What Essentials Should You Pack for an Epic Motorcycle Road Trip?

motorcycle road trip

Written by Zach Lazzari on

Zach Lazzari is a freelance writer, fly fisherman, and explorer. He lives on the road full-time, chasing fish and wild places with his dog, Shale. Follow his journey at bustedoarlock.com and @zachlazzari on Instagram.

    What Essentials Should You Pack for an Epic Motorcycle Road Trip?

    Plan an epic motorcycle road trip that will live in your memories forever. Here’s the perfect packing list to help you make the most of your next great moto journey.

    So you’re planning an epic motorcycle adventure? Awesome! But before you take off, there’s something you should know: packing gear for a motorcycle road trip requires a bit of finesse as space is limited. Planning for a variety of environments and weather conditions requires some forethought and a very specific organizational strategy to make use of every bit of space you’ve got. We’re here to help you with our packing list for a motorcycle list, which covers the things you absolutely need, especially for long-term travel on your bike, as well as optional ones you can bring if you have the room. And, to top it all off, we’ll even share some packing tips.


    Safety Gear

    As you try fitting different loads of gear on the bike, some things may not fit. In this case, you need to trim the fat a bit—and safety equipment is easy to put on the chopping block. Don’t make this mistake! Having your first aid kit and flat tire repair kit will save your butt in the case of an emergency. Here’s the ideal safety gear packing list for a motorcycle trip:

    ●      First aid kit

    ●      Flat tire repair kit

    ●      Basic toolkit with: 

    ●      ⅜ ratchet

    ●      Hex heads

    ●      Pin puncher

    ●      Spindle key

    ●      Spark plug remover

    ●      Chain split link breaker

    ●      High-quality multi-tool

    ●      Duct tape

    ●      Zip ties

    ●      Spare parts like an extra spark plug and spare tube

    ●      Tube repair kit.  



    Your riding suit is great on the road, but when you layover at a campsite or a hotel, it’s nice to have some comfy clothes. Packing a limited wardrobe can difficult for trips that will span a variety of climates. There’s so much to account for—heat, cold, rain, wind, and anything else nature has to throw your way—and each will require a special piece of clothing. The key is to keep everything minimal.

    We recommend bringing along one pair of sandals or sneakers, a few insulating layers (remember, even warm destinations can get cold at night), and lightweight, relaxed clothing for lounging around the campsite. If you’re headed for colder climes, pack a warm hat, gloves, and socks, too. You also won’t regret packing rain gear for when a storm hits, plus a wide-brimmed hat (and sunscreen) for long days on the beach or out in the desert. Protect yourself from the elements, and your motorcycle adventure will be far more comfortable. Keep all your clothing in a Pack-It Compression Sac or a Pack-It Isolate Compression Cube to save storage space.


    Camping Equipment

    If you’re embarking on overnight trips, your motorcycle road trip checklist might need to include camping equipment. Some travelers spend weeks and even months on the road, utilizing campsites to enjoy remote places—and to save some money. Motorcycle campers must think like ultralight backpackers, opting for compact shelters and sleeping bags. You should consider packing specialized tents with a separate sleeping space and an actual garage area for the bike—these are made specifically for motorcycle travel and pack down exceptionally small. Backpacking stoves and cookware also help to save space. And don’t forget panniers fitted with custom water carriers, which make it easier to stay out longer. Add a water filter, and you can refill them at stream crossings and lakeside camps.


    Motorcycle Road Trip Packing Tips: Managing the Gear

    A bunch of gear packed into a tight space can quickly turn into a jumbled mess, and once things get out of order, they’ll never fit quite right again. Building a system for packing is extremely important; it will ensure your gear fits into saddlebags or boxes and make it easy to access specific items without unpacking and repacking every single thing. Packing cubes create natural division between gear categories, keeping everything in order. You can separate clothing, toiletries, camp gear, and tools/maintenance gear by using different cubes for each category. Try the Pack-It Isolate Shoe Sac and the Pack-It Essentials Set.


    As for what bags to bring, here are a few recommendations:



    ●      Wayfinder Waist PackThis fanny pack is perfect for storing important items like your phone and your wallet while you’re on your bike. It has side stretch water bottle pockets, plus a reflective hit for low-light visibility.

    Wayfinder Waist Pack M


    ●      Migrate Duffel 40LThis ultra-durable duffel is made from a water repellent 900D heavy-duty TPU, making it easy to hose down if it gets dirty on the road. It also converts to a backpack for easy carrying.

    Migrate Duffel 40L


    ●      Wayfinder Backpack 30LNeed a lightweight day pack? This is the option for you. Despite having a 30L capacity, the bag only weighs 1 lb. and 15 oz. It has everything from a 17-inch laptop compartment to a fleece-lined front pocket for sunglasses.

    Wayfinder Backpack 30L