5 of the Best Motorcycle Events Across the U.S.

best motorcycle events in the USA

The Coolest Motorcycle Events in the Country

We know you people love the feeling of freedom you get when you’re coasting down the highway, the rumble of your bike beneath you. For some, it’s a family tradition to attend motorcycle events. Whether it’s an old tradition or a new found love, motorcycle riders have a hard time keeping their joy to themselves.

Here at TMS, we know that part of what makes being a motorcycle rider so great is the community. That’s why we wanted to put together this list of our favorite places to party down with like-minded biker enthusiasts.

No matter what brings you to the gritty world of motorcycle riding, there’s a bike event happening somewhere across the U.S. just for you and your friends. So let’s take a look at some of our favorite motorcycle events across this beautiful country!

there are many motorcycle events in the USA

1.Laconia Motorcycle Rally

When: June 8-16th 2019

Where: Weirs Beach, NH

Laconia’s motorcycle rally in New Hampshire is the world’s oldest motorcycle event. In 2019, they are going to be celebrating 96 years of an annual week of fun in the beautiful mountain region of New Hampshire. There’s an endless supply of great food and tons of charity rides. There’s even a train that will take you through the mountains between Weirs Beach and Meredith, NH.

Whether you’re looking for great food, live music, or anything fun under the sun, the world’s oldest bike rally definitely has something for everyone.

enjoy the ride at the Laconia NH motorcycle rally

2. Bikes, Blues, and BBQ

When: September 25th-28th, 2019

Where: Fayetteville, AR

Coming at you with another milestone event! This is the world’s largest motorcycle charity event that benefits women, children, and underserved members of the beautiful NW Ozark region of Arkansas. In the almost 20 years that this event has taken place, they’ve raised an amazing two million dollars for those in need!

They also proudly proclaim to be a family-friendly affair and strongly condemn bigotry, racism, and white supremacy on their website. The event has plenty of food, Harley Davidson demo rides, and live music every night of the week. The specifics haven’t been announced yet, but it looks like they’re also gearing up for a food competition. And with BBQ being in the event title, you can bet it’ll be quite the finger-lickin’ tasty competition.

daytona bike week is one of the most popular motorcycle events

3. Daytona Bike Week

When: March 6th-15th, 2020

Where: Daytona Beach, FL

Daytona beach might be better known for the annual Daytona 500, but it also hosts an amazing motorcycle rally every year! 2020 marks the 79th anniversary of the world’s largest motorcycle rally in the sunshine state.

Located right off of the beach, this motorcycle event has a week chock-full of racing events, test rides from your favorite companies, and a host of free BBQ stands. There are also all sorts of arcades for the kids and it’s just a short shot from the historic Kennedy Space Center. Check out their website for a full list of all of the musical events, seminars, and test rides going on next year!

It's time to hit the road for those bike rallies

3. Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

When: August 2nd-11th, 2019

Where: Sturgis, SD

The Sturgis motorcycle rally is one of the nation’s most famous motorcycle events. Every year, 500,000 riders descend out on the otherwise sleepy South Dakota town of not quite 7,000 residents. There are great foods and a fantastic community atmosphere. But just wait until you hear about the legendary line up of musicians!

This year there’s no shortage of absolute giants in the rock world. George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Skid Row, Kieth Urban, Godsmack, Styx, and Disturbed are all on the lineup, and that’s not even all of them! Not to mention that Sturgis is located right next to Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and Devil’s Tower. So if you’re looking for an event located next to some surreal natural beauty and historic landmarks, Sturgis is definitely the right place for you.

attend the nation's most famous motorcycle events

4. Myrtle Beach Bike Week

When: Spring – May 10th-19th, 2019; Fall – September 30th-October 6th 2019

Where: Myrtle Beach, SC

The Myrtle Beach bike week has grown substantially from its first year in 1940. Now, more than 250,000 people show up each year to this spring motorcycle event. Enjoy great rides along the scenic South Carolina coastline. Try great food, and listen to amazing music from rock legends. Blue Oyster Cult is scheduled to play on the 12th during the spring event.

But that’s not all! Get your gears ready because they also have an amazing motorcycle drag-racing event. There’s also more bars and restaurants than you could ever hope for. If you’d like to enjoy your bike, the beach, and some great food and tunes, this is the event for you!

get all your friends together for the best rides in the USA!

5. Indiana Boogie

When: July 18th-21st, 2019

Where: Springville, IN

This year the Indiana Boogie bike rally is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival. How are they going to celebrate? Well, how about by hosting some of the bands who actually played there in 1969!

Hit the main stage in the evening! There you can catch legendary acts like Canned Heat, Big Brother, and the Holding Company.

If groundbreaking musical performers aren’t your thing, you can also catch the arm wrestling and tattooing competitions! It should be noted that this is an adults-only motorcycle event (no one under 18 is allowed to enter). So make sure you get a babysitter so you don’t miss out on this amazing event! Camp out here for free! Enjoy a few cold ones and let Canned Heat take you back to that magical summer of love!

Have Fun At Motorcycle Events No Matter Where You Are

have fun at motorcycle events no matter where you are

The solitary, undisturbed ride on your motorcycle is a nice way to shake off the bad mojo from your work week and feel like a real human being again. Once you’re back to feeling human again and you want to have fun with your fellow gear heads, think about checking out some of these amazing motorcycle events happening all over the country.

And this is far from everything. No matter what part of the country you’re in, there’s a bike rally happening not too far from you. So keep a lookout, and follow the sounds of the V-twins roaring down the highway.

Motorcycle Riding Apparel: A Safer, Better-Looking You

motorcycle riding apparel for a safer, better-looking you

Protective Riding Gear For Ultimate Road Safety

It’s finally Spring, and if you’re in a state that gets a lot of snow, you’re anxious to get out there on that bike. You’ve been looking at your motorcycle sitting in the garage all winter, all covered up and sad looking. But now it’s hot, the sun is shining, and it’s time to get out on the road. But if you don’t have the proper riding apparel, you’re going to be signing up for a stay in the hospital if you get into a wreck.

So what kind of protective riding gear should you have before you get out on the highway and live your Easy Rider dreams? Luckily for you, that’s somethin’ we happen to know a lot about.

it's very important to have proper and protective riding apparel when riding a motorcycle

Why is it Important to Have Proper Protective Safety Gear?

Riding a motorcycle is freeing, it’s fun, and it fills that need for speed we all have. But riding a motorcycle is also potentially dangerous. More than 5,000 riders died in motorcycle crashes in 2017. That’s more than 13 deaths every day. On average, more than 4,000 people are killed every year in motorcycle accidents.

And it’s not like the rest of us haven’t had a spill or been close to it. If you can look someone straight in the eye and tell them “I’ve never been close to being in a motorcycle wreck”, well good for you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to ride safely.

You might be the best rider in the world, but one thing you can never account for is other drivers. There’s a reason why people have those “Check twice, save a life” bumper stickers. Motorcycle riding is fun, it’s a great way to get on the highway and feel alive, but if you don’t do it safely, you’ll wind up feeling another way.

So let’s take a look at the gear that every rider should own and use on every ride.

