Much like any other sport out there that features several variants or iterations within, motorcycle riding is something that is highly gear-centric. From tuning up to speeding across the untouched mountainous terrain, every step of the way involves a piece or a tool or an article of clothing that was purposed or built specifically for riding a motorcycle. These pieces are also unique to the type of bike – or rider – and how each bike is meant to perform on the road. Cruising to work on a cafe racer? Tearing across the tarmac on a Ducati? Or ripping through the off-road trails on the weekend? There’s a bike and a bike kit for you.
From here, we took these three favorite pastimes of riding and put our curation skills to good use. That is, compiling three different kits – along with the bikes to go with them – for three separate riders: the casual urban commuter, the sportbike enthusiast, and the adventurer. Because like music, each type of ride carries with it a different ring to it. All while facilitating the perpetual movement of the individual. So whether you’re a weekend warrior or diehard rider, we’re confident you’ll find something here that draws the eye.
The Casual Rider
Keepers of Cool
Don’t let the casual nature of this type of rider fool you. He still means business. And ironically enough, it’s these types of riders who get the most use out of their bikes thanks in part of the ergonomics of the ride and style of the bike. This is the guy who idolizes Steve McQueen, sporting stylish – yet necessary – gear that looks the part from the road to the office to the nearest watering hole after hours. No track suits here, instead we have quality “civilian” gear that doesn’t set the causal urban commuter too far apart from the rest of the four-wheeled herd.
In this instance, we’re talking about motorcycle jeans that boast some serious strength and are outfitted to protect the skin if the time ever comes to lay the bike down. Or, a stylish helmet from one of the most well-known and trusted brands around. And unless you want you hands totally exposed to the elements and unforgiving asphalt, a pair of gloves from a trusted California brand are a must as well. As for the jacket? This should be self-explanatory by now.
The Bike: Triumph Bonneville
As one of the more popular rides around, Triumph has worked to maintain their iconic look over years of iterations. The Triumph Bonneville, in particular, pays a bit of homage to their classic ’59 version that turned so many heads back in the day. It boasts a T100 chassis and a powerful 900cc Triumph engine that will surely get you up and out in a quick, stylish and dependable manner. ($9,300)
The Sportbike Enthusiast
Life in the Fast Lane
Outfitted for those with serious speed on their minds, sportbikes are the extraordinarily fast and powerful members of the motorcycle family. While some serve as proper starter bikes others boast enough go-power to feel like a rocket between your legs. In this case, these bikes don’t mess around. And neither do their dedicated riders. From the street to the track on the weekends, these individuals push the limits of adrenaline on a daily basis. Needless to say, the gear in this instance must stand up to the challenge – and risk – involved in riding these powerful machines on a daily basis.
For this speedy street demon, the gear is about as aggressive as it comes. From a mean, sleek, and aerodynamic icon helmet to reliable street gloves outfitted to protect your hands from the constant risk of asphalt invasion to boots and a textile jacket to keep you covered, gear in this regard is outfitted strictly for the rider. In other words, there’s no hiding in plain sight here. But hey, isn’t that why you got your hands on a sportbike in the first place?
The Bike: Ducati Supersport
For those riders who simply don’t want to mess around, the Ducati Supersport is built out for adrenaline junkies who want to push the ground speed limits of mankind either on their way to work or at the track on the weekends. It’s powered by a Tertastretta 11″ engine that pushes out 113 horses along with a single-sided swingarm, sculpted tank, adjustable Plexiglass screen and three separate riding modes depending on your mood at the time. ($13,000)
Road Less Traveled
The explorer, the backcountry camper, the nomad, the off-road weekend warrior. All these designations can be used to accurately describe anyone who’s into adventure motorcycles. Also known as dual-sport bikes, these rides are outfitted to perform both on and off the pavement. However, the real magic occurs when once these knobby tires hit the dirt, for not only do you find solace in the fact that the city is finally behind you, but these bikes offer one hell of a ride in the off-road landscape. Needless to say, for consistency, we went with five pieces of essential gear here though clearly so much more can be utilized for a safe ride through the wilderness.
Our suggestion? Either go with a suit for this ride that will help your body breathe while keeping the rest of your clothing underneath safe from inevitable mud and dirt or pair some pants and a jacket from a trusted brand like Raiden. Also, you’re going to want to invest in quality adventure boots. These clearly need to be the most durable pair you own – ideally waterproof to the highest degree. Gloves that can stand up to the elements are always a good call as well, as is an adventure helmet to keep the sun our of your eyes and your head protected. What’s not listed, but also a solid idea would be a hydration pack – especially if you find yourself trekking through the desert on a hot afternoon.
The Bike: KTM Adventure R
At the heart and soul of the KTM Adventure line is the KTM Adventure R. It’s the sporty and raw member of the family that’s built specifically for off-road traveling and prepared to take you to any rough and rugged road at the end of the earth. And with a displacement of 1195cc thanks to a reliable 2-cylinder 4-stroke engine, there’s always enough juice to turn the heat up in even the hottest of terrains. ($17,000)