After our bikes – and parts for our bikes – one thing all we riders love are our tools and gadgets! Here are our pics for 10 handy, cool, and useful gadgets you shouldn’t be hitting the road without.
Gadgets bring the motorcycle community together: no matter what type of bike we ride, we all love ’em, and most of us can never have enough. If you’re just starting to build your gadget arsenal, here are 10 that you need to include. All of these items (except one, and there’s good reasons for that) are available here at BikeBandit.
Yes, you absolutely should have a complete motorcycle tool kit in your garage. But hauling it around in your saddlebag is a bit impractical. Instead, every rider should have a good pocket-sized multi-tool, and BikeMaster has created a good one: their Multi-Tool with Sockets has just about everything you might need for a quick roadside fix. It includes 6 hex wrenches (sizes 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, and 6mm), a combo 8 – 10 – 15mm open end wrench, three sockets (8, 10 and 15mm) and a socket driver. Not bad for something that can fit right in your pocket!
Deep down, all riders share one fear: getting a flat in the middle of nowhere. This tire repair kit is great for roadside emergencies. Along with a complete array of tire and tube repair accessories (a complete patch kit as well as the necessary hand tools for the job), it comes with 4 small CO2 canisters to re-inflate a flat. And it can be used for tubeless tires as well.
The Urban Tank Bag is one of the most innovative, and useful, tank bags ever designed – a magnetic-mount tank bag, backpack, and helmet carrier, all in one. Now you can take your essentials along for the ride without having to worry about where to store them when you’re off the bike. Simply untuck the exclusive shoulder straps and helmet cradle, and you’re good to go.
The Icon Urban Tank Bag is made out of water-resistant 420 denier ripstop nylon, with four powerful magnets embedded inside padded compartments to hold the tank bag in place, all padded by an outer lining of neoprene to prevent scratching your motorcycle’s finish. A roomy 16” X 14” X 8” expandable compartment holds all your gear, but the best part is, integrated shoulder straps turn this bad boy into a backpack so you can take it wherever you go off the bike too!
Sena is one of the most dominant names in the world of Bluetooth communication devices for motorcycle riders, and they’ve been making and refining these things from the very beginning. They have a diverse product line with something for every kind of rider, but their Sena 20S is their state-of-the-art model, with the latest Bluetooth 4.1 technology, up to 8 riders on a single network, and an impressive 1.2 mile range.
The 20S includes a cool feature called “audio multitasking,” which creates a seamless blend of your audio transmissions, so it doesn’t create an annoying abrupt “break” when switching from one feature to another, and the jog dial and hands-free voice activiation make this one of the most user-friendly devices there is in the sometimes overcomplicated market of Bluetooth communicators. A communicator is an essential gadget for riders these days, and with 4.9 stars in our on-site reviews, the Sena 20S is one that is guaranteed to please.
If you want a GPS system for your bike, get the one that was designed by bikers, for bikers! The Garmin 220 Zumo is a compact, waterproof GPS system with a bright touchscreen that’s easy to use, easy to see in day or night, and lasts up to 8 hours on one charge. The 220 Zumo’s interface is extremely easy to use (since the last thing you need is a GPS system you’ll be messing with while riding), and even better, it will pair to your Bluetooth headset and give you turn-by-turn spoken directions. In your car, you can fiddle with your phone or a map to find your way, but on a bike, you need a device like the Garmin 220 Zumo, it’s a lifesaver!
Garmin made their entry into the action cam market a couple years ago with the Virb Elite, an impressive action cam with HD specs that competed directly with the highest-end GoPro, but with unique GPS-enabled features that allowed integration between location-based data and video like never before. With the new Virb X, Garmin hits its second generation with a whole new design and even more features.
Garmin’s real specialty is GPS and navigation devices, so you know that any action camera with their name on it will be GPS enabled. But that’s not all – the Garmin Virb’s killer feature is G-Metrix, an internal engine with the ability to track and record location data, such as speed, acceleration, altitude, and GPS coordinates and overlay it onto the rich high-quality HD video the camera records – perfect for motorcycle riders!
Performance-wise, the Virb X is no slouch, recording rich wide-angle HD footage up to 1080p at 30fps, or slow-mo video of 480p at a rapid 120fps. Photo performance is a healthy 12mp at a 10fps burst, and the case is waterproof to 50 meters so bad weather is no problemo.
All of these cool electronic gadgets means that you’re going to need to be able to recharge them. That can be difficult if you’re traveling. Here’s a device that lets you do that practically anywhere – and it’ll let you jumpstart your bike to boot. The Antigravity XP-1 Micro-Start Personal Power Supply can hold enough juice to start a V8 engine, comes with a complete array of charging adapters (including mini jumper cables), and only weighs 12 ounces – the perfect size for motorcycle touring. Check out our video below for a full review and a rundown on how badass these lithium power packs really are!
If you use your bike to commute to work or school, wearing a backpack can be a drag – literally. Standard nylon or canvas backpacks can flap around in the wind, which can make for an unpleasant ride. The Ogio No Drag Mach 3 backpack has a hard, aerodynamic shell that allows for excellent air flow, and provides additional protection for the stuff inside. At 1125 cu. in, it offers plenty of storage space, and sports protective compartments for laptops up to 15″, iPads/tablets, and smartphones. The hip belt’s buckle is off-center, which keeps it from scratching your gas tank.
It’s no secret that stealing a motorcycle isn’t terribly difficult. You can, however, make it considerably harder for would-be thieves by using a good lock. The Xena XX6 is one of the best; it combines a high-strength stainless steel disc lock with a built-in alarm. It has an easy-to-use push-down locking mechanism and a 1/4″ hardened steel pin, and the self-arming 120 db lithium powered alarm has shock and motion sensors, a maximum security key barrel, and ice spray proof body.
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve seen a lot of high-tech motorcycle gadgetry, but you might be thinking…where are you supposed to put all this stuff? Well, here’s an awesome solution that combines two of the most popular gadgets into one convenient, easy-to-use supergadget that any tech-savvy rider would love.
The Sena 10C is an innovative product that blends all the functionality of Sena’s award-winning 10-series Bluetooth communicator with a high-quality action camera, making an all-in-one product for motovloggers, or anyone who rides with both a camera and a Bluetooth communicator.
The Sena 10C comes with top-of-the-line Bluetooth 4.1 software, weather-resistant construction, and has advanced features that only a combination camera/communication device could offer, such as recording your own voice directly onto your videos, or running the camera while retaining full functionality of your Bluetooth device while in operation. This is hands down one of the most innovative products we’ve ever seen here at BikeBandit!
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