No Time to Die
As I am quietly checking the map, sitting on my motorbike on a gravel spot, I hear a huge screech of tires…Read More
The end of the year holidays are approaching and it will be time to find the perfect gift for our biker friends or just what to add to our Wishlist.
In this article, we list our 10 favorite gift ideas for bikers. There will be something for all budgets and for all desires (or almost): technology, textiles, culture, etc. And to simplify your task, we will structure them by price range. So… take your pen and we hope you like our suggestions!
Ride on !
“It’s not hard to travel around the world today, just pull out your wallet and fly without stopping for just under forty-eight hours. But to know it, smell it, feel it under your feet, you have to crawl. There is no other way. You should neither fly nor navigate, but stick to the ground and suffer all the pitfalls. Only then is the world immense. […] I was aiming for total independence and wanted to travel as Linvingston or Christopher Columbus did, as if anything could happen, nothing was predictable. It was going to be the trip of my life, the one that millions of people dream of and never take, and I wanted to live up to those dreams. ”
In these special times, when a new normality is taking hold and borders are opening and closing, depending on government decisions, the fact remains that the biker has a visceral need for freedom and wide open spaces. So what’s better than a book to get away from it all, when the bike can’t get out of the garage?Travel literature abounds and many travel accounts have been published. But Ted Simon is one of those writers-journalists, just like Nicolas Bouvier (L’usage du monde), Anne-France Dautheville (And I followed the wind) who are carved in a particular wood and who were molded by the road, at a time when there was no assistance, no satellite phone, or even GPS.
This is what its author says. “It’s a story of travel and adventure in every dimension and most of those who have traveled the world after reading it haven’t even considered ever getting on a motorcycle. […] It was not a very vague idea or wish, rather a strong conviction. I knew the instant that this desire occurred to me that it would come true and how I would achieve it. But I couldn’t say why I immediately thought of the motorcycle. I didn’t own one, I didn’t even have the license. ”
It shows you a little what the guy is made of. He started off in 1973, riding a Triumph Tiger Hundred 500 (that started to lose oil the minute he left the factory), and traveled finally 125,000km crossing 46 countries, through Africa (from north to south), Latin America then North, New Zealand, Australia, South-East Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
In short, this book will allow you to escape in the comfort of your living room and will awaken, who knows, the adventurous instinct that lies dormant in you!
You are more into movies? Have a look at our top 10 list of movies about motorbikes (here)
Vous êtes plutôt film ? Consultez notre top 10 des films sur la moto (ici)
Royal Racer is a boutique “chain” that started in France and which was undoubtedly inspired by the growing success of the Deus flagship stores. They are also to be found in Marseille, Lyon, Megève, Montpellier, etc. A branch opened in Lausanne in the spring of 2018. And we at Cruizador, are fans of Rui Mira, who knows all his products, talks to you about materials and manufacturing processes with practically the same passion and the same sparkle in the eyes as the craftsman who produced the garment.
In short, at The Royal Racer, you will find all the arsenal of the gentleman rider or petrol head (it depends). It offers more famous brands such as Deus, Kytone or Belstaff but also confidential brands such as Momotaro, Fleur de Bagne, TCB Jeans or Lewis Leather. The gentleman rider can also indulge himself from a selection of accessories (jewelry, sunglasses, glove, helmet, etc.). Whatever your budget, you will find something to please you anyway. And if you are undecided, Rui will be happy to advise you!
We wrote an article on the 10 best navigation tools (here). However, and while the options are numerous, the Quad lock smartphone mount is a great gift. Why? First of all because it is not expensive and above all because everyone has a smartphone these days (or almost). And that a smartphone is easy to use. It is easy to mount and can be transferred to any motorcycle. So yes, the system is not perfect. Yes, a TomTom-type GPS is more complete and can be used under heavy rain, not like a smartphone. But the Quad lock is very useful and can be used in addition to the Beeline (more on this below).
