People love to customize their motorcycles, especially cruisers and dual-sports. While cruiser mods are generally for aesthetics, dual-sport riders seek to improve the performance, durability, and comfort of our on-road/off-road beasts. EveRide has figured out a formula of upgrades that works so well for him that he has applied it to all of his motorcycles. These all work regardless of the bike's make or model, and they'll work for you, too.
Seat Concepts Seat
To put it bluntly, stock seats suck. This is especially true of dual-sports. After all, you're supposed to be standing up on dirt, so why bother with a comfy seat? Because of the ride to and from the dirt, that's why. EveRide swears by Seat Concepts aftermarket seats, and I can see why. My own Kawasaki KLR 650 came with one, and I'm comfortable all day regardless of what type of surface I'm riding.
One caveat, though. After trying my seat out, a friend recently bought one directly from Seat Concepts. Due to COVID-related production delays, he had to wait two months before actually receiving it. Online retailers have them in stock ready to ship, so you may want to purchase through them instead.
Green Chile Soft Racks
Traditional hard racks are good solid places to strap stuff down, but they're also prone to bending and breakage in a crash. That's where Green Chile's soft racks come in. Three different versions are available to suit your needs. They're as strong as a solid rack, but aren't vulnerable to damage like they are. Plus, they'll install on any bike, including those without subframes, and are easily removable if you simply don't want to bring them along on a particular ride.
Pro Grip 714
This is another upgrade I was lucky to receive pre-installed on my KLR. They fit well in my hands and dampen vibrations well, an important consideration on any single-cylinder motorcycle. They're also quite affordable. I'll be installing a fresh set on my KLR's new handlebars whether I need them or not, and keep the old ones as spares if I can salvage them.
Double Take Adventure Mirror
When dropping your bike is common, as it can be off-road, your mirrors are always in danger of breaking off. Using a RAM Mount system, you can easily move the Double Take Adventure Mirrors out of harm's way when you hit the dirt. Then you know they'll still be there for the ride home. Yes, $62.95 may seem like a lot to spend on a mirror, but consider how much you'll spend replacing cheap mirrors that will break off and how much they'll vibrate while you do have them.
Tusk Enduro Lighting Kit
Another commonly broken item is lighting. That's why true off-road bikes don't have any. It's necessary for street-legal bikes, though, and this kit is designed to meet those requirements while staying out of the way as much as possible. It includes all the wiring you need to add lights to a bike that doesn't have any, but it will also replace your exposed turn signals with nearly flush-mount units that will be in less danger of breakage.
Primary Drive Chains And Sprockets
They're not glamorous like a trick suspension, but you're in trouble if your chain and sprockets wear out earlier than expected. That's what happened to Amanda Zito on her cross-country ride. EveRide has had an excellent experience with Primary Drive components. In fact, he purposefully neglected to lube the chain on one of his bikes to see how long they would last. That bike got totaled, but the chain and sprockets are still in great condition.
Tusk D-Sport Tires
While not all of his bikes have these tires yet, he is in the process of transitioning to Tusk D-Sports exclusively. They have an aggressive knobby tread pattern that works well in dirt, yet they are also street legal, and have a relatively hard compound that will last. Best of all, they're quite affordable. It will cost me just over $100 to outfit my KLR's spare set of wheels with a pair of these for serious dirt adventures.