Mods, Modifications. Another reason to love motorcycling. Isn’t it an exciting and visceral experience to own the motorcycle that you want and to be able to modify it? I hear you say yes, and I have to agree. There are some people who like the motorcycle in stock form, meaning, just the way you got it when you bought it from the showroom floor.
There are other rebellious and enthusiastic riders, who are not satisfied with the offering that they got from the factory. They want more from their motorcycle. They want their motorcycle to have good visual appeal and to look the way they want, which is to look sexy, or you want to improve the performance of the motorcycle, say, by adding an air filter, or changing the sprocket or the entire gearing, or by giving it better brakes, tires, and suspension, etc. Or, if you are a wild child, you will give it a big bore kit or swap the engine! Or, you just want more comfort by giving it a more comfortable seat, or you want to improve luggage carrying capacity while touring, or, you want your motorcycle to sound like a million bucks so you might want to add an exhaust (Fake fact-applying Akrapovic sticker on your bike will increase the power by 10 horsepower!!!!).
You can do anything to your motorcycle, the sky is the limit. You can modify your motorcycle the way you want. Well, there are some motorcycles that are easier to modify and have more modification potential and capability than others, one of the reasons being that they have a huge aftermarket. And that is going to be the topic for today’s blog post.
These are our picks for the top 5 motorcycles available in India that have huge modification potential. (Please note that these motorcycles are not in any specific order, in my opinion, each one of these is amazing)
For this, I would recommend the Avenger 220 Cruise and the 1st Gen Avenger because those two really look the part. The others, like 150 Street, look like commuters in my opinion (no offense to their owners, you can modify those as well). The Avenger has been a very popular and appreciated bike, because it is essentially a budget cruiser, in my opinion actually, it is the only budget cruiser in India, there is nothing in the market like it. The Japanese competitors tried, like in the form of the Suzuki Intruder and the Yamaha Enticer, but they just could not beat the Avenger.
The Avenger was nothing really special, a commuter bike with the looks of a proper cruiser, like those big burly Harleys, but on a budget. But it was quite special because it was a bike that brought many cruiser enthusiasts, who couldn’t afford cruisers, into biking. What made the Avenger special was its low cost, looks to die for, easy parts availability and cheap maintenance (‘cause it’s a Bajaj, duh), relaxed, torquey engine and cruiser ergos with forward set footpegs, and the fact that it was and still is one of the most comfortable motorcycles in the segment. Since parts are cheap and easily available, there is nothing much to worry about.
Since this bike is all about big cruiser looks and feel, and sex appeal, most people modify it for looks and appearance, to make it look like their idea of a “real” cruiser. I would also suggest you to make it look like a beautiful cruiser, or whatever appeals to you. The next thing I would suggest, and I guess people do, is to make the seat and suspension setup even more comfortable because that will add to the Avenger’s riding experience, which makes you feel like you are riding on a cloud, not kidding! The next thing I would suggest is going for an aftermarket exhaust, which can be a bit difficult. If you do a bit of searching around and get the right one, it will actually sound like a cruiser! Last but not the least, if it’s possible, I would suggest getting a big bore kit, to increase displacement and torque, which will make the experience more visceral. I would recommend taking the displacement to 350 or 400 cc, if possible.
Bajaj Pulsar NS200
The NS200 is, in my opinion, the best sporty street naked bike in the 200cc class, if performance on a budget is all you want. It makes the most power in the 200cc class, it has the highest top-speed, 6-speed transmission, 4-valve head, liquid-cooling, and timeless modern-classic looks. It is quite reliable, and it is also cheap and easy to maintain parts are cheap and easily available and maintenance is also easy because it is a Bajaj. The engine and transmission have been taken from the KTM Duke 200, so no doubt that it is the spicy meatball of this segment. It goes like hell by 200 cc standards. It has a top speed of 145 km/h in stock form!
It is effective in the city, comfortable holding triple-digit speeds on the highway, and can do long-distance touring quite well. It is also a very enjoyable motorcycle in the corners. Its heart lies in the wide-open road and the corners because it is really good handling and is one of the best-handling motorcycles in the segment. It loves its revs, and once you rev it hard, you will love the sound as the tachometer goes past 6000 rpm, this thing gets all serious and pulls like an animal. It is because of the perimeter frame, the rear mono-shock, and the really taut suspension setup in the front. It is the go-to choice for thrill seekers and squids on a budget. The NS200 platform, like that of the Avenger, has been there forever, so it’s easy to find parts and this platform is known for having a very huge potential for both types of mods-Performance mods and appearance mods.
People have modified their NS200s quite a lot for both appearance and performance. Personally, I would recommend you go for fully adjustable USD forks on the front, from a reputed brand like Showa or Ohlins, and a fully adjustable rear mono shock from a reputed company. Give it a full-system exhaust, an air filter, an ECU tune to rev higher, give the engine a big bore kit up to 400 cc, give it some good tank grips, give the throttle a bigger cam for aggressive throttle response, give it adjustable brake and clutch levers, give the brake a master cylinder, steel braided brake lines, throw the old pathetic Eurogrips and give it a brand new set of Michelin Road 5 tyres, give it 2 320 mm front discs with sintered pads at the front(if not obvious, it is the same setup as the KTM Duke 390, but double), and boy, oh boy, you have a CRAZY track weapon in your hands. Have fun overtaking other bikes in the Ghats and the BIC!
People know this 2-stroke legend, so it needs no introduction. People have done lots of mods on this bike. You can modify it to look the way you want. Scrambler, café racer, or stock looks, your choice. I would also suggest putting on fatter tires for a good, rugged look. You can also modify this bike for better performance. People have used the RX100 in racing forever. This bike has a lot of potential for racing and going fast. You can use expansion chambers, porting, engine tuning, sprockets, bigger carburetors, air filters, quicker throttle for better performance, and even disc brakes for better stopping power.
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650/ Continental GT650
This bike is a retro motorcycle and café racer that has really gained its own fan following. It looks sexy, sounds like a million bucks, and goes like hell. This bike can be modified for both looks and performance. You can make the Interceptor 650 look or even perform like a scrambler, just like what Sagar Sheldekar did. His Project “Hare Scramble” is worth looking at. The Interceptor 650 and Continental GT650 are the same bikes, but the Interceptor is a normal retro bike look whereas the Continental GT650 is a café-racer.
You can modify the Continental GT650 to look like a café-racer and my other recommendation would be to modify it to be a track bike because despite its weight and despite being a Royal Enfield, it has a lot of potential for being a track bike. I would also recommend fitting an exhaust because it will save weight and will enhance the sound of this beast, and a big bore kit to increase its displacement and thus increase power and torque. Believe me, it deserves it.
Royal Enfield Classic 350/500/Bullet 350/500
These bikes have been there forever, people have modified them for looks and comfort and put exhausts on them forever, so if you want your bike to make a statement and you want it to sound and look like the entry of Shahid Kapoor in Kabir Singh, if this suits your personality then you can modify it the way you want, you will not regret it. I would recommend you modify this bike for looks, sound and feel, not for performance, because this bike is not meant for that.