Must-Have Motorcycle Riding Apparel

If you’re going to ride and you want to do it safely, consider these pieces of gear that offer protection when you’re headed out on the highway.

motorcycle helmets are the most important piece of riding apparel

Motorcycle Helmet

This is a no-brainer (and you will be too if you don’t use a helmet). Currently, 28 states require motorcycle riders to wear helmets. But even if you live in the other 22, there’s no good reason you should ever ride without one.

According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, “Helmets work. Helmet effectiveness has been confirmed by scientific studies, while helmet myths – ‘helmets break necks, block vision and impair hearing’ – have been consistently disproved”.

They also recommend that you buy at least a ¾ cover helmet, although a full face helmet is going to offer the most protection. Another thing to look out for is Snell certified helmets. Snell testing is heavily involved and will provide more protection. Similar to Snell, the DOT (aka Department of Transportation) also has a list of certifiably safe helmets. Take a look at this video that shows the difference between DOT-certified helmets and ones that are not DOT-certified. And if you’re in Europe, the ECE (aka the UN’s Economic Commission for Europe) is the European equivalent to America’s DOT.

a good motorcycle jacket will protect you in case of an accident

Motorcycle Jacket

While many people might think the leather jacket is just for looks, riders know; it can save your life. But it’s not just any leather jacket you’re looking for. The best motorcycle jackets are just like an armored vest. They’re going to have protective armor or places to put your padded armor, like in the shoulder and elbow section of your jacket. You can even get back armor pads!

The more armor in your jacket, the less likely you are to have skin to pavement contact during a wreck. But padded armor isn’t the only safety feature that jackets have to offer you. This is also your chance to be more easily seen by motor vehicles. Consider getting a jacket that couldn’t be missed from a mile away and you’ll automatically increase your chances of cars seeing you on the highway.

Riding Gloves

Not only are you going to get a better grip on your handles, but it is also going to protect your hands. If you get in a wreck and fall off your bike, what will you do? The most likely thing that’s going to happen is that you’ll put your hands down to break your fall. It’s instinctual.

But what’s going to happen if your bare skin hits the hot asphalt at thirty miles per hour? You’re going to come up with hands that look like Freddy Kreuger’s face. That’s why leather riding gloves are so important when it comes to safe riding apparel.

the best riding apparel will always include a great pair of riding gloves

Riding Pants

Just like your jacket, your pants are part of your motorcycle riding apparel. If you try riding in jeans, you won’t be a happy camper if you hit the ground. Denim and cotton jeans are going to shred like wet tissue paper if you get scraped across the asphalt. However, there are special riding jeans, and they’re quite common in riding apparel.

Many of the best kinds of riding pants or riding jeans are made with protective armor material like Kevlar, and you always want to make sure they either have knee guards or slots to put them in yourself.

Motorcycle Boots

Not shoes… boots. What you really want for motorcycle protection when it comes to footwear riding apparel is something that is going to protect your ankles. However, there are riding shoes available that look like street shoes but still cover the ankles. Although boots are preferred, they aren’t the only way to protect your feet.

If you drop your bike on your leg or you get side-swiped by a car you’re going to wish you had something to protect your ankles. They’re also going to protect your skin from the hot exhaust pipes and road-debris that’s been kicked up by drivers in front of you.

Another thing you need to think about when you ride is just the act of stopping. If you’re stopped at a red light, you’re supporting not only your own weight but the weight of your bike as well. Now, what do you think would make it easier to support all that weight? A pair of sturdy boots or riding shoes that support you above your ankles… or a pair of flip flops?

The Essential Riding Apparel

keep yourself and everyone else safe by investing in safe riding apparel

Keeping Yourself and Everyone Else Safe

So there’s our list of all of the gear you really need to have if you want to ride your bike safely. And truth be told, this should factor into your motorcycle expenses or budget. If you have enough money to buy and maintain your bike, but not enough money to invest in good, protective riding apparel, you don’t have enough money to ride a motorcycle. It’s as simple as that.

Riding safely is going to keep you upright and out of the hospital, and it’s not just for your benefit that you ride and dress safely. It’s for your family, for your kids, and for all of the other motor vehicle riders out there on the road.

By practicing safe riding habits and investing in essential, protective riding apparel, your experience on the road will be wonderful. On behalf of the TMS team, we hope you have a great motorcycle season as a better, safer-looking biker!

What Do Motorcycle Video Games Get Wrong About Riders?

motorcycle video games aren't like this real life rider

Why Motorcycle Video Games Can’t Hold a Candle to the Real Deal

Every kid who owns an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation probably has a motorcycle video game. Even the older folks who remember spending summer afternoons in the arcades remember the Sega Manx TT Super Bike game. Leaning in and out of those curved tracks holds a special place in many peoples’ hearts.

But there’s nothing like actually swinging your leg over a bike and taking off down the highway. Motorcycle video games aren’t like the real deal. 

 

you cannot replicate riding a bike like this one when you're playing a motorcycle video game

 

A big reason why there’s nothing quite like it is that motorcycle video games still haven’t gotten it right. As far as technology and game developers’ ideas have come, they still can’t quite get the exact feeling for riding a real-life bike. So what are motorcycle video games and virtual reality missing when it comes to the real-time thrill of hitting the open road on two wheels?

Where Grand Theft Auto Falls Short as a Motorcycle Video Game

Just like with your favorite movies and tv shows, it’s hard to get all of the details right in a motorcycle video game. One reason why this happens is to make creating content a little bit easier by skipping some of the finer details. For example, when a lawyer watches Law and Order, they’re going to notice those details. The same can be said when a real gearhead plays a motorcycle video game. There are some parts of the experience that just don’t translate perfectly.

 

Would you rather be this rider in real life or play a motorcycle video game?

 

Countersteering

 

One of the more nuanced parts of riding is the concept of countersteering. For the non-riders out there, countersteering is how a rider turns their bike at higher speeds. It is the process of using your body weight to lean and steer the bike rather than turning your handlebars as you would at low speeds in order to change direction.

This is a more sophisticated use of physics and body language than many motorcycle video games are able to incorporate into their controls. It makes sense that this is something often left out.

Also, we need to consider that the majority of people in the world are not riders. Their perspective on steering comes from steering a car. The idea of countersteering just seems counterintuitive to most people. So, unfortunately, one of the subtle challenges and rewards of riding a bike rather than driving are left out of motorcycle video games.

For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, here’s a really simple youtube video that perfectly explains it.

 

Riders like this guy need to keep their heads straight and that nuance is left out of motorcycle video games

 

Keeping Your Head Straight

 

In addition to countersteering, another thing that people tend to notice about motorcycle video games is how the camera shifts when your character leans into a turn. You will always see the camera angle lean sideways into the turn along with the bike, which is something you would never do in real life.

Motorcycle video games seem to think that you’re just sitting stiff as a board on top of your bike. But what they aren’t taking into account is that this would completely throw off your balance. If your whole body is off-center, it’s really going to throw off your balance. When riding a real bike, you always keep your head pointing straight up to keep your sense of balance and direction.

 

when you're riding a bike like this racer, you have to consider many factors that motorcycle video games do not account for

 

Wheelies and Stoppies

 

This is one of the flashier parts of riding a bike, and it’s no wonder that most motorcycle video games that feature your favorite two-wheeled monster want to include it. Again, this is another thing that may seem so simple, but it’s actually really complex. There are so many small movements and corrections that your body and bike need to perform to make these moves work.

