Bike dealers like to tell you that bikes come out of the shop exactly the way you need or want them, and that there is no need whatsoever to go anywhere else. One particular Kawasaki dealer, for example told us that Kawasaki aftermarket parts are a waste. I would beg to differ.
Motorcycles, unlike cars, really really exist to be customized. Yes, even in 2017. Yes, even though dealers will tell you differently (obviously they don’t want to share the money with anybody else, right?).
In this order here is what I would look at perhaps changing on your typical later-model sports bike:
Tires: Safety, better maneuvering, fuel economy, just to name a few. Get the best tires you possibly can. And get good tubes too, preferably self-sealing. Flats are a bigger problem for bikes than they are for cars.
Rims: after-market rims are not only almost always more robust, they also tend to be lighter, passively improving your bike’s performance. Little improvements like this tend to add up, trust me.
Handlebars: improving the stock handlebars can vastly improve the ergonomics of a bike, and even prevent things like tendonitis and carpal tunnel.
Brake pads/shoes/etc.: simply put, stock brake components can almost always EASILY be improved on. Nobody needs to tell you how important brakes are on a motorbike!
Paint Job: This is the icing on the cake to be sure, but if you really want to go it in style, no stock paint job can possibly compare to the best custom paint job. You want to stand out in the crowd, there is no better way.
Now having said all this, we can’t forget about the all-important motorcycle accessories that you will need. Start with the helmet, and don’t try to economize here. Get the absolute best one you can, and check its safety rating. It could stand between you and the pavement one day! Get proper boots with proper ankle protection, and it’s highly recommended that you protect your elbows and knees too. Regular riders will also want to invest in a set of proper rain gear, which goes over everything. Get one of these motorcycle jackets for men too, just remember that in rainy conditions, you need proper rain gear over everything, because the rain really pelts you when you’re on a bike.
Now you’re ready to conquer that road trip you’ve been dreaming of. Cheers!