Motorcycle Customization: Drawing the Line between Modifications and Crazy

Customizations and modifications are what make the automotive industry as exotically demanded as it is right now.

Though some might not share the enthusiasm, it’s impossible to say that most motorcycles on the road aren’t modified or customized to some extent. Since the definition involves making any changes to the stock condition of the motorcycle that isn’t maintenance-related, not many of us are out of the equation.

Our custom bike shows are a sign that the human mind is just filled with imagination and ideas.

Even though some of those ideas might spark some controversy when taken too far or on the road.

Some Mods are for the performance, let the bike reach its full potential, and some are for the bike appearance. The performance-enhancing modification must be done by someone who knows things otherwise you might get hurt.

One most important thing is to always wear your motorcycle protective gear, either you are just going around the block or a few miles, you never know what’s coming next so it would be wise to be always prepared.

Sure, not all mods are illegal and customizations can get by the brass if played cool, but where do we draw the line?

Many states that don’t allow lane splitting don’t see the logic and it’s understandable why a rider wouldn’t respect a law like that (even though they follow it as they should).

However, we need to ask ourselves. Where do we draw the line between crazy and downright risky or stupid?

It’s not that there aren’t good mods (as we’ll see later in this post), it’s just that there’s a fine line between what works or feels good and what’s downright dangerous or harmful for someone or the planet.

The last thing a fun thing needs to be is harmful to others. That’s the only problem that the law recognizes as it imposes the following restrictions.

Why Are Some Mods Illegal in the Many States?

In the motorcycle world, it’s exciting to be on the road with a massive beast that can go faster than almost anything you see.

However, even though we can take on anything, it doesn’t mean we swear to become the fastest-moving vehicle whenever we’re on any road.

Regardless of how pro you might be on a motorcycle, an expert driver with years of experience on the road will tell you that most accidents aren’t even your fault.

It’s stupid to think that you can go 100 mph and nothing can come in your way.

Since we can’t guarantee that everyone else on the road is going to understand us or be okay with us doing things the way we want to do, we don’t do anything risky.

Another example is emissions. Anyone who is still immature enough to want to have unusually loud motorcycles deserves a ticket or two.

That’s because there’s no doubt whatsoever that ridiculous amounts of emissions, as well as noise pollution from any engine, are destroying the public and the planet’s health.

There are similar rules and regulations on the road that we just don’t go against not because we are scared of a fine or authority but because it takes us against common sense.

The same is the principle with the following mods that are illegal in many states such as:

Handlebar Modifications

Having an elevated handlebar angle that raises your hands more than 4 inches above your shoulders is illegal. Why?

Have you ever tried going on a long route on an 18-20-inch ape hanger chopper? Exactly. In real life, out of the few customs shows that you can and should go to show off these builds, your long handlebar mod is going to put your life at risk.

With absolutely no advantage to your riding experience except for the added risk and pure recklessness, you’re liable to fall and cause serious troubles on highways should the extra flex in your apes shake your motorcycle or your hand goes to sleep because it’s difficult for the body to pump blood in such a high and weird elevation.

Mirror Deletion:

It’s clear that most people want to lane split with ease and the law requiring side mirrors that extend from your handlebars is a huge obstacle in the way.

While some states deem it necessary to have at least one or none at all, many others require you to have 2 side mirrors above your handlebars at all times.

Sure, let’s concede that it can help you split lanes easily and cut tight corners or even leave your motorcycle in narrow spaces without worries of losing your side mirrors.

Regardless of it all, it’s clear that you can’t always look back or turn, and for most people who ride with their earphones on, it’s obvious that they won’t hear the sound of the horn. But they will be able to see lights shining on them in their mirrors.

This law holds its credibility especially with most people complaining about how their peripheral vision is limited when they wear helmets as well. Having side mirrors allows you to travel easily with motorcycle luggage options as they are liable to hinder your rearview.

Neon Lights

Laws aren’t always meant to be discriminatory or there just to attack a specific group of people. Sometimes, as it is in this case, they’re there to protect you and others.

Most states like California have set up clear guidelines that explain the conditions and restrictions on chassis LEDs.

(1) Any light that is visible from the front can only be either yellow or white.
(2) Any light that is visible from the rear, can only be red.
(3) You can not place any kind of red lights in front of your motorcycle.
(4) Neon lights or any other lights you get on your motorcycle should not be blocking the view of the prerequisite lights (the front yellow/white and the rear red)
(5) Any light except for the mandated ones should be further than 12 inches apart from each other.
(6) Under-glow can’t be more than 720 inches.

If you’ve ever ridden in the city and have come across a motorcyclist with VERY bright lights, you probably started to see spots afterward and the truth is, so did everyone else who mistakenly looked.

Just because you like bright lights that you don’t have to look at directly doesn’t mean others should pay the price for it.

While it may not be every day, you are putting others at risk of accidents in the few moments they are blinded by your lights.

Furthermore, you’re also not fooling the cops if you think you can hide your plates with all that light.

Instead, you’d be lucky if you weren’t pulled over numerous times in the few hours if you switch them on at night.

Are All Mods Dangerous?

Nope. There are tons of gorgeous and performance-enhancing mods that are completely legal. You can even find professional racers modifying their motorcycles with these cool gadgets.

Adding some kind of motorcycle baggage can change the overall appearance. You can install a sissy bar at the back or any saddlebags on the sides, for almost any bike you own.

Indestructible Mirrors

There is such a thing as indestructible mirrors that can survive countless falls by turning and moving into a folded position or by being closed off before entering the off-road territory.

This is perfect for situations when you’re riding across multiple state lines and you suddenly see a sign that tells you that beyond that point, side mirrors are a prerequisite.

These portable mirrors can be folded to be a part of your handlebar altogether while being adjustable and flexible enough to move when they suffer an impact.

Aluminum and Steel Sprockets

Historically produced steel or aluminum options for sprockets offered riders the choice between going for something substantially long-lasting but heavier (steel sprockets) or lighter, aesthetically pleasing but ephemeral (aluminum sprockets).

Now, a game-changer mod that makes sense is combining the two and presenting you with a customizable steel sprocket that is aluminum from the inside and steel from the outside.

While aluminum makes for a colorful interior aesthetic look, the steel gives you the durability and longevity you need from a chain sprocket. This lightweight compound gives your motorcycle more horsepower without putting you at any sort of risk.

Digital Dashboards

For everyone tired of staring at their classical motorcycle’s odometers, digital dashboards are here to save the day.

Designed for every motorcycle out there, digital dashboards give you the latest technology of odometers that combine cutting edge hardware and software, allowing you to have a smart gadget on your motorcycle that’s capable of:

· GPS with Buddy-tracking technology
· Bluetooth phone audio and wireless headset control
· Vehicle integrated sensors with gauge screens GPS speed and much more.


It’s probably very clear that there are quite a few problems with certain modifications that shouldn’t worry you just because they’re illegal. We need to prioritize our and others’ safety on the road, regardless of what our definitions and understandings are regarding what’s fun. Keep in line with the law to avoid hassles with coppers, make sure you’re following and preaching safety to your fellow motorcyclists, and always carry the motorcycle riding essentials like Medkit, puncture kit, etc just to be prepared for any bad event on the road.