Explore the world of motorcycling like never before with these 5 must-have accessories that will enhance your riding experience and safety.
When it comes to motorcycle accessories, the options are seemingly endless, spanning from aesthetic enhancements to performance upgrades and practical additions. If you're a tinkerer, it's easy to get carried away with your choices. Conversely, if you prefer a minimalist approach, you might spend weeks deliberating which accessories to incorporate into your ride.
The selection of style and performance modifications often boils down to personal taste. However, functional add-ons are typically chosen based on the wisdom shared by fellow riders. In an effort to enhance your daily riding experience, here are my top recommendations for 5 essential motorcycle accessories that you may not have realized you needed.
Essential Motorcycle Accessory #1: Heated Motorcycle Hand Grips
There was a time when I dismissed heated hand grips as something reserved for older riders. Now, I understand their wisdom.
When I had the opportunity to borrow a water-cooled Bonneville T120 from Triumph for three months, my goal was to ride it extensively. However, I faced a frigid Melbourne winter. If it weren't for the heated hand grips that came standard on the T120, my plans would have been foiled.
During colder months, heated motorcycle hand grips can significantly extend your riding time. Cold weather tends to affect your extremities first, particularly your hands, which can lose sensation while riding. This is obviously less than ideal. Heated grips effectively prevent numbness in your fingers, which is a crucial safety feature.
Some individuals may question the effectiveness of heated grips, arguing that they don't warm the top of your hands. While this is true, I can assure you that heat radiating from below is more than sufficient to ward off the cold. Numerous brands offer both universal and model-specific heated motorcycle grips, with some manufacturers providing heated grips as optional extras for their motorcycles. Personally, I opted for Oxford's Premium Retro Heated Grips, finding them easy to install and highly effective.
Price Range: $53.99–$300+
Available at Revzilla / Amazon / Oxford
Essential Motorcycle Accessory #2: A Motorcycle Phone Mount
Yes, I'm well aware that using your phone while riding is exceedingly dangerous. Riding a motorcycle offers a welcome escape from the screens that dominate our lives. However, bear with me, as there are several compelling reasons why a high-quality motorcycle phone mount makes sense.
First and foremost, a motorcycle phone mount provides a quick and secure location to stow your phone while riding. Modern phones tend to bulge when placed in back pockets, making them vulnerable to sliding onto the asphalt at high speeds. To avoid this risk, you need an alternative storage solution.
You could choose to keep your phone in your jacket pocket, but that would require fumbling with zippers while wearing gloves or removing your gloves to access your phone. With a phone mount on your handlebars, you can easily access your phone without any hassle.
Additionally, a smartphone offers various convenient features for riders. When venturing into unfamiliar terrain, using navigation apps can simplify your journey, offering clear turn-by-turn directions through your headphones. Apps like Waze can also alert you to upcoming roadwork, debris, or speed cameras.
Furthermore, if you enjoy having your favorite tunes playing in the background during your ride, having your phone right in front of you ensures a strong Bluetooth signal, reducing the chances of audio interruptions.
Countless brands offer motorcycle phone mounts, but my personal favorites come from the Australian brand Quadlock.
Price Range: $39.95–$200+
Available at Revzilla / Quadlock
Essential Motorcycle Accessory #3: A Motorcycle Side Stand Foot
We've all encountered situations where we felt uneasy parking our motorcycles on unstable surfaces, whether it's grass, loose dirt, or uneven asphalt. Similar to my experience, this unease likely lingered throughout the day, with the fear of returning to find your beloved bike tipped over. In such scenarios, a side stand foot becomes invaluable.
Consider this: which exerts more pressure per square inch, a 100lb person in high heels or a 6,000lb elephant? Surprisingly, it's the person in heels by a wide margin (approximately 20 times more). A larger surface area results in less pressure on the ground. Most motorcycle side stands have a modest footprint, typically just a few inches. Attaching a side stand foot to your bike's side stand effectively doubles its footprint, significantly reducing the risk of your motorcycle toppling over.
Price Range: $20–$100+
Available at Revzilla / Amazon
Essential Motorcycle Accessory #4: The Brake Free Helmet-mounted Brake Light
The Brake Free light is a brilliant innovation that gained recognition after appearing on the popular TV show Shark Tank. In essence, Brake Free is a helmet-mounted brake light designed to enhance your visibility on the road and contribute to your safety.
Motorcyclists face a higher risk of injury in accidents compared to car occupants. Rear-end collisions account for approximately 6% of recorded motorcycle accidents in the US. The Brake Free Light aims to reduce these statistics by elevating your brake light to a more visible level, alerting other motorists when you slow down, all without the need for wires.
Installing the Brake Free Light is hassle-free; it attaches to a mounting bracket on your helmet using a 3M adhesive pad. There's no intricate electrical work required, and you don't need to pair it with a device to activate it. Simply turn it on, and you're good to go.
Using built-in gyrometers and accelerometers, the Brake Free Light unit automatically detects when you're decelerating, whether through your motorcycle's brakes or engine braking. When deceleration is detected, the unit's 100 ultra-bright LEDs illuminate to alert other motorists. In the event of an emergency brake maneuver, the unit flashes brightly to enhance your visibility further.
In addition to its brake functions, the Brake Free Light offers several running light functions to make you more conspicuous on the road. The unit is rechargeable and provides 8–10 hours of lighting on a full charge.
Price: Starting from $152.99
Available at Brake Free Tech
Essential Motorcycle Accessory #5: The Denali SoundBomb Motorcycle Horn
Are you dissatisfied with the feeble, high-pitched squeak produced by your motorcycle's horn? Have you ever used it, only to find that other drivers in their soundproofed cars barely noticed? If so, you might want to upgrade to a Denali Sound Bomb.
There are no fancy tricks or advanced technology here; it's all about volume. Denali's SoundBomb is four times louder than the typical motorcycle horn and twice as loud as the average car horn. With the push of a button, it emits a 120-decibel blast that is sure to grab the attention of even the most oblivious drivers.
The SoundBomb achieves this with an electro-pneumatic horn that connects directly to your existing wiring harness. Although the unit is larger than your stock horn, it blends seamlessly when strategically mounted.
Price: Starting from $54.99
Available at Revzilla / Denali Electronics