Guide to bike modifications

Motorcycling is your passion, as it is ours. As a result, we understand that you may want to alter your motorcycle to make it more individual and more personal to you. After all, it’s your bike, and as we all know it is so much more than just a form of transport, it is an extension of you.

Blue motorbike

Modifying bikes is very common, although it’s not always easy to know if your ‘modification is something you should be disclosing to us. In short, a modification is:

‘Any changes that have been made to a bike outside the manufacturer’s standard specification’

Modifications are something your insurer needs to be made aware of so that they can make sure your bike is correctly covered.  We use a panel of insurers who all understand that modifying your bike is common practice, and one that is important to the rider.

To make insuring your bike as simple as possible, we have compiled a list of 16  ‘non-disclosable’ mods that are acceptable to all our insurers, so you don’t need to mention them to us when getting a quote.

Modifications you don’t need to disclose

  • Disability adapted
  • Bar ends
  • Decals/stickers (unless race replica)
  • Heated grips
  • Road legal lights/indicators/mirrors
  • Screen changes
  • Seat cowl/single seat units
  • Tail tidy
  • Air filter changes
  • Braides hoses
  • Grippers (stomp grip)
  • Huggers
  • Scottoilers (chain lubrication system)
  • Seat replacement
  • Sissy bars (long back rest)
  • Tank pads

If you have a modification that’s not listed in the table above, don’t worry – just give us a call. We have access to more significant modification lists with each of our insurers that we can review on a case by case basis, so we are likely to be able to offer you a quote. Modifications will often fall into two different ‘categories’:

  • Cosmetic
  • Performance

Cosmetic

Cosmetic modifications are changes that alter the way your bike looks. Most provide a relatively low-cost way to individualise your bike. Some examples of popular cosmetic modifications include:

  • Rear hugger – Fitted above the bike’s rear wheel, and protects the engine from road debris flung up by rear tyre
  • Belly pan – Fitted on the underside of engine, and protects the front of the engine and exhaust down tubes from road debris flung up by front tyre
  • Screen changes – A different screen can help reduce buffeting to the rider, which can help reduce wind noise. Some screens also offer better protection to help make it easier to ride in poor weather
Tightening a screw on a motobike

Performance

Performance-enhancing modifications are changes made to your bike which help it go faster, stop quicker or handle better. Changes made to the engine, brakes or suspension are all considered performance-enhancing modifications. So whether you want more noise, quicker acceleration, better braking or improved handling, there are performance-enhancing modifications that will help you get the performance you want. Some examples of popular performance modifications include:

  • Exhaust system changes – More noise, power or just to save weight, modifying your exhaust can help achieve all these things. Just check it's road legal!
  • Braided Brake Lines – Replace the cheap, manufacturer-fitted brake lines with more effective, longer lasting braided ones for more consistent and effective braking
  • Rear shock absorbers – Changing your rear suspension can help improve ride quality, offer more adjustability and help provide more grip in the bends

Important things to remember regarding modifications

M – Make us aware

O – Other unlisted modifications can be considered

D – Disclose everything, if unsure, just check with us so we can ensure you are properly covered

S – Stay legal – some  modifications are ‘not suitable for road use’ or are marked as ‘track use only’

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