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10 Overrated Motorcycle Features

10 Overrated Motorcycle Features

If you are asked to choose between a true classic and a hi-tech motorbike, you will assuredly be more enticed to the latter as it has added elements of surprises, abundant features to test and use, and a customizable riding experience. Every motorcyclist dreams about having a feature-rich modern-day motorcycle with several innovations and a top-end tech package.

However, just to make them fall under the modern motorcycle category, most manufacturers have started loading their bikes with up-to-date stuff to stay alive in the competition. Also, to justify the price increase and to introduce something new every year, motorcycle manufacturers add certain features that for the majority of riders are not worthwhile. However, because most present-day ultramodern motorcycles are fitted out with these features, they are deemed necessary in order to be categorized as luxurious, high-end motorbikes.

There are several factory-installed motorcycle features that are considered non-essential and are only adding up extra weight, making motorbikes costlier, and slowing them down. If you are a true motorcyclist, you possibly know that this is not what you call a practical and rational approach. If you are not one of the inexpert motorcyclists who love to flaunt their expensive motorcycle and its features, you will agree to the below-listed 10 overrated motorcycle features.

1. 10 Overrated Motorcycle Features

1.1 Self-Cancelling Turn Signals

On top of the list, we have self-cancelling turn signals on motorcycles. The idea behind this feature was to start from somewhere to close the gap between a car and a motorcycle. After careful consideration, engineers agree to install self-cancelling turn indicators on motorcycles. It may be useful for those riders who find it hard to remind themselves to switch off turn indicators after successfully turning their bike.

However, if you know the basics, you must know that there is a substantial difference in how a car and a motorcycle turn. The rider does not necessarily need to turn the handlebars every time while taking a turn on a motorcycle. The rider is supposed to lean on the motorcycle and use the counter-steering concept to turn a corner. It is therefore difficult for a self-cancelling turn signal system to understand when to turn off on a motorcycle.

Also, on motorcycles, it is far easier to switch off the turn signal as it can be done with a thumb without taking your hand off the handlebars.

1.2 Smartphone Connectivity

Motorcycles can be a great partner if you want to escape your boring or tough routine and get a fresh dose of oxygen. In today’s world, riding a motorcycle provides you with the opportunity to get rid of your screen addiction and smartphones.

Unfortunately, the modern bikes feature multiple smartphone connectivity options with the help of which you can stay connected to your phone, listen to music, attend calls, read messages, and get notifications. It is a waste if you stay engaged with your mobile phone during the ride as well.

Moreover, staying engaged with your mobile phones is also not good for safety as it shifts your focus from the road.

1.3 Carbon Fiber and Winglets

Carbon Fiber and Winglets
Photo Credit: Webike Japan

If you are familiar with ultrafast high-end super sports bikes that are excessively expensive, you must have heard about carbon fiber and winglets.

Carbon Fiber on Motorcycles

Carbon fiber is a type of lightest yet toughest material that does not break and imparts many advantages when installed on a motorcycle. It is mostly used to produce fairings, panniers, and covers of motorcycles to ditch metal and keep the overall motorcycle weight on the lower side. It helps in attaining superfast speeds on sports bikes.

Winglets on Motorcycles

Winglets on the other hand is a fairly new term and they are mostly made of carbon fiber. These are usually installed on specialized track-racing super sports bikes. Winglets are small wings installed towards the front, below the head fairing. It operates with the same Bernoulli’s principle  as the airplane wings. Winglets on a super sports bike may look basic, but they play a highly essential role. They keep the nose stable and resist the urge of a super quick sports bike to not lift when launched.

Carbon fiber and winglets are essential only for ultrafast super sports bikes, specially designed for track racing. These features find their application on a very small range of track-ready bikes. Carbon fiber and winglets are of no good on a road bike. They will only make a road bike expensive and out of reach for riders who use their motorbikes for transportation, daily commutes, and long tours.

1.4 Electronic Hand Guard Indicator

Electronic Hand Guard Indicator
Photo Credit: Mad 4 Bikes

Hand guards find their use in most dirt, adventure bikes, and other off-roaders to keep riders’ hands safe from tree branches, rocks, and other off-road hazards. They also became known equipment on road bikes to prevent riders’ hands from getting pressed by another vehicle and in case the bike falls off. They are also used on touring motorcycles to keep riders’ hands warm by blocking the incoming wind. It is common to get your handguards broken if you ride your dirt bike a lot.

Handguards sound quite advantageous in their functioning. However, electronic handguards with built-in turn signals are overrated and are not a good idea, considering they are prone to getting damaged easily. In case they get damaged, you will probably not be able to notify the vehicle approaching you about your move. Besides, it will also cost you more to replace the electronic hand guard indicator.

1.5 Heated Seats and Grips

Another premium and luxury feature installed on most high-end adventure and touring bikes are heated seats and grips. They also come with electronic switches, temperature sensors, and heat coils to keep riders’ butt and hands warm while riding in cold weather. Using switches, you can also change the heating level to suit your needs.

According to most reviews, heated seats and grips can have a significant impact on making your ride more comfortable and pleasant on icy cold days. Although, you can save a lot of money by investing in thermal clothes, including a thermal jacket, trousers, vests, and gloves. Wearing such thermal gear can effectively keep you warm.

