Preparing the luggage is one of the most important parts of motorcycle trip preparation. Some motorcycles have built-in luggage space while others don’t. Aftermarket riding bags are the perfect options for such bikes. Soft and hard are the types of motorcycle luggage you can choose from. Both have their pros and cons.
Soft luggage is cheap, water-resistant, easy, and quick to strap on. Hard luggage is expensive, all-weather protection, lockable, solid mount grip, easy dismount release system. Saddlebags, tail bags, and backpacks are common choices for luggage, tools, and documents. For smaller stuff like keys, GPS, license, gloves, sunblock, etc. a tank bag is a better option.
After securely mounting the bags on your motorcycle, load it with luggage. Don’t put any sharp thing, or wrap it properly if you have to. Preparing In advance makes sure you don’t have to rush things in the last hour.
Packing and wearing the right clothes according to the weather is of course important. Wear the clothes you feel comfortable in. bodywarmer base layer, topped with hoodie or shirt and pants in winters. You can use the motorcycle jacket and riding pants or chaps on top to save yourself from the cold which you will be wearing while riding the motorcycle.
Don’t overpack and definitely don’t under pack. Washing services are available almost everywhere. Do research beforehand and pack accordingly. Anti-odor, microfiber, and woolen apparel last more and stinks less than cotton. Wash the underwear and socks early at night so you can use it again tomorrow. Don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes and flip-flops.
Protection and Safety
You won’t be packing the protective motorcycle riding gear like jackets, chaps, gloves, helmet, and boots. But you will wear these on the trip because safety is a priority. However, leave some space for it in your luggage because you might have to put it somewhere when you would not be on the bike.
Of course, the gear you wear should be comfortable and according to the weather. The jacket and pants should have armored protection for knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, and back. Leather is good at abrasion resistance and textile does a nice job as well with cheaper price.
The fitting of motorcycle riding gear should neither be loose nor baggy. Because it won’t serve its purpose that way.
Planning on camping? Then you would have to consider space for a tent, food, utensils, crockery, stove, lots of plastic bags, and other essentials. If you are planning on buying the food from the local market there still you would have to pack some snacks and water for the road.
Of course you have packed according to the weather but did you plan for the rain. It can come at any time. Especially in tropical and hilly areas rain is pretty unpredictable. Having a rain suit available where I can get it out easy and quick and put on before I am all wet, is a personal choice. But you can always go for waterproof gear.
Separate rain gear can protect as an additional windbreaker in cold weather. It is easy to dry and wash. Whereas waterproof gear takes too much time to get dry and gets heavy in rain. Make sure the collar, zippers, and pockets are also waterproof so that water does not sneak in. Either put a plastic bag or waterproof cover over the luggage or just buy waterproof luggage.
Keeping yourself hydrated
Summer or winter, keeping yourself hydrated, is very important. Stopping every now and then to drink water can cause delays. While riding, you are most likely to forget hydration. Thus, a hydration backpack is the best option. This way you keep on going and keep on hydrating yourself without stopping. Don’t want to buy a hydration backpack? Do a DIY hydration backpack from the backpack you already have.
None of us want to get into a situation where we have to call for an emergency. But you have to plan for it. Always have a backup plan, tell your loved ones where, how, and from what routes you are going. Beware of your surroundings and follow the traffic rules. Check the state’s website for updated rules and regulations.
Get the tank filled up as soon as the needle points in the middle. Store the fuel separately and secure it, if carrying extra fuel in the first place. It won’t be needed unless you are going to travel in the desert or some barren land. Don’t forget to pack important essentials. Tools and tool kit, first aid kit, tire repair kit and inflator, cash, spare keys, credit cards are important. The important documents like insurance, ownership, license, and registration should not be forgotten.