Modified bikes are machines which have the appearance or functions altered. There are a number of reasons why several motorcyclists desire to modify their bikes. Some may want to make them more comfortable. Others aim to personalize their motorcycles because of the urge to make their ride a standout when driving in a crowd. However, bike modifications exerted numerous adverse impacts for the bike itself and the driver when it comes to safety, warranty, insurance policy, to name but a few.
Firstly, the modification of vehicles has caused so much trouble to the people as it has resulted in noise pollution as well as gas pollution. Moreover, there were many modified vehicles which have been involved in several serious accidents. Police have also found that altering the structure of vehicles has made so much pressure on the engine which has caused the disbalance of the vehicle or reduced the strength of the vehicle. There are modified bikes with aftermarket loud exhausts. Moreover, many subtle changes are added to the vehicles such as chopping roofs to transform sedans into convertibles. In some cases, the original vehicle can’t be identified.
More importantly, in January 2019, the Supreme Court of India enacted a law that banned the alteration of a vehicle. Accordingly, “No vehicle can be altered so as to change original specification made by the manufacturer. Such particulars cannot be altered, which have been specified by the manufacturer for the purpose of entry in the certificate of registration”.
Modifications to the horns not only create a nuisance but are also illegal. These pressure horns can easily cause a distraction to other drivers and can also result in hearing impairment in some cases.
Modified exhausts, which both create noise and increase engine power are also not allowed under the new law. Just like pressure horns, louder exhausts also lead to noise pollution and can act as a main distraction for other road users.
Strobe lights, which produce higher intensity beams, are also illegal in India. These can temporarily blind the oncoming vehicles or pedestrians which might result in an accident. Moreover, the continuous blinking of such lights, which are usually bright LEDs, causes a distraction to other motor drivers.
Engine modifications are also not permissible. OEMs depend on its power output. So, if the power output is increased beyond what the rest of the mechanical sections can handle, it will cause a complete failure and consequently breakdown. Like engine modifications, modifications made to a two-wheeler’s chassis is also against the law.
One of the most common illegal modifications done by motor owners in India is the use of fancy number plates. Not only is this practice illegal, but also prevents the easy identification of the vehicle in an accident.
Cyclists can legally modify their motorcycles, but they have to get through a tedious and long process: first, they get it approved by ARAI and then get the Registration Certification. Another way is to change features that do not affect the structure of the bike, such as adding auxiliary lamps or a remote locking system.
There are 4 key bike modifications that are permitted in India. Still, bear in mind that you need to ensure that you have received all the required permissions from the respective government bodies so your machine is street-legal after the mod-job has been carried out.
First, changing the colour of the vehicle is permissible. However, that color has to be approved by the RTO. Notably, some color changes like olive green for defence, yellow for taxis are not permitted.
Second, minor modifications to door protectors, decals and rain guards are acceptable.
Third, people can also change the tyres as the manufacturers usually offer different special tyres for base and top variant.
Fourth, one can make modifications to the engine, but it requires prior permission from the RTO. If the deals are not followed, the vehicle’s registration can be cancelled.
The German boxer comes with one of the most reliable engines. One of the popular choices for custom is the BMW R80. The price is not too expensive but it is good enough to hit the road with a few modifications. Remove the fairing, leave the bike as original as possible, put a new saddle and a perfect paint job and your bike is ready.
The Bonneville already has a retro cafe color but you can change it to your favourite color. The company provides a lot of accessories for this model and it will still look incredibly good, regardless of the approach.
Honda offers an entire CB engine range, beginning with the CB1300 Super Four or the CB50 to CBX. People tend to choose only the models that wear the iconic custom features like disc brakes, spoked wheels, and a retro shaped gas tank, engine bigger than 350 cc.
The Ducati Monster has good handling and comes with a sharp Brembo braking system. Whether you go for the early M models or for the latest ones, it still meets your requirements. The modifications can go in any direction you want. The cafe racer style is easy to reach. Put some spoked wheels and it will turn into a totally different bike.
The Virago is a popular cruiser in the bike market. It has a reliable engine with a soft power output preferred by any novice. The Yamaha XV has a lot of helpful features. You can keep the original tank, but replace the front fork with a smaller travel one.
According to the law, bikes modified are prohibited in India as these changes can cause severe injuries for the occupants or traffic participants and noise or environmental pollution. Nonetheless, to make the modifications legal, the owners have to get the altered parts permitted by ARAI and obtain an endorsed registration certificate. Altering the car’s structure is a good idea to amaze others, yet the changes need to be in compliance with the law of India.