There are those who err on the side of caution, and those who throw caution to the wind. However, if you're going to be motorcycle touring, it's in your best interest to be prepared.
Short rides are one thing, but when you're a long way from home on a motorcycle, being prepared means the difference between a great trip and a horrible one.
Here is a quick list of things we don't go motorcycle touring without.
A Map (Yea...we know GPS exists)
The most rewarding motorcycle rides are more about the journey than the destination. The route you take is easily just as important as where you end up.
While GPS units are great for the fastest route, an old fashioned map (especially those designed for motorcyclists, like the ones from Butler) is a great way to scan a larger area to find the most exciting route to your destination.
The squigglier the road, the better.
Okay, so we all know that a map and only a map isn't the smartest way to navigate on road trips nowadays. Sure, your phone can act as a decent GPS device, but nothing replaces a motorcycle-specific waterproof GPS like the TomTom Rider.
Unlike most smartphones, this GPS is completely waterproof and dustproof, and can also be used with full-finger motorcycle gloves.
You can also use GPS devices to transmit audio to an intercom device so you can keep your eyes on the road at all times.
And that brings us to the next item on our list...
When it comes to great motorcycle gear, a helmet intercom goes a long way. There are a handful of these on the market, but we like the SENA SMH10. This device can work on both full face and half helmet and allows you to control it using a glove-friendly knob.
You can use the Sena SMH10 to play music, transmit GPS directions, talk to other people in your party, and listen to the radio.
This piece of motorcycle gear truly makes a long motorcycle ride that much more enjoyable.
Tire Plug Kit and Portable Air Compressor
You're not immune to a flat. If you're a far way from home, especially if you don't have roadside assistance, you should definitely be carrying around a tire plug kit and a portable air compressor.
Make sure you get a compressor that is compatible with the connectors you have available. Most use a cigarette lighter, which can be attached to just about any motorcycle battery if it isn't already stock.
Rain Riding Gear
You can't control the weather, but you can control what riding gear you bring! Make sure you're prepared for rain with either a full rain suit or, at the very least, a waterproof jacket.
You can also get waterproof pants that cover your boots to keep you completely dry even when you're riding through a storm.
A Fuel Siphon
Another trick of the trade we've learned from thousands of miles on the road is to always carry a fuel siphon with you. You can use this to refuel if you run out while you're nowhere near a gas station but are able to snag a friendly passerby.
If you don't have an extra fuel storage system installed on your bike, a siphon is a cheap and easy alternative. Make sure you're also carrying a little bit of cash to help thank a kind stranger!
A Basic Motorcycle Tool Kit
If you don't have one of these, get one. Now.
Sure, a basic motorcycle tool kit is a fundamental part of motorcycle touring, but its also incredibly handy to have on your bike for normal rides as well.
You won't be able to fix big mechanical issues with a basic kit, but you should always be able to tighten loose screws and fix minor issues while on the road.
A long motorcycle trip will always go smoother if you're prepared with the right motorcycle gear. Before you start planning your next motorcycle tour, make sure you have everything on this list and anything else you can think of too!
Now Its Your Turn!
What items do you take with your long motorcycle rides? Let us know in the comments section below!