The BEST motorcycle products of 2020

Good gifts for motorcyclists best products 2020_THUMB3

 

If you’re looking for the best bike kit, from gloves and jeans to an action camera, sat-nav or intercom, it can be hard to find anything that's truly honest on the internet. So I’ve brought together some of the best products I’ve used in 2020, taking our totally unbiased and in-depth tests to bring you the kit I’d truly recommend... And to sweeten it even more, Bennetts Rewards has teamed up with some of the manufacturers and importers to offer some exclusive competitions and discounts!

 

Quick links to the best motorcycle kit of 2020

Twisty-route finding app | Free to £59.99
Bike phone mount | Around £89.99
Motorcycle jeans | From £159.99
Sat-nav | Around £300
Adventurous & stylish navigation| £149
Bluetooth intercom | From £100
Heated clothing | From £70
Summer gloves | From £39.99
Tools | From £30
Dash-cam | From £170
Security kit | From £39.99
Battery charger | From £39.99
Action camera | From around £250
Airbag system | From £380

 

Good gifts for motorcyclists best products 2020_01

 

Best motorcycle kit of 2020: Calimoto

Price: Free to £59.99 | Website: https://calimoto.com/

Link to review: www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial

Without a doubt, Calimoto has changed the way I ride, and has helped me get so much more from my motorcycles. When I have a spare hour or two at the weekend, I quickly set a round trip of 50 to 100-miles and Calimoto generates a route that takes in roads I never knew existed.

The algorithms that find great biking adventures are second to none, but don’t take my word for it – you can download Calimoto for free on your Android device here, or for iOS here. You won’t get access to the very twistiest routes on the free version, but they’re still excellent. You’ll also only have half of the country, but give it a try and I’m sure you’ll be convinced. You can buy it outright for £59.99, or subscribe for £39.99/year to receive the most features.

Bennetts Rewards deal: Win a premium subscription to Calimoto here

 

Good gifts for motorcyclists best products 2020_02

 

Best motorcycle kit of 2020: SP Connect

Price: Galaxy S10 motorcycle Bundle £89.95 | Website: sp-connect.co.uk

Link to review: www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial

While far from cheap, the SP Connect mounting system is incredibly effective, secure and easy to use. Cases are available for a huge range of phones, or you can use a slimline universal bracket that sticks to the back of almost any case.

Mounts are available for the bars, mirrors and steering stem, as well as for the car or bicycle, making this an extremely versatile system (and ideal for using your phone with Calimoto!).

 

Good gifts for motorcyclists best products 2020_03

 

Best motorcycle kit of 2020: Motorcycle jeans

Price: From £159.99 | Website: www.hoodjeans.co.uk

Link to review: www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial

There’s now a huge range of impact- and abrasion-resistant motorcycle jeans available, but my favourites are, without a doubt, the Hoods.
Hood jeans is a husband-and-wife business based in Norfolk, where they design these brilliantly-fitting, CE-approved jeans. Lined with aramid fibre and carrying D3O armour, they give me more confidence than any others I’ve worn, while still looking great and feeling comfortable while walking around off the bike. My wife has a pair too, and it’s the only bike jeans she’s tried that she feels really do look good.

Hood are available in mens and women’s cuts, but whatever brand you choose, check out this advice on buying the best motorcycle jeans.

Bennetts Rewards deal: WIN a pair of Hood K7-AA Infinity jeans

 

Good gifts for motorcyclists best products 2020_04a

 

Best motorcycle kit of 2020: Garmin or TomTom sat-nav

Price: Around £300 | Website: www.garmin.com & www.tomtom.com

Link to review: www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial

With most premium smartphones now being waterproof, and a combination of Calimoto and Google maps covering most of your needs, it’s hard to see the need for a dedicated sat-nav on your motorcycle in 2020.

But, despite screen-compatible gloves, phones are still very hard to use while riding so nothing beats a proper GPS touch-screen. Dedicated sat-navs also tend to give much clearer warnings of speed cameras, be better at finding fuel stops at the touch of a button, don’t interrupt you with calls and pop-up messages, and can be hard-wired to the bike for a much cleaner installation.