So we’ll tell you right away, it’s not the most glamorous gift. But perhaps one of the most practical. Especially for wintering. The battery is often one of the weak points of the bike. They do not tolerate the cold and especially prolonged breaks. So if the battery drops below the critical charge level, you’re good to change it. And this is again an expense of 100 CHF or more depending on the make/model.
There are many different charger models. But the one from C-Tek, available for example from Polo, offers 3 modes, including a “charge & maintenance” mode which allows you to connect the battery to a power outlet, throughout the winter, and it will take care of adding just the right amount of juice so that the battery does not fall below the critical threshold. With this, your battery should last (a little) longer.
Already a charger, but would you like another idea like this? Check out our guide on the 10 essential tools to have at home when you’re a biker: here.
When traveling far/long, comfort is important. Otherwise you get tired more quickly and you lose your concentration. Though, not everyone can buy an R1250 GS. And what about all those who are not ready to make a concession on the style or to resell their slick roadster to buy a trail?
SW-Motech found the solution by developing this saddle pad, which consists of a cover that attaches under the saddle with two velcro straps, as well as an airbag that slides inside. And thanks to the small mouth pump, fixed directly on the cushion, you can adjust the inflation level according to your preferences. Note that you need to do a bit of testing to find the right setting. But once you’ve found the perfect setting, it’s like you’re on a flying carpet. So some will tell us, yes, but you might as well buy a custom comfort saddle! Yes, but when you sell or change your bike, how do you do it?!? What if you have several motorcycles?!
The cushion can be transposed in a few seconds, without tools. Note that there are 2 pilot versions (one for trail / roadster / GT and one for chopper type saddles) as well as a passenger version (which also fit for cafe racer with flat saddle).
You will certainly find cheaper versions on the online sites of Asian online seller, however you will not have the same quality guarantees and above all, the pump may be separated, so what if you go on a road trip and forget the pump at home? You are basically screwed!
We presented the Beeline in more detail in our article on navigation systems (here). After testing it over a season, it is believed to be the best alternative for those looking for a hybrid solution, i.e. the perfect blend between the spirit of adventure/discovery with minimal technology. So sure, it’s not as complete as a full GPS system, but it gets the job done and pretty well.
Beeline offers different levels of finish (e.g. brushed metal) as well as different packages (mount).
We give you the summary of our test below:
|+ Access to basic information in real time;+ Stay focus on the road;
+ Possibility of easily importing routes in .GPX
+ Cheaper than motorcycle GPS (from 167€);
+ IP67 certified (dust and waterproof);
+ 1h of charge gives you 30h of autonomy;
+ Physical buttons -> easy to handle with gloves on;
+ Different finishes (eg brushed metal);
+ Very easy mount and can be easily used/transposed on several motorcycles.
|– Display only basic info (no traffic e.g.);- The application is very basic and does not allow a lot of configuration (e.g. add stopover);
– Not necessarily suitable for city trips (with frequent changes of direction);
– Uses the smartphone’s battery (but less than if it was used as the main GPS);
– Re-routing not available when the route is imported in .GPX;
– Takes a little bit of handling to get used to the concept (but afterwards it’s very easy).
Style matters. But the rider’s safety is even more important. And each time we are surprised to see the number of bikers who ride with inappropriate clothing. They claim, often in good faith, that motorcycle clothing looks… too biker’ish. And that when they ride a short distance, they don’t want to have to gear up head-to-toe and/or change when they get to work. But did you know that the abrasion resistance of normal jeans is about 2 seconds !! Imagine falling from even 50km/h. You will probably slide for more than 2 sec. So as soon as there is more tissue, it is the skin that will take the hit.
This is where Pando-Moto comes in. They have developed a new texture, called Dyneema, which mixes directly with the fiber of the jeans and which makes the textile, according to them, 15x (!!) more resistant than steel and which allows the jeans to withstand a fall at 70km/h (CE standard). In addition, there are interior pockets for knee and hip protections.
The author of this article has been fortunate enough to have had one for 2 years now. And here’s what he can tell you:
We have already reported several times about the collaborative workshop located in Lausanne, Rideshaper. For those hearing the name for the first time, read their dedicated article (here).
