. If you have an R6 why not make it look like Rossi’s bike? Or what about a funky retro paint scheme like the amazing red and white speedblock design from the Valencia GP in 2006? The only limitation is really your imagination, and your wallet. Paint isn’t cheap, you’ll pay at least £1500 for a decent job, the more complicated the design the more it will cost, but get it right and it’s worth the result.
If you have a naked bike, or just want to give your engine a bit of a freshen up, change the engine hoses. It’s a fairly easy job (although you will have to drain the coolant out) and completely alters the look of the bike. After that swap the engine fasteners for some nice anodised alloy ones (just don't choose coloured ones!). Anodised alloy bolts not only weigh less but also are far more resistant to corrosion. And finish the look with some new engine covers. You can get hardened ones that will also act as crash protectors.
As well as the standard steel braided lines you can also get coloured ones to match your bike. But why stop there? Wavy brake discs are an easy add on, look great and are easy to fit. Then there are the levers. You can get aftermarket brake levers that look as trick as those on Rossi’s bike. Some even fold back in the event of a crash so they won’t snap off. How trick is that!
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