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Home > Equipment > Packing for a Motorcycle Trip

Packing for a Motorcycle Trip

When packing for a motorcycle trip, only take what you need

How and what you pack for a motorcycle trip depends on several variables:

  • When and where you are going
  • How long you are going to be on the road
  • What space or luggage you have available

Riding a touing bike, I have the benefit of hard saddle bags and a touring trunk with a top rack, however you may not have all that built-in storage capacity. But fear not, depending on what you ride, it is still possible with readily available bags and a little creativity to carry everything you need.

The list below was assembled for a three week trip traveling from the Boston, MA area to Prescott, AZ, up into Yellowstone, then Sturgis and back to New England. So we could be traveling through a wide variety of terrains and weather conditions. For this tour we are not going to be camping so a sleeping bag and tent are of course missing from the list.

Storage Capacity

The Victory Vision has 29 gallons of built-in storage capacity. Some have complained about the size of the saddle bags, but I have been able to carry enough clothing and equipment for a four day two-up trip--and brought back some additional purchases (made by the wife) using just the stock saddlebags and top-case.

On longer, single rider trips I have packed for as many as ten days. Typically I always overpack, so this time, eventhough my buddies and I am going on a longer trip, I am limiting myself to 7 days worth of clothing. At two points during the ride we will spend two nights in the same location, during which we will wash our clothing and restock if necessary.

For this longer trip I am carrying my computer and camera equipment, so I am going to add one additional bag that will set on the passenger seat, providing some additional low-back support as well as additional storage capacity.

Victory Vision saddlebag liners
Victory Vision top liner

Tools
  1. Tire gauge
  2. Rear shock pump
  3. Metric Allen wrench set
  4. Pliers
  5. Needle nose pliers
  6. Screw drivers (Phillips and flat)
  7. Tubeless tire repair kit
  8. CO2 cartridges and inflator (or electric pump)
  9. WD-40
  10. Knife
  11. First-aid kit
  12. Tek Towel (packable highly absorb ant towel)
  13. Wind-ex
  14. Rain-ex (not picutred)
  15. Powerlet to standard car adapter
  16. Car phone charger
  17. Flashlight with extra batteries
  18. Wearable head-lamp

Tools for a motorcycle adventrue

Tools for a motorcycle trip

Right Saddlebag

All of this goes in the right saddlebag--with room to spare.

It is important to put your tools and first aid kit on the right side of your bike (or at least in a centrally mounted bag). The reason for this is that if you have to pull of the road for an emergency or breakdown you will not be standing next to on-comming traffic as you try to access your tools.

Victory Vision right saddle bag packing

Accessories
  1. Cup holder (not pictured)
  2. Water Bottle (not pictured)
  3. Cell phone
  4. Camera
  5. IPod
  6. Maps and GPS
  7. Books to read
  8. Laptop computer (if it will fit)
Accessories for a motorcycle touring trip

Protection
  1. Helmet
  2. Jacket
  3. Rain gear
  4. Bike cover (not pictured)
  5. Riding boots
  6. Over pants or chaps (not picture)
  7. Riding gloves
  8. Water-proof gloves
  9. Sun glasses or riding goggles
  10. Ear plugs
Protection to wear while riding your motorcycle

Toiletries
  1. Sunscreen
  2. Toothpaste
  3. Toothbrush
  4. Deodorant
  5. Electric saver with extra batteries
  6. Mouthwash
  7. Antibacterial wipes
  8. Shampoo and Conditioner
  9. Soap
  10. Skin lotion
  11. Cotton swabs
  12. Medications
  13. Comb or hairbrush
  14. Petroleum jelly (don't ask...)
Personal care items for the motorcyclist
Left Saddlebag

Most of the items form Accessories, Protection and Toiletries go into the left saddlebag. The electronic items, such as my computer, cell phone and cameras will go in the top case. I always plan on taking lots of pictures so I want to have easy access to my cameras. I will also be carrying a tripod that will go in the top case.

Victory Vision left saddlebag filled

Clothing
  1. 2 pair of Diamond Gussett Kevlar jeans
  2. 1 pair of regular jeans
  3. 1 pair shorts
  4. 1 pair swim trunks
  5. 5 pullover or T-shirts
  6. 2 Long sleeve pullover T-shirts
  7. 7 pair underwear (not pictured)
  8. 7 pair of socks
  9. 1 fleece pullover
  10. Baseball hat
  11. Pull-over cap
  12. Extra pair of shoes
clothing to take on a motorcycle trip

Documentation
  1. License
  2. Insurance information
  3. Warranty information
  4. Tire warranty information
  5. Emergency contact information
  6. Medical information (medications, allergies, conditions)
  7. Dealer list for states travelled
  8. Map book or maps or areas travelled
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