Aftermarket Upgrades For Your First Motorcycle (Essential Mods)

Aftermarket Upgrades For Your First Motorcycle (Essential Mods)

A few essential aftermarket modifications can upgrade the performance of your first ride and give you a jump start into the world of motorcycle customization.

There’s nothing better than the feeling of riding your first motorcycle out of the showroom. But soon after you get used to your new machine, you start to get that modification itch.

Maybe those stock tyres are feeling a bit vague on the bends, or that exhaust is just not giving you the signature sound you need. Maybe your seat is giving your rear end a bruising. A few essential upgrades can make a massive difference to your new ride.

In this post, we look at the top upgrades for your first motorcycle.





Just because your tyres are new, it doesn’t mean they are first-class.

Manufacturers are well aware that tyres wear out and are replaceable items.

They’ll spend years developing the best suspension and engines, but when it comes to rubber, bike-makers expect riders to have their individual preferences and save costs accordingly.

Speak to any seasoned motorcyclist and they will have a tyre preference. If you haven’t tried aftermarket tyres before, it’s worth heeding their advice. The most popular tyre brands will crop up time and again – MichelinMetzelerPirelliContinental, and .

MPW recommends:

Michelin Pilot Street Motorcycle Tyres – from £56.99




Seats on more affordable new bikes are not always made for extreme comfort.

If you’re taking a small city bike on a longer commute than you expected, or if you just want to give your rear a little luxury, you might want to think about installing an aftermarket seat.

Depending on your bike a seat to fit it could range from £50 to £500. This can also make a big difference to your riding position, putting more space between you and the ground.

And if you’re feeling like you want to pamper yourself with comfort, you could add a heated motorcycle pad and heated grips for those cold winter months.

MPW recommends:

Oxford Advanced Premium Hotgrips – from £79.99




Beginner 125cc bikes often come with standard, non-sealed chains.

They should do the job of turning your wheels but aren’t built for an optimum drive.

Stock chains might not be as taught as aftermarket ones, and usually, don’t hold lube well.

A performance chain will give you better throttle response on the rear sprocket. It’ll last a lot longer. And it’ll be less likely to flick dirt, mud, and gunk all over your legs.

MPW recommends:

DID Motorcycle Chains – from £20.99


Battery Charger


Your battery should last a while if you look after it.

But most riders experience the annoying dead battery scenario more than once.

A battery charger is a simple gadget that can save you the headache of getting stuck with no charge. Just plug your battery in when you finish riding to keep it topped up.

MPW recommends:

Motobatt 12V Water Boy Waterproof Battery Charger – from £34.99


Tail Tidy


Performance is one thing – but us bikers care about our rides looking good.

Stock license plate arms and holders just don’t cut it for most of us. They’re bulky and often stick out at strange angles and distances from the body of your machine.

An aftermarket tail tidy is a small part that can do a lot to make your bike yours.

MPW recommends:

R&G Tail Tidy Range – from £50.99


Crash Bungs


Let’s face it – if you’re not used to a bike, the likelihood of you dropping it isn’t low.

If it happens, you’ll want to protect your fairings, exhaust, and engine casing.

An affordable pair of £50-60 crash bungs can save damage to much more expensive components on your bike. It’s just good sense when repairs can run into the thousands.

Decent bungs can be picked up from R&G, Gilles, and GBRacing.

MPW recommends:

R&G Aero Crash Protector Bungs – from £161.99




Stock exhausts are made to meet budgets and regulations.

They can be weighty and won’t be the best that money can buy.

When you install a new exhaust, ECU (engine control unit) remapping is a must, to make sure your engine is performing at optimal levels with its new level of breathability. 

This is something that you can’t do at home. But splashing the cash on getting your new exhaust installed by an experienced mechanic will unleash your machine’s roar.

Reducing the weight with a lighter pipe, plus the power improvements it can bring, are well worth putting your bike into the shop for.

MPW recommends:

Toro Exhausts Range – from £79.99


Air Filter


The perfect part to work in harmony with a new exhaust system, a performance air filter can help your bike to get extra air in, for extra power.

Aftermarket filters will last longer and get you more consistent airflow than standard, flimsy stock varieties.

MPW recommends:

HiFlow Air Filters Range – £5.95


Radiator Guard


Your radiator is not something you think about until it goes wrong.

But when you’ve got stones flicking up at this important motorcycle part, it can be highly susceptible to damage.

It’s better to be safe and pick up a radiator guard for protection than wait until you’re sorry. If something causes a hole in your radiator, it can lead to oil and coolant leaks that you might not notice until it’s too late.

You can pick up a decent radiator guard for around £50.

MPW recommends:

R&G radiator guards – from £43.00


Brake Lines


Rubber brake lines will do the job. But if you want to get the most out of your new discs, it’s worth investing in braided performance brake lines from a reputable brand like HEL.

Standard rubber lines will last a few years but can quickly wear and develop bulges, giving you less responsive stopping power.

Braided steel brake lines will last for at least double the amount of time as standard ones, and they’ll stay as tight as they are on the first day you get them.

For the performance and safety you get, a new pair of lines is well worth it.

MPW recommends:

HEL Performance Brake Lines – from £29.99


Adjustable Levers


On a motorcycle, and especially in heavy traffic, your hands do all the work.

Riding a new bike, your levers can give you all sorts of aches and pains. Sometimes, this is just a case of breaking your machine in, getting used to the new riding style.

But if you’re feeling like you can’t get comfy aftermarket, adjustable levers can really help you tailor your controls to fit your grip.

It can also be nice to be able to switch up your levers depending on how and where you’re riding, and aftermarket levers are generally more solidly engineered.

MPW recommends:

REZO Adjustable Long Brake and Clutch Lever Sets – £59.99




Riding in all weathers can be tough. Especially at speed, you can get all manner of debris you don’t want in your face being thrown at it.

It might not match up with your image of the care-free, laid-back rider. But after a few weeks of commuting, you might realize your bike needs a windshield.

An aftermarket windshield can keep your view clear and get your head out of the wind tunnel giving you a much more peaceful commute.

MPW recommends:

Powerbronze screens range – from £79.99


So there you have it…

That’s it for our top aftermarket motorcycle upgrades.

Get customizing, tuning, and improving!

For all your motorcycle parts, accessories, and spares, visit MPW online.

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