Before hitting the road, have a look at this checklist of items that we know will make your ride an enjoyable one while ensuring you have only what you need.
With so many great landscapes to explore, riding across the country on a motorcycle is incredibly fascinating, enjoyable, and can be considered a fun-filled adventure. Smart motorcycle travelers are those who have logged enough miles to learn that anything can go wrong; seasoned riders know that common-sense preparation goes a long way toward keeping you on the road.
Regardless of experience level, no one wants to encounter a sticky situation where they find out they had missed packing some tour necessary items. The key to enjoying yourself along the way is to have a prodigious and all-inclusive packing checklist - just like the one we've outlined below.
The best motorcycle trips are more about the journey than the destination. On any trip, there is a likelihood that your electronic devices will fail due to battery issues or inaccessible GPS location. A physical map, however, will never fail you - given that you know how to read a paper map. Aside from using a map in an emergency, you'll want a waterproof/tear-resistant map to get the big picture and to identify good roads.
The most convenient way to know where you’re going is by using a GPS navigation system. If you have a cell phone mount on your motorcycle, you can save some money and use your cell phone instead. That said, you probably wouldn’t regret bringing along a motorcycle-specific GPS unit as they typically have the waterproof form factor and a big touchscreen that is designed to work with motorcycle gloves. If you have a Bluetooth helmet communicator, you can pair it to your navigation system to hear the directions.
The smallest mechanical failure can ruin your whole motorcycle road trip. Always make sure you have a good travel-friendly motorcycle tool kit (wrenches, sockets, and other tools specific to your bike) with you. It may not even be for an emergency: for longer trips, you’ll need a tool kit for general maintenance like tightening your chain, securing a loose mirror, and adjusting your controls or suspension.
If you ride a motorcycle for long enough, you’ll more than likely pick up a puncture at some point. It's not specific to bikes, though - all tires are vulnerable to cuts and punctures. If you’re running on tubeless tires and get a puncture, a flat repair kit can get you back on the road in no time. Of course, after you fix your flat tire, you’ll need to reinflate the tire, and that’s where a portable air compressor comes in. A tire repair kit along with an air compressor is the only way to get back on the road if you get a flat, so don’t ride without them.
On longer trips, rain is something you can expect to encounter. In some areas, you may get caught in the rain even during the summer. It never seems to rain when you bring your rain gear (raincoat and waterproof gloves) but that one time you leave it at home is when you will face heavy rain for sure. If you've ever ridden in a sudden storm, you’ll know how valuable rain gear is. Rain gear doesn’t take up too much space, so never forget to pack rain gear in your road trip luggage.
Your cell phone gets a surprising amount of use on road trips, like using it as a navigator or booking somewhere to stay. You don’t often get a chance to charge your cell phone on the way, so this is why a power bank is very handy in this situation.