Motorcycle Safety: Your Official Road Trip Checklist

two people on a motorcycle road trip

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 21 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.

3. GPS

Bring a portable GPS system or map.

4. Wear a helmet

When riding, always wear a full-face helmet for accident and weather protection.

5. Earplugs

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.

15. Documents

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.

21. Water

Staying hydrated on the road is important. Bring at least 2 gallons of water so you never get thirsty.

These items are important to pack, but completing an approved safety course can prepare you for a long road trip on your bike and could save you money on your motorcycle insurance policy.