These are things that I have gotten or use with my motorcycle. I have another posting for the same thing but featuring items that are not motorcycle related. This is not meant as an all inclusive list. There is no way that I can try all boots, jackets, lights, etc. In addition, I want to keep the review as short as possible with, in some cases, a link to a detail review.
Motorcycle Gloves - With many years of riding I've had a lot of gloves but I did start out using non motorcycle gloves. I'm a hard fit for gloves. Normally I have to try on a lot of pairs before finding something that fits me somewhat well. My last four sets are the best I've had. I live in Texas - it gets real hot here therefore my main gloves are summer gloves. I had the Tourmaster GX Air for summer and an old pair of HD winter gloves that I only use if it is very cold. A couple of years ago I replaced the GX glove with the Held summer glove (don't recall the name but similar to the current Air). Last week I purchased a middle weight glove and I really like them. I am thinking I can retire the heavy, fat finger HD gloves and use the BMW Allround 2 gloves. I rode several hours in the rain and I never got water inside of the gloves. The Allround 2 gloves retail for $75. The Held was about $80 but discounted at a motorcycle dealer in central Texas. Conclusion: Held for the summer and the BMW Allround 2 for cold weather and rain. Looking to try out the BMW AirFlow II gloves whenever the Held Air gloves give out. They are showing some wear after about 20K miles of use.
Update - 2012/07/23 - Got the Airflow II gloves on 7/18/2012. My first impressions after just 265 miles of use: Plus: These are the best fitting gloves I've had. They fit great just wearing them on the hands and also while wrapped around the grips of the bike but maybe that is because the 8/8.5 gloves were a little too tight and the 9/9.5 fit just right around the palm but some of the fingers were a bit too long for my hands. I'm hoping they don't get too loose after I break them in. Minus: Compared to both the Held and the GX air gloves these gloves flow very little air. Instead of an open mesh feel I would say these gloves are breathable. Stick your hands out in the air stream and air is felt on the back of the hand and the fingers (nothing on the palm).
|TM GX Air (Summer)|
|Held Air (Summer)|
|BMW Allround 2 (Mid weight)|
Notice 2 straps and reflective strip
|The Harley winter gloves|
|BMW Airflow II gloves|
Power Distribution Panel - There are several on the market that you can choose. I am using the Fuzeblock. I liked it because I can select between switched and unswitched for each circuit that I need. Everything I've added to the bike that requires power is control via this unit.
Power Amplification - Disclosure: I have only used one type of amp - the Amplirider. This amp runs off the bike's 12V supply, has 3 source inputs, and a remote volume control. The main thing that I like about this unit is that I have used it for many miles and years on my prior bike and had zero problems. I purchased a new one for my new bike.
Link: AmpliRider Amp
Boots - I use a true motorcycle boot plus have two casual type boots that I use both on and off the bike. My official bike boots are the Sidi Way Rain street boot. They are light and totally waterproof. For local riding I just got a pair of Timberland PRO non-steel toed work boots. They fit me very well, are very comfortable and are also waterproof. The other pair I use for local rides and casual use is a pair of Bates GX-8 waterproof boots. The Bates is a tactical type of boot so they are made to walk and work on for hours at a time. The Bates have a lace up system and a side zipper for easy on/off. The Bates and Timberlands are both about $120. Both are first class boots but may not protect your feet as well as a true motorcycle boot. For serious riding I use the Sidi boots. By the way, get a few pair of really good socks. You will be surprised how big of a difference good socks can make. The Smartwool socks are reviewed in this blog.
Ear Bud Speakers - After trying many I am happy with the S Plug ear buds. They fit well, easy on, don't fall out, and have good sound quality. I have the single speaker ear buds. Cost - $140. Not cheap but I think they are good. I've had them for over a year and still going strong.
Link: S Plug Ear Buds
Jacket - I started with the full Tourmaster jacket with the winter liner. This jacket was just too hot for summer riding so I got the Tourmaster Intake. The Intake is a big system with two different liners - one for rain and the other for colder weather riding. After using that jacket for a number of years I decided to go with the BMW Airflow 4 jacket and Tourmaster Sentinel rain jacket to make the Airflow a 3 season jacket. The Airflow is expensive but very well made and it just hangs on you so well that you forget you are wearing it. Not nearly the air flow of the Intake but I think that is a good thing. I think too much air flow can dry you out faster than normal. The Airflow seems to manage the air going into the jacket very well. My record high with this jacket is 113 F. Review pending.
Additional Brake Lights - Several around. I got the P3 lights and like them. Very bright with a flash mode when the brakes are first applied. The flashing lasts about 4 seconds. When the LEDs are on normally the LEDs have a flicker to them. The flicker mode can be switched off if you don't want that feature. Details in a future review.
Pants - This past winter (2011) was my first time buying true motorcycle pants. Only used them one time so review will have to wait. They are the Olympia summer riding pants with inside rain liner. I have used the liners as rain pants with good results.
Update - 2012/07/23 - I got to try these pants on a two day ride this Summer and really liked them. They are much cooler than jeans in temperatures from 88 to 98. I want to know how they handle 105 to 115+.
By the way, don't use a leather belt for touring. I know use a web belt that is both strong and is not damaged by water. The time will come when you either ride in the rain without your rain gear or your rain suit will leak. A wet leather belt is hard to deal with and it remains that way for a long time.
GPS - Zumo 660. Expensive but fairly good and made for motorcycles and comes with the hardware to use in your car also. Review here: Zumo 550 & 660 Review
Seat - After 15,000 miles on my RT I bit the bullet and got the driver Corbin heated seat. It's my third Corbin - I like them. Seats are very personal. Try as many as you can before you decide if you are thinking of buying an after market seat. IMO it took about 4,000 to break in the seat (factory I think says 1,500). One reason I choose the Corbin seat for the RT is that I had the Corbin with the Smuggler trunk on my ST1300 and really liked the trunk. I may at some time add the trunk to the RT.
Headlight Upgrade - I added a little more power to the H7 headlights by using the Osram H7 Rallye 65 watt bulbs. The Osram puts out 2100 lumens compared to 1400 of the stock bulbs (50% increase) and they have the same bulb life of 500 hours. Review here: Headlight-Upgrade-Review
Update - 2012/07/23 - I did the HID upgrade for my upcoming long summer ride. Much more light but not a perfect implementation IMO. Detail review pending.
To be continued...