Planning a multi-day motorbike trip requires some thought and preparation to ensure you stay safe, comfortable, and prepared for any situation while on the open road. Packing correctly for your motorcycle tour means bringing along only the most necessary items to keep weight to a minimum, while also taking key supplies to handle emergencies, self-care, navigation, camping, and more.
Here is an extensive packing list with must-have gear, clothing, tools, and accessories to make your multi-day motorcycle journey a success.
Essentials for Riding
Your riding gear is your most important category of items to pack and should be top-notch for safety and comfort across long distances:
- Helmet – Your helmet is the single most important piece of motorcycle riding gear. Be sure to pack one that meets safety standards like DOT or Snell certification. Consider packing a full face helmet for the most protection.
- Jacket and pants – Look for a motorcycle jacket and pants made of durable, abrasion-resistant materials such as leather, kevlar or cordura. Armor plating offers impact protection. Waterproofing and ventilation are ideal if choosing textile jackets/pants.
- Gloves – Pack a pair of full fingered motorcycle gloves to protect your hands and improve grip. Leather offers abrasion protection while textile gloves with reinforcements provide protection and breathability.
- Boots – Sturdy over the ankle boots protect your feet, ankles and lower legs. Look for oil resistant soles with good traction and materials like leather or reinforced textiles.
- Eye protection – Pack shatter-resistant sunglasses or a tinted visor to protect your eyes from glare, insects and debris. Clear eye protection is recommended for night riding.
Carrying key documentation can help make your trip go smoothly in the event you need them while on the road:
- Motorcycle license and registration – Keep these on you in case you are stopped by law enforcement. Check that your license covers the size/type of motorcycle you’re driving and is valid for all states/provinces you will travel through. Bring registration to prove ownership.
- Maps/GPS – Pack paper maps and/or program your GPS to have access to turn-by-turn directions, find fuel stops, and avoid getting lost. Maps and GPS may not always be reliable so having both can provide backup navigation.
- Insurance information – Bring proof of motorcycle insurance that covers your multi-day trip. This provides important coverage in case you are in an accident.
Tools and Spare Parts
Carrying certain tools and spare parts for roadside troubleshooting and repairs can be a lifesaver on longer motorcycle trips:
- Tire repair kit – A plug kit with CO2 cartridges and plug inserts can temporarily repair tread punctures long enough to reach a tire shop. This allows you to fix flats without removing the wheel.
- Jumper cables – Battery failure is one of the most common issues for motorcycles. Jumper cables help you jump start your bike using another vehicle or an external battery pack.
- Multi-tool – A compact multi-tool with common bits and drivers lets you handle minor repairs. Look for one with pliers, hex keys, screwdrivers, and socket bits.
- Spare fuses – Pack extra fuses for electrical systems so you can easily replace any that blow. Refer to your owner’s manual for fuse types and amperages.
- Engine oil – Consider bringing a quart of your motorcycle’s recommended oil as an emergency top-up if your oil gets low between oil changes.
If you plan to camp during your multi-day motorcycle trip, pack ultra-compact and lightweight gear to minimize bulk:
- Tent – For motorcycle travel, a small 1-2 person tent works well. Look for lightweight backpacking-style tents with easy setup. Compact tents help keep luggage small.
- Sleeping bag – Go for a mummy-style sleeping bag rated for the coldest temperatures expected on your trip. Synthetic bags withstand moisture better than down. Compressible bags take up less space.
- Camping mattress – Inflatable mattresses provide padding and insulation for better sleep comfort while keeping size down. Alternatively, closed cell foam pads are durable and compact.
- Camp stove – Small, portable propane or isobutane camp stoves allow you to cook meals at campsites. Mini versions weigh less than a pound.
- Camping cookware – Include lightweight, space-saving cookware like collapsible pots/pans, insulated mugs, and utensils. Nesting sets help save luggage room.
Pack versatile clothing that allows you to comfortably ride and handle changing weather conditions:
- Layered clothing – Pack base layers, mid layers, and outer layers so you can add or remove layers for variable temperatures and conditions. Synthetics, wool, and other technical fabrics work best.
- Rain gear – Carry waterproof and breathable outer layers like a lightweight motorcycle riding jacket and pants to block wind and rain without overheating.
