Packing for adventure motorcycle riding is a real skill, having the right gear makes the whole experience all the more enjoyable. Most people go adventure riding to explore new places and go off the beating track, which is fantastic but obviously takes you away from civilisation. So when packing you need to be as prepared as possible.
Each ride is different and entirely dependent on the weather conditions, sleeping arrangements, terrain that will be encountered and length for your trip.
Check out this We Buy Any Bike article to get an idea about what gear to pack when adventure motorcycle riding!
You’ll need some sort of luggage no matter how short your trip, to hold tools and so on. There’s loads of great adventure luggage out on the market, but we recommend at least one waterproof item.
If you live in England its likely it will rain at least once while you’re out, or you might find yourself a little river crossing. Knowing that you’re cameras and electrical items are safe will mean you can get on with the fun of riding rather than worrying about a leaky bag.
So to briefly point out the different luggage options:
- Saddlebags – Hang over the rear seat and down both sides of the bike
- Tank bag – One of my favourites, a small bag resting on the tank area
- Tail bag – A small bag that sits on the tail of your bike, as the name suggests!
- Sissy bar bag – Great if you have a back rest, often vertically stacked
Here are some great options luggage options at GetGeared, all at different prices, sizes and fittings. There is also a section where all the waterproof options are listed so check out the link.
Keeping hydrated is extremely important on a bike ride, carrying your own water supply is a good idea as you’re unlikely to run into a co-op out on a trail.
Some riders prefer to just have a bottle in their luggage, however most opt for a hydration pack. As well as saving storage space a hydration pack is massively handy, you don’t even need to stop riding! If you’re unfamiliar with these packs you should check them out, they are basically a small backpack with a water bladder and drinking tube that attaches down one of the shoulder straps.
They come in all shapes, sizes and prices. Amazon has some great deals and suppliers listed. Camelbak is the most well known brand for hydration packs, although they can be a little pricey so we’d suggest shopping around. GetGeared also have some fantastic option which can be found here: GetGeared Packs
Skid plates, or Bash Plates are not the cheapest but are needed when going off road. As handguards protect your knuckles, skid plates stops the underbelly of your motorcycle from getting attacked by flying stones, rolling over massive rocks and so on.
Putting a skid plate on your bike is an investment; they protect some central parts on your motorcycle which are likely to be expensive to repair. So don’t wait for them to get damaged and then think ‘damn, wish I’d bought one of them!’ by that time your ride out is already ruined. Plan ahead and protect your pride and joy.
Don’t try to go on an adventure ride without a tool kit, it’s tempting fate! It is better to have your kit and not need it rather than be on a track somewhere wishing you had a screwdriver!
What do I need to fix a tyre? A tyre tube, pump, irons, patch kit
What about fuel issues? Extra fuel, fuel pump, hose
Problem with your battery? Jumper leads
Any extras? Screwdrivers, wrenches, sockets, pocketknife, zip ties, duct tape, WD-40, variety of nuts and bolts, levers
Adventure riding means that it’s pretty likely your hands will take a beating, branches flying past, stone getting flicked up and so on. If you ride off road in general its likely things will contact your hands at some point, if you’re lucky if won’t hurt but if you happen to crash into a tree..for example, you’re going to want handguards.
As well as protecting your hands they plastic pieces also covers your levers, which are always first to break if you tip over. Handguards are extremely easy to install and there are a lot of different options to pick from in terms of colour and style.
Motorbike riding comes with risk, and when you go off road the risk of falling over is greater due to the terrain. It’s likely that you’ll fall off at some point but hopefully it’ll just cause a few scratches! Here are some good things to have in your first aid kit:
✓ Band Aids – Great for small scrapes, these are great for when you have an annoying cut that won’t stop bleeding.
✓ Butterfly Closures – For slightly bigger cuts, these are excellent substitutes for stitches. They’ll hold you on until you get to a hospital.
✓ Iodine – An antiseptic that kills bacteria and pathogens, ideal for cleaning wounds.
✓ Gauze – Pads and a roll
✓ Medical Tape – Pressure sensitive adhesive tape used to hold a bandage or dress a wound.
✓ Scissors – You need to cut the tape with something! Scissors are always handy.
✓ Alcohol/Hydrogen Peroxide – For cleaning a wound out before closing it up, don’t want to seal any infection in.
✓ Super Glue – Some might think this sounds strange, but it was used in the Vietnam war to control bleeding and it will do the job until you get to the hospital.
✓ Survival Blanket – When you really hurt yourself, you can go into shock. You feel cold and start to shake.
Above are only things that will help small injuries or help slow the bleeding. If there is even a chance you have seriously hurt yourself don’t try to carry on with the ride. If you’re really in a bad way call the ambulance and wait for assistance.
When all is said and done, the most important thing is to get out there and have fun! Adventure riding is my all time favourite thing to do. You see amazing places off the beating track and experience exciting terrain.
We hope you find this blog useful and as always, if you have anything to add please do so below!