These upgrades are small in nature, but will go a long way in bettering your riding experience.
Customising a motorcycle is like building a personal computer. Instead of just heading to the store and picking up a laptop off the shelf, you bring together the parts of your liking and then put them together to build something that suits your style of riding. There is no compromise in this situation. And on a motorcycle, most parts that you interact with are customisable, and can be tailored to suit your needs.
Handlebar grips: The grips on a motorcycle handlebar are where your hands spend most of the time and help you apply throttle and steer the motorcycle. It is quite an important touchpoint for a rider, and one might not be comfortable with the stock grip offered by the manufacturer. Multiple types of grips are available in the market, including heated grips which are a boon in the winters. The Oxford Heated Grips are quite apt at keeping the hands warm in cold conditions. Regular grips with different textures are also available in the market, and they can be easily installed on a motorcycle. If you install a grip that has a larger diameter than your stock grip, it will affect your throttle application, so keep that in mind when selecting a grip for your motorcycle.
Levers: Most small motorcycles come with fixed levers from the factory and this can really bum people out, as covering the clutch and front brake are very important. Too far or too near and you might lose that extra millisecond in reaching your brake. Adjustable levers allow you to position your levers, exactly where you want them. These are quite valuable if multiple people use one motorcycle, and even if only a single person rides a specific motorcycle, adjustable levers allows them to tinker with the setting in different scenarios, such as a track day.
Foot pegs: The pegs are another important touchpoint as this is where a rider’s feet are positioned. If the stock pegs on your motorcycle are plain in their texture, it might become difficult to grip the pegs properly with one’s feet. In such a situation, the pegs can be swapped out for a different pair, ones with teeth carved into them, that will stop the rider’s feet from slipping. This is especially helpful while cornering.
Lights: While a motorcycle’s handling and performance might be great, it might sometimes be equipped with really bad headlights that do not inspire confidence. The bulbs in most small motorcycles can be easily swapped with those with a longer and brighter throw. You can even go from having a halogen setup to an LED setup. However, this is one of those modifications for which you will have to visit the shop, and an electricals guy in particular. Doing this modification can also lead to your warranty becoming void, so bear that in mind. Similarly, even tail lamps and indicator lamps can be upgraded, although their purpose will be to increase the aesthetic appeal of a motorcycle.
Brakes: The brakes are the most important part of a motorcycle and braking performance on small motorcycles can be increased by upgrading the brake lines and the brake pads. Most motorcycles in the budget segment come with rubber brake lines and the problem with rubber is that it can expand or shrink depending on the ambient temperature. While the change is quite small, it is enough to affect the oil pressure inside the hose. This can lead to a decrease in braking performance. Also the brake pads on most budget motorcycles are either organic or semi-metallic. Upgrading to sintered brake pads will allow a rider to use the brakes more aggressively, with the increased stopping power and the ability of sintered pads to deal with heat better. Thus, if you have an aggressive riding style, sintered pads might better suit your needs.