What and How to Pack for Two Weeks on a Motorcycle
Tips and tricks from RoadRUNNER Managing Editor Florian Neuhauser
One of the most frequent questions I get is how to pack, especially for a two-week long tour in a foreign country while carrying your luggage on the motorcycle. After many years of living on the road, always riding a different motorcycle, I’ve definitely become an expert of sorts in packing.
My packing mantra:
Less is more but don’t sacrifice comfort
Leave room for souvenirs
Here’s a list of my favorite packing solutions, along with what I bring on tour. Please keep in mind that this is the bare minimum, but it is exactly what I bring along on a Blue Rim tour. Depending on your needs, this is a great starting point.
Inside my Carry-Ons:
-Helmet, head sock, two pairs of gloves (warm and cold), baggie containing reusable 33db earplugs
-Why? Even if my checked luggage carrying my riding gear is lost or late, I’ll at least have my helmet.
-Camera, books, magazines, snacks, water, electronic gadgetry, etc.
-Why? This is mainly to ensure a comfortable flight. Most of the items along with the backpack will remain at the first hotel. The camera will be repacked once at the first hotel.
One Checked Bag:
There are two options I go back and forth from depending where I’m going and how long I’ll be staying. Option 1 is packing everything into my dry duffel (with or without shoulder straps). This eliminates the need to store a suitcase at the first hotel, but it’s a pain at the airport. The duffel doesn’t have wheels, and it’ll be the third piece you’ll be carrying. Option 2 is what I recommend for a Blue Rim Tour. Pack everything into a suitcase with wheels along with an empty dry duffel to repack when arriving at the first hotel. I don’t recommend a huge bag. Most likely it’ll be over the allowed weight limit of 50lbs (23kg), and you’ll either have to pay a ridiculous amount of money or be forced to repack at the airport. Not fun. If you have to bring that much it’s better to check two bags. Some international flights will let you do that for free.
What I bring:
Jacket, pants, boots
Rain gear (one-piece plus over-gloves)
Heated liner (hope to never use it but saves the day in case it gets cold)
Technical long johns and long sleeve top, RoadRUNNER socks
-Tip: It helps to remove all the protectors in the jacket and pants to pack more tightly.
-Tip: I never use the liners that come with a suit. Long johns work just fine below, and a light down jacket and a thin rain jacket can perform double duty up top.
5 pairs of underwear, 5 pairs of socks
2 cotton t-shirts
3 athletic t-shirts or polos
Hoodie or sweater
Light down jacket
Rain jacket/wind breaker
1 pair of jeans (and maybe shorts depending on location)
Comfortable shoes for flying and walking around
Toiletries, and a few pairs of reusable earplugs
-Tip: I wash some of my clothes in the sink almost every night. The synthetic fibers will dry over night. Cotton will not.
-Tip: My Grandpa always said “You can only wear one pair of pants at a time.” It’s been my experience that jeans take up the most room, and it’s an item I only wear for a few hours in the evening.
-Tip: A wrinkle free long sleeve collared shirt makes a nice addition, too, to classy it up in the evening.
Remember, it’s a motorcycle vacation, meaning you’ll spend most of your time in riding gear on a motorcycle. Your comfort should focus around this activity. Regular street clothes should really be kept at a minimum.
Happy packing and safe travels!