A comprehensive list of the best motorcycle gadgets every rider needs including must-have sat-navs, intercoms, trackers, and phone mounts!
With every passing year, more and more technology aimed at improving the capabilities and conveniences of motorcycle riding becomes available and more accessible for the everyday rider.
With the modern conveniences of smartphones, motorcycle riders today need to be more tech-savvy, with newer technologies making our rides more convenient, faster and enjoyable as a result.
In this article, we won’t be talking about the factory fit stuff, but everything in this guide is something you can buy to make your ride better, and we’ll show you how to navigate the technology minefield and give you the best motorcycle sat-nav, phone mounts, intercoms, trackers and more!
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, here are a few tips for storing your bike and maintaining your work area.
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Starting at the very top, Motorcycle Intercoms are one of the most prevalent technologies riders use to stay connected to each other. Whether it’s to talk to your fellow rider, listen to GPS directions or simply listen to your favourite tunes, helmet intercoms are packed with innovative features to make communication between your pillion, fellow rider or friends easier
Among the most popular brands are Cardo and Sena with headsets to fit all manner of needs, designs to fit seamlessly into your lid, and a bunch of technical jargon that may appear confusing, even if their functions are quite simple.
You can read our full Motorcycle Intercom guide here.
What intercom should I buy?
There is no right or wrong product except those that don’t have the features you want or have too many features to justify the price. Typically, the more features you want in a unit, the more expensive the unit will be, but it will also be more versatile to more uses.
Whichever Bluetooth headset you end up with, make sure you get the necessities of the unit you’re after. So, if you’re not planning on speaking to other people while you ride, you may want to consider whether having a microphone is worth the money.
All motorbike intercoms will have the ability to connect to your phone/sat-nav or other motorcycle Bluetooth devices for playing music, listening for directions, or simply taking a call without taking off your helmet. Building onto the basics, some units have a built-in FM radio so even if you can’t reach your phone, you can still listen to Eagle radio without the hassle.
Oh, and one more thing to note as well – if you see the words ‘Solo’ or ‘Duo’ in the name of the product, this refers to the number of units inside the box (solo being one and duo being two units). This is perfect if you want to go halves with a mate for an intercom or if you have a regular pillion rider.
Here are a few recommendations for the best motorcycle intercoms to buy:
Cardo Packtalk Edge
Wireless Bluetooth motorcycle headset with 2nd gen Dynamic Mesh Communications for up to 15 riders up to 1.6km in distance, Bluetooth 5.2, and universal compatibility
Also feat. IP67 weatherproof design, magnetic Air mount, and 40mm high-definition JBL speakers.
Next-gen communications kit that pairs seamlessly with Shoei helmets, with Mesh Intercom and traditional 4-way Bluetooth intercom up to 1.6km and Sound By Harman Kardon speakers and microphone, and Digital Assistant Access.
Also feat. advanced noise control, Digital Assistant Access and FM Radio.
Motorcycle GPS & Sat-Navs
Motorcycle sat navs are the ultimate travel companion! Gone are the days of paper maps that are a nightmare to fold away – a motorcycle sat nav makes travelling fuss-free, allowing you to cope with possible disruptions or delays, and find the fastest and shortest route to your destination.
Satellite navigation devices and apps work by using the Global Positioning System, GPS for short: satellite receivers to calculate your position on Earth, which then pinpoints your position to a highly accurate area of ten metres. This information is then aligned with up-to-date digital maps to determine distances to other points and locations and can calculate routes, distance, speed and estimated time for arrival based on this data. Among the most popular brands are Garmin and TomTom.
Why should I use a sat-nav over my phone?
The features you’ll find on a dedicated sat-nav are designed and tailored to the needs of a motorcyclist like you. A standalone sat-nav will be more sophisticated than a free smartphone app and will offer more useful software for travelling motorcyclists including intelligent maps, updates, and accurate traffic information.
Most sat-nav apps rely on mobile data to work, which can present a problem if you have a limited allowance or if you go out of your provider’s range. If you’re riding abroad, the fees to use mobile data could get much higher if you’re using Apple or Google Maps. Dedicated Sat-Nav devices only require the Global Position System, which is entirely free for anyone to use, so you won’t need to worry about costs or the connection disappearing.
Also, if you are caught using your mobile phone while driving, or even during stationary traffic, the legal ramifications could see you receive a £60 fine and three points on your licence. Using a sat-nav removes the temptation to text, call or access social media, and you won’t need to worry about your mobile battery running out.
Can I use a car sat-nav on my motorcycle?
