#6 – Tire Pressure
Those fresh new tires you put on your bike won’t provide the traction or feel necessary if they aren’t inflated properly. Underinflated tires are a common cause of poor handling and improper tire wear, while overinflated tires won’t provide the grip you’re depending on to keep you upright. Make sure you check your manual for proper settings and then check your tire pressure every time you head out for a day in the canyons or on the track.
#7 – Swapping Fork Oil (if no damping adjustment)
If your motorcycle does not allow you to adjust the damping settings, changing the fork oil will alter the damping rate of your front suspension. Most likely, you’ll want more damping, which will mean changing for heavier oil. I did this modification with my 2010 Triumph Bonneville and was really happy with the results, considering it was much cheaper than buying a whole new front end.
#8 – Stomp Grip
Adding stomp grip to the tank of your motorcycle gives you increased control and confidence over your motorcycle. As RideApart’s Wes Siler discussed in his article about body position, you use the thigh and knee of your outside leg to hang on to your bike in a turn. Stomp grip greatly improves your leg’s ability to stick to the tank, keeping you attached to the motorcycle.
#9 – Swap the Sprockets
So technically, this is both true and false. Dropping down teeth on the front sprocket (or adding teeth in the rear) increases torque and acceleration, while decreasing overall top speed. Because the front has far less teeth, changing one sprocket in the front is the same as three in the rear, so we prefer dropping just one in the front as it doesn’t require a different length chain. Aprilia won’t tell you this, but the entire V4 range is actually designed to work best with a 15 tooth front sprocket, however they ship it with a 17 tooth sprocket to pass noise regulations.
#10 – Buy Some Gas and Ride
The best and most effective way you can get faster is just to practice. The best way to practice is on a bike that is set up appropriately for you and that gives you confidence to push yourself a bit, all while wearing the best safety gear you can.
Tell us your solutions to make your bike faster without spending a ton of cash in the comments below.