Your motorcycle is your ride or die — we know the feeling. You put a load of time and effort not only into making it look great, but also in upgrading it to perform better on the track. Built to perform without any alterations, your MV Agusta or Ducati is a beast, but there's always room for improvements so that you can gain a competitive edge at the track. Whether you’re looking to increase speed or advance stability, Design Corse delivers a range of aftermarket motorcycle performance mods.
We help you be the first one off the line and keep you ahead with endless options for sportbike upgrades.
Giving Your Bike an Edge at the Track
A stock motorcycle is already prepared to handle the open road with ease. So, in the case of street riding, adding upgrades is often more about boosting the aesthetics and enjoyment of your bike. If you’re on the race track, aftermarket performance upgrades can yield more performance and greater results that can help you cruise past your opponents.
We’ve constructed a guide for you see which upgrades you can add to your motorcycle to advance performance, safety and aesthetics. Each upgrade is a cost-effective solution to gaining greater control and speed that you need. You’ll never hear an enthusiast ask to go slower, so we’re here to transform your bike into a high-performance, track-ready motorcycle.
Top 11 Aftermarket Performance Upgrades for the Track
You may look at your motorcycle and notice a few upgradeable components right away, such as the brakes. You also know the lighter your bike, the faster it will run, and when you replace your factory tires with a set of high-performance ones, you will enhance the handling. But there are plenty more sportbike performance upgrades than the obvious components you notice with a quick glance.
Check out several of the best motorcycle modifications to upsurge performance, boost safety and even give you a new aesthetic. Think about what you want as a result. Tighter steering? More power? Exceptional comfort? Higher efficiency? No matter what changes you want to make, there are aftermarket upgrades to suit your fancy.
While some people think aftermarket motorcycle rearsets are more for show, they do, in fact, serve a greater purpose. Aftermarket rearsets help give you greater control over your bike. Delivering more reliable base support, they improve your foot controls and are adjustable to help you better position your lower body for superior balance. With different adjustment options, you can arrange your legs in a position you find most natural.
Rearsets also allow for enhanced comfort while relieving excessive amounts of force and pressure off your upper body, hands and arms. They give you the freedom to ride for hours on end without feeling fatigued, providing less strain on your body — as opposed to overreaching your arm or cramping up your legs.
Installing aftermarket rearsets on your bike gives you more focus on other aspects of your ride. They also give you additional ground clearance. Having a better ride height results in more leaning room. When you mount on new rearsets, you will even notice an improved grip on the pegs. While factory rearsets are usually decent, aftermarket options offer you a stronger hold on your motorcycle which also provides further stability and safety.
Exhausts are motorcycle components that give you the signature rumble as you turn the ignition. But in terms of performance, they deliver the right amount of back pressure and displace heat from the engine. Aftermarket exhausts can also provide weight-savings. With aftermarket exhausts, you can choose between materials such as stainless steel, carbon fiber, aluminum or titanium. A complete system has a header, mid-pipe and muffler. The purpose of an exhaust is to displace combustion gases away from you and a passenger while also helping the motorcycle’s engine perform at advanced levels.
Slip-on Exhaust: A slip-on exhaust replaces the muffler of the exhaust and is the most cost-effective option. It doesn’t require special tools to install, enhances the sound and decreases airflow restriction from the engine.
Full Exhaust: Full aftermarket exhaust systems replace all three parts of the system while delivering exceptional weight shed. They provide performance gains and a boost in horsepower. A full aftermarket exhaust system will increase fuel efficiency if you tune your bike after installation and also provides more in weight savings than a slip-on exhaust can.
Learning how to modify your motorcycle exhaust is simple when you determine which solution is best, but you also have to consider remapping the fuel. You don’t have to remap if you install a slip-on exhaust — however, if you complete a full installation and change the air intake in the engine, you should remap. It can affect the fuel burning properties of your bike as well as performance.
3. Steering Dampers
Steering dampers help reduce the harsh vibrations and impacts you feel from the road. Whether you’re on a long journey or racing on the track, dampers can reduce the pressure of shocks that transfer from the handlebars to your hands and arms. By using hydraulics, they help prevent the roughness of the road or track from tiring you out, giving you more strength to ride long-distance. With a better riding experience and feel, you’ll be less fatigued to perform your best — not only allowing you to focus on your controls but also the race itself.