Theoretically, you could use a car GPS on a motorcycle if you’re able to mount it, but these devices are not specialised to ordeal the shocks and high speeds you will encounter on your machine. Sat navs and mounts designed for motorcycles will be better built to withstand buffeting and the shocks from your handlebars, as well as rain, wind and dust (though this will differ depending on the product, so make sure you know if your device is water-resistant before trying out in rain!)
These devices will also be able to respond to your motorcycle gloves, as it's no good owning a sat-nav you need to take your gloves off for!
What motorcycle sat-nav should I buy?
When researching motorcycle sat-navs, Bluetooth connectivity should be the first thing you make sure your device has. Regardless of the other features or the price of the unit, if you cannot hear directions and alerts from the GPS through your headset, you may not be able to focus solely on the road or you may find yourself going in the wrong direction.
You also need to consider the availability of maps, as you can get devices that only provide you with European countries’ maps, while more expensive sat-navs can provide you with routes from anywhere in the world. If you only plan on using the device for travelling to work or don’t see yourself riding in America or Asia, go for the model with European maps, otherwise, it may be worth spending more on worldwide maps if you don’t want to omit the possibility.
But most importantly, you need to ensure the device's touchscreen display is large enough for you to look at without too much concentration. Motorcycle-specific units will have a non-reflective, matte display with adaptive brightness settings to ensure you can always see your maps and a glove-friendly touchscreen.
Here are a few recommendations for the best motorcycle sat navs to buy:
Garmin Zumo XT2
An all-terrain motorcycle sat-nav with a 6-inch ultrabright touchscreen display, IPX7 waterproof and shockproof design and built-in visual route planner.
Also feat. preloaded maps, spoken turn-by-turn directions, live traffic and weather, and incident updates.
An easy-to-use compact motorcycle navigation device controlled by your smartphone, with a minimalistic interface, and two intuitive navigation modes.
Also feat. worldwide maps, ride tracking and sharing, twist and lock fitting and glove-friendly buttons. Available in Black, Gunmetal Grey and Silver.
Motorcycle Phone Mounts
A Motorcycle Phone Case and mount and is a cheaper alternative to a motorcycle sat nav, with the added benefit of intercom connectivity and music streaming to your headset.
If you only use your bike for commuting or riding in your local area, you likely won’t take advantage of a sat-nav device’s European or Worldwide maps or be travelling many unknown roads. In this case, your smartphone’s map apps work plenty well to get you to your destination. The issue that does remain is how can you protect your iPhone or Android from the weather or from dismantling your bike. The simple answer is to use a motorcycle phone holder.
There is a variety of products out there that will claim to mount your phone securely to your bike, but our advice would be to do your research and not be afraid to spend more than £20+ on a mount. The worst thing you could do is place your trust in a cheap, plastic product you found on the dark recesses of the web, only for your phone to fly off the first time you get to 70mph.
What motorcycle phone mount should I buy?
Different products utilise alternative methods of mounting your phone to your bike. The cheaper motorcycle phone mounts will have an attachment that clamps around your bike’s handlebars, with a screw to tighten and a bracket to attach your phone. This will require you to remove the entire mount to detach your handset. In more comprehensive units, a section of the mount is attached permanently to your bike, but a ball and socket joint allows you to secure to the back of your phone so you don’t need to take it apart to gain your headset.
If you are looking for a mount that fits your bike’s handlebars, ensure that the unit can be adjusted to fit your bars. Most models will allow you to do this, but if you don’t do your research, you may end up with a unit that cannot fit your thicker or thinner bars.
You need to also make sure it's compatible with the device you want to fit, whether it’s a newer iPhone, an older smartphone or a tablet. You will find mounts designed for specific phone models, but units designed to be universal will often have a size limit, so smaller mounts won’t be able to hold your XL smartphone or tablet.
In terms of materials, you will want a proven, durable mount that can absorb shocks and resist knocks. You’re trying to secure a £500-£1000 device to your handlebars, so look up reviews to make sure whichever unit you’re considering is trustworthy. Some mounts also provide waterproofing and protection from dust, so have a look.
Here are a few recommendations for the best motorcycle phone mounts to buy:
Quad Lock Mounting System
Lightweight, strong and secure motorcycle mount with a patented twist and lock system to attach your smartphone to your bike.
Made from tough glass-filled nylon with a blue lever, stainless steel hardware and a 360-degree rotating arm.
£22.99 (Case) + £22.99 (Mount) RRP
UltimateAddons Tough Case
A durable, IPX5 waterproof phone case + mount with a vibration-damping interior layer and compatibility with a variety of attachments.
