Best motorcycle gadgets and accessories | Improve your riding experience

We live in a digital age where we can’t really get by without technology. There are lots of gadgets and accessories on the market now that aim to make your riding experience easier and more enjoyable. Some are aimed to capture our experiences, others are designed to help us find our way, but with so many choices of each, what’s worth considering? We’ve tested and reviewed various accessories to help you choose.

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Sat navs

Let’s face it, pretty much all of us rely on a sat nav to get around these days. If you like to adventure and ride outside of the area that you know well, a sat nav is a great piece of technology to help prevent you from getting lost. But with so many options to choose from, what should you be looking for?

It’s important that the display is clear and concise as you don’t want to be distracted from the road. Also consider if you require bluetooth connectivity for audio to an intercom system. Ultimately the choice will come down to your particular requirement of features but we have tested and reviewed some motorcycle sat navs to help you to decide.

Price: £349.00 (£499.00)
Tested by Justin Hayzelden

"I upgraded to the Rider 550 with the primary intention of navigating my own custom routes and logging where I’ve been - and for that it works very well indeed. The unit itself is well designed and rugged (proven through my own butterfingered drop testing) and comes with an easy to install RAM mount. Thanks to the fused holder you can run power straight form the battery, making wiring it up a cinch.

"The display is a delight to behold, showing information clearly, and the menu is intuitive. Built in wifi makes map updates simple and the connectivity means that routes you create on your smart phone or desktop via the TomTom apps are easily accessible. Bluetooth connectivity allows connection of phone and intercom, and it can be used to control both music and calls. Where it does fall down is on location accuracy from postcodes and you can often end up a street away from your intended destination."

Read our full TomTom Rider 550 review

Pros

  • Purchase price covers updates
  • Packed with features

Cons

  • Postcode accuracy
  • Ease of use
    5.0
  • Accuracy
    4.0
  • Looks
    5.0
  • Installation
    5.0
  • Overall
    5.0
Battery Rechargeable Lithium Ion
Screen 11 cm (4.3") touchscreen
Internal memory 16 GB
Card slot microSD
Waterproofing IPX7 - protects against any wet-weather conditions
  • Curated routes
  • Speed camera alerts
  • Average speed camera function
  • Lifetime updates
  • Pre-installed POI
  • Winding and hilly roads routing feature
  • Live traffic via MyDrive app
  • RAM mount included
  • Carry case included
  • Quad core processor
  • Bluetooth handsfree calling

If you are looking for something less loaded with features and more discreet, perhaps if you ride a vintage or retro styled motorcycle, then something like the Beeline Moto II might be more your style.

Tested by Ben Clarke for one month and 500 miles

"If you regard the Beeline Moto II as an updated version of the original, it’s a 5-star product all day long. Unfortunately, it’s the extra bits the firm have added that have earned it a 4-star rating overall.

"I absolutely love this product and I will be using it long after I’ve finished reviewing it – just as I did the original. As a subtle reminder of the route that doesn’t intrude on your bike’s aesthetic or the riding experience, it’s hard to fault it.

"And improvements in the map display and layout alone make the new model a worthwhile investment. On top of that, the new button design, LED indicator USB-C charge port and longer battery life are all marked improvements from before."

Read our full Beeline Moto II review

Pros

  • Sleek and minimal design
  • Simple interface that’s easy to use
  • Flashing light to prompt rider turn is coming up
  • 3D map in display instead of symbols
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Relies on smartphone connection
  • Still not as clear to follow as a full sat nav
  • ‘Fun’ routes need work
  • Ease of use
    5.0
  • Screen quality
    4.0
  • Looks
    5.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    5.0
  • Verdict
    4.0
Weight 42g
Screen area 1064sqmm
Resolution 412x412
Battery 600 mAh
Waterproofing IP67
  • Smartphone app
  • LED indicator
  • IPS TFT, anti-glare, hydrophobic display
  • New advanced turn-by-turn navigation
  • Easy fitment

Another option that is very popular is to use a smartphone mount to fix your phone to the front of your bike and use an app for navigation instead. Quadlock are currently considered the best in this field, offering various options of mounting points, vibration dampeners to avoid damage to the internals of your smartphone and wireless charging options.

