April 19, 2024

How to Pack for a Touring Motorcycle Trip

By Melissa Delgado

Preparing for a motorcycle excursion, whether it’s a short trip or an extended touring adventure, involves numerous factors. Space is limited, unlike the ample trunk space of a car. You must condense all necessities into 85 to 170 liters, possibly a bit more if you utilize a saddle or roll bag.


Must-Have Motorcycle Trip Packing List

Motorcycle Gear

  • Helmet
  • Riding jacket
  • Riding pants
  • Motorcycle boots
  • Gloves
  • Rain gear

Essential Clothing

  • Base layers
  • Casual shirts
  • Jeans/pants
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Sleepwear
  • Swimsuit (depending on where you’re going)
  • Hat/cap


  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Soap/body wash
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Towel
  • Medication (allergies, pain, etc.)


  • Tire repair kit
  • Multi-tool
  • Chain lube
  • Electrical tape
  • Zip ties
  • Portable jump starter + tire inflator


  • Phone and charger
  • GPS or paper maps
  • Camera
  • Power bank


  • Water
  • Snacks/energy bars
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Matches or lighter
  • Notepad and pen

Luggage and Comfort

  • Backpack or tank bag
  • Saddlebags or panniers
  • Dry bags or compression sacks
  • Bungee cords or cargo net

Documents (Keep ON You)

  • License and registration
  • Insurance information
  • Roadside assistance details
  • Medical information card
  • Cash and credit cards


1. Less is More

The essence of motorcycle packing lies in embracing minimalism. Given the limited space on a bike, careful consideration of each item is vital. Reflect on whether each item serves multiple functions or is indispensable for safety, comfort, or legal compliance. Adopting this mindset aids in discerning the essentials for the journey.


2. Prioritize Heavy Items

Pack with weight distribution in mind. Place heavier items at the bottom of your luggage and closer to the bike’s center. Packing this way helps maintain balance and prevents the bike from becoming top-heavy, which could affect handling. Proper weight distribution is important for a smooth and safe ride.


3. Roll Your Clothes

Maximize your packing space by rolling your clothes instead of folding them. This not only saves room but also simplifies packing and unpacking. Rolling allows for efficient space utilization, enabling you to pack more without adding bulk. You might wonder if clothes take up space regardless, but indeed, how you pack them does affect available space.


4. Choose Versatile Gear

Opt for gear that can adapt to various conditions. For instance, a multipurpose motorcycle jacket with a removable liner can save space typically occupied by additional outerwear. Similarly, durable, waterproof boots offer both comfort and protection against the elements. Focus on items that offer versatility and convenience for your packing list.


5. Allow for Extras

While packing, leave some room for items you may acquire during your journey. Fully filling every pocket from the outset can hinder accommodation of souvenirs or other purchases made en route. It also complicates repacking when needed.


6. Utilize Shoe Space

Utilize the space in your shoes to store smaller items like socks or electronics, making the most of every inch of available storage.


7. Consider Entertainment

Long rides benefit from entertainment. Bluetooth helmet speakers allow for enjoying music or podcasts while on the move. Opt for lightweight entertainment choices that don’t rely on constant connectivity.


8. Don’t Overfill Your Backpack

While backpacks can be convenient, overloading them leads to discomfort and inefficiency. Invest in a motorcycle-specific backpack designed for ergonomic comfort and pack it lightly.


9. Organize Wisely

Maintain organization by using separate bags or compartments for different types of items. This facilitates easy retrieval and preserves order within your luggage. If your current luggage lacks compartments, consider using lightweight, thin-compartment bags to organize your belongings.


10. Share the Load

If traveling in a group, coordinate to share common items. This reduces duplication and conserves space, enhancing efficiency for all travelers.


11. Try a Waterproof Compression Sack

Utilize compression sacks to pack efficiently and shield your gear from the elements, especially for clothing and other compressible items susceptible to moisture.


12. Secure Your Gear

Ensure the security of your luggage by using built-in locks or portable padlocks for valuable items. Always keep essential documents and electronics on your person when away from your bike.


13. Don’t Forget Chargers

In today’s digitally connected era, keeping devices powered is essential. Allocate a specific space in your luggage for chargers and cables, ensuring easy access and accountability.


14. Prepare for the Unexpected

Always carry a few zip ties and bungee cords as they occupy minimal space but can prove versatile and invaluable in unforeseen circumstances.



Starting your Motorcycle Adventure

To further assist you in planning your off-road adventure don’t hesitate to shoot us a message in our Contact Page! Check out our motorcycles available in our rentals page. If you are not sure what you would like to visit, or don’t feel comfortable going at it solo, visit our Tours and Routes page to learn more about our guided and self-guided tours, and available routes.


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