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Common Tread

For dads who ride: A gift-giving guide for the motorcyclist in your life

Jun 07, 2023

Let’s face it, dads are hard to shop for. Father’s Day only dials up the pressure to purchase the perfect present. Historically, marketers peddle power tools, golf clubs, and watches during this time of year. If those stereotypical items don’t appeal to your old man, though, traditional gift guides can quickly lead you astray.

Many well-intentioned sons and daughters turn to these go-to options, especially when they’re unfamiliar with dear old pa’s favorite pastimes. If motorcycling makes his list, the shopping experience could grow even more confusing. Does he ride on- or off-road? Is he a wrencher or a rider (or both)? What matters most: practicality or performance?

To help buyers navigate these murky moto waters, here are a few dads you're bound to find in the riding community — along with the perfect present to buy them.

The Explorer

This dad lives off the beaten path. Whether he brags about the knobbies on his KTM or the cavernous panniers on his BMW, he’s clearly the adventurous type. That intrepid spirit often sends him to far-flung destinations. In those instances, there’s no better resource than Butler Maps. From California to New England, from the Rockies to the Appalachians, these maps were made for roaming free.

Explore more with Butler Maps at your side.
Included elevation profiles and climate guides help Butler Maps stand apart from the competition.

For the connected, QR codes and GPS waypoints support the journey with recommended routes and road conditions. The waterproof, tear-resistant maps also stand up to the rigors of the trail when papa ventures into more remote regions. With individual maps starting at $14.95 and the Master Collection going up to $253, Butler Maps cater to various budgets.

Honorable mention: Available in five-, 10-, and 20-liter capacities, the Sedici Dry Bag Accessory Packs ($39.99 to $63.99) present a suitable alternative for the most rugged dads out there. 

The Commuter

Everyone knows your dad. He typically whizzes past their car during rush-hour traffic. A proponent of hand signals and clad in Hi-Viz gear, he ranks high on the pragmatism scale. Even so, your practical pa deserves a dose of style. That’s where the RSD X Kriega ROAM 34 Backpack comes into play. 

RSD provides the form while Kriega delivers the function.
Offered in black and khaki color options, the RSD X Kriega ROAM 34 Backpack is a classic yet contemporary bag.

Constructed from a mix of ultra-abrasion-resistant 1000D Cordura and waxed cotton, this backpack doesn’t sacrifice protection in the name of design. It may resemble a good ol’ rucksack, but it courts moto-commuters of all disciplines with a dedicated goggle pocket as well as sissy bar attachment straps. The pack even fits a full-size helmet, thanks to its expandable 22-to-34-liter capacity. While the ROAM doesn’t boast 100% weather-proofing, the waterproof roll-top pocket accommodates a 15-inch laptop. At $299, the RSD X Kriega ROAM 34 Backpack sits at the crossroads of functional and fashionable.

Honorable mention: Tire pressure is critical for both safety and performance, and the Lexin P5 Smart Pump ($69.99) is another appropriate addition to any commuter’s toolkit.

The Farkler

Your old man is a bit extra. When he orders pizza, it comes with the works. The same can be said of his motorcycle. Whether it’s heated grips or a trick exhaust, a comfort seat or anodized bling, odds are he cleaned out the parts catalog long ago. So, what do you get for the man who has everything? We have a feeling that Quad Lock has an answer. 

Quad Lock accessories are compatible with most phones and bike models.
Quad Lock offers phone cases for Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphone models along with universal MAG adaptors.

Sure, he may already own Quad Lock’s Handlebar Mount, Phone Case, and maybe even a Vibration Damper. But, what about a Wireless Charging Head? Better yet, we’re confident he doesn’t have a Desk Mount or a Car Mount. Basically, dad doesn’t need to restrict his farkling to the bike, and with Quad Lock accessories ranging from $9.99 to $139.99, there’s no shortage of farkles for papa to choose from.

Honorable mention: Sometimes it’s best not to guess, especially with Farklers. For those instances, the Gift Card ($15 to $200) is always a safe bet.

PW Dad

This dad is just as dedicated to his child’s budding motocross career as they are. OK, maybe more so. Regardless, you can support his dream, ahem, their dream in various ways. Whether he hitches up a trailer or loads down a truck bed, each option comes with its own drawbacks. The Trackside Motorcycle Carrier sidesteps many of those pitfalls.

