Top motorcycle touring essentials

Stay safe and mobile with this selection of essentials for any motorbike tour

Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled on tour

by Jim Blackstock |

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

Wraptie Sport straps

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

SKEY Rechargeable Compressor

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

Gear gremlin puncture repair kit

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

Leatherman Wave Plus

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

One-hand operable


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

Shift-It Helmet Care Pack

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

Proven products


Need separate rain repellent

6. First Aid Kit


Arguably, all riders should carry a first aid kit with them though practically, this may not

First Aid Kit

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

Bungee Straps

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

Jump Pack

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

Spare Visor

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

10. Drybags


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

Oxford Monster Lock and Chain

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

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