WORDS: Ari Henning
PHOTOS: Joe Neric
Miles mean wear. After years of use, your motorcycle probably doesn’t look as good as it once did. In this month’s Gear, we look at products that will help refresh your ride and make it look, feel and function like a newer machine. You might get a little refreshing, too.
1. SPIDER PEAK GRIPS
One of the cheapest ways to make your bike feel newer is by replacing thin, worn grips with fresh ones. Spider’s Peak have a tapered shape—narrower inboard and fatter outboard—and a multi-layer construction with a vibration-damping core covered in a comfortable gel. The Peaks were designed and tested by the Spider/Ducati Pike’s Peak race team, so they’ll probably hold up to your weekend joyrides. Get ‘em in black, grey or red for just $17.95.
2. LS2 FF385 CR1 HELMET
Besides a new bike, the most satisfying thing for a motorcyclist to buy is a new lid. You can’t beat that smell! The CR1 features a fiberglass shell perforated with adjustable vents, a fog-resistant faceshield and a removable liner. The CR1 meets DOT and ECE safety standards and sells for just $159.95. LS2 also offers a lightweight carbonfiber version for about twice the price.
3. MOTION PRO MINI BLEEDER
Is your front brake lever feeling spongy? Flushing and bleeding your brake system is an easy way to revive your bike’s braking abilities, and it’s a procedure most manufacturers recommend doing every 12 months. Motion Pro’s Mini Bleeder will help you get the job quicker and with less mess. The $26.99 tool combines a wrench, bleeder hose and internal check valve all in one device and is available in 8mm, 10mm and 11mm sizes.
4. S100 ENGINE BRIGHTENER
After couple thousand heat cycles the black paint on your motorcycle’s engine may be more of a dark gray. That’s why S100 came up with its engine brightener, which is designed to restore depth and bring back your engine’s shine. S100 says its engine brightener is temperature stable so it won’t burn off, and the can comes with a nifty misting nozzle for applying the product to cylinder fins and other nooks and crannies. For $8.95 a can, it’s well worth a try.
5. RIZOMA GRAFFIO TURN SIGNALS
Rizoma’s stuff is so universally gorgeous that even its most mundane products look like jewelry. These Graffio turn signals will add a touch of style to any motorcycle. Machined from aluminum in a sleek, aerodynamic shape, the Graffios feature ultra-bright LEDs and come in anodized silver, black, red, gold or blue. Like well-made jewelry, the Graffios require a certain financial commitment. In this case, $126 a pair.
6. DUNLOP SPORTMAX ROADSMART II TIRES
Worn rubber could be killing your bike’s handling. Replace your tired tires with Dunlop’s latest Sportmax Roadsmart IIs and enjoy the traction characteristics of sport tires, only with the promise of extended tread life. The Roadsmart IIs pick up where the Roadsmarts left off, but a new rubber compound and tread design improve handling and mileage. The Roadsmart IIs feature Dunlop’s Intuitive Response Profile (IRP) that the company says provides quick handling, and a multi-compound rear tire design it says gives improved straight-line durability without compromising cornering grip. Suggested retail prices range from $201.59 to $213.53 for common front-wheel sizes and rears cost between $266.62 and $305.63.
7. AUTOLITE XTREME SPORT SPARK PLUGS
Threading new Autolite Xtreme spark plugs into your cylinder head may not seem like an exciting upgrade, but replacing worn plugs can yield a noticeable improvement in throttle response, horsepower and fuel economy. Autolite’s powersports-specific plugs retail for $5.99 apiece and use a 0.6mm iridium-alloy center electrode that the company claims will provide a hotter spark and improved combustion. Autolite says the durable iridium electrode resists erosion and helps keep your engine running stronger for longer.
8. FACTORY EFFEX GRAPHICS KITS
Not every sportbike has the evergreen visual appeal of a Ducati 916. With Factory Effex’s adhesive graphics kits, you can give your bike a facelift for a fraction of the cost of fresh paint. Kits are made from scratch-resistant vinyl that’s precision cut to fit the contours of your bike’s bodywork and are offered in several styles. Full kits cost $249.99, are available for most late-model sportbikes and include pieces to fit the upper fairing, lower fairing, tank, nose, front and rear fenders. Separate kits for the upper fairing only are available for $149.99.
9. GRIOT’S RUBBER PREP
Prep for what? We’re not sure, but this stuff makes rubber parts look like new again. Rub it on those coffee-colored tire sidewalls, gray intake boots or salty-looking trim pieces and witness near-instant rejuvenation of polymer-based stuff. The special formula removes oxidation and residues and leaves you with a clean surface. Motorcyclist contributor John Stein used the special fuid on some of his scruffy old bikes and says it’s a worthwhile product for old-bike owners to have. $16.99 gets you a 16-ounce bottle, which is probably enough for a lifetime.
10. POWERBRONZE AIRFLOW WINDSCREEN
Replace your scratched, hazy stock windshield with a new one and add some style to your bike’s cockpit while you’re at it. Powerbronze Airfow windscreens feature a “doublebubble” design with a tall crest that looks sporty and supposedly improves airflow over the rider. Ride something older? Powerbronze has patterns dating back decades, so odds are there’s something for your bike. Screens are available in a spectrum of colors starting at about $80. Powerbronze also offers solo seat cowls, fenders and radiator covers to spice up your ride.