TomTom and Garmin users can be fiercely possessive of their favourite brand – while I prefer TomTom, I know many more adventurous riders swear by Garmin, and I’ve yet to try the new range-topping Zumo XT, which has some very impressive features, like satellite image views during navigation, a media hub and weather reports. Whichever you choose, both have some great features that you just won’t find on a phone…

Bennetts Rewards deal: WIN a top-of-the-range Garmin XT

Good gifts for motorcyclists best products 2020_05

 

Best motorcycle kit of 2020: Beeline Moto

Price: £149| Website: beeline.co

Link to review: www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial

Beeline is a great alternative to mounting a sat-nav or phone to your bike, with a brilliantly simple and elegant display. This unique design uses navigation data from an app on your iOS or Android device to give clear, turn-by-turn navigation on the beautifully-designed bar-mounted unit.

But it’s not just about getting to your destination on time; enable compass mode and set a destination, then just pick and choose the roads you fancy exploring as you ride – Beeline will keep pointing the direction you should be heading for some truly adventurous routes on whatever roads you fancy.

Bennetts Rewards deal: WIN a Beeline moto here

Bennetts Rewards deal: Save 10% on Beeline Moto

 

Good gifts for motorcyclists best products 2020_06

 

Best motorcycle kit of 2020: Bluetooth intercom

Price: From around £100| Website: www.cardosystems.com & www.sena.com

Link to review: See below

A Bluetooth intercom can be a great gift for any motorcyclist, and if you travel together, whether on two bikes or as a rider and pillion, being able to talk to each other can make every adventure far more enjoyable.

Sena and Cardo are the market-leaders, with devices such as the Sena 5S (review coming soon) and the Cardo Freecom 1+ (reviewed here) offering good value for money in solidly-built and reliable packages.

For those riding in large groups, Mesh systems are by far the best option, with reviews of Cardo’s Packtalk Black and the Sena 50S showing just how capable these range-topping devices are. When choosing an intercom for group use, you’ll be wise to go with what your friends have, so if you’re buying for someone else, check with their riding mates.

Personally, I love having an intercom simply to be able to listen to music, hear directions from my sat-nav, listen to the radio and to be able to chat to my wife when she’s out with me on a ride. For that, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on the top-spec, though if you are feeling generous, the Cardo Packtalk Black has the best audio quality of any device I’ve used.

While you can get cheaper units from Amazon and eBay, my experience of them hasn’t always been great – I’d recommend buying a decent brand to have the most reliable and trouble-free set-up.

Bennetts Rewards deal: WIN a Sena 50S Twin pack

Bennetts Rewards deal: WIN a Cardo Packtalk Black

 

Good gifts for motorcyclists best products 2020_07

 

Best motorcycle kit of 2020: Heated clothing

Price: From £70| Website: keisapparel.com & www.nevis.uk.com & gerbing.co.uk

Link to review: www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial

Heated kit is great for, let’s face it, 75% of the year in the UK; from heated insoles or socks to gloves, vests and jackets, it can make it far more enjoyable to ride throughout all seasons.

If you’re buying for someone who already has some heated kit, be sure to check that what you’re getting is compatible to reduce the number of wires they need to have on the bike. It’s worth noting though that some kit – like the RST Paragon gloves or the brilliant Furygan Heat Blizzards, which are the most advanced heated gloves on the market – are battery-powered, so compatibility isn’t an issue (though if you do want to wire the Furygan gloves in, the connectors are compatible with the Keis brand).

There are some superb battery-powered heated vests available too, though you’ll typically get a wiring harness to connect them to the bike, with the option of buying the battery separately.  

Of course, you might also want to consider some heated grips – the Oxford Products range is hugely popular, and available at most local dealers (or online).

Bennetts Rewards deal: WIN a pair of Furygan Heat Blizzard gloves

 

Good gifts for motorcyclists best products 2020_08

 

Best motorcycle kit of 2020: Summer gloves

Price: From £39.99| Link to reviews: www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial

We’ve tested a lot of gloves, and there’s a huge choice when it comes to those designed for summer. On sportier bikes, my favourites are the Racer High Speed, though at £189.99, someone’s going to have to have been very good to be treated to them this Christmas. At £99.99, the RST Tractech Evo Rs offer good value for money, but if you’re looking for something with a more retro-vibe, the Furygan James D3O would be my choice.

But one pair of gloves really stood out this year, and it’s thanks to a truly innovative fastening system. The Spidi X-Force gloves retail at £99.99 and are have a short-cuff with great venting, designed for summer use. The cuff strap cleverly draws a zip across the top of the hand, making for a secure wrist restraint – it sounds gimmicky, but everyone who’s seen it loves it. Check out the full review here.

