|So you want to go on a motorcycle road trip this year. You’ve made all of the travel arrangements for the trip. You have your hotel room reserved. You have the local hot spots during the week all mapped out. Your job knows that you are taking your vacation. Everything is set. Or is it? Did you remember to pack everything?
When planning any motorcycle road trip, it is good to plan what and how you are going to pack your motorcycle. Make a list of supplies you are going to need. Lay out everything and check off the items on your list as you pack them into your motorcycle luggage. Remember to take an extra change of clothing, just in case. Pack your motorcycle rain suit in last, so that you can get to it easily. The last thing you want is to have to search for your gear in the rain.
Take the time to research different motorcycle repair shops along your route. Keep a list of these shops in your wallet, or even better in your motorcycle tool bag. You did remember to pack that right? Take as many tools that you might need for any minor repairs. A Phillips and standard screwdriver, a pair of needle nose pliers, some cable ties, a couple of combination wrenches that fit the majority of the sizes on your motorcycle, and a repair manual might even be handy too.
Make sure to pack some easy to eat snacks for the road. Granola bars, trail mix, and candy bars are a good idea. You can also purchase MREs, (Meals Ready to Eat), from a local army surplus store, and use these on the road as a quick meal. Use a large gallon sized sealing bag to store your food to keep the mess to a minimum.
A road map is essential. You can buy folding maps for the trip, no matter your destination. Even better, consider buying a navigation system for your motorcycle. These are great and can be easily adapted to work with your motorcycle. If you don’t want to use a navigation system, consider using a cell phone with broadband internet access, to use free services like Google maps or Mapquest.
Think about the other essentials of the road. Personal toiletries like travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, and deodorant can all be obtained and stored in a small travel bag, easily stored in your motorcycle luggage. Consider even packing a small roll of toilet paper, for when nature calls, and you are in the middle of nowhere. You are going to some remote locations at times, right?
When packing your motorcycle luggage, try to keep the weight balanced on each side of the motorcycle. You don’t want to have a bike that wants to lean to one side or the other. Taking a long trip with a lopsided motorcycle will wear you out quickly as you try to fight to keep the motorcycle upright. The best way to do this is to have someone help you pack the luggage, while you balance the motorcycle. After packing, take your motorcycle out for a short test ride, and make adjustments.
Finally, make sure you get enough rest and follow the road signs. Enjoy your trip and have lots of fun.