Bike It or Not
by Pat Goss
Motorcycles have certainly seen a tremendous resurgence in popularity over the last few years. So, what we’ve done is we’ve collected some of the bikes that belong to the MotorWeek staff to show you some of the more popular things that are going on.
Well, just about everybody that has a motorcycle, they want one of two things. They want the ultimate horsepower out of that bike, or they want “the” sound. And that means that they’ve changed the exhaust system. Well, there are different ways of doing that. You might elect to do something like this Cobra slip-on [left]. Here you use the original front pipe, the old muffler is sawed off, and the new muffler slips over it. It increases horsepower and gives a nice sound.
But maybe you want to go a step further with something like this Yoshimura R&D system [right]. This starts right at the engine, has all of the pipes and the muffler as one unit. And everything is tuned for best performance. More money, but a little more performance is what you’ll get.
Now, remember that when you change the exhaust system, you alter the back pressure. And when you alter the back pressure, that tends to make a motorcycle run lean. So you have to re-jet the carburetor, or if it’s fuel-injected, you may have to change the chip inside the computer.
Now, another thing that works with performance is certainly the handling and traction of the bike. There are a lot of after-market tires that will deliver much better traction and handling. But remember, when you do that you may sacrifice longevity. Better traction, less wear. But it’s probably worth it.
All right, now, the next thing is comfort. Well, that means that you want to change the seat. Maybe you want to consider something like this Corbin after-market seat, which has a special foam in it for comfort. It’s designed so that if fits the bike precisely, and it’s really great to sit on. Nice, nice touch.
All right, now, keeping it clean. For that you want the S100 line of cleaning products that will keep your bike looking like new indefinitely. It does a great job.
Another thing that’s been real, real popular is luggage for motorcycles. There’s not much place to carry anything on the average motorcycle, so soft luggage, even in the form of saddlebags or tank bags in a number of different options. A lot of them will actually be contoured to fit your precise make and model. They’re a good investment and very inexpensive.
Now, last but not least, you want to keep your motorcycle in your driveway, and that means you need a disc lock. It slides over the disc brake and keeps the thieves from walking off with your bike.