Upgrade Your Bike: Part 3 – Other Performance Options

In Part I of this series, I told you everything you need to know about the basics of upgrading your motorcycle’s exhaust system.  In Part 2, we talked about how to select your camshaft, based on your performance needs. In this final post on upgrading your ride, I’ll walk you through other options to increase performance and complement your riding style.

Without going into extreme racing terms like superchargers, turbo charger, and nitrous, I’m going to tell you some options to consider when purchasing or upgrading your bike.

Hot Big Bore/Stroker Kits- The well-known adage, “no replacement for displacement,” comes to mind when people are considering the option of going with a big bore or stroker kit.

  • Advantages – Substantially increases horsepower and torque. In addition, there are several options, including bore diameters, overall stroke and compression ratios.
  • Disadvantages – Can be more expensive; requires trained technician or a confident mechanic to install; machining may be required.
  • Riding Improvements – Most riders who go mild with these kits will see a great improvement in their overall driving performance. On the flip side, the wilder you get with these kits, the bigger chance you’ll lose overall drivability characteristics. Before you know it, you’ve got a performance race engine.

Final Drive Ratio ChangeAnother common way to increase your motorcycle’s overall riding performance comes in the form of a final drive ratio change. By mixing and matching pulley combinations you can increase overall low-end torque or top-end performance.

  • Advantages – Usually less expensive then other bolt-on performers. If the outcome isn’t what you wanted, you can easily revert back to the stock setup.
  • DisadvantagesSome models require more work than others to install all of the components.  Doesn’t increase the overall performance, instead moving where you will “feel” the delivery of the motorcycles performance.
  • Riding ImprovementIf you increase the drive ratio, you improve the motorcycle torque curve that is typically needed from most performance racers. If you decrease the drive ratio, you’ll improve the overall top end (top speed), which in turn lowers the engine rpm typically needed for most touring riders.

Ignitions – Selecting a good performance ignition is one of the most neglected performance improvements on a motorcycle today. With a wide variety of options and different price ranges you can easily improve your motorcycles performance with an ignition upgrade.

  • Advantages – Improved fuel economy; decreased engine vibration; improved combustion spark; fully adjusted ignition timing; many options available.
  • DisadvantagesMay require you to buy other components, coil, tach adapter, or wiring harness adapters.
  • Riding ImprovementsAll rides improve from an ignition upgrade. The advantage of this kit makes it a must for anyone completing any of the upgrades listed to this point.

Now that I have reviewed several options for upgrading your motorcycle, take advantage of J&P’s “Search by Bike” option on our website to browse all performance parts for your motorcycle. As always, if you have questions or need assistance picking out performance parts to suit your needs, don’t hesitate to chat with a J&P technician via Live Chat. Or call J&P’s technical support staff at (800) 397-4844.

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  5. Full Face Helmets April 20, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Cool dude…Nice information

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