Why heated seats and grips are considered overrated? It is because they only focus on two points, namely riders’ butt, and hands. Besides, they will only keep you warm as long as you are on the motorcycle. Wearing thermal motorcycle gear can keep you warm and cozy all the time even when you are not riding.

1.6 Super-Fast Engines for Road Bikes with Daunting Power Figures

Spending thousands of extra dollars to buy a race-track beast that can leave behind any motorcycle coming in its way and make lap records is what most motorcyclists dream of. However, it is a type of dream that should stay a dream for most riders as riding such a superfast sports bike is like handling a rocket and the rider requires specialized training. Besides, such hypersports bikes with excessively powerful engines with daunting power figures are usually ridden in closed circuits.

Moreover, these hi-tech sports bikes are highly unsuitable for road riding where you cannot go above a specific speed limit. There is no fruitful purpose in installing super-fast engines on road bikes as riders will never be able to use them at their full potential. Turns out, these immensely powerful engines on road bikes are overrated and are only to impress other riders.

1.7 TFT Color Display

 TFT Color Display
Photo Credit: P&H Motorcycles

To be honest with you, there probably is no motorcyclist on earth who doesn’t like the TFT color screen display or touch screen on his motorcycle. It makes the motorcycle look cool and gives riders the feel of riding an aircraft with a cockpit in front of them. It makes the lives of motorcyclists more colorful and provides them with tons of setting options to choose from, customize their riding experience, and control almost every setting on their motorcycles.

A possible objection that will come from those who prefer staying traditional and simple with their motorcycles will be to simply use mobile phones and watch movies at home to entertain themselves. Motorcycle riding is more about enjoying nature if you do it as a hobby. If you use motorcycles for daily transport, your focus must be on the road to ride safely rather than being attracted to the TFT screen display.

For such reasons, a TFT color display is considered to be an overrated motorcycle feature. Most riders prefer having simple analog meters installed on their motorbikes. Firstly, they are easy to ride and secondly, they do not have brightness or visibility issues, unlike the digital or TFT color displays.

1.8 Satellite Navigation System

Satellite Navigation System
Photo Credit: Motorcycle News

There are certain high-end futuristic motorbikes fully loaded with hundreds of controls, options, and multiple screens. The colorful displays can also turn into a satellite or GPS navigation system, showing a complete map to guide and navigate riders to reach their destinations. It may make you feel as if you are riding a car but it seems unnecessary on a motorcycle.

Almost everyone, including the motorcyclists as well, has mobile phones in their pockets. Most riders mount their cell phones on the handlebars, using a mobile phone mount which costs them only a few dollars. By mounting your cell phone on these mounts, you can make your life easy while riding a motorbike as you have easy access to the maps and everything included in your phone. You can also easily charge your phone on the phone mount if your motorbike offers a charging port.

Considering these facts, a satellite or GPS navigation system seems a highly overrated motorcycle feature that you will not need much. However, you will have to pay a good amount of money to have it on your motorcycle.

1.9 Under-Seat Exhaust Pipes

Under-Seat Exhaust Pipes
Photo Credit: Bellissi Moto

Ever had a chance to ride those super sports bikes with under-seat exhaust pipes? There is something very charismatic about them. Several motorcycle brands came up with the idea to install exhaust pipes under the seat. There is the MV Agusta V4, the Ducati Desmosedici RR, the Yamaha YZF-R1, and the Honda NR750 that made under-seat exhaust pipes popular.

Regardless of being a very old concept, nobody ever dared ask this question from manufacturers what benefit under-seat exhaust pipes provide? To clear your concerns, under-seat exhaust pipes have no impact on the power and performance of motorcycles. In fact, they can increase the size of the pipes and the overall weight.

Above all, under-seat exhaust pipes will make riding challenging for the rider as it will be like riding on a grill. On top of it, under seat exhaust pipes setup will leave you with no option to mount luggage bags on your bike, particularly saddlebags.

1.10 Keyless Ignition

Another feature that engineers tried to copy from cars and paste onto motorcycles is keyless ignition. It may be an essential feature on cars but after examining its usefulness on motorcycles, it turned out to be an overrated one.

Most motorcyclists will agree that the safest place for motorcycle keys is the ignition switch. There are much better chances that you will never lose your motorcycle key if it is in the key lock cylinder. What you should be fixing is the ignition key lock cylinder, especially on old Harley Davidson motorcycles, which fails to hold the key in place safely and requires removing it after turning the motorcycle on.

Another argument against the keyless ignition on motorcycles is that it allows motorcyclists to start riding without requiring the key in the ignition lock cylinder. The bike can start with a single push of a button and you may only realize that you have dropped the key fob in the parking lot once you are miles away. It is also not a good feature considering the safety of your motorcycle.

2. The Bottom Line

Talking about what features on a motorcycle are highly useful and which of them are overrated, is totally up to the riders’ preferences, where they ride, and what’s more interesting, entertaining, and easy for them. A motorcyclist must be sure about his preferences and what he wants on his motorcycle. Getting a particular feature installed on your motorcycle should be because it is useful, not only to make you look cool. An overrated less useful feature will only cost you a lot of money and will add up to the overall weight of your motorcycle. Keep your motorcycle simple, and practical, and enjoy riding more. There is no need to make riding more complicated with tons of less usable features that can cause you to compromise on your safety.

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