Motorcycle Accessories

By Lauren Baumbauer

January 22, 2010 5 min read

About to get a new motorcycle or already have one? Are you unsure about how to outfit your cycle for family, travel or daily usefulness?

Making a motorcycle stand out or adding that extra something to make it the right fit for you can be challenging and exciting. For your next pet project, here are some practical ways to spruce up your bike.

Ride together with friends and family by installing a sidecar to your bike. It's also convenient for extra storage and traveling with man's best friend. Hiring a professional is always an option, but you can install a sidecar on your own with the right tools. Investigate to determine which sidecar would be suitable and the best fit for your motorcycle. Classic Motorworks (Cyclesidecar.com) offers the Cozy sidecar, perfect for comfort for the "sidecar monkey" with a vintage feel.

The start of motorcycle comfort is in the seat, and if you're without a comfortable sidecar for your passengers or are using a stock seat, a little saddle soreness may be in the near future. Ordering a custom seat, such as one from Corbin, a custom motorcycle seat manufacturer, may bring the right amount of comfort and style to the ride.

Perfect for the new custom seat, heating or cooling gel seat pads are often easy to fit and attach -- sometimes with an easy-to-detach harness -- to most seats. Tedious installation procedures aren't necessary, and the pads can be cooled or heated depending on temperature conditions.

Other ways to add comfort for a passenger include adding a passenger backrest to the pillion and passenger foot peg extensions. The backrest is especially helpful for cruising bikes when the passenger isn't required to lean forward. Extending the foot peg also brings relief if the rider's accomplice loses footing and needs to avoid resting his or her foot on other places. Lowering the foot pegs also brings relief from cramped positions.

Ever useful for long trips or the daily commute is something to hold your stuff. This is a case when baggage is a good thing, and there are many ways to stock out your bike with storage. If the passenger backrest is already on your motorcycle, then a rear luggage rack can be attached to it. Rack bags that strap onto the cycle securely with bungee straps are also an option. Some are convenient for carrying on your shoulders when you're not on the road, as well.

Bags for the tail -- such as Hide-away Tail Trunks by Aerostich, a world-renowned, high-quality manufacturer of motorcycle suits and gear -- are easy to carry and harness to the motorcycle with a bungee cord system, all folding into a small zippered pouch. The waterproof side zip bags offered by Aerostich are just as convenient, providing lightweight storage and instant access to food, tents or other trip necessities in a bedroll shape.

Saddlebags are one of the more popular motorcycle storage options. After choosing the right size and style, bolting them onto the motorcycle is a fun project. Thick and tough saddlebags are ideal so the bags won't sag. Setting up a saddle back support will help protect the saddlebags from damage caused by contact with other parts of the bike, such as the wheels.

For additional brightness and better visibility at night -- or for the pure sake of appearance -- changing the headlights is another popular modification. HID, or high-intensity discharge, lights are perfect for this and can come in different colors. Some lights are easy to change, especially if the main purpose of getting the headlights is for a new color, but the process also needs precision.

Video camera mounts are also rising in popularity. The cameras allow watchers to feel as if they're along for the ride and able to participate in ways they may never experience otherwise, such as being on exotic racetracks. Depending on the type of bike, video cameras can be mounted on many places, including gas tanks, handlebars and even the front suspension. Some mount systems are easier to install than others, and some places are easier to mount a camera on than others, so see what works best for your motorcycle.

Keep the stylish look of your bike cohesive, from the handlebars to the license plate holder, by matching textures, metals and colors. You can accomplish this easily by picking up a license plate relocation kit. It's a basic alteration that many motorcycle owners get right away. Evoluzione Cyclesports has several plate relocation kits based on the type of motorcycle.

Whether for comfort, storage, better travel or looks, the right accessories can keep you cruising with the rubber on the road. Your motorcycle can be just as unique and personal as you desire it to be while still fulfilling your practical needs.

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