Best Motorcycle Accessories: Enjoy the Ride With a Few Extras
Enhance your outings with gear that makes life on the road more comfortable.
The great thing about motorcycle accessories is that there are so many to choose from. The worst thing about motorcycle accessories is that there are so many to choose from. Whether you're looking for gear for yourself or a loved one, you can pick from a variety of items, from safety gear that protects your body to cleaning products that keep your bike looking good to exhaust pipes that enhance performance. Motorcycle accessories can include everything from helmets and gloves to GPS units and Bluetooth headsets. You're lucky if you have a rider in your life because there's no shortage of items to give him or her. If you're having a tough time picking out the right equipment, we have some suggestions below.
Nelson Rigg Deluxe All Season Cover
- Protects bike from dust and the elements
- Water and UV resistant
- Two-year warranty
- Not waterproof
- Not designed for prolonged outdoor use
Stockton Roadside Tool Kit
- Rolls up for storage
- Great for basic emergencies
- Not high-quality tools
Nelson-Rigg Stormrider Rain Suit
- Stay dry when it rains
- Elastic waist and cuffs
- Easy to put on and remove
- Not a lot of airflow
- Can run a little small
I've ridden motorcycles for about 20 years. I know the types of items you need for riding, and it doesn't include a kitschy bottle opener with a Harley-Davidson logo on it. While those kinds of gifts are fun, they're not exactly practical. What you do need, in addition to protective gear, are items that make long trips more bearable and everyday commutes more enjoyable. I included brand names and equipment in a variety of different prices. While I was unable to test all the gear on this list, I have used similar items and also read user feedback to see how they perform in real-life conditions. For more information on our methodology, go here.
Best Motorcycle Accessories Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: Nelson Rigg Deluxe All Season Cover
Best Value: Stockton Roadside Tool Kit
Best for Touring: Nelson-Rigg Stormrider Rain Suit
Best for Commuting: Oxford M1R Micro Magnetic Tank Bag
Best for Camping: Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 2-Person Tent
Best for Ducati: Shoei RF-1400 Helmet
Best for Honda: Sena 10C Pro Bluetooth Headset & Camera
Best for Harley-Davidson: Vance & Hines Shortshots Staggered Exhaust
- Brand: Nelson Rigg
- Size: Medium to 2XL
- Materiale: Trimax polyester
- Water- and UV-resistant
- Heat-resistant lower paneling
- Storage bag included
- Ventilated for airflow
- Not for heavy-duty use
- Not waterproof
When you're not riding, your bike is parked, usually inside a garage or outside exposed to the weather conditions. One way to protect it from dust and elements, as well as keep it hidden from prying eyes, is to cover it. The Nelson Rigg Deluxe All Season Cover is a good option.
The polyester cover is water and UV resistant and ventilated to prevent condensation. The elastic bottom includes grommets to secure it to your bike. The lower half has heat-resistant panels to accommodate hot pipes, and there is softer material near the windshield area to prevent scratches. It includes a storage bag and comes with a two-year warranty. It's worth noting that this cover is for light-duty use. It's not waterproof or designed to withstand heavy winds or prolonged use outdoors. It can also deteriorate quickly if exposed to too much sun.
- Brand: Stockton
- Size: 12 W x 5.75 H x 3.5 inches
- Compatibility: SAE and metric options
- Useful if your bike breaks down
- A variety of tools included
- Only fits on bikes with space to accommodate it
Most riders have had to deal with road emergencies, so we know it's a good idea to be prepared with a kit that can get us back on the road after minor repairs. The Stockton Roadside Tool Kit is a good solution. Available in metric and SAE options for a variety of motorcycle makes and models, this roll-up organizer comes with tools such as a combination wrench, pliers, screwdrivers, a tire gauge, cable ties, and wire.
It's a little on the heavy side, weighing a little more than six pounds. While it’s designed to fit in saddlebags, it can take up a bit of space. Also, the tools are not as high quality as some other options.
