When it comes to nifty little gadgets, even bikers can sometimes sound like a bunch of nerds comparing specs and prices. Some are extremely useful and should be a part of every biker’s inventory, while others are nothing more than a gimmick and hardly justify the waste of money. That’s why we’ve put together this small list of the most innovative and useful gadgets you should definitely consider adding to your gadget arsenal.
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Although most smartphones these days come equipped with GPS, pulling out and holding your phone while riding is not the smartest idea in the world. This is why it’s best to have a GPS system installed on your bike and Garmin 220 Zumo is one of the better ones currently available on the market. It’s a very compact device, which features an easy-to-use touchscreen and is completely water resistant. Furthermore, it can be paired with a Bluetooth headset to provide the user with turn-by-turn directions and can even be installed inside a car.
Multi-tool kit with sockets
Having a complete tool kit neatly packed inside a bag can be a blessing, but for it to fit inside a small saddle bag can be rather tricky. Fortunately, there are options which allow you to have all the practicality of a large toolset without it occupying the much-needed space in your bags. BikeMaster has one of the most compact multi-tool sets that contains six hex wrenches, three-piece open-end wrenches with sizes varying from 8mm to 15mm, a socket driver and three different sockets. Considering that this is a pocket-sized kit, it’s functionality is that much more impressive.
Mountable bike camera
Whether you want to upload a video showcasing your riding adventures or simply have a camera on site in case something goes wrong, mounting a camera on your bike is more than a reasonable choice. The current GoPro line is perfectly fine for everyday use. However, it tends to warp the picture during high speeds and compared to professional bike camera, it’s sturdiness is far from exceptional. You can get a couple of cheaper alternatives which do a pretty good job, namely Drift Stealth 2, Contour.ROAM3 or Xiaomi Yi, all of which cost less than a hundred bucks. For those with a larger budget, there’s 360Fly Camera, which is a mountable, 360-degree camera and costs around $300.
Skully AR-1 helmet
Contrary to popular belief that bike riders are simply gearheads, there are those among us who are wholeheartedly interested both in bikes, but also the latest in high-tech gears and accessories currently showcased in latest tech conferences. The Skully AR-1 helmet is one of those high-tech devices which not only features augmented reality capabilities but also offers an 180-degree rear-facing camera neatly displayed on the bottom right side of the visor, no matter where your head is actually facing. The AR-enabled helmet also provides the usual information such as the speed and RPM and the company promises that the system will eventually be updated in order to support turn-by-turn navigation.
Sturdy tank bag
What separates tank bags from regular ones is the fact that they have to be small enough to fit the tank yet sturdy enough to withstand the elements. Out of all motorcycle accessories discussed in this article, the Urban Tank Bag is by far the most innovative and efficient one. It can be mounted using four very strong magnets and acts as a regular tank bag, backpack or even a helmet carrier. It’s made of tear- and water- resistant ripstop nylon and is completely padded with neoprene.
These are just some of the most interesting and useful accessories and all of them can be easily ordered online, except the AR helmet which is scheduled for release in fall. Have in mind that some of them can be rather expensive so be careful not to burn a hole in your pocket. On the other hand, avoid buying cheap, plastic gadgets. You’d be surprised just how quickly they tend to fall apart. Don’t go overboard, but do try to invest in high-quality equipment.
By Diana Smith