Also feat. super secure 3-prong mounting system compatible with a variety of attachments.
£29.99 (Case) + £20 (Mount) RRP
Motorcycle Helmet Cameras
Motorcycle Helmet Cameras are becoming more and more popular with UK bikers.
Recording your ride couldn’t be easier, with motorcycle cameras allowing you to capture the thrill and experience of your journey in glorious HD, editing your footage and then quickly sharing it on your social media.
Another reason to wear a motorbike camera or dashcam is to protect yourself from bad drivers. High-quality video footage could be a vital piece of evidence if you’re involved in an accident. It isn’t illegal to have a camera on your helmet, as it isn’t illegal to film the public.
However, if you feel it’s too inconvenient to fit a camera every time you go out, it may not be for you. It’s important to get a camera capable of high-quality recording, and one that is waterproof and rugged enough to survive 70mph roads.
Here are a few recommendations for the best motorcycle helmet cameras to buy:
Drift Ghost XL Pro 4K Camera
IPX7 waterproof action camera with a bullet form design, 4K UHD resolution at 30 fps or 2.7K at 60 fps, and long-lasting 7 hours battery life.
Also feat. rear LCD, electronic image stabilisation, dashcam loop recording and flashback video tagging.
Sena 50C Camera & Intercom
A dual camera and mesh intercom device that shoots 4k video at 30fps, and works as a Bluetooth 5.0/mesh intercom up to 1.2 miles in range.
Also feat. premium Sound By Harmon Kardon microphone and speakers, one-touch recording, image stabilisation, and voice prompts.
Motorcycle GPS Trackers
Motorcycles are a huge target for thieves, especially as modern bikes and spare parts can be resold for extraordinary amounts.
According to the Metropolitan Police, over 9000 motorcycles, scooters and mopeds were stolen in London alone, in 2019, and it doesn’t take long for a thief to steal a machine if left unsecured or with inadequate security measures.
This has been the driving force behind the Motorcycle Tracker, which gives you the very best security for your machine and peace of mind as you walk away from your bike.
These bike-tracking devices can utilise GPS networks, radio frequencies or mobile data to track your bike without alerting the thief. The device can send an alert to either yourself or call service and can be set if the bike moves without the key in the ignition, if the battery is disconnected or if the machine is travelling outside the perimeter of a geographical location.
What motorcycle tracker should I buy?
The use of a motorcycle GPS tracker can be the deciding factor between recovering your bike or never seeing your machine again. But with so much variety, software and prices on the market – deciding on the best one for you can be difficult.
Budget is the obvious deciding factor when looking for a motorbike tracker, but because you’re paying now to prevent paying a premium later (i.e. replacing the bike), it’s worth forking out for something proven and robust. With the success of online monthly subscription services like Netflix and Spotify, it’s no wonder that this subscription model has been applied to motorcycle protection, providing consistent assurance against theft.
Thatcham-approved products are tested, proven security products that can also offer you a neat discount on your motorcycle insurance premium. Some trackers also use GPS networks, radiofrequency location marking, or mobile data to track your bike.
Whether you choose an off-the-shelf GPS or a tracker with a subscription cost, any tracker will significantly increase the chances of recovering your bike.
Here are a few recommendations for the best motorcycle trackers to buy:
Monimoto 7 Tracker
A smart, easy-to-install GPS tracker that uses a 2G network to detect unauthorised movement and sends exact GPS locations to your smartphone.
Also feat. a key fob that acts as a beacon for the tracker, a SIM card for your tracker and compatibility with a companion smartphone app.
Garmin Group Ride Tracker
Pair with your Garmin Zumo XT2 sat nav* to stay connected with up to 20 riders with location sharing, a range of up to 4 to 9 miles, route tracking and pre-defined messaging.
*Garmin Zumo XT2 required for functionality.
It is an all too common complaint that taillights on motorcycles are too low to be seen by vehicles behind the car immediately behind you. As motorcycle lighting is below wind-screen level, you’re vulnerable to vehicles attempting to overtake during the day and are especially vulnerable to drivers at night.
In order to emulate the high-level brake lights seen on cars, wireless bike indicators can be attached to the back of your helmet, and act as another constant indicator to assist drivers around you of your declining speed while you apply your brakes or change gears. These ultra-bright, smart LED brake lights are level to a driver’s eye and dramatically increase a motorcycle’s visibility.
Here are a few recommendations for the best motorcycle lighting and indicators to buy:
Oxford Nightrider Indicators
A set of premium, ECE-certified LED indicators with extra bright, dynamic sweep action, a short, sleek stem, waterproof design and universal fit.