Bennetts Rewards deal: WIN a pair of Spidi X-Force gloves

 

Good gifts for motorcyclists best products 2020_09

 

Best motorcycle kit of 2020: Tools

Price: From £30 | Website: www.halfords.com & abbastands.co.uk

Link to review: www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial

I couldn’t work on my bikes without a decent set of spanners, and if you use the link below you’ll get 10% off at Halfords. The ‘Advanced’ tools really are good, and carry a lifetime guarantee, so from spanners to a complete socket set, these can be a real investment.

Consider a torque wrench too, which can save a fortune in stripped threads or damaged parts. For most work that really needs a torque wrench, the 12-60Nm model is a good bet. Wheel axles tend to be around 110Nm, and while most people will just do these as tight as they can, if the rider in your life is a perfectionist, treat them to the 40-200Nm model as well. Note that 40Nm is above the torque required for a lot on a bike, so the 12-60Nm is definitely the one to go for if they don’t have one at all.

A tool chest is also a great gift – my wife won me one in a Halfords caption competition years ago, and I wouldn’t be without it, but if your lucky recipient has a fully-equipped tool-chest already, and you can afford it, an Abba Skylift is incredible. Far better than a ramp, which gets in the way when not in use, the Skylift packs away quickly, yet can lift any size of bike with ease. I’ve used it for everything from rebuilding my ZX-6R to getting the wheels off a Yamaha Niken. Fitting kits are available for almost every bike on the market.

And finally, of course, make sure they have a Haynes manual for step-by-step guides on every job.

Bennetts Rewards deal: 10% off at Halfords

 

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Best motorcycle kit of 2020: A dash-cam

Price: From £170| Website: techalogic.co.uk & viofouk.co.uk & www.thinkware.com & innovv.co.uk

Link to review: www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial

While not something that Bennetts as a motorcycle insurer is trying to get riders to use, having reviewed the Thinkware M1 recently, from a personal point of view I really do get peace-of-mind from knowing that all my journeys are automatically recorded.

While there aren’t as many to choose from as there are car dash-cams, there’s still plenty of water-proof kit out there, with the Viofo MT1 being notable for its low price given it has a front and rear camera, and a remote GPS antenna. The Innovv K2 is a popular choice, and there’s also the new Techalogic DC1, which is a front and rear-facing helmet cam. I’ll have product reviews of these on Bennetts BikeSocial very soon…

 

Good gifts for motorcyclists best products 2020_11

 

Best motorcycle kit of 2020: Security

Price: From £39.99| Link to reviews: www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial

Our research has shown that even using a basic disc lock can reduce the chances of a bike being stolen by a factor of three, while using a heavy-duty chain and lock can make it less likely to be stolen than a car!

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to secure your bike, and having destruction tested most of the leading products, we’re well placed to tell you what’s worth spending your money on; for the most effective chains, locks and disc-locks check out this link.

There’s huge range of kit to suit every situation and budget, so do take a look, but some of our favourites include the £39.99 Pragmasis Roundlock, the 22mm Oxford Beast, which you’ll often find at less than retail price, and the Biketrac Grab bag and chain. It’s worth noting that Bennetts Rewards members can save between 10% and 20% on products from BikeTrac, Squire, Pragmasis and many more; the best lock in our tests – the 1.2m 22mm Pragmasis chain and roundlock is incredible value at £219.95, but Bennetts Rewards members can buy it for just £197.96.

The BikeTrac grab bag and chain is a superb portable solution as it comes with a bag to strap to the back of almost any bike, meaning you can carry the quality chain and lock anywhere, making for one of the best portable security packages. It costs £149.95, though is available to Bennetts Rewards members with a saving of 20%, making it cost just £119.96. Whatever security you choose, be sure to check the deals available on the Bennetts Rewards site.

Bennetts Rewards deal: WIN a BikeTrac grab bag and chain, plus a ground anchor

Bennetts Rewards deal: WIN a Pragmasis D-lock

Bennetts Rewards deal: Save 10-20% on motorcycle security

 

Good gifts for motorcyclists best products 2020_14

 

Best motorcycle kit of 2020: Chargers

Price: From £39.99 | Website: optimate1.com

Link to reviews: www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial

At just £39.99, the Optimate 1+ is a great value but extremely versatile maintenance charger; it’ll keep any bike with a 12V system ready to go, and is compatible with all battery chemistries, including lithium.

