When you are preparing a long distance motorcycle trip there always comes a point, how to pack a motorcycle for a trip?
When we started our motorcycle journey around the world in 2016 we sit in our room and looked to all we wanted/needed to take with us and we thought it will never ever fit. Now after a lot of experience I would like to share this with you, we changed our bags dozens of times but eventually I think we found for us the best way to pack. I must say, we are not traveling light, we are camping, cooking our self and we like some comfort as well.
There are multiple things what you need to take care about when you are packing your motorcycle, of course the first thing is to find motorcycle panniers/bags that fit to your motorcycle. We have been traveling around the world on Honda CRF250L, they are not big motorcycles and carry capacity is not so much, therefore we think that the cases are heavy to Honda CRF 250L (Why Honda CRF for world trip) and we have chosen SW-Motech soft panniers.
The two most important things while packing your motorcycle is; You need to find everything quick and easy but also you need to make sure you have the right balance. Of course you still want to feel comfortable when you are riding with a balanced motorcycle. Especially in the beginning this is a big challenge to fix everything so you have your balance and all is quick and easy to find.
How to pack for a trip to motorcycle?
When we started to live in a tent it became our home. Therefore, we are looking for comfort and at the same to be light also thinks smart to our essential things to pack for traveling. We have two motorcycles and each Honda CRF250L has Sw-Motech tail bags, saddle bags and tank bags. She has extra drybags on the engine protection.
I will start with our 2 tail bags that we carry. One of them has all our clothes in the main part and toiletries in the side pockets. On the road you won’t need your clothes as you are riding. Your toiletries have easy access all the time also easy in the night when you are ready to jump in your tent and just want to brush your teeth. We call the bag “Clothes bag” The other tail bag is our “Kitchen bag” we carry our stove, daily food, plates and pans etc. in there. Nice to only use when you are cooking and not to heavy for the balance as it is high situated on your motorcycle.
I (fs) carry a small ‘tent’ bag just behind me in my back, there is not a lot in there. We have an extra footprint in there which we use to protect ourselves from the rain as well some times or carry extra water when we were leaving from the main road. Also it has in extra rope an hooks.
Her saddle bags (panniers) she is has one with all our camping equipment (tent, sleeping bags, pillows, mattresses, hammock etc.) We call the bag “Camping bag” Other her saddle bag ‘is “Food & chair bag” We always carry extra food with us if we go off road, mountain road… because we never sure we can find a place for food. And on the top of the bag we carry our chairs and table so if we break for a longer time we can relax or when we arrive to our destination I will set up the tent and she will start cooking so she needs the chairs first from everything else. After open the tent and get out our camping equipment from the saddle bag she can put her motorcycle gear inside it.
For my Sw-Motech saddlebags (panniers) I have one bag we call our “Computer bag” I’m carrying our computer on the road as we learned she drops her motorcycle more often so less change to damage our computer. 🙂 On the bottom of the bag I carry some small heavy things on top of that a bag with the computer, next to it for easy access our shoes, flip flops and pants when we arrive or take a longer break we have easy access to what we need right away. On the other side “All other thing bags” I’m carrying a bag with everything else we have with us, this bag is changing a lot and we are not opening it a lot like motorcycle winter jacket, gore-tex protection, thermal clothes…. I do same thing like her. When we change our shoes and put the computer bags inside to tent I use the saddle bag for motorcycle gears. Our motorcycle boots we have next to the tent and our helmets inside the tent.
Also she carries 2 dry bags on the engine protections from her motorcycle. This bags are for some “Extra tools” we carry and rarely things we use like glue, parts for our GoPro and other small things in here.
We also have small tank bags from Sw-Motech which are our daily “Electronic bags”. We carry cables, batteries, our phones, cameras, action camera…etc.
Apart of all the bags and panniers sometimes she carries our soft cooling bag behind her back including some water and ice so we have a cold drink when it is 45 degrees. Especially if you travel in remote and hot areas you always want to carry this with you with a very easy access. 🙂
She and I have been carrying small tubes under our tail bags which have chains and spare parts of our motorcycles inside. Behind one of my saddle bag I have a small shoe box. We have our tools in it.
I hope I explained it good enough, if you have questions you can always send us a message and we will answer your question.