There’s no better time to get out and ride than during the summer; the sunshine, blue skies and dry roads are inviting to any motorcycle or...
Life on two wheels can be low-tech and simple – or as high-tech as you want. From GPS to a device that flashes a red light when your mobile rings (because you’ve got your ear plugs in, haven’t you) there is no end to the motorcycle gadgets you can buy to make your ride better.
Let’s start with sat-nav. There’s a reason why the major sat-nav companies are now making models specially for use on motorbikes and scooters. You need something that can attach to your motorcycle securely, where you can see it. But you also need to operate it with gloves on, and be able to see at a glance where you’re going, without getting distracted from the road.
Some models will also link to your mobile phone so you get hands-free navigation inside your helmet. If you’re sick of trying to read a map that’s been folded too many times and stuffed into a plastic pocket on your petrol tank, you know what’s going on your birthday present list.
What else? Well it’s rarely a good idea to ride with a camera in one hand, so if you want to take videos or photographs without stopping first, consider a camera that attaches to the motorcycle or to your helmet. But it’s also rarely a good idea to show off for the camera, fall off and break the camera and a couple of bones. We want to see your clips, but not if they end with a sudden close up of the tarmac and lots of swearing!
If you plan to take longer trips with a passenger, think about getting an intercom so you can talk to your pillion. Basic sets connect with a cable, more advanced ones use Bluetooth. Check the set you’re buying works with both helmets and won’t dig into your head or wrap a cable around your ear.
Many headsets will also work as a hands-free kit for your mobile, or play music from your MP3 player, but think about how much you want to be distracted from what’s happening around you on the road. Hearing other traffic can be a help in town riding.
Take a look at our maintenance section for handy devices to keep your battery and your tyres in top condition all the time, and the clothing section for heated vests, gloves and socks. But don’t forget that gadgets can be just for fun. Motorcycle horn that sounds like a frog, anyone?