Motorcycle trips are what we live for. We have never felt better waking up in dawn and roaring out of the city on our two wheels. The feeling of freedom, when you leave your mundane life behind to spend a few days on the road with your friends and motorcycles is unmatched.
To enjoy the trip, you need to pack right. We are listing down, the basic checklist of what to put in your motorcycle luggage and a few checks:
Ensure that your motorcycle is in top shape:
Just because you ride everyday, does not mean that your motorcycle is in good shape. The risk of breakdown on a trip is much higher that if it breaks down on your daily city ride. Not only is help on a stranded road a premium, you will also waste a lot of time and might have to alter your trip.
The first thing you should check is your pair of wheels. If your tyres are old and have had a lot of wear and tear, its advisable to change them for the trip. Even if your tyres are new, you should give them a quick glance. Look out for cuts, screws and uneven wear.
The next thing you should look out for are the fluids. Tank up for the ride. Also check the Engine Oil and brake oil.
Next, check if all the electronics are working. Lights, Horn, Indicators, Speeometer and any other electronics.
From here, move over to the stand, brakes and the drive chain.
This is just a basic checklist which you should do at least a day before your trip so that you have enough time to get things right.
Here’s a video from our friends at BikeBandit.com explaining the basics again:
2. Carry the Essentials:
Here is a list of items, when you go out for any ride:
- Driving License
- Money – Carry Cash along with one card
- Insurance & roadside assistance info
- Saddlebag and other luggage
- Phone along with the charger
- Camera and charger
- Maps – paper ones if you are old school, or you can just use google maps – they even work in offline mode when do don’t have connectivity
- Riding Shoes
- Riding Clothes
Carry the smallest packs available. Even if you are on a long ride carry two or three of these small packs. You can dispose them off, once you are finished with one pack.
- Oral Care: toothbrush, toothpaste and mouth wash
- Skin care: Soaps – Put your liquid body wash in small used plastic bottles. Shampoos: Carry Sachets. Deodorant: You cant really do much in deos since they come in standard size. Carry a comb or brush. Body Lotion for dry skin
- Detergent: On a long trip, you will need to wash your clothes for which you will need detergent. Carry a small quantity in your bag. If you do run out of it, use your body wash to clean your clothes.
What you carry will depend on where you are riding. Remember, you have limited space in your saddlebag and you should pack accordingly. There is just no room for clothes that you will carry and might not wear. You need to pack smart.
Depending on the duration of your trip, you should calculate the clothes that you need to carry.
- Pants: For a short trip, you should just carry the pants that you are wearing. Along with this, you should carry an extra pair as buffer.
- Shirts: For a short trip, the number of shirts should be equal to the number of days you’ll be riding and add two more as buffer. For a long trip (anything above 7 days), multiply the number of days by 2/3 to calculate the number of shirts that you need to carry. Always add an additional 2 shirts as buffer.
- Socks: You can wear each pair of socks for 2 days.
- Underwear: Change them daily. They don’t occupy much space anyway. Carry additional 2-3 pairs.
- Sleep Clothes: You can use the same riding shirts and pair them with shorts
- Jacket: Apart from your riding Jacket, carry an additional Jacket. You never know when it might get too cold.
Let’s face it, motorcycles break down. Every rider has faced a breakdown on a ride and that’s when you need a toolkit to just do the roadside repairs. There are many available but none of them would cater to all your repair needs. Its best to buy a tool roll and create your own tool kit. You should carry something that is compact and preferably you can tie to the frame of your motorcycle. That way you don’t have to carry the extra weight in your saddlebag.
6. First Aid Kit:
You never know when you need this. Apart from the regular medical kit, you should carry all regular medicines along with a few ibuprofen and asprin tablets.
7. Extra Bags:
Always carry ziplocs and plastic bags to carry wet or dirty clothes. These don’t require much space and are the very useful. You should also carry Large Garbage Bags to cover your saddles in case of rain.
Here is our basic checklist, let us know what you carry on your trips in the comments below.
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