Shark Swkal i3
The world’s first helmet with integrated brake light. This ECE 22.06 certified full-face features a built-in automatic, integrated rear stop light that requires no wiring, Bluetooth or smartphone connectivity.
Also boasts a Lexan-injected polycarbonate shell, internal sun visor and intelligent visibility safety system.
From £239.99 RRP
Motorcycle Heated Accessories
We’ve all been there: icy cold mornings, the weather takes its toll on your hands. As your limbs tense up, your reactions become slower and tiredness sinks in as your body works to conserve energy.
As the most forward part of your body, your hands are most susceptible to freezing, and if you’re not wearing proper insulation, winter riding can be dangerous.
Heated Motorcycle Gloves and Motorcycle Grips make winter riding possible, by transferring thermal energy to your hands to prevent them from freezing and making it easier to keep the rest of your body warm. These replacement handlebar grips are made of rubber and laced with wires and heated elements to warm your hands no matter how cold the weather gets.
Designed to fit most bikes and styles of handlebar, heated grips are made to be durable, easy to install and powered by your bike’s battery to ensure you don’t waste energy or run out.
You can’t beat toasty hands on a crisp spring morning, though they’ll become redundant when summer comes around. Heated grips are so popular, many manufacturers are offering new bikes with them installed as standard from the factory that integrates with the switchgear. If not though, retrofitting them is a fun Sunday afternoon job and couldn’t be easier.
Here are a few recommendations for the best motorcycle heated gloves and grips to buy:
Ultimateaddons Advanced Heated Grips
Awarded Best Buy by RIDE Magazine, these universal heated grips feature a sleek design, an integrated switch and five optimal heat settings to keep your hands warm whatever the weather.
A winter-touring glove, powered by Keis' advanced heat radiation technology, powered by your 12V motorcycle battery to distribute heat across palm and fingers, and controlled using settings on the back of the wrist.
Also feat. Ballistic Spandex outer shell, a waterproof Hipora membrane and knuckle armour.
Motorcycle Battery Chargers
Every motorcyclist should have a Motorcycle Battery Charger in their workshop.
Motorcycles have smaller batteries than most vehicles and are more susceptible to discharging, which can lead to permanent damage to the battery and having to spend more to replace it. These charging devices provide a cost-effective method for safely maintaining your vehicle’s battery and for avoiding a flat battery.
These small, convenient trickle chargers come with a connection lead to attach to your bike’s battery, and most devices can charge any bike with a 12V battery, but smarter units can charge smaller voltage sizes down to 6 volts.
Modern bike chargers can be so sophisticated that you can simply attach the device to your bike and leave it in storage, so you can keep your batteries in top condition during the winter motorcycle hibernation period, until Spring when your bike can get roaring back to life.
Can a motorcycle battery charger also charge a car battery?
It’s important to bear in mind that the voltage of the motorbike battery charger must be the same as the voltage of your battery. As car batteries typically have a higher voltage, a dedicated motorbike battery charger won’t have enough power to fully charge this battery and may take a while to even start the engine.
Does this mean that a dedicated car charger can charge a motorcycle battery? Not necessarily, again the voltage of the charger must match the battery’s voltage, so if the charger provides too much power it can cause damage or overload the battery. So, if you’re planning on charging an older 6V motorcycle battery, the device needs to be able to adjust the voltage to match the power output.
However, this will also increase the cost of the charger in order to accommodate the larger power output. If you only wanted a charger for your motorcycle, or you were planning on leaving the charger attached to your bike battery anyway, you can use a specialised bike battery charger like the ones below.
Here are a few recommendations for the best motorcycle battery chargers to buy:
Oxford Oximiser 3X Battery Charger
Fast and efficient motorcycle battery management system with 8 stages of optimisation including analysis, charging and maintaining your motorcycle battery.
Also feat. a soft start charging mode, voltage sensors to detect high current drain and intelligent charging to recover sulphated batteries.
Optimate 3 Battery Charger
All-in-one tool for diagnosing, recovering, charging and maintaining your 12V motorcycle battery.
Featuring fully automatic 7-step battery optimisation, weatherproof design and the capability to save your 'dead' battery from as low as 2V.
And that's all folks!
That was our guide to motorcycle communications and technology!
All of these items are available to purchase online and in selected stores: if you have any particular questions about any of the products featured on this list or any other item on our website, give us a call on 0800 130 3377 or email us directly at [email protected] and we'll do our best to answer them.
This article was written by Jonah Son.
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