Upgrading the steering damper components of your Ducati or MV Agusta also tightens your steering. With improved steadiness, you can more effectively take on tight corners. Steering dampers provide resistance to steering motions, and without it, it can be tricky to hold your line around tight turns. They are beneficial during long road trips as well, but offer a significant advantage if you’re on the race track.
Steering dampers provide enough feedback for more feel and resistance to steering, so you can fine-tune it how you want for a smoother ride and amplified control.
4. Crash Bungs or Sliders
Crash bungs, also known as sliders, protect your bike and you in the case of an drop or slide — which we hope you never encounter, but it's common at the track. It’s always better to be prepared.
Sliders on your Ducati or MV Agusta will not only look great but will also protect you and your ride from dents, scratches and worse damage. Aftermarket sliders also prevent typical wear and tear on your motorcycle’s bodywork and keep damage to a minimum compared to any factory crash bungs that your bike may have.
There are a few different slider solutions including frame, engine, tank and underbody options. All crash bungs are designed to stop components like the engine covers and fairingsfrom touching the ground if the bike ends up on its side, so a few scuffs will be the result instead of major damage requiring you to replace the tanks, fairings and other expensive body pieces.
Frame sliders protect your bike’s frame, faring and tank from damage and also gives additional space for your legs. While there is no guarantee no damage will occur, crash bungs offer more protection and will save you money in the long run if you do experience a slide or a drop at the track.
Engine sliders deliver more safeguarding for the engine and are easy to install. Ideal for slide-outs or if your bike tips over, they will be scratched at most, so you can still pick it back up and keep riding.
Brakes are one of the more obvious sportbike mods but should never be overlooked. For example, when you invest in new race pads, they can enhance your motorcycle’s braking performance when it comes to bite and reduced brake fade. Race sintered pads have metal particles to boost friction and can dissipate heat from the tires. With less chance of overheating your brake pads, there will also be less risk of experiencing fade.
Aftermarket brake pads deliver a higher degree of friction compared to standard brakes and last long-term while also reducing brake fade occurrences. You can also invest in an upgraded brake master cylinder to increase brake force and power that benefit high-performance riders.
Braided brake lines are also a smart move when upgrading your bike. The rubber hoses on stock bikes will stretch and deteriorate over time as well as expand under high pressure. However, braided brake lines don’t share the same traits. They offer more consistent performance and reduce the probability of brake fade.
6. Altering Gears
Motorcycle enthusiasts often think the only way to ride faster is to increase the power of the motorcycle engine, but there are also other ways to do so. For example, when you modify your gears, you can create a more efficient ride.
Gearing is the ratio between the teeth on the front and rear sprockets. When you make alterations, the process adjusts the revolutions within the engine and translates it into revs in the wheels. If you want to improve acceleration, gearing down or shortening your bike’s gears is the best method. But, gearing up the system with smaller rear sprockets allows for more top speed.
Making changes in your gears is one of the least expensive ways to upgrade your Ducati or MV Agusta. Although gearing down increases your acceleration, it may sacrifice top end speed. However, if you’re on the track, you won’t miss it much. The most common gear change is going down one tooth on the front sprocket and up about three on the back. But if you’re going for more top speed, adjust by one or two teeth in the rear. Speaking of sprockets, choose lighter weight aluminum options to reduce bike weight and increase speed.
The size of your gears relates to the length of your chain. If you change you gears, you may need to shorten or lengthen the chain depending on whether you gear up or down. If you’ve had your chain for a while anyway, it’s a great idea to purchase a new one to go with new sprockets. You can swap the standard chain for one that’s lighter like the 520. A smaller and lighter chain will reduce the weight of the bike and boost speed. It can also cut down on friction for enhanced performance.
Motorcycle suspension upgrades will do wonders for your Ducati or MV Agusta and help you get the most out of your bike. A motorcycle’s suspension makes your ride stable and comfortable, but you can’t expect a factory bike to have a pre-adjusted system for each individual. So, you can start by reading the owner’s manual to learn about your specific make and model. Several different suspension settings include preload, compression damping, rebound damping, trail and ride height.
Paying attention to your suspension is often an undervalued upgrade, but no matter what changes you make, they can deliver incredible advantages. You can set up the suspension to accommodate you, making adjustments for your weight, body dimensions and riding style.
