Recommended upgrade paths based on budget amount. Now with direct links to the budget bundles!
At BPNW we frequently get questions on which are the “best” upgrades to get. While there are unquestionably certain mods that provide significant benefits over other ones, it often comes down to the customer’s budget and what will give them the best “bang for the buck.”
Sometimes the upgrade path one takes is dependent on the available budget at the time. It can be hard to choose the right items to initially purchase, especially if you have additional future upgrading plans.
This article is meant to offer advice to those who are doing their first initial upgrades on their vehicle. It is meant to show the items you should strongly consider purchasing at a given budget spending level. The recommendations in this article are not meant as a complete upgrade progression path, as our advice for a long-term upgrade project may be completely different for someone who wishes to purchase “everything at once.” Although it can be handy for anyone, this information is intended for those doing their first or second round of upgrades.
Below you will find several different budget tiers, and our recommended upgrades at that price point. The suggested products assume a vehicle in stock or near-stock condition. We would be happy to offer alternate suggestions for those with already modified vehicles, simply contact us via our website.
Here are BPNW’s recommendations for initial upgrades for buggies, scooters, and ATVs built around the GY6 150cc, CN250 250cc, and CF250 250cc motors. These three engines are the most common ones found in the Chinese based buggies and scooters we cater to. (Note: most of the 250cc items are interchangeable between the CN250 and CFMoto 250cc engines. If there are any differences between them for a given product, it will be specifically called out.)
All of these mods are generally plug and play, with a minimal amount of tuning required after installation. They generally will require basic hand tools (crescent wrench, socket wrench or impact wrench, misc sockets, screwdrivers, etc). The most complicated part is often rejetting the carburetor, which is essence is simply removing and replacing a screw or two inside the carburetor. We have a complete guide to this in the BPNW Info Center at this link.
Under $100 – All Vehicles: Air Performance Package Level 1, CVT Performance Package Level 1
If you’re looking to spend $100 or less, your best starting options will always be the Air Performance Package Level 1 and CVT Performance Package Level 1.
The Air Performance package will eliminate the restrictive stock airbox from your vehicle and increase the air/fuel flow through the system by about 10%. The CVT package will allow you to re-tune the transmission for more torque at lower velocities, improving your acceleration and hill climbing abilities, as well as recovery when slowing down for and coming out of corners.
If your budget is about $200 or so, we still recommend everything from the $100 tier, but add in a couple more items, depending on the vehicle.
In addition to the Air Performance and CVT Level 1 packages above, for 150cc owners we add in the Electrical Performance Package Level 3 or Level 4, and the BPNW Air Accessories package (includes UNI filter oil and cleaner, a UNI crankcase breather filter, and an Outerwears filter sock). For 250cc owners we recommend either the electrical upgrades of the CDI, Coil, and spark plug, OR a Rock Crawler Camshaft, depending on your needs.
Electrical upgrades are generally not a “seat of the pants”-feeling upgrade, but they make all of your other upgrades work better through increased combustion of the additional air and fuel the other mods provide. Electrical upgrades can also provide increased RPM ceilings (so you can rev the engine higher than before) and spark timing adjustment in some products.
The advantage to this is that when you’re getting more air/fuel into the system, getting a more complete combustion increases the resulting power in the motor with every spark pulse. In other words, you’re getting more power from the previous upgrades than you would with your stock electrical components, making your other mods more effective!
The Rock Crawler camshaft for the 250cc models is designed to improve your low and midrange power. If you need more hill climbing ability or just want to get going easier, go with the camshaft over the electrical upgrades on the 250cc vehicles.
Specific information regarding these products can be found on their respective product pages (direct links provided):
Air Performance Package Level 1
CVT Performance Package Level 1
Electrical Performance Package Level 3 or Level 4
BPNW Air Accessories Package
Up to $350
In the $350 price range, we start getting into some major power upgrades for the 150cc vehicles. For the 250cc’s, we recommend everything mentioned in the $200 category, choosing both the electrical AND Camshaft upgrades.
For the GY6 150cc, we recommend the Air Performance Level 3 package that includes the Hammerhead Performance Exhaust kit. This kit includes everything from the Air Performance Level 1, plus a new, larger diameter header pipe, and high performance exhaust with spark arrestor.
This kit dramatically increases the engine’s power at all speeds and really wakes up the motor.
We also recommend the CVT Level 1 package as well. Tuning the transmission properly along with the added engine power from the Level 3 Air Performance package makes it almost feel like a vehicle with a larger motor. Your all-around performance and power will be notably increased.
We used to have a Hammerhead Performance exhaust package option for the 250cc models, but those have been discontinued and there has been no replacement in the marketplace.
Up to $500
At the $500 budget level, we are combining everything that has come before into one larger recommendation.
For 150cc vehicles, get everything from the $350 tier, plus the Electrical Performance Package Level 4
250cc vehicles would likely benefit most from a complete transmission overhaul with the CVT Performance Package Level 3, and the Air Performance Package Level 1. This will improve the airflow through the system as in other budget tiers, as well as give you a fully customized transmission suited for your terrain needs.
When you’ve reached this budget level, it’s best to customize your purchases to your specific needs for the area you ride in. Someone who rides in sand most of the time is going to have much different needs than the person who rides on dirt trails or pavement. Someone with mostly flat terrain will have different needs from someone in hilly or mountainous terrain, etc.
Please feel free to contact us for more suggestions in these instances.