Motorcycle Road Trip Advice: 10 Best Tips & Things to Pack

Photo by Benjamin Benini

Touring in a motorcycle is the perfect way to spend a lot of quality time on the road. A motorcycle can take you far away to remote places. You don't need to spend as much energy as you would on a bicycle, and you'll have the advantage of being able to enjoy all the details of the scenery, as opposed to sitting in a car. Whether you're taking a motorcycle road trip up the PCH, or on Route 66 across the country, or even internationally, here are our top 10 pieces of advice for a motorcycle tour or motorcycle road trip.

Part I.) Our Best 5 Tips for a Motorcycle Road Trip

1.) Choose the Right Bike

Whether you decide to buy or rent your bike, you'll want to make sure that the motorcycle you choose is the right companion for your road trip. Don’t hesitate to visit several dealers. Opinions and reviews on Google are a great indicator of how reliable certain dealers and rental businesses are. Do research about local availability and price of brands before making a final decision. How many CC's do you need? Your choice of CC should be made according to your budget and experience. When you’ve chosen the perfect bike, make sure to inspect it from top to bottom and take before pictures.

2.) Add Side Luggage Carriers

Trust us when we say that you don’t want to carry all of your stuff on your back. Ouch! Add side luggage carriers to your motorcycle and transport all your essentials in an easy and comfortable way. If your motorcycle doesn't already come with side luggage carriers, you can usually buy them at the dealer or a local bike shop, and then have a local mechanic install them for you if you'd like.

3.) Adapt to Local Riding Habits

Depending on the country you’re visiting, you may notice some differences between riding habits in your home country and the country you're visiting. Give yourself some extra time to become accustomed to local riding habits before hitting the road. It's important to adapt to written and un-written rules and laws of the road - otherwise you could put yourself in danger. For example, if those around you are hitting the horn, you should hit the horn too!

Photo by Jolly Bilitis

4.) Take Detours & Alternate Routes

The best thing about riding a motorcycle is that you don’t have to follow all the established roads, because those are for cars. Time spent on the road is part of the fun and journey, so use the opportunity and take detours and "longcuts" instead of shortcuts. Taking alternate routes on a bike is what turns your trip from average to authentic and unique. Create your own itinerary that goes off the beaten path. Think of all the breathtaking landscapes, wildlife, nature, and rural remote scenery you'll only see if you don't follow the main roads.

5.) Take Breaks Regularly

If you've ridden before then you already know that riding is well, very tiring! You’ll need to take regular breaks for your own health and safety. In addition to resting and hydrating during your breaks, take the occasion to meet and greet with locals. Chances are that locals will be more curious about you than you are about them. Locals will come to you, especially if you’re in a remote area. Don't be shy! :)

Photo by Alfonso Autiero

Part II.) Our 5 Best Things to Pack for a Motorcycle Road Trip

What should you pack for your trip? Here's our recommended packing list:

1.) Riding Gear

When riding a bike, wear appropriate clothing to protect yourself. Essential apparel for a motorcycle road trip is:

Helmet

Gloves

Jacket

Boots

A good pair of jeans or pants

Additional non-necessary items:

Phone Mount

Glasses

Accessories

If you're going on a motorcycle tour of India or somewhere similar, note that it's best to buy a helmet beforehand because safety certifications in India are not the same as elsewhere. It’s safer to bring your own helmet.

2.) Basic Motorcycle Safety Kit

You may not always find a repair shop easily. In case of an emergency breakdown in the middle of nowhere, make sure you always have:

Multi-tool or Combination Tool

Tire Repair Kit

Flashlight

Fuses, Bulbs & Bolts

Pocket Knife

Pliers

Duct Tape

Photo by Franck Charton

3.) A Fuel Bottle

Carrying around a red bottle of fuel may sound weird, but fuel bottles are very useful when you need to fill up. Transporting fuel in a bottle is prohibited in some countries, but it's allowed in most Asian countries. Check the local regulations on transporting fuel before purchasing a fuel bottle.

4.) A Light Backpack

A small 20 liters backpack is handy for carrying daily necessities like your camera, sunscreen, a jacket, and snacks. If you carry a pack on your back with your most used items, it means you won't have to unpack your side luggage carriers every time you stop.

5.) Water Bottles & Hydration Pack

Your #1 priority during a bike road trip is to stay hydrated. Chances are that you’ll be riding in hot and humid territory, so take the time to make sure you always have at least 1-3 liters of water with you! You don't want to feel dizzy or lightheaded while on your ride.


And that's it - get out there, ride, and have fun!

Photo by Anuj Sharma

If you have any tips for having the best motorcycle road trip, please share in the comments below!

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