It’s definitely not as simple as just tilting your joystick back or holding your front brake in the game. But unless they make a game console you can straddle at home, it’s probably hard to make the concept come to life.

 

Riders like this guy need to be aware of actions that can lead to accidents, and this is not taken seriously in motorcycle video games

 

Accidents

 

Motorcycle accidents are no laughing matter, but it looks pretty ridiculous when you see the ragdoll motorcycle video game characters go spilling over their handlebars. Video games seem to believe that any minor bump or hop is going to send you 10 feet straight up in the air. In reality, a rider knows that they’ve got a much better grip on their bike.

You’re not going to go spilling into a ditch just from driving over a pebble. I’m not sure where the game developers got this one from, but it seems like they could’ve saved some time.

 

 

From PC to 600cc

 

In the days of yesteryear, it seems like movies like Easy Rider and Cool Hand Luke are the kinds of things that made kids want to get their motorcycle license. These days, that outlaw motorcycle image has begun to fade away from the public eye.

But what’s replacing the Cool Hand Luke’s of yesterday are the motorcycle video games of today. Virtual reality may not have hit the nail perfectly on the head, but as technology continues to develop faster than you can blink, we’re getting closer to a realistic virtual ride every day. We’re excited to see where virtual reality motorcycle experiences will take would be riders in the future.

 

motorcycle video games cannot replicate the real deal of poppin' a wheelie like this guy is doing

 

Everything You Need to Know About General Motorcycle Insurance

general motorcycle insurance is important for all riders like this person cruising at sunset

Keys, Wallet, Helmet, and General Motorcycle Insurance

So you’ve got your new bike and you’re itching to get it out on the open road. You’ve got your gloves, your helmet, a nice pair of boots, and chaps to match. You’ve got everything you need to keep your ride safe, or so you think. But do you have general motorcycle insurance?

 

rider in flip flops who clearly needs general motorcycle insurance at minimum because this is not at all safe

 

Why Do I Need General Motorcycle Insurance?

Well, the first reason is that 47 states require you to have motorcycle insurance. Having insurance for your motorcycle means not only protecting your bike, but protecting yourself, and everyone else you share the road with.

Even if you live in a state that doesn’t require general motorcycle insurance, it’s better to have it than to be wishing you did!

Insurance is also going to protect your home and your assets if you’re at fault in an accident. Insurance can help pay for bodily injuries and any associated medical bills. Insurance is also going to cover any property damages you might be at fault for.

Whether you’ve damaged someone’s car, their house, or property in some way – or even a telephone pole – having insurance will keep you protected and out of the poor house.

 

without general motorcycle insurance you could be liable for huge medical bills if you break your leg like the person here did

 

How Much is General Motorcycle Insurance Going to Cost Me?

Costs for general motorcycle insurance vary by state and the type of motorcycle you own, but it’s probably less expensive than you think.

According to an article on Value Penguin, the average cost of motorcycle insurance in the US is only $519 annually. Now, of course, there are a lot of factors that can make this average fluctuate, for instance:

  • Value: The higher the value of your bike, the higher it’s going to cost to insure. This includes factors like custom parts that can be difficult or costly to replace.
  • Safety: The more safety features your bike has, the lower your rate is going to be.
  • Crash Rate: Some styles of bikes are just statistically involved in more crashes (yep, we’re looking at you sport bikes), and are going to cost you more to insure.
  • Theft Rate: We all love our flashy bikes, but they’re also more likely to be stolen. If an insurance company is more likely to pay out for a comprehensive claim, you can bet it’s going to cost a few more dollars.

 

if you have a flashy bike that is known for high theft, like this Suzuki, you may have to pay more for general motorcycle insurance

 

Some Other Factors To Consider Regarding General Motorcycle Insurance

Other than the type of bike you’re riding, another factor to consider is motorcycle riders themselves.

The age of a rider is something a motorcycle insurance company will consider when offering you a quote. The older a rider is and the more experience they have will certainly yield a lower price. Not to mention having a clean riding (and driving) record. So if you want to see those motorcycle insurance rates go down, make sure you’re always riding safely.

Another way to make your general motorcycle insurance rates lower is by insuring more than just your bike. Include a second bike on your insurance policy, or maybe a car, or your house. There are even some companies that will cover your life insurance policy as well as your general motorcycle insurance. A multi-policy insurance package will always save you money and will most likely include bundle discounts.

 

stuffed doll of kermit the frog wishing he had general motorcycle insurance before his accident

 

What is Your Motorcycle Insurance Going to Cover?

So we’ve already discussed that your motorcycle insurance is going to cover medical bills and property damage, but what else can you get coverage for?

  • Accessory coverage is going to cover the cost of damages to accessories on your bike. That includes modifications, custom paint jobs, safety equipment (like your chaps or helmet) wheels, and lots of other things.
  • Roadside Assistance will keep you from paying an arm and a leg for towing, minor repairs, or even gas delivery if you break down while you’re out riding.
  • Rental Coverage is going to pay for your motorcycle rental should yours need to be taken in for repairs.
  • Trailer Coverage will protect the trailer that you use to transport your bike.
  • Trip Interruption will cover the cost of food and lodging if you break down away from home. “Away from home” can vary in distance depending on which insurance company you use, so make sure you talk to your agent to find out the details.

 

this city rider knows that general motorcycle insurance is a must have even though her state doesn't require it

 

Where Do I Sign Up for General Motorcycle Insurance?

So we covered all of the reasons why you need general motorcycle insurance. Now the next step is finding the best policy for you.

The best policy is going to mean different things for different riders. That having been said, it doesn’t mean you need to talk to every Tom, Dick, and Harry to find out which policy is right for you.

 

female motorcycle rider who made sure to find the best general motorcycle insurance policy for her needs

 

Check out this list from The Balance on the best motorcycle insurance to choose from in 2019. There is a category for almost every type of rider!

Also, check out this article from Value Penguin with quick links to get motorcycle insurance quotes from some of the top insurance companies.

So shop around, get the best policy, and remember, when you need tips, be sure to check out  TMS Parts’ awesome blog for additional tips, tricks, and inspiration.

Motorcycle Ice Racing is Not Just A Fad

excited guys participating in motorcycle ice racing

The Need for Speed Doesn’t End in Winter – Enter Motorcycle Ice Racing

 

When we think about motorcycles, we tend to think about cruising down the highway in the summertime. The weather is hot, the sunlight hours are long, and the wind whipping by doesn’t hurt your face yet.

But any real gearhead knows that the need for speed doesn’t end when the snow starts falling and the wind is more punishing than forgiving. Wintertime is great for motorcycle ice racing and it’s not just a fad.

The cold weather is almost egging you on, don’t you want to take a ride? Better yet, don’t you want to race? Every rider knows that feeling of the itch you can’t scratch, and this is nothing new.

That’s why when Jack Frost comes to visit you can still see those dedicated racers hitting the frozen tracks with studded tires, kicking up the ice and having a great time. Motorcycle ice racing is one of the most exhilarating ways to feed the speed demon that lives inside of all of us.

 

tracks on the lake from motorcycle ice racing

 

So you know a little about motorcycle ice racing, but you’re curious and want to know more. Great! We’re here to share more about the sport’s long history in Europe, the racers in America, and why it’s definitely NOT a passing fad.

