Complete guide – motorcycle extended trip checklist.

All trips are unique and people pack different and their needs and type of travel are different, hopefully, you will find this checklist useful in preparing for your next epic motorcycle expedition.

This is a general guideline and will be different for men, women, length, the difficulty of the trip, whether doing cross border and general weather conditions in the region. We tried to make the list as comprehensive as possible and might be an overkill for the trip you plan, as this list is also for short trips just exclude what is not needed or for weekend trips. 

However, we do not pack all the stuff listed even on our extended trips as we are minimalist and strive to pack as light and compact as possible.

This list can be downloaded and printed for use when planning a trip:

 

Clothing:

  • Toiletry bag – Pack all liquids into screw-top plastic bottles or in ziplock bags so it will not accidentally spill over everything into your bags.
  • Slops, shoes & socks – Or use one pair of KEEN shoe/ sandals as an example. With socks you might look like a German tourist, but what de hell it saves weight and space.
  • 1 pair each of short & long pants – Quick dry, hard-wearing and lightweight.
  • 3 shirts – Preferably not cotton rather wool or technical fabrics. We love Merino wool.
  • Long sleeve jacket – Thin fleece or technical jacket. For an extra layer or day wear.
  • Thin warm gloves for off the bike.
  • Underwear or go commando.
  • Jewellery – Rather leave it at home. No need to tempt people into thinking you are loaded like a drug dealer and want to cash in on your bling

Stay Safe / Medical:

  • Medical insurance plan – Do not assume your medical plan covers you.
  • Medevac or Air Ambulance Insurance – Various types available for local and international use.
  • Emergency Contact Info – Have in your wallet, tank bag, or somewhere accessible to people or paramedics to contact your family or friends.
  • First Aid Kit – Size and contents will vary per individual need. Painkillers & Remedies – Altitude sickness, stomach viruses, Malaria and many other possibilities can stop your trip. Prescription Medications – If you need them at home, stock up before leaving.
  • Doctor’s Approval – Don’t assume you’re fit for such for adventure, especially over 40’s.
  • Vaccinations – See your medical travel clinic, doctor.
    Yellow fever is a common vaccine for many African and South American countries.

Documents:

  • Passport – For international travel, keep in mind that some countries require 6 months validity for admittance and at least 3-4 blank pages.
  • Passport Copies – Serving as a backup or necessary item to have anyway for some border crossings.
  • Visas – Research ahead and confirm if you can just get yours at each border.
  • International Driver’s License – Make sure yours has the motorcycle endorsement.
  • Motorcycle Documents & Insurance – Original and spare copies.
  • Carnet de Passage – Motorcycle passport – some countries demand this document on entry.
  • Backup Credit Cards – Be sure to also record all the “lost card” phone numbers somewhere.
  • Maps – Obtain paper maps before leaving home, they can be extremely difficult to find in less-developed countries and it is still a great way to navigate and get to know the country.

Tracing and Communication:

  • Cell Phone – Very nice apps these days to help with travelling.
  • Apps: REVER, Google offline maps, OSM offline maps, IOverlander.
  • GPS Locator & Service Plan – For sending updates and notifying authorities of an emergency. SPOT.
  • Small laptop or IPad. It is safer when able to access Wifi to login to email and such.
  • Satellite Phone or Satellite tracker – As the ultimate pimp tool. We do not carry one though.
  • International universal plug.
  • Charging cables – try to use devices with similar connections

Keep your energy up:

  • Hydration Pack – Best way to stay hydrated and place to carry passports, spare cash, backup credit cards, etc.
  • Water Purification Plan – If you cannot find bottled water tablets are the cheapest option or beer.
  • Backup Snacks – Small bag of nuts or dried fruit can last a long time and keep hunger from being such an issue.

Make sure you record your memories:

  • Regular Camera – Plus all chargers and memory cards.
  • Helmet Camera – With the fittings, chargers and additional batteries.
  • Memory Stick, Cards, SD Card reader – Including USB for public computer use.

