A lot of people ask  – how much and what to pack for a motorcycle trip. People tend to pack way too much stuff.  Not a problem when driving a car. On a bike – one more bag is more weight, more to load and unload.  Most of the time its not necessary.

A moped packed high with boxes.

On a motorcycle – space is limited.  Every pound makes the bike handle different.  The taller your luggage more unstable the motorcycle will be.  Try to keep your luggage to a minimum.

Motorcycle Gear

Some riders opt for all-in-one motorcycle gear.  They are ventilated and you control the air flow with flaps and zippers – and they can be waterproof.  This negates the need for separate rain gear.  More weight and cargo savings.  Rain gear can be very heavy based on the type you will need for the conditions you are riding in.

Vintage motorcycle riders and gear.

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The alternative is motorcycle rain gear – a popular brands is Frog Toggs.  These are designed to minimize footprint and are nice and light if the temperatures are warm.

Pack Better

I utilize the rolling method when packing my cloths – I roll-up everything and they look good and it seems like I can pack more.  I try to take one extra shirt, underwear and pants than I need.  If the trip is longer than three days – I’ll usually only pack for three and find a place to do laundry.  There is usually a laundry option near by, if not at the location I stay.  Packing light will save you from carting six days of clothes – 3 to 4 days seems like a good balance and not too much to pack for.

Example how to see packed items prior to putting them in a bag.

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Laying out the clothes and counting things out before you put anything in your bags is a good idea.  You don’t want to forget your underwear.

Don’t forget to pack some leisure clothes for night – and if you are staying at a hotel with a pool, it feels good to go for a swim after a long day of riding.  Also – its good to have easy access to some of the incidentals that you bring with – medication, comb, deodorant – if these are in a zipper pouch outside of the main secure areas you can grab a quick refresh, which can be very nice to pack for a motorcycle trip.

If you are corrective lenses don’t forget to bring an extra pair of glasses/contacts if you have them – you never know when you might need an extra pair. It saves you from having to stop and get something on the road – it keeps the fun factor up.

What kind of Tools to Pack for a Motorcycle Trip

Motorcycle Tool-kit

It’s good to have tools, you can pack what you have in the garage…or you can pick up a bike specific tool kit from one of the leading brands.

A tool kit to pack for a motorcycle trip - various tools

Some are built specifically for for certain bikes so you can have the minimum number of tools and some are more general kits.  Outside of these tools proper – duct tape, electrical tape, various wires and connectors and zip ties are good to get you out of a bind.

Motorcycle Jumper Cables

Lastly – a set of motorcycle jumper cables is a very good idea – the different in motorcycle specific cables is the size and clips tend to be a little smaller to allow for the tight space of a motorcycle battery.

Motorcycle Tire Repair

Once additional item that is not an official tool, but is a good idea to pack for a motorcycle trip is a tire patch/tire plug kit –  as well as a small air compressor to pump up tires.  Not all tire pumps are created equal – there are some very good motorcycle specific tire pumps on the market – one of the best is the CyclePump Tire Inflator.  ,    A great time to practice fixing a flat tire is recovery take tire into be replaced. You can force a hole in the tire and see if you can repair it.  Test your ability to get a plug or patch to work properly without too much concern for breaking a brand-new or good tire.  It is harder to do the repair on the road – if you have never practiced it’s a good learning opportunity.

Extra Motorcycle Parts

You’ll want to prepare your motorcycle for your trip, which we talk about in this post, as best you can – but things happen.  Issues I’ve encountered or witnessed have been headlight bulbs going out, car backing into a motorcycle with small damage to the bike, brakes failing and needing repair, motorcycle accidents, bike battery failure and parts falling off the motorcycle.

These are not all things you can prevent or stop – but you also can be prepared.  My friend’s GoldWing headlight outage was not preventable – but we spent about 1.5 hours at a Honda dealership waiting for the techs to change out a bulb when we may have been able to do that roadside with an extra bulb on hand.  Another friend had a bad battery, but if we would have had battery cables with us – I wouldn’t have had to search the roads of rural Tennessee for a local 5 and dime to find a set of cables to jump start him.  These are all things to think about as you plan for the next great trip.

Snacks to Pack for a Motorcycle Trip

Something which you can bring to eat along the way include various snacks.  The thing to think about when it comes to snacks is more about the packaging that anything else.  You want to be able to easily get in and out of the container/bag you use to store the snacks, but have a resealable package.  As “contents may shift in transit” couldn’t be more true on a motorcycle.  This is also true for medications…I cannot tell you how many times a bottom of aspirin as opened itself in my trunk – the vibrations of motorcycle driving must have the ability to override any child protective lids.

45 degree Stainless Steel Insulated Water BottleWater is another great thing to pack – I used to be a fan of a small cooler and it can be a great option if you want to cut costs and pack meals.  But if you are only wanting to bring water, the stainless steel water bottles work great – I love my 45 Degree 64 oz, Yeti like bottle.  I have kept water with ice in this growler for over 24 hours – and it still had ice.  These are awesome.

Wrap Up

There are so many things to think about when it comes to trip planning.  Thank you for taking time to read this post.


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