It’s not unusual these days to see a motorcycle with a few modified parts on it compared to how it left the factory. There’s such a range of aftermarket parts available now that you can quickly change one or two bits of the bike, such as putting a bigger windscreen on and a custom exhaust. Some riders take this even further and transform their bikes into unique machines with relative ease. Some types of motorcycles, such as streetfighters and choppers originated from this urge to create something different by customizing stock motorcycles.
What kinds of motorcycle modifications are available?
The recent development of the aftermarket parts industry means there are far more options for personalizing your bike than even just a few years ago. These parts started appearing when it became obvious there was a market there, through the creation and increased popularity of entirely custom motorcycles.
You don’t have to look very hard to find an aftermarket replacement for almost any part on your motorcycle, offering a variety of improvements over the original or even adding entirely new bits to allow your bike to do even more. For example; different exhaust systems that can change the sound or bike performance, pannier racks or top boxes for carrying luggage or even different handlebars to change your body position and handling when riding.
Some people will also tune their motorcycle to get every bit of performance out of it, and other modifications are just for show such as a tail tidy, a smaller bracket for holding the bike’s registration number.
Making your motorcycle more unique
Not only can you change the parts on a motorcycle for a bit more individuality but there are other ways that you can make a bike standout from similar models too, such as custom paint jobs or stickers that owners put on to alter the appearance.
It’s not uncommon to see a bike with a paint scheme matching the team colours of a race team or some other more unique design at a bike meeting point. Some owners choose to change their bike’s registration number and it’s actually quite common to see a proud owner with a cherished number plate that includes the name of the bikes model, a sure sign they’re proud of the bike they ride.
How it all started
Some very popular types of bike came about entirely because of owners desire to have a unique motorcycle. Common bikes now such as streetfighters and bikes that have been very popular in the past like choppers and café races started off as conventional bikes that people modified to make them more unique and personal.
Streetfighters developed originally from sports bikes without the fairing, which is said to have started because young riders couldn’t afford to replace them after a crash, and higher handlebars better suited for wheelies, stoppies and other stunts.
Café races and choppers both came from the same idea – achieving maximum speed. Both started as ordinary motorcycles stripped down of the parts considered unnecessary but evolved in completely different ways. Choppers were designed for the long, straight roads of America while café racers were much more nimble and far better suited for the twisty roads of 50s and 60s Britain.
Once the big bike manufactures noticed that people were customizing their bikes and changing them into these new, different designs they started producing the bikes themselves. Popular examples of this included the choppers Harley Davidson make or the range of streetfighters available at moment from almost all the manufactures.
So to sum up
Custom bikes are more popular than ever right now. As I said at the beginning, the range of aftermarket parts available now really allows riders to do whatever they want to their bike to customize it in a way that suits them, whether it is for appearance, performance or practicality. It’s one of the joys of motorcycling to be able to alter your bike to match you, and it’s come about after years of other bikers modifying their machines to match them.
This post was written by James Harper on behalf of The Plate Market who can help you find a cherished number plate for your bike.