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Take Control: The Benefits of Forward Controls on Your Motorcycle

what are forward controls on a motorcycle

Forward controls on a motorcycle can be a game-changer for riders looking to customize their ride and find a more comfortable and natural riding position.

By moving the footpegs and control levers closer to the rider’s feet, forward controls allow for a more stretched-out posture and can improve aerodynamics.

While this setup may take some getting used to, it can provide a whole new level of control and maneuverability for experienced riders. Plus, with a wide range of styles and materials to choose from, forward controls are a stylish way to personalize your motorcycle. So if you’re looking to shake up your riding experience, consider giving forward controls a try.

Are Forward Controls Worth It?

Forward controls on a motorcycle refer to the positioning of the footpegs and the shift and brake levers closer to the rider’s feet, rather than the traditional location below the saddle.

This setup can provide a more comfortable and natural riding position for some riders, as it allows for a more stretched-out posture.

Forward controls can also improve the aerodynamics of the motorcycle, as the rider’s body is more tucked in. However, the new positioning can take some getting used to and may not be suitable for all riders, particularly those with shorter legs.

In addition, the installation of forward controls may require some modifications to the motorcycle, and not all models are compatible with this type of setup. Overall, the decision to use forward controls is a personal one that depends on the rider’s preferences and the specific characteristics of their motorcycle.

What is the difference between forward controls and mid controls on a motorcycle?

Forward controls and mid controls are two different styles of motorcycle footpeg and control lever placement.

For forward controls, the footpegs and control levers are being located closer to the rider’s feet, towards the front of the motorcycle. Your sitting position will be more stretched-out compared to an upright position of middle controls and can improve aerodynamics.

Here are some pros and cons of forward controls on a motorcycle:

Pros:

  • Allows for a more stretched-out riding position, which can be more comfortable for some riders
  • Improves aerodynamics by allowing the rider to tuck in more
  • Can provide a more natural and intuitive feel for the controls
  • Can add a custom look to the motorcycle

Cons:

  • May not be suitable for all riders, particularly those with shorter legs
  • Can take some getting used to and may require a period of adjustment
  • May require modifications to the motorcycle to install
  • Some riders may prefer the traditional, more upright riding position provided by mid controls.

Mid controls, on the other hand, refer to the footpegs and control levers being located more towards the middle of the motorcycle, under the saddle.

This is the traditional placement for these components and is often the default setup on most motorcycles. Mid controls allow for a more upright riding position and may be more comfortable for some riders.

Here are some pros and cons of middle controls (also known as “mid controls”) on a motorcycle:

Pros:

  • The traditional and default placement for footpegs and control levers on most motorcycles
  • Allows for a more upright riding position, which can be more comfortable for some riders
  • May be easier to get on and off the motorcycle, especially for riders with shorter legs

Cons:

  • May not allow for as much aerodynamic tucking as forward controls
  • Does not provide as much control and maneuverability as forward controls
  • May not be as customizable or stylish as forward controls
  • Some riders may prefer the more stretched-out riding position provided by forward controls.

Both forward controls and mid controls have their own pros and cons as mentioned above, and the best choice for a particular rider will depend on their personal preferences and the specific characteristics of their motorcycle.

The installation process for forward controls

Here is a list of tools and parts that may be needed to install forward controls on a motorcycle:

Tools:

  • Socket set
  • Wrench set
  • Torque wrench
  • Screwdriver set
  • Vice grips
  • Pliers
  • Hammer
  • Center punch
  • Electric drill
  • Tap and die set (if threads need to be repaired or modified)
  • Loctite or other thread locker

Parts:

  • Forward controls kit (including footpegs, brake and shift levers, mounting brackets, and hardware)
  • Gaskets (if needed)
  • O-rings (if needed)
  • Washers (if needed)

In general, installing forward controls can be a fairly involved process that requires a good level of mechanical aptitude. It typically involves removing the existing footpegs and control levers, as well as any necessary brackets or hardware.

The new forward controls will then need to be properly aligned and secured, and all connections will need to be tightened to the proper torque specification.

Note that the exact tools and parts needed will depend on the specific make and model of the motorcycle and the forward controls being installed. It is important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and to use the proper tools to ensure a safe and successful installation.

Types of Forward controls available

There are many different types of forward controls available for motorcycles, including:

Cast aluminum: These forward controls are made from cast aluminum and are often lightweight and durable. They may come in a variety of colors and finishes, including black, silver, or chrome.

Billet aluminum: These forward controls are made from billet aluminum, which is a type of aluminum that has been milled from a solid block. They are often high-quality and customizable, and may be available in a range of colors and finishes.

Stainless steel: These forward controls are made from stainless steel, which is a corrosion-resistant material. They are often durable and may be available in a polished or brushed finish.

Rubber: Some forward controls are made from rubber or other flexible materials, which can provide a more comfortable and vibration-damping ride. These may be suitable for riders who do a lot of long-distance or off-road riding.

In addition to the material, forward controls also come in a variety of styles, such as traditional, vintage, or modern. It is important to choose forward controls that are compatible with the make and model of the motorcycle and that suit the rider’s personal preferences.

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