Sometimes, a motorcycle carrier is the best of both worlds.
Users can adapt the Trackside Motorcycle Carrier to different bikes by simply adjusting the wheel track carrier bolts.

Featuring an all-steel construction and a powder-coated finish, the stout carrier stands up to road debris and track-day abuse with aplomb. The model accepts motorbikes up to 500 pounds and tire widths up to 4.75 inches. That includes everything from a Yamaha PW50 to a KTM 450 SX-F. To ease the loading process, an integrated ramp attaches to either side of the carrier, while an anti-tilt device mitigates unwanted movement on the go. Compatible with Class III and Class IV hitches, the Trackside Motorcycle Carrier is currently on sale for $159.99.

Honorable mention: If the PW Dad in your life isn’t in need of transport assistance, a Factory Effex Bike Mat ($139.95) should also meet his factory-team standards. 

The Tinkerer

Picture a spotless garage. A loaded tool chest lines the back wall. A tire-changing machine occupies the far corner. A hydraulic motorcycle lift takes center stage. This is your dad’s domain. He’s just as proud of his parts washer as he is of his motorcycle. If anyone has a maintenance issue, he’s the go-to guy. 

Beating aching knees and disorganization all at the same time.
Robust caster wheels help dad move about the garage without leaving the comfort of his seat.

As such, the Stockton Roller Seat With Tool Box is an excellent companion for any project. The steel construction stands the test of time. All the while, the vinyl cover and padded seat prioritize comfort. Dad runs a tight ship and the heavy-duty drawers, shelves, and recessed trays keep all his tools, sockets, and fasteners in order. At $69.99, the Stockton Roller Seat with Tool Box is a fitting addition to your pa’s immaculate garage. 

Honorable mention: The Tinkerer may balk at removing his prized tools from the safety of the garage. In that case, the Stockton Roadside Tool Kit ($49.99) can handle every mishap out on the open road.

Cruiser Daddio

Your old man is large and in charge. When he isn’t rumbling his Hog across state lines, he’s showing her off on Main Street. He may not be the most ardent ATGATT advocate, but all American V-Twin riders need one form of protection: eyewear. Whether he favors a modular helmet, a brain bucket, or no lid at all, the FMF Throttle Sunglasses capture both the cruiser attitude and aesthetic. 

Nylon frames and 100% UV protection make these affordable shades top performers.
Available in three different finishes and lenses, the FMF Throttle Sunglasses suit a wide range of riders.

Currently priced at just $53.10, these shades offer major bang for minor buck. The nylon frames are light on the face yet durable over the long haul. The shatter-proof polycarbonate lenses also hold their own, providing 100% UV protection all along. Thanks to the included microfiber cleaning pouch, daddio can stay stylish both on and off the bike.

Honorable mention: Protecting papa’s mitts is just as important as protecting his eyes and the REAX Tasker Leather Gloves ($89.99) deliver the optimal blend of safety and style.

The Tourer

Our final father doesn’t let precipitation rain on his parade. He intends to travel far and wide, regardless of the forecast. However, when the heavens open, it’s best to be prepared. That’s when the Firstgear Sierra Day Glo Rain Jacket springs into action. 

The Firstgear Sierra Day Glo Rain Jacket's articulated cut naturally fits the riding position.
An integrated stuff sack allows users to easily store the Sierra Day Glo Rain Jacket when not in use.

Benefitting from a waterproof yet breathable nylon shell, the wet-weather jacket seals out all moisture with water-repellent seams and an under-the-helmet rain hood. The Hi-Viz Yellow colorway and reflective strips enhance visibility through the harshest downpours and the darkest conditions. Firstgear doesn’t forego comfort either. The soft collar liner adds a touch of luxury while the Velcro adjustment tabs at the wrists and upper arms personalize the fit. Retailing for $119.95, the Firstgear Sierra Day Glo Rain Jacket keeps your old man on the move, and most importantly, safe.

Honorable mention: If The Tourer doesn’t yield to rain, he sure isn’t letting a flat tire stop him. The Milwaukee Twins Tubeless Tire Repair Kit ($19.99) is a vital yet affordable way to keep that from happening.