Costing £72.99, the Optimate 4 Dual is one of the company’s most advanced chargers, and can rescue even deep-discharged lead-acid packs. It can also charge BMWs with CANbus through the accessory port (with an optional adaptor, or if you pick up the CANbus edition, that includes the adaptor). We’ve reviewed both of these chargers, and having owned an old Optimate III for more than 15 years, I can vouch for their reliability and build quality.

Another useful tool is the Optimate Test, which gives instant feedback on the state of a bike’s battery and charging system – you can pick these up for around £35, and they can save a lot of hassle (and a lot of money if buying a used bike).

To better understand battery technology, check out our feature here.

Bennetts Rewards deal: WIN an Optimate Test

Bennetts Rewards deal: WIN an Optimate 1+

Bennetts Rewards deal: WIN an Optimate 4 Dual

 

Good gifts for motorcyclists best products 2020_13

 

Best motorcycle kit of 2020: Action cameras

Price: From around £250 | Website: Insta360 and GoPro

Link to review: www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial

While I’m about to start testing some of the more budget action cameras, it’s the GoPro and the Insta360 that I’ve used the most and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend, though there are some things you need to know…

The Insta360 has changed the way I film bikes thanks to it being so easy to position almost anywhere, then choose the exact angle you want in the edit. It’s easy to use and gives truly incredible results, but you have to take care of the lenses – which protrude on either side – and the additional editing steps take a little bit more work than a standard camera.

Which brings us to the GoPro. I haven’t yet used the Hero9, and if you buy it with the subscription bundle (you don’t have to keep paying it after a year), it’s a pretty good price. Below that is the Hero8, but I wouldn’t choose it as the lens cover isn’t replaceable. If you’re looking for great performance and a lower price, consider the Hero7 Black, which is around £250 and thanks to a removable lens cover, mine is still alive after showering it with angle-grinder sparks.

Personally, if you can afford it, I’d go for the Insta360 One R, but check out this in-depth review to fully understand it as it’s not right for everyone. It is very, very cool though!

Bennetts Rewards deal: WIN an Insta 360 One R Twin Edition motorcycle bundle

Bennetts Rewards deal: SAVE 15% on Insta360 One (in addition to any store discounts!)

 

Good gifts for motorcyclists best products 2020_12

 

Best motorcycle kit of 2020: Airbag systems

Price: From around £380 | Link to reviews: www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial

Motorcycle airbag systems have gained huge popularity over the last 12 months, not least thanks to the Helite mechanical and In&Motion electronic systems.

AlpineStars and Dainese have been key players in the development of electronic airbags, and have some excellent devices available, but it’s In&Motion that has changed the playing field thanks to licensing its technology to the likes of Ixon, RST, Furygan and Held for use in their garments.

RST jumps out thanks to selling jackets and leathers complete with the airbag built in for as little as £399.99, while Ixon and Furygan’s stand-alone vests are compatible with pretty much any leather or textile jacket.

Among its range of one-pieces leathers, jackets and textiles is the RST Pro-Series Adventure-X; in my review I said “Without the airbag I’d be singing its praises at £500 thanks to the great build-quality, AA safety rating, brilliant ventilation and overall high spec. But considering it has the airbag built in, it’s outstanding.”

Kit equipped with In&Motion airbags can be recharged by the owner by simply replacing an £89.99 automotive gas canister, but you need to be aware that on top of the cost of buying the kit, you will need to pay a £120/year subscription. Honestly though, I think it’s worth it; you can read my thoughts here.

Most Helite systems use a strap that connects to the bike, firing the airbag the instant a rider is thrown off – it won’t fire by accident if you forget to detach it when you step off, but it triggers very quickly during the forces involved in an accident, firing within a split second of lifting off the saddle, and doesn’t require any charging of batteries to work.

The Helite tethered systems – like the Turtle 2 and GP Air reviewed here – have a relatively high initial cost, but a new inflator costs just £24 and can be replaced quickly and easily, plus there are no subscription costs. The company has also introduced its own electronic system – the E-Turtle, which not only monitors the rider’s body movement; it can also be combined with an optional fork sensor, to attach to the motorcycle.

Bennetts Rewards deal: WIN a Helite Turtle 2 airbag vest

Bennetts Rewards deal: WIN an RST Pro Series Adventure-X airbag jacket

Bennetts Rewards deal: Save 10% on Helite airbag vests