Riding Gear:

  • Helmet – Peak versions are best for long trips.
  • Backup Helmet Parts & Hardware – Screws fittings
  • Goggle & Shield Cleaner – Don’t make the mistake of using paper-based OR cotton products to clean the shield, as they will scratch it for sure. Use stuff like ATGvision for rainy or foggy riding.
  • Sunglasses – UV protecting and comfortably fitting within your helmet.
  • Buff or /and Neck warmer – Keep warm, keep flying bugs out of your neck or face. Can be worn as a hat.
  • Riding Jacket – Waterproofing, venting, hard-wearing, etc.
  • Riding Pants – Must be comfortable and have good knee protection. We prefer wearing knee braces.
  • Motorcycle Gloves – Summer pair and a winter pair.
  • Base Layers – Synthetic or natural wool base layers for severe cold weather riding
  • Riding Socks – Long enough to prevent chaffing and hopefully moisture-wicking via synthetic materials or wool
  • Motorcycle Boots – Ankle protection, waterproof and must be comfortable to live with day in and day out. If you insist on wearing MX boots use waterproof socks.
  • Mesh Stuff Sacks/Packing cubes – Separate personal items, clothes, and items into categories using lightweight stuff sacks that require hardly any extra space when empty.
  • Proper rain suite.

Highly recommended:

  • Neck Brace – This is a very subjective and personal decision.
  • Knee Braces – The Leatt type

Stuff you will find handy:

  • Headlamp / torch – Ever had a mechanical issue at night? A hands-free headlamp could be your greatest tool.
  • Earplugs –It’s simple, protect your hearing.
  • Sunscreen – Wind and riding obscure the fact that you might be getting sunburn.
  • Insect repellent – for things like zooming stinging flies!
  • Wet Wipes – They work great for cleaning your hands after fixing a bike.
  • Hand Sanitizer – A small bottle for when no water is available to clean hands.
  • AND DUE TO CORONA a face mask!

Motorcycle & Equipment Setup:

  • GPS
  • Engine Guards/Protection
  • Engine Case Covers
  • Headlight Guards
  • Radiator and Oil Cooler Protection
  • Kickstand Foot Print
  • Hippo hand warmers if no heated grips. Highly beneficial to keep the cold wind off hands.
  • Additional lighting for night riding.

Luggage & Security:

  • Pannier frames
  • Soft luggage or hard luggage.
  • Spare Luggage Keys 
  • 1 x 50L Wide mouth Duffel Bag – They are waterproof and dustproof and the easiest to unpack and use. If your trip will also involve any travel of the motorcycle, pack your motorcycle gear in this bag for the flight, train, etc.
  • Packing bag organisers – No stuffing, pack clothes, and stuff neatly and easy to take out and pack again.
  • Luggage Tie Down Straps – Use only straps that have parts bungee rubber straps. They keep compressing and will never have you lose stuff.
  • Small cargo bungee net.
  • Tankbag with electrical attachments.
  • Motorcycle cover – Some recommend using a cover when parking the bike in the street in some dodgy areas. It adds more weight and stuff though to carry.
  • Carabines, various sizes, can be used for all sorts off stuff. 

Parts and equipment:

Know your bike:

  • Basic Maintenance & Owner’s Manual – Bring that which might help you fix your bike alone. We have an a list here version on the laptop.

Make sure you carry:

  • Quick Steel or Aluminium – Compounds Quick Steel Epoxy can fix casings and radiators
  • Repair Epoxy – Either for metal or plastic.
  • Q-bond – The best quick-dry build it up glue in the business.
  • Loctite – Blue.
  • General Multi-tool –Leatherman type of multi-tool
  • Tow rope.
  • Make up a small set of jumper cables.
  • WD40 or similar, small tub of grease.
  • Paper coffee filters to filter petrol when in doubt of the quality.

General:

  • Spare Ignition Key 
  • Bicycle Combination Cable Lock – Can serve as extra security for attaching bags to the motorcycle, or the motorcycle to a fence, pole, etc.
  • Disc Brake Lock & Spare Key
  • Fuel Transfer Hose – A small diameter, a 2-meter section of rubber hose can be a huge help in pulling fuel from other sources.
  • Electrical Chargers – Make your own list for all you’re bringing!
  • Engine Oil – 500ml
  • Chain Lube – For chain-driven bikes OR used as a lubricant to get tyres on and off rims when fixing
  • Master Link – And associated tools to remove and fit
  • Spare Spark Plugs – Some 2-cylinder motorcycles use 4 spark plugs, so plan. (Not a critical item)
  • Spare Oil Filter – Unless you are sure you’ll be able to get them where you’re going.
  • Spare Air Filter – One river crossing or days of dust riding will quickly destroy an air filter.
  • Spare Brake pads – Front and rear.
  • Spare globes – 1 front 1 rear.
  • Plastic Zip Ties – Call them what you will.
  • Electrical Insulation Tape.
  • Duct Tape.
  • Special Tape to seal burst water hoses
  • Motorcycle specific tool Kit – Many popular motorcycles will have forums online where other owners suggest the tools you’ll need for your specific motorcycle.
  • Spare Wire – For replacing torn/broken circuitry.
  • Spare Fuses – No need for CAN-BUS systems.
  • Spare Parts – Research what parts have been problematic on your specific motorcycle, and plan.
  • Spare clutch and throttle cable.

