Somewhere between making motorcycle sounds on our bicycles as children and touring the Alps on motorcycles as adults, we forgot how much fun it is to compose a Christmas wish list. While much of this issue is devoted to dream bikes, this Holiday Gift Guide features mostly attainable items that kids of any age would be happy to see under the tree. So grab a crayon and let's begin: "Dear Santa..."
AMA Holiday Cards
This holiday season, the American Motorcyclist Association is offering a dozen cards to choose from, with the option of adding a personalized greeting on the inside or uploading a photo and caption to be displayed on the outside. Even better, $2 from every box of "Santa's Ride" cards will be donated to the Toys for Tots charity, and the rest of the proceeds support the AMA Museum.
Fuel Cap Cuff Links
These beautiful $45 cuff links are a subtle way to display one's passion for motorcycles. Made from sterling silver, they feature a polished outer ring with a brushed center cap, and are designed to resemble the fuel caps on vintage and modern racebikes. They'd make a great stocking stuffer for the white-collar rider.
Pro-Bolt offers a mind-boggling selection of aluminum, titanium and stainless-steel fasteners to accent any motorcycle. The company's model-specific directory lists everything available for one's bike, from single fasteners to the "Full Monty" anodized box set. Customization has never been easier, and neither has gift-giving! With anodized parts packs starting at just a couple bucks, it's as simple as selecting a bike year, make and model and deciding how much money you want to spend.
iPhone Maintenance App
Do you really want to trust your cerebral cortex to remind you to do something as important as checking your bike's valves? We didn't think so. Enter the Motorcycle Minder iPhone application from JGM Apps. For less than $3, this app allows you to keep track of mileage and the maintenance that's been done (or needs to be done) on your ride. It allows for multiple vehicles and multiple services, upgrades and check-ups in a clean, easy-to-use interface.
Café Society DVD
From their origins on the streets of post-war England, the café racer has become one of the most distinctive motorcycle genres. Café Society takes viewers on a full-throttle blast through the past as the people behind one of the most enduring motorcycle subcultures tell their own stories. Produced by Motorcyclist's resident Rocker, Mike Seate, the $24.95 DVD is filled with exclusive footage of the iconic personalities, motorcycles and clubs that defined the scene in the '50s and '60s.
English 101 DVD
Like a bear hibernating in his cave, the vintage motorcycle mechanic spends winters in suspended animation in the garage. The English 101 DVD from Four Aces Cycle Supply is just the thing to make those dark months productive. This interactive, 4-hour DVD costs $39.95 and focuses on unit and pre-unit Triumph and BSA engines, covering everything from valve adjustments, carburetor tuning and ignition timing to performance upgrades and troubleshooting. Ace mechanic Wes White demonstrates all procedures in detail, providing you with the knowledge you need to keep your Britbike running.
Pashnit NorCal MotoGP Tour
Pashnit Motorcycle Tours has organized a 10-day excursion that will be the highlight of any rider's year. Guided by experienced, passionate professionals, attendees will spend a week riding the Sierra Nevada Mountains, cruising the Avenue of the Giants redwood forests and gliding along Pacific Coast Highway. The trip culminates in Monterey for the 2010 United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. Cost is $3750 with one's own bike (rentals can be arranged), and includes grandstand seating, a paddock pass and a whole lot more.
California Superbike School
Give the gift of confidence! Anybody who rides will benefit from Motorcyclist columnist Keith Code's California Superbike School. From one-day, bring-your-own-bike sessions to all-inclusive two-day camps, attendance at a Superbike School is eminently enjoyable and a great gift for any rider looking to improve his skills. Tuition starts at $390 with classes held at world-class tracks all over the world.
Biker Glasses are a stylish, functional and affordable gift that any biker will appreciate. They feature scratch-resistant, shatterproof, polycarbonate lenses in your choice of smoke, yellow or clear and are 100 percent UV-blocking. Contoured foam padding ensures a comfortable fit and helps protect eyes from wind and debris. Biker Glasses are comparable to name-brand, high-dollar eyewear at a fraction of the cost. Most sell for just $15, plus $1 shipping.
Cyberoptix Tielab Ties
Leave tired tie clichés in the dust with Detroit-based designer Bethany Shorb's motor-themed ties. Made from silk, microfiber or cotton, they're hand-printed with unique works of art depicting engine block, exhaust and tire-tread patterns, yet sell for just $30-40. They're the perfect gift for the gearhead who occasionally needs to dress like a grown-up.