Our bikes are our babies, and we’re all about spoiling our children!
While it’s easy to fantasise about turbochargers and custom motors, these options might not be the most economical. Fortunately, there are a few ways to improve your bike’s performance without remortgaging the house.
One thing to establish early on is what we mean by performance. If you’re looking to improve your top speed, then you’re out of luck (unless you’re willing to drop £1,000s!). What we can improve is the time it takes to get to your top speed, the ride feel and your bike’s handling; all performance metrics that can be tweaked on a smaller budget (and with less experience).
We’ve put together this article to give you some ideas of easy ways to improve your motorcycle’s performance.
Improve Your Air Intake
Your bike’s engine is, put simply, a very powerful air pump. By sucking in large quantities of air, you’re introducing one of the key elements to combustion: oxygen. Your engine needs oxygen in order to create the chemical reactions that makes your bike tick. If your bike’s air intake is strangled, then your engine isn’t going to have the oxygen that it needs, and your performance will be impacted.
A relatively inexpensive way to do this is to install a new filter. Certain filters allow a little more air through, often improving the overall volume and resultant surface area (more space for the air to filter through). You’ll want to choose a kit that suits your needs; some kits remove the entire airbox, which will expose your filters to the elements, so make sure you know what you’re buying!
Swap out Your Exhaust
Your exhaust is another key part in improving your air flow. If spent air can’t easily exit the engine, then your performance will suffer. When we say your exhaust, we mean the whole system. Slipping on a new muffler isn’t going to make your bike perform any better on its own.
Aftermarket exhaust mods can help to improve your horsepower a little by making your engine ever so slightly more efficient. New exhaust systems are generally lighter, too, which helps to further improve your acceleration.
You’ll want to opt for the best system that your budget can handle, and don’t forget that you’ll have to bring your fuel mapping in line to suit.
Adjust the Suspension
If you’ve already got fully adjustable suspension – rejoice! You can skip this section. Most likely, however, your bike’s running regular springs with selectable preload. While this isn’t a problem in day-to-day use, if you’re looking to squeeze every ounce of performance out of your bike, you’ll want to take a look at your suspension.
Your suspension is important for both acceleration and handling. If your bike doesn’t respond naturally to your commands, then the whole ride will feel a little off. If you’re used to how your suspension feels, you might not even realise that there’s an issue; many riders will adjust their riding to suit their bike, rather than the other way round.
By properly adjusting your suspension, your bike will start to feel more of an extension of your body. Many riders notice a boost in confidence once this is sorted, and more confidence = better riding (that’s science!).
Clean & Adjust Your Chain
Perhaps an obvious one, but cleaning and maintaining your bike’s chain is something that’s extremely easy to neglect. A well-oiled, clean chain will reduce chain drag while improving looks and reducing noise – what’s not to love? Grab yourself a proper chain cleaning brush, some high-quality chain cleaner and finish with premium chain lube – it’s one of the cheapest ways to improve your bike’s performance!
Upgrade Your Tyres
Let’s be honest, there’s a good chance that you’re long overdue some new tyres. We’ve all clung onto a pair of tyres for far too long at least once. The truth of it is, new tyres are going to perform better, shocker! Think about the type of riding that you do on the regular, and how you want your bike to perform before you take the plunge.
Invest in Lighter Parts
Lighter bike, faster acceleration. It should come as no surprise that the true secret to getting up to speed is to cut down on weight. The amount of power that your engine generates won’t change, but the amount of heft that it has to carry about will change.
This isn’t groundbreaking news, but it is a good place to start if you’re not sure what to upgrade. The main issue with lighter parts is that if you want both light and durable, you’re going to have to fork out a fair bit. Any parts made out of forged aluminium, forged or cast magnesium or carbon fibre will significantly cut down on your bike’s weight.
Train Your Body
You are the heaviest component of a motorcycle, so it stands to reason that if you cut down your weight, then your bike will perform better. Strength and conditioning are important, too, so there’s never been a better time to get that gym membership that you’ve been talking getting about for months!
Motorcycle Maintenance Products & Tools with Tru-Tension
Here at Tru-Tension, we specialise in designing and manufacturing industry-leading motorcycle maintenance products. From chain tensioning and chain alignment tools to lubricants, wax and cleaning gels, we offer a comprehensive range of maintenance solutions at affordable prices.
If you’re looking to improve your bike’s performance, good maintenance is the easiest and cheapest way to make a difference! Whether you are an inexperienced rider, a daily commuter or a competitive racer, our products are right for all levels of enthusiast.