Keep the rubber full of air:

  • Tyre Repair Kit – Tube or Tubeless and know how to fix a flat.
  • Piece of fishing line or piano wire to sew up a cut in a tyre sidewall
  • Tyre Pump – A small bicycle pump might not be the easiest option to use, but you can use it far more times than a CO2 bomb.
  • Small electrical pumps with an SAE connector directly to the battery.
  • Tyre Gauge – Don’t depend on the gauges at fuel stations. Get a pencil style gauge the electronic ones might go flat when the button is pressed accidentally in your tank bag.
  • Valve Removal Tool – A faulty valve stem might need to be replaced
  • Spare Tyre Stems & Caps – Dust and dirt can wreak havoc on these parts and cause leaks
  • Wheel Removal Tools.
  • Tyre Bead Breaker – Side stands are not designed for that job.
  • Tyre Irons – 3 short levers work generally well.

Camping:

  • Tent.
  • Small LED camp light with 5m cable to run off the battery with SAE plug.
  • Spare Tent Parts – Bring a way to fix tent poles, patch torn materials, and replace stakes or lines.
  • Tent Footprint & Groundsheet Tarps – Separate the tent and rain fly from the ground to stay warm and dry or for a rain roof or shade.
  • Sleeping Bag.
  • Sleeping-bag liner, extra blanket.
  • Ultra-Light Towel – Don’t bring cotton or terry cloth, it’ll never dry out by morning and will stink of mildew within 2 days. Permanently.
  • Sleeping Mat, Pad, lightweight camp sleepers – Patch kit
  • Pillow – The best solution is a half-cut fiber pillow; they can be stuffed small.
  • Oh, and MORE Insect Repellent.

Camp kitchen:

  • Camp Stove – Op for a multi-fuel stove that works on motorcycle fuel, and maintenance repair kit.
  • Pots & Pans – Aluminium heats most efficiently and is lightweight. Stainless steel is ultra-durable. Sea-to-Summit has a good silicone range.
  • Coffee/Tea filters – whatever means you use to brew your fix.
  • Spatulas, Utensils, etc. – Long stem Titanium spoon works great.
  • Cleaning Scrubber and Soap – pack in a small squeeze bottle.
  • Camp Sink – Use a waterproof pannier inner bag for the job and can double as a clothing wash bag.
  • Cutting Board – They take up zero space especially the thin Poly sheets
  • Wind and Waterproof Lighter

Abbreviated list:

Personal Items:

  • Hydration Pack.
  • Water Purification Plan.
  • First Aid Kit.
  • Doctor’s Approval.
  • Vaccinations.
  • Cell Phone.
  • Satellite Phone.
  • Spare Ignition Key.
  • Spare Luggage Keys.
  • Medical insurance plan.
  • Medevac or Air Ambulance Insurance.
  • Emergency Contact Info.
  • Backup Snacks.
  • Passport
  • Passport Copies.
  • Visas
  • International Driver’s License.
  • Motorcycle Documents & Insurance –Spare copies.
  • Carnet de Passage – Motorcycle passport.
  • Backup Credit Cards.
  • Earplugs.
  • Regular Camera & batteries chargers.
  • Helmet Camera.
  • Memory Stick, Cards, SD Card reader – Including USB for public computer use.
  • Sunscreen
  • Baby Wipes – They work great for cleaning your hands after fixing a bike.
  • Hand Sanitizer – A small bottle for when no water is available to clean hands.
  • Headlamp / torch.
  • Maps
  • GPS Locator & Service Plan SPOT.
  • Small laptop or IPad.
  • Toiletries bag.
  • Slops & Shoes.
  • 1short / 1long pair pants.
  • 3 shirts.
  • Long sleeve jacket.
  • Underwear or go commando.
  • Leave jewelry at home.

Motorcycle & Equipment Setup:

  • GPS –Associated maps per country.
  • Engine Guards/Protection.
  • Engine Case Covers.
  • Headlight Guards.
  • Radiator and Oil Cooler Protection.
  • Kickstand Foot Print – Sand?
  • Pannier frames.
  • Soft luggage or hard luggage.

