Packing for a Motorcycle Trip…Like a Girl

Story by Anna Frazer// Photos by Anna & Robert Frazer
October 12 2021

Experience and planning can make a big difference in how you enjoy your riding holiday.

Many articles have been written in motorcycle magazines on how to prepare for a long-distance motorcycle trip. Many riders have their own advice to give to distance-riding rookies, and I am sure you have read it all: pack a lot of tools (taking your full tool box is preferable), buy yourself one good set of riding gear for all riding conditions, and pack as little clothing as you can (you can always wear your shirt inside-out the next day, and wash your knickers in the sink).

While some of these wisdoms might be true, they rarely work in the real world. And washing your knickers in the sink is simply not the best and the most sensible way to go. If they don’t dry out completely by the next morning because you happen to be in a humid climate, you will be riding in damp underpants the next day, which can turn a beautiful morning into a miserable one. Trust me — I’ve tried.

She Speaks from Experience

Over the last 15 years and 200,000 km of motorcycle trips both short and long, I developed an approach that works for me, and I think that sharing some of it with my fellow riders won’t hurt a bit — after all, we riders like to give advice.

I remember that it took my husband and I at least a couple of days to pack the bikes for our first weeklong trip from the coast of British Columbia to Banff, Alta., through Alberta’s Rockies north along the Icefields Parkway to Jasper, west via Highway 16 to Prince George, and then finally south to Vancouver. My husband made very long lists — he is a “lists” type of person — and I watched in horror how the growing pile of tools, gear, clothing, and just plain stuff took over our living room. The scariest part was that we managed to pack all this material on our bikes, which looked like mules after we were done.

Needless to say, we used probably only 10 per cent of what we had packed. The good part is that we were prepared (not sure for what); the bad part was that we really did not need most of the stuff; and the ugly part was that, every night we had to unpack our bikes and haul all these bags into our room, and in the morning, we spent what felt like hours packing and strapping the stuff back on the bikes. Having too much luggage also made it hard to dig out what we needed, and left minimal room on our machines to pack food or snacks.

Leave Room for Snacks

At times, we ended up riding hungry, searching for restaurants that were either not present in the area, or they…

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