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Most riders spend a fair bit of money on a good helmet and jacket and gloves. Some build on this with boots and riding pants and rain gear. However sometimes it is the little things that make a big difference. Here are five things that I cannot ride without now that I never thought of when first riding.

1. Buff or other brand of neck tube/scarf. These are great. In winter they seal the wind out from entering the top of your jacket and chilling your back often something that leads to getting colds. In summer with jackets open at the top to catch the breeze they stop the back of your neck from getting sunburnt as no amount of sunscreen seems to hold this off if on tour.


I have a couple of Buffs, this is a summer thin one I found on sale one day. In serious winter conditions I reach for my thermal neck gator but rest of the time I find a Buff does the job.

5 small items to help you enjoy your ride first appeared on Motorcycle Paradise Blog June 2016

2. Technical socks. Having thermal winter boot socks with coolmax fabrics to wick moisture away from your feet really makes a difference keeping your feet both warm and dry. In summer having coolmax summer socks like hiking or outdoor shop items will wick moisture away and reduce heat build up and keep my feet fresher as the day goes on.


I am still using the Alpinestars socks I purchased about 6 years back. Probably last me another 6 years too, I found one place had them on sale and got a few pairs. In summer I use outdoor shop type hiking socks, not found any that are particularly long lasting so far.

3. Ear plugs. I know I have spoken about hearing loss before but using ear plugs also adds a lot to your riding enjoyment. No wind roar means you arrive less fatigued and on the way the Zen feeling of being on the road with your bike is greatly enhanced. Don’t just think of the disposable foam type.


I like what they call the ‘non roll’ ear plugs which are the blue ones in the photo. These are so easy to use not needing to be compressed before fitting just gently insert and I find them more comfortable too. The soft moldable silicon plugs in the container are the ultimate in comfort and are less isolating so if you think you cannot wear plugs then try this type (often called swimmers ear plugs)

4. Non cotton riding shirt. In winter wearing cotton is the worst thing as it will retain moisture and make you damp and cold. A thermal t-shirt will not only keep you warmer but also regulate your body temperature if the day warms up. In summer cotton again falls down compared to quick dry sports shirts that will keep you dry and flow more air.


5. Visor cleaner. So nice to be riding with a clean visor on tour. I have tried V brand pocket item but these are bit overpriced and do not last long. You can make your own kit similar to the V one or bring a good quality damp micro fibre cloth in a zip lock plastic bag. Much better than having to look through bugs until a gas station to use some swamp water in a bucket. Hope you might enjoy your ride a little more with one of these ideas.


  1. Cool that you mentioned ear plugs. Some riders under estimate their usages but they are totally must-have items for me! But users gotta be careful inserting them into ears otherwise they can cause problems with hearing ability while riding

    • I under estimated the risk and rode for years without them until the day I found out I had hearing damage. Even the quietest helmets on sale have noise levels that exceed what will cause damage with prolonged exposure and there is no cure. (follow that link in orange text for full article about this)

      Big problem is roll up foam plugs turn so many people off using them. But there are many other options, you can even go online and buy a sample bag of different types from one of the major US ear plug stores then see what works for you.

      The soft silicon type will fit any ear and are comfortable and cut less noise so you can still hear everything, I suggest them to many people to start with who don't want to insert things.

    • Randy Dewey

      Thanks for your suggestion 🙂

  2. Thanks for the share, love reading your blog.

  3. After reading this the first time, I went looking for some non-cotton shirts. Checked out a few places and came across both short and long sports/training shirts for $5.00 at K-Mart. Bought two 'long touring sets worth' (3 short for summer and 3 long for winter. Brilliant. They fold up so small and are extremely light compared to the cotton t-shirts & sweat shirts that I have been in the habit of wearing up until now. They dry and next to no time. Thanks for the tip. Now for some earplugs …. I was talking about this with a biking acquaintance the other day and he assures me that the ones he gets from Supercheap Auto are the best he has tried …. I'll let you know how they go.

    • Hi Richard, having the right base layer makes a big difference when it is cold or hot. We all reach for a t-shirt, so do I but cotton rarely works well under a jacket.

      Finding the right ear plug for you can take some trial and error. Keep trying as what works for one person might be useless for another as we all have different ears.

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