Ask a dozen riders what they consider motorcycle touring essentials and you will likely get a dozen different answers.
People tend to like to take different things, depending on their destination, their bike and of course, their previous experience. However, there are certain things that any riders can take with them on any long trip that can make things a little better.
Some of the things here are to look after your bike; some are to look after you as a rider and some to look after your kit.
After all, all three of those components need to be maintained and managed to make sure that your trip is as smooth and painless as possible.
Related: Top motorcycle puncture repair kits
We’ve put together a list of what motorcycle touring essentials we would take with us on a long trip – a multi-day epic where a degree of self-reliance might be necessary.
We’ve taken items such as sat navs and clothing as read – this is a list of essentials that will get you out of a spot if you find yourself in one.
Some are larger than others and some heavier. We’re working on the basis that if you are on a big trip, you have a good amount of luggage space to take your clothing and so on and have room for a few of these motorcycle touring essentials. So have fun and ride safe.
1. Wraptie Sport straps<br>Tested by Simon Weir for 2,380 miles<br>Quality 5/5, Value 4/5
I’ve just used these straps to secure my rollbag on a two-wheeled tour to Switzerland. They were
Wrap it around something like a grabrail, pass it through its tough securing loop, then stretch it over your bag with ease. Passing it round the other side of the grabrail and twisting means the Velcro hooks can be paired with the soft patches, securing the bag in place.
These obviously work better on bikes with plenty of anchor points, such as grabrails. Using the Velcro to secure fairly hefty bags in place for all manner of riding was a little nerve-wracking at first, but they kept everything in place really well. I was amazed: sticking three patches together fastened the strap so securely I could push the bike around by the bag – which didn’t move an inch. During 12 long days in the saddle and much loading and unloading they stayed in place.
It’s a simple, surprising and very effective system. Not to mention well-priced too!
2. Rechargeable Compressor
Whether you have an actual puncture or simply need to top up your pressures as you go about your
This gets great reviews on Amamzon, with the manufacturer quoting a four-minute inflation time for a motorcycle tyre (though it doesn’t specify what size). You can pre-set your desired pressure – it has a digital gauge – and there’s also a torch built-in.
Top-up tyre pressure anywhere
Pressure gauge built in
Inflate bike tyre in 4 mins
Battery is only 2400mAh
MCN's guide to motorcycle wheel and tyre accessories and tools
3. Puncture Repair Kit
This kit from Gear Gremlin contains everything you need to make a temporary repair to a tubeless
You get a reamer to make the hole larger, a worm inserting tool as well as five worms (meaning potentially, five punctures can be repaired). You also get the necessary glue, a blade to trim the worm and three gas canisters and an adapter to reinflate the tyre, though this might only get you to half the necessary pressure. A puncture repair kit has to feature in any motorcycle touring essentials list, as it could be the difference between being stuck at the roadside all night or reaching your destination.
Repair tubeless tyres
Relatively easy to do
Tyre can usually be repaired professionally after
Can be hard work
MCN's guide to motorcycle puncture and repair kits
4. Leatherman Wave Plus
I was bought one of these as a present years ago and I don't go anywhere without it. I get teased
It’s no replacement for a proper toolkit (which may or may not come with your bike) but with its combination of cutting blades, scissors, saw, file, pliers and flat/crosshead screwdriver bits, it is too useful not to have with you.
So many tools
Compact and light
No substitute for a proper toolkit
MCN's guide to the best multi-tools for motorcycle repairs
5. Shift-It Helmet Care Pack
Looking after your helmet when you're away is key; if it's filthy and you can't see properly, then
It contains two visor-cleaning wipes along with an insect-removing sponge and a bottle of helmet and visor cleaner. There is also a bottle of anti-fog treatment for visors or glasses, one of helmet refresh to eliminate smells and you also get three polishing cloths and a handy travel pouch.
Everything to clean grubby helmet
Housed in handy travel pouch
Need separate rain repellent
6. First Aid Kit
Arguably, all riders should carry a first aid kit with them though practically, this may not
It also has an eyewash and tweezers and comes in a handy travel pouch. Add in essential medication, such as painkillers, anti-histamines and perhaps a can of sting relief and you’re good to go.
The basics for first aid
Stored in travel pouch
Look after minor injuries
Need supplemental products
7. Bungee Straps
Many people like cargo nets and they can be useful for securing loose items to the bike, though
We prefer these Rok straps – they are elasticated with strong and secure quick-release clips and loops to fit around various parts of the bike to strap kit on. They are inexpensive, available in three sizes and have never let us down. Essential for strapping bags or kit to the bike.
Three sizes to fit all kit
Won’t mark bike
More secure than metal hooks
Need to get the right size
8. Jump Pack
There is likely nothing more frustrating on a tour than getting packed up and hitting the starter
This tiny rechargeable jump pack will start the bike as well as charge phones, watches and other essential kit as well. Simply plug it in to charge as you ride and then, it’s ready in case your bike lets you down.
Small and portable
Jump start bike
Charge phones and devices
Won’t work on completely dead batteries
MCN's guide to motorcycle jump packs
9. Spare Visor and Pinlock
Just like it's essential to keep your helmet, and in particular the visor, clean for optimum
You might choose a replacement clear visor or a tinted version, although the darker tints tend not to be legal for the roads. But whatever you chose, fit it before you go away to make sure it’s the right one.
Back-up in case main visor damaged
Can be useful to have tinted visor
Spare Pinlock always useful
Can take up space in luggage
While freezer or sandwich bags may be useful to keep smaller items dry in case of rain, such as
Like the rest of the company’s kit – much of which we have tested and always been impressed with – the seams are taped and roll-top closures keep water out. This three-pack comes with a three-litre, six-litre and eight-litre bag.
Keep all sorts of kit dry
Three useful sizes
From proven manufacturer
11. Oxford Monster Lock and Chain
If a lock and chain are essential if you're commuting or popping to the shops, then imagine how
It’s not light – the 2m chain and lock weigh 8.5kg – but if you’re on a big tour, it’s a weight-price worth paying.
MCN's guide to the best locks, chains and disc locks
Be the first to know what's coming in the latest issue of MCN, plus the latest road tests, recommendations, and competitions. Sign up to the MCN newsletter.