2017 Holiday Gift Guide Part 1: $0-$50
Gifts less than $50 for Santas on a budget
Our gift-guide series kicks off with affordable presents for the favored riders in your circle of friends and family, all priced at less than $50. Happy shopping!
For more ideas, check out our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide.
Journey to the End of the World
Longtime MO readers remember fondly, as we do, the photographic contributions on these pages of long-serving staffer Alfonse Palaima. Since he left to pursue a successful freelance career, the man known as Fonzie has been adventuring around the globe on motorcycles, and this lushly illustrated book chronicles one of his amazing trips.
Dubbed Expedition65 and organized by RawHyde Adventures’ Jim Hyde, the trip took 15 ADV riders along the vertical length of South America from Colombia to Argentina, an 11,000-mile excursion riding BMW R1200GSs. Penned by Colin Evans, Journey to the End of the World follows along the trip’s 65 degrees of latitude over epic terrain, including the magnificent Andes mountains, the world’s largest salt flats (Salar de Uyuni), and what’s been called the World’s Most Dangerous Road, culminating by crossing the Straits of Magellan onto the southernmost tip of the continent, Tierra del Fuego.
The stories in the book, according to Fonzie, “touch on insanely dangerous rides to laugh-out-loud absurdities, with rest stops that include high-class to low-brow and everything in between.” Pages are filled with riveting and colorful images captured by Fonz, which makes us proud to have helped launch his career but sad we no longer have him working for us.
Paladone Noki Pizza Chopper Motorbike Pizza Cutter
Using a large-diameter, skinny front wheel/tire on a cruiser is colloquially known as a pizza cutter front end. Now you can put such an arrangement to good use with this stylish slicer incorporated into a stylish chopper. Equipped with a stainless steel blade, it’s purported to be “the most macho way to slice your pizza.”
Available via Amazon for $9.99.
Bandana, neck scarf, neckerchief, or whatever you want to call them, something to wear around your neck while riding serves a multitude of purposes. It’ll keep you warmer when it’s cold outside, and it’ll keep you cooler during hot-weather rides when doused with water. Additionally, it’ll keep UV rays from searing sensitive neck skin, and it’ll provide cushiony protection from rocks kicked up along your rides.
There are a multitude of sources for neck scarfs and other similar items. The one pictured here is from Vitae Cycle, a new company that sells moto-related items. It’s a seamless design constructed from stretchable and breathable microfiber polyester. Available from Vitae Soul for $16.99 Canadian, and a second one can be added to an order for half price.
Go Cruise Throttle Control
Racking up hundreds of highway miles can literally be a pain. For riders whose bikes lack electronic cruise control, here’s an inexpensive solution to ease wrist fatigue during long rides. The Go Cruise Throttle Control is made from lightweight molded nylon that simply clips onto a motorcycle’s throttle grip and is held in its desired setting by its other end resting against the front brake lever. It’s easily disengaged by rolling the throttle closed. It’s small enough to pack in a pocket, luggage or cubbyhole, and it can be installed or removed in seconds.
The ⅞-inch size fits most applications, and a 1-inch version is available to fit the fatter bars of most cruisers. Available here for $23.
Bathroom Book of Motorcycle Trivia, Volume II
Here’s a fun way to keep your brain immersed in motorcycles, no matter the weather nor where you are. Mark Gardiner has been entertaining readers for many years, first as a motojournalist and then as as an author. In 2007, he published Riding Man, which chronicled his exploits competing at the Isle of Man TT races. Gardiner’s humorous side came to the fore when he published the first volume of Bathroom Book of Motorcycle Trivia in 2012, which offered 365 tidbits of fun and largely educational moto trivia. We are fans of the book, and it became a best-selling title among Amazon’s motorsports books.
Now we’ve got the Bathroom Book of Motorcycle Trivia, Volume II, which provides another 365 offerings of trivia and insight into motorcycle-related topics. Gardiner says he thinks it’s even better than the first volume.
“I provide a social service by helping riders clean up their bathrooms,” Gardiner quips. “They can replace a whole stack of dog-eared magazines teetering on the back of the toilet with one tidy paperback and have a whole year’s worth of john reading. Volume 2 is 270 pages, so it contains about 15% more BS at the same low price!”
Available via Amazon, $12.95 for paperback, $5.99 on Kindle.
Like it or not, we’re all building closer relationships with our smartphones. However, there are several good reasons why even motorcyclists are employing them on their rides, especially now that they can easily be linked via Bluetooth to an audio system in a helmet or via ear-bud speakers. That means navigation assistance, music and telephone calls can be enjoyed by riders, even without a separate GPS unit or audio system.
While many features can be accessed with a smartphone placed in a pocket or tank bag, they are all more accessible when used mounted in plain sight, and this is especially true when trying to navigate via an online map. A smartphone cradle that mounts to a handlebar makes it all possible.
There are countless sources for holders that attach to a handlebar. The cradle seen here is a universal Timibis unit we found on Amazon priced nicely at $13.99. Its double ball adjustability should allow it to fit on almost any motorcycle, and its cups at four corners appear to offer a good measure of security for pricey devices. The clamp is able to fit components ranging from 0.6 inch to 1.1 inches in diameter.
Waterproof Boot Covers
Most motorcyclists are at least semi-averse to riding in the rain, so many of us haven’t invested much in proper rain gear. But riding in the rain often can’t be avoided, especially when we’re on a trip and are unable to choose to avoid it. That’s why we endorse at least owning a pair of waterproof boot covers, as they pack down to almost nothing and can be a godsend when riding in wet weather.
Such over-booties are available from many sources. The Tour Master boot covers shown here are constructed of PVC-coated nylon with toe and heel sections reinforced with 500-denier nylon. An elasticized top cuff seals out moisture, and reflective logos increase conspicuity.
Available from JP Cycles for $24.99.
WolVol Take-A-Part Motorcycle Toy
As far as we’re concerned, the world needs more motorcyclists in it. Get the next generation started early with this brightly colored toy that includes Phillips and flathead screwdrivers to assemble it and, if desired, take it apart and screw it back together again. When two AA batteries are added, the little cruiser can flash lights and emit engine sounds.
Available via Amazon for $14.94
The Hill Ranch Racers
Here’s another gift that we hope will help encourage kids along the path to motorcycling. Authored by veteran motojournalist and noted rider coach, Nick Ienatsch, The Hill Ranch Racers is directed at kids and young adults, a fictional story about disparate families living in Colorado and California who use dirtbikes in very different ways but come together through dirtbike riding and motorcycle racing.
The 360-page paperback is available via Amazon for $17.95; the Kindle version costs $7.99.
Being able to see clearly is critical for a rider’s safety, so we always recommend traveling with some sort of lens cleaner. The Clear Shot All-In-One kit shown here is designed to neatly tuck away in luggage without danger of spillage, and the manufacturer says it safely cleans all types of lenses, including goggles and helmet visors. It includes a 1-ounce anti-fog cleaning spray bottle and two microfiber polishing cloths stored securely inside the case that protects the bottle from leaking and making a mess.
Available in four colors through Twisted Throttle for $19.95.
On Any Sunday DVD
From the oldie-but-goodie department is the quintessential motorcycle film, On Any Sunday, which has been delighting audiences since its 1971 debut. Directed by Bruce Brown and co-produced by the iconic Steve McQueen, the film conveys the thrills of motorcycling and remains relevant even today. Starring legendary racers Malcolm Smith and Mert Lawwill, as well as the ever-cool McQueen, OAS should be an integral part of every motorcyclist’s library.
More by Kevin Duke