Royal Enfield has always enjoyed a cult following in India. Young buyers are fascinated by its retro looks and its ever-popular engine thump. Also, Bullets and modifications go hand in hand. RE motorcycles are probably the most frequently and intensely modded bikes in India. Many newbie riders succumb to the temptation of modifying their new Royal Enfield Bullets and that’s where thing can take a wrong turn, terribly so many a times. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest mistakes newbie riders make while getting a modification job done.
Installing cheap and low-quality alloys
This is among the most dangerous and widespread modification practices in India. Using low-quality alloys just for the sake of looks can damage the bike and are a threat to the rider’s life. Add to that a heavy bike like a bullet, and you’re sitting on a death trap if you install cheap alloys. Alloys definitely give more character to the bike and raise the oomph factor, but using sub-par materials can be fatal. It can cause rim cracks, air leaks, insurance/warranty breach and most importantly, is a ticking time bomb. There have been been examples of tyres just coming off or bursting due to poor alloys. So if you are passionate enough to modify your bullet, just go a little extra mile and get certified OEM rims. After all, a deeper hole in your pocket is still better than enormous hospital bills.
Using cheap/ill-designed aftermarket exhaust systems
Want more sound out of your engine? Want to make your presence felt on roads? Install a free-flow exhaust to your bullet and watch the world burn. This is what most people are told by shopkeepers. What they don’t know is that using a cheap free-flow exhaust can cause more harm than good to your beloved bullet. While a well-designed and fitted exhaust can definitely up the ante, a cheap and poorly made one degrades the bike, lowers the average as well as power output. A badly designed exhaust also hampers the working of the exhaust valve causing it to burn. Truth to tell, every bike needs a custom-designed exhaust for it to properly fit and function but that’s not the case when you get it done for a few bucks. Nowadays, RE provide custom silencers in their showrooms. Apart from them there are many reputed companies like Akrapovic, which provide custom silencer replacement and fittings.
Fitting high power horns and lights without using relay
Loud horns and high-powered lights are the current rage with bullet owners, with many of them fitting lights on leg guards too. While it may seem like there is no issue in doing that, the consequences can be harsh. If we go by the rule book, excessively loud horns are banned and it is mentioned as an illegal practice in vehicle laws of the country. So if you are caught by police, the fines can get pretty high. Apart from this, high power lights and horns require proper rewiring and use of a relay system in accordance to the wattage. Such mods without relay can cause short circuits in the wiring and may even cause the bike to go up in flames. You are also at risk of getting your electric systems warranty void upon such actions.
Using poorly designed crash/leg guards
While leg guards definitely up the safety of your bike, its important to get a good one. Many people are still conflicted about the usefulness of a crash guard. According to us, it for sure protects the bike from damage but may not be very useful to the rider if he gets thrown off the bike. Which brings us back to the topic of the quality of leg guards. Poor-quality or poorly-designed leg guards can prove ineffective during a crash. Very strong and stiff crash guards can transfer the force of the impact wholly to the chassis dealing permanent damage to it. On the other hand, low-quality material can get bent and may hurt the rider. It’s always a clever choice to get good crash guards for your bullet. RE-certified crash guards are a great option for newbie riders.
Fitting awkward or very wide handlebars
Handlebars are a distinctive mod option in a cruiser like RE but many newbie riders make a mistake when they go purely according to aesthetics and get wide handlebars. While its not wrong to change the handlebars to a custom one, choosing the right one should be one’s priority. There are many problems associated with handlebars if not done right. First of all poorly designed or very wide handlebars affect vehicle maneuverability adversely. It also creates problems when moving through heavy traffic or parking in a crowded area. In a country like ours where the aforementioned factors are in plenty, improper handle bars can prove to be a pain.
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