Tried and tested by Gareth Evans for eight months and 3,200 miles

"Quad Lock say they’ve worked stringently to “understand, design, develop and then test a Vibration Dampening solution that gives riders complete confidence in mounting all new model smartphones to any motorcycle.” That manifests itself in a trio of silicone grommets said to eliminate more than 90% of high-frequency vibrations caused by our bikes. Not bad going for something that costs £15.95."

"Despite its name, you do actually need to wire this into the bike as it needs power via a USB-C socket. I’d installed a Triumph USB connection under the seat, threaded a cable through the frame and up into the back of the charger, securing it with a cable tie. Once that’s done, you don’t need to worry anymore about the wiring. Simply twist the phone case onto the charger using the Quad Lock 45-degree fitment and when it snaps into position with the ignition on, your phone starts to charge – if it supports wireless charging. I’ve now perfected using the fitment with one gloved hand, making this system seriously simple to use."

"You just push the outside of the charger in with your fingers and rotate the phone case until it clicks. It’s all installed with the Allen key provided, and you can choose between portrait or landscape orientation. I’m looking at the firm’s desk chargers and a mount for in-car use too. It’s that very fact that represents my only real negative comment here – costs can quickly rack up if you’re not careful."

Pros

  • It's easy to fit and use
  • It works exactly as it should
  • Gives you peace of mind

Cons

  • Can end up expensive with additional accessories
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    4.0
Charging 5W, 7.5W & 10W charging
Waterproof Yes to IP66
Type Phone mount charger
  • Dual stage lock design
  • Minimum recommended input 5V/2A USB-A port
  • LED status indication light
  • Phone can be mounted portrait or landscape

Intercoms

If you are not the sort of rider than thrives on the solitude of the silence that a helmet can bring, then you may be looking to get yourself a motorcycle intercom unit to keep yourself connected to your smartphone. Intercoms allow you to listen to music, hear navigation directions and communicate with others in your riding group.

Some intercom units are universal to fit most helmets, and others are a specific integrated fit for a particular helmet brand. Something to bear in mind is how many riders you may want to connect to as some units are limited are limited to two connection, or four and so on. Check the range too, some units are limited to around 1/2 km while others work up to almost 2 km.

Find the latest intercom from Cardo with the Packtalk Pro review

Price: £226.20 (was £333.00)
Tested by Richard Newland for 3 months and 3,100 miles


"There are some primary ‘must-haves’ for me when it comes to intercom units: The sound must be clear and loud (I wear earplugs); the buttons must be chunky; it must be intuitive to set up and use; and it must have a decent battery life. Audio integrity and button pressability aside, ease of use and battery are key for me, because I’m not an overly eager intercom user.

"But when I do actively use it – as opposed to it simply being ‘on’ in case someone rings – the 50R is impressive. I’ve previously used a Cardo Packtalk Bold, and I’d say the Sena is (marginally) the easier to use, and certainly better in the button department, while the Cardo’s JBL speakers do boast cleaner audio.

"In terms of functionality, it does everything from voice commands to app support, is Bluetooth 5 and Mesh 2.0 enabled, charges in just an hour, boasts an FM radio, and supports multi-bike Mesh intercom at up to 1.2 miles. Battery life is superb and the unit itself is compact enough not to feel like you’ve glued a brick to your helmet."

Pros

  • Simple to set up
  • Easy to use
  • Loud and clear audio quality

Cons

  • People can ring you when you're riding...
  • Ease of installation
    5.0
  • Sound quality
    4.0
  • Ease of use
    5.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    5.0
  • Overall
    5.0
Dimensions 97mm x 48mm x 27mm
Weight 65g
Speakers Harman and Kardon
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0 and Mesh
Range 1.2 miles
Battery life 13 hours
Charge time 2.5 hours
  • FM radio
  • Noise cancellation
  • Mesh connection to 8 other riders
  • Hands free operation
Price: £174.99 (was £243)
Tested by Jim Blackstock

"Installing the Freecom 4X is straightforward. It fits universally on almost any helmet, and the controls, although small, are easy to use even with gloved hands. The thumb wheel is convenient for adjusting volume, though skipping tracks requires remembering button combinations. However, the voice control system simplifies this, allowing you to execute commands like "Music on/off," "Next/previous track," and "Answer/Ignore/End call" by simply speaking.

