(Contributed article on motorcycle gadgets)
Owning a motorcycle is an amazing experience. Regardless of the type of motorbike you have, it can’t get much better than cruising down country roads on your bike. Nevertheless, your riding experience can always be improved, and there is a myriad of accessories to choose from to do just that. We’re not talking about innovations that can turn your pride and joy into a self-riding autonomous motorcycle, but unpretentious gadgets that can have a serious impact on your daily rides and improve your quality of life during your travels.
We live in an age where our lives are intertwined with technology. As such, there’s no escaping its influence in every aspect of our daily routine. With the advent of groundbreaking technologies like IoT and GPS, we now have smart homes, smart kitchen appliances, and smart vehicles that can ‘talk’ to each other. We, motorcyclists, are blessed by the technological innovations of our time, with advanced communication, security and quality of life improvement across the board.
Here are some of the gadgets that have changed the way we ride and improved our daily adventures:
Almost all motorcyclists opt to use action cameras or video recorders while travelling these days, for diverse reasons. Accidents and confrontations between motorbikes and other vehicles occur almost every day – it’s astounding that car drivers still tend to ignore the motorcycles around them. When things go wrong, it can even lead to physical altercations between drivers and riders. In these situations, you may have to prove that you are not at fault, as motorbike owners are notorious for wriggling their way through traffic. It is not all bad news though – video cameras are also great at capturing the beautiful scenery you’ll pass during your travels, helping you relive your memories and reminisce from time to time.
GoPro devices are extremely popular among motorcyclists, with high-quality recording capabilities and immense durability. The devices can be mounted to a helmet or the bike itself in various positions. These small yet powerful video cameras can capture HD footage, and prove extremely useful in an altercation or physical conflict to determine who’s at fault, providing undeniable evidence of the event.
One of the biggest challenges with motorbiking is communication. Communicating with passengers or fellow riders used to be almost impossible without devising hand signals to convey your thoughts. But motorcycle intercoms, Bluetooth headsets and hands-free communication devices have gotten better and better over the years. Many tech companies now offer helmets with integrated systems that provide a link to your smartphone, that allow you to talk to those around you or even make phone calls to your friends and family while travelling. You can also listen to music or GPS directions through the same channels. What’s more, most of these devices can be activated using voice commands, so that your focus can remain where it should be – on your motorcycle and the road. Check out brands like Sena and Shark for helmet options with integrated communication systems.
One of the hardest challenges as a motorcycle owner is keeping it safe. Motorcycles are one of the easiest types of vehicle to steal, especially when they lack comprehensive security m
easures. Yet, depending on the make and model, they can still be as desirable and expensive as other vehicles. These factors put motorbikes among the favourite targets of criminals. There are even organised gangs that target smaller motorcycles and use them to commit other crimes. Keeping a motorcycle out of sight, parking it in a safe spot, and securing it with durable chains can only help to a certain extent – an experienced criminal will come prepared with tools like bolt cutters to make quick work of your motorcycle security and get away with it as fast as possible.
There are few security systems on the market that can change the outcome of a theft attempt given enough time. The most reliable are GPS tracking devices – there are many models designed especially for motorcycles, allowing the exact location of your motorbike to be pinpointed on demand. If an adept criminal manages to steal your bike, a well-hidden motorcycle tracker with a backup battery can pretty much guarantee its recovery. The tracking device will also give numerous alerts and location updates along the way.
For motorcycle riders, it’s extremely important to see clearly and to be seen by nearby drivers at all times. During the day this is less of a problem, but once it gets dark, a lack of proper lighting can lead to serious accidents. A simple mistake on the behalf of the rider, a nearby vehicle driver or even a pedestrian can result in a collision with life-threatening injuries. Developments in lighting technology have helped to make motorcyclists considerably more visible over the years. Wireless helmet brake lights and LED light strips around your motorcycle and/or its wheels can make you and your motorcycle significantly more noticeable in low-light conditions. For safety reasons, motorcyclists should prioritise proper lighting devices that increase the visibility of their motorbike over tools that look cool but fail to provide real protection.
Technology has a significant role to play during your travels on your motorcycle. It’s worth investing in the right accessories and gadgets to improve your riding adventures and boost the security of your precious bike. Luxuries that were once thought to be privy to other vehicle owners – such as listening to music or navigating your path in remote areas – are now readily available for motorcyclists with the help of new technology as well. Sophisticated next-gen helmets will allow you to talk to your friends, while a motorcycle GPS tracking device will boost the overall security of your two-wheeler and provide theft recovery methods should the worst happen. Most of these gadgets are relatively cheap and easy to install or use; motorcycle owners can enhance their daily rides to a whole new level by adopting devices specifically designed for motorcyclists.