This Father’s Day, if you like your dad enough to get him something nice, but don’t want to go overboard and break the bank, the $50-$100 category of gift items is the perfect place to shop. Below are 10 items dads are sure to love. Why? Because most of them are tools. And dads love tools.
If dad’s bike is chain driven, hopefully he keeps up with the maintenance. That can be hard to do if he doesn’t have a rear stand or centerstand. Make life easier for him with the SnapJack. Essentially a scissor jack you place under the swingarm, it props the rear of the bike just high enough to spin the back tire and perform simple chain maintenance. It’s technically $49.95, but that’s close enough to our bottom limit that we’ll throw it in.
Humans need water to survive. Duh, right? Well, if your dad is one for long moto-excursions in areas often devoid of support services, he may not have water readily available. Solve this issue with a Camelbak. Fill up the bladder with water, stick the tube under the chinbar and you’ll probably have enough water to last you until your next gas stop. The best part is Camelbaks are convenient for any number of activities, not just motorcycling. The Classic model, shown above, nicely fits within our price threshold. The high-vis yellow is great for motorcyclists, but the Camelbak catalog is filled with dozens upon dozens of other options for the thirsty dad.
If dad’s a do-it-yourself kinda guy then he’ll find satisfaction in balancing his own wheels. Digital retailers sell a version you can buy for roughly 60 bucks and the process is extremely simple, even if you’ve never done it before (here’s a handy tutorial). The only negative I’ve seen with sets this cheap is the axle rod somehow getting bent upon arrival on your doorstep. The solution is simple, however – find a similar diameter rod from a local hardware store and make sure it’s true. Wheel weights are not included, but those are pretty cheap, too. Unfortunately, even the least expensive tire changers are a bit out of the $100 upper price limit, but that would make an excellent gift if your pockets are a little deeper.
Find a balancer similar to the one above on eBay.
If dad has dirtbikes he likes to haul, or sportbikes he takes to the track, or even a cruiser he (gasp!) wants to truck to rallies, he’ll need a ramp to get the bike to/from the ground and the truck. Discount Ramps is a good place to go when looking for your ramp needs, and this 7-foot steel arched ramp is great for most bikes. It can support up to 600 lbs. (claimed, though I’ve loaded heavier bikes on a similar ramp with no issue), and folds in half for easy storage once you’re done. If you want to splurge above the $100 limit for a ramp that doubles as a truck bed extender, take a look at the Ready Ramp.
The warmer summer months are quickly approaching, and with the rise in temperature, dad is going to need some gloves that will flow a lot of air around his digits. The Alpinestars S-MX 2 Air Carbon glove will do just that. Combining a mixture of mesh and leather panels with carbon knuckle protection, no longer does dad have to ride in hot weather with his hands sweating profusely. And don’t worry, if the colorway above is too flashy for your pops, plain black is also available.
When something breaks while out on the road, it’s nice to have a set of tools to attempt a roadside repair. This EconoKit from Cruz Tools is modestly priced and features combination wrenches, an adjustable wrench, hex and torx key sets, six-in-one screwdriver, spark plug sockets, spark plug gap gauge, locking pliers, electrical tape, cable ties, mechanics wire, threadlocker and tire pressure gauge. Available in both metric and standard units, the tool kit comes with a lifetime warranty and is made right here in the U.S. of A.
Say what you will about Harbor Freight, but sometimes they carry some very nifty items like this Haul Master motorcycle dolly. If dad is one of the fortunate ones with too many toys in the garage that need to be moved around regularly, this dolly could come in handy. The dolly sits just 1-¾ inches from the ground and features smooth-rolling swivel casters plus an adjustable sidestand plate to accommodate a variety of motorcycles. It’s rated to hold up to 1250 lbs., and comes powder coated to help resist rust. Regularly $119.99, it’s currently on sale for $79.99.
The Cortech Cascade Soft Shell is a convenient item if dad doesn’t let a cold day hinder his riding plans. This water-resistant, 100% polyester jacket features a fleece lining, two chest pockets and two hand warmer pockets, and is great for wearing underneath a riding jacket. Then, once at the destination, he can wear the Cascade alone and not signal to the world he’s a motorcycle rider.
For the adventurous dad who likes to pack the panniers full and get lost with his buds for days on end, the Ortlieb Dry Bag Q might be worth looking into. Available in a number of sizes, the 24-liter version featured here is the smallest and only one within our price limits. It’s waterproof, comes with a padded shoulder strap and is made in Germany. What makes the Ortlieb special is the fact the closure rolls up along the length of the bag instead of from the top like many others. This means dad can have access to the pair of underwear he foolishly packed at the bottom of the bag without having to unravel the top and empty the bag’s contents. In 2010, we sampled some Ortlieb gear during a wet ride heading back from Northern California and were thoroughly impressed.
In case you missed our recent Top 10 list of overlooked safety tips, the second most important item on that list is monitoring tire pressure. And while there are definitely cheaper tire pressure gauges available, this Motion Pro digital gauge is a big step up from the crummy pen-style gauge dad’s been stuffing in his toolbox since the ’90s. Accurate to +/- 0.6 PSI, the MP gauge gives a continuous pressure reading without the need to reset when activating the bleed valve. The display features large, backlit numbers for easy reading even in low light, and the 18-inch long hose comes equipped with dual swivels and a brass ball-type chuck. Motion Pro says the included battery is good for approximately 1000 tests, and there’s an auto-off feature to help extend battery life. The gauge even comes with a one-year warranty.