Long Ride? A Complete Checklist Of Bike Trip Essentials

Your Guide To Long Bike Trip Essentials

Sure, it’s convenient to hop onto a flight or a bus when you’re traveling to your dream destination. However, when you’ve got or rented your own motorcycle, you’ll experience a sense of freedom that’s absolutely unmatched! And let’s face it: pretty much all of us have fantasized about going on that Ladakh trip with the rhythmic thump of a Royal Enfield reverberating in our ears.

In case you’ve saved up enough and convinced your family that you’re going on a long bike trip, congrats! Half the battle is won. Now comes the preparation for the long ride. In this checklist of bike trip essentials, we’ve mentioned everything you need to carry on your long journey.

Essential Things To Carry For A Bike Trip

  1. Helmet
  2. Riding Jacket And Pants
  3. Gloves
  4. Riding Boots
  5. Hydration Packs
  6. GPS System
  7. Panniers Or Saddlebags
  8. Basic Motorcycle Repair Kit
  9. Mandatory Documents To Ride A Bike

1. Helmet 

Whether you’re on a cross-country motorcycle trip or just on a grocery errand, a helmet is a must-have riding accessory! Invest in a certified, full-face helmet – a half-face helmet or a ‘brain bucket’ won’t do you much good in case you fall off the bike. While a helmet should have a nice, snug fit, it should also be comfortable as you’ll have it throughout the trip.

It goes without saying that if you have a pillion, they should have a helmet too. Safety first!

Also Read: 12 Places To Go Stargazing In India! Get Starstruck!

2. Riding Jacket And Pants

Irrespective of where you’re riding, we highly recommend wearing a riding jacket. As the saying goes, “Dress for the slide, not the ride!”

Ideally, get yourself a Level 2 riding jacket (which offers more protection than a Level 1 jacket). We’ll assure you that you’ll look super-cool in one, but this jacket offers much more than drip!

Whether it’s the brutal snows of Ladakh, the incessant rains of Cherrapunji, or the harsh sun of Jaisalmer, the jacket can shield you from the elements. A riding jacket also has protective pads for your elbows, shoulders, and back. So in case you lean into a corner a bit too much and fall off the bike (touch wood it doesn’t happen!), you’ll be saved from (the worst of) road rashes.

Riding pants tend to be lower on the priority list for many bikers, but they’re a must-have! They’re typically waterproof and come fitted with knee and shin guards. So, you don’t need to carry them separately!

Also Read: How To Plan A Budget Motorcycle Trip To Leh-Ladakh?

3. Gloves

Holding the motorcycle handlebars for hours at a stretch can tire you out. You may be sorely tempted to go all “Look Ma, no hands!” just to ease the strain. And yes, if you fall off the bike, you’ll instinctively put your hands ahead to cushion the fall. That’s why you need to add riding gloves to your motorcycle accessory checklist.

When getting riding gloves, choose the ones that offer excellent palm and knuckle protection. Where you’re riding also matters: for a mountain expedition, you’ll want to buy winter gloves and for rainy areas, waterproof gloves will be your best friend.

If you’re someone who loves to halt all too often to click pictures for Instagram, check if the gloves offer touch screen sensitivity too!

Also Read:5 Best Offbeat Kayaking Destinations In India

 

4. Riding Boots

When you’re out riding, your trusty sneakers aren’t going to do you any good. For that, you need sturdy riding boots. They usually come with toe and ankle protection, ensuring that the latter won’t suddenly twist in the event of a crash. The waterproof riding boots can also keep away cold water and debris from your legs. After all, what’s more disgusting than having to wear wet socks all day? We’ll pass, thank you!

For all the toe-shifting bikers who dread their left boot getting stained by the gear lever, you can get a gear sock or a shoe protector easily online.

Also Read: 6 Interesting Camping Experiences In India

Long Ride? A Complete Checklist Of Bike Trip Essentials

5. Hydration Pack

It may be surprising to some, but long hours of motorcycle riding can really dehydrate you. So you have to take regular pitstops to stay hydrated. Why not avoid too many breaks by getting a hydration pack?

This nifty riding accessory is basically a water bladder with a straw that lets you stay hydrated even when on the go. Hydration packs also have compartments in which you can store your snacks and basic equipment. Makes sense to include one in your checklist now, yes?

Also Read: Experiencing Scuba Diving In The Andamans 

6. GPS System

There are many GPS sets available in the market but if you don’t want to invest in them, you can just get a good phone holder for your bike and use the maps available on your smartphone. 

A GPS will be your guide throughout your journey but we wouldn’t want you to get stuck somewhere treacherous if your network betrays you. Download the offline maps so you’re in the clear even when your networks go all dark.

