Ten Things I Wish The Motorcycle Manufacturers Would Do

How to make the world of motorcycling a better place to live and ride.

Angled valve stem
Angled valve stem

1. Put angled valve stems on wheels, especially fronts fitted with two big brake rotors. Unless you're a left-handed spider monkey, reaching straight stems with most conventional tire gauges is a bitch.

2. Design seats that better fit the shapes of human butts. There is no excuse for a seat that makes your rear end ache in an hour or less.

3. Make all controls and contact points at least slightly adjustable. Car companies acknowledged the wide range of human sizes almost a hundred years ago; motorcycling is way, way overdue to follow suit.

4. Do a better job of preventing the rider—as well as the passenger—from being fricasseed on a hot afternoon. How many F-150s would Ford sell if their occupants got first-degree burns on every ride?

5. Install horns that are sufficiently loud and threatening to alert preoccupied car drivers of our presence. Most OEM horns are wimpy devices that give off a feeble, apologetic "meep-meep" rather than an authoritative "pay attention, dammit!" blast.

Air horn
Air horn

6. Design pillion-peg locations that don't force passengers into a gynecological-exam position. We're taking someone along for a fun ride, not for child delivery.

7. Give all cruisers enough cornering clearance to allow reasonable turning capability. The only way any motorcycle can turn is by leaning; severely limited attainable lean is a dangerous condition.

8. When developing gas-filler openings, make a trip to states that use accordion-type vapor-recovery nozzles. Maybe then we can top up without jamming fingers, wrestling with hoses and riding away with gas fumes on our hands.

Fuel filler
Fuel filler

9. Design mirrors that actually let riders see what's behind them. I already know what my elbows and shoulders look like; I don't need to keep tabs on them while riding.

10. Develop electronic control and information systems that don't require a decoder ring and a service call from the Geek Squad to operate. All we want to do is reset the tripmeter, not disarm a nuclear warhead.

Do you have something you wish motorcycle manufacturers would change, design, make, re-engineer or simply do a better job of? Please submit your comments below.