Well, it’s that time of year, again. Those who care for riders are searching for the perfect moto-gift. Even if you don’t have a lot of scratch, you can still find a ton of nice presents for under $50. If you don’t believe us — or if you simply need some inspiration — take a look at the list below. We’ve tried to choose items that will appeal to a broad spectrum of riders, but with only 10 slots available on the list, we’ve necessarily left out many, many other good options. Don’t see your favorite bike-related item on the list? Share the love with MO readers by leaving a comment. (Or you could just vent your spleen and call us jerks, but remember Santa is watching.)
10. Pro Honda Spray Cleaner & Polish, $6
Not many manufacturers can say their product is the industry standard, but Honda could say that about the Pro Honda Spray Cleaner & Polish without being guilty of hyperbole. This detailer in a can has the moxie to cut through dried on bugs and chain lube an a multitude of other forms of mung that can stick to your motorcycle’s finish. Once the solvents have gotten rid of the crud, the polishers add a silky shine. And it works on chrome, glass, paint, and plastic (even clear plastic). Any cleaner and polish that is so loved that it can be found in the pits of factory race teams for marques that don’t begin with H has got to be pretty dang good. And it even smells good, too. Look for it at your local Honda dealer or motorcycle shop.
9. Canyon Dancer Bar Harness, $30
Every rider has to transport their bike at some point, and while you can just use a set of tie downs, having a fool-proof way of securing your motorcycle to your truck or trailer is a real stress reliever. The Canyon Dancer is one of those simple but ingenious products that has been around for years and provides proof that if a product does one thing — and does it well — it can become quite popular.
Constructed of extremely strong polyester webbing, the Canyon Dancer wraps around both grips and helps keep tie-down straps away from your bike’s bodywork. The beauty of the device is that the strap pulls on the grip on the opposite side of the bike, so it secures itself to the bike and compresses the suspension for easy transport. The updated Canyon Dancer II uses polycarbonate cups to hook over the grips to minimize the chance of the grips being scrunched by the forces exerted while compressing the front suspension. Both come in red, blue or black and can be ordered in sizes up to 39 in. handlebar width for the original Canyon Dancer and 40 in. for the Canyon Dancer II. See the Canyon Dancer website for purchasing information.
8. Roadgear Programmable Digital Tire Gauge, $32
Every motorcyclist knows that they should regularly check their tire pressure, but do they? An honest answer would probably be, “Not often enough.” Roadgear’s Programmable Digital Tire Gauge is a great gift for any rider. The swivel head helps get the fitting into tight spots. The gauge is spot-on accurate. Those who can’t seem to remember what pressures are recommended for their bike can program those numbers in to the handy backlit readout. The LED light will even help you find the errant valve stem cap, no matter what dark corner it has rolled in to. Order directly from Roadgear.
7. Etymotic ETY•Plugs HD Earplugs, $20
Foam earplugs may work for lots of motorcyclists, but for those who have funny shaped ear canals that make it difficult to insert foam plugs or those who want sounds to retain their natural clarity while being reduced in volume, the Etymotic High-Definition Earplugs are a great option. Most foam earplugs concentrate their sound attenuation in the higher frequencies, often making normal conversation impossible. Etymotic has taken its experience in creating in-ear monitors for musicians and translated it to earplugs. With a construction that mimics the frequency response of the ear canal the earplugs reduce the intensity of the sound by approximately 20 dB. Other benefits include: less noise-related fatigue and better hearing in noisy situations — all while being able to maintain normal conversation. Etymotic also makes great headphones.
