Essential motorcycle accessories for safety and convenience

Motorcycle saddlebag
Motorcycle saddlebag
Author Michael Milbourn
Product Manager – Dairyland
July 9, 2024

Wearable motorcycle gear—like helmets, gloves, and boots—understandably gets much of the focus in conversations on motorcycle safety. But as a rider, you can take several other proactive steps to help protect yourself and your bike. From tools and storage to safety and security, we’ve compiled a list of several of the most useful motorcycle accessories.

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Make yourself visible while riding

Visibility is critical to motorcycle safety. Make yourself easy to see on the road by adding auxiliary lights or reflective tape to your bike. Reflective tape can even be pinstriped on the body or rims in eye-catching designs.

Before adding any lights to your bike, make sure to check your state’s vehicle lighting regulations. Some have restrictions based on color, brightness, or direction on top of the required lighting parameters set by the federal Department of Transportation (DOT).

Bike covers

A bike cover can help extend the lifespan of your bike by protecting it from weather, exposure to dust, and UV rays.

There are several types to suit your budget and lifestyle. A half-cover may be ideal if you commute with your motorcycle. Opt for a full cover to protect against prolonged exposure. You can even find models with a rear zipper that lets you access a saddlebag without removing the entire cover.

Size and fit are both critical when choosing a cover. Measure from the longest point on your front tire to the end of the rear tire. Then, measure from the highest point on the handlebars to the ground.

A cover may also help deter theft, as it can make it harder for someone to access your bike—particularly when you purchase a lockable cover.

Motorcycle front view illustration.
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Luggage and storage

Whether you're taking a long journey or you’re just on a grocery run, having the right luggage makes a difference. Many riders, especially of smaller motorcycles, opt for a backpack to carry weather-specific gear, extra food and water, or a tool kit.

Saddlebags, tank bags, and tail bags can offer secure, on-bike storage. Make sure to choose motorcycle-specific luggage for a perfect fit and secure fastening on your bike. Cargo can shift the weight distribution on your bike, so take the first couple of turns easy until you get a feel for it.

GPS and communication systems

If you love to travel with your motorcycle, a GPS navigation system, such as Garmin's zūmo XT2 motorcycle navigator, is a great way to stay on track.

These systems can help you plan your routes more effectively and enhance safety. Set up rider alerts to learn about potential hazards on your journey—from speed changes to tight curves—before you reach them.

Pair your GPS with a Bluetooth headset or helmet speakers so you can receive clear GPS directions and make hands-free calls—helping keep your focus on the ride. Some advanced systems even enable group conversations with fellow riders, so communication with your crew is seamless.

Phone mount

A secure phone mount allows you to safely access your phone's GPS navigation or music player without compromising control of your handlebars. Choose a mount that positions your phone for an easy view while prioritizing your grip and maneuverability.

Security systems

Protect your investment with a motorcycle security system. Disc locks and chain locks are both great options to help deter theft, especially when parking in public areas and unfamiliar locations.

You can also buy an anti-theft GPS tracker. A tracker will send your phone the GPS coordinates of your bike's location. Real-time tracking and geofencing are excellent features.

Basic toolkit

Pack a basic motorcycle toolkit for roadside repairs. Motorcycle routes can take you to remote areas where mechanics are unreachable, so you want to be prepared. The kit can include:

  • Wrenches

  • Screwdrivers

  • Tire repair kit

  • Chain tool

  • Portable air compressor

It can also be a lifesaver for a fellow rider who encounters a mid-ride breakdown.

First aid kit

Carry a compact first aid kit containing bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, sunscreen, aloe, and other essentials to address minor injuries or assist an injured rider until help arrives.

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The general information in this blog is for informational or entertainment purposes only. View our blog disclaimer.

*Data accuracy is subject to this article's publication date.