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.
Motorcycle Gift Wrap
Here's a new twist on old-fashioned wrapping paper featuring a variety of motorcycles in a geometric pattern. It's great not only for holiday gifts, but can be used year-round to adorn presents for the motorcycle enthusiasts in your life. A 30x72-inch roll costs just $5.
Style-Your-Garage Door Covers
Has the old lady been on your case about your unsightly garage door? Style-Your-Garage has the solution to a problem you didn't know you had! For about $20, these stylish, customizable garage-door covers will fuel the missus' imagination with images of France, Germany, Italy, etc. Alternatively, you can keep up with the Joneses by convincing them you've got a vintage sports car, boat or private jet parked inside.
American Motorcycle Girls Book
Motorcycling has never been solely for men. Women have been riding since the beginning, and this stunning, $50 coffee-table book is all the proof you'll ever need. The gorgeous photographs will appeal to riders of both sexes, featuring the fearlessness and enthusiasm women have brought to the sport. Nearly 400 photographs from 1900 to 1950 document not only the rich history of women riders, but also the joy of motorcycling itself.
Chromed Impressions Art
Artist Stefanie Aziere-Sattler made quite an impression on Motorcyclist's European Correspondent Alan Cathcart when he interviewed her for our September issue. We've since also become fans, wishing for her highly evocative paintings to decorate our office walls for those days when we're stuck inside instead of riding. Her work is available as prints, lithographs or greeting cards, as well as by commission.
Who doesn't like a good bottle of wine? Trips to Europe to ride Italian motorcycles introduced CorsaVino Winery founder Arun Sharma to the pleasures of fine wine. Teaming up with vintner Rich Cushman, the pair started making wines that reflect the things they love about Italian bikes: beauty, passion and artistry. Try Il Mostro Corso Cabernet, or the Viogner or Syrah. Bottles range in price from $24-29, and are also available by the case.
If it's sexy enough for an Italian sportbike, it's sexy enough for your cell phone, right? Carbon-fiber is covering everything from Ducatis to toilet seats (yes, really) these days, but what better use for this light, durable and strong material than protecting the essential toys we can't live without, like our iPhones and iPods? Check out the Gorilla tube case, the monCarbone case and the Ion Factory Carbon-Fiber and Leather Case. Prices range from around $60-$100.
Vespa Wine Country Tours
What more romantic gift than a vacation in California Wine Country? Just an hour north of San Francisco, the vine-covered fields and oak-studded hillsides of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys await you-and your Vespa. Guided by enthusiastic locals, you'll get a behind-the-scenes look at famous vineyards, experience panoramic vistas, artisan meals, olive oil tastings, spa treatments and more. Two-day packages cost $650 per person, and include the use of your very own scooter. Or ride two-up, if you prefer.
Iron Horse Hotel Biker Girl Getaway
Give her a weekend of luxury with a stay at this motorcycle-friendly boutique hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The package includes a massage, dinner, champagne and straw-berries, bike storage, a packed lunch and ride maps with suggested routes and other treats. The deluxe room is perfect for a girl's adventure or a romantic retreat for two. For $700, a weekend of riding and relaxing in luxury, practically next door to the Harley-Davidson Museum, seems like a worthy indulgence.
Va Va Vroom Women's Clothing
One of "those girls" indeed! Va Va Vroom's line of high-quality apparel is aimed at women who ride, defying the stereotypes of biker-chick clothing by offering stylish, sophisticated, cheeky gear in a range of fits and fashions. Any gal who rides would appreciate receiving the 100-percent cotton, slim-fitting, long-sleeved hoodie ($22) or the "Ride" T-shirt ($38). Just take our advice and order the right size-or else!
Motorcycle Christmas Ornaments
Tired of the same old red and green Christmas balls? Fun Christmas Ornaments let you express your sense of humor and passion for motorcycling with everything from a penguin or moose on a bike to more traditional Santas and bikers. Buy them for your tree or give them as gifts. At $5.95-17.95, you can't go wrong.
Motocross Dirt Bike Decal
What better way to help a young rider (or a 20-something magazine editor) celebrate the sport he loves than having a dirtbike jumping over his name on the wall? Better than giving him a stack of Sharpies, these 14-inch-high decals feature a matte finish to eliminate glare, so they appear to be hand-stenciled on the wall. Customizable for color, size and lettering, the graphics cost about $21 apiece and will adhere to any clean, smooth, flat surface.
Motocross Wooden Rocker
If they're not quite ready for wheels and an engine but you still want to make sure they catch the bike bug early, this $300 handmade wooden rocker from Utah-based Wasatch Workshop is the perfect gift. Made of pine and available in your choice of colors (Yamaha blue, for example), this toy is sure to become a treasured family heirloom.
Supermoto X DVD
What happens when the best characteristics of flat-track, motocross and roadracing are mixed together in one pot and brought to a rolling boil? You get supermoto, the fast-paced, high-intensity motorsport that has taken the world by storm. The Supermoto X DVD sells for $24.95 and takes you on a journey through the world of supermoto with clips from AMA races, the X Games, the Pike's Peak Hill Climb and some wild street rides. This Christmas, give the gift of an adrenalin rush!
Schtickers Laptop Skins
Unlike when we were little, today's youth has laptops and iPods. But one thing hasn't changed: Kids love stickers! Let Junior broadcast his love for motorcycling to the world at large-or at least his kindergarten class-with these cool laptop and iPod skins. They're available in a variety of patterns, are easily customizable and make great family projects-or stocking stuffers! Skins start at $19.99, and are available for most laptops and iPods.
Peg Perego Ducati Monster
Your little one may be a decade away from his learner's permit, but he can still experience the thrill of riding his own motorcycle. Modeled after the infamous Ducati of the same name, the Peg Perego Monster is a scaled-down electric bike, complete with twist-grip throttle, working brakes and suspension, and exciting engine sounds. The $350 machine is ready to take on the backyard or sidewalk with its powerful electric motor and rubber tires.
Thin Air Helmet Wraps
Custom helmets just took a huge leap forward! Graphic design and custom paint outfit ThinAir Concepts now offers custom helmet wraps, so you can shock riders with your smiling mug just like Valentino Rossi. Send in your photo, design idea or artwork and let ThinAir take care of the rest. The $299 package includes prep work, graphic application and a show-finish clear coat.