A few simple accessories can make a world of difference to your motorcycling experience, from ensuring your phone is charged up to keeping your hands lovely and toasty in winter.
One of the things that separates owning a motorbike from a car is the sheer volume of customisation options and accessories available to you.
Some are easy to fit, others take a bit more time, but all of them tailor the riding experience to the way you want it, sometimes making you more comfortable and able to concentrate more fully on the joy of actually riding.
Most accessories only cost a couple of quid and take a few seconds to fit, so what’s stopping you? Here is our pick of the bunch.
Quad Lock Motorcycle Handlebar Mount
Best phone holder
If you use your phone as a sat nav on your motorbike then you'll want a sturdy mount to eliminate any chance of it coming loose. This could be a dangerous distraction or worse, a flying hazard if it falls off. This Quad Lock mount is both simple to use (you just twist your phone on) and rock-solid, although you'll need a specific phone case to make it work. Worth it, we say.
GoGravel B.M.W R1200GS & R1250GS side stand foot enlarger
Best for campers
An accessory that is so simple it is genius, the GoGravel side stand enlarger gives your bike's side stand a larger footprint, spreading its weight and stopping the side stand digging into wet or unsecure ground and causing the bike to topple over.
If you are planning on taking your bike on camping holidays, a side stand enlarger is a must to avoid opening your tent in the morning to see your pride and joy on its side. It requires no specialist tools to fit and is available (or a similar product is available) for a wide range of motorcycles.
Oxford Products OF772 Heated Grips
Best product for commuters
Once you've ridden with heated grips you'll wonder how on earth you ever survived without them. Oxford's Hotgrips have nine heat settings, a neat control panel and a battery saving mode so that should you forget to turn them off yourself, they will automatically switch off and not drain your bike's battery.
Although fitting them does require a degree of mechanical skill as you need to remove the existing hand grips, the instructions are nice and clear and the box contains everything you need to complete the task. A brilliant product that is worth every penny and is also a good safety aid as cold fingers can't work the brake and throttle accurately.
Givi EA106B Easy-Magnet Tank Bag
Best for short trips
Motorcycles are limited in terms of storage space and not everyone wants to ride around with a rucksack on their back, which is where a magnetic tank bag comes in. Simple to fit thanks to its magnets (always check your bike's tank is metal, some are plastic) this bag has a handy six-litres of storage space, a waterproof rain cover, shoulder strap and even a clear-screen section so that you can use your phone as a SatNav while on the go. For day trips away this is the ideal travelling companion.
MOTOPOWER MP0609-UK 3.1Amp Motorcycle USB Charger for Phone
Best accessory for a modern lifestyle
With smartphones playing an ever-more important role in our day-to-day lives the ability to keep them topped up with charge while on the go is incredibly important. A USB charger is a great addition to your bike as it means you can use your phone as a SatNav with confidence that it won't run out of juice just when you are in the middle of nowhere.
Fitting a USB charger is a very simple job and all you need to be careful about is that the routing of the cables doesn't interfere with the bike's steering action at all. This is a real no-brainer bolt-on.
Scottoiler vSystem automatic motorcycle chain lubrication system
Best product for tourers
Remembering to lube your bike's drive chain is a right old drag and if it doesn't have a centre stand (and many bikes don't) it can be a fiddly, messy and time-consuming process.
However if you neglect the lube your chain's life will be dramatically reduced and as well as costing you to replace it, that could see it snapping, stranding you and possibly even causing damage to the bike itself. Scottoiler's automatic lube system is a brilliant product that takes all the strain out of lubing your chain.
Once fitted to the bike it uses a vacuum to control a flow of oil onto the chain, keeping it continually lubed and increasing its life expectancy. The reservoir of oil (which can be refilled) should last approximately 1400 miles and it is a universal fit with Scottoiler supplying model-specific fitment guides. A benchmark product and one that most riders should fit to their bikes – unless you have a shaft drive.
R&G Racing rear shock tube
Best for value
The problem with shock absorbers is that they are located right next to the rear wheel and as a result get covered in mud and dirt. Not only does this increase the potential of rust setting in, it makes the bike look tatty as cleaning a shock's spring is particularly awkward.
A shock cover is a neoprene waterproof cover that zips around your shock, protecting it from the grime and ensuring it is kept nice and clean within. If you can't work out how to fit one of these then you'll probably struggle to do up your own flies.
Ultimateaddons Waterproof Tough IPX5 Case for iPhone
Best phone holder
With smartphones costing a small fortune nowadays, ensuring they are kept safe and sound while you ride is especially important. The Ultimateaddons Tough Case is a brilliant piece of engineering that is waterproof and extremely tough, so you can be assured your phone is in good hands.
The case clips shut around the phone and there are access points for a headphone cable and charge point while the screen is touch-sensitive so you can still use the phone while it is within the case.
Attached to the bike by one of a variety of mounts (which need to be purchased separately) once clipped into the mount the case is held extremely securely in position and can be rotated if you wish.
The important questions
Is it road legal?
Add-ons that alter the position of certain items such as indicators or change the colour of lights etc. may make your bike non-road legal and fail its MOT, so check before you buy.
Do I need to inform my insurance company?
Insurance companies may need to know if you have altered your bike’s physical appearance or performance, so check before you buy. An alarm may reduce your premium however a loud exhaust pipe may increase it slightly.
Will it fit?
Ensure the product will fit your specific make and model of bike. Just because it fits one year of bike doesn’t necessarily mean it will fit all of them as there are often huge variations between motorcycle updates.
Can I fit it?
Some accessories require a specialist to fit them. If you are in doubt, don’t risk it, pay a professional instead.