Well, if people are in the habit of bestowing gifts worth more than $500 upon you, please friend us up on the Facebook and evite us over for the festivities, won’t you? For us at MO, it’s generally a lump of coal or nothing (which we’ll also like). We get most of our gifts spiritually, from the love that pours in through our USB ports from our loyal readers and Dick Ruble. In the dream world of online shopping though, here’s a short list of great motorcycle gifts for those of you lucky enough to be lounging on the dock – your ship or oil well having “come in.” Good for you. Say hello to the Donald from us.
The KLIM Adventure Rally Jacket is the Cadillac of off-road jackets, also good for sport tourers and adventure bikes. It’s built around some sort of “fully adjustable upper and lower harness” that makes it sort of hover around your body rather than hang on your shoulders. For the money, you’d expect it to have everything, and it does, including a hydration system, the latest word in armor, and a keep-you-dry guarantee. Cacti step aside when they see it coming.
$1,499 – 1,599
The Pops Yoshimura days of tuning via jeweler files and throwing chicken bones is over. Instead of flying blind or intuition, you need one of these to diagnose what’s wrong with your late-model precious when something goes wrong – and you can use the Motorscan MS6050D Universal Motorcycle/ATV Scan Tool to adjust your fuel/air ratio and many other things. Software is available to deal with 45 major manufacturers’ diagnostic functions.
Liberty and justice for all are right around the corner, but in the meantime the best way to keep your driving record clean and happy is with a generous contribution to the California Highway Patrol’s 11-99 Foundation, which is “sincerely and strongly committed to helping us reach out and assist the men and women of the California Highway Patrol.” Reach out and help them help you. For $25,000, you can be a Gold Member and you and your spouse will receive: Laser-Etched Crystal Star Award*, License Plate Frame (2 per Member), Leather Wallet with Brass ID Card*, Plastic ID Card*, Leather Registration Holder, Leather Sport Duffel, Leather Weekend Bag, Leather Amenities Bag, Set of Six 11-99 Foundation Coffee Mugs (1 set Per Household), 11-99 Foundation Logo Cap, Leather Jacket with 11-99 Foundation Logo (* items will be personalized!).
For just $2,500 ($1k more for your S.O., cheapskate), you get the important stuff: the 11-99 license plate frame and leather wallet with brass ID card that shows you care! Not in California? Not to worry! Every state and banana republic has an organization like it! (Natch, it’s all tax deductible.)
$2,500 – 25,000
The mark of a truly fine extravagant gift is that it’s useless. The diagnostic tool and multimeter that come as part of the Craftsman 79-Piece Pro Automotive Specialty Mechanics Tool Set will come in handy, but pray to God you’ll never have use for any of the other masochistic stuff in the $1,019.96 kit, including the pickle fork assortment. These are tools for people who know what they’re doing and hold their lives in low regard. Wait, is that a compression tester? Bearing pullers can be useful…
An organized place to put all the new and old tools is also good, especially if the top of it is a six-foot long workbench where you can stretch out for a siesta. Some Harbor Freight stuff isn’t bad at all, including this 72 in. 18 Drawer Glossy Red Industrial Roller Cabinet that has room for 34,300 cubic inches of tools in its non-slip lined ball-bearing slider equipped drawers.
JRi performance for sport bikes, naked bikes and others using JRi’s Street Fighter design, compact and fully adjustable including length – and only $599. For about half the price of a high-end shock, this one squeezes in all the performance of a remote reservoir shock, but without having to find a place for the remote reservoir.
Say, that’s my garage floor! Though there is still plenty of work to be done out there, the RaceDeck 12 x 12-inch plastic interlocking tiles transformed my vehicular lair from a crusty horror to a place of pride. The tiles come in like 12 colors and 8 styles, including ones snow and ice can drain through if you need that, and it’s fun to design your own deal online. Super easy DIY installation, too.
Approx. $3 per square foot
Hot off the CNC machine, this very racy retro/mod upgrade gives you both quick-fill and normal fueling options. MGW offers them in magnesium/black, grey/black or plain clear-coat. Pit crew not included.
Just like the one the great Joey Lombardo drags around in back of the official Kawasaki Race Limo, the Coats RC-100 doesn’t take up much space and completely eliminates the foul language associated with tire irons and physical labor. Except when it’s time to reinstall the wheels on the bike, anyway. The RC-100 sells for around $5,500, but Coats, and others, offer less expensive changers of course.
$1,995 and up
Buying fashion-related items for women will always be a crapshoot, but your chances of throwing snake eyes are greatly reduced with this vintage cowhide Italian number, Dainese’s Archivio Pelle Lady, complete with up-to-date technical solutions including Dainese’s soft Pro-Shape protective systems. Hubba…
Good for you if you have a nice newish truck like 60% of the MO staff. But I’d rather drive my luxury sedan than my beater Ranger if we’re going very far, frankly, and a folding trailer like this one will transport two dirt bikes in style. Also bigger ones. The Redline Engineering Drop Tail Two-Up Cruiser / Sport Bike Trailer utilizes the industry’s only hydraulic actuating rear panel that folds up with the pump of a lever… accomplished by Drop-Tail’s patent pending IHDTS (Integrated Hydraulic Drop-Tail System) … eliminating the need for cumbersome ramps.
The MIG welder was invented in the former Soviet Union to repair its famed jet fighter planes of the same name (That might not be a historical fact… —Ed), but now is used to weld aluminum as well as steel all over the planet. Frankly I don’t know from welding, but with one of these Eastwood MIG Welder 175 Amp and Cart Kits, a grinder to make sparks and an iPhone 6 with Slo-Mo video capability, you can make awesome motorcycle videos that’ll put Roland Sands right back on the trailer.
$519.95 (on sale now!)
I haven’t given up all my bad habits yet, but since I started pedalling around on my Specialized Sirrus bike a couple years ago, my body and brain both seem to have increased capacity for abuse – and like I’ve heard from other motorcycle riders who pedal, I feel like my motorcycle riding has improved a little also, maybe only because my legs and core are quite a bit stronger than before. The Sirrus is no race bike, more like a hybrid half-beach-cruiser that’s great for tooling around town upon. Sometimes from brewpub to brewpub … The Sirrus line ranges from $520 to $2,800; guess which one I’ve got?
$520 (base model)
Last year we pimped Colin Edwards’ Texas Tornado Boot Camp, which is an excellent place to learn how to ride in control when you’re really not. This year, Rich Oliver’s Mystery School gets the love, a great place to learn many of the same techniques from a multi-time roadracing champion. Just like the TTBC, Yamaha TT-R125s provide plenty of drama at less-than-ludicrous speed, and you don’t have to go to Texas: Rich’s school is in Auberry, California, Yosemite adjacent. The Mystery School offers everything from one-day MSF Courses to four-day Pro Camps.
$299 to $1348