Best Motorcycle Gadgets: Must-Have Accessories for Your Bike
These top motorcycle gadgets are fun and engaging.
Riding a motorcycle can be an adventure, but cruising on two wheels lacks some of the amenities that vehicles provide. Fortunately, several companies produce gadgets that make riding a bike more convenient.
There are mounts to hold electronic devices, communication systems to stay in touch with others, and chargers that make sure your ride is always ready to hit the road. Check out these motorcycle gadgets to make your ride a little easier.
Nelson-Rigg Black Magnetic Mount Journey GPS Mate
This magnetic case mounts to your bike's gas tank and has clear pockets to hold a GPS device and other electronics, such as a smartphone.
- Case stays put, even at very high speeds
- Doesn't leave behind any marks
- Clear pouches are touch-screen friendly
- There's an extra pocket for other items
- Pockets may be too small for larger smartphones
- Case may be too long for some bike models
- Pockets may not be the size described
Battery Tender Junior 12V Charger and Maintainer
This battery charger and maintainer ensures that your bike's battery holds a charge even during long-term storage. It includes a five-year warranty.
- Compact, lightweight, and easy to use
- Won't overcharge the battery
- Has LED lights so you know the status of the battery
- Cables may be too short for some applications
- Tender also creates radio interference, which can be irritating
Sena 20S-01 Motorcycle Bluetooth 4.1 Communication System
This communication system allows riders to talk to up to eight people and works with both Sena and non-Sena headsets. It features hands-free voice commands.
- Audio quality is excellent
- You can pair it with up to two mobile phones
- There's very little wind noise if you wear the proper helmet
- Battery life isn't great
- Can be hard to pair the system up with other riders
- Customer support is challenging when it comes to the warranty
Benefits of Motorcycle Gadgets
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- 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.
If you want to access your electronic device while you're riding, you need to place it in an area on your bike that's accessible. That's where something like a phone mount comes in handy. Many mounts can be installed on the handlebar so you can use your phone or GPS for navigation, for example.
Sena Technologies, Inc. is based in Irvine, Calif. 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, Kan. One popular product is the Garmin Zumo XT Motorcycle GPS.
Nelson-Rigg USA, Inc., based in Santa Ana, Calif., has been making bike apparel, luggage, and covers since 1972. One popular product is the Nelson-Rigg Black Magnetic Mount Journey GPS Mate.
Battery Tender, a Deltran Operations brand, has been in business since 1965. The company uses BTP microprocessor technology and quick-connect features to easily maintain the batteries in motorcycles as well as other types of vehicles. The company is based in Deland, Fla., and is known for products such as Battery Tender USB Charger.
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.
Best Motorcycle Gadgets Reviews & Recommendations 2021
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.
The Battery Tender Junior 12V Charger and Maintainer maintains the battery on your motorcycle, ATV, and other Powersports equipment. The device charges the battery and then switches to float mode to keep voltage levels at an optimal level, so your battery won't overcharge during long-term storage. The maintainer comes with a 12-foot cord and a five-year warranty.
The device is compact, lightweight, and easy to use. It's designed for 12V lead-acid, flooded, and sealed maintenance-free batteries (AGM and gel cell). Modes include initialization, bulk charge, and float mode. It has a two-color LED light, so you know the status of the battery. Other features include reverse polarity protection, an automatic charge cycle, and ISM adaptive charging. Users report that it works well and keeps your batteries in tip-top condition.
One complaint about this device is that the cables may not be long enough for certain situations. Also, it has a tendency to create radio interference, which can be frustrating.
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.
This half helmet qualifies as a gadget because it comes with built-in Bluetooth 4.1, a feature usually reserved for full-face helmets. The communication device is integrated, so you can chat with fellow riders using the intercom mode, take and make phone calls, and listen to music. It features Sena's Advanced Noise Control Technology with a range of 0.5 miles and 10 hours of talk time.
Other features include wind noise reduction and wide volume control. Simply connect the helmet to the Sena headset app, which is available for iPhone and Android devices. The helmet also meets federal motor vehicle safety standards and is DOT certified. It is made of composite fiberglass and has an aerodynamic, low-profile, removable visor. Users report that it's comfortable, fits well, and the audio is clear.
Unfortunately, you can't use the Bluetooth while it is charging, which can be frustrating on rides that are several hours long. Also, the ear pads don’t stay in very well, so it's easy to lose one or both of them.
