Harley Davidson Parts and Accessories: How to Give Your Bike a Unique Look

Harley Davidson Parts and Accessories: How to Give Your Bike a Unique Look - Mocardine


Harley-Davidson is one of the most iconic motorcycle brands in the world, known for their distinctive styling and signature rumbling V-twin engines. Founded in 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Harley-Davidson has a long and storied history as an American cultural symbol of freedom and rebellion.

While Harley-Davidson manufactures most of the parts for their motorcycles, there is a huge aftermarket industry focused on accessories and replacement parts for Harleys. Aftermarket parts allow riders to customize their bikes and make improvements over the stock components. This guide will provide an overview of some of the most popular aftermarket parts available for Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Whether you're looking to increase performance, improve handling, or just customize the look of your Harley, aftermarket parts can help you achieve your goals. From air intake and exhaust systems, to new wheels, seats, and more, we'll explore the wide range of parts and accessories on the market. With proper research and selection, aftermarket parts can enhance both the performance and aesthetic of your Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Engine Parts

The heart of every Harley is its engine. Whether it's the classic Evolution V-twin or a newer Milwaukee-Eight, Harley engines provide the rumbling power and torque that makes riding a Harley-Davidson such a unique experience. One of the best ways to customize your bike's performance or extend engine life is by upgrading key engine components.

Cylinders, Pistons, Valves

The Harley cylinders contain the combustion chambers where fuel ignites to drive the pistons. Different cylinder shapes and fin arrangements optimize airflow for cooling. High compression pistons increase power, while forged pistons are more durable. The valves control intake and exhaust flow. Larger valves or valve porting kits can optimize airflow. Upgraded valve springs improve high-rpm performance.

Crankshafts and Cams

The crankshaft converts the piston movement into rotary motion to drive the rear wheel. Crank mods like polishing and balancing allow higher rpm operation. Cams operate the valves, and cam upgrades like higher lift cams can enhance airflow for more power. Cam bearings should be inspected and replaced periodically for smooth operation.

Gaskets, Gears, Oil

Proper gaskets seal the cylinders and valve covers to maintain compression. Crank and cam gears drive critical timing components and should be inspected for wear. Regular oil and filter changes are crucial to protect internal engine parts. Synthetic oils improve protection at high temperatures. Upgraded oil pumps and coolers enhance cooling and lubrication.

Maintenance for Reliability

Routine maintenance optimizes performance and longevity of Harley engines. Follow the factory service schedule fortasks like valve adjustments, belt/chain inspections, oil changes, and flushes. Watch for leaks, strange noises, or drops in performance that can indicate issues. Quality OEM or aftermarket replacement parts ensure durability when components need replacement. With proper care, a Harley engine can provide tens of thousands of miles of riding pleasure.

Drivetrain Parts

The drivetrain on a Harley-Davidson refers to all the components that transmit engine power to the rear wheel. Upgrading drivetrain parts can dramatically improve your bike's shifting, acceleration, and top speed.

Primary Drive

The primary drive uses a chain or belt to connect the engine output shaft to the transmission input shaft. Replacing a worn primary chain or belt improves power transfer efficiency. Larger sprockets or pulleys increase torque multiplication for faster acceleration.


Harley's use either a wet multi-plate clutch or dry single plate clutch. Upgrading to high-performance friction plates improves clutch engagement and increases holding capacity for hard launches. A heavy-duty clutch can withstand repeated drag strip runs.


Harley transmissions are separate from the engine and typically have 4 or 5 speeds. Swapping in smoother shifting aftermarket gear sets reduces missed shifts. Consider a 6-speed transmission kit for tighter spacing of gear ratios.

Final Drive

The final drive uses a belt or chain to connect the transmission output shaft to the rear wheel. A wider drive belt or taller rear sprocket improves acceleration, while smaller pulleys or sprockets increase top speed.

Upgrading your Harley's drivetrain parts can provide noticeable gains in shifting, acceleration, and top speed for a more exciting ride. High-quality aftermarket components from top brands ensure durability and performance.

Suspension Parts

Harley-Davidson motorcycles are known for their signature rumbling sound and smooth ride. While the styling and engine provide the Harley experience, the suspension is what keeps riders comfortable mile after mile. Upgrading or replacing worn out suspension components is one of the best ways to improve your bike's handling and ride quality.

The suspension on a Harley consists of the front end (forks and triple trees) as well as the rear shock absorbers. The front suspension takes the brunt of impacts and bumps in the road. Common upgrades include heavier weight fork oil, stiffer fork springs, and upgraded cartridge kits for the forks. These changes allow your front end to better absorb bumps while minimizing compression and dive under braking.

