Preparing for a long-distance road trip takes careful planning: Deciding on the route, what to take, then strategically fitting it all into the trunk of your car. But what if your vehicle is a motorcycle?
Without the luxury of space, packing what you need for a trip on your bike can be even more challenging. We compiled a list of essentials for a motorcycle road trip from experienced riders and the Harley Davidson website.
So, before you head on down the highway, here are 22 things you should have on your motorcycle trip packing list:
Motorcycle Road Trip Checklist
1. Check your bike
First and foremost, make sure everything on your bike is in 100% working order. It’s wise to have it serviced before you leave – fluids changed, valves calibrated, fuel system cleaned, electrical system checked, bulbs changed and tires checked
2. Tire plug kit
Carry a tire-plug kit with a CO2 tire-inflation system or a small pump.
Bring a portable GPS system or map.
4. Wear a helmet
When riding, always wear a full-face helmet for accident and weather protection.
Custom earplugs can minimize wind noise and protect your ears.
6. Extra gloves
It’s wise to bring an extra pair of gloves (summer or winter depending on the season and a waterproof pair) in case your primary pair rips or gets lost.
7. Proper footwear
Make sure you have your riding boots, plus overboots or rain gaiters in case of bad weather.
8. Cooling neck wrap
If you’re going on a summer road trip, a cooling neck wrap can make riding in scorching temperatures much more comfortable.
9. Heated riding suit
For those who enjoy a winter motorcycle ride, a heated riding suit can help you stay warm and toasty on the road.
10. Rain gear
Don’t get caught in the elements without the proper gear. From a rain jacket and rain pants, don’t forget to bring your weather-proof gear along.
11. Protective eyewear
It’s important to have protective eyewear while you’re out on the road, including sunglasses and rain/night goggles.
12. Waterproof luggage
If you expect to see rain, waterproof gear isn’t the only thing to worry about. Make sure your belongings stay dry with waterproof luggage.
13. Bungee cords
Loose baggage on the road can be a motorcyclist’s worst nightmare. Bring along bungee cords and nets to secure luggage and loose items.
14. Travel bags
Backpacks and fanny packs that allow easy access to necessities (cell phone, map, glasses, etc.) can be a lifesaver on the road.
Keep your necessary documents, including your ID, insurance and roadside assistance information, in a secure place safe from the elements.
16. Waterproof bags
If you aren’t bringing luggage, at least have trash or zip-top bags to keep items dry.
17. Motorcycle cover
If you’re planning an overnight trip or an extended stop, bring your motorcycle cover to keep your bike pristine.
18. Bike tools
If you know your way around a motorcycle, wrenches, sockets and other tools specific to your bike can help out in a pinch.
19. Miscellaneous tools
Tools such as air pumps, flashlights or headlamps, hazard lights, cable ties, duct tape, Swiss Army knife and more can be helpful on a road trip.
20. First aid kit
It’s always a good idea to carry a basic first aid kit that can help tend to minor injuries.
Staying hydrated on the road is important. Bring at least 2 gallons of water so you never get thirsty.
22. Winter riding gear
Wearing the proper clothing can make all the difference in staying warm throughout the winter, and that is particularly true when you’re on a bike. A full-head helmet, warm gloves, riding boots, base layers, and heated gear are some of the things you should have on your list.