If you are packing up your motorcycle to head down to Daytona Bike Week this week, here is a great list of suggestions and ideas on how and what to pack.
TRAVEL TIPS FROM EXPERIENCED TOUR RIDERS
- Lightweight synthetic clothing – such as T-shirts and underwear – can be washed in a hotel sink and dried overnight (cotton fabrics take too long to dry in this manner).
- Zipper-lock plastic bags of various sizes can be used for organizing items in saddlebags and duffle bags. They can make it easier to find and retrieve particular items without unpacking your entire motorcycle. Use the one-gallon size to pack one day’s worth of clothes – jeans, undergarments, and shirt. This makes it easier to unpack just what you need.
- Don’t fold your clothes – roll them. They take up less space that way.
- Pack items that have more than one use. A multi-tool is handier than a basic pocket knife.
- When traveling with other riders, conserve space by comparing packing lists and eliminating duplicate items.
- When traveling (two-up) with a spouse or “significant other”, can you share a tube of toothpaste and shampoo for a week.
- On long trips, consider bringing your rattiest underwear (or other clothing), then just throw it away when you’re done with it!
- Don’t forget power cords and chargers for your cell phone and other electronic devices.
- Check the cargo weight limits of your bike – as wells as the bags and racks – and adjust tire pressure and suspension accordingly.
- Few things are as easy to pack as money or credit cards. If you’re struggling with whether or not to bring a particular item, consider simply buying it on the road if you need it.
- If you watch the ounces, the pounds will take care of themselves. When possible, lighter is better.
- When loading your bike, keep as much weight as possible close to the bike’s center of gravity. That means low and toward the tank, distributed evenly from side to side.
- A day or two before you leave, do a dry run. Pack the bike and go for a short ride, then adjust the load as needed.
- If you’re camping, set up your tent once or twice before you leave (and don’t forget to waterproof it). Practice setting it up in the dark.
- With your bike fully loaded, check your headlamp to make sure it’s properly aimed.
- Pack all your cold weather and raingear (raingear on top) no matter what time of year it is.
- Plastic bags make great boot liners if you forgot your gaiters. If you forgot your rain gloves, rubber dishwashing gloves are cheap and easy to buy.
- A small towel can be wrapped around your neck during a rainstorm to keep water from running down your back – and doubles as a shop rag.