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Personalizing your bike is one of the joys of owning a motorcycle. But to avoid wasting money, know what motorcycle mods to avoid.

The first thing many motorcycle owners do after buying a new or used bike is to change it, often by swapping out parts with aftermarket options and adding new accessories. This is nothing new — modifications are part of the fun of owning a motorcycle. 

However, not every mod is worth the money. Aside from being a waste of cash, some mods might only represent a danger to your motorcycle. In this guide, we’re going over three examples of mods to skip and three that are actually worth paying for. 


1. Not Worth It: Motorcycle Stereo

Between the sound of your bike, wind, and the noise of traffic around you, there’s no way you can listen to the sound of a stereo without turning up the volume. And when you do that, you’re only going to become a nuisance to pedestrians and other motorists on the road. 


2. Worth It: Luggage Systems

motorcycle luggage

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Bikes may have gotten faster and come with more tech than ever, but the world of top boxes and panniers has remained relatively unchanged. Sure, boxes are bigger and look sleeker, but they’re still made to do one thing: carry your stuff. 

If you plan on doing long-distance rides across the country, boxes, racks, and other luggage systems are a must-have. They can be the difference between an enjoyable journey and a miserable one.


Explore our selection of luggage systems and OEM motorcycle accessories for brands like Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and more. 

3. Not Worth It: Loud Open Pipes

Loud aftermarket exhaust pipes are perhaps the most popular modification for first-time bike owners, largely due to the misconception that loud pipes save lives (they don’t). The sound your aftermarket exhaust pipe makes is directed rearward — away from the people you’re supposed to warn. If you want to warn motorists ahead of you that you’re coming up behind them, use your horn.

If anything, aftermarket exhaust only affects your engine’s fuel to air ratio and messes up your bike’s tuning. Opening up your exhaust often means having too much air and not enough fuel for the engine to perform as efficiently as it should. 


4. Worth It: Anti-brake Locking System (ABS)

Adding ABS to your bike makes it safer and adds enjoyment to your rides. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, crashes involving bikes with ABS are 31% less likely to lead to fatalities. 

Depending on your motorcycle’s make and model, ABS can be an easy add-on or require a mechanic. Either way, however, it’s an excellent addition that makes you safer on the road. 


Discover our range of brake systems and OEM motorcycle parts and accessories. Get prices up to 30% off at Service Honda.

5. Not Worth It: High-Octane Fuel

This isn’t technically a modification in the truest sense of the word. But switching to high-octane fuel still counts as a common (and useless) change that riders make. 

The idea is that filling up your bike with premium fuel increases its horsepower, making it go faster. But this ignores the fact that every motorcycle’s engine compression and fuel system is specifically designed for a particular octane level. More often than not, it’s sportbikes and superbikes that need high-octane fuel. 

In fact, using fuel with higher than recommended octane levels may cause your engine to knock, leading to expensive repairs. Bottom line?


6. Worth It: Suspension

Modern suspension systems have come a long way from the adjustable forks and shocks of the 90s. Today, manufacturers offer fatter forks and sleek shocks that let riders adjust their preload and rebound settings according to their riding style and weight. 

Dialing in your suspension just right ensures a stable ride on bumps and rough roads, controlled maneuvering in city streets, and stability when gripping the brakes. 

Be sure to follow the Service Honda blog to find more guides on modifications to try and parts to get. We also offer replacement OEM and aftermarket parts and accessories at Service Honda, and you can get up to 30% off on select items.