"The voice control system is reliable, responding accurately to pre-programmed phrases. Occasionally, it might confuse commands, such as turning the radio on instead of music, but these instances are rare. Pairing the headset with Cardo’s smartphone app allows you to tailor settings and preset speed-dial numbers, enhancing usability.

"The Freecom 4X boasts excellent sound quality, thanks to its 40mm JBL speakers. The bass is deep, the mid-range is clear, and the top-end is precise, providing a superb audio experience across various music genres. The call quality is also excellent, ensuring clear communication at both ends.

"The battery life is impressive, lasting through entire days of riding without running out. This longevity makes it reliable for long trips where constant connectivity is essential.

"The Cardo Freecom 4X is an exceptional Bluetooth headset for motorcyclists, offering excellent sound quality, reliable voice control, and easy connectivity to smartphones and sat-navs. Its ability to function as an intercom is a bonus, and the availability of a second-helmet kit adds to its versatility. Overall, it is a highly recommended device for riders seeking a comprehensive communication and entertainment solution."

Read our full Cardo Freecom 4X headset review

Pros

  • Exceptional sound quality
  • Reliable voice control
  • Availability of second-helmet kit

Cons

  • Can only connect to network of four devices
  • Ease of installation
    5.0
  • Sound quality
    5.0
  • Ease of use
    4.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    5.0
  • Overall
    5.0
Dimensions 48 mm x 78 mm x 20mm
Weight 37 g
Speakers 40 mm
Connectivity Bluetooth, live intercom
Range 3.6 km / 2.2 miles
Battery life 13 hours
Charge time 2 hours
  • Natural voice operation
  • Sound by JBL
  • Live Bluetooth
  • Connects up to 4 riders
  • Over the Air software updates
  • 2 year warranty
  • Connects with any other brand

Action cameras

In this day and age, social media is a huge influence and more and more people are recording their rides to post online or simply as a second pair of eyes should there be an incident. Most action cameras record in 4K resolution but the Insta360 X4 now records in 8K.

Tried and tested by MCN's videographer Joseph Wright

"Being MCN’s in house videographer, I’ve been excited about the arrival of the X4 since I spoke to the Insta360 team at the Eicma trade show in Milan, late last year. I started filming family holidays with action cameras on early GoPros, way before we had 360-degree vision"

"I already use the current X3 design when producing MCN videos and have had the X4 under embargo around two weeks. Comparing them back to back on my Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 long term test bike, I was actually a little disappointed at first."

"The extra weight to accommodate the batteries can make it feel slightly bulky and awkward on your helmet, with the batteries now different from the old model. This means you can’t carry them over from the old one, if you’ve already got a decent stock. However, in the filming it’s really impressive and feels like they’ve set a new bar for action cams – especially if you’re an experienced videographer making content for YouTube and social media."

"The re-framing is especially good, thanks to the 8K resolution, and it captures a true sense of speed when you’re riding. The user interface was already good on the X3, so didn’t need much in the way of updating, but the workflow they’ve launched for editing afterwards is now really good, too."

Pros

  • High-resolution recording
  • 360-degree coverage
  • Improved battery life
  • Enhanced stability
  • Robust and water-resistant build
  • Versatile frame rates and resolutions
  • Improved user interface and editing workflow

Cons

  • Increased weight
  • Increased cost
  • Limited compatibility with existing accessories
  • Bulkier than before
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    5.0
  • Video quality
    5.0
  • Ease of use
    4.0
Video resolution 8k
Battery life up to 135 minutes recording
Size 17.2 x 15.3 x 6.9 centimetres
Weight 203 Grams
  • Third person recording with invisible selfie stick feature
  • Fast charging
  • Flowrate stabilisation
  • Waterproof to 33ft or 10m
  • Cold resistant to -40 degrees C

Heated grips

If you are someone that feels the cold on those winter rides but don’t want to have to wear chunky gloves you should consider fitting heated grips to your bike. Wired directly into the bikes power circuit, once fitted these are a pretty hassle free alternative to heated gloves.

