Looking for some motorcycle packing tips to get you through your summer road trip without having to leave anything essential behind? There are a few key concepts to packing like a pro, while at the same time not overburdening yourself with gear.
Check out these three motorcycle packing hints that will set you up for a summer of fun on the open road.
1. Pack Light
It sounds like a simple idea, but many riders plan for almost any eventuality with their luggage and end up with too heavy of a load to actually enjoy themselves on the bike. The truth is, if you’ve forgotten something you think is essential you’ll almost certainly be able to pick it up en route and there are far fewer things that are truly necessary that you would at first think. Pare things down to just the minimum you need for the time you’ll be away (clothes, basic toiletries, snacks, water).
2. Choose Your Luggage Well
One of the advantages of following the first of our motorcycle packing tips is that you can choose from more travel-friendly baggage options rather than trying to strap something big and unwieldy to your bike. If you do it right, you’ll be able to pack everything into a set of saddle bags or, if you prefer, a small, aero-friendly backpack. If you want to keep things even simpler, you might want to opt for a lightweight fabric backpack that contains enough nooks and pockets to organize your items.
It might be tempting to strap a toolkit or extra gear wherever you can find the room on your bike, but you need to consider two important things. The first is mass centralization — if you have luggage hanging off your bike it’s going to affect stability and cornering capability. Keep your gear confined to a luggage rack or a tank bag if you have to add extras. By the same token, make sure never to block engine cooling or instrumentation with a bag.
3. Waterproof Everything
There’s another reason to choose hard-case saddlebags and backpacks over cloth or fabric options: the rain. No matter how strong of a rider you might be, you can’t control or, in most cases, predict the weather, so you should be prepared for your gear to get wet. Waterproof everything to the best of your ability and if you have to stick with fabric baggage, then it’s worth wrapping anything that could be damaged by water in a sealed plastic bag inside you backpack or saddlebags.
Pack light and right to maximize your fun out on the road.
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Photo courtesy of pxhere.
Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.