Are you overloaded? Our top tips for packing for a tour

Our man Hugh has done a lot of touring miles. Here are his top tips on packing for a motorcycle tour.

Recently people have been asking advice on what to pack for a foreign bike tour. Well, it’s not what, but how much? A bike has very limited space. Some riders only take a toothbrush, but the majority take much more than they’d use at home in the same period.

A fortnight’s tour on your own bike won’t allow you to leave Europe geographically. So you’ll always be in ‘civilised’ society.

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There’ll be access to accommodation, shops, fuel, garages – in short, practical help for all the ‘just in case’ scenarios.


What do you need? The legal requirement stuff in most foreign parts – reflective red triangle, reflective yellow waistcoat plus more – depending where you’re going.

All the original vehicle and insurance documents. That done, the next most important thing to pack is SPACE. When you leave the UK it will usually become considerably warmer or colder. So you’ll be changing clothing during the trip and need somewhere to put it.

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You’ll want to put your helmet somewhere safe when you stop.

It’s best to equip your bike with a top box and two panniers as a minimum, plus a tank bag. The reason: loose bags flap about and are insecure, despite your exceptional experience in tying things down!

Read the full guide on packing for a tour in the October issue of Motorcycle Sport & Leisure – on sale now.

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