Is more always the best?
As with any other family member, a motorcycle is subject of love and appreciation. We treat it with respect, talk to her, even treat it with tenderness, and as such, we want the best to keep it up with the best perks we can find. But, is this always worth it? How many times a nice fender, head lights, extra beams, and more honky tonkies had to be replaced after a fall? Maybe one of them is broken and yet we must buy the pair again? How about performance parts? Sure, most of them get more juice out of an engine, but rarely increase reliability.
When the time comes to modify your beloved one, we believe that the sectors where accessories on a motorcycle can be split as:
As mentioned before, some of these parts are not meant to extend the life expectancy of your motorcycle’s engine, but to get the most out of it in a controlled manner. A new Engine Control Unit for fuel mapping for instance and specialized air filters for better performance in your final engine’s output. Other pieces reduce the weight, like complete titanium pipes that also are designed to reduce the loss of pressure at the exhaust, creating a cleaner path for the fumes to come out. In this sense, the lighter the component, the more expensive it is and is a point to bear in mind should you plan to learn new bike skills and be prompted to fall.
Steering and dynamic aids.
Regardless the bike you have, there is always room for improvement. The dynamics and geometry of the motorcycle works to provide you stability, specially when it comes to corners. As your motorcycle is leaned to one side, the forks and shocks adopt its leaning angle as well, and their efficiency is not the same as if the bike would be riding completely vertical. That excess of energy coming in a form of road imperfections and therefore vibrations to the bike’s body, are absorbed by the chassis and all its components. Here is the importance of having a theme or a specific use for the motorcycle. Tires, rims, steering dampeners and frame itself need to be configured for the type of road and riding style that is going to be in place, so that unnecessary stress is induced in some components.
These are a very important motorcycle accessory that needs some thought and consideration. Most big models, like KTM 790, Honda Africa Twin or KTM 1290 Super Adventure to mention few examples, have already their own power station, usually with an output around 10 -12 A @ 12 volts. If the need arises to have few things connected at the same time, the total amount of Watts needed, cannot exceed the alternator’s capacity. This can be found in the owner’s manual of the motorcycle and for the accessories that consumes the most like heaters, their consumption is also specified. Now, just not to go too much in math, you would have to add the total consumption of your perks and make sure your motorcycle can cope with it. A valid point to take in consideration, specially if you will be riding in cold places.
Luggage and mounting.
As already spoken about the motorcycle dynamics, is important to make sure that if the mounting used for your luggage does not belong to an approved provider for that specific motorcycle brand, it won’t interfere with the motorcycle dynamics and capacity to absorb energy. If these mountings are secured in frame ends like foot pegs and other non-designed spots, the stiffness of the motorcycle will dramatically change and with it, its ability to absorb energy and vibrations.
Every hard case or luggage has their own capacity that has to match the specifics of the motorcycle in those ports. For example, there is no use on buying hard cases that can carry up to 12kg, if the ports on the bike are not designed to carry more than 8 kg. This also can be checked in the owner’s manual. Furthermore, every luggage system has also a rating for the maximum speed that can withstand due to air drag, usually from what is mentioned in the manufacturer, is good to keep a safety margin in place.
This is based on how much you will be riding at low-light conditions. In combination with your electronic accessories, the right choice needs to be done based on the maximum electric output of the motorcycle and considering all the possible options available and your likes. For instance, Halogen do not consume the same as LED options.
To us, as a motorcycle rental company this is a must. Considering our customers, and in the effort to minimize the damage of the motorcycle in the event of a crash, we have implemented in every motorcycle in our fleet crash bars, hand guards, skid plates, and thick vinyl to protect it. Same idea when it comes to dynamics, not every port is meant to be used to attach these accessories, as you wouldn’t like to mess with the proper motorcycle design and stability. However tough they need to be to sustain falls, there also must be a compromise on the weight of the materials used. Anything more than 1.5 mm of thickness in tubes used would substantially add weight to your ride.
It all sums up to have one theme and use for our motorcycle and working towards it. It seems silly to think that way is the obvious way, but then you get to see all these 4WD vehicles on the street with modified off-road pneumatic suspensions and riding with low profile tires and chromed rims… everyone applies their God-given right to taste and likes for sure. Here is where the all goes down to budget and objectives.
As a motorcycle rental company, we have realized that less is more and took a more minimalistic approach to things. Based on experiences for instance, especially off-road trails where everything shakes, we noticed that the more motorcycle accessories are built in, more bolts and screws will come loose over time and stuff will start to fall off. Not a nice thing when you are riding in a group of people. Also, when riding for long legs at the time, it is nice to have a louder exhaust system… for the first hour. After that, your ear drums will thank you every time you turn the engine off. Our clients when they go on self-guided tour, they count with GPS mountings and USB charging ports for their phones and cameras, which we think is a must. With the goal of minimizing damages on the bikes, we rather go for protective accessories, such us: crash bars, skid plates, hand guards with aluminum reinforcement, and thick vinyl to reduce the damages on the motorcycles in case something happens. We’d love and we had returning customers thanks to a non-aggressive damage control policy in our units.
We invite you to come along and check for yourself one of our tours in the model you’d like the most. Ecuador has so many wonderful things to offer and our latest models in specialized adventure brands like KTM, BMW, Honda, Suzuki and Royal Enfield, won’t disappoint you.