What to pack on a motorcycle
Packing for a two-week adventure on a motorcycle can be daunting, there are always so many things you want to bring but just can’t fit in. Wouldn’t it be great to have a new set of clothes for each day and have the capacity to bring loads? However, we all know the reality – there really isn’t much space! It’s a fine balance between having what you want and having a bike loaded to a comfortable weight for fun riding. Motorcycle packing strategically is key.
Following doing a near 3,000 mile road trip around some of the best riding roads in Europe with Tour1 [read more here] I learned a lot about what to take, as well as a few tricks to maximise the limited space. Packing light but with enough, and it’s easily possible. As lots of you have asked where all my kit was, just two bike panniers and no rucksack, I thought I’d explain what I packed into my two panniers and give you some tips on how I need so little, plus a few must haves!
Kit wise I’m pretty much riding in the same stuff but there is my kit list:
Main riding hear
- Jacket Klim Drifter offering super comfort, water resistant, lots of pockets and full protection. It’s a nice long jacket too so no drafts on such a long ride
- Kevlar jeans Draggin Jeans and Rokker Rokkertech two pairs to give me variation and again both fully protective 👖
- Waterpoor HD Footwear motorcycle boots – great on the bike but also awesome style for evenings
- HJC RPHA 70 helmet with integrated sun glasses
Base layers and pants
- I always take Ice Breaker Marino wool socks but just one pair for the two weeks. Yup, I’m in the same pair for two weeks – washing once mid trip. The magic of natural wool is no smelly socks! Their natural fibres keep them fresh and wearable continually. I promise 😉🧦
- Underwear I rinse out and dry overnight, the benefit of small female nickers, so I’ve took 5 pairs just to be safe 👙 Guys you’re boxers will be slightly bigger of course but again super easy to rinse out with some hotel soap and dry overnight. The hotel hairdryer can always help should they be a little damp.
- Base layers are Klim or Ice Breaker, breathable and warm so easy to rinse out as needed, plus due to the wool content, wearable for multiple days.
- Small tops – I always go for layers so a selection of small tops to pop under and over for different looks and layered warmth is ideal 👚👕 This gives lots of variety too
- Neck buff for warmth
- Jumper for evenings and extra warmth riding
- Pair of shorts to cool down on longer stops
- Bikini to enjoy hotel pools and mountain lakes
- Sports bra and leggings for yoga and stretching
- A small silk dress because you never know when you might want to dress up for a nice dinner. Silk doesn’t crease so it’s ideal for stuffing in a bag and pulling out without worry
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- iPhone 8 plus for pictures, absolutely great camera and I go by the saying ‘the best camera you’ll ever have is the one in your pocket’ always there ready to capture the moment 📱
- Phone charger USB and I charge while riding on a USB pig tail
- For music, satnav and chatting hubby and I use Intercom to talk and bob away to music. We’ve for the Cardos PactTalk Bold. Absolutely fantastic tech, you can have you music playing and talk at the same time, like you would with the radio in a car. Epic!
- A small tripod for the iphone and a DJI gimbal to get stable shots helps the image gathering
Road side eating
- I love escaping the beaten track and expensive coffee shops so always have my Jetboil for road side food and coffees. A few just add pasta sachets spiced up by some local sausage is always a winner along with a nice coffer. I get coffee sachets with milk power already combined for convenience. This enables a stop in some of the most remote scenic spots and saves a few pennies enjoying the wilderness ☕🍝
- We throw in our For The Shore travel mugs to drink and eat out of too with a titanium travel spoon
- Leatherman knife
- Considering the weather is about as unreliable as a herd of pissed off cats, I always have my waterproofs! As a military lover I’ve got my full camo wannabe Gortex jacket and trousers 💦 Not the safest colour I realise but I love them as you will not be getting wet!
- Finally flipflops to let the toes breath in the evenings. I have the Reef pair with a bottle opener on the sole, great for a beer!
- Wash kit and make-up, probably one of the larger items I pack to be honest but I wouldn’t want to be without my mascara. I decant everything into small travel bottles to save space and weight and always make sure to have eco soap so that a random wash in a stream is ok.
And that’s all I need. And boy I’m glad I didn’t strap lots of bags on top as the weight would not have been fun on all the mountain hairpins 🤘🏼
Light, nimble and equipped.
What about bike camping?
Some of you will have seen that I’m also a huge fan of bike camping too, so how to we get that kit on a bike?
My kit list doesn’t really change, I just add a few bits and then use my fully waterproof Overboard duffel bag to strap it across the rear fender.
- Sleeping bag – I’ve got a very small high performance sleeping back for optimum use of space and it just stuffs into a tiny bag
- Roll mats – again I’ve gone for one that is compact but while also offering superb comfort. You have to pay a little more for these once but if you consider that you’re camping and not paying for a hotel it quickly pays for itself and I like a good night’s sleep
- Tent – hubby and I have a light weight compact two-man North Face tent. It’s small and light but big enough for two to sleep like babies
- Travel towel – again it’s small and compact for space saving but ideal for a quick wash in a river or campsite shower
- I’ve already for the Jetboil listed above so that’s teas, coffees, pasta, ravioli, porridge for breakfast covered, a travel mug and spoon
- All we need to add is BBQ cooking! We tend to use a log fire for fuel, sourced near where camping, and then take a grill with us which slide into a ruck sack easily [one hubby carries]. This can then be propped on logs over the fire and enable us to cook veggies, steak, sausages or what ever takes our fancy
That’s about it! Simple list, minimal extras and light weight / compact enough to put on the back of a Harley.
I’ve love to hear your thoughts so please do comment below or message me on Instagram.
If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harley’s and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.
You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.