Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada
I'm not really in favor of fixing what isn't broken (or spending money I don't have) so I haven't done any mods to my bike yet. That said, it's simply naive or ignorant to say that the 500 is everything you need or want. I suppose it depends what you use it for.
I'm on the fence with regards to increasing the sprocket size. Keeping the revs down might be nice for long cruise comfort, but I'm not sure it's worth the performance penalty. The buzzing can get annoying or worrisome as my bike ages, but I also tend to seek that engine speed so a larger sprocket might just lead me to speed slower and risk speeding tickets my insurance cannot afford.
The performance is plentiful unless the rider is significantly overweight. I can imagine where a larger windscreen would be beneficial to better protect you from the forces at high speed. On the other hand, I can also imagine it impacts fuel economy and performance so it's a trade-off. I wonder if it's a bigger gain than loss, but sources are mixed.
My tires are well worn now so I'm certainly looking forward to a new set, but I probably won't go overboard on price. The stock set did a fine job for my needs.
I don't know what I'm missing from fork preload adjusters or adjustable levers. Adjustable levers might be nice, maybe, but the cheap ones seem like a safety hazard, and the not cheap ones seem a bit expensive. Before I had grip cushions I never would have even considered them.
What I find the 500 lacking is mostly comfort. At least, these days. Keep in mind I'm located in the middle of nowhere. There are very few "twisty" roads nearby, and ride options are predominantly city streets which are hazardous and boring, or highway riding with boring speed limits. A lot of the fun potential is from going on long adventures to far away lands. I'm not a young man anymore. I'm not an old man yet either, but I'm old enough to make noises when I move. I find that after about an hour of highway cruising I'm suffering. To alleviate that I bought an Airhawk cushion and some Grip Puppies. I haven't had a lot of opportunities to use them since last year's weather was pretty poor and I was busy with work, but so far the results seem positive. After an hour of highway cruising I wasn't in pain struggling to get to the turn around point. I was feeling good and wishing I had more time. I need to collect more data and experience to see if it's really transformative, but so far the results are positive.
The OP's mods sound pretty practical. I give him credit for that. I don't know how he managed 40,000 km in 2 years when I barely managed 13,000 in 4 (5). Maybe he's younger or just in better shape or has more free time to dedicate to this pleasure.
My experience says that "contentedness" fluctuates with bikes. And I've only ever owned this one. I go from wanting something bigger to being happy with what I have. Ultimately, there's no need to change bikes. That said, other bikes do things better. The main thing that the 500 does better than most of the competition is that it's cheap. That's part of it's downfall. It's cheap. There's a lot of better places to go if you can afford to do so. Of course, there's limited mileage talking. I have never owned another bike, and right now I have my eyes looking out for a used Gold Wing that I think I can afford to maintain.
The thing about changing bikes if you can't afford two at once is that it seems you have to sell the first one first, go without a bike for an uncertain time (all the while not touching the savings dedicated to motorcycles), until you find a bike that you can pay for and that meets your needs which depending on where you are can be challenge enough without considering the other factors. I envy anybody that is liberated enough to move from bike to bike willy-nilly just living in the moment and making the rest come.
I mean the best with what I say. It doesn't always sound that way.
2013 Honda CBR500R (Millennium Red) (Completely stock)
FirstGear Kilimanjaro High-Visibility, Joe Rocket Ballistic Boots, Scorpion Exo R2000, Alpinestars Raider Drystar Pants or Scorpion Covert Jeans, Icon Hypersport Pro Short Gloves
Castrol Chainlube, Pro Honda GN4, Pro Honda Dot 4, 87 octane AKI
Kriega R-35, Air Hawk Dual Sport, Go Cruise 2, Grip Puppies
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Last edited by bambams; 06-01-2018 at 03:35 AM.