Packing for a motorcycle road trip
Consider these factors before your bike road trip begins
Packing for a motorcycle road trip requires you to educate yourself on a few things, depending on where you'll travel. Here are a few things you may want to consider before you begin packing and definitely before you leave on a motorcycle road trip.
Since you won't have the protection of an enclosure on your ride, you'll want to plan appropriately for the weather. Before you begin packing apparel or accessories, check the weather forecast for the places and days you'll be riding. Pack accordingly.
For instance, sunny weather might dictate short sleeves and sunscreen (unless you cover skin for safety reasons). But periods of rain or possibilities of showers will mean either postponing the ride or packing rainwear for your motorcycle road trip. Most riders don't enjoy a soaking.
You probably know the important motorcycle laws in your home state if you've already earned your motorcycle license. But sometimes on a motorcycle road trip, you will travel through other states. You must abide by each state's laws during the time you ride in each state.
While the AMA is not the final authority on up-to-date state riding laws, the association has compiled a database of state motorcycle laws. You may find this information helpful when you're packing for a motorcycle road trip. For instance, you may live in a state where a helmet is optional, but the neighboring state may have a mandatory helmet law. If you plan on riding through that state, you will need to take a helmet with you.
Events along the Way
You may just want to enjoy the roads, or you may have events planned along the way. Whatever your plans, they will affect your packing for a motorcycle road trip. Your checklist for a motorcycle camping trip will vary widely from your packing checklist if you're staying in a motel room overnight. Look at some other available checklists to get an idea of the things other riders take on a motorcycle road trip.
Your Riding Style
If you like to take spontaneous detours when you find new roads or places to explore, you may want a detailed roadmap, or at least some kind of navigation device, in case you end up in an unfamiliar place and you don't know how to get back to your planned route.
But if you know your route well and rarely deviate from your plans, you may want to use the luggage space for other items.
Likewise, if you enjoy remembering your trips later through photographs, make sure to reserve space for your camera. If you rarely look at pictures, though, you may not care about taking a camera on your motorcycle road trip.
Thinking about your personal riding style will help you decide which accessories, supplies, or tools you need and which you can do without.