- Brand: Nelson-Rigg
- Size: Small to 4XL
- Materiale: Polyester
- Keeps you dry
- Elastic waist
- Easy on and off
- Two-year warranty
- Not very breathable
- Can run a little on the small side
Here's another option from Nelson-Rigg, and it's worth investing in if you plan on traveling long distances or riding regularly. A high-quality rain suit will keep you dry and relatively comfortable if you get caught in a downpour. This waterproof suit consists of pants and a jacket with a hood. It's constructed of polyester with a PVC backing and a soft corduroy collar. The waist and cuffs are elastic, so there is a little wiggle room when it comes to sizing.
The suit features two outer pockets, reflecting elements for night riding, boot stirrups, and a self-fastening storm flap on the jacket's zipper to keep water from intruding. It's also fairly easy to put on and take off. The company also backs up this product with a two-year warranty. It doesn't have a lot of airflow, so you may get a little warm while wearing it. Also, you may want to go up one size larger than usual to accommodate warm clothing underneath.
- Brand: Oxford Products
- Size: 9.4 inches L x 7.1 W x 5.5 H
- Materiale: Ripstop nylon
- Good for small gas tanks
- Strong magnets hold it securely in place
- Touchscreen-friendly window
- Not waterproof
If you don't have saddlebags or have a small gas tank, or you want a bag you can easily remove from your bike when you hit the office, consider the Oxford M1R Micro Magnetic Tank Bag. It is small, with a one-liter capacity, but that's enough to hold a phone, wallet, keys, and other items you don't want to carry in your jacket. The bag is made of ripstop nylon and features strong magnets that keep it securely in place.
A safety strap is also provided for extra security. The bag has a clear plastic touchscreen-friendly window that allows you to see GPS instructions or to operate a smartphone. It also includes an electrical pass-through hole. While the zippers are water-resistant, the bag itself is not waterproof. Also, if you leave it on your bike overnight, moisture can get inside the bag. The strap setup is also a little clunky when it comes to removing the bag.
- Brand: Alps Mountaineering
- Size: 7-foot-4 L x 4-foot-10 W x 3-feet-2 H
- Materiale: Polyester
- Mesh walls provide excellent ventilation
- Packs down relatively small
- Easy to set up
- One person only
If you plan on riding to your camping destination, you want to pack as lightly as possible and carry gear that's small and doesn't take up a lot of space. Enter the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr Two-Person Tent. This three-season tent packs down to six inches wide by 18 inches long, and it weighs less than five pounds. It's large enough to sleep one person comfortably with space for personal items.
The tent is UV resistant and includes two aluminum poles, aluminum stakes, and ropes. It is easy to set up in less than five minutes. The mesh walls provide good airflow, and the fly and floor are sealed to keep the elements out. There are two entry doors, storage pockets, and a gear loft. It is a little small, however, and it can be challenging to fit more than one person. Also, it's pricier than some other two-person tents, however, the ease of setup and tough construction make it worth the cost.
- Brand: Shoei
- Size: Extra small to 3XL
- Material: Fiberglass and organic fibers
- UV-rate shield
- A little narrow for some riders
- Not much space for Bluetooth units
Helmet shopping can be arduous thanks to the numerous styles, brands, and prices available. A full-face helmet is the best choice for all riders, and the Shoei RF-1400 Helmet is a great pick for sport bike riders. It's expensive, but the features and performance elements more than make up for the price. This premium helmet is lightweight, comfortable, and Snell-approved for safety. Designers created it with aerodynamics in mind, so there's less lift and wind drag compared to other options.
This Shoei has good airflow and noise-reduction elements, so you can hear yourself think. The shield opens and closes smoothly and is vented to prevent fogging. It also prevents 99 percent of damaging UV rays from reaching your face. In addition, the liner is removable and washable. One issue is that it can feel a little tight with the cheek pads inserted, and the narrow opening can make it hard to put on. It can also be challenging to add a Bluetooth unit to the helmet because of space issues.
- Brand: Sena
- Size: 17 hours
- Recording time: 2 hours
- Record trips, road incidents
- Listen to music
- Take phone calls
- Firmware updates can be buggy
- Video quality not as good as GoPro
The Sena 10C Pro Bluetooth Headset and Camera is a good pick for Honda riders as well as other riders who want to communicate with others, listen to music, or take video while on the road. This combination camera and communication device includes four-way intercom connectivity, so you can chat with other riders in your group. You can also film your ride and cruise around to your favorite tunes. It's a good all-in-one unit packed with features, so you don't need to buy a separate Bluetooth headset and video camera.
