Biker Malady #1: Is There a Fix?

motorcycle maladyBIKERS MAY BE ACCUSED OF MANY THINGS, some true and some not, but for a number of riders, there is no escaping the accusation of being addicted to motorbikes. Can that get out of control? Although it’s hard to imagine “riding too much” becoming problematic, how about a malady that can be as visible as a completely chromed motorcycle, including the seat and tires?

Or how about an abundance of so many extra gadgets that the handlebar area looks like a free-form mechanical sculpture resplendent with enough wires and thingamajigs to make it seem impossible for a mere mortal to find the throttle?

There’s a name for this: Motorcycle Farkles Disease.

This might be considered as a relatively benign malady. Certainly, for most riders, it’s not terminal (wive’s or hubbie’s rantings to the contrary).

Let’s be clear that the subject of this article is not merely that of buying and installing a few accessories, called farkles (also spelled farkels). That would be as erroneous as describing anyone who enjoys a beer now and then as an alcoholic. This article describes something well beyond that.

But first, let’s clarify some terminology.

Motorbike Farkles

Farkels are certainly not limited to this list, but they serve as common examples:

♦ Radar Detectors

♦ Music, Radios and Audio Systems

♦ Wireless Communication Systems

♦ Global Positioning System (GPS) Receivers

♦ Heated Grips

♦ And of course lots of SHINY and ILLUMINATED THINGS

The list is endless.

A Motorcycle Malady Gone Wild

It may be arguable as to “when” the evolution of personalizing one’s motorbike crosses some threshold and becomes a malady that should be treated. But should you find yourself buying things to personalize motorcycles that you don’t own anymore, a little mental alarm bell ought to be giving you a jingle.

Even if your mental jingler was out of whack when personalization turned to obsession, it’s hard to argue that madness was not close to hand when your investment in farkles surpassed that of your house.

And speaking of houses, some home owners convert their garages to recreational rooms to gain more living space. However, should you find yourself converting living quarters to additional garage space to store more motorcycle accessories, there is cause for concern.

The good news is that such a disease does not require consultations with top doctors in various part of the globe. The standard cure is therapy for both your bike and soul: You need to ride more!

Your Favorite Accessories?

Having said all that, there are accessories and gadgets that truly improve the riding experience, whether practical and/or aesthetic.  What are your favorites? Please note them below.

58 thoughts on “Biker Malady #1: Is There a Fix?

  • The best improvement on my Triumph thunderbird is a Harrison billet mini 6 brake caliper. When I bought it my wife said “Is it really worth £300 ? ” I said ” if it stops you one metre from the car you were going to hit , is it good value ? ” It made a huge difference to the braking especially in the feel department and I don’t mean that its only perceived improvement. The original slave cylinder and caliper always felt mismatched as it had too much lever travel and yet felt wooden.
    I did a track day on it for the first time and my corner speed was so much better due to the complete control as I was braking coming into the bend. Its also 30% lighter so reduces unsprung weight. If you want to buy one search for Harriso billet on google.

  • Michael Bontecou, you make me REAL nervous when I hear you say “lighter muffler with a better sound”. To most people (like me) who know lots about internal combustion engines and mechanical things in general….that usually means you chose to join the cadre of idiots who give motorcycling a bad name by thinking that “loud pipes save lives”.
    In fact, loud pipes simply make lots of noise. ANNOYING noise. And they never do this at the right time, in the right place or for the right reason.
    It’s usually because the dim-witted owner wants to impress six girls sitting at a patio bar, near a crowded intersection, in an otherwise peaceful part of town where people are trying to relax and have a good time.
    The sooner every jurisdiction on the planet passes a noise ordinance and starts throwing heavy fines (I’m talking in the $500 range) at bikes with straight pipes or ANY pipe that exceeds predetermined db levels at specified RPMs, the better.
    If you wanna attract girls, or at least try to get their attention, try dressing like Elvis or putting a $4K paint job on your bike….or get a sidecar with a flashing neon sign that says “Pick me, pick me”. But DON’T, for the love of God, try to be “special” by being the loudest, most disruptive, rude, piece of crap two-wheeler to pass through town on any given day!

  • I was/am considering putting a ‘Peace Sign’ decal on the fender of my Triumph America.
    Decals are hard to find so I might have to resort to a simple sticker.
    Oh, I guess that is not exactly a farkle hunh?

  • The first item of change to my 2012 Norge was a new horn, the better to hear me, then have the low and hi beams both on in the hi setting, the better to see me. A wheel huger to keep the bike clean,a bigger windscreen, a tire pressure monitor,and a lighter muffler with a better sound. And to top it off GPS and radar. All adding to the comfort and safety of my ride.

  • Time to Add “RE” to your list of bikes. Although not a mega seller it’s a true, blue bike. That’s Royal Enfield. Please put it on your list and note the new version coming out shortly. Thanks for listening.

  • It’s only terminal when you run out of money. I choose accessories that increase
    protection, ergonomics and comfort. If it isn’t one of those it’s not on my bike.

  • My 2006 Big Dog K-9 has a few add-on pieces, namely a sissy bar for the ladies to lean their psteriors against while sitting on a “P” Pad, a tool bag for Amsoil Quick Shot (stabilize alcohol) and Fuel Shot (boost fuel’s octane), and a small luggage rack for a sissy. bar bag (so I cam carry some beer home). All of the other mods are for enhanced performance (1. Cruise-Mate, (2, Bandit Bruiser Clutch and Bearing Carrier, (3, Mild camshaft change-385 S&S, (4, dual oil coolers on front downtubes, (5, Speeds’s Perfgormance Plus 90deg. Intake Breather. If I’m a farkler then you can just eat s»#t and DIE!!!

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