Motorcycle Ice Racing in Europe and the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme

 

The FIM is the global sanctioning body for motorcycle racing, governing races and organizations in six continents and over 100 countries. They were founded in Paris, France all the way back on December 21st, 1904 (happy belated 114th birthday!). The headquarters have moved several times and currently reside in Mies, Switzerland.

The first records of putting bikes on the ice happened in 1924 in Switzerland. Racetracks were made on frozen lakes with many of the same rules and regulations as Speedway racing. The bikes used studded tires to grip into the ice just like they would on a dirt track.

The first official motorcycle ice racing competition put on by the FIM was held in 1939 in Moscow. After the second world war, ice racing started to gain traction all across Eastern Europe. The first international competitions began to be held in the late 1950s.

The races used 500cc Speedway bikes, but eventually, new classes were added to the competition: 125cc, 350cc, and sidecar (because everybody has that friend who needs to be close to the action). The first FIM Ice Racing Cup was held in 1963. A Russian rider took the championship, and the Soviets dominated the sport for many years.

 

motorcycle ice racer holding a cup filled with snow

 

While the Europeans may have led the way in sanctioning these events, the North Americans weren’t far behind. And of course, they had to put their own spin on it.

 

Motorcycle Ice Racing in America

 

The American Motorcyclist Association is the governing body for American races, and it’s very similar to its European counterpart. The real difference in AMA racing is the type of bikes.

FIM races use Speedway bikes, which tend to have two-speed gearboxes and do not have front brakes. AMA races, on the other hand, feature motocross, or dirt bikes, but use the same studded tires to grip into the ice.

AMA races run on counter-clockwise oval tracks, as well as GP-style road courses that have both left and right turns. Turning can be pretty difficult in these environments, which is why spikes in the tires fan all the way out to the side. Riders can lean into turns, nearly scraping the surface of the ice. Check out this YouTube video to see just how incredibly low these racers can go.

The AMA holds yearly events called the Ice Race National Championship. There is a huge variety of events and races that happen. The motorcycle ice racing competitions are for riders as young as four years old and up. Vehicles in the competition range from lightly modified bikes and ATV’s to fully custom-built ice racers.

In 2019, the Championship Race will be held in Wisconson on January, 20th. There will be a 3-hour endurance race, as well as shorter 30-minute circuits for younger competitors.

Also, motorcycle ice racing has even become part of the yearly X-Games competition. Check out these Harley riders talking about riding and competing!

 

sun setting over a lake that is perfect for motorcycle ice racing

 

Motorcycle Ice Racing is Not Just a Passing Craze

 

It seems like almost as quickly as humans invented the motorcycle, we started racing them. We look for the thrills of death-defying speeds and being crowned the fastest seems as natural as the sky being blue and the grass being green.

As motorcycle riders, we’re always going to be a little on the fringe of the mainstream. We might not have the numbers that NASCAR does, but don’t let anyone tell you that all of this is going to just blow over. Racing bikes, on land or on the ice, is here to stay!

Finally, it’s important to realize that motorcycle ice racing is just about as safe as riding in the summer on the road, and twice as fun! So look out for those kooky riders hauling their bikes to the lake this winter, because there’s no reason the fun has to stop when the roads aren’t safe.

10 Important Motorcycle Tips for Winter Riders

winter riders like this gentleman need to understand the safest ways to enjoy their bike

Top 10 Safety Tips for Winter Riders

Sometimes, your motorcycle is too much to ignore. We’re looking at you winter riders!

For some people, no matter the season, sunny or not, you just have to jump on that bike and ride! But riding in the winter is a bit trickier from the other seasons.

Suddenly, winter hits. Slow speeds, heavy set mud, and deep snow can make the motor work much harder than it might during the summer. There is also the threat of cold, slushy water crashing around your bike components and corrosive salts that can spread rust quicker than you can blink.

This winter, let us supply you with the tools and helpful tips to keep you, winter rider, and your bike in top shape.

 

a snowy road like this one might be great for a snowmobile, but not a winter rider on a bike

 

10 Ways to Keep Winter Riders Safe on the Roads

 

1 – Make Sure You Can Ride this Winter

 

Before you even begin to start swinging on your winter gear, ask yourself one question. Is riding during the winter even legal where you live or where you want to ride?

Check with local authorities about any and all laws that could keep you off the road this winter. Some states require winter traction tires that are installed within a specific set of dates. Some won’t allow you on the road at all during winter, and some won’t have any specified winter riding regulations at all. It’s best to check before you make travel plans.

 

2 – Wear the Right Motorcycle Gear for Winter

 

Riding comfortably is a smart move for any winter rider. However, wearing layers (i.e. full leg and full sleeve) is key. While riding, we sweat, even in the winter time, and having base layers can help save you from having an uncomfortable ride.

Base layers allow the skin to breathe, even with other layers over them. These pieces of gear allow the sweat to evaporate instead of turning to cold perspiration on the body. When it comes to outerwear, you’re going to want something that’s breathable and waterproof. Pair it with gloves that give you the proper grip, strong control, and safer mobility for steering.

And along with layering, it’s incredibly important that you add heated motorcycle gear and grips to your riding wardrobe to avoid frostbite when the temperature drops. There are warmer winter days, depending on where you live, but if you are in a classic winter climate – snow or no snow – you really need to invest in heated gear. Frostbite is not worth the risk.

 

3 – The Winter Rider’s Right Type of Helmet

 

We all know the drill. To ride safely, you need a helmet.

For the winter season, you want to consider helmets specifically made to combat colder elements. You want to look for a tightly-sealed helmet with a fog-free face shield to keep your vision clear from the outside temperatures. A bright reflector is another smart investment in your winter gear. This prevents any mist or condensation from collecting under your visor. Anything blocking your vision needs to be changed to be able to see clearly on some icy roads.

 

4 – Your Motorcycle is Properly Prepped and Prepared

 

Here’s the thing: motorcycles aren’t necessarily made for the winter months. This means you need to continuously make sure it’s running in tip-top shape.

Start by checking on the coolant that’s running in your radiator. Is there a proper amount of coolant? Is there enough Antifreeze to keep the bike going? What the lowest temperature the engine on your bike can stand? Can the electrical system of your bike handle the cold?

These are all things you need to ask yourself before you adventure out into the chill.

 

winter riders bikes can become covered in snow during a pit stop like these bikes are

 

5 – Keep an Eye on Your Tires

 

Remember, cold weather = cold tires. Now that should be obvious. In the winter, it’s vital to keep this in mind. When your tires get cold, it gives the bike limited traction. Riding does help increase heat in the tires, but every stop you make can quickly have them cooling down as well. When they start to cool down, remember to take it slow. Make sure you have adequate tread on your tires for winter riding, that way when are forced to slow down on the bike you still have all the control.

Another helpful tip; check your tire pressure before every ride. Extreme drops in temperature affect the tire pressure.

And we have a helpful blog you should read that talks about when to replace your motorcycle tires.

 

6 – Keep Your Eyes on the Road

 

Snow means salt, plow trucks, and black ice on the roads, so keep your eyes peeled! Salt that’s laid down for the ice can destroy the metal on your bike and ruin the traction. Avoid any crystalized appearances on the road. Motorcycles aren’t designed for winter riding, so they can quickly succumb to rust if you don’t keep your bike clean. Plow trucks can destroy roads, creating new cracks and potholes. And as for black ice? Always avoid it at all cost.

