Road-trip essentials for bikers
Whether you are riding for a few days or more, there are certain items / tools that are always good to have with you and which can be of great help. In this article, we list the road-trip essentials every biker should have with him/her.
After publishing an article on the essential tools that every biker should have in his garage (here), our friend from Rideshaper, Robin, makes us a new list. But this time, these are the essentials to take when you go on a roadtrip.
Whether you are going away for a few days or more, these items could help you if you are stuck on side of the road.
If you plan to go longer or further, we recommend that you have a look at the blog of Bonnie & Klyde. The Franco-Spanish couple was on a journey to Singapore from Switzerland (blog in French though: here). They draw up an exhaustive list of the equipment necessary to take with you on such a journey. Note however that this list must be adapted according to your bike and route.
1. For the rider: protect yourself from the elements
1.1. Solar protections : 2 items
- Suncream (against sunburn on the nose and wrists);
- Sunglasses (to avoid being blinded and sometimes against an eye migraine).
1.2. Wind protection: 3 items
- ear plugs (for fatigue linked to noise);
- lip balm (for moisturizing the lips);
- a neck strap (not to get cold at the back of the neck).
1.3. Protection against cold and rain: 4 items
- A proper motorcycle outfit (pants and jacket): it may seem obvious to some, but the practice of the motorcycle involves risks. Also, and especially when you ride long distances, and to put the odds on your side, you equip yourself properly to be protected as much as possible in case of a fall / accident. If the purchase of an effective outfit represents a significant budget, it is better to invest a little bit at the start and have an outfit that ages well and accompanies you for a long(er) time. We would only advise you to go to a specialized shop in order to talk to a specialist , who will be able to tell you which outfit is the most suitable for your needs (leather, synthetic, waterproofing, breathability, etc.).
- a second pair of gloves: if the first gets soaked.
- (top and bottom) technical underwear : compact and super efficient.
- a rain suit (either in two parts or a full suit). Do not hesitate to invest a little for the latter. Light, efficient and compact rain gear is more expensive. However, you will see the difference the day you have to drive for 5 hours in the pouring rain. And we don’t tell you that because it happened to us last year in central France 🙂 !
- A Swiss knife: it is a must and is useful in many situations (not only for picnics).
- Wipes to clean the helmet, e.g. to remove crushed insects on the visor/helmet after a riding day in summer.
- A headlamp / flashlight: to carry out a small repair or set up a camp.
- Navigation equipment (map, GPS, smartphone, etc.). Read our article here.
- A tank bag: practical for storing your equipment for the day, your map, etc.
1.5. Camping gear
For all those for whom road-trip rhymes with (wild) camping also take a look at Bonnie & Klyde’s blog (here).
2. For the motorcycle: keep riding and be able to start again
- a pressure gauge: to check the right tire pressure, if your ride duo or the motorcycle is fully loaded.
- a jump-starter: which should allow you to avoid starting the motorcycle by pushing in the event of a battery glitch, especially if it is loaded with all the luggage. These small boosters also serve as an external battery (the USB port allows recharging of a smartphone or GoPro for example) and they often have a flashlight function.
- a spray of lubricant: to grease the chain every 500 km.
- a clutch cable: so as not to end this trip prematurely because of this element which is not at all standard.
- an inner tube: to have it available and provide it to the breakdown mechanic. At least patch (for all those who do not ride with tubeless tires of course)!
- 1L of engine oil: yes it happens to have to top up and avoid paying it at gold prices at the service station.
- The motorcycle documents (insurance certificate, registration card, etc.): to have with you but not to leave in the motorcycle (in case of theft).
For all those who travel a lot and who are only insured for third parties (RC), we recommend that you subscribe to breakdown assistance in any case for Europe (TCS for example). The impact on the premium is often limited, but such assistance can save you a lot of hassle in the event of a breakdown abroad. For the others, assistance is usually included in your insurance coverage (partial or comprehensive cover). But double check to be sure.
Enjoy your Road-Trip and Ride Safe!