The Bluetooth is simple to pair, and it charges relatively quickly. The device is easy to install, it uses one-touch operation and voice commands, and calls are clear. The video quality, however, isn't quite as good as with a GoPro device. The battery life when using video is not very long, but you can extend it by using a portable power bank that you can keep in your jacket pocket. Another issue is that the firmware updates can be a little buggy. If you’re looking for a headset only, consider the slightly less expensive Sena 5S Bluetooth Headset Dual Pack.
- Brand: Vance & Hines
- Size: 1 3/4-inch head pipes stepped to 2 1/8-inch muffler bodies
- Recording time: 2014-’22 HD Sportsters
- Sounds great
- Looks great
- Easy to install
- Might require a high airflow filter for better performance
There are many ways to customize your bike, and the Vance & Hines Shortshots Staggered Exhaust is a popular option for Harley-Davidson owners. This particular package is designed for 2014-2022 Sportsters, but you can find several aftermarket exhausts for a variety of makes and models.
Many people choose this type of modification for the rumbling sound, and if it's too loud you can always add some quiet baffles, which can provide a deeper sound. They must be purchased separately, however. The staggered exhaust makes a distinct difference compared to a stock exhaust, and it’s relatively easy to install. Described by users alternately as sexy, monstrous, and rowdy, these pipes look great and can attract a bit of attention.
The Nelson Rigg Deluxe All Season Cover comes in a variety of sizes to fit most bikes, and it’s not as personal as clothing, which stylistically varies from person to person. The cover is a great light-duty option and protects bikes from dust, curious onlookers, and mild weather fluctuations. For a more budget-friendly pick, consider the very useful Stockton Roadside Tool Kit.
When we start shopping for tools and products, we never overlook the secondhand market. In fact, it’s usually the first place I look. Whether you’re scrolling through Amazon’s Renewed section, eBay for car parts or tools, or flipping through the pages of Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, you have hundreds of thousands of used tools, parts, and gear ready to be shipped to your doorstep. Refurbished to like-new status, they’ll be willing to give you many more years of faithful service all while saving you money.
To make your secondhand search easier, here are two tips for finding the best deals and making sure your new-to-you stuff wasn’t destroyed by the previous owner.
- Avoid buying secondhand helmets as you may not know if they’ve been dropped or if their safety has otherwise been compromised.
- Examine the item thoroughly for excessive wear and tear and make sure any blemishes are surface only and don’t affect the integrity of the gear.
Things to Consider Before Buying Motorcycle Accessories
Motorcycle accessories serve a variety of purposes. You can choose safety-related gear such as helmets, airbag vests, or armored jackets. There’s bike equipment, including shocks, exhausts, and windshields. There are storage options, such as saddlebags and fork tool bags. And there are numerous aftermarket motorcycle accessories that make riding more comfortable, such as seat pads and throttle controllers.
Motorcycle accessories and gear vary widely in pricing. You can buy small items such as tire pressure gauges, cleaning products, and hats for less than $20. On the other end of the spectrum, expect to pay hundreds of dollars for exhaust upgrades, good helmets, and Bluetooth headsets. In between, you can buy a nice pair of boots or camping equipment for a couple hundred bucks.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: What should every motorcyclist have?
A: New and established bikers should own protective clothing, including a full-face helmet, gloves, boots, and eye protection. It’s also a good idea to have a bag for items such as your cell phone, wallet, a bottle of water, and an extra layer of clothing.
Q: What to keep with you on a motorcycle?
A: It’s a good idea to keep your insurance and registration on your bike along with a small toolkit in the event that you have a minor roadside emergency.
Q: What type of accessories do motorcyclists need?
A: It can be convenient to have a Bluetooth headset for communicating with other riders and a GPS unit to get you where you’re going. If you plan ahead, however, you shouldn’t need to rely on modern technology to reach your destination.
Q. What should I buy for a motorcycle rider?
A: First, find out if they need anything. Good gift ideas for bikers include cleaning products and detailing kits, heated gloves if they ride in cold weather, a packable toolkit, or a gift card to a local dealer or online motorcycle shop.