 

7 – Know when it’s Time to Go Home

 

The worst thing you can possibly do is to drive your bike through a snowstorm.

A few flurries are one thing, but being caught in a snowstorm is another. When the snow starts coming down harder, visibility reduces drastically to almost nothing. It will be harder to see the road in front of you and even harder for others to see you down the lane.

When you see that the snow has started coming down, it’s time to turn your bike around and head back home and save your ride for another day.

 

8 – Winter Riders Need to See and be Seen

 

Speaking of visibility, whether the weather gets a little rougher or the sun starts to set, make sure you’re still seen. Having on a reflector vest can help make sure that cars see you coming. Sometimes it’s not the road you have to watch out for, it’s the people around you driving that you need to keep an eye on.

 

winter riders enjoy scenery that you won't find in the summer months, but riding in the snow is something you shouldn't do

 

9 – Slow it Down

 

Part of the fun of a motorcycle is the speed; we get that. But when you’re handling ice, it’s a bit of a different story and not a combo worth trying.

Take it easy on the road.

Speed and black ice don’t mix; regardless of the road conditions, it’s crucial that you drive safely to avoid getting hurt or hurting someone else. That is something we want to avoid at all costs.

 

10 – Check the Weather Before you Travel

 

The easiest, safest thing you can do for yourself is to check that weather before you head out the door. Keep an eye on the weather patterns before you even step outside. It will save yourself a headache and also the chance of ruining your plans.

By keeping ahead of the weather and being smart about it, that guarantees a great ride.

 

a motorcycle outside in the snow, like this one, can strand a winter rider

 

Bring on Winter Riders!

 

Sometimes you can’t avoid the call of your machine, and we get you, winter rider.

Winter doesn’t stop that drive and why should it? We want you to enjoy that beast whenever and wherever you want to travel. Snow won’t stop you and neither will we.

Just be safe, be smart, and go for it!

 

Amazing Motorcycle Gifts for the Rider in Your Life

riders don't have to be challenging when you are shopping for motorcycle gifts like these ones

Finding the Perfect Motorcycle Gifts this Holiday Season

We get it. Finding the perfect motorcycle gifts for the rider in your life can be a very stressful endeavor. You have to find the right gift, not just any old stocking stuffer, like socks or soap. And finding one for the extreme motorcycle enthusiast in your life can present even more of a challenge.

What do you get them?!

So… that leaves you considering where to get it, how to get it, and how much it’ll cost! Ack! The dreaded price tags on the things you want!

Well, we are here to help take the guesswork out of motorcycle gifts. We can make things a bit easier for you when shopping for that perfect gift for that certain someone. Here we will share some of our favorite gift ideas for the rider in your life.

 

Motorcycle Gifts Can Vary Greatly

 

Motorcycle gifts aren’t just gear or tech. Of course, those are two very popular categories, but keep in mind that there are other things that the rider in your life needs, even if they don’t realize it. So, let’s get started with some gifts we think will be a big hit no matter the occasion.

 

Adventure Medical Kits Survive Outdoors Longer Origin Survival Kit

 

It’s never a bad thing to be prepared in case an emergency strikes. Give an awesome medical kit for outdoor survival to the adventuring motorcyclist in your life. Make sure that they have everything they could possibly need (or want) from a survival kit at their disposal. You know, just in case.

 

Motorcycle Gifts: Adventure Medical Kits Survive Outdoors Longer Origin Survival Kit

 

Features include:

  • Compact waterproof case
  • Flip-up signal mirror
  • Liquid compass
  • 10-lumen LED lights
  • 100-decibel rescue whistle
  • Fire striker and four pieces of Tinder-Quik fire starter
  • Folding knife
  • 3sq.Ft. aluminum foil
  • 6ft. Stainless steel wire
  • 10ft. Nylon braided cord
  • One sewing needle and three safety pins
  • Fishing line and four fishing hooks
  • Two snap swivels
  • Two split shot lead pellets
  • And instructions with over 62 survival techniques and strategies from Buck Tilton

 

SENA Attachable Boom Microphone for 20S Communication System

 

Wouldn’t it be great to communicate hands-free during your ride? With an attachable boom microphone from SENA, you can do just this… safely!

This is one of those tech motorcycle gifts that is no hassle at all! The microphone easily attaches to the rider’s helmet and keeps communication clear.

SENA even offers a great video that shows you little tips and tricks to make sure that it stays secure inside the helmet at all times.

 

Motorcycle Gifts: SENA Attachable Boom Microphone for 20S Communication System

Features include:

  • Bluetooth capability
  • Best audio quality with foam protection
  • A leading brand that offers and guarantees quality products

 

Raptor ll Interchangeable Goggles

 

The frames in the Raptor II interchangeable goggles are shatter resistant and offer a bold design that complements the wearer. The goggles have two removable foam pieces to guarantee a secure and comfortable fit.

While on the road your eyes still need protection from the elements. Why not do it in style?

 

Motorcycle Gifts: Raptor ll Interchangeable Goggles

 

Features include:

  • Sculpted frames made of grilamid TR90
  • Clear anti-fog lenses that provide 100% UVA/UVB protection
  • Comes with carrying pouch and microfiber cleaning cloth
  • A removable/adjustable strap included
  • Accepts prescription lenses (not included)

 

MSR Malcolm Autobiography

 

For any true motorcyclist and off-road enthusiast, the autobiography of Malcolm Smith is a gift like no other.

Malcolm Smith is the famous American off-road racer. He gained fame for his accomplishments in the Baja 1000 and won gold medals in the International Six day Euro competition.

To many fans, he made his name as the star of the 1970’s movie On Any Sunday, a movie that sparked a love for motorcycles and off-road adventures in America.  

Add this to the growing collection of motorcycle memorabilia, and excellent autobiographical reads. 

 

Motorcycle Gifts: MSR Malcolm Autobiography

 

Features include:

  • An oversized, hardcover, coffee table book
  • Written with personal storytelling, rich details and many never before seen photos from Malcolm’s personal archive
  • Details over his early years, first bikes, and races in the US, Baja, Europe, and Asia. Including excerpts from his family life. All told by the world’s most legendary motorcycle and off-road racers.

 

Fly Racing Elite Insulated Water Bottle 23oz.

 

This is the next generation of a water bottle. It’s the most flexible one you can find out on the market and the only one that can guarantee a clear pure taste like no other.

 

Motorcycle Gifts: Fly Racing Elite Insulated Water Bottle 23oz.

 

Features include:

  • The bottle is made with Purist tech that purifies the water before you have a sip offering you a healthier option.

 

Cortech Blitz Off-road Helmet Bag

 

Does the rider in your life have a place to stash their helmet? Is it secure? Can it offer protection? Protect the thing that protects the noggin!

This plush, synthetic fleece lined bag is the perfect gift to give on any occasion, or even just because. Gift them a carrying case for their vital piece of equipment in style.

 

Motorcycle Gifts: Cortech Blitz Off-road Helmet Bag

 

Features include:

  • Heavy duty 600 Denier Carbolex
  • Full-length zipper for easy entry
  • Comfortable carrying handles
  • Fits most off-road and street helmets
  • 22 liters

 

Cortech GPS Bag with Mounting Bracket

 

Make things easier for your traveling motorcyclist with this GPS bag. Not only will it protect the device you’ve invested money in, but it offers a design that guarantees a snug fit no matter the GPS you have.

