Thursday 18 February 2016

You cannot ride without...... what?

All of us have favourite items we like to take with us on long distance motorcycle rides, or tours.

Just for fun, I am putting together a list of the top essential items riders take with them.  What are the five things you CANNOT leave behind?

Please give one answer for each category below and I will collate the answers into an essential motorcycling items guide......

1. For your bike.  It could be a particular tool, cable ties, oil, or a puncture repair kit.  What won't you travel without?

2. Something you wear when riding.  A favourite pair of gloves perhaps, a heated jacket, a certain pair of boots, or kevlar jeans maybe?

3.  Technical stuff.  Maybe you won't go without a camera, music, a GPS or a laptop.  What item MUST you take?  Don't list a phone, as we all carry those!

4. Essential item to carry with you.  That could be water, sunscreen, paper maps or something else?

5. A luxury item - Cigars, a favourite hat, shoes, an expensive watch?


Trobairitz said...

Hmmmmmm, Sounds like a blog post challenge topic...... Gimme a bit to think and I'll comment back.

Erik R said...

Great post.

1. For the bike: The gold can of Maxima Chain Wax.
2. To wear: Rain gear in the saddle bag. If I don't bring it, I need it. If I do bring it, I almost never need it.
3. Tech stuff: Has to be a camera.
4. Essentials: 3 liter Camelbak.
5. Luxury items: I guess my Xm radio and custom molded ear plug speakers! Or if we're talking camping gear, my Exped SynMat sleeping pad... true luxury

A couple of things that always come along on a road trip are paper maps and a GPS, sun block and comfy shoes.

Trobairitz said...

Here you go......

For the Bike - Givi tail bag
Something I wear - Rev'It sand pants
Tech stuff - Canon camera
Essentials - Earplugs
Luxury - Lipstick

I did a blog challenge for you - hope you get more poll results this way.......

RichardM said...


1. For the bike: Since it's a Ural, you really want the entire tool kit but lacking that, I'd say my Leatherman since it has a full set of allen and screw bits.
2. To wear: The Roadcrafter Light is now my universal, all weather riding gear.
3. Tech stuff: The iPad is too convenient and light. Plus, w/Verizon it works in a lot of places my phone (AT&T) doesn't.
4. Essentials: That has to be water in an insulated container. Keeps it cool and keeps it from freezing.
5: Luxury items: A pair of running shoes. The boots get too hot and are uncomfortable to walk in after wearing them all day.

Canajun said...

I struggled with this a bit until I reread the part about it being for a "long trip". So here's mine:
1. For the bike. I will carry a small bag of easily replaceable bits like fuses, bulbs, etc. Anything more than that, or which requires tools, is why I have a CAA card with motorcycle endorsement.
2. To wear. Rain gear.(That's aside from the obvious like riding glasses, helmet, etc.)
3. Tech stuff. Camera. Hands down.
4. Essentials. Sun screen, maps (which I prefer to a GPS), disk lock.
5. Luxury items. Tablet or netbook.

Geoff James said...


For the bike: Mini compressor and Gryyp brand repair kit - fast and effective.

To wear: Icebreaker brand merino layers - incredible for both warm and cold conditions. Antibacterial properties means that you don't smell at the end of a long day!

Tech stuff: My GPS - always there to get me back on track after planned or unplanned detours! Sony DSC RX 100 camera. Smartphone (emergencies only, NO music, No Bluetooth - motorcycling is my private time to think and ride!)

Essentials: Fold away rain gear, Gerbing G3 heated gloves for winter.

Luxury items: Nothing - motorcycling is about keeping things simple!

Troubadour said...

Essentials? Five things I CANNOT leave behind? You stated long distance rides, so...

1. For your bike. A spare key is essential.

2. Something you wear when riding. ATGATT, my Aerostich suit, (and of course earplugs).

3. Technical stuff. An air compressor/tire repair kit, that's as technical as I get.

4. Essential item to carry with you. Water.

5. A luxury item. A credit card.

SonjaM said...

Nice one, Gary. I'm in. Give me a moment to think about it, and I'll post it on my blog.

SonjaM said...

1. An extra bottle of fuel (full) - You know, why.
2. Besides ATTGAT I go never without a Buff.
3. Sony Cybershot camera
4. Roadside assistance card
5. Lip balm

Thanks for the challenge, Gary.

Jason said...

1. For the bike: Tire repair kit with plugs and CO2 filler. Enough to get me to a gas station a shop.
2. Wear: High-viz jacket. What can I say, I’m a convert. I notice an immediate difference when I wear my non-highlighter yellow mesh jacket. Not just occasionally, but every time is switch. (I ride mostly in city traffic) That and bicycle shorts, the padded spandex ones.
3. Tech: My phone, more specifically I love GPS Essentials for Android. It’s an old-school GPS “simulator” and gives me all the control I want. I should note that I make maps for a living, yep you can get paid to do that.
4. Essentials: Water. A Camelback type system works great and can be worn under or over your jacket depending on your flappy strap threshold.
5. Luxury item: Cycle Shade, it keeps the dew off your seat in the morning so you don’t have to head out with a wet ass.

VStar Lady said...