The rear shocks provide damping and support the weight of the bike. Many riders upgrade to adjustable air shocks or fit heavier duty coilover shocks. This prevents the rear end from sagging under load and provides more rebound control over bumps. Adjustable shocks also allow riders to fine tune the suspension for their weight and riding style. Properly dialed-in rear shocks improve traction, cornering clearance, and stability when carrying a passenger or cargo.

With the right suspension upgrades, you can take your Harley's handling and ride quality to the next level. Consult owner's forums and experts to select the ideal components to achieve your desired ride characteristics. Improved suspension allows you to comfortably rack up more miles and fully enjoy the open road.

Brake Parts

Harley Davidson motorcycles are known for their powerful V-twin engines. But all that horsepower is useless without strong brakes to control it. Harley invests heavily in top-notch brake components to provide the stopping power needed to rein in their powerful bikes.

Harley uses large diameter brake discs to maximize braking surface area. Bigger discs provide more friction which equals more stopping power. Many Harley models are equipped with floating rotors which allow the disc to expand evenly during heavy braking. This reduces warping and improves brake performance.

Harley brake calipers squeeze the brake pads against the rotor to slow the bike down. Stiffer calipers apply braking force more evenly for smoother, more controlled stops. Harley often opts for large, dual piston calipers for the front wheel since it handles most of the braking force.

Master Cylinders
The master cylinder transfers brake fluid pressure to the calipers when the brake lever or pedal is activated. Larger diameter master cylinders provide a bigger fluid reservoir and increased leverage for stronger braking power.

Brake Lines
Stainless steel braided brake lines are the preferred upgrade from standard rubber hoses. The reinforced lines expand less under pressure, delivering braking force to the caliper more efficiently. This improves brake feel and control.

Upgrading key brake components like discs, calipers, lines, and master cylinders is the best way to significantly boost the stopping power on any Harley. Strong brakes inspire confidence and allow riders get the most from their powerful machines.

Electrical Parts

Harley-Davidson motorcycles have a wide range of electrical components to power the bike and its many accessories. Keeping the electrical system in top working order improves reliability and helps avoid being stranded with a dead battery or faulty lights. Many riders also upgrade parts of the electrical system for added convenience, brightness, and customization.

**Batteries** are one of the most important electrical components. The battery needs to have sufficient cold cranking amps (CCA) to start the engine, especially in colder weather. Upgrading to a higher performance AGM or gel battery can improve starting capability and extend battery life. Proper battery maintenance like cleaning terminals and checking fluid levels helps avoid issues.

**Lighting** on Harleys includes headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and running lights. These can be upgraded for improved visibility and style. LED bulbs are brighter and longer-lasting than stock bulbs. Custom smoked or color lenses also change the look.

The Harley **ignition system** provides the all-important spark to ignite the air/fuel mixture in the engine. Upgrading components like coils, plug wires, and spark plugs can optimize performance. Switching to electronic ignition eliminates maintenance of points.

**Gauges** monitor vitals like engine speed, temperature, fuel level, and more. Upgrading to digital gauges adds features like a gear indicator or tachometer. Customizing the gauge faces and lighting provides personalized style.

**Switches** activate lights, turn signals, and accessories. Quality switches hold up better over time. Custom switch housings in chrome, black, or billet aluminum complement handlebar styles.

By upgrading key electrical components, riders can add convenience, safety, and style to their Harley-Davidson motorcycle. High-performance parts improve starting, lighting, ignition, instrumentation, and switching.

Exhaust Parts

One of the most popular ways to customize a Harley Davidson motorcycle is by upgrading the exhaust system. Aftermarket exhausts can provide performance improvements while also allowing riders to put their personal style on display.

When it comes to exhaust upgrades, there are a few main components to consider:


Also known as head pipes, headers are the tubes that connect the engine's exhaust ports to the rest of the system. Aftermarket headers are often made from premium materials like stainless steel or titanium for increased durability and corrosion resistance. Many feature stepped or tapered tubing to enhance exhaust gas flow.


The muffler (also called silencer) is responsible for reducing noise emissions. Harley offers a wide range of slip-on and full mufflers to change the bike's sound profile. Many aftermarket mufflers use advanced internals like baffles and turbulence cones to optimize tone and volume.

Baffles are internal chambers and tubes inside the muffler that route the exhaust and dissipate sound waves. Swapping the factory baffles for an aftermarket tuning kit can fine-tune the exhaust note. Removable baffles allow riders to easily toggle between a louder, open configuration and a quieter setting.

