This story was originally published on CycleWorld.com
Let’s face it, we all would prefer to spend our hard-earned cash on gas money and great food, so we’ve come up with a list of items that can make your riding experience a little better for under $40. We’ve included some of our favorite backup plans for hauling stuff on our bikes as well as some items like battery chargers and tank bags that are surprisingly inexpensive.
Digital Tire Pressure Gauge ($10)
TACKLIFE TG01 Digital Tire Pressure Gauge TACKLIFE
A tire pressure gauge is one of the most important tools you can keep around. As you know, tire pressure is the easiest variable to control when it comes to managing the handling capabilities of your motorcycle. This applies to dirt and street, so pay attention. Every owner’s manual states that we should check tire pressure before every ride, but few folks actually follow this golden rule. While we prefer a high-end oil-filled analog gauge, these cheap digital gauges will get you in the ballpark without breaking the bank.
Battery Tender USB Plug ($12)
Battery Tender 081-0158 Black Quick Disconnect Plug with USB Charger. Battery Tender
This handy gadget connects to the quick-disconnect plug of your existing Battery Tender that you already have mounted to your bike’s battery. If you don’t have one already in place, then just know that you should. This handy USB plug makes charging your phone or any other USB-equipped electronic device very easy.
ROK Straps ($15)
ROK Straps ROK-10314 Black 12′ – 42′ Pack ROK Straps
These are the modern version of the bungee net. These multipurpose elastic bands are equipped with a buckle and are rated up to 110 pounds. Sold in pairs, they are an excellent way to expand your bike’s carrying capacity for under 20 bucks.
Muc-Off Visor Cleaning Kit ($16)
Muc-Off 202 Visor/Lens and Google Cleaning Kit Muc-Off
This inexpensive kit comes with its own carry bag to make it easy to transport and convenient to access. A dirty visor or goggles are a real eyesore. They inhibit your ability to read the road ahead and look terrible in your GoPro footage. No matter if it’s bug juice, dust, or ocean mist the Muc-Off cleaner is strong enough to get the job done. The soft cloth helps reduce the chance of scratching your visor gear but it still requires you use your head. It’s important to try to wash the big stuff off with a liberal amount of spray before you start scrubbing on it.
Ram Mount X-Grip ($29)
RAM Mount Universal X-Grip IV Ram Mounts
Phone/GPS mounts are more and more popular these days, so knowing which styles and brands are worth the money is a big deal. The Ram Mount X-Grip ($29) holder has been used to secure laptops in side-by-sides, phones on ADV bikes, and GPS on dual-sports. The design is so simple it doesn’t seem it could possibly work this well, but it does. It’s light, sturdy, and they can hold a device in place through some pretty gnarly conditions.
Nelson-Rigg Compact Backpack ($18)
Nelson-Rigg CB-PK30 Compact Back Pack Nelson-Rigg
This backpack can easily be overlooked because it packs into a pouch that fits in the palm of your hand. It’s lightweight and, although NR says it can handle almost anything you stuff into it, the CB-PK30 may not be optimal for hauling sharp, heavy stuff around the woods. It will however serve the purpose of being stashed somewhere on your bike until the time presents itself to haul extra clothes, groceries, or other important items.
Motion Pro Fill Air Chuck ($31)
Motion Pro Fill Air Chuck Motion Pro
This air chuck has a swivel head that allows you to get to the most difficult-to-reach valve stems when you need to inflate your tires. It adapts to most common air-hose couplings but, unfortunately, it’s not a universal-fit item. This chuck is designed to be part of your shop tool kit. Just about every product from Motion Pro has made life easier for motorcyclists, without question, and we have found this one makes a lot of sense. We are surprised nobody else thought of this before.
Bungee Net ($10)
Powertye 50152 Black 15’X15′ Cargo Net Powertye
At one point in my riding career the bungee net was the single most important piece of equipment I had. There was always at least one strapped across the passenger seat or gas tank just in case I needed to bring a spare helmet, buy groceries or any other number of random reasons. The point is, these are still one of the cheapest, most useful items a motorcycle rider has at their disposal.
NOCO Genius G750 ($40)
NOCO Genius G750 6V/12V .75A UltraSafe Smart Battery Charger NOCO
Battery Tender 021-0123 Junior 12V ($25.50)
Battery Tender 021-0123 Junior 12V, 0.75A Battery Charger Battery Tender
The tried and true Battery Tender lineup has seen some stiff competition from the new NOCO line of battery chargers. The NOCO Genius G750 ($40) is compact and it gets the job done, but it is difficult to move away from the proven Battery Tender Junior ($40) and all of its simplicity.
Strap Mount ($40)
Nelson-Rigg CL-GPS-ST Journey Mate Strap Mount Nelson-Rigg
Basically, this mount is a nifty way to affix all of your data devices to the fuel tank of your motorcycle. It has a place for your GPS, mobile phone, and miscellaneous gadgets intended to make your long ride more enjoyable. With an MSRP under $40, the Journey Mate is available as a magnetic or strap-on version.
There are a bunch of other inexpensive ways to take care of you and your motorcycle so we invite you to leave some feedback, offer up some of your own best bang-for-the-buck products, and maybe we will include them in future lists. Our goal is to help you spend your money wisely as you prepare for your daily commute or your lifelong journey on two wheels.