The Mean Streak represents Kawasaki's entry into the muscle bike scene, boasting a tough appearance and a performance-focused V-twin motor. While it has a lot of attitude, some Mean Streak owners may feel that more power is needed to match its appearance. Many upgrades can be found in the aftermarket, some providing power gains at a minimal cost, others requiring a large investment. Major power increases come at a higher price, so be sure that your budget matches your concept.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Install a high-performance electronic fuel-injection (EFI) controller to fine-tune your Mean Streak's fuel settings. Most EFI controllers can have custom fuel settings, called fuel maps, uploaded into them via external controls or through a USB interface. These maps can smooth abrupt dead spots in throttle response and improve top-end speed. Most the EFI controllers available on the market offer plug-and-play installation, requiring only a basic understanding of your Mean Streak's electrical system. Installing an EFI controller is absolutely necessary before adding on further modifications to your Mean Streak.
Replace the stock air filter and exhaust system with less-restrictive aftermarket components. Most filters and mufflers are designed to minimise gaseous and noise emissions, limiting the performance of your Mean Streak in the process. A performance air filter allows a greater volume of air to pass into the motor and increase power, provided that more fuel is added into the mix via an EFI controller. A free-flowing exhaust allows this mixture to exit quickly, allowing the next charge of air and fuel to enter into the motor faster. A fair degree of mechanical skill is helpful when installing either component.
Convert your Mean Streak's factory-equipped belt-drive system with a chain-and-sprocket system. This conversion allows you to change your Mean Streak's final drive gear ratio, the amount the rear wheel turns in one rotation of the motor's sprocket, by swapping out the sprockets. Installing a smaller front sprocket boosts your Mean Streak's acceleration, but lowers its top speed. Alternatively, higher speeds can be reached with a larger sprocket, but acceleration will be slowed. Converting to a chain drive requires a higher degree of mechanical skill, but can still be done with basic tools.
Tips and warnings
- More power can be found by upgrading the motor's internal parts. The majority of the work requires highly specialised tools that are normally out of the reach of most Mean Streak owners. Contact your local Kawasaki dealership for more information if you are interested.
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