Fit a seat pad
Some manufacturers offer gel seats as an option, or you can buy aftermarket ones that strap on top. These help to spread your weight – try www.motorcyclegelseatpads.co.uk. Alternatively there are air cushions that work in a similar way – try www.bykebitz.co.uk.
There are also specialists who will cut away your seat to give shorter riders a more secure footing or build seats up with gel inside for taller riders.
Raise or lower your seat
On some bikes you can pull out the rubber stops under the seat to lower it slightly. If you need to raise it try using larger stops from another bike (try your local breaker).
Adjust the suspension
Get yourself to a specialist like MCT (www.mctsuspension.com) who will twist and twiddle to get your bike feeling more plush. Preload, rebound and compression adjusters can all have an effect on the quality of your ride. Or have a go yourself, ensuring you note what you did so you can revert to the previous settings.
Adjust your footrests and gear linkage
Aftermarket rearsets move your foot position higher for better ground clearance and some riders find this more comfortable. Others offer more than one position, allowing a more relaxed position too. Most gear levers have a rose-jointed rod between the lever and the gearbox. These can be undone and tailored to you. One of the rose joints will use a left-hand thread – be careful not to strip it.
Re-angle your brake pedal
Your rear brake lever can be adjusted a small amount by moving the arm up or down the brake cylinder threaded shaft. Check the brake isn’t binding on when you’re not pressing on the lever. And if your footrest rubbers are old or hard replace with new ones.
Fit adjustable clip-ons
If your bike has clip-ons they might offer adjustment, but most will have a locating lug to limit this. Aftermarket clip-ons offer more angles and some like Helibars (www.helibars.co.uk) can also give you more height.
Adjust the handlebars
If your bike has traditional handlebars then you should have some adjustment once you’ve loosened the top yoke clamps. Watch out for levers and hoses fouling on full lock.
Adjust your Levers for span
Most bikes offer lever span adjustment, so tailor them to your hands – an amazing number of riders don’t bother. If your bike doesn’t have any adjustment you can buy aftermarket levers – try www.harris-performance.com. If your clutch is cable operated make sure there’s 2-5mm of free play.
Adjust your lever angle
Most sportsbikes have their levers in a position that’s perfect if you spend your whole time riding in a racing crouch. Most of us don’t, so loosen the pinch bolts on the lever clamp, sit on the bike and tighten them in a better positon for you. Make sure once you’ve moved them that you can move the steering from left to right without fouling.