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What is the Justification for Expensive Motorcycle Upgrades?

What is the Justification for Expensive Motorcycle Upgrades?

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Patrick Racing upgrades are offered through Pacific Coast Star and actually have quite a variety of options. They offer everything from complete engine rebuilds – in many cases using your stock parts - to an array of hard-to-find aftermarket parts, specifically for metric cruisers.

In my opinion, the reason for building an engine from scratch is to be able to mold it to one’s own specifications. Thank goodness for the aftermarket industry where many companies can and will assist those in their quest to build the ultimate horsepower-making machine (for a fee). With this said, my taste in motorcycles has evolved toward the metric cruiser line of bikes and honestly, there aren’t many offerings in this market for upgrades or aftermarket parts. However, Patrick Racing has been an innovator in this area for many years and, of course, my bikes are all older and the “heyday” of their glory seems to be diminishing. It is like I jumped on the metric customization bandwagon a little later in the game. Yet, there are still upgrades available albeit at a very optimal pricing schedule. For instance, PR upgrades are offered through Pacific Coast Star and actually have quite a variety of options. They offer everything from complete engine rebuilds – in many cases using your stock parts - to an array of hard-to-find aftermarket parts, specifically for metric cruisers. Just for an example, even though I was able to hand-lap my valves and do the porting and polishing of the heads, Patrick Racing offers even more by adding a Serdi-valve job on the stage 1 kit and opening up valve sizes in the stage 2 mod. PR also offers “big bore” kits for the Yamaha Roadstar models from just a boring and “replating” upgrade to 1775cc to a massive, full-on “bore and installation of oversized liners” that increase the displacement to 1810cc! This seems quite dramatic and the one I am saving my money for. However, on the downside, there may be some issue with overheating with this modification and the reason I’m also looking into installing an aftermarket oil cooler after getting this upgrade.

Also, the question remains of how far do I take the upgrade schema? There are so many options with cams and high-comp pistons (which are included with the big bore mods from PR by the way), to adjustable pushrods, pushrod tubes, heavy duty high lift springs, etc, etc. The entire process of upgrading starts taking on a life of its own and the question generally comes down to “why”? Why spend thousands of dollars upgrading a marginal machine when there are so many production bikes that are already there? To answer this question, I start with saying – “To see if I could do it”. Can I take this marginal bike that I gave next to nothing for and transform it into a one-of-a-kind show-stopping, Harley-stomping, machine that I built in my garage? If so, then what is the ultimate price I should be willing to pay to build it? For me, the answer for building such a bike is just to be able to own something I built with my own two hands and to be proud of this achievement. There is also something very therapeutic about working with my hands and problem solving through mechanical roadblocks. It is a satisfaction of knowing something I didn’t know before.   

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