Tested by Justin Hayzelden for 8 months and 4,600 miles

"The temperatures given by Oxford seem accurate, and the HotGrips are plenty hot enough, keeping my palms warm even when ambient temperatures dropped below zero."

"Oxford’s HotGrips Pro provide effective and consistent heating whatever the conditions. They’re easy to fit, simple to use and look OE, plus the soft silicone grip surface makes them comfortable in use, even when they’re switched off. Performance so far has proved faultless, and, although not the cheapest on the market, I wouldn’t have to think twice about spending my own money on them."

Pros

  • Quick to warm up
  • Three levels of effective heat
  • Easy to fit
  • Factory fitted look
  • Battery saving mode

Cons

  • Not cheap
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    5.0
Heat settings Red
Size Fits 7/8" (22mm) handlebars
Grip length Grip length of 125mm but can be trimmed to 120 or 115mm if required
  • Battery saving modes protects against flat batteries
  • Easy to install with the Hotgrips wiring loom
  • Weatherproof to IP65 standard
  • LED lights automatically dim to reduce distraction when riding at night

Other useful gadgets


Tried and tested by Emma Franklin six months

"I’ve not lubed or adjusted my chain in months. It’s not often you can say that while holding
your head up high! But it’s true. Thanks to the Scottoiler xSystem, my Suzuki GSX-S1000GT might as well have been shaft drive! It’s been a long time since I’ve used a Scottoiler and I have to admit to having flashbacks about complex plumbing, as traditionally the system required vacuum from the bike’s engine in order to work. "

"However, the xSystem is a thoroughly modern unit which comprises a pump, powered by the bike’s 12v circuit, that features 3-axis accelerometers which can detect when and how the bike is being used and distribute oil accordingly. It’s a doddle to install, and set-up is easy. I started with the medium flow-rate (3/5 levels adjusted via buttons on the pump) and only increased it during bad weather. I had to top the 50ml reservoir with the supplied 250ml bottle of oil roughly every 1,000 miles, but other than that, never gave it more than a moment’s thought. No scrubbing, spraying or adjustment. Bliss."

Find how to fit a Scottoiler

Pros

  • Nice and easy to set up
  • Much less effort and maintenance than traditional manual method
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    4.0
Attachment 3M tape
Functionality Automated on and off triggered my motion
Warranty 2 years
  • Easily adjusted flowrate on the reservoir
  • Automatically starts and stops
  • Simple connection direct to the battery
Tried and tested by Dan Sutherland for two months and 1,000 miles

This gives peace of mind when leaving a bike out in a public place. Essentially, it’s a sturdy CNC-machined holder with an aluminium frame and clamp, designed to take an Apple AirTag (sold separately for about £29). After pairing to an iPhone (sorry, Android phone users...), the tag is secured with Torx screws then attached to the bike via a lockable clamp. I then just use my phone’s ‘Find my’ app to reveal a real-time position. However, the clamp itself is very small, so you may struggle to find an attachment point small enough to secure it; I had to attach it to the outside of one particular bike. A larger loop, with more rubber inserts would give more customers a greater chance of mounting it securely.

Pros

  • Easy to use with the Apple Find My app

Cons

  • A larger loop for attaching would be useful
  • I Phone only, not compatible for Android phones
  • Quality
    4.0
  • Value
    4.0
Construction CNC aluminium
Fitting type Four different silicone clamp grip sizes
Type Security
  • Heat resistant holder
  • Designed to be mounted in hidden areas of the motorcycle
  • Lightweight and small
Price: £21.28 (was £24.99)
Tried and tested by Steve Herbert-Mattick

"The simplest thing to say is this works perfectly, charging my phone continuously from within its waterproof housing while I ride. But... it’s designed to fit under the seat and so comes with very short wiring that didn’t reach my CRF250L battery from any suitable mount
point."