It has foam inserts that ensure the best fit possible for your device. And thanks to the sturdy adjustable mounting bracket that’s attached there’s no need to fear that it will get lost on the road.

 

Motorcycle Gifts: Cortech GPS Bag with Mounting Bracket

 

Features include:

  • Dryer Tank bag
  • Map pocket in the design
  • Waterproof molded 195-gram jersey knit material for the outer shell
  • Easy access waterproof zippered main compartment with clear window for easy visibility
  • Water resistant audio ports allow the GPS to be hardwired to the motorcycle
  • Direct mount bracket will mount to most motorcycles

 

Bobster Eyewear Bugeye Goggles

 

Here are some sleek, stylish goggles that won’t break the bank. Try out these shatter resistant polycarbonate lenses that block out harmful UVA and UVB rays. These babies have adjustable straps to offer a comfortable fitted feel and look that rival other goggles. This eyewear is a “classic touring shapes that envokes a bygone era of motoring on the open highway”.

 

Motorcycle Gifts: Bobster Eyewear Bugeye Goggles

 

Features include:  

  • Glare-free lenses for enhanced visibility
  • Vented black frames and adjustable straps
  • Ultra comfortable foam cushion strap
  • Open cell foam surrounding eye cups offering comfort, durability, and assists in thorough airflow

 

Bikemaster Brake Bleeder Vacuum Test Kit

 

A true motorcycle enthusiast will always want the best for their bike. They take pride in their machine and, for many, want to be a part of the whole process, start to finish. They aren’t just in it for the ride. Why not help them be a part of that?

This is the ideal kit for any person that wants to take a hands-on experience with their machine. This kit makes bleeding your brakes a snap and finding vacuum leaks easy as pie. It’s the perfect piece of equipment to add to any motorcyclist’s garage.

 

Motorcycle Gifts: Bikemaster Brake Bleeder Vacuum Test Kit

 

Features include:

  • All metal construction body, heavy duty pump
  • High-quality  gauge with reading to -1.o bar  (-30in/hG)
  • Extra long (23.75 in.) hoses and a myriad of adapters
  • Protective rubber gauge cover for durability and impact absorption
  • Multiple use tool for motorcycles, automotive, and marine applications

 

Nelson-Rigg Compact Rain Jacket

 

Help your rider prepare for unfortunate weather conditions. Rain can strike anywhere and anytime. Expect the unexpected!

Why not gift them with a compact rain jacket to keep them dry? It comes in two colors, a nice neutral dark color or a vibrant fluorescent yellow. The latter is to make sure other drivers know you’re sharing the road. 

 

 

Features include:

  • Packs into an integrated zippered pouch for convenient storage
  • 100% waterproof Tri-Max Nylon with heat taped seams
  • Waterproof zippers and material to keep water out
  • Lightweight and relaxed fit
  • 2 side zippered pockets and 2 inside stow away open pouches
  • Concealed hood with drawstrings
  • Adjustable drawcord waist for improved fit
  • 1-year warranty

Now You’ve Seen the Variety of Motorcycle Gifts for the Rider in Your Life

 

We know something caught your eye on that list; admit it. Hopefully, you’ve found just the gift you were looking for an upcoming celebration.  Save yourself the headache of running out to the stores and fighting over the leftover scraps on the shelves.

And maybe, just maybe, you found something that might be perfect just for you. Might be time to treat yourself a little as well!

 

Motorcycle gifts wrapped for the holidays

Awesome Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication Systems to Try Right Now

two guys poppin' wheelies on their bikes can talk to each other with motorcycle Bluetooth communication systemsHands-Free Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication Systems for the Lone Wolf

Part of what we love about our bikes is the freedom they give. Just you and the open road, nothing to distract you from the simple joys in life, like fresh air, the beauty of nature, and the feeling of your blood rushing as you’re tearing down the highway. But just because you’re a lone wolf on the road doesn’t mean you can’t share the experience by using motorcycle Bluetooth communication systems.

Bluetooth communication allows you to stay in touch with your passenger while the wind is whipping. With so many different motorcycle Bluetooth headsets on the market, it can be difficult to know what the best ones are.

Moreover, you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Don’t worry, your friends at TMS Parts have you covered with this great overview of our favorite headset and intercom systems.

a parked motorcycle on the grass without a rider

SENA Motorcycle Bluetooth Communication Systems

SENA 10S Bluetooth Communication System

SENA 10S Bluetooth Communication System

The folks at SENA love to outdo themselves, and they clearly have with their upgraded SENA 10S system. The 10S system uses Bluetooth 4.1, enhanced speakers, an increased intercom distance of 1 mile in open terrain, built-in FM radio, and a smartphone app!

Now, for those of you asking what Bluetooth 4.1 is, basically, it is a smarter way to connect your devices, increasing efficiency and reducing the strain on your devices’ battery lives. For a more in-depth look at Bluetooth 4.1, take a look at this article by Trusted Reviews

The 10S motorcycle Bluetooth communication system has a talk time of 12 hours, a standby time of 10 days, and a radio duration of 8-10 hours. All of this life, and it only takes your lithium polymer battery 3 hours to charge before you’re ready to get back on the road.

SENA 20S Bluetooth Communication System

SENA 20S Bluetooth Communication System

SENA’s 20S is an incredible product, featuring several industry firsts for in-helmet Bluetooth communication systems. This includes a dual Bluetooth module communication system so you can connect two units together to share conversation and music. Another innovation for the 20S is that it also allows for full duplex communication with other riders or passengers. This means that two units can communicate simultaneously. No more call and response walkie-talkie conversations! With the 20S, your communications are uninterrupted so you never miss a word.

The 20S has HD quality sound and advanced noise cancellation technology to make sure that audio is crystal clear. The unit is water-resistant for use in inclement weather, and you can rest easy knowing that it comes with a 2-year warranty.

SENA 10C Motorcycle Bluetooth Camera and Communication System

SENA 10C Motorcycle Bluetooth Camera and Communication System

SENA continues to make leaps and bounds in the industry by presenting the 10C camera and communication system. This is the very first combined Bluetooth communication and video system on the market. The camera can catch video in 1080p:30fps, or 720p:30/60fps, as well as being able to capture still images in a shot, burst, and time-lapse functions. The lens rotates up to 30 degrees so you can keep your eyes on the road while capturing the beautiful world around you.

For tips on how to install your SENA systems, check out this Youtube video and their channel.

guy on a bike uses a motorcycle Bluetooth communication system to speak to other riders

UClear AMP Intercoms

UClear AMP Dual Helmet Audio System

UClear AMP Dual Helmet Audio System

The Uclear AMP Dual Helmet system can be found on sale from it’s listed price of $349.99, but they haven’t skimped out on the quality! The new AMP model uses 4.2 Bluetooth technology.  It also has full duplex communication so you can keep up the conversation with your passenger or rider.

The AMP system is easy to install and can fit in so many places on any motorcycle helmet. Check out this video tutorial to see how to set up and connect your AMP Bluetooth devices. The video will also show you how to navigate the smartphone app!

