You might have thought that motorbike technology was limited to the machines themselves, but you’d be wrong.
High-definition helmet cameras, ready to capture moments on the road, are a popular gadget – but they aren’t the only add-on that has something to offer motorcycle enthusiasts.
From nifty radar detectors to help those heavy on the throttle, to handy apps that help you plan your routes, this article looks at some of the best pieces of tech currently available for motorbike riders.
Known as the mapping, social and safety app for motorcycle riders, EatSleepRIDE is possibly one of the most popular and versatile motorbike apps out there. It allows you to record your ride, replay, save and share the route - so if you’ve ridden a new route that you particularly enjoyed, you can keep it and revisit it whenever you like.
You can also visualise your ride, and track your mileage, speed, lean angle and elevation on a map. The app also features a crash detection system called ‘CrashLight’ which shares your location in the event of an emergency.
EatSleepRIDE also gives you the option to make yourself visible to other nearby riders, and it can share your location so that if you’re already regularly riding with a group, you can find them and they can find you. The app also allows you to locate the best motorcycle-friendly roads nearby, so you don’t miss out on any epic routes.
2) Best Biking Roads
As its name implies, this app is dedicated solely to finding the best biking roads and routes - perfect for any adventure bike rider. Best Biking Roads offers the best routes near your location, and it also displays routes by country, region or text search - allowing you to manually search for a particular place to find the best routes around that chosen area. You can also review existing routes, input your own comments, and add new roads as easily as you discover them.
Similar to EatSleepRIDE, RISER offers a diverse range of features to cover all your biking app needs. This app locates the top roads for bikers near you, and helps you discover new routes to incredible landscapes.
A very social app, RISER can track your trips, share them with your friends, and connect with like-minded people that share your passion for motorcycling. You can also upload photos of your trip to give contacts a more visual experience of your journey. Better yet, this app also offers detailed weather information so you don’t get caught in the rain.
4) Autoist Diary
While a little less fun, Autoist Diary is an incredibly practical tool for all those who like to keep organised. The app helps you manage, organize and keep track of your motorbike’s service expenses and future maintenance needs, such as your MOT. Autoist Diary also allows you to record and keep track of insurance and loan expenses, with timely reminders for any upcoming due payments - making it a very handy app for the absent minded.
The app also allows you to scan and attach important vehicle documents like your license, registration, motorbike insurance papers and more. If you own multiple bikes, the app also allows you to store documents for more than one vehicle - so you can keep all your information in one, easily-accessible place.
Hopefully you will never need to use this app, but it is handy to download in the event of an accident. CRADAR senses when you fall using the accelerometer in your phone to detect the incident and alert an emergency contact. Once the app has sensed the fall, it waits for a period of time before it alerts your contact. Your phone will then begin to ring and vibrate for approximately 30 seconds, and if you haven’t moved at least 8 feet, the app sends a text message to your contact telling them you might be hurt.
The text message also includes a link to Google Maps with your GPS coordinates so your contact knows exactly where you are. This gives them the opportunity to call you to check whether you’re seriously injured and if there’s no response, they can call emergency services right away. This app is a must-have for any biker, and if you do find yourself in an accident, it could be potentially life-saving.
6) Radar Detectors
For those who are little too heavy on the throttle, a radar detector is a must-have. In general, radar detectors identify radar devices like speed cameras and speed guns based on the radio waves they emit. While there are many types of radar detector available, some work better than others. For example, the Adaptiv Technologies TPX 2.0 radar detector is specifically designed for motorcycles and is water, shock, and vibration resistant. It sends you audio and visual alerts when the device has detected a radar or laser band, and features large control buttons which are easy to operate even with gloves on.
Pieces of tech like this are easily transferable from bike to bike, and because of this, it should not affect the insurance. Insurance costs are only affected if you’ve made permanent modifications to the bike. Even then, insurers will have to take into consideration whether these modifications increase the value of the bike and/or chance of theft. So as long as you keep in mind which pieces of tech are easily transferable, your insurance won’t be affected.
7) High-definition helmet cams
Similar to a dashcam for a car, helmet cams can capture moments on the road, but from a first-person perspective so you can re-experience the ride. GoPros in particular are a good choice due to their wide, fish eye lense and ability to record in high-definition - they’re especially great for scenic rides.
Whether you want to analyse the footage to improve your rider performance, relive awesome moments again and again, or catch evidence of a reckless driver, there are many benefits of using a helmet cam.
8) Helmet Sound Systems
Listening to music in a car is easy, thanks to built-in radios, auxiliary inputs, and wireless connections - but the same cannot be said for a motorcycle. While this can be a good thing for safety reasons, it’s not much fun.
There are motorcycle helmets available with built-in speakers, which operate via Bluetooth to allow you to listen to music while riding. But if you already have an awesome helmet that you don’t want to trade in, there’s a high-tech tag on the market right now that’s designed to attach to the back of your helmet, in order to transform it into a sound system.
Known as ‘Headwave’, the tag creates surround sound by using the helmet’s shell as a soundboard. It includes Bluetooth so you can connect it with whichever device you usually use to listen to music, and an internal battery that lasts between 6 and 8 hours.
9) Touchscreen motorcycle gloves
If you’ve ever tried using your smartphone with motorcycle gloves on, you’ll know how difficult it is. Luckily, there are plenty of gloves available that are specially designed for bikers and allow you to use your touch-screen device. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of buying brand new motorcycle gloves because the ones you own are perfectly fine, there are textured stickers available which you can simply attach to your gloves.
By connecting these stickers to the fingertips of your gloves, you’re able to use your smartphone, satnav and other touch-screen devices without having to remove your gloves.
10) Blackout visors
It’s a sunny day and you’ve opted for your tinted visor, just to find yourself unexpectedly riding through a dark tunnel and not being able to see anything. Many bikers who like to wear tinted visors for day-riding often carry around a second visor that’s clear in case the weather changes or night falls. But thanks to new, innovative technology, this problem has been solved.
Ami Power Sports created and developed a visor that changes tint at one click of a button. The visor uses ‘proprietary dyes in a liquid crystal host’ to instantly change tint when voltage is applied. So rather than having to pull over and awkwardly swap your visor, all you have to do is click a button and your visor will instantly switch from clear to dark and vice versa.
While these are only a few of the high-tech gadgets and handy apps out there for motorcycle riders, there are plenty more to try out. Any one of them can make your riding experience even more enjoyable and more importantly, safe.