Long motorcycle trip packing can be a challenge if you don't have experience with extended periods of time on the open road. Fortunately our guide below gives you all the information you need to prepare appropriately for a safe and enjoyable journey. Read on for packing and travel tips perfect for your upcoming bike excursion.
Dodging the One Track Mind
Many bikers consider extended motorcycle trips as a chance to truly "get away from it all." In other words, their open road daydreams begin long before their actual journey, leaving them slightly unaware at times of all that must be done before departure. For this reason, it's recommended that long motorcycle trip packing lists are made immediately upon return from an outing, so that your memory is fresh regarding all you were missing and wish you had had.
Another great way to switch your mind set off of the excitement of biking and onto the task at hand is to ask other riders for advice as to what to bring. If you are traveling with a group, compare packing lists and help each other to be as prepared as possible. If you are going out alone, call up friends and family, or visit websites such as this one for pertinent information to what you should pack for different times of year and various locations.
As a general rule, there should be around five categories on your list. Below are some examples.
Whether you consider yourself to be a prize winning mechanic or not, chances are if your trip is long enough, you will end up tinkering with your bike along the way. Motorcycles are somewhat notorious for having minor complications, so it is ideal to pack at least some of the following.
- Tire patches
- Wrenches or other tools
- small flashlight
- Extra fuses/lightbulbs/spark plugs
- Electrical tape
If you have these supplies, or something comparable, most riders agree you will be able to repair most anything minor that happens along the way.
Having a way to keep your belongings safe is another important step to take when packing for your trip. Be sure to have a method to lock your bike including the wheels. Key locks work best as they are harder to remove and will scare away at least the novice thieves. Other riders swear by a disk lock, as they are very compact and impressively strong. If you are worried about your bike actually being carried away, some carry a heavy cable and a chain lock with them. If you don't mind the extra weight that is added to your journeys, it is definitely a good idea. Lastly, check your insurance policy to see what is covered should your bike be snatched on the open road.
Considering Health During Long Motorcycle Trip Packing
Remember that even when you feel like you're flying free on your ride, you aren't as protected from the elements as you think. Sun protection is the first step toward being health smart on your trip. Sunburns can put a damper on any journey, so lather up your face, arms, hands, and legs (if exposed) with a sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Another important thing to apply is a quality lip balm to avoid chapped lips as you barrel through strong winds.
A cell phone is also an important item to carry if you intend to be safe rather than sorry during your adventure. Make sure your phone is not only charged, but that you have purchased a charger that is able to be plugged into the bike itself. Stores also carry battery-powered chargers that make a great back up.
To stay safe in other ways, remember to always wear a helmet while riding, and pack clothes appropriate for the terrain you are traveling on. These might include:
- Leather jacket with a quality lining
- Gloves - either full fingered or fingerless
- Extra bandanas
- Sunglasses or goggles
- Rain gear
- Special colors or gear that make your trip unique and special to you or your crew
Hygiene is important, especially if you meet a special biker of the opposite sex while on your journeys. Be sure to pack:
- Razor/shaving cream
- Hair brush
- Toilet paper
- Wash cloth
- Anything else you usually need to feel clean and handsome/beautiful
If you are planning on camping, you must pack gear and that can be rather tricky on a motorcycle. You want to try to avoid bulk while still having everything with you that you need. A two-person dome tent tends to work best when you are trying to fit camping gear. Especially if you are traveling alone, this will provide you plenty of space to sprawl out at night. An inflatable mattress is another good idea, as is a small lantern.
Other camping gear for your motorcycle trip can be found at your local outdoors store, and visiting a local bike shop is also a great way to find ideas as to what to pack.
Being prepared ahead of time is the perfect way to get ahead of the extended trip game and ensure you have a great ride!