The Best Things I Bought Myself This Year Are Great, But Let's Talk About the Honda Rubicon Quad
Take a look at commerce editor Kara Snow's list of finds she used to spiff up her garage.
Oh man, I love it when a delivery driver pulls up in front of my house. It’s like Christmas morning every time. Sometimes what comes is a surprise, especially if I’ve been playing Add To Cart with a wine glass in hand. A little self-indulgent shopping is good for you, according to me. Today, I'm sharing the top gifts I gave myself this year. And while some may just be for the fun of it, most of these gifts also have a purpose or make life easier.
And it's not just me, The Drive's Commerce team, myself, managing editor Jonathon Klein, and reporter Hank O'Hop, have been flaunting what we treated ourselves to this year. Because if it's good enough for us, it's good enough for you. Check ’em out.
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Pittsburgh Color-Coded Socket Set
I am constantly searching for my 10-mm socket. I need it most when I’m precariously balancing one loose part of a motorcycle with another. Try doing that while diving into the toolbox’s socket drawer and squinting at all the shiny cylinders to find the right one. These color-coded sockets fixed me right up. Now I can easily grab the blue 15-mm or the purple 10. They’re inexpensive, so when I do lose the 10-mm again, I won’t feel bad buying another — or 10.
Disposable Aluminum-Foil Drip Pans
I’m a two-wheel fanatic. How can you tell? I have a 1958 Lambretta LD 125 on permanent display in my living room. That’s right. Next to the fireplace. Truth be told, I couldn’t shoehorn her into the garage now if I wanted to. (There might be, ahem, a few too many bikes in there already.) The old girl in the house is Italian, which means she drips a little oil. For the Lammy and every motorcycle in the garage, these drip trays are a floor saver.
MyQ Chamberlain Smart Garage Control
I never wanted to be so dependent on my phone, but that’s where we are. So, I added one more thing: control of my garage door opener. No more remotes to lose or break. Family members or friends can download the app and use it, too. I can open and close the garage door from anywhere, and the app notifies me any time it opens or closes. The MyQ garage-door controller even comes with a special Amazon service in which delivery drivers can leave packages securely in your garage — for free for Prime members.
MotoGP 2021 Collection Wood-Finish Circuits
Nine-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi raced in the premiere circuit for the last time this year. I saw him race once in Misano, Italy, and once in Austin, Texas, and his deftness and speed around any track is magical to witness. To commemorate his last year, I bought the entire collection of wood-finish tracks from World Race Circuits, 21 intricately cut circuits from Sepang to Catalunya to KymiRing and beyond. They also have Formula 1, NASCAR, Indycar, and every other racing circuit. The only purpose of this incredible gift is to amaze me. Definitely recommend.
Compared to four years ago when I lived in Los Angeles and had a daily minimum commute of three hours, my car lies dormant here in Arizona. But I love driving, so I get my trips in. Best thing for long and short trips and especially daily commutes is satellite radio. Music, stand-up comedy, news, sports, and podcasts are all there at the touch of a button. Or haptic touchpad. SiriusXM has some smoking deals now ($6 a month for a year!), and Howard Stern is part of the regular package now.
Belkin Car Vent Mount
My biggest Christmas wish would be for every driver on the road to get off the dang phone. I recently watched a cop typing away on the phone in his hand while at a stoplight. He was so preoccupied by his text conversation, he missed my very icy, unwavering stare. At the very least, pop your phone into a dashboard holder so you can sort of keep your eyes on the road. I like the Belkin phone mount because it grabs onto one of the splines in your dash vent and then holds the phone on either side with a spring-loaded clip. I am not about to get some sticky mess from lesser adhesive mounts on my Camaro’s dashboard.
Toyota Tacoma Truck Bed Extender
This one’s for my best friend’s truck, but it definitely benefits me as well. When you have a sickness for collecting old motorcycles and scooters, you need a truck — or a friend with a truck (and the same affliction). What better way to spend your weekends than driving to all four corners to pick up these beautiful pieces of rolling, functional fine art. A bed extender allows you to use the tailgate space for stowage and better secures your new/old treasures for the ride home.
2021 Honda FourTrax Foreman Rubicon 4X4
This quad isn't mine; this is the best thing my sister bought this year. It might be in my sister’s name and live at her place in the mountains, but it’s one of the best gifts I kinda got for 2021. It’s powered by a 528-cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine and makes about 27 horsepower. The Honda Rubicon thing hauls, and it makes easy work of gnarly climbs and steep off-camber trails. The toughest thing for me is learning how not to lean into turns as if I was on two wheels. She recently got a trailer cart for it since the Honda can tow 1,322 pounds. This Christmas, I’m gonna throw a few kids in the cart and see what happens. (Don’t worry: Their parents won’t allow my nieces and nephews to join in Auntie Kara’s reckless fun — much.)
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