Is it Dangerous to Customize Your Motorcycle?
Our Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Provides an Answer
Motorcycles have inherent risks. And it is the reason a lot of research goes on in this industry – to ensure that the design and the parts are safe, from handlebars to wheels. However, we cannot deny that many people also look at motorcycles as a work of art, that motorcycles depict a person’s personality. On many occasions, people also customize their bikes for practical reasons. A knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer will say that it is not unusual to have clients whose motorcycles went through customization and that the customization somehow contributed to the accident, either because the part was defective or it was not installed properly.
You have to understand that the high demand for customized motorcycle parts spawned many manufacturers who do not comply with legal safety and environment standards. Many aftermarket parts like mirrors, handlebars, carburetors, lights, and wheels are defective. These manufacturers violate federal safety standards. Putting these parts on your motorcycle puts you at significant risk for getting into an accident.
Not All Motorcycle Parts Are Regulated
We all want cheap products. And this demand for cheap products is the bloodline of unscrupulous businesses. The government does not have enough capacity to monitor all of the products that come into the country because there are serious budget and financial limitations to add more people to regulate the industry.
As it is, the products are still out there. It is entirely up to the motorcycle enthusiast to check the quality of the parts he is buying. Generally speaking, bikers will do what they want with their rides. This is an inherent need to make their bikes look unique and personal, even at the expense of comfort and safety. Even without any customization, bike riders should know that they are 25 times more likely to die in a crash than those who are driving a car. Also, they are five times more likely to get injured compared to car drivers and passengers.
Bike enthusiasts must understand that customization increases this risk. Bike manufacturers put in a lot of effort to study how each motorcycle component improves safety. Artistic motorcycle parts do not take this into account. An example is a small side view mirror that does not show you a wide angle of what is behind you. It may look good, but it also has reduced functionality. Besides, not all products adhere to safety standards, so be careful when buying one.
How to identify bad custom parts
When you customize your bike, you are altering its balance and center of gravity. As such, your best bet is to select products in good condition. You must choose parts that will perform at par with specifications and expectations. Here are a few tips to help you make the right decisions.
- Cracked parts – When buying motorcycle parts, from handlebars to wheels to engines, make sure that the part has zero cracks. Make sure there is no warping, too. Any crack can quickly expand and erupt because motorcycles go through heavy pressure.
- Research – Do your research about the manufacturer. Today, social media and online news will help keep you abreast of the latest trends in the motorcycling industry. You can also join enthusiast groups and ask through forums. If a company has a history of a product recall, you might want to reconsider.
- Check the bike – After you attach all the parts, ride your bike in a safe zone. Do this in a subdivision or an area where there is no heavy traffic or trucks. Ride your bike and test if the parts are tight enough. If you hear any sound, like clanging, you must take the bike back to the shop immediately and make the necessary corrections. Do the same thing if you observe any noticeable crack or warping on any parts. If there is none, you must know that it will take some time getting used to the bike. If you changed the handle bars, it is likely that your turning angles will also change. Your driving position will change, and you need to accustom yourself with this new set-up.
If you find yourself in an accident after you customized your bike, it is important to call a reliable motorcycle accident lawyer to guide you. Also, you must take your bike to a licensed mechanic before driving it out on the road. At the very least, the mechanic will know if the alteration is a bad job or if it is safe enough to ride. They also have tools that will help them measure things precisely, like wheel alignment and engine revolution. If the bike feels weird in any way at all, you should take the bike to a trusted mechanic for close inspection immediately.
In summation, being fully aware of how your bike performs, recognizing the dangers of these alterations, and taking appropriate actions to solve the problems, will make your biking experience better and will significantly reduce your accident risk.