Prepare and Pack for a Motorcycle Trip
Not sure where to start? Our tips will help you figure out where to go, what to pack (spoiler alert: not too much) and how to get there safely.
Where to Go
No, you don’t need an exact plan. But you do want to have a general idea of where you’re headed; you can always switch it up on the fly.
- Trip-planning resources abound online. Try Harley-Davidson’s ride planner or locate great bike routes in all 50 states at motorcycleroads.us.
- Book hotels online or by phone. Often you’ll get better rates than you would by just showing up at the front desk.
- When you have a general plan, be sure to let friends or family know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
Packing smart – not just light – is one of the best ways to prepare for an extended motorcycle ride. We’ve all been on a trip with someone who brought four bags for three days. Don’t be that person.
- Make a list or you’ll forget something. Guaranteed.
- Go light on the clothes. Plan to wear things multiple days and to do laundry during one of your stops.
- Bring a spare key, along with emergency contacts (family members, insurance company, roadside assistance, etc.).
- If you’re on the fence about bringing something, consider leaving it out — and then buying it on the road if you really need it. Odds are you won’t.
Regular motorcycle maintenance is vital, but so is inspecting your bike prior to hitting the road.
- Before each ride, follow the T-CLOCS inspection protocol: Check Tires and wheels, Controls, Lights and electrical, Oil and other fluids, Chassis and Stands.
- Keep the right equipment on hand in case of trouble: A repair
kit, your owner’s manual, your insurance identification card, a
first-aid kit, a GPS device or map, emergency flares and a flashlight.
- Distribute weight evenly when you pack the bike – a road trip means you’re carrying more stuff than you typically do for a shorter ride.