5 Awesome Upgrades That You NEED!
Motorcycles are far better than cars in almost every way – that much is obvious – but they do lack a fair few comforts that their four wheeled friends come with as standard. We’ve had a look around the net and talked to many motorcyclists and found that these five upgrades are the most popular. If you’re looking to add a bit of comfort or some ‘peace of mind’ to your bike, then these are the first five additions you should be making! We’re not talking about major bodywork here, we’re talking about gadgetry and tooling!
A Power Outlet
First things first: there’s nothing more frustrating than running out of power – this is the modern world after all and more and more people are relying on smartphones and technology to work, rest and play so if your bike isn’t sporting a power outlet, you might get yourself stuck in a sticky situation! Most modern motorcycle ‘power’ kits come with a 12v cigarette lighter socket and a smaller 5v USB hub, which is great for charging all kinds of small devices.
You can make your own connectors at home but they’re so cheap to buy online and incredibly easy to install that it’s just not worth your time. You can get them as cheap as £3 but it’s well worth investing in something a bit more expensive for waterproof connecters and mounting accessories. Excess technology may defeat the object of motorcycling to some riders but there’s no harm in being plugged in – luck favours the prepared after all!
An Upgraded Tool Kit
In this day and age, motorcycles are incredibly reliable and while that is true, it’s always worth carrying a proper, decent tool kit with you. The old kits that came as standard back in the day were pretty heavy duty and could actually perform their primary function; modern kits are less than useful in a break down scenario – in fact, I’ve had better toolkits that arrive with flat-pack furniture! Upgrading your tool kit to useable standard is one of the most important things you can do – again, modern bikes don’t really break down but try adjusting your suspension with the stock tool, it won’t be fun. If you’re going to have a breakdown, at least be prepared!
Useful Tyre Repair Kits
Although they rarely happen, the day that you’re not prepared for it is the day that it will happen to you. Modern bikes don’t pick up punctures like they used to but they still happen; fortunately, a decent puncture repair kit can cost as little as £6 from any decent motorcycle retailer and can save you a whole lot of roadside stress. Keeping a little box of repair goodies under the seat will certainly make any puncture situation a little easier. A good kit will come with plugs, cement, an insertion tool, a small blade, a stick of chalk and a few CO2 cartridges for painless re-inflation. The cartridges are pretty handy and a couple of them in your arsenal will go a long way if you ever find yourself with a flat! Again, luck favours the prepared so it’s better to ride with the goods than to be stranded without!
Angled Valve Stems
What’s wrong with regular valve stems? Nothing really but once you’ve converted to angled, you’ll see what all the fuss is about. If you’re particularly passionate about tyre pressures then these things are a must. Angled stems provide a serious level of ‘ease of access’ for hoses and pressure gauges; without them, getting your gauge connected can be a fiddly process. Those little troubles are now a thing of the pas, so we recommend getting some installed on your first tyre change. They’re a functional accessory and well worth the small price to pay.
Finally, we move on to heated grips. In the UK, riding without heated grips can be a real chore and if you ride in the winter, you should have a set installed already. The trick to keeping warm on a bike used to be about keeping your pre-existing body heat from escaping; these days, we have the technology to actually put heat back into your body without having to rest your feet next to the cylinder… For the UK rider, it’s well worth paying the extra for a flash set because the cheaper ones just aren’t warm enough for our winters. If you’ve already got them as stock and standard, then you can cross this one from your list but if you need to invest, choose a major brand like BMW or KTM, because they’ve got some serious warming technology!