You have fulfilled a dream that you have had since high school. You own your very own motorcycle and you are ready to hit the open road in style. But wait, before you do, is there a nagging feeling that you’re missing something. There are a few things that you need to have before you start letting loose with your motorcycle, some of these are safety essentials and some are just for a little bit of extra style. We’ve compiled a list of the top 8 things you need to have before you start riding.

1. The Basics

Helmet, jacket, pants, shoes. These basic motorcycle accessories are fundamental. They need to be of good quality and designed for motorcycle riding. You will absolutely need to wear the right clothes for riding otherwise you will be putting yourself at serious risk of unnecessary injury.

2. Tools

There is no need to go overboard on this one just yet, but you should really start to invest in some basic tools that allow you to work on your bike. Over time, as you get more familiar with your bike, you may find that you start to build up quite the arsenal of tools in your garage. Just remember to keep them all organized, the last thing you want is to not be able to find the tool you need when you need it most.

3. Motorcycle Luggage

This is optional, having some storage space on your bike will allow you to bring some essentials with you on long or short rides. Something as simple as a change of clothes and some water to drink can make a big difference on those long rides. Keeping hydrated is important so having your own water in the luggage eliminated the need for frequent stops.

4. Heated Clothing

Nothing ruins a perfectly good ride other than bad weather. Ideally, you’ll have checked the weather forecast before you head out. If the temperature drops or you simply can’t wait for ideal weather conditions before you get out on the road, then heated clothing is a great idea.

5. Upgrade to LEDs

LEDs have much longer life spans than old-school filament bulbs. This makes them ideal for bike lights as you don’t want a light to burn out when you’re far away from your garage. As well as being a functional improvement, they also can look a lot better too! If you’re concerned with keeping the classic look of your motorbike, there are accommodations that can be made to allow LEDs to still have the look that you’re going for.

6. Crash Protection

Crash protection such as frame sliders, bar ends, swingarm spools, and fork sliders, can give you great peace of mind. They’re affordable and can help to drastically minimize the damage resulting from moderate to low-speed slides or tip-overs. Replacing crash protection is cheaper than replacing plastic and hard parts.

7. Covers

Having a cover for your motorcycle will provide some protection from the elements as well as from prying eyes or curious hands. There is nothing more annoying as a bike owner than when a passerby feels the need to touch the throttle or test the brakes, or even have the gall to pose for a picture on it.

8. Visibility

Wearing all black might look really cool, but in reality, if you’re going to be driving at night, it’s not all that safe. You should think carefully about some clothing that is highly visible along with any modification that you can make to your bike to allow it to be seen more clearly at night.