- Extra socks and underwear – Pack at least 1 extra pair of riding socks and underwear per day in case originals get wet/dirty. Proper motorcycle socks improve comfort and hygiene.
- Off-bike clothing – Pack comfortable clothes and footwear you can wear at camp like pants, shorts, t-shirts, hoodies, hats, and camp shoes.
Personal Care and First Aid
Prepare to take care of hygiene, health, and medical issues yourself while motorbike traveling:
- Medications – Pack enough medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, to last your whole trip. Carry medications in original containers when possible.
- Toiletries – Essential toiletries like toothbrush, toothpaste, medications, wet wipes, and toilet paper allow you to maintain personal hygiene on the road.
- Sunscreen – Protect yourself from sun exposure which increases substantially while riding. Pack waterproof sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
- Bug spray – Ward off ticks, mosquitos and other insects. Look for sprays with DEET or picaridin. Apply sunscreen first before bug spray.
- First aid kit – A compact first aid kit with bandages, gauze, tape, antiseptic creams, medications, trauma shears, gloves, CPR mask, and emergency blanket equips you to treat minor to serious injuries.
Stay safely on route and stay in touch with a few key electronics:
>>> Learn More: What should I do if my motorbike rental breaks down on the road?
- GPS device/maps – Pack a dedicated GPS device and/or maps with routes pre-programmed to ensure you can navigate to planned stops and find alternate routes if needed. Keep GPS charged.
- Mobile phone – Bring a smartphone to call for help in emergencies, research restaurants/lodging, communicate with family back home, and use as a backup GPS.
- Chargers – Don’t forget charged to keep electronics powered on. Bring car chargers, portable power banks, and power inverters to charge gear.
>>> Read Further: Do Motorbike Rentals Include Maintenance if Issues Arise?
Snacks and Hydration
Fuel up with quick and easy to eat foods and stay hydrated while riding:
- Water – Pack enough water bottles or hydration bladder/pack to stay hydrated in heat and humidity. Bracket mounted bottles provide easy access when riding.
- Electrolyte tablets – These dissolve in water to replace critical salts and minerals lost while sweating. This prevents dehydration and fatigue.
- Snack bars – Lightweight high protein and nutrient bars like Clif Bars provide energy for riding. Look for non-melting textures.
Tools for Emergencies
A few key items can help you handle emergency situations at camp or on the road:
- Flashlight – Pack a small, powerful LED flashlight to illuminate your campsite, motorcycle controls, or roadside repairs at night.
- Multitool – Have a second multitool handy while camping to handle unexpected equipment issues.
- Fire starter – Useful for starting campfires. Reusable options like ferrocerium rods simplify starting a fire versus disposable lighters.
Round out your packing list with these last few recommended items:
- Cash – While credit cards are convenient, carrying some cash ensures you can pay for parking, buy food/drink, or tip at establishments that are cash-only.
- Portable battery charger – These small power banks allow you to recharge phones and electronics away from outlets. Solar versions can charge while riding.
- Trash bags – Use to compartmentalize gear, line saddlebags to keep contents dry, or carry trash until you find receptacles.
- Entertainment – Pack books, magazines, portable speakers, and other entertainment to enjoy during downtime between riding days. Earplugs also help minimize campground noise.
Final Motorcycle Trip Packing Tips
Packing for a multi-day motorcycle trip requires balancing packing light with having the right gear. Keep these tips in mind as you prepare:
- Check all lights, tires, engine fluids, and electronics pre-trip so your bike is ready to go the distance. Perform an oil change if due.
- Adjust tire pressure towards maximum recommended pressure to improve fuel economy with a loaded bike.
- Use modular luggage like saddlebags, tail bags, and tank/sissy bar bags to distribute weight evenly and keep gear secure. Hard panniers provide lockable and waterproof storage.
- Pack soft items like clothing into every available space to cushion hard objects and prevent shifting. Layer items from big to small.
- Waterproof important documents and electronics in plastic bags in case of rain. Zip-lock bags organize small items.
- Confirm campsites or hotel reservations in advance and plan daily mileage accordingly. Leave room for flexibility if needed.
With the right preparation, packing, and planning, your multi-day motorcycle adventure will create lasting memories. Use this comprehensive packing list to make sure you have reliable gear and supplies for an epic ride.