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Pack Smart, Ride Far: Essential Gear for Motorcycle Touring

Pack Smart, Ride Far: Essential Gear for Motorcycle Touring

Let this be your go-to list for every ride that beckons long days on the road…

Ever left for work without your wallet (or laptop!) from home on a fine Tuesday morning just before that crucial 10am meeting? Yes, that pain! While it is still repairable to get things back in flow and call it a day, it will be a fool’s errand to munch miles on hope, even if you have a credit card loaded with a million dollars! What do you do then?

Well, you simply log on to https://www.reisemoto.com/blogs/stories and get answers for all your questions, even the unasked ones! So, here’s an exhaustive list of essentials you will need before you hit the road, to handle whatever is thrown your way. Psst! Don’t miss the non-essential at the end!

Helmet: A helmet is crucial for safety. Do check on the local certification and choose one that fits well, provides adequate protection, and has decent ventilation provisions as well.

Riding Jacket: Invest in a quality motorcycle jacket with armour inserts for impact protection and abrasion resistance. Look for jackets with ventilation for comfort during long rides, especially in the summers.

Riding Pants: Like jackets, riding pants offer protection against abrasion and impacts. Some options come with built-in armour for added safety.

Gloves: Gloves start from basic ones for city commute with plain protection to proper riding gloves that protect your hands from the elements and provide grip and control. Look for gloves with reinforced palms and knuckle protection, but you can choose the proportion between textile and leather.

Boots: Sturdy, ankle-high boots with non-slip soles are essential for protecting your feet and ankles. Make sure they provide support and comfort for long hours of riding.

Rain Gear: Do not forget to pack waterproof gear in the monsoons, including a rain jacket, pants, and boot covers, to stay dry in inclement weather.

Face and Neck Protection: It's common to go from lukewarm temperatures to sunny to freezing and back with a sprinkle of snow or water within a single day's ride. Hence, a decent helmet-friendly balaclava could help in sealing out any exposed skin between your face and jacket.

Navigation: Consider a GPS device or smartphone mount with a reliable navigation app to help you find your way, especially in unfamiliar areas.

Tool Kit: Nowadays, motorcycle OEMs provide basic tool kits for roadside repairs and maintenance, including wrenches, pliers, tire repair kits and a multi-tool to be able to handle the basics, but it shouldn't stop there either. You could tune the kit further by adding a tyre iron, spare tube, duct tape, zip ties, fuel pipe, clutch and accelerator cables and good old universal grease. But do remember, while these can help your way out of a tight spot, this list is not limited to the ones mentioned above, like an extra visor for your helmet.

First Aid Kit: Prepare for the road. Pack a compact first aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers and any personal medications you may need. We’d suggest carrying medications for altitude change as well since the ride schedule may not give you enough time to acclimatise.

Emergency Supplies: It does not matter if you are riding in the unknown or known ones, include items like an extra motorcycle key, basic mobile phone with a sim card of different number, flashlight, emergency blanket, whistle and spare batteries for unexpected situations.

Luggage: I choose a backpack over saddlebags, tank bags, or a tail bag to carry belongings securely, but again, to each their own. With that, make sure they are waterproof and securely mounted to your motorcycle. Use baggage straps if you must; it will help you mount a versatile duffel bag that is spacious, built for the punches that come from the ride.

Hydration System: Stay hydrated! Be it a long ride or a short one into the city in the middle of the long ride, etc. keep connected with a hydration pack or a water bottle, perhaps mounted on your motorcycle.

Ear Protection: Most of the riders forget or even choose to ignore to protect the ears. Well, long exposure to (almost silent) wind and engine noise could not only damage your hearing but could give birth to a long buzz or humming sound that you wouldn’t even notice sometimes. Hence, wear earplugs or use helmets with built-in noise reduction features.

Paperwork: There is no point in riding like a warrior in that storm without (driver’s license & copies!) insurance, registration, and identification (possibly in a waterproof pouch or wallet) since it could add delay to the trip or even compel you to return.

Chain lock: Now, some lock the motorcycle down to the wheel or calliper and even park it in their periphery; while some lock just by the handlebar and leave. While it comes down to your choice, we’d recommend a simple chain lock that will at least add some delay till you breath down the neck of the bandit.

Snacks: To ensure that you don’t go cranky to unconscious, pack plenty of calories that can live with you for days or weeks without going bad, depending on the length of your ride.

Emergency Contact Information: Keep a list of emergency contacts, including roadside assistance and medical information, easily accessible. On the other hand, do keep your loved ones informed about your movements every day, as much as possible.

There you go then! While this could be just the tip of the iceberg, you may use this as a reference grid and make your own list too! And hey! These are essentials, which shouldn’t stop you from carrying something (special?) for the occasion, the ride! In essence, I carry a pack of filter coffee to contemplate; one just before I start, one after reaching the destination and another one back home. And while it may be the same coffee, it tastes exclusive at each spot. But that’s me. Hope you will add yours to the list too!

 

- Vishal Joshi , Expert Motorcyclist & Blogger

 

 

Image credit – https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=fmkw5GgKeC4 

 

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