Riding Gear:

  • Helmet
  • Backup Helmet Parts & Hardware.
  • Goggle & Shield cleaning stuff.
  • Sunglasses
  • Buff
  • Neck warmer –Refer Buff.
  • Neck Brace.
  • Riding Jacket.
  • Riding Pants.
  • Motorcycle Gloves.
  • Base Layers.
  • Riding Socks.
  • Motorcycle Boots.
  • Mesh Stuff Sacks.
  • Proper rain suite.

Luggage & Security:

  • 1 x 50L Wide mouth Duffel Bag.
  • Packing bag organisers.
  • Luggage Tie Down Straps.
  • Small cargo bungee net.
  • Tankbag with electrical attachments.
  • Motorcycle cover.

Parts and equipment:

  • Bicycle Combination Cable Lock.
  • Disc Brake Lock & Spare Key.
  • Fuel Transfer Hose.
  • Electrical Chargers.
  • Travel Electrical Adaptor.
  • Engine Oil – 500ml
  • Chain Lube.
  • Master Link.
  • Spare Spark Plugs.
  • Spare Oil Filter.
  • Spare Air Filter
  • Spare Brake pads.
  • Spare globes.
  • Plastic Zip Ties.
  • Electrical Insulation Tape.
  • Duct Tape.
  • Special Tape to seal burst water hoses
  • Tool Kit – motorcycle specific.
  • Tyre Repair Kit – Tube or Tubeless and know how to fix a flat.
  • Piece of fishing line or piano wire to sew up a cut in a tyre sidewall.
  • Tyre Pump – A small bicycle pump.
  • Small electrical pumps with an SAE connector directly to the battery.
  • Tyre Gauge.
  • Valve Stem Removal Tool.
  • Spare Tyre Stems & Caps – Dust.
  • Wheel Removal Tools.
  • Tyre Bead Breaker.
  • Tyre Irons – 3 short levers.
  • Spare Wire.
  • Spare Fuses.
  • Spare Parts.
  • Spare clutch and throttle cable.
  • Quick Steel or Aluminium
  • Repair Epoxy.
  • Loctite – Blue.
  • General Multi-tool –Leatherman.
  • Basic Maintenance & Owner’s Manual.
  • Tow rope.
  • Make up a small set of jumper cables.
  • WD40 or similar, small tub of grease.
  • Paper coffee filters to filter petrol.

Tent camping:

  • Small LED camp light.
  • Tent
  • Spare Tent Parts.
  • Tent Footprint & Groundsheet.
  • Sleeping Bag.
  • Ultra-Light Towel.
  • Sleeping Mat, Pad, lightweight camp sleepers – Patch kit
  • Pillow
  • Camp Stove.
  • Pots & Pans.
  • Spatulas, Utensils, etc.
  • Cleaning Scrubber and Soap.
  • Camp Sink.
  • Clothing washing bag.
  • Cutting Board.
  • Wind and Waterproof Lighter
  • Insect Repellent.
  • Camp chair.
packing list comprehensive motorcycle overland
Best keep tools as light as possible. Men do have an inherent DNA problem to pack too many tools.

11 Comments

  1. I have a great recommendation for a camp sink- the Sea-to-Summit 10L sink which folds up real small. It is round with two handles- I have found this amazing to use to wash clothes as you can simulate a washing machine action by moving the handles. Can hold hot food, water, and various soapy waters…
    We bought ours at Due South…

  2. what freezer do you recommend for carrying hot pockets and ice cream?

  3. Justin that’s a good question. 😀
    Actually have no idea, never thought of that.

  4. My son is taking a trip to Alaska this summer on his bike. He’s going to hammock camp most of the way. Set up your hammock and then tie a line above your hammock to hang a tarp tent style above your hammock. He’s done this several times camping with friends. Works great to keep yourself out of adverse weather. AND, it’ s a lot less bulky than a tent. A lot less trouble setting up too.

  5. That’s a great idea, and I agree with you. But you also have to be in an area with trees though?

  6. This is sick a helpful article. Very will thought. Thanks!

  7. Motorbike Spares South Africa

    What a wonderful guidelines! Great checklist to go with. Thanks for this share!

  8. Good list. Heading to Istanbul from north Germany. Got me thinking of a couple good things I may not have thought of for my trip.

  9. A very complete list for an epic run.
    The only items I noted were absent were spare tyre valves (you had the remover) and sealant glue that’s used for patches or tubeless plugs as the ‘rope’ used in tubeless plugs are generally too dry to seal well.
    I usually forget my medications.
    Toilet paper and a small spade are generally needed here in the outback as loos are rarely there when needed.

  10. Thanks so much for the reply Andrew! And for the tip, I will update the list! 🙂

  11. I also bring a paperback book to read.

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