Motorcycles have long been a popular transport option in the Philippines, and this doesn’t look to change anytime soon. With congested roads and a public transport system that leaves much to be desired, it’s no wonder motorcycles have become the go-to mode of transportation for many Filipinos. Beyond their affordability compared to cars, motorcycles present the appealing option of zipping through Metro Manila’s notorious traffic jams or enjoying the scenic roads in provinces like Palawan or Cebu. However, owning a motorcycle involves more expenditure than just the initial purchase of the bike itself. There are also essential investments one should consider to ensure safety, longevity, and an overall satisfying riding experience. This guide aims to walk every motorcycle rider through these must-have items and practices that complete the motorcycle ownership experience in the Philippines.
High-Quality Safety Gear
Any respectable motorcycle rider needs to make safety their top priority, which in turn means investing in high-quality gear. While no one wants to get into an accident, it’s better to be prepared for any eventuality. You can start by getting a DOT- or Snell-approved helmet to protect your head. While open-face helmets may offer more ventilation, full-face helmets provide more comprehensive protection, safeguarding your face and jaw from injury.
Then there’s clothing designed to protect you from both the elements and potential accidents. A durable riding jacket and pants often come equipped with armor or pockets for inserting armor, which will insulate you from the impact of a possible fall. Don’t forget gloves that offer both grip and protection, and shoes or boots designed specifically for motorcycle riding.
Of course, there’s no denying that quality safety gear can be a steep investment. Fortunately, by using a good credit card, Philippines-based riders can manage these upfront costs with ease. Many cards offer installment options or rewards programs, which can soften the financial impact of your purchases while still ensuring you’re well-protected on the road.
Maintenance Tools and Supplies
Owning a motorcycle is a long-term commitment that goes beyond the thrill of the open road. You’ll have to perform regular maintenance to keep your bike running smoothly, and having the right tools and supplies will make this a breeze. For starters, a motorcycle stand can be used for practically everything from chain maintenance to tire changes. Meanwhile, a basic tool kit should include essential items such as screwdrivers, a wrench set, pliers, and wire cutters, as well as other tools more tailored to your bike’s specific needs. These will make minor adjustments and repairs more manageable.
On the supplies end, it’s wise to keep a regular stock of chain lube, cleaning brushes, oil, and extra filters. The hot and humid climate of the Philippines can be particularly harsh on machinery, so don’t underestimate the importance of regular maintenance. These practices are common among local riders, who are well aware of how the tropical weather can impact a motorcycle’s condition over time.
Comprehensive Insurance Coverage
Getting minimum insurance coverage may be tempting, especially when looking to cut down on costs. However, bare minimum coverage won’t provide adequate protection in case of severe accidents or theft. Comprehensive insurance plans, on the other hand, offer broader coverage that includes collision, theft, and even damages caused by natural hazards like typhoons and floods—which are common occurrences in the Philippines.
That said, comprehensive coverage is just the starting point. Many plans allow for add-ons such as medical payments coverage, accessory coverage, and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. These additional protections are invaluable in scenarios you hope never to encounter but would be thankful to have coverage for if you do. Given the unpredictability of traffic conditions, investing in a robust insurance plan will give you peace of mind every time you hit the road.
Improvements to Comfort and Ergonomics
A comfortable ride is a more enjoyable—and often safer—ride. One of the easiest ways to improve comfort is by investing in aftermarket seats or seat cushions. These offer better support and make long rides much more bearable. Handlebar grips or risers can also make a difference, especially for those who spend extended periods on their motorcycles. Proper ergonomics reduce muscle strain and fatigue in addition to making your ride more comfortable.
Additional Storage for Every Motorcycle Rider
Motorcycles may not offer the cargo space of a car, but that doesn’t mean you can’t carry anything on your bike. Adding storage options for every motorcycle rider is a practical necessity, especially if you mean for it to double as a utility vehicle. Whether it’s for carrying groceries or delivering small packages, additional storage comes in handy.
Saddlebags are a popular option, providing ample storage space on either side of the bike. Tank bags are another versatile choice, particularly for items you’d like to access quickly. For those who require even more storage space, rear racks or tail bags offer a solution. Given the multipurpose use of motorcycles in everyday Filipino life—whether it’s for commuting, errands, or even small-scale commercial activities—these storage additions can significantly enhance your bike’s utility.
The joy and convenience of owning a motorcycle come with responsibilities that go beyond the initial purchase. From safety gear and maintenance to comprehensive insurance and thoughtful upgrades, these investments contribute to a more fulfilling and secure riding experience. As you navigate the diverse and often challenging roads of the Philippines, remember that the true value of these investments lies in the peace of mind and countless safe journeys they offer, rather than their cost.