You know that feeling in the gut and you will eventually hit the road very soon. You and the machine, one soul and one ride. Let’s just stop there for a moment – are you prepared for it? Here is our quick guide to what every rider must carry; items that should be on your hit list before you start off on a long ride.
Essentials Every Rider Must Carry For a Long Ride
Motorcycle riding is all fun and exciting, but what if you are in the middle of nowhere and don’t have what you need and no means to get it either! Get rid of those “what to carry for the ride” woes and make the most of your riding experience by carrying the items mentioned below.
Safety First, make sure you never discount this. Your safety gear must include a Touring Jacket with armour, appropriate clothing, gloves, knee+Shin guards, shoes covering your ankles, and a good quality helmet. Bluetooth headsets, earplugs, glares, headlamps etc. are all additional accessories which you can go for as per your needs.
You got to keep cool and stay hydrated for your long ride. Best is to get hold of a good hydration bag which helps you drink water without taking a break just to take a sip. If that is not possible, go for a standard water bottle. This is another must have when you’re planning long rides.
Make sure that you buy good quality luggage/saddle bags which will sustain even during unruly weather conditions. A sturdy, hard shell bag will suit your requirements perfectly, as it will evenly distribute the luggage weight on the bike and increase the luggage carrying capacity, to a greater extent. As a practice, every rider must carry the bare essentials and try not to overpack!
With mobile banking and debit/credit card facility, you might think ‘going cashless’ is the best way to travel. But, for emergencies, every rider must carry some spare cash. Be sure to keep the cash safely. You can split the cash and keep half with you and half in your luggage. This will help just incase you misplace your cash.
First Aid Kit
Every rider must carry a first aid kit. Carrying a small first aid kit can save you from the woes of searching for a pharmacy for bandages in case of minor bruises, pills for headaches or similar stuff.
Complete Tool Kit
Carry a toolkit suitable for your bike to avoid getting stranded anywhere because of minor repair issues. Along with the tools, every rider must carry spare levers, clutch/accelerator cables, and headlight bulbs. Knowledge of basic repairs for your bike can help a long way to troubleshoot problems and stay safe.
Every rider must carry a good and reliable GPS System as it’s essential for long-distance travel. If you’re riding to unknown locations where you don’t speak local language GPS can help you tremendously. Get up-to-date information on the fastest routes, alternate routes and traffic congestions on your smartphone, via a good GPS. You should also try offline maps if you’re going to place where your phone network might be an issue. There are plenty of solutions available for this. Let us know about your ride in comments and we’ll recommend what’s good for you to carry.
This has now become an essential for most of us who are always ‘Online and connected’. To enjoy a smooth ride, without having to stop anywhere to charge your smartphone, blue tooth headset or camera, every rider must carry an extra battery pack. You can also consider setting up a charger on your bike which is helpful on long rides.
Carry a puncture fix kit
Having a spare tube for regular tires and a tubeless puncture fix kit for tubeless tires is advisable. If your riding on tubeless tires consider carrying an inflator which can come handy in tricky situations.
If you have set out for a long journey and have reached miles away from your home, finding help in case of an untoward incident, won’t be easy. Carrying an ID Card with your name, address, and blood group is essential as it is not only very useful but can also be lifesaving at times.
This is something which experts know and tell us about, and every rider must carry. It gets extremely frustrating if anytime you happen to lose your bike key while on a tour. Finding a person to fix the lock or make duplicate key is impossible when in remote areas. So, carry a spare key with you and keep it separately and safely in luggage. It’s best if you never get to use it, but it turns out to be a blessing when you happen to lose your main key.
Bonus (12th item): A Bag for Waste
Last but not least, depending on where you plan on touring to, especially in India – you will not always have the opportunity to properly dispose of your waste. Be a environment conscious rider and keep a plastic bag handy to temporarily keep your trash in till you have the opportunity to dump it into a bin rather than the landscapes. As places such as Ladakh begin to attract more tourists, they suffer from the waste that tourists ignorantly leave behind. (Also read: Save Ladakh: Ride Without Hurting The Pride Of The Himalayas. )
A long distance motorcycle ride is all about rediscovering your joy for motorbiking. Make sure that nothing comes in your way, all you have to do is follow the tips mentioned above.
Need inspiration on where to head to? Go through motorcycle section here on Livingit and find articles such as Top 5 Rides in every Riders Bucket List .
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