Are you a new motorcyclist? Well, buying a motorcycle is just the beginning. To get the most enjoyment out of your new motorcycle, you’ll want to load it up with some accessories.
Of course, you can’t afford to buy everything at once, so here is a list of the top 4 motorcycle accessories to have. These are the ones you should buy first, assuming you already have all the obvious safety gear.
#1 – Motorcycle Covers Are Perfect For Sun Fading Protection
Motorcycle covers are one of the best investments you can make in keeping it looking new. The weather elements will break down the materials in the seats and rubber parts before you know it.
If you keep your bike in a shed, this will keep the dust from settling on it. It will also keep small animals from shedding on the seat and sleeping the day away. If you have cats, you know what I mean!
If your bike stays parked out in the open, it will need a way to stay clean and shiny. When exposed to the weather, the sun has a tendency to take it’s toll on leather, paint, tires and rubber hoses.
The other extreme in cold weather, freezing temperatures can also add problems. If you live in a climate where there is snow, the seat will eventually show signs of water damage.
The hoses will tend to crack and leak due to freezing. Put a “blanket of protection” on it. It is always a good idea to look at it often if it is not being ridden, to check for any problem areas.
Make sure you choose good quality waterproof motorcycle covers, or the protection will be minimal. You want your investment to repel water, dew, snow, fog and the sun’s rays.
Making an investment for your motorcycle now will save you time and money later. Please don’t wait until it needs it to get one. Make your purchase of just a few dollars now you won’t spend lots of dollars in repairs later.
When you are not using it, be sure to keep it in the handy bag it came with for storage. This will keep your cover protected. If left out, it could get damaged.
Over a period of time, the sun will eventually fade out your cover. This is normal. You will need to replace it every 3 months to maintain the level of protection needed.
When storing your bike inside, you will merely need a dust cover. Believe me, the dust in the air will settle all over your bike and you won’t be able to see it anywhere else.
The saddlebags and travel bags will need to be removed before storing it. They need to be put in a dry area and covered tightly. This will keep bugs, rodents and other creepy crawlers out.
In the summer time, the wasp and dirt daubers will build up and bring their whole family and take up residence. That is one insect you don’t want to make a home in your bags.
#2 – Motorcycle Driving Lights Give You That Extra Measure of Visual Distance
Motorcycle driving lights are very bright and add an extra wide lighted area for you to see and be seen. With a brightly lit area, you can be confident of your safety. Your headlight is a vital part of your safety, as well as your taillights, running lights and turn signals. Make sure all of these are in proper working order at all times.
It is a law that all these lights are working. They come on when the key is on and when the bike is running. It is for your safety as well as your protection.
These extra lights give you a broader light path. It will enable you to see animals lurking on the side of the road. Pedestrians are seen clearer.
You are noticed at a further distance from oncoming cars. It is like having brighter high beam lights. You can wire them to be on at all times, or to be turned on and off with a switch.
You will want the ones you get to be water resistant. Make sure they have good quality O-ring seals that keep water and moisture out.
These bulbs get very hot and will “pop” when they get wet. They don’t do you any good it they don’t work.
Most people mount them on the crash bars. They are low to the ground and are not in the way of your driving. The motorcycle driving lights even make your bike stand out.
They offer a little bit of style and pizazz. Some are paintable to match your bike. Some are chrome and shiny. You can even get them in flat black.
When you find the ones you like, you should get the whole kit to make mounting easier.
This includes the brackets, wires and lights. Read the instructions thoroughly. You don’t want any fuses popping on you.
You will be happy with your new driving lights. They add a lot to the visual and safety of any motorcycle and are not very expensive.
#3 – Using Motorcycle Radios While Riding Can Be Easily Done, Safely
Motorcycle radios are an important issue for any motorcycle travel. Whether you use a cell phone, cb radio, walkie-talkie or hand signals you will need to know what the other party is going to do. Using any form of wireless communication is a great idea.
If you travel on a motorcycle, communication is not so easily accomplished. You usually pull over to a rest area and get your next miles plan together.
Sometimes you will make a stop in the middle of nowhere, only to realize the leader is lost, but the follower knew exactly where to go. I think that is a good reason to have some type of motorcycle radio.
Using a hands free approach to talking is the way to go when on a motorcycle. You can keep your hands on the handlebars and talk to others at the same time. It’s a safety issue as well.
Using a wired communicator attached to the motorcycle requires a little bit of memory. For instance, your helmet will need to be unplugged from the source of communication. Also, wires will entangle you when getting on and off the motorcycle.
As a safety concern, wires can also cause you to pull your motorcycle over if you forget to unplug and you could get a case of whiplash if you are not careful!
Using a motorcycle radio will keep you both aware of each other’s needs and problems that may arise. Always keep the batteries fresh and keep it from moisture.
Your helmet is designed to accommodate these devices. You will run the wiring under the flaps on the inside of the helmet and put the mouthpiece microphone close to your mouth so when you speak, you can be clearly heard.
Keep in mind these are voice activated and will pick up your voice when you speak. You will not need to push a button like a walkie-talkie. The other person will hear you cough, sneeze, hiccup and even talk about their driving. Ha! Ha!
If it doesn’t need a microphone, your voice will be picked up and transmitted by a different wave. Either way, you will need to speak clearly and make your plans to get “biker talk” understood by all persons.
You may have a way of speaking by using simple words instead of complete sentences. Saying things like, hungry, bathroom, water or tired will tell the other person you need to stop and they can find a place to fill your need.
Talking is easy with the right kind of helmet devices. You can always be a great motorcycle rider if you travel safely and can concentrate on your driving. With the hands free technique, both hands are where they need to be, which is on the handlebars!
Ronnie and I have a microphone to speak into when we ride on separate bikes. When we ride together, it is easy to speak to one another with the shorty helmets. If you use the full helmet, you may still need a form of talking.
#4 – Personal Power Supply
We’ve talked about many cool gadgets you need if you are a motorcycle junkie. However, none of them will work without a power supply. The charging system we talked about will charge only a few gadgets like mobile phones and GPS systems. You need a personal power supply system to jumpstart your motorcycle.
Antigravity XP-1 Micro-Start Personal Power Supply is the best one you’ll find in the market. It weighs only 12 ounces, which means it is easy to carry in your backpack. It can start a V8 engine. The pack has varying sizes of charging adapters which include mini jumper cables. It also includes antigravity batteries and a charger good for mobile phones and other gadgets.
With that said, if you plan on adding a power supply to your motorcycle, you should always know how much power you have to work with. You should first calculate everything. If you’re not careful, you could potentially drain your battery even more. And, trust us, none of your accessories will be of much use if your bike doesn’t have enough power to run them.
You can start by checking your resting voltage with a multimeter – it should show closer to 12.6 volts when fully charged even if it’s a “12-volt” battery. The “12.0 volts” actually correlates to an unhealthy 50-percent state of charge.
Next, you’ll need to ensure that your motorcycle’s charging system is running at about 3,000 rpm. You should see 14.4 volts or more.
Finally, when you install electrical connections, it has to be secured and well insulated. Don’t rely on electric tapes as adhesive often works for a short time only. Better use shield bullets and spade connectors with rubber boots or plastic covers. You can also use heat-shrink tubing for any soldered joints.