"You can buy an optional extension lead so you can mount the socket on or near your ’bars, but I went a different route - cutting the connectors off and grafting on extra wire to make it long enough. Then routing a long USB cable (not included) along the frame up to my ’bar-mounted phone holder. It’s a cleaner installation and an easy enough mod but a pain in the arse all the same, and unlikely to affect road-bike riders with underseat batteries."

Pros

  • It is waterproof
  • It is good value for money
  • Easy enough to use and install for most bikes

Cons

  • The short connection wire means it is tricky on some bikes
  • Quality
    4.0
  • Value
    5.0
Power 12V
Type Charging port
  • Robust construction, suitable for outdoor use
  • Optional adapter included for conversion to US style battery harnesses
  • Suitable for devices such as phones, tablets and sat navs
  • Simple to attach using fitting point provided
Price: £57.95 (was £72.90)
Tested by Emma Franklin for six months

"The OptiMate Lithium 4s optimiser is a charger, conditioner and maintainer that now sits permanently connected to my 2020 Honda Fireblade. In short, it’s an essential purchase for any bike fitted with a LiFePO4 battery. It’s really easy to use too, with no switches or buttons – just plug and play using the included weatherproof permanent cable (it also comes with crocodile connectors)."

"My bike’s battery had been quite seriously discharged at one point, but the OptiMate managed to bring it back from the brink and keep it healthy. It’s priced at the budget end for chargers of this type, but I can’t see why you’d shell out any more on something else when this charger does the lot."

Pros

  • It's really easy to use
  • Great value for money
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Value
    5.0
Weight 800g
Current output 0.8A
Use for LiFePO4 12V batteries from 3Ah to 50Ah
Warranty 3 years
  • Operation temperature range: -20°C / +40°C
  • Cable length 2m
  • O1 Weatherproof Eyelet Lead; O4 Clamp Lead for bench charging included
  • Reverse drain current: Less than 1mA
  • Programme control: Microprocessor, 7 stages, fully automatic

Find the latest in advanced battery care with Oxford Oximiser Pro battery optimiser


How MCN tests gadgets

At MCN, our team of expert journalists have decades of experience gained over hundreds of thousands of miles. We don’t test our jackets to destruction; we use it exactly how you do, in the real world and in all conditions. That means we can deliver impartial buying advice you can rely on.

Each of our writers has an in-depth understanding of the needs of today’s biker… because they are one.

To find out if a gadget is worth spending your money on, our testers use them in the way you will. That means listening to music, making and taking phone calls, using the app and everything else it’s capable of, using sat navs to explore and so on.

If you can’t see a review against an item on this page, it’s because we haven’t tested it yet. These items will only be included if we think they’re important and relevant in the market, and rest assured, we will be working on bringing you a review as soon as we’ve done the miles.

To find out more, head to our dedicated page explaining how we test motorcycle products.


What our star ratings mean

When we review a product, we award it a score out of five. In the ratings tab of a given product, you may also find more specific scores for the different aspects of a product’s performance to help you make an informed decision. Here’s a guide to what each number score means:

  • 1 star – Poor performance in this category or overall. A product with a single star rating has fallen below the expected standard and should be avoided.
  • 2 stars – Basic performance in this area or overall. A product with a two-star rating has managed to perform to a barely acceptable level and there is room for improvement.
  • 3 stars – An average performance in this area or overall. A product with a three-star rating has achieved a basic level of performance and is deemed adequate.
  • 4 stars – A product has performed over and above the accepted averaged in this category or overall. A product with a four-star rating has surpassed expectation and delivered in a particularly impressive way.
  • 5 stars – A product has performed at the highest possible level in a particular category or overall. A product with a five-star rating has delivered to the highest possible level, impressing the tester with its performance. We would happily spend our own money on it.

- Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us.