We all want our bikes to run at their best, and for us dual sport lovers, top performance mods might be in order.
But what exactly are top performance mods? Well, that depends a lot on what you want to improve on your motorcycle, but as far as dual sport motorcycles go, there are a few points that are common to most of us, and many that we can do as we do our motorcycle maintenance too.
Suspensions are definitely a top choice, but since I have dedicated a video just to that, I did not add them to this one, but instead, I decided to talk a bit more about engine improvements. But before going into the more expensive engine mods, playing around with gearing can make a huge difference and be relatively inexpensive.
Top things to remember about gearing:
- One tooth in the front is the same as changing 3 in the rear
- Changing the front sprocket is fast and in most cases can be done by roadside to improve fuel consumption or low power torque
- Everytime you change a sprocket, don't forget to check your chain adjustment
- Changing the rear sprocket might force you to replace the chain size
One of the top changes most riders do is to replace the end can or full exhaust system and/or the air filter.
Top things to remember about exhaust and air filter changes:
- Engines work with a mixture of fuel and air. Changing the air intake/exhaust forces you to adjust the fuel for top performance
- Engines without proper fuel/air mixtures can develop problems or not work at their best
- Downloading fuel maps out of the internet can be a good starting point, but is it far from being a good option
- If you want to take the best out of your investment, budget for a dyno run with a professional
Although engine upgrades make a huge difference in the way your bike handles, there is a tip I use that is absolutely free and also changes a lot the way your dual sport will handle. Removing the handlebar weights will make the bike a bit less comfortable on the road, but as soon as you get off road, the bike will be a lot faster in terms of handling. It will fill a lot lighter.
But now we have improved our power, we have increased our handling, there is a step that we definitely cannot forget, but sadly a lot of people do. Improving our brakes!
Unless you can stop fast and safely, you will not be able to use all the new power you just acquired. A good way to do that is to upgrade from rubber to braided brake lines. The metal braid will prevent the lines from expanding underuse, and will keep your braking crisp and precise all around. That is the reason why a lot of brands are inserting them into their models from stock.
Bottom line, you can upgrade your bike, but don't forget that is important to do your homework regarding the upgrades you have in mind. Make sure they are legal in your country and make sure you budget correctly. A halfway job can be worst for your bike then it will be for you to run as is for a while longer.
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