It’s getting close. You know what I mean – that holiday or birthday you know is coming, and you’ve been procrastinating on getting a gift for your favorite rider. Never fear! I’m here to help! Here’s my list of Top 10 Last-Minute Gift Suggestions for the motorcyclist in your life. Good all year ’round!
10. You don’t wear long johns any more, you wear a base layer. If you live in a temperate zone (i.e. it’s not freezing-ass cold outside all winter), check out the LDComfort Riding Tights for men and for women. Order directly from LDComfort for $64 each; if you ride every day, I recommend purchasing two so whichever one you’re not wearing today can air out. These really are great year-round and I’ve used mine in hot summer riding. The shorts are better for summer, of course, but the tights aren’t bad. They are, however, fantastic for cooler weather.
If your rider is more into traditional insulating layers for cold weather riding, check out the Devil Track Fleece Pants from Duluth Trading for $49.50. They list these under men’s and don’t seem to have a women’s version, so if your rider is a woman maybe write them a letter and tell them to get with the 21st century already.
9. It would be easy to fill this list with books because you can get them in just a few days through a certain “A to Z” online retailer, but I’m going to limit myself to just one book – Why We Ride by Mark Barnes. Not only has Mark been a guest on Chasing the Horizon, but he’s an incredibly experienced rider and an excellent writer. Currently $25 for a paper version and $19 for the Kindle version and worth every penny. My copy is dog-eared and well loved! Any rider will find lots to enjoy and remember in this book.
8. If your rider (or passenger) is a woman, you owe it to her to get a pair of wrist warmers from DWA Pickle. Then throw your gender stereotypes out the window and get a set for your favorite male rider (or passenger) as well. These things are awesome in cool to cold weather, especially if you’re into short-cuff riding gloves. The best thing is for $12 (plus shipping), you can use them off the bike too and add some warmth and comfort to your everyday life. Oh, and creator Siouxzanne Harris was a guest on our sister podcast, 200 Miles Before Breakfast.
7. For the riding (or riding curious) little one in your life, check out Amy Nichols’ Adventures of Rigadoon coloring book. You’ll need to contact Amy through her website, though, so hurry! While you’re at it, get some of her MotoCards while you’re at it, and send those to your friends instead of late Christmas cards. She has more than just BMWs and since they’re blank inside, you can make them good for any occasion!
6. For a quick and easy gift, walk into any Harley-Davidson dealership in the world and buy your rider a T-shirt. They’re sure to have tons of them and every rider (no matter their chosen motorcycle) should have one HD t-shirt.
5. Every rider needs a cover, at least a half-cover like the Nelson-Rigg Defender Extreme Route 1 half cover. Like everything else on this list, this is an unpaid endorsement from yours truly – I have two of these Defender half covers and they are fantastic. Easy to stow and take along with you, as well, for easy use on the road.
4. Maintenance never goes out of style, and while you’ll need to know something about your rider’s bike to do this, an oil change kit makes a great gift. Figure $13-16 each for four quarts of oil plus another $20 for the official oil filter, maybe another $1 or $2 for a crush washer. If you go to your rider’s usual dealer, they should have their bike on file. If in doubt, take a good side-view photo of their bike and show that to the person at the parts counter.
3. Yeah, you could get your rider any of the Long Way episodic docudramas, but isn’t that a little played out this year? Instead, check out a brand-new three-episode adventure-documentary by Louise Rawlins Traynor, who toured Ireland with Celtic Rider. For just $6 you can get all three episodes on Vimeo and enjoy over two and a half hours of riding and amazing scenery. (Also available on Amazon.)
2. OK, stay with me on this one. Get your rider a BeadRider seat cover thingie. Maybe not the greatest cold weather gift (unless it rains a lot where you live), but come summer, this thing will be a butt saver. I’ve been using them for years and … well, they take a little getting used to, but once you’ve ridden a couple thousand miles with one, you won’t even notice it any more. Great air circulation under your butt and keeping water off your skin in poor weather means less monkey butt to deal with – and there is no greater gift than preventing monkey butt. Trust me on that.
1. The gloom and doom crowd keeps saying print is dead, and if you’ve lamented the demise of paper copies of Cycle World, American Iron, Motorcyclist and Rider, you might tend to believe them. I’m here to tell you it’s not over, though, and you can not only treat your rider to a great traditional magazine, but you can support the folks who create these magazines at the same time.
You could also treat them to not only a great magazine, but a membership in what I consider the best motorcycling organization around, the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America. Every traditional membership – $49 for one year, $95 for two – comes with a 12-month subscription to BMW Owners News. Yeah, I know, I write for them so it’s a shameless plug. I can live with that!