UClear AMP Plus Dual Helmet Audio System

UClear AMP Plus Dual Helmet Audio System

Another great system from UClear is AMP Plus. The Plus system also uses Bluetooth 4.2 technology, and it’s full duplex communication. This allows you to connect with up to 6(!) other AMP Plus users with a Boost Pro Microphone Speaker System. This will ensure you catch all the words and none of the wind.

The AMP Plus Dual system comes with an AMP Plus controller unit, the Boost Pro Speaker and microphone array, both a permanent and temporary mount, an AC charger, USB charging cable, velcro mount set, and a quick-start guide. Also, the mobile app works with both Android and iPhones.

rider with a passenger who could take advantage of motorcycle Bluetooth communication systems

Nolan Bluetooth Headsets

Nolan N-COM B1 Communication System

Nolan N-COM B1 Communication System

Another excellent helmet Bluetooth system is the N-COM B1 from Nolan. One thing I really like about this system is that it was designed specifically for use with the Nolan N104/44 and N90/91/103 helmets. This allows you to leave out the guesswork, and get your Bluetooth system up and running quickly.

Now, this system is designed for riders on the same bike, as the max distance helmet to helmet is only about 150 feet. This product is better for the lovebird riders and not the caravan. It can also connect to your phone, mp3 player or GPS, and it’s compatible with all N-Com Bluetooth sets.

Check out this walkthrough from the folks at Nolan to see exactly how to install your B1 System.

Nolan B5 Bluetooth Communication System

Nolan B5 Bluetooth Communication System

Another impressive system from Nolan, the B5 Bluetooth system was made to be compatible with their N104EVO, N104, N44, N40 full and N40 helmets. The B5, like the B1, can connect with up to 6 other Nolan Bluetooth systems, but can also connect to up to two phones, all simultaneously! There is an available cable for connecting with mp3 devices and has an FM radio available. Now you can listen to your favorite tunes or catch the game while you’re out for a ride.

The N-COM app, available for both Apple and Android users, allows you to use your smartphone as a remote control for the B5 system. Additionally, you can also manage the whole system on your PC. Also, with the holidays coming up, it’s worth mentioning that this unit can be found on sale right now. It just goes to show that you can save money and buy a quality Bluetooth headset without having to fork over an arm and a leg.

parked motorcycles without riders on a gorgeous day

Share the Road with Bluetooth Communication Systems

So that’s it! These are some of our favorites at TMS Parts. 

We all like to think of ourselves as a bit of an outlaw, but you have to admit the best things in life are worth sharing, and that includes hitting the open road on your motorcycle. With the quality of in-helmet Bluetooth systems and the savings you can find out there, there’s no reason your rides need to be a solitary experience. So get a Bluetooth system for yourself and your friends or loved ones, because what’s an outlaw without a partner in crime?

motorcycle riders taking a selfie with their helmets on

Heated Motorcycle Gear Every Winter Rider Should Own

When you're riding in the mountains like these folks, you want the proper heated motorcycle gear.Stay Warm with Heated Motorcycle Gear When You’re Riding in the Cold

One of the most important parts of riding your motorcycle is practicing safety, and this is especially true in the colder months of the year. The road conditions are getting worse, and the sun setting earlier means you have less visibility when you’re out on the road. Something else you might not have considered is keeping your body warm while you’re riding. This is why we love heated motorcycle gear. 

Take a look at this wind chill chart from the National Weather Service. There you’ll see just how frigid those temperatures can get when you’re out for a ride. If its forty degrees outside, and you’re only riding fifteen miles per hour, you’re feeling a thirty-two-degree wind chill! Brrrrrr!

Higher speeds and lower temperatures can put you at risk for frostbite. This can really put an end to your season. So, why not check out some heated motorcycle gear and stretch your riding as far as you can?

Do you have the proper heated motorcycle gear like this guy does?

State of the Art Heated Motorcycle Apparel From the Ground Up

ThermaCELL Heated Insoles

When it starts to get cold outside, it’s important to cover up to avoid losing body heat. We lose most of our body heat through our hands and feet, so keeping those covered are your safest bet for staying warm. These heated insoles from ThermaCELL are just what you need to retain that body heat and ride comfortably.

The insoles are rechargeable, and the battery can last up to five hours of continuous use on the medium setting.  The total battery life is about 2,500 hours, which is enough to get you through four long winters of some serious riding. The ThermaCELL heated insoles are powered by lithium-ion polymer batteries that are embedded in the soles and can be fully recharged in just four hours.

ThermaCELL heated insoles are wirelessly controlled by remote, water resistant, and can be trimmed to fit almost any shoe size! What’s not to love about heated motorcycle gear that will flex to your needs? Also, if you purchase these insoles you’ll receive a remote control with batteries, a lanyard, drawstring travel bag, a global charger, and an instructional booklet if you need some help getting it set up. 

Firstgear Heated Socks

Firstgear Heated Socks are known for being awesome heated motorcycle gear for winter riders

Now that we’ve got our heated insoles, it’s time to think about layers, so why not take a look at some great heated socks to double down on that foot warmth? We like these ones from Firstgear.

Firstgear knows motorcycles and riders, and they bring the quality you can expect from them when you need heated motorcycle gear for your feet. They’re made from a micro-fleece material that lays flat over your foot and doesn’t bunch up like other heated socks you may have tried. These socks from Firstgear come with a fitted heel so your feet will rest comfortably. They fit inside your boots easily, without bunching up, and with wires that lay flat. You’re not going to feel anything other than the heat encompassing your toes and keeping them warm.

These socks are also wireless and come in five different sizes so you can find the pair that fits you the best. They have a two-year limited warranty so you can buy these knowing you’re going to receive a quality product.

Additional Heated Winter Riding Gear To Keep You Stylish

Firstgear Heated Windblock Pants

Firstgear Heated Windblock Pants are known to keep winter riders comfortable throughout the season

When you wear heated motorcycle gear in the winter you don’t have to compromise your unique style. With products like these excellent heated windblock pants from Firstgear, you might not even realize you have them on. They fit comfortably and they are formfitting so you can wear your favorite riding pants or chaps right over them. There is no need to choose between style and warmth when you can have both!

The windblock pants are designed with special wind-blocking front panels that protect your legs from the elements. Wear these while you’re cruising and keep in mind that they can be used in conjunction with Firstgear’s heatrollers. This allows for full temperature control in the frozen winter weather.

Heated Gloves To Fit Any Riding Style

Firstgear Heated Carbon Gloves

Firstgear makes some amazing heated motorcycle gear like these gloves.

Here’s more Firstgear heated motorcycle gear to keep you toasty this season. This time we’re talking about heated gloves! Firstgear’s 12v heated gloves are made with Grade-A, top-grain, drum-dyed cowhide construction that has a waterproof membrane. This ensures your hands will stay warm and dry while that cool winter wind is whipping by.

These high-quality gloves are made with carbon fiber protection on molded knuckles. They come with pre-curved fingers to help you grip your handlebars and a rubber face shield wiper mounted on the finger. This is so you can keep your vision at 100% at all times. Once again this product comes with a two-year warranty to give you peace of mind when you’re making that purchase for yourself or someone else this holiday season.

Firstgear Heated Glove Liners

Firstgear Heated Glove Liners are the heated motorcycle gear you want this winter.

