For those unsure what to buy for a favorite motorcyclist, here are some ideas for motorcycle gifts.

Motorcycle Gadget Gifts for the Technophile Biker

A GPS unit, affixed to the handlebars, can be a very helpful tool. While GPS units should never replace common sense when navigating, a basic Garmin E-Trex is fun to have around and costs under $150. This biker gift can track routes, show the way, and mark waypoints of interesting destinations.

The Garmin zumo 660 is a motorcycle-centric unit with larger buttons designed to be usable with gloves, but it is not cheap: list price was $799 as of November 2009. A model by TomTom, the Rider 2, has similar pricing. In both cases, the careful hunter of motorcycle gifts can find a better deal.

A helmet camera also makes an interesting motorcycle gift. Endless hours of scenery and creativity follow, allowing the best rides to be viewed over and over again. Other small cameras can be mounted to the handlebars if they aren’t already full of GPS units, and can run off the bike’s battery. Expect to pay at least $300 for most helmet cameras.

Biker Gifts for the Tool-Using Motorcyclist

For a motorcyclist who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, tools are always a suitable biker gift. A basic portable toolkit, preferably in its own sheath, is a handy item to keep in the saddlebags and can be acquired in any hardware store.

A Leatherman tool is a truly essential item, but make sure the rider does not have one already. The Leatherman website has tools organized by activity; the Off-Roading section would be a good place to start exploration. The beefiest model is the Supertool 300 with its 19 tools. This writer’s household recommends a Surge (18 tools) and a Kick (12 tools, very appropriate for small hands); these tools have helped changed brake pads, change tires, and make adjustments on numerous occasions.

As an alternative, Gerber also offers a different style of multi-purpose tool for an equally appropriate motorcycle gift. At a minimum, each tool should include a phillips and regular screwdriver; a knife; pliers; and a bottle opener (for sampling new sodas found while traveling). Expect to pay from $30 to over $100 for a sturdy multi-tool.

Clothing and Gear Motorcycle Gifts

For many motorcyclists, clothing and equipment like a heated motorcycle vest (at least $150) is a highly personal matter. When buying clothes as a gift, consider discussing the matter beforehand. While this means that the motorcycle gift will not be a full surprise, this is better than receiving the “oh, this doesn’t fit” type of surprise when the gift is unwrapped.

An element of surprise can still be maintained if several items are discussed and the giver only picks one or two. Of course, some items, like helmets, should never be purchased without the motorcyclist present.

As an alternative, a gift certificate from JC Whitney, Cycle Gear or similar would be considered a reasonable alternative. A gift certificate may not be a romantic motorcycle gift, but there is no doubt it would be very welcome.