Best Motorcycle Performance Upgrades
Everyone wants to increase the performance of their machine when racing; it’s the competitive drive to do better than your competitors. While training and practice come into play, riders can also upgrade their bikes to perform better than before. The best motorcycle performance upgrades all revolve around the power, speed, and handling of the bike on the track. When these factors come together, riders will have a powerful machine at their fingertips. Hit the apex, and you’ll ride on rails with these modifications.
Racing is about the bike with the most power, or so it seems! With Sportbikes, power consists of horsepower and torque. Horsepower is the unit of power used to measure an engine. Torque is the turning force of an object. Both have a powerful effect on the performance of the Sportbike and are responsible for an engine’s acceleration in relation to its RPM in its operating range. These also affect the throttle of your Sportbike, since a bike at midrange or low end needs greater acceleration for greater torque. A high torque and high horsepower make for the best performance on any track. While these are often limited due to the production specifications, there are certain upgrades to increase the power of the bike for better track-day performance.
Exhaust and Air Filters
It’s well known that stock exhaust systems are heavier than aftermarket ones and, in some cases, restrictive. Replacing this will reduce weight from your bike and boost the throttle response. When paired with the correct air filter and tune, it will increase power and give you a much more usable torque curve.
Data Logging, Transponders, and Lap Timers
One of the best ways to track your performance and improve your skills during and after the race is with our data loggers, transponders, and lap timers. The AIM solo lap timers offer real-time lap management to show your splits and lap times. Our AIM Motorcycle dash loggers offer GPS capability and provide speed, lap time, RPM, gears, and other channels for optimal real-time performance. The AIM data loggers feed data from your vehicle’s ECU, internal accelerometers, and gyro to the predefined math channels for clean RPM inputs. These allow you to analyze every part of your race for efficient performance review. Additionally, the MyLaps X2 Transponder is a highly accurate and reliable data recorder to check your data online after the race.
Reduce the weight of your motorcycle. Light aftermarket wheels will provide a big difference. This will help your bike’s handling, which will improve your entry and drive out of the corner.
You must have a quality set of tires underneath you. Be careful when using part worn used race tires. It’s best to have a new set of slicks or DOT race tires to get the best performance for your racing. It might take some trial and error to find the best one, but once you do, you’ll notice a great difference in your level of grip and handling of your bike.
When we talk about gearing, we are talking about setting up the bike to be able to get into and out of the corner in the right gear and with the right RPM and exit drive. Gearing changes per track often takes time to find the correct setup. It is recommended to have a selection of front and rear sprockets and different length chains to do this. Changing to a 520-pitch chain shaves weight, which in turn helps with horsepower.
Not many people consider how the battery affects the overall weight of the bike, but lithium batteries are significantly lighter than lead-acid batteries. Depending on the battery, they can also improve starting performance as they can be found to have big power for maximum weight loss. You won't find many pro teams using lead acid batteries these days.
Choosing lightweight composite race fairings will reduce your overall weight of the bodywork. Our Carbonin Epoxy resin and fiber fairings come pre-fitted with the ¼ turn fasteners. Mechanics love these fairings because of the perfect fitment and various seat options available. You’ll see these fairings are the best on the market.
Still, no one wants to thrash their bike. Handling refers to the way your bike responds to your inputs when riding on the track. Hitting the apex at the right moment is critical. Handling is one of the simplest parts of your racing bike to upgrade since your suspension is responsible for your handling performance.
Adjustable suspension is your best friend to improve your handling. You’ll have complete control over adjusting the compression and damping settings, some with high and low speed as well as springing for your weight. A well-set-up bike is going to provide more confidence for the rider to go fast! Consider getting your suspension professionally installed to ensure it is properly set up for your weight. This will guarantee your bike exceeds expectations against your competitors.
Brake Lines and Pads
The other main aspect of your handling performance is your braking system. To improve your performance, stock lines are replaced with braided lines to improve their braking power. In MotoGP, they use carbon fiber and Kevlar brake lines, like those from Fren Turbo, paired with the right pads, and like those from Vesrah Brakes, with thicker rotors to cope with the higher temperatures. Otherwise these temperatures can cause warping and a lagging response.
Of course, body placement is crucial for perfect handling. Part of this plays into foot placement and how you can shift your body weight. Rear sets allow for adjustment in your foot peg position and for greater ground clearance. Bikes are manufactured to fit all types of people, so you need to be comfortable while on your machine. Riders use their weight through their feet to control the bike from side to side and to steer the bike in turns while leaned over, which reduces their inputs on the front bars.
No matter which motorcycle parts you wish to upgrade, check out our selection at HHR Performance. And if you do have one of the latest bikes, such as the 2020 BMW S1000rr, we stock a large amount of alpha racing performance parts. Use our Select Your Bike feature to find the right performance parts for you.