You can set up the correct laden sag for your weight. Laden slag is the amount the suspension compresses when you place all your weight on the bike. Correcting the sag for your exact force will put the suspension in its most compliant range so it can better deal with anything on the track. You will also have less of a chance of bottoming out or topping. Altering the suspension helps with acceleration and cornering too.
After you set the sag, you can move on to making changes in the rebound and compression damping, which improve the handle of your bike. To learn more and how to set up a motorcycle’s suspension, check out our suspension set-up tips.
8. Air Filters
You may think an air filter is just an air filter. Although the standard air filter found in your bike’s engine performs as it should, upgrading it with an aftermarket solution can deliver more power to your bike. Dust, debris and other particles can reach your motorcycle’s air intake and cause problems. Just like you, your MV Agusta or Ducati needs fresh air to perform at its best.
You will want to prevent dirt from reaching the engine because it turns at high RPMs. A restrictive air filter can reduce airflow, lessening the performance. The right solution will increase horsepower. Performance filters let in the maximum amount of air, more than a stock filter, and improve the air that reaches the engine for a boost in efficiency and power. Less air restriction means you can use the engine’s top horsepower for the most acceleration.
Installing aftermarket levers to your Ducati or MV Agusta is another relatively easy and popular modification. You can customize the fit of your handlebars and give your bike a unique look. Hand levers and sets come in a variety of styles such as billet folding, long lever and shorty lever sets along with individual clutch and brake levers and semi-radial remote adjusters. You can also select the length, style, shape and color to fit the style of your bike.
Aftermarket lever options improve your handlebar positioning, making it easier for you to control your motorcycle’s gearshifts. You can choose between short and long-length options for better comfort that are also less likely to snap. Top brands like CNC Racing and AEM Factory deliver precise constructions and premium materials for reliability, comfort and style.
10. Lithium Battery Upgrade
A battery generates power for your bike’s ignition system, starter motor lights, radio and other components. But how does that relate to the performance of your track bike? Remember, reducing weight is a vital aspect in boosting the speed and performance of your motorcycle. Several upgrades offer weight shed like replacing your current battery with a lithium one.
Lithium batteries are lightweight compared to standard, lead-acid versions, and some even improve starting performance. Lithium batteries can be up to 80 percent lighter. The batteries enhance cranking power, increase fuel efficiency and discharge at a much slower rate than lead batteries.
11. Replacing Tires
If you want to go fast on the track and improve motorcycle performance, you can switch to high-performance tires meant for track performance. They are available in different types to accommodate various scenarios like touring, sport, race and others.
Aftermarket tires can give you more grip along with better handling, durability and longer tread life. Track-specific tires not only improve the performance of your MV Agusta or Ducati, but they also help you push personal limits while riding. Always make sure to check tire pressure to ensure the longevity of your tires and to warrant continuous performance.
Underinflated tires result in reduced fuel economy and control, which forces your engine to work harder, while overinflated tires put you at risk for dangerous blowouts. Make sure to monitor your replacement tires and find the best option for your track type.
Aftermarket Ducati and MV Agusta Performance Parts From Design Corse
Relying on Design Corse is a no-brainer if you want to work with the best motorcycle parts supplier in the industry. As an online store dedicated to delivering aftermarket performance parts, we partner with top-tier brands to bring you sleek and high-performing upgrades. We carry leading brands such as R&G Racing, QD Exhaust, CNC Racing, AEM Factory, Moto Corse, Oberon Performance and Ohlins.
We specialize in Ducati and MV Agusta motorcycles and believe every part of your bike should stand out when it comes to both performance and aesthetics. We provide a level of impeccable customer service and technical support to help you find the best parts for your bike. Design Corse experts listen to what you want, then suggest parts and accessories that meet your needs based on our experience with these performance machines.
It’s time give your bike a little more love, and now you have an idea of what parts can give you the increased performance you've been looking for. Boost the efficiency of your exhaust system, improve balance with rearsets or get more power with a high-performance air filter. Shop online to purchase aftermarket performance parts for your Ducati or MV Agusta. If you want to know how to upgrade your motorcycle engine or other component, contact the professionals at Design Corse, and we can offer tailored solutions for your motorcycle.
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