The Dennis Kirk Blog
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As we near 20 years into the 21st century, it feels like the future is finally here. Touch screens are everywhere, Bluetooth is standard, voice controls can manage your entire home. Things look a lot different than they did 20 years ago. Unfortunately, too little of this wonderful tech seems to be appearing on our motorcycles. Too many stock motorcycles come bare, devoid of all of the wonderful tech that we’ve come to possess. But, just because the manufacturer doesn’t want to load down your bike with all of the latest tech, doesn’t mean that you can’t do it yourself. We’ve gone out and found all of our favorite additions to your motorcycle’s handlebars and dash. Welcome to the future.
GPS technology has been around for a while, but in recent years the technology has been compacted into a more practical form. Garmin is a perfect example. they’ve taken a GPS and put it in a neat little device that goes by the name of the Montana 680T Handheld Navigator. With a touchscreen display and a digital camera with complete with geo-tagging capabilities, this GPS would work great mounted on the handlebars of your motorcycle.
The most surprising accessory that manufacturers fail to add on are speaker systems. Obviously, they are more common among touring models, but they should be standard across all makes and models. Seeing as they’re not, we’ve had to look for aftermarket options. The best that we have found is the MTX Bluetooth Handlebar Mounted Soundbar. This Bluetooth speaker is capable of producing 113 dB with its two full range speakers and four tweeters. The speaker mounts right on to your handlebars and is weather-resistant.
Mountable cameras are another favorite of ours, and there is no camera more impressive than the Garmin VIRB 360 Action Camera. This camera produces a 360 degree image complete with all the bells and whistles that you would expect with such a high tech piece of machinery. It has three stabilization modes, has a barometer, accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass. Other cool features include the real time viewing that is possible through the app, and the option to live-stream to Facebook and YouTube. This camera is a perfect example of just how far technology has come, and it’s all packed into a camera the size of your fist that mounts easily on your handlebars.
Maybe you don’t think that cup holders really fit the bill of “high tech”. But what would you say about a self-leveling motorcycle cup holder; a cup holder like that will keep your coffee upright through the sharp turns and hard leans? My oh my, how far we have come.
Hot take: Analog is still the classiest option among time keeping devices. We’d recommend a grandfather clock if we thought it would fit on your handlebars, but this handlebar-mounted clock by Drag Specialties will have to do.
It’s worth pointing out that most of the gadgets we’ve brought up could be replaced by your phone. (not the cup holder, obviously.) If you’re looking to function on a budget, buy yourself a phone mount for your handlebars, and let your phone do everything that it was made to do.
Of course, if you are going to be mounting your phone on your motorcycle, then you’ll likely want a charger mounted as well. Koso North America makes USB adapters that are easily installed on your handlebars. With minimal cost and installation effort, you’ll never get the “10% battery” notification again.
Well, there you have it. Everything you need to bring your bike up to speed with the 21st century. We’ve brought out parts that will help you avoid getting lost, avoid getting bored, and avoid spilling your drink. Though, these devices won’t be doing you any favors if you fidget with them while driving. Tinkering with your phone, GPS, or soundbar while driving is never a good idea. That’s our whole safety spiel, we’ll stop there; we’re not your mother. So be smart, and enjoy your new mountable electronics! If you have any questions or tips for your fellow riders, leave them in the comments below.
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