If you just bought a motorcycle or you are thinking about getting a bike, you will also have to keep in mind the fun part: Accessorizing! You have a real opportunity to let your soul spill out onto the road as you look for motorcycle gear and accessories for your bike, but you also want to keep practicality and, most importantly, safety in mind.
So who will you be?
Safety Can Still Look Cool
So you bought your bike and are now ready to hit the streets. Throw on some jeans, a t-shirt, shades, and a windbreaker, right? Wrong. We all want to look cool and, let’s face it, even if it wasn’t our intent, there is just something cool about riding a motorcycle. However, you never want to sacrifice safety just to look cool because, and sorry for the grim imagery here, it’s hard to look cool in a casket (though, Clint Eastwood could probably do it).
Clothing: For your wardrobe you want leather. Leather chaps or pants, leather jacket, leather gloves, and leather (or some other thick, durable material) boots. The best part about safety gear is that it never goes out of style—you can even wear it after Labor Day.
Not only does leather give you optimal protection in case of a skid, but leather gloves also add much needed traction on the handlebars, while protecting your hands from flying debris and cramping. Your hands control and stabilize the bike and also control the throttle, so it’s important to keep them safe. Also, leather pants will make it easier to sit and grip the bike with your legs.
The Helmet: Your helmet is the most important accessory you will buy. It protects a very important part of your body: your face! Oh, and also the brain. And though we were being facetious just now, you do want a helmet that protects both. A full-face helmet is the safest way to go. If you are not going to wear a full-face helmet (shame on you!), you should at least wear durable protective sunglasses to shield your eyes from debris.
*Also keep in mind, no matter how slow you are going or how far you will be riding, always wear your safety gear and make sure any passenger also has the necessary safety gear.
The most practical motorcycle accessory you will want to purchase is a saddlebag. Even cowboys used these so don’t feel like they aren’t cool. These are less important if your bike is strictly for short joyrides, but if you use it on longer tours or for your daily commute, the saddlebag is essential for carrying briefcases, purses, computers, and other bulky items that would be otherwise impossible to transport on your bike.
We also recommend you get a windshield bag for convenience. These are smaller than saddlebags and are usually attached up in the front of the bike (thus the name, “windshield bag”). This motorcycle accessory is used for smaller items that you will need quickly when out on the road, without needing to rifle through your saddlebags, like your wallet, checkbook, cell phone, or, if you are James Bond, your Beretta 9mm with silencer and laser scope—though if you are James Bond you probably also have surface to air missiles on your hog, an accessory that you, who is not James Bond, will have to do without.
Other options for bike accessorizing and simple customization (we say simple because these modifications will not alter your bike to the point of it being a chopper) are windscreens, engine covers or caps, enhanced pedals, and replacement gears and bolts.
You can also think about using decals to give your bike a little more style or so that it matches your overall “motif” a little better…or, if you have it within your budget, a paint job.
When done right, regardless of budget, all your accessories will come together to create the perfect riding experience—and heads will turn!
Stay cool, America!