6. Yuasa Smart Shot 900 Battery Charger, $40
Unfortunately, not all of us live in a place that has a year-round riding season. Or maybe you’re just lucky enough to have more than one motorcycle which leaves one of your mounts unridden for a while. Whatever the case, every day that your bike sits unused is an opportunity for its battery to lose some of its charge. Heat and/or cold only exacerbate the problem. Since overcharging is even more harmful to batteries than the gradual erosion of charge, you don’t want to hook your battery up to just any old charger and forget about it. The Yuasa Smart Shot 900 Battery Charger is smart enough to know when to deliver 900 mA to safely charge your bike’s battery and when to let things be. After testing the battery to see if it is low, the charger applies 14.4 volts while constantly monitoring the battery’s state of charge. Once the charge is complete, the Smart Shot applies a float charge to the battery to prevent it from losing charge. When the spring thaw finally arrives, your bike’s battery will be ready as you are to go for a ride. Find out more at the Yuasa website.
5. Powerlet Socket Kit, $49
In a similar vein to our recommendation of a battery charger, adding a Powelet socket (or two) to your bike gives you a clean, factory-appearing power supply on your bike. Having a Powerlet near your seat is a great way to charge you battery during the off season or get the juice to your electric vest. For any accessories you have mounted on your handlebar or dash, a switched Powerlet can keep your navigational tools from killing your battery when you stop for lunch. You can choose among the many model-specific Powerlet sockets or build your own from the Powerlet website. Powerlet also offers low-profile sockets and plugs and variety of adapter styles to fit almost any connector you may need.
4. Bikemaster Tire and Tube Flat Repair Kit, $45
Flat tires happen. However, riders don’t need to let this inevitability leave them stranded miles from home. The Bikemaster Tire and Tube Flat Repair Kit has what you need to get back underway. This little repair kit fits easily under many motorcycles’ seats and can repair both tubed and tubeless tires. You get patches, plugs, a plug insertion tool, a hole cleaner, vulcanizing glue, a pressure wheel with surface a preparation tool, and a knife for plug trimming after installation. The kit also features four CO2 cartridges to reinflate your tire. A flexible valve makes hard-to-reach valve stems a non-issue. A flat fix kit is an essential tool for tourers and just common sense for motorcyclists in general.
3. CruzTOOLS Speedkit JAS, $33
What’s worse: The junk tool kits included with your motorcycle or no tool kit at all? At least with no tools, you can’t round off or strip fasteners as easily as you can with the OEM pot metal tools that ship with your bike. CruzTOOLS creates high-quality tool kits for SAE and metric bikes. One of the newest options is the Speedkit JAS which is designed to be an improvement on the OE’s tools. Consequently, the kit contains wrenches, hex keys, a 5/8″ x 18mm spark plug socket, pliers, and a tire gauge in a handy carrying case that will fit in to most OEM tools cavities. If your recipient is of the Harley persuasion, just order them the Speedkit HD. Visit the CruzTOOLS website for more information.
2. Mad Maps iPhone/Android App, $0–10
Mad Maps has been around for years, offering unique maps geared towards motorcyclists. Now, with smart phones becoming a ubiquitous navigational tool, it’s only natural that the collection of maps would move to the Android and iOS platforms. While the apps themselves are free, the maps that power them range in price from $0–10. These maps offer routes ranging from 100–300 miles with points-of-interest marked along the way, turn-by-turn navigation, funky roadside attractions, and navigation capability to the route starting point or the nearest point on the route. Learn more at the platform app stores or from Mad Maps directly.
1. Anti Monkey Butt Bare Essentials Gift Pack, $ 15
Too many riders have felt that discomfort in the butt-seat interface after a long day in the saddle. However, untold numbers of motorcyclists have come to appreciate Anti Monkey Butt Powder since its development in 2003. Formulated with a proprietary blend of talc, cornstarch and calamine, AMBP ends the pain by keeping your hind parts dry and reducing any itching or chafing. If this weren’t already enough to earn a Nobel Prize in medicine (maybe just a tad of embellishment, here), the Anti Monkey Butt Corporation has released a gift pack that contains body wash, shampoo and powder delivering the Anti Monkey Butt goodness to riders. While others may think of this as a gag gift, anyone who has ever suffered through a bad case of monkey butt will appreciate the love embodied in this selection. Order your gift pack directly from the manufacturer or at a local dealer.