- Advice for new Bikers
- Your Learner Checklist
- Buying a bike
- Selling your bike
- Top tips for buying a used motorcycle
- Basic Maintenance
- Avoiding a breakdown
- Motorcycle Security
- Winter Bikers
- Biking Abroad
- Reduce your premium
- Loading luggage
- Safety clothing
- Choosing the right motorcycle helmet
- Long distance motorcycling
- First aid tips for bikers
- What to do in an accident
Top Motorcycling Gadgets
As the days lengthen and the sun returns, our thoughts have turned once again to the open roads and making the most of the daylight hours. Having cleaned off the remains of winter from our motorbikes and hoping that we have seen the last of the gritters, we've decided that it's time to get out, indulge in some fresh rides and try out some new gadgets that we've had our eye on all winter!
MCD's Best Gadget Contenders
Top of our list is a helmet camera. Perfect for capturing solo rides or group jaunts, this handy piece of high definition equipment will provide the perfect memorabilia for any ride, whether you are trying to record the twists and turns of the road or the scenery along the way. The standard .MOV files can easily be edited in most video editing packages and can be uploaded directly into YouTube or Facebook. So, if you've ever had difficulty describing just how amazing your last ride was or feel like your audience's enthusiasm has fallen short, all you will need to do is share the footage of your latest exploits with them, until they have no choice but to admit they are convinced. Motohaus offer this helmet cam which is perfect for capturing all the exciting moments.
When riding alone there is nothing better than listening to music. Specially made motorcycle headphones are available which can be used with a variety of devices with full and open face helmets. Make sure you select ones which can easily be fixed inside your helmet (velcro is best) - this type of headset is ideal because you benefit from great sound quality whilst still being able to hear the traffic and concentrate fully. You also need to make sure that the headset you choose has an easy to use volume control - there's no point in having something small and fiddly if you will mostly be using it when wearing cumbersome gloves!
Last but not least are crash protectors, also known as crash bungs, crash mushrooms or crash bars. These ingenious gizmos act as an additional protector for your bike's chassis by adding an extra point of contact so that if you ever do end up in a slide, the crash protector will absorb the impact and prevent your bike from the majority of the damage it would otherwise have been exposed to. The protectors are designed to fit specific makes and models of bikes and even the year of manufacture can make a difference. So make sure you are choosing the correct one for your motorcycle and seek advice if you are unsure. If you are looking for a Crash protector check out Branded Biker's R&G Crash Protectors for cagiva mito 125.
Gadgets recommended by you
When we asked you which gadgets you were most excited about we received a range of replies. Here's just a few responses to whet your appetite and get you thinking about your must-have spring bike accessory.
In a well placed effort to promote safety whilst looking good, Ian Grainger (www.2commute.co.uk) recommends the TCX X-Street Leather Sneakers which are fully breathable, boast ankle guards and reinforced toe and heel counters and are completed by their vintage sneaker look. Making the most of time he spends travelling, he also praises the Buhel D02 Bluetooth Intercom Helmet which enables you to listen to music, make phone calls and get GPS information, all without wires. It has a run time of approximately 5 hours and takes just 3 hours to charge fully!
Another example of excellent motorcycling equipment that deserves a mention is Kryptonite's Stronghold Security Anchor brought to our attention by Deborah Pope. The anti theft anchor bolts into concrete or cement and acts as a permanent place to lock your bike against. The shackle then folds down when not needed, making the anchor safe enough to drive over!
For those of you who feel the cold badly, we have a couple of must have gadgets. Deepak Narwal advises staying warm this spring by using Oxford Sports Hot Grips, which fit most bikes and provide heat up to 50 degrees centigrade. The battery powered grips will even turn off automatically if you forget to turn them off manually. If it's not just your hands that need a little extra help, Martin Rowland suggests a Keis Heated Vest which comes in a variety of chest sizes, suitable for men and women. The heated panels are situated on the chest and lower back for maximum warmth and are powered from the motorbike's battery or even by spare battery packs which can be purchased separately. Thanks to the members of Kent Bikers for these suggestions.