Now maybe you already own a pair of motorcycle gloves that you love, but they don’t keep you as warm as you would like to be. Well, there’s no reason you have to spring for new heated gloves when you can buy these great glove liners. The Firstgear Heated Glove Liners are made from a composite of poly for strength and spandex to fit your hands perfectly. Their thin material will easily slip into most non-heated winter riding gloves you already have, but will still keep your fingers warm, even as they’re being beaten with that wind chill.

These glove liners can plug into your jacket liner if you’re using one. If you would like to wear them independently, they will require a DC Coax Y-Harness Plug that is sold separately.  Also, and I’m sure you’ve come to expect by now, they come with a two-year warranty. 

Keeping Your Core Warm with a Battery Heated Vest

Now that we’ve got our extremities covered with a variety of different liners, and heated pieces of motorcycle riding gear, it’s time to take care of your core.  Let’s talk about a heated vest to stave off that frosty weather and keep on riding.

Venture’s 12V Hybrid Soft Shell Heated Vest

Something really great about Venture’s Heated Vest is that it is designed to keep you warm even when you’re riding a small to medium sized bike, sled, ATV, or any other older vehicle with limited power. While it only draws 1.5 amps of power, it is enough to heat all four panels inside the vest. These panels are on the collar, on both sides of your chest, and on your back. It is made from wind and water resistant material that assures you will be warm and dry while you’re getting in those winter-time expeditions. The vest comes in seven different sizes so you can find one to fit anyone on your gift list!

Using your Electrical System for Heated Clothing

Now, most of these products are designed to be used with a heat roller, which is a remote that you use to adjust heat levels in all of your devices. The heat roller conveniently connects to your bike or sled’s battery. There is no need to lug around an external power source with you because you already have everything you need to get up and running.

While you already have your power supply, you will still need to find a reliable heat roller to use, and I would suggest either a single control heat roller or a double control heat roller from Firstgear. As you already know, both come with limited lifetime warranties. Also, there’s no need to have someone else install your heat rollers for you. Just watch this step-by-step installation guide from the masters at Firstgear.

Wrapping Things Up and Keeping Warm With Heated Motorcycle Gear

Talking a lot about great heated motorcycle gear today makes us want to suit up and hit the open, wintery roads. Of course, we need to check that we’re all charged up and ready to go. Tell us – are you ready to get your winter ride on? 

TMS Parts’ Buyer Guide Series: What to Ask When Buying a Used Bike

What do you look for in used bikes? Perhaps something like this red and black beauty.

What to Look For Before You Buy a Used Bike

In a perfect world, motorcycle enthusiasts everywhere could have all the brand new or vintage bikes they dream of. However, many of us aren’t financially able to buy a brand new motorcycle; so instead, we often shop around for a quality used bike that we can work on and fix up. 

As you begin your search for a used bike, make sure to do your homework before you purchase any second-hand motorcycle. In order to make a well-rounded, informed choice, you definitely need to have an idea of what kind of bike you’re looking for and where you’re planning to buy your pre-owned bike. 

Man in all black riding a used bike that he fixed up.

First, Know What You Want in a Used Bike

Before you even begin your search, take a step back and figure out what type of used motorcycle you want to buy. Is there a specific bike make and model you want? Are you looking for something you can ride for long extended periods or one that’s more for show? Is there a specific brand you gravitate towards? What about the mileage? Are you looking for something that is under or over a specific mileage? Are you looking for a project with a donor used bike?

It’s easy as a shopper to focus on just the price when you first start looking, but a cheap bike may not give you what you want or need. When you have a better idea of what you’re looking for in a used bike, and what your goals as a rider are, you’ll know where to do the looking. 

Do Your Research Before Investing in a Used Bike

Know your budget and do your research! Research the kind of used bike that will best meet your needs, and understand the likely price-range you’ll be facing for it. This way, you’ll have a rough estimate of what you’ll be paying when you find your ideal pre-owned bike. “Only go above [your budget] if the bike is truly exceptional or comes with a massive list of useful aftermarket accessories or spares”, notes this site.

glove on top of a motorcycle from someone who was working on their used bike

Have a Used Bike Inspection Checklist

If you’re buying secondhand, the bike is probably not going to be without flaws. But it’s still important to have an idea of what potential problems may come up and how you’re willing to deal with them. Bikeexif has a great checklist for you to use while shopping for a used bike.

guy sitting on a Honda that was a pre-owned bike

The Checklist Broken Down

    1. Look at the bike
    1. Touch and listen
    1. Sit on the bike
  1. The road test

More Questions…

    1. How many miles are on the bike?
    1. What’s been serviced before?
    1. Has it been inspected, and if not, does your seller know if it will pass inspection?
  1. Ask the seller not to start the bike before you look at it.

man replacing a tire on a used bike

Second, Know Who You Want to Buy a Pre-Owned Bike From

The next decision you make will be where you want to purchase the used bike from. Buying from a motorcycle dealership is probably your safest option, but there are perks to buying from a private seller, like someone from Craigslist, as well. Decide what’s best for you.

man handing over the keys to a pre-owned vehicle

Buying a Used Bike from a Dealership

Going with a dealer is a safer bet; “one of the main advantages is that if there are things wrong with the bike, you can get them to agree to sort them out [or alter the price to compensate for the fixes] if you intend to buy”, according to this site. They also point out that you have, “…theoretical legal protection if the bike you have bought turns out to be a complete lemon.” Buying from a dealer will give you consumer protection, as well as, “…access to dealer financing and maybe even a warranty.” 

The downside, they note, is that you’re more likely to pay more for the bike than you would through a private sale. “Motorcycle dealerships make far more money on trade-in bikes than they ever do on selling new machines, as they buy cheap and sell expensive…”, so if the price tag seems a bit too inexpensive in the shop, definitely make sure to ask a lot of questions about the secondhand bike. 

Buying a Used Bike in a Private Sale

Private sales pose a much larger risk for buying a bad used bike and/or getting ripped off. As you would at a motorcycle dealership, it’s still very important to have that checklist ready. Paying attention to the seller themselves is also key; if you can’t trust the seller, or you get a bad vibe, forget it.

Consider asking yourself these questions: Does the seller look like a motorcyclist? Can they answer all your questions about the bike? Do they know the history of the bike? For an initial understanding of the seller, ask the seller why they are selling and if they have a history of making successful purchases or sales before this. This gives you an idea behind their motivation to sell, as well as a peek at any issues the bike may have.

pre-owned bikes can be an excellent investment if you know what to look for, like this beauty here

Third, Make a Well-Rounded Decision

Just because the nearly-new bike looks nice, doesn’t mean that it’s roadworthy. You need to look at the engine, the machine, and the parts before you make your purchase. Otherwise, you might spend just as much to fix the bike as it cost to buy it! If you’re paying an exorbitant amount for the used motorcycle, knowing you’ll have to fix it, it’s just counterproductive. (Unless it’s that rare bike that you’ve been hunting for years and years, but that’s another story.) Be sure you’re considering the price vs the condition of the bike. Does the pricing justify the potential for more fixing?

black used bike at night with the headlight on

Know the risks, do your research, and buy from somewhere (or someone) you trust. If you keep these three things in mind, you’ll be ready to find, and buy, yourself an awesome used bike. Once you find the bike that best fits your needs, you’re good to go.

And, as always, if you need OEM parts, we have you covered.

Happy riding!