If you ride a Motorcycle, you know how little things can make a huge difference when it comes to the quality, safety, and comfort of your ride. Whether you’re a new rider or a seasoned biker, there are a lot of motorcycle gadgets that make riding much more convenient.
If, for example, you want to speak with your friends during a road trip or record some video on a particularly scenic road, there are a lot of options. Check out some of the best motorcycle gadgets available in our buying guide below.
Best Motorcycle Gadgets: Must-Have Accessories for Your Bike
1. Nelson-Rigg Black Magnetic Mount Journey GPS Mate
Model: GPS Mate
If you have a GPS device but nowhere to mount it on your bike, this accessory from Nelson-Rigg will do the trick. It attaches to the gas tank with magnetic mounts, and it’s designed to stay put without leaving any marks behind. It’s made of UV-treated Tri-Max ballistic nylon.
The pocket can accommodate nearly any type of GPS and electronic device. It also features a second clear pocket for smartphones and other devices. The clear pouches are touch-screen friendly, and there’s an extra zippered pocket for smaller items, such as a garage door opener. The magnets are powerful, and the bag stays right where you put it, even at very high speeds. The case also keeps your gadgets dry when you get stuck in the rain.
One issue with the bag is the clear pockets may be too small for certain devices, especially if you have a larger smartphone. The case may also be too long for some tanks, and the pockets may not be the dimensions that are listed in the product’s description.
2. Battery Tender USB Charger Adaptor
Brand: Battery Tender
Weight: 0.634 ounces
This Battery Tender quick disconnect plug is very handy and is designed for most 12-volt batteries on motorcycles, ATVs, golf carts, etc. It attaches to an existing Battery Tender quick disconnect. If you have a Battery Tender pigtail installed to keep your battery in good shape, this device allows you to make that pigtail do double duty as a USB port.
It’s a great way to charge your phone or attach to a GoPro camera to record video for longer periods of time while you’re riding. You never have to worry that your phone will lose a charge, and it’s also great for GPS devices and music players. You can plug this meter into the pigtail connector, and it tells you what you want to know without removing the motorcycle seat.
However, this gadget won’t charge higher-draining devices, and you may need to reinsert it a few times for a good seal to get a good charge. Also, it’s not the most durable accessory and can break if it gets bumped around too much.
3. Sena 20S-01 Motorcycle Bluetooth 4.1 Communication System
Weight: 2.15 ounces
You can talk to up to eight people with this communication system from Sena. It works with both Sena and non-Sena Bluetooth headsets. It’s easy to set up and pair with Bluetooth devices and uses hands-free voice commands. The system also features a multitasking mode so you can listen to music or GPS while having a conversation.
This is a great audio-multi tasking and multi-group intercom communication device. The audio is clear, precise, crisp, and smooth. You can pair this system up with one or two mobile phones, and it pairs instantaneously every time you turn it on to any phone you use. There’s also little to no wind noise, depending on what type of helmet you use.
One problem with this device is the battery life is not very good. It can also be challenging to pair with other riders. In addition, there have been some complaints that Sena is difficult to deal with when it comes to warranty support.
Benefits of Motorcycle Gadgets
- Practical. There are so many devices in the motorcycle industry that make your life easier, from helping you make hands-free phone calls to securely locking your bike so it doesn’t get stolen.
- Affordable. Not all cool gadgets for motorcycles are expensive. There are several products for sale that are fun, useful, and relatively cheap, such as multitools, GPS and phone mounts, and helmet locks.
- Great gifts. If you have a biker in your life, you’re in luck. The best gadgets for motorcycle riders come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and price points. With so many options, you’ll have no problem coming up with a gift idea for your friend or loved one.
Types of Motorcycle Gadgets
Sometimes it’s challenging to communicate with fellow riders when you’re on a road trip using an intercom system. Or maybe you want to check in at home with your loved ones when you’re on your bike. There are a variety of Bluetooth headsets that feature voice commands and other handy features that keep you connected with others.
One way to enhance your riding experience is by recording your adventures using a video camera. Technology has come a long way, and you can have a lot of fun with an action camera, such as those made by GoPro. Many feature a hyper smooth setting so the video doesn’t bounce around even if your bike does.
While you can always use an old-school map to chart out your trip, it’s much easier to use a GPS device on your bike. Many Garmin devices have touch screens, so you can use them when you’re wearing gloves. These devices show you the best routes, whether there’s traffic ahead, and even weather conditions.
