May 27, 2023

10 Most Underrated Motorcycle Accessories

Beginner and veteran riders can benefit from these useful motorcycle gadgets and devices that can make riding even more enjoyable as well as safer.

There are a huge variety of accessories for cars as well as motorcycles that serve a range of purposes from safety, to comfort, to just making the ride more enjoyable. Whether riding a Ducati or a Harley-Davidson, bike accessories have a place as they not only can add convenience but can be essential in keeping both bike and rider safe.

Among other things motorcyclists should know about riding besides wearing proper riding gear, having the proper accessories handy can be critical when things don't go as planned. Modern technology and advancements mean that riders can now blend safety and style seamlessly, and high-tech gadgets can now be subtle while still providing state-of-the-art performance.

There are some tried-and-true motorcycle accessory must-haves, but there are also some lesser-known gadgets and devices that riders may not know about. This list focuses on the latter, so whether you are a new rider on one of the new beginner sport bikes, or a veteran looking for gear for your Harley-Davidson cruiser, there is something for everyone.

While some new sport-touring motorcycles on the market may offer cruise control as a factory option, most bikes don't come equipped with the feature. A throttle lock is a simple, cheap aftermarket solution that acts as a cruise control but is analog versus electronic, which has its advantages and drawbacks.

A throttle lock literally locks the throttle in position with the push of a tab, then releases automatically when the front brake gets applied. This type of throttle lock is much cheaper than aftermarket electronic cruise control options and is much easier to install as well.

The main difference between analog and electronic is the set speed does not change according to hills or terrain like with a true electronic CC unit. Electronic units can alter throttle positions to keep the speed up over hills, while analog throttle locks get operated manually to change the set speed.

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Touchscreen-compatible gloves allow the use of GPS or other electronics accessible without the annoyance of having to stop and take off a glove. Riders should always stay aware of the road if operating accessories while riding, but even when stopped, it's nice to not have to remove gloves to use the phone or GPS quickly.

Now, riders have an even better high-tech solution with the advent of Smart gloves. Smart gloves have buttons built into the side of the fingers that operate via Bluetooth to your phone, GPS, or camera. This means riders don't have to mount their phone to the bike in order to operate apps, so you don't have to compromise the look of the most gorgeous motorcycles made just for functionality.

Smart gloves still have protection like full leather and hard knuckles while also keeping sleek, sexy looks with models offering carbon fiber knuckles and attractive color styles.

If smart gloves are a bit above a rider's budget, another great option is a Bluetooth media button like the one offered on the Satechi website. The button eliminates the need to touch any screens at all, so riders can wear their favorite pair of gloves whether they are touch-screen compatible, and can still operate their phone or music player.

The button easily mounts on the handlebars and can be fat-fingered with gloves on, as it has large buttons that are clear and easy to use. The Bluetooth media button works with most major music streaming apps, including Spotify, so you can keep the phone tucked safely away and still operate the app.

A Bluetooth headset is more expensive than a simple Bluetooth media button, but it may also be the best option if you can afford one. They offer crystal clear audio without messy headphone wires or dealing with Bluetooth earbuds causing pain and fatigue over time.

The best part about Bluetooth headsets is they are easy to use and combines a ton of features into one tiny unit. Riders can listen to music or take phone calls while riding, and with advanced noise-canceling, wind, and engine noise are not an issue. The intercom features are also incredibly handy when on a group ride and needing to communicate on the fly.

Some models offer voice control, otherwise, a handlebar-mounted controller is easy to use with gloves on to operate while riding.

Popular Bluetooth headset maker Sena even partnered with audio company Harman Kardon to achieve outstanding audio quality.

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Most motorcycles don't have auxiliary charging ports from the factory, save for some of the newest models and best sport-touring bikes. The Battery Tender USB charger adapter allows a cheap, easy solution to charge a phone, camera, GPS, or other electronic device on the go.

It easily plugs into a Battery Tender’s SAE quick disconnect harness. The harness is handy to have installed anyway, as it allows fast, simple connection to a Battery Tender in seconds when the bike's parked up for the night or extended amounts of time.

At just $18 on the Battery Tender website, the USB adapter is a steal and is definitely an underrated accessory.

Most motorcyclists consider a bike lock one of the essential accessories every rider needs, but there are a huge variety of locks on the market with differences in quality and features. Bike security accessories are more about presenting clear obstacles to theft, since theft prevention is nigh on impossible these days.

That's why a disk lock makes sense, as it is the first line of defense against bike theft. They come with an orange or other bright-colored leash which attaches to the handlebar, so it's obvious to the potential thief that the bike's locked, as well as ensuring the rider remembers to unlock and remove the lock before setting off (avoiding an embarrassing tip-over many would love to forget).

Today, riders can even choose a "smart" disk lock that uses a smartphone as a key and immediately sends an alert to the phone if it is being tampered with or moved. The ABUS website also states that their smart disk lock emits a very loud alarm if a thief decides to get frisky. ​​​​​​​

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Airtags are a smart, easy accessory to track the location of a stolen bike but can malfunction due to heat and vibration when installed on motorbikes. The Muc-Off Powersports airtag holder eliminates that issue with its rugged two-layer housing made from a heat-resistant polymer base.

Riders can simply stash an Apple Airtag inside the frame which is precision-machined from aircraft-grade 6061 aluminum, then mount it on the bike somewhere out of sight. It's designed so it can get hidden on the bike, adding another layer of security that is very underrated.

If you ride one of the most iconic motorcycles ever made, it goes without saying that it may catch the eyes of some less-than-savory dirtbags, and the Muc-Off airtag holder is an insurance policy that could pay for it itself ten times over. ​​​​​​​

There's an old adage that a man is only as good as his tools, and this holds even more true when it comes to wrenching on bikes. It may seem like a no-brainer to have tools at all times when riding which is why many bikes come with small tool pouches from the factory.

If a bike does not come with a kit, there are many small tool sets catering specifically to motorbikes that can fit under a seat or in bike storage. Some motorcycles are high maintenance, and having the right tools if something goes amiss on the road is essential.

While a tool kit may weigh a bit, it is well worth it in the end if you do need it.

The Brake Free company created its products through crowdfunding initially, and the safety accessories are by riders for riders.

The smart brake light is a wireless, lightweight brake light that mounts easily on the back of a helmet. It utilizes two integrated sensors which detect braking forces and light up 100 ultra-bright LEDs, signaling clearly to vehicles behind that a rider is slowing.

A rider's head is the highest visual point on a rider and thus allows a greater chance of getting seen when the smart brake light flashes red.

Underrated by many is just how convenient a photochromic helmet visor can be. The visor changes from tinted to clear based on UV levels, eliminating the need to swap out visors completely. Imagine never having to fiddle with those pesky visor change mechanisms on certain unnamed helmet models ever again. Just set it and forget it.

The transition between smoked to clear is quite fast, so if riders find themselves blasting down the road on their awesome American motorcycles on a beautiful summer day and come across a tunnel, there is no issue with visibility.

Many photochromic visors have all the modern features as well such as antifog or pin-lock, so riders can have the best of both worlds.

Eric King is a motorcycle enthusiast at heart but loves all things with a motor and wheels. From watching racing to riding and racing roadbikes as well as dirtbikes, he loves it all! He has experience writing articles for a motorcycle publication and enjoys the process of writing about one of his greatest passions. Along with a deep knowledge of bikes, he also enjoys working on, driving, and writing about cars and trucks.