Simple Steps to Trick Out Your Motorcycle

Sitting in the saddle of your motorcycle can be your favorite place in the world. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a hardened commuter, chances are you want more out of your bike than stellar performance on the road. You want it to stand out.

Some motorcycles are totally tricked out: low riders with handlebars so high they look impossible to steer, sport bikes with streamlined windscreens and huge trikes with extra-fat tires. Each of these unique rides are often one of a kind and fit their riders to a tee.

If you’re looking to make your bike unique, follow these tips on how to trick out your motorcycle.

Customize Your Bike

What can you do to trick out your ride? The answer is practically anything you can imagine. Motorcycle manufacturers and aftermarket suppliers sell a wide variety of parts, from cube light cages and extra-long footplates to gold trims and carefully crafted sprockets. But before ordering anything, look at other bikes or go online to get some ideas.

Go to a custom bike show, such as Revival Cycle’s Handbuilt Motorcycle Show or Sturgis Buffalo Chip®, where you can see some amazing customized motorcycles. It’s a great place to gain insight on what’s possible and what you’d like.

Once you have an idea of what you want, here are some pointers to get you started.

Be Prepared

Before you start any work on your bike, there are a few basics to keep in mind.

Get the Manual

Make sure you consult your owner’s manual before changing anything on your bike. It typically contains valuable information on essential parts, as well as how replacement parts may affect things like engine performance or suspension. If you don’t have the manual, contact the dealer or manufacturer for a new one.

Be Safe

Always keep safety in mind when customizing your bike. If you’re not sure how something will affect your motorcycle, or you’re not confident about the technical aspects, talk to your mechanic.

Check With Your Insurance Agent

It’s a good idea to check with your insurance agent before proceeding with any alterations to your bike so that you understand what is covered under your motorcycle insurance. If you have standard collision and comprehensive coverage on your motorcycle insurance policy, it may not cover custom parts, accessories or features that you add to your bike. Some motorcycle policies may offer limited coverage for custom parts, but it’s best to talk to your agent to be sure you know what is and isn’t covered. You may want to add coverage to your motorcycle insurance policy, as it may help pay for repairs to or replacement of aftermarket additions if they are damaged or destroyed in a covered claim.

Choose Your Style

Now it’s time to determine the look you want, which is where the fun starts. Do you want a retro look? A subtle customization? An upgraded sound system? You may want to consider these tips:

  • Use different metal finishes. While chrome is popular, polished aluminum and stainless steel can add some different tones to your bike — just be sure the metals and style complement one another, says Motorcycle Cruiser.
  • Get a custom paint job. Find a shop that specializes in painting motorcycles whose portfolio matches your own style, says Motorcycle Cruiser, and work with them to create the perfect look for your bike.
  • Change your exhaust pipes. While this can update the look of your bike, notes that it can also give it a unique sound that people will notice.
  • Engrave it. Have your favorite design or saying engraved on chrome parts, says
  • Swap Grips and Levers. Aftermarket grips and brake or clutch levers are an affordable way to give your bike some style, according to

Whether you just want to make a few small upgrades or give your bike a whole new look, there are plenty of ways to make your bike stand out. When it comes to tricking out your motorcycle, use your imagination and let your personal style shine.

Originally published on April 8, 2014.

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