While it’s great to use gadgets on your motorbike, you also have to consider the power source. These devices need some way to maintain their charges. For example, you can buy a USB charger that hooks up to your battery, so you know that your phone is ready to use at all times.
Multitools are a motorcyclist’s best friend. You never know when a bolt will come loose or you will need to make small repairs on the side of the highway. These mini tool kits are very useful and often feature wrenches and screwdrivers that can be a lifesaver when you’re in a tight spot.
If you’re worried about someone stealing your bike, you may want to invest in a motorcycle lock. They come in a variety of different styles. Steering locks prevent thieves from steering your bike, while disc locks keep the wheels from turning. Smart locks work in conjunction with an alarm system, and some have Bluetooth and motion-sensing features.
Sena Technologies, Inc. is based in Irvine, California. The company launched in 1998, and its flagship product is the SMH10 Bluetooth intercom/headset for motorcycle helmets. We also recommend the Sena 20S-01 Motorcycle Bluetooth 4.1 Communication System.
BikeMaster, based in Fort Worth, Texas, was founded in 1981 by a group of riders. The company produces batteries, tie downs, stands, accessories, and more. One popular product is the BikeMaster Dial Gauge.
Garmin, founded in 1989, is the top name in GPS navigation technology. The company was founded in 1989 and is based in Olathe, Kansas. One popular product is the Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S Motorcycle GPS.
Nelson-Rigg USA, Inc., based in Santa Ana, California, has been making bike apparel, luggage, and covers since 1972. One popular product is the Nelson-Rigg Black Magnetic Mount Journey GPS Mate.
Motorcycle Gadgets Pricing
- Under $50: You can find a variety of motorcycle gadgets for a modest price, including battery chargers, multitools, phone chargers and mounts, GPS trackers, and tank bags.
- $80 and up: The more money you spend, the more sophisticated the gadgets will be. Devices in this price range include communication systems, action cameras, motorcycle helmet speakers, and personal power supplies.
While electronic gadgets are really useful, you have to take care of them so they function optimally. Some are more durable than others, so make sure you examine the quality of a device before making a purchase. As you know, cheaper devices are usually cheap for a reason. Also, read reviews to see what others have to say about a product’s reliability.
SOUND AND VIDEO QUALITY
If you purchase a communication system, you want the audio to be as clear as possible so you can hear the person on the other end of the call. And when it comes to video, you want a camera that records the clearest pictures possible. You may need to spend a little more to get higher-quality products with advanced features that make phone calls and video as crisp as possible.
It can be frustrating to purchase a new gadget for your bike and later realize that it loses its charge quickly. This may happen with a GPS device or an intercom system, for example. If you can’t hook the device directly into your bike’s battery, you need to make sure it holds a charge for a reasonable amount of time.
- Price: How much do you want to spend on motorcycle accessories? Set a budget before making a purchase. High-quality motorcycle gadgets can cost several hundred dollars. If you want a top-end action camera or a reliable Bluetooth communication system, they will cost much more than a battery minder or a case that holds a GPS tracker and smartphone.
- User-Friendliness: Some electronic gadgets are more sophisticated and harder to use than others. If you are not particularly mechanically inclined, it can be more challenging to figure out some Bluetooth communication systems or other devices. Look for products that are easy to use and set up out of the box.
- If you like riding in a variety of weather conditions, you may want to buy heated gear. You can plug items such as jackets and liners directly into your motorcycle’s battery, and you will stay warm even when the mercury drops.
- Helmet speakers are a great addition if you want to listen to the radio or stream music when you’re commuting. They also allow you to answer phone calls.
- When it’s really cold outside and you want to keep your digits warm, invest in heated grips. You can install them yourself or with the help of a professional, and they will keep you warmer than winter gloves alone.
Q: WHAT TYPES OF GADGETS DO MOTORCYCLISTS NEED?
A: That depends on the rider and his or her preferences. Popular items include GPS units, action cameras, and sound-isolating headphones.
Q: DO HELMET SPEAKERS BLOCK OUT ROAD NOISE?
A: They don’t block out noise as earphones do. They let a little sound in, which is good because that allows the rider to be aware of his or her surroundings.
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST MOTORCYCLE GPS?
A: You can’t go wrong with the Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S Motorcycle GPS or the Garmin Zumo 595LM.
Our pick for the top motorcycle gadget is the Nelson-Rigg Black Magnetic Mount Journey GPS Mate. It’s a great case for holding your GPS device as well as your smartphone, so you know where you’re going when you’re on a trip.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Battery Tender USB Charger Adaptor.
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