Bike accessories - a salesman’s view

Buying a new bike is exciting but you can make it ‘extras’ special by delving into the accessories and options list.

Sales manager Mark Trench said: “With a new bike, people spec it exactly how they want it, to do the job and suit the riding they do.

“Most people accept that with a used bike, it’s not always the perfect model, such as the colour.

“The right accessories can make your bike much more desirable but they have to be the right ones for the style of bike.”

So, while a full Akrapovic performance exhaust system may put some people off a used adventure bike, luggage, heated grips and hand guards will be seen as a benefit.

Quality, bespoke accessories from the motorcycle manufacturer are a better bet than a cheaper, mass brand bolt-on goody bag. They often also benefit from the same warranty period.

Looking at our three franchises, Mark highlighted the accessories route many owners take.

Suzuki – with the big-selling V-Strom adventure tourer range, it’s all about cases, panniers, top boxes and engine bars.

Manufacturers also tie various options together in accessory packs to make them more attractive.

Take the V-Strom 1050XT Tour which adds a 38-litre black aluminium top case and two 37-litre side cases, the carriers and locks. At £12,799, it’s £1,200 more than the standard 1050XT but, bought separately, the side cases cost £1,150 alone!

Kawasaki – clever packaging sees Tourer and Performance versions of most models in the range. They feature packages of accessories to match the character of the bike. There is even a Performance Tourer, offering the best of both worlds, for the big-selling Ninja 1000SX.

“Kawasaki has got it pretty well sorted with its packs. It really makes sense with models people want to do serious miles on, like tourers,” said Mark.

Performance editions tend to be sportier Z and Ninja models.

KTM – the big difference is that KTM’s options include software enhancements, to give additional electronics and adjustments for the bike’s set-up, as well as performance parts.

They may be called Tech or Track packs. For instance, the motorbike may come with the cruise control switchgear but needs the software loaded as an extra.

“With KTM, people tend to spend more than with the other brands,” said Mark. “It’s not uncommon for owners to spend 10-20% of the bike’s price kitting it out with accessories. They often spend a couple of thousand pounds.

“People will sometimes ask what options are good for resale. It’s a reasonable question to ask but, on the other hand, you are buying a new bike, it’s yours, so have it exactly how you want it.

“We often advise what accessories we see being added on the bike they are buying, and what people ask for, but I always say have it kitted out how you want.

“That’s a key reason for buying a new bike.”