Touring advice: How to pack for a motorcycle adventure

Overland experts Kevin and Julia Sanders
Overland experts Kevin and Julia Sanders

Overland experts and owners of motorcycle expedition company, Kevin and Julia Sanders specialise in taking riders on amazing journeys to unusual destinations. They gave our editor – notorious for carrying too much – some tips on how to pack…

Luggage Two panniers should provide plenty of space for a solo rider’s clothes, tools, electricals and toiletries. Add a small tank bag for documents, phone, wallet, etc. If you’re camping, a waterproof bag strapped on your seat or rack for tent, sleeping bag, etc makes for a quick set-up.

Clothes Small adjustments make a big difference; replace jeans or sweatshirts with lightweight outdoor clothing; take a travel towel and go multifunctional, with a mid-layer you can use on the bike and sightseeing.


Other stuff Other than tools, electricals are the heaviest/bulkiest items. Modern smartphones combine a camera, laptop and sat-nav in one, saving space and only requiring one charger! Take only the tools you need, not full sets. Slim down toiletries – you can get soap & shampoo free in most hotels.

Pack it in Use compression sacks, tubs or bags to separate items. Aim for even weight distribution, keep it low down and as far forward as possible. Items needed during the day should be in your tank bag or at the top of panniers – left (UK riding) or right (overseas) so you’re not standing in traffic. Always check everything is secure before setting off.


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