Exhaust Tips

Exhaust tips (also called tailpipes) control the final look and sound signature. Aftermarket tips come in chromed, blacked-out, angle cut, and slash cut styles. Tip materials like carbon fiber and titanium provide durability along with unique aesthetics.

Upgrading to a complete aftermarket exhaust system or mixing and matching individual components allows Harley riders to boost performance and customize the attitude of their bike. The right exhaust upgrades can help a motorcycle better "breathe" while providing a throaty tone that turns heads on the highway.

Accessory Parts

Harley Davidson motorcycles are highly customizable machines. There are many accessory parts available from Harley Davidson to make your bike truly your own.

Some of the most popular accessory parts are handlebars, seats, windshields, saddlebags, and floorboards.


One of the easiest ways to customize the look and feel of your Harley is by changing out the handlebars. Many riders opt for higher handlebars than stock. Higher handlebars change the riding position and can reduce strain on your back and shoulders during long rides. There are many shape and rise options to find the perfect handlebar shape and height for your body and desired look.


An aftermarket seat can make a dramatic difference in comfort during long stints in the saddle. Many options are available in different materials, thicknesses, and styles to suit each rider's preference. Heated seats are also available for cold weather riding comfort. Custom seats with unique designs or materials are another way to make your bike stand out.


Wind protection can greatly improve the riding experience on long hauls. Harley offers windshields of different shapes, sizes, and materials to find the right level of wind protection for your needs and style. From small shields that divert the wind just over your head, to tall shields that provide maximum protection, you can dial in just the right windshield.


Hard saddlebags integrated into the rear fender are a classic Harley Davidson accessory. They provide practical storage space for trips while maintaining the bike's sleek lines. For even more storage, you can add a sissy bar and luggage rack. Soft saddlebags that attach to the rear fender are another option.


Floorboards provide another area to customize both style and comfort. You can choose different designs and materials for a unique look. Moving the floorboards to different mounting points also changes the riding position. Further forward puts less bend in your knees, while moving them back stretches out your legs more. Heated floorboards are great for riding in cold climates.

Customizing your Harley Davidson with aftermarket parts allows you to put your personal stamp on your bike. With the wide range of handlebars, seats, windshields, saddlebags, floorboards and more, you can truly make your Harley one-of-a-kind.

Tires & Wheels

Harley-Davidson motorcycles come equipped with a wide range of tire and wheel options to optimize traction, handling, and ride quality for different riding conditions and styles.

When selecting new tires, consider the tread pattern. Harleys tend to perform best with bias or bias-belted tires rather than radials for maximum grip during acceleration, cornering, and braking. Tread patterns with continuous center ribs are good for straight line stability while patterns with curved, lateral grooves provide grip in turns. For wet weather riding, choose a tread pattern with plenty of siping.

Standard Harley tire sizes range from 130/90 front to 180/65 rear but may vary by model. Narrower tires offer quicker steering response while wider tires provide more contact patch and stability. Most Harleys come with cast aluminum wheels but billet and spoked wheels are also available. Standard diameters are 16” front, 15” or 16” rear but many opt for larger 17” or 21" wheels.

When upgrading Harley tires and wheels, consult your owner's manual for approved sizes. Consider your typical riding conditions and needs to find the ideal combination of traction, handling, and ride quality. Work with a qualified Harley dealer to select compatible components. Properly inflated tires and balanced wheels are essential for safe handling.


Aftermarket parts allow Harley-Davidson owners to customize their bikes and make repairs with components from companies other than Harley. When installing aftermarket parts, it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions closely. Improper installation can lead to poor performance or safety issues.

There are many reputable companies that manufacture quality aftermarket parts for Harley motorcycles. Well-known brands like Arlen Ness, Bassani, Burly Brand, Kuryakyn, Mustang, Performance Machine, Progressive Suspension, Rinehart Exhaust, S&S Cycle, Thrashin Supply, and Vance & Hines are good places to start when looking for custom or replacement parts. Always make sure to buy from a trusted source, as low-quality "knock-off" parts could fail prematurely.

When shopping for aftermarket parts, look for companies that have extensive experience working with Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Seek out manufacturers that offer high-grade materials, precision engineering, and comprehensive testing. Additionally, choose companies that provide good warranties and customer service support in case any issues arise after installation. Investing in quality aftermarket components from reputable brands will help enhance your Harley's performance, style, and reliability for years to come.

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