If you don't want to carry your helmet with you when you’re off the bike, the HelmetLok II Helmet Lock is a great option. It locks onto your motorcycle, even if it has a thick frame. The lock features a four-digit reprogrammable combination lock, so you can easily set the device to a group of numbers you're unlikely to forget.
The lock won't scratch your bike because while it's made of aluminum and zinc alloy, it features a rubber coating. The device is durable, so you don't have to worry if you get stuck in the rain or other weather conditions. It has a T-bar extension plate and is compact and portable. Users report that it is easy to open and close, the extension bar is very useful, and it is a good way to discourage thieves.
The biggest downside with this product is it's a little on the pricey side. There have also been complaints that the numbers wear off after a period of time, and it can be tough to find a place to use it on certain types of bikes.
While you can use a basic GPS to get you where you need to go, the Garmin Zumo XT Motorcycle GPS provides some features, especially for bikers. For example, it has a glove-friendly, rain-resistant, 5.5-inch HD display. It's designed to withstand a variety of temperatures, weather conditions, and vibrations. The unit also provides turn-by-turn directions for on-road adventures as well as satellite images for off-roading.
This GPS doesn't require a subscription, and you can set routes, tracks, and waypoints. It alerts you to curves and railroad crossings. The battery has a 3.5- to 6-hour lifespan, depending on the brightness level of the display. You can also hardwire it to your motorcycle. Other features include pre-loaded maps, adventure-focused routing, Wi-Fi connectivity, and the ability to stream music through the device using your smartphone. It comes with the mount, hardware, power cable, and USB cable. Users report that it's easy to operate, the screen is highly visible, and the interface is intuitive.
However, some users have found that it is a little challenging to program routes. There are also some features that you may have to experiment with in order to use them properly.
If you ride so much that you need to charge your smartphone, GPS, or other electronic device while on the go, you need a gadget like the Battery Tender USB Charger. This charger plugs into your bike battery's SAE harness, so you can juice up your iPhone, Android device, camera, etc. Anything that utilizes a USB for charging can benefit from this charger.
This unit is designed to work with a 12-volt battery and the Battery Tender SAE Quick Disconnect Harness, which you must purchase separately. It's very convenient because you can keep on riding without having to stop and recharge your phone or navigation device during a long trip. It's simple to set up and is compact and affordable.
There are not many complaints about this charger. However, one of the downsides is that it can take a while to charge a modern smartphone. You may also need a long USB cable in order to put the device that requires charging in the proper spot, such as a tank bag.
If you like to stay connected while you ride or use your smartphone for navigation, you may want to consider the RAM Mounts X-Grip Handlebar U-Bolt Base. This device lets you mount your electronic device to your bike's handlebar as long as it's 0.5 to 1.25 inches in diameter. It's constructed of powder-coated, marine-grade aluminum and stainless steel with rubber tips and has a spring-loaded X-Grip that securely holds your phone.
This holder is rustproof, and it articulates in a variety of angles, so you can easily adjust it to suit your needs. It's compatible with a wide range of Apple and Android devices, including the iPhone, Google Pixel, Motorola, and Samsung Galaxy models. Users report that it's well made, easy to install, and stays firmly in place. It won't budge even in windy conditions, and you can feel confident that your phone is protected. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Unfortunately, it can be a little challenging to install on naked bikes. Also, the edges of the mount may press on the power or volume buttons on your phone depending on what type of device it is.
If you're looking for a communication system as well as a camera, the Sena 10C Pro Bluetooth Headset & Camera is a great option. This headset device features a video camera that records 1440p QHD video and takes still shots. When used with the Sena camera app, you can easily download footage to your smartphone using Wi-Fi. It works using voice prompts and features shot, burst, and time lapse photo options.
As for the headset, this product has a four-way intercom, so you can speak to other riders who are within 1,600 meters. It comes with noise control and an FM radio tuner. The device is water resistant and features Bluetooth 4.1 technology. We like that it features several video and photo modes, including one-touch operation. Users report that it's easy to operate as well as install on your helmet.
However, the quality of the video is not as good as some rival brands, such as GoPro. There have also been some complaints that the sound quality isn't the best, and the firmware updates can be buggy.
- 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?
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?
They don’t block out noise like 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?
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 Junior 12V Charger and Maintainer.