Start your engines! We’ve compiled a motorcycle road trip checklist for a worry-free, organized and easygoing escape.
Here’s your definitive motorcycle road trip checklist:
Clothes and Accessories
- Think layers. Thinner synthetic garments (with wicking properties) pack small, are lightweight and will keep you warm or cool. For colder weather, fleece jackets, vests and neck warmers are a lighter alternative to cotton or wool.
- Use plastic resealable bags of all sizes for organizing items and keeping them dry. That way you don’t have to pack and unpack everything to get to what you want. Also, rolling your clothes, instead of folding, saves a lot of space.
- Pack all of your cold weather and rain gear no matter what time of the year you are planning travel.
- Shampoo, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, moisturizers, lip protectant, tissues and eye drops top the must haves list.
- Don’t forget your prescription medications plus pain relievers, cold tablets, tums, etc.
- Pack a notepad and pen for everything from directions to places that make you feel poetic.
- A synthetic chamois cloth will whisk dew off your seats, windshields and mirrors and keep your bike clean.
- Don’t forget your ID, cash, insurance and roadside assistance info, phone/camera/chargers, maps/directions. If you’re on the road alone, always wear an ID tag with your name and contact information.
- Hide an extra key on your bike, and stow some extra money somewhere as well, just in case
- Take your toolkit including an adjustable wrench, hex key, screwdriver, air pump and other items.
- Pack an extra set of bungee cords, a roll of duct tape, tie-ups and a fanny pack or waist bag.
- Try your rain gear out on an inclement day before hitting the road.
- Pack your bike up and go for a short ride to see if the load needs readjustment.
- If you’re camping, waterproof your tent and set it up a couple of times, at least once in the dark.
- Check out your toolkit by doing some regular maintenance work.
- On the road: Before you take off, check all the latches and straps on your saddlebags, tank bags, and luggage. Detail your bike by checking air pressure, oil level, loose or missing fasteners.
- Pack healthy snacks like nuts and raisins, wholegrain crackers and dried fruit for quick energy.
- Skip chain restaurants and check out local places for a bit of folklore and home-cooked meals.
- You need to stay hydrated, so pack several reusable water bottles.
- Try not to eat at the usual times ( 8 a.m, noon and 6 p.m.) If you go for the off hours, you’re more likely to get in and out quicker.
Keep a file for long trips. American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) suggests preparing one envelope for each day on the road. Mark the dates and locations on the outside, and put hotel reservations and lists of things to see inside. Roadside America, is a smart source for offbeat roadside attractions to add some adventures to your trip.
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Holly Reich writes about cars, culture, travel, health, beauty and more.Her work has appeared in Fortune, Parents, NY Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Redbook, NY Observer and dozens more. Holly, a recipient of several writing awards, has also reported on media outlets including: Fox, Lifetime TV, The Discovery Channel, AutoLab and AutoWorld radio. She is a voting member of WWCOTY (Women's World Car of the Year), TAWA (Texas Auto Writers Association) and Citizens NYC. Holly's passions include, cooking, swimming, Pilates, gardening and hanging with her family in NYC.