How to Prepare for Your Motorcycle Road Trip

By Stephanie McDonald

Open road, highway

Source | Hogarth de la Plante/Unsplash

Hi, everyone! Stephanie here, aka the Blonde Bandit. Spring is coming soon, and that means it’s time for some long and exciting road trips. But before you set off, make sure you’re prepared. If you’ve been on a long trip before, you know the importance of having an emergency kit.

Recently, I took a four-hour ride through the mountains of Little Switzerland, NC. That’s not the longest trip I’ve ever taken solo, but I still packed some key items. During the journey a funny noise started coming from the chain of my motorcycle, a 2003 Suzuki Bandit 600 (get the nickname now?). I sprayed it with my emergency chain cleaner, and after inspecting my motorcycle, I noticed I was a little low on oil. So I topped that off too. Being prepared with the right essentials really saved me on that ride.

You may get into, or have already been in, a similar situation. There’s limited storage space on motorcycles, especially since your saddlebags are already loaded with personal items. So here’s the absolute essentials packing list.

Stephanie McDonald Motorcycle

Essential Motorcycle Packing List

Tire-repair kit & gauge

The gauge is a must to make sure you have the proper amount of air in your tires. The tire-repair kit comes in handy if you get a flat and need to get to the closest shop.

Emergency roadside kit

These kits are great to have on-hand in case you end up with a dead battery and need a quick jump to get going. Plus these roadside kits usually have first-aid items and flashlights, too.

Zip ties

When bolts rattle loose, minor accidents happen, and your fairing is flapping around, zip ties are a great quick fix. I also use them to secure my USB cable to the frame.

Bungee cords

You can never have enough bungee cords. I use them for extra support in holding my saddlebags, since I have the soft detachable kind.


It’s always great to have a few towels on hand in case you need to clean your visor or wipe down your bike before you enter it into a show.

You can also pick up:

Whether it’s a three-hour or 30-day road trip, it pays to be prepared.

Have any extra tips or motorcycle-trip stories to share? Leave a comment below!

Our Events in March:

12 Hours of Sebring

Want a free lunch? Speed Perks members attending the 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday, March 10 will get one. Just bring a receipt from Advance Auto Parts showing a Mobil oil purchase to the Mobil tent at lunch time.

Daytona Bike Week

The Blonde Bandit herself will be at Destination Daytona to kick off our 2017 Restoration Tour with our friends at Mobil. Join us


  1. Sarah Bare says:

    Raingear! I always have a hand towel, multi-tool, quarters(for air) and a back-up battery pack. Definately enjoyed our 4 day adventure with nothing but us and the bikes. Being prepared helped that peace of mind! Look forward to seeing more articles from The Blond Bandit!

    • John Thatcher says:

      I love Little Switzerland hopefully you’re able to do the dragon and the snake while you were down there

  2. All good advice. I hope others take heed.

  3. Check the oil before you go!

  4. Put a $20 bill in your toolkit. One time I lost my wallet – I was 100 miles from home with half a tank of gas, no cash or credit cards. I rode slowly and fortunately made it all the way home.

  5. If you run an older bike with points WD40 should always be in your kit. Safety wire a few extra nuts, bolts and lock washers. I run a old shovelhead can you tell.
    I also recommend if you turn your own wrenches on your scooter. Work out of the kit you keep on your bike. This will let you know if you are missing something that you will need if/when something happens.
    I carry a tube and a c clamp to break the bead instead of a repair kit If you puncture a sidewall plugs usually don’t do much good.
    A old wise biker showed me at one point in a pinch you can stuff a flat tire with as much grass as you can get in there and it will get you to the nearest town if you have no other options, you may have to stop and repack it if its more than a few miles but it will get you there and not trash the tire or rim. This was in the pre cell phone days

Speak Your Mind