Couple taking selfie with motorcycle

Motorcycle Trip Planning

Updated May 1, 2018 . AmFam Team

Here are some simple tips to consider when packing for your next motorcycle trip.

So you’re planning a motorcycle trip and it’s time to pack. There is no right or wrong way, and the more you do it the easier it gets. Whether you’re packing up your bike for the first time, or you’re just looking at being more organized, here are great tips to streamline the process.

Tuck and roll. Rolling your clothes rather than folding them is a great way to save space. And tucking smaller items, like socks, into your extra boots utilizes space you may not have thought to use before.

Bag it. Line your luggage and saddlebags with plastic before filling them. A trash bag works well for waterproofing. Organizing items into sandwich and freezer bags before packing them adds an extra layer of waterproofing, especially for electronics, and makes it easy to grab only what you need without unpacking your entire bike.

Necessities. There are some things you should always have with you. Pack a saddlebag with necessities that will always be there no matter how long your trip is. Things to consider adding to your bag:

  • Snacks and water
  • A physical map
  • First-Aid kit
  • Tool kit and headlamp
  • Insurance and registration
  • Bungee cords and straps
  • Rain gear
  • Extra gloves, rags/bandanas and earplugs

Making the cut. If you’re traveling with others, compare items and eliminate duplicates. Everyone can use the same can of bug spray. Also, consider what you can buy or dispose of along the way. A small tube of travel toothpaste would be easy to find in convenient store and to toss when it’s done.

On your person. A light backpack or waistpack are good places to store things you’ll need when you’re not on your bike — like a cell phone, cash or keys.

Balance. As you’re loading the bike, keep the weight evenly distributed from side to side. Also, keep the weight close to your center of gravity, which means low and toward the tank, and be sure not to block airflow to the engine. Take a moment to read your manual and note your bike’s cargo limit. The added weight will affect performance and handling, so knowing the proper adjustments to make, such as increasing braking distance and tire pressure, will be a big help.

With your bike all packed and ready to go, all that’s left to pack is your adventurous spirit. Enjoy the road ahead! Make sure to connect with your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab)to check that you have all the motorcycle insurance you need for your trip.

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