From helmet cams and GPS to Bluetooth, Spot messengers, and radar detectors, there are more gadgets to use while riding a motorcycle than ever before. Want to talk on your phone while riding? No problem. Just attach a Bluetooth-enabled communication system to your helmet and take a call while going 75 mph down the highway. Are you lost? No problem. Your GPS will point you in the right direction.

A good friend of mine from Aspen, Colo., recently stopped by the Women Riders Now (WRN) office in Montana on his way to Alaska for a month-long solo ride. David Deep is not a gadget kind of guy—in fact, hes quite a simple man. So seeing him with an abundance of gadgets strapped to his BMW R 1200 GSmade me laugh out loud. What was he doing with all this stuff? Turns out his girlfriend, Jackie (who is also a friend of mine), insisted he bring along all sorts of communication devices because he would be riding solo. It was all in the name of safety. Im not ragging on Jackie—Id probably insist my husband do the same thing.

Take a look at this video and decide for yourself if gadgets are the way to go on a motorcycle.

To gadget or not to gadget—that is the question. Cant decide which way to go? I wrote an articleasking that very question a few years ago when I had a monthly column in American Iron magazine. You candownload the PDF of the article here—its a fun read. Then leave a comment below and tell us what you think about all these gadgets for motorcycling.

Also be sure to share this story with your friends by using one of the share buttons below: email, Twitter or Facebook. Id love to know what other motorcyclists think of the whole gadget thing. Thanks!

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5 thoughts on Touring Adventure: Motorcycle Gadget Man

  1. Unless the trip is about speed, he probably doesn’t need the radar detector. Is he making a video of the trip for personal or commercial use? I would take the tablet, cell phone (satellite is probably a good idea) and GPS. What a trip to make though! How exciting!

  2. I love the story and video. Short, sweet and it put a smile on my face! I love his attitude towards all the gadgets he agreed to carry. To gadget or not to gadget? Well on a long trip I would certainly carry a GPS and always my cell phone. Anything else would depend upon just how much and how long I would be out of cell phone range and whether I was going on the trip alone. I believe that often times we set aside our own resourcefulness and become dependent on modern technology to fix our own inner insecurities. What ever happen to the chance of adventure?

  3. Gadgets schmadgets…less is more for me. Just a good ole map (s) and my smart phone is all I need to keep it real and simple. The beauty of traveling by motorcycle is to leave the junk behind!

  4. I carry GPS and cell phone. GPS goes into rainproof case that also has battery hookup inside in case. I need to use cig lighter to charge cell phone. A decent cellphone with appropriate software is all you may need vs. carrying a tablet. The charging wires are a bane of everyone’s existence. The only way I know to minimize the load is to have a charging station that allows for USB charging cables hookup: all into one charger. USB charging cables allow for charging of tablets and cellphones without the weight of the charger. So you only carry wires. THe key is to make sure you have one or two 2V USB ports on the charging adapter/station because tablets needs 2V to charge. See Amazon for variety of charging adaptors that allow for multiple USB hook-ups. Iridium sat phones are a must for a trip like that, and locators in case of an accident are also a great idea. I would have added a solar charger to his arsenal of gizmos in case his gizmos are totally out of juice.

  5. Well, I’m no gadget girl. I only have a cell phone. My mother would probably be happier if I had a SPOT since I travel solo most of the time. To stay somewhat connected, if luggage space is really limited, I’ll take my NOOK HD and a hotspot, along with a point & shoot camera with an extra memory card and batteries. If it’s not, I’ll add a DSLR and/or bridge camera, 2-3 additional lenses for the DSLR, a tripod and a laptop. Of course, that means I also pack extra batteries for the cameras along with assorted battery and device chargers. Life was so much simpler before digital photography but you couldn’t take your darkroom with you and film was so limiting. Did I say I wasn’t a gadget girl?

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