The New Bike

By: Old AlJan 21, 2020

Ahh, the new bike, another investment in your happiness. All the new electronics to learn and the new bike sounds. You just picked up your new toy and as you sit in the shop with a beverage you hear the snap, crackle, and popping sounds of that new ride cooling down.

So there you are, sitting on the bench, stool, or lawn chair surveying the new beast. Making mental notes of the things you’ll remove, add, or replace.

The next days ride reveals clues about the direction this ride will take. Tank bag – possibly.  Remove all the factory stickers – definitely.  Start the list of goodies – check.

No matter the type of bike; cruiser, tourer, commuter, adventure, or just a little hot rod to burn up the neighborhood, it starts to take shape. Surfing the web for ideas and accessories. So what do you absolutely need?  That depends on the bike. 

Adventure bikes can always use some upgrades, weather it be hand guards, skid plate, luggage, etc, there is always more money to spend.  Touring bikes seem to have it all but you still find products to make it yours. 

Commuters seem to get the most practical add-ons, form follows function here.

That leaves the hot rod: better hang on tight to you cash and cards.  These are the money pits of motorcycles. I don’t care how hard you try  to be frugal and not get carried away, you most assuredly will.  Some additions even make sense.  You start by adding the necessary stuff like a center stand, if needed.  Then there are so many lighting options, smaller, brighter, flashing, etc.  Don’t forget the big spender: after market exhaust.  These are the bikes that get all the farkling, you’ll find yourself buying things you never dreamed of before (think LED lighting for the motor, air scoops, ground lights).

Depending on personal preference somethings will cross genre.  Hand guards on a hot rod are a given but there is so much more to improve the look and ride.

I have a simple rule of thumb for this pricey accessory venture, start at 10% of the purchase price and don’t be surprised if you double it.  Just make sure you leave money enough for gas and maintenance so you can actually enjoy it.

I’ve always said “I’ve never had a motorcycle that saved me money”.  This fact has already proven to be true as you already bought the new toy when the family sedan was perfectly fine.

So now that it’s too late, get out and enjoy your toy.

Old Al
It’s pretty odd how I came into motorcycles as my father couldn’t stand them.  But as life moves on, things change. Now here I am, still riding. It’s been a long road, 55 years riding and 116 bikes later, and now writing a column for this site. What a long strange trip it’s been.