Also Read: Skiing In Auli Uttarakhand

7. Panniers Or Saddlebags

A long bike trip isn’t like one with a car where you can just dump all your belongings into the boot. You’ll have to spend a lot of time in luggage logistics planning! For this, you’ll have to invest in good panniers or saddlebags.

For regular long-distance riders, the more-expensive panniers can be ideal for storing your luggage. Saddlebags have a lower storage capacity, but attaching and removing them from your bike is a piece of cake! And yes, if your bike has a metal fuel tank, attach a magnetic tank bag that can hold your phone, wallet, and other essentials.

Also Read: Tips For Backpacking In India

8. Essential Motorcycle Repair Kit

One moment you’ll be cruising down the White Desert Road towards the Rann of Kutch and the next, you may be on the roadside with a flat tire. Not a good situation. That’s why you’ll have to carry essential motorcycle repair tools. Some of them include:

  • Clutch and accelerator cables
  • Tire tubes (if your bike has tubed tires)
  • Tubeless tire repair kit (if your bike has tubeless tires)
  • Extra sets of headlights and brake lamps
  • Allen keys and wrenches
  • Tire pressure gauge

Remember to learn the basics of motorcycle repair before setting out on your long bike trip. Who knows? It’ll come in handy!

Also Read: A Guide To Traveling With Your Dog

9. Mandatory Documents To Ride A Bike

Unless you want to get in trouble with the law and waste time negotiating with the cops, you want to have all your motorcycle documents in one place. You can keep them in the tank bag mentioned above so that you can produce them quickly. Here they are:

  • Driving license
  • Registration certificate (RC)
  • Bike insurance
  • Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate

Also Read: Winter Travel Tips In India

Things To Keep In Mind While Planning For Your Bike Trip

  • It’s absolutely essential to keep in mind that your body is prepared for a long road trip. Get proper health checkups and speak to your doctor in case you have a history of sickness before you take the long and difficult route.
  • Make sure your bike is in top shape before you take it out on the road. Check the tires, oils, electronics, and brakes.
  • Don’t forget to pack your go-to snacks, food, and a water bottle because the roads might lead to unexpected turns but you might not enjoy them if you’re thirsty and starving. 
  • Keep the tank full before you leave for your journey and carry extra fuel along in case your bike runs out of it somewhere where there’s no fuel available. 
  • While you pack for your bike trip, make sure you don’t go overboard with it. Pack concisely, don’t end up carrying your entire wardrobe along with you.
  • A first aid kit should always be with you and should have the necessary bandages, ORS, ointments, medicines, and sanitizers.
  • Don’t forget to pack a portable charger and good earphones. Trust us, you’ll be needing them.
  • Do carry some cash along with your credit and debit cards and keep them all together and safe where they don’t fall off. 
  • Always carry zip lock bags and plastic bags for your dirty clothes and even in case of sudden rain.

Also Read: How To Pack Camping Gear On A Motorcycle

Summing Up

A long trip on your bike is going to be an experience like no other. We’re sure that our checklist of bike trip essentials will help you organize your trip better so you can start focusing on the fun part of the journey. 

FAQs

What Should I Bring To An Adventure Ride?

You’ll need to take all the essential items on your adventure ride. It includes your clothes, toiletries, food, water bottle, bike gear, GPS system, and tool kit to mention a few.

How Should You Wear Your Hair On A Motorcycle?

Always tie your hair as neatly as possible under your helmet. If you have long hair, tying them in a bun can be your best bet. Free hair might look good in movies but trust us, neither they’re practical nor safe. 

What Should You Not Wear On A Motorcycle?

Avoid wearing tight, heavy, and uncomfortable clothing on a motorcycle. Wear clothes that feel like second skin where you and your skin can breathe. Wear light and baggy clothes under your riding gear so you aren’t suffocated.

Why Do Motorcycle Riders Wear Black?

Motorcycle riding exposes you to a lot of dust and dirt. Black outfits are much more resistant to stains which makes them more practical. But ensure that your riding gear has reflectors. If not, you can wear reflector straps for extra safety when you’re riding at night.

Where Do I Put My Phone When Biking?

Don’t put your phone in your trousers pocket if you aren’t wearing trousers with a zip. You can put your phone in your jacket or on the phone holder if you’re using GPS.

What Should I Eat During A Long Bike Ride?

A bike ride can be exhausting and food will be the one fueling your system so make sure it’s fulfilling and healthy. You can pack foods such as bananas, apples, homemade sandwiches, protein bars, rice, oats, potatoes, and beans.

Should You Buy A Black Helmet?

Most riders prefer a black helmet thanks to its universal appeal. However, from a safety point of view, it’s best to choose a brighter-colored helmet. Also, a black helmet will absorb more heat. The choice is yours: aesthetics or practicality?