Choosing the best motorcycle accessories
As we all know, owning a motorcycle opens up a whole new range of tempting opportunities to spend our money.
Once essentials such as insurance, helmet, and sensible riding clothing have been accounted for, it's never long before we begin to realise that there's a seemingly unlimited choice of riding accessories out there, all waiting to make a dent in your bank balance.
So, because most people don't have unlimited funds to spend, we thought we'd highlight just a few of the most important (and pretty cool) motorcycle accessories that are available these days:
- Motorcycle tools
- Motorcycle luggage
- Heated clothing
- Motorcycle covers
It's a good idea to at least have a basic idea of how a motorcycle 'works'. There's always someone else who's happy to help with oil changes or adjusting chain tension but, while this is undoubtedly a convenient option, you might at some point want to add a few maintenance skills to your DIY range.
The big question is, of course, what tools do you need? In the first instance, you're likely to benefit from having a couple of screwdrivers (to loosen/tighten various fasteners), a set of Allen keys (most bikes have Allen-headed screws/bolts), an adjustable wrench (for any non-Allen key screws/bolts), pliers (an all-rounder tool that always seems to come in handy), and a puncture repair kit (well, you never know).
If you commute, tour, or just love riding out into the country on a lovely sunny weekend, then you'll undoubtedly find many benefits from some good quality motorcycle luggage.
Your choice is largely dictated by the kind of bike you ride, so consider hard or soft panniers (also known as saddle bags), a tail bag or top box, and/or a tank bag, but do check first that your motorcycle can accommodate them. For example, a bike such as Triumph's Tiger 800, which is a perfect kind of bike for all-terrain touring, has been specifically designed to carry all such accessories.
If we use the Tiger 800 range to illustrate, saddle bags (or panniers) can be affixed to many motorcycles, often by using a mounting kit, and these can offer a surprisingly large (and therefore extremely useful) amount of capacity. Top boxes which are also known as Tail Bags are a useful luggage addition, and many riders have one of these to keep their helmet in while parked up and taking a break somewhere. Tank bags utilise the space on top of your fuel tank that isn't usually encumbered by anything else; a combination of straps and magnets keep it safely in place.
Cruising around like you own the road on a glorious sunny day is one thing; but riding enjoyment can be somewhat diminished when the thermometer drops to less rider-friendly levels.
Anyone who has been miserably cold while on a long journey will tell you the real value of heated clothing. While much money can be spent on heated trouser liners, body warmers, or jackets, many regular cold weather riders will tell you that money can be best spent on that part of the body that often suffers most from the cold while on a bike – the hands – which is why heated motorcycle gloves are considered by many as the very hottest of cool motorcycle accessories.
Lots of motorcycle owners don't have a garage, or any room in a garage, in which to keep their bike. So rather than leaving your pride and joy exposed to the elements, why not offer it at least a little weather protection by using a motorcycle cover?
Keeping the rain off, and to a certain extent, discouraging the effects of frost while it's parked up has obvious benefits for the long-term health of your motorcycle.
So as you can see, by carefully selecting the best motorcycle accessories, you can maximise your riding enjoyment, lengthen the life of your bike, and maybe even save you cash in the long-run too...
...so surely that's money well spent?