Great Challenge Gary ... seems obvious though that few, if any of us can really narrow it down to only 5 things after all, when we get the gear on we've already added more than five things. So here are my 5 mini groupings of must take things for touring:
For the Bike: A micro-compressor and a micro-fibre cloth (and like Brad, I always carry a spare key hidden in the tank bag.)
To Wear: ATGATT including full face helmet (in high vis) plus sunglasses and custom fit ear plugs
Technical gadgets: My Garmin GPS, his cousin the Panasonic Lumix camera (also with GPS) and my Dell Ultra Book (and of course an emergency power pack even though everyone should have a 12 volt outlet on the bike for charging on the go - is that for the bike or an essential or is it a gadget?)
Essentials: Smart Phone with unlimited travel plan (also has GPS plus a where the hell am I now and weather apps) insulated water bottle, CAA Premium Card, Passport, sandals I can walk in, a few extra bucks cash, toothbrush and my colour science mineral sunscreen for the face.
Luxury items: Pretty much anything and everything else that I carry (and to the hard core most of the above) a luxury. And I have nothing against luxury.

Unknown said...

Hello, Gary. For a bit of context, I live in the American West, and I take the most gear when I’m dual-sport camping. Though my prep-list is extensive, most of the items are exactly what other riders would take when moto-camping, so I’ll try to mention some maybe uncommon items.

1. For my bike (common): A container or two of fuel for when I know I’ll need it or when I’m unfamiliar with the area (there’s at least one cross-desert stretch for which I always need extra fuel).

2. Something I wear when riding: High hiking gaiters (They do well at keeping cold air out of pant legs and keeping the lower half of jeans clean of mud and brush).

3. Technical stuff (common): DSLR camera with folding, aluminum tripod (As we all know, there’s no better way to share and relive a ride than through photographs and words).

4. Essential item I carry with me (sorry, more than one): A notebook and pens. Detailed paper maps. A laminated card with the phone numbers of family and friends that would help if I called (because phones can fail, and because who the heck memorizes numbers anymore?). My Bindle Daypack from Trek Light Gear (It stuffs up smaller than a baseball, is sufficient for a day hike from camp, and would be essential for the few items I’d need and want if I had to walk out to cell service, to hitch a ride, or all the way to civilization).

5. A luxury item (some might say these are three, but I’d argue that they’re complementary): For when I’m camping, my Monarch Butterfly Chair from Alite, some great maduro corona cigars, and red wine (the type available in small collapsible cartons because they travel well on rough roads).

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

I'll go with 5.... short, sweet and in this order

1. Helmet, jacket, gloves, raingear
2. Earplugs
3. Phone (charger)
4. GPS Never need it, always want it
5. Reasonable tire repair capability

Everything else beyond this, dependent on bike, destination, travel style, etc.

Unknown said...

Oddly...balloons. for me, not strange. For anyone else. .Nuts. you see, i am a children's entertainer. I make balloon art (animals). My 50 lbs of balloons is my emergency stash. With that, i can make enough money to survive. Give me a place to set up, and people, and i can earn enough to go for a few days.
I have long thought that i could live comfortably by riding my yamaha morphous, And stopping when i need money And make balloons for a few hours for gas and food money.
I have ridden over 1000 miles with the largest party of my luggage my two "essential" Balloon bags with other hear squeezed in.

Dan Diego said...

1. GPS unit! My Garmin Zumo plays music, allows me to make and take phone calls....and oh, yeah...gets me to where I need to be.

2. Waterproof jacket and pants. Keeps me safe and dry as I ride.

3. My helmet intercom. My Cardo-Scala system keeps me in touch and entertained as I ride.

4. Earplugs. Gotta have 'em...

5. My flip flops! At the end of a long days ride, it's so nice to take off my boots and slip on my sandals.

WooleyBugger said...

1-5, Wallet, water, small tool bag, master link, tent, sleeping bag and Toilet paper roll, definitely toilet roll in a sealed plastic baggie.

Ken said...

Nice poll, I happened by here via Trobairitiz' Tablet, here goes mine;
1 - The tire plug kit if I could only take one tool.
2 - really. When I go on a trip I switch from a cotton type to a wicking, silky-smooth type of fabric - not certain what it is called, but they are incredibly sexy...oops, I meant comfy...that's what I meant, comfy.
3 - My canon power shot. Love it!
4 - I always have water in the left pannier.
5 - Slippers. I HATE walking around in hotel rooms barefoot.

Looking forward to seeing the results.

Oz said...

1. For the bike - Grip Buddies (small grips bother me)
2. To wear - Comfortable socks
3. Tech stuff - Sena s20 & Sena Prism (new purchases, but loving them)
4. Essentials - Rain Gear
5. Luxury item - Bose earbuds - improving the sound quality from the Sena & doubles as ear plugs

Sash Johnson said...

OK Gary, challenge accepted!
1. For the bike: My AAA card. No kidding.
2. To wear: My leather gloves. I bought them in an Army Surplus Store in Tucson. Soft fleece inside, waterproofed outside. Perfect for every type of weather.
3. Tech stuff: My inexpensive MP3 player. I don't enjoy riding nearly as much without music. And if I use an MP3 player it doesn't run down my phone battery. I also carry an external battery charger.
4. Essentials: Bottles of SmartWater. I have an electrolyte imbalance so this keeps me regulated.
5. Luxury items: My blanket. It's my little piece of home.
Sash The Rude Biker Chick

the rider said...

Reading Trobiaritz' tablet led me here, interesting!
For the bike; a multi-purpose knife/tool kit (which includes a corkscrew/bottle opener!)
Something I wear; my club patch vest
Tech stuff; never without my camera, always taking photos for my blog. I've never bothered with GPS, maybe I should try one.
Essential item; Full gloves and rain suit.
Luxury item: Bottle of Johnny Walker Black.

Theo van der Meulen said...

I have been known to be somewhat forgetful so both my bikes have a $50 note in the tool kit. It's for that occasion when you head off on a ride and forget your wallet - it'll get you a tank full of fuel and meal and a coffee. Saved me a couple of times.

Other essentials;

A camera and the rain suit/

Gary France said...

That is a really good idea Theo!