Royal Enfield has an almost cult-like following in India. With many Indians riding Enfields across the nation, the bikes attract a lot of attention from newer and younger wannabe bike owners, who find the retro looks and the distinct thump of the exhaust note attractive. Also, modifying these motorcycles is part of the lifestyle associated with Royal Enfield bikes.
Royal Enfield Motorcycles are perhaps the most common modified bikes seen in India and the options to tweak them are seemingly endless. Unfortunately, many newbie riders succumb to the temptation of modifying their Enfields but go the wrong way when doing it. So in this post, let’s take a look at some of the biggest mistakes newbie riders make while modifying their Royal Enfields.
Installing cheap and low-quality alloy wheels
Fitting new alloy wheels is among the most common modifications done to Royal Enfield motorcycles. However, many opt for low-quality alloy wheels just because they look flashy. Low-quality cheap wheels can get easily damaged and are a threat to the lives of the bike’s riders. While they give more character to the bike, sub-par alloys can crack and cause air leaks or just cause the tyre to come off which are definite threats to the lives of those riding these heavy bikes. So if you really want to modify your bullet, just go the extra mile and get certified OEM rims. They may be costly but they’ll not be a threat to your continued living.
Using cheap/ill-designed aftermarket exhaust systems
The biggest complaint against modified Royal Enfield bike owners from the public and the cops is that they have aftermarket exhausts installed on them which are extremely loud and disturb the eardrums of everyone the bike passes by.
Many owners who want to be noticed wherever they go install free-flow exhaust setups based on the advice of the shop owner selling the pipes. However, cheap free-flow exhaust setups can cause a lot of harm to your beloved Royal Enfield and will lower your bike’s performance and mileage. The Exhaust valve too can be damaged by a badly designed exhaust setup. So if you’re really hell bent on fitting a custom exhaust, it is best to stick with the custom offerings directly from Royal Enfield or from reputed aftermarket manufacturers like Akrapovic who provide custom silencer replacement and fittings.
Fitting high power horns and lights without using a relay
Another new fad among Royal Enfield owners these days is the fitting of high powered lights and horns with many fitting a whole array of lights on their bikes. However, what many owners don’t know is that excessively loud horns bright lights are banned under the motor vehicle laws of the nation and can get you in trouble with the cops. Also, these systems require high amounts of power which require proper rewiring and the use of relay systems in accordance with the wattage needed. Not using a relay can burn out your beloved Bullet by causing short circuits in the wiring. Using these horns and lights can also void the warranty on the electrical systems of your bike.
Using poorly designed crash/leg guards
Leg guards help increase the safety levels for bike riders but it is especially important that you get a good one fitted to your Bullets. While many people still don’t get the importance of good leg guard as it doesn’t seem to be useful for the rider if he/she is flung off the bike, they can save you a whole amount of money in repair and repainting costs if your bike does fall over and save your legs.
However, poor quality and badly designed leg guards can prove ineffective during a crash. If they are too strong and stiff, they can transfer the entire impact force of the crash to the chassis which could cause permanent damage to it. Those made from low-quality materials are can easily get bent and may end up hurting the bike’s rider. For newbie Royal Enfield riders, getting company certified leg guards are always the best option around.
Fitting awkward or very wide handlebars
Custom handlebars are a distinctive part of the cruiser motorcycle culture and many new Royal Enfield owners like to get some rather crazy sets of handlebars installed on their bikes. However, many just go for the looks and end up installing handlebars that are just a bit too wide.
There are many problems that ill-sized and designed handlebars can cause. First poorly designed or extra wide handlebars will adversely affect the manoeuvrability of your Enfield. Super wide handlebars or ill-designed units can also cause problems when moving through heavy traffic or parking in crowded areas, two things synonymous with India. Also, these wide handlebars can affect your riding posture which could lead to to back problems for riders.