Let me start by letting everyone know, I’m a fairly new rider. I got my M2 license a little over a year ago, so my knowledge about motorcycles is not super extensive. However, it also affords me a unique opportunity, because I don’t have all of my gear established yet.
As I search around the internet for gear, I’m inundated with ads and articles for cool apparel, accessories, safety gear, etc. Admittedly, some of them are very cool. However, there are certain things that as a rider I would prefer to get for myself.
So, how do you choose a gift for your motorcycle enthusiast? You’ll need to know the riders experience and preferences when shopping. Certain things should be avoided when shopping for your rider. These include any type of safety gear, or permanent modifications to the bike. However, wearable accessories, general branded attire, and maintenance equipment are all safe options.
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Know Your Motorcycle Rider
When you begin your journey to the perfect gift for your rider, you’ll need to understand what their level of experience is. There’s no sense getting a bluetooth enabled speaker system for a rider who is still learning to pilot their motorcycle. Conversely, if you have an experienced rider with an established riding group, they may want something with a ton of functionality.
Experienced motorcyclist are more difficult to buy for. The reason for this is twofold. First, they likely have established the primary gear they need. In order to get them something they’ll use, you need to have an inventory of their gear and where any gaps might be. Second, experienced riders may be more particular about what they are looking for in their gear. Spending an exorbitant amount of money on a camera that doesn’t meet their needs can make for a poor gifting experience.
You typically won’t have these problem with newer riders. The biggest piece of advice I can give here is to avoid anything that may distract your new rider. Once they get a bit more comfortable, your in an ideal position to pick up riding accessories. They’ll be comfortable riding their bike, and will now need things to enhance the experience.
Safety gear, abounds on the internet. However, the detailed specs make all of the difference. Chances are, if you don’t know the difference between DOT or Snell, then you shouldn’t bother with any kind of helmet purchase.
Outside of the quality and testing that goes into certain safety gear, some riders prefer the freedom of riding without it. Gifting a riding jacket with elbow, shoulder, and lumbar pads may not interest your rider in the least.
I personally want as much protection as possible without looking like the bubble boy. But also, I want to make sure I’m comfortable when I ride. Part of selecting your safety gear is about fit, but the other part is about your rider’s personal style. Choosing what form of protection your rider wants should be up to them.
For instance, in the state of Virginia, riders are required to wear headgear when operating their motorcycle. I’ve seen it all when it comes to helmets. Full face masks, modular helmets, open face helmets, and of course the “brain buckets.” I opt for full face masks currently, but my tastes may change as my riding experience progresses.
Generally speaking, riders are pretty particular about their performance accessories. They know what they want out of their bike. Purchasing any kind of permanent mod is a risk, since there’s no guarantee that what you purchase is something they desire or need for their bike.
Your rider will have the best insight into the conditions they’ll be riding in, what type of performance they require, and how they want their bike to look and sound. Anything that requires the turning of a wrench should be avoided.
However, there are a few items that fall under the modification section that could be acceptable, though getting them is a risk. Any item that can easily be removed from the bike, without needing tools is probably acceptable. This way, the rider can use the present whenever the scenario requires it. Just be prepared that they may not sport the gift on a regular basis.
One excellent example is a storage bag. I recommend this Cortech low profile tank bag from Amazon. I purchased this for a fellow rider last year. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me, his girlfriend had given him a similar bag.
While there was also the magnetic version of the Cortech, I opted for the one with straps, because it seemed safer when he’s flying down an open road on his sport bike. Other features I like about this bag were the clear viewport for storing your phone during rides. Another key selling point for me was the expandable storage space, should you need a little extra room. However, when not in use, it’s collapsed and doesn’t take up as much space.
Wearable Accessories And Attire
Now we are getting into some of the gear that you’ll have more success with as a gift. While some of these items can get a bit pricey, chances are your rider will love them. There are also less expensive items that fit into this category, so don’t fret.
One item that I inherited and am super happy with is my helmet camera. Obviously you can opt for a GoPro if you’d rather, but those can get a bit pricey. For something more affordable and for the entry level rider, try the Sena prism tube camera from Amazon. While there are definitely other options, they start to climb in price.
Note that the Sena prism tube camera is used for video only. It’s nothing fancy, but for sweet shots of their ride, or to serve as evidence in case of an accident, it works just fine. Also, there’s a microphone attachment should your motorcyclist want to comment on the ride, how they handled a curve, etc. You’ll need to also purchase a micro SD card to allow them to capture the video. While this doesn’t have as wide of an angle view as something like a GoPro, proper mounting should allow for a more than adequate view.
If you know your riders helmet type, you could also get them something like visor inserts, or a replacement visor. Every rider should always have a pair of glasses with them should the visor fail. However, being able to swap out your clear visor for a tinted one on those bright summer days is definitely a bonus.
Attire is a broad category, and sometimes comes dangerously close to crossing into safety gear. The best explanation I can offer about attire, is that you consider whether it is a luxury or essential gear. As an example, as a rider, I wear an armored jacket. It’s got shoulder, elbow, and back padding. It does not have a liner, so it’s really only good for riding during the warmer seasons.
In this scenario, a heated jacket like this Milwaukee heated jacket (here’s my review) would be perfect as a gift. It isn’t made to offer protection to a motorcycle rider. However, it could provide me the much needed warmth for riding to work in the fall. It’s easily integrated should I need it, but not a permanent modification to my riding gear.
Generally speaking, any attire that can be worn in conjunction with safety gear is ideal. Furthermore, you can get branded hoodies or t-shirts that match your riders motorcycle. I’m fairly certain that most Harley riders wear all sorts of Harley gear even when they aren’t riding.
Motorcycle Storage and Maintenance
This section is best left for anyone with motorcycle experience, because it requires familiarity with bike maintenance. Unless your rider is an all season rider, in which case they likely have all the gear they could ever want, there comes a time where they will need to store their motorcycle for the year. At the very least, most all season riders I know perform a lot of their own maintenance. If your motorcyclist is fortunate enough to have their own garage, here’s some gift ideas for you.
- Battery Tender – for keeping their battery fresh
- Motorcycle wheel stand – to keep tires from getting a flat spot
- Manual on their model of motorcycle – to provide instructions on routine maintenance tasks
This list is probably more extensive, and I will add to it as my knowledge improves, but these are good jump off points.
Remember folks, the most important thing about buying a gift for a motorcyle rider, is knowing the rider. This includes their style, preferences, and ideally what inventory they already have. Take care not to get them safety gear, or any permanent modifications to their bike. However, non-permanent attachments are probably fine, but use caution since you don’t want to get them a gift they already have. Also, any accessories like bluetooth headsets, cameras, and visors are probably good gifts. When in doubt, branded attire that matches their bike, or luxury riding gear are your best bet.
New riders, anything I forgot? How about veteran riders? If you think I’ve missed the mark or there are other ideas I should include, leave a comment.
This site (TheGiftasaurus.com) is owned and operated by Graphite Designs Unltd. LLC Graphite Designs Unltd. LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Graphite Designs Unltd. LLC also participates in affiliate programs with Clickbank, CJ, and other sites. Graphite Designs Unltd. LLC is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.