motorcycle blog

Customize Your Motorcycle for Missouri Road Trips

motorcycle blog

The pros at Gail’s in Grandview can help you outfit your cruiser, touring bike, sportster so you can embrace the freedom on the road trip.

Our Favorite Motorcycle Parts and Accessories for Long Drives

We all remember our first time on a motorcycle. Sitting on the bike, we didn’t know that the seat could be more comfortable, or that we could outfit our motorcycle with special parts and accessories to customize the look and comfort of our bike. You live, you learn, you ride a lot more, and you realize what you’ve been missing: motorcycle accessories and parts that make long road trips more enjoyable.

The pros at Gail’s in Grandview can help you outfit your Cruiser, Touring Bike, Sportster -- or whatever you have -- so you can embrace the freedom that a road trip on a motorcycle gives you, no matter where you’re headed.

Motorcycle Saddlebags and Luggage

If your motorcycle didn’t come outfitted with storage options, as the Harley-Davidson® touring bike and CVO™ series do, then you’re probably going to need to add these accessories to your motorcycle so you can bring along luggage and other gear for your road trip, regardless of who makes your bike.

You might only want a luggage rack to strap down your duffle bag for your ride. That’s likely the least expensive option for outfitting your bike, but it also limits you to how much you can bring along on your trip. A luggage rack is probably adequate for one person on a short trip, but if you have a passenger, you will need additional storage. For a more streamlined look, you can strap down luggage designed specifically for motorcycle travel.

Saddlebags are a great choice for hauling your gear and clothes. Leather or heavy canvas saddlebags are the easiest to install, but may not be waterproof. If you choose these saddlebags, you might want to line them with a waterproof saddlebag organizer from Gail’s. Rigid saddlebags, sometimes covered in leather, are often lockable, making these a more secure option than the standard saddlebags with buckles or zippers. Some saddlebags may require supports to be installed on your motorcycle to accommodate them.

For carrying only the necessities, you might consider a swingarm bag, which nestles into the contour of your motorcycle’s frame. Although most have small capacities, this bag is the perfect size to stow your rain gear, safety equipment, and other items you might want easy access to. A sissy bar bag is also perfect for these items.

The Right Motorcycle Windshield

Windshields don’t look tough, but they make long road trips much more comfortable by keeping wind, bugs, road debris, and rain from impeding your ride (especially for those brave souls who prefer to don helmets without a full face).

Some windshields are more stylish than they are protective, so it’s up to you on whether you’re looking to maintain the aesthetic of your motorcycle or to actually prevent accidental ingestion of grasshoppers and flies as you ride down the highway. And if you like the idea of both, you can choose a windshield with a quick-detach option so you can go back and forth between your two preferences. You can also get adjustable windshields that allow you to modify the position of your windshield based on riding conditions.

The right height of the windshield won’t send an airstream directly into your face as you ride. For cruisers or touring motorcycles, the best windshield height for you will align with your nose; this allows you to see over the windshield, but also sends that slipstream of air over your head.

For a perfect fit, choose only top-quality motorcycle windshields. Our team at Gail’s can help you choose the right one based on your motorcycle’s make and model, your riding habits, and your lifestyle.

Make Your Motorcycle More Comfortable for Long Rides

We think Harley-Davidson® motorcycles, especially the Electra Glide, are already some of the most comfortable bikes around, but if you’re taking an extra-long road trip, there are some easy parts and accessories you can add to your bike to make it even more comfortable - or up the ante on your used Harley-Davidson® or another motorcycle.

First up, consider upgrading your seat, both for you and for your passenger. A seat with a wide or deep bucket gives you more lower back support, and a passenger pillion with a backrest is made for long hauls across America. If you don’t want a cozy passenger seat all the time, you can add a sissy bar upright, with the backrest pad of your choice. If you’re riding alone, the addition of a seat pad can make your existing seat more comfortable. Some even come with features designed to keep you cool on hot summer days.

Footpegs for your passengers help keep them balanced and secure as you concentrate on the road. Forward footpegs for you, the driver, allow you to stretch your legs, which is not only for comfort but just good advice on any lengthy trip to keep your blood flowing.

Your hands are always touching the handgrips on your handlebars, so those grips might as well be the most comfortable they can be. Choose grips that feel good in your hand, first and foremost. Smaller grips work well for riders with smaller hands, and ergonomic options are always a good idea for lengthy cruises.  If you’re looking for something extra-special, you can even get heated grips for cold mornings or winter rides.

As always, motorcycle parts and accessories bought based on your motorcycle’s make and model, are the best choice for a guaranteed fit and streamlined look.

The Gail’s Parts Department Can Help You!

Not sure exactly what you’re looking for, or what’s out there to keep your motorcycle looking authentic while still meeting your needs? Our parts specialists are experts in aftermarket and OEM motorcycle parts and accessories and can get you anything you’d ever want. You can order your parts online through our website, or come in to talk about your options and what will look good on your bike. Gail and her team look forward to seeing you at our Kansas City powersports store soon!