For some, the subtle sounds of the open road paired with the hearty growl of your cruiser’s engine is enough to keep you awake, alert and entertained. For others, the high-pitched whine from speeding past cars and the ever-present blare of an exhaust is enough to drive you mad. If you’re like us, listening to music on motorcycle is a guilty pleasure. Sure, the open highway and open throttle should be enough to entertain your ears, but some days there’s nothing like your favorite music. Here’s a how-to guide on getting the most out of your rockin’ beats and calming tunes on your next ride.

Benefits of Listening to Music While Riding

Listening to music is a great way to keep your mind sharp and your eyes on the road. If you’re guilty of tuning out on your commute or gazing a little too long at those quirky billboards in another part of the country, you understand the risk of brain fog on the road. When you’re blasting your favorite music or humming along to your earbud concert, you’re more likely to stay focused on the road.

It’s tough to say out loud sometimes, but every biker has moments of boredom. Yes, even the most tricked-out hog going on the most scenic back roads in the country can start to feel a little tedious. If you’ve ever clocked in five, eight or 10 or more hour days, you know the importance of having a little entertainment on hand.

Music can also be a personal touch. Just like that flame decal, custom leather etching or sick, new exhaust system, the music you play can add to the overall personality of your ride. As long as you’re playing something suitable to the size, shape and riding style of your bike, feel free to dial it up a few notches and let people know you’re coming.

The Latest in Audio Tech

Now that we can all admit that bikes and music can go hand in hand, it’s time to gear up with all the latest mods and tech. From motorcycle bluetooth headsets to comprehensive Bluetooth cameras and communication systems, take a look at some of the best aftermarket gear and accessories to play the greatest hits like a pro. Basically, here’s your best options for upgrading your ancient stereo system and improving the quality of your audio tech:

  • Earbuds
  • Helmet clamp
  • Headset
  • Improved stereo speakers
  • Handlebar-mounted devices

Earbuds are a safe and cost-effective way to enjoy your music on your own. If you’re not willing to let the whole world know you listen to classical music or the oldies while on your modern cruiser, pop in some earbuds and keep it to yourself. Earbuds are cheap, reasonably comfortable and can easily be adapted to your current radio or smartphone for convenient listening.

If you’re sick of earbuds falling out or wires getting twisted, upgrade to a helmet clamp kit. These wireless kits use Bluetooth to sync with your audio device, GPS system and communication system. Chat with your fellow riders, blast your music and don’t forget to take that left turn up ahead. Similar to headsets, a helmet clamp simply glues or fastens with hook and loop to keep it with your helmet at all times. When you hop off your bike, you won’t have any additional wires or headgear to worry about.

The latest headsets use the same Bluetooth technology, but can be more comfortable and have an improved audio quality. If you’re feeling brave, upgrade to noise cancelling headphones for pristine sound quality. Of course, honking horns, barking dogs and yelling pedestrians are sometimes sounds you need to hear on the road, so this one might not be the safest option.

If you’re ready to get really serious, upgrade your entire stereo system and add a handlebar-mounted communication system and camera. UCLEAR and Sena make great options that keep you connected, record your favorite ride and keep offer easy-to-navigate audio controls to prevent you from being distracted on the road.

Be sure you have the Bluetooth communication system or speaker system necessary to use these innovative headsets. There’s nothing worse than buying the latest tech and forgetting an essential component. Look for complete kits or be sure to purchase a separate radio system for a total upgrade.

Safety Concerns

It’s all fun and games until someone takes a dive. While there’s plenty of safe ways to learn how to listen to music on a motorcycle, there’s also some ways that all this tech can make things dangerous. Keep a little bit of caution, and you’ll strike a balance between safety and entertainment.

The biggest concern with music on a bike is the noise distraction. If you’re planning on navigating rush-hour traffic, it’s best to leave your noise cancelling headphones at home. Earbuds and helmet clamps are a better alternative, particularly if you leave one earbud out. Crank the dial down a few notches as you come across busy sections of traffic in order to hear any blaring horns or other sounds.

All that being said, some research shows that riders listening to their favorite music are actually more alert than those zoning-out on the background noise of the road. As long as you keep your head on straight, music and safety go hand in hand. Don’t let the fear of missing out keep you from jamming to your favorite music. With some moderation, you can increase your concentration and actually prevent accidents from happening by staying tuned-in to your surroundings and keeping your brain alert for any sudden swerving car or oblivious pedestrians.

Jamming Down the Highway

Check out all the aftermarket accessories and gear you need for your next road trip. Listening to music while riding motorcycle can be an exciting way to spice things up and put a modern spin on that old Harley. Whether you’re looking for a way to stay ahead on a red-eye cruise across a boring highway or you need a little nudge to fall back in love with your favorite bike, music can be an awesome addition to your motorcycle riding experience.