My current motorcycle:
My former motorcycle:
Number of US & Canadian states I've been to on a
motorcycle of my own:
Number of countries I've toured on a motorcycle of my own:
Number of countries I've toured on the back of a
Trips riding my own motorcycle
International trips by motorcycle
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| Whether you are packing for a one week
trip or for a six month trip, you pretty much pack the same things
on a motorcycle!
What you pack has a lot to do with whether or not you will be camping in a tent (as opposed to staying in motels and hotels), as well as how often you will be eating food someone else prepares (eating in restaurants and roadside stands) versus what you are going to prepare yourself.
Every person packs differently, both in what they bring and how they pack it, and you will discover what's best for you through trial and error.
You are going to forget something you need -- that's just how it is. Remember that, in the vast majority of places you go, even most developing countries, you can buy what you absolutely need.
For clothes, go for durability and practicality. I think loose-fitting clothes are best as well.
Luggage / Where things will go
You will pack things in the panniers or saddle bags on your
bike. You may also have a bag that lays on the back of your back
seat (where a passenger could sit on other occasions), you may
also have a top box, and you may want a backpack.
You need to also think about what you are going to pack in your
jacket, on your motorcycle pants, or anywhere else on your
Budget space and plan for where you will put every item, as all space in your luggage and on your person is at a premium when it comes to motorcycle travel.
How we do it when we are two-up on one motorcycle: one pannier on my husband's bike is filled with all of my personal items (clothes, toiletries), as well as our medicines. The other is for all of his clothes and personal items. All food related items go on one long bag strapped to the back of a bike, all sleeping items and the tent (and the stools, if we bring them) go in the other long bag. His top box for bike maintenance tools and our rain gear. Water bottles are on his bike, on either side of the tank, for easy access. I also wear a back pack, and have items in there we need easy access too (snacks, drinks, field glasses, etc.). We both carry quite a bit in the pockets on our motorcycle jacks and pants as well.
My husband designs and sells aluminum top boxes and side panniers. They are tough, light-weight, and affordable. They are German-designed and made in the USA!
The small top box is 20 liter (5.3 gallon)
400 x 250 x 200 mm
1.6 mm (1⁄16") thick aluminum
Now that we both ride our own motorcycles, we can take more stuff - but not MUCH more. Mostly, he now gets to take much less weight on his motorcycle during trips, which makes the travel SO much safer.The list below is based on what I pack for a two-motorcycle trip. Below are photos of what my bikes have looked like packed:
Practical items I will share with those I'm traveling with
(meaning these are taken, but may be on someone else's bike)
You want very tough containers for these items - things that will close, absolutely, and remain water-tight.
Packets of salt, pepper, sugar, coffee and creamer from hotels and airports are awesome to save up for motorcycle trips, but be sure you pack them in a zip-lock baggie
Those disposable handy wipes you get on international flights are also great to save up for motorcycle trips.
Remember that raw eggs stay fresher longer than boiled eggs, but the latter is less fragile, and either should never get hot between meals.
What we eat while camping
Sometimes for breakfast, we have scrambled eggs, mixed with tomatoes or other veggies and some of our herbs and spices, if we can find eggs and fresh produce easily during the trip and don't have to buy a full dozen eggs.
For lunch, we usually stop at a restaurant, shop or food cart. We may even just snack on snack bars and jerky for lunch. In other words - no cooking.
For supper, we cook something out of a can (ravioli, Chunky soup, Progresso soup, or beef stew), or I might cook pasta with tomatoes and herbs/spices, rice with whatever fresh produce I can find and herbs/spices (and even a cooked chicken breast from the deli department of a nearby grocery), or beef or turkey wieners with instant potatoes that don't require milk or butter. Doesn't sound especially varied, but you might be amazed at just how many different kinds of Chucky soup and Progresso soup are out there.
Any activity incurs risk. The author assumes no responsibility for the use of information contained within this document.
From Oregon to the "Lost Coast" of Northern California (Horizons Unlimited 2010 California meeting) - August 2010
Oh, Canada...Two-Week Canada/USA Tour by Motorcycles (Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alberta, Montana, Idaho) - September 2010
Crater Lake, Oregon 2011 (photos only)
general information and advice for packing (non-motorcycle trips)
general information and advice for novice traveling women from the USA
health & safety considerations especially for women novice travelers.
things to consider regarding transportation and accommodations choices, and advice on preventing motion sickness.
the importance of complaining & complimenting.
transire benefaciendo: "to travel along while doing good." advice for those wanting to make their travel more than sight-seeing and shopping.
my adventures in Europe, Africa, as well as road trips in the USA
links to resources to help women travelers
my page of helpful hints for camping with your dogs in the USA.
A Broad Abroad | contact me
The personal opinions expressed on this page are solely those of Ms. Cravens, unless otherwise noted.