In short, it is a collaborative do-it-yourself (DIY) workshop where you can go to work on your bikes, do the services or for the most motivated do a custom project from A to Z. And you have access not only to all the infrastructure of the place (bridge, tools, machinery, etc.), but in addition you will be work under the benevolent eye of Robin, master of the place and professional mechanic, who will make you benefit from his very extensive knowledge on the subject.
So if you are a newbie, have never even changed a filter or a tire, or want to develop your skills, this is the place to do so. And best of all, you will become a member of a community of people sharing the same passion, you will be able to participate in Rideshaper events such as:
Robin offers different formulas (daily, one month only, annual): more info here
And in order to reward new applicants: Robin offers a coaching session (1-to-1) to the first ten new members (for the annual membership). Use the code RideshaperXCruizador2020 when registering.
The rider who wants to buy a helmet often has to compromise between comfort and style. The biker keen on character motorcycles will favor style and will buy a Jet helmet (Bell for example) or a neo-retro helmets, like the Shoei Ex-Zero. Bikers who like to ride long/far will be buy Touring helmets (Shoei GT-Air for example). And the more fortunate will buy two. But what if you want to go on a long road trip in the comfort of a boudoir while riding in style?
Shoei, with its new Glamster model (combination of Glamor + Hipster), may well have found the right blend by managing to combine the two, namely a vintage look and modern technology. The second interesting aspect is that with three shell sizes for five helmet sizes, the Glamster is quite compact and is significantly less bulky, visually, than one of its main competitors, the Bell Bullitt. Which turns out to be, in terms of sound insulation, less efficient than the Glamster.
And on paper, the specs are quite promising :
We have not yet had the opportunity to test it personally but there are a lot of tests available on the internet and testers agree on the many qualities of the Glamster: large field of vision, absence of extraneous noise (whistling), absence of hard points after several hours of riding.
On the less appreciated aspects, testers note the ventilation (not optimal especially in hot weather), the mounting plates (with screws) and the absence of integrated sun visor (but the possibility of putting a smoked screen).
A biker jacket is an important clothing piece for two reasons. First, it is an essential piece of safety equipment. Often provided with protection (elbow, back), and made from abrasion resistant fabric(s), the jacket will have the heavy task of protecting what is most precious to you in the event of a fall, namely your upper body. Along with shoes, helmet, pants and gloves, the jacket is one of the essentials.
Secondly, it is a way to distinguish from the masses. But that being said, there is jacket and jacket. And you can find them at all prices, depending on the brand or the material (leather, cordura, waxed cotton, etc.). And personally, at Cruizador, we’re quite a fan of Belstaff, an English brand founded in 1924 and originally specializing in biker clothing. And it is neither more nor less than Ernesto Guevara (known as The Che) who was the first to wear it in the 1950s.
So yes, it has changed owners (it is in Italian hands) and at the same time has taken on a more luxury orientation. But it still offers quality motorcycle clothing, with a modern cut, which fits well. In addition, clothing stamped “biker” meets CE standards and has all the interior pockets designed to accommodate protections (back, elbow pads, etc.). Be careful, however, because Belstaff has other lines of clothing which are certainly stylish but which do not meet CE standards.
In addition, for some time, the brand has also offered more technical clothing (Gore-Tex type) and capitalizes on its ambassadors such as David Beckham or Ewan Mcgregor (Long Way Up).
In short, whether you are looking for a more technical garment, or one that has class (type Gentleman Rider), you will find what you are looking for, as long as you are ready to spend some money.
But investing in a quality item is the assurance of having an item of clothing that will accompany you for a long time, that patina and with which you will write a few beautiful pages of your history on two wheels.
And how much does it cost in the end? From approx. 700 CHF for a waxed cotton jacket (like the Brooklands on the pic below) to 1000+ CHF for the leather models.
If you didn’t find what you were looking for in the previous list, here are a few more things to think about:
In short, we hope that you enjoyed our list and that you will find something to please you or your loved ones.