Traveling with the motorbike (part 3): what do we take with us?

What do we take with us?

As mentioned in part 2, it makes a big difference whether you go camping or stay overnight in hotels. And certainly if you are driving as a duo, you will need to chose what should and should not be included in the luggage.

Here a picture titled “What to take with us” of our trip to Corsica in 2015, from my travel companion Wim with his V-max. Also take a look at his “top case”.

What is always important is to load the bike in a correct way so you do not have to struggle to maintain it straight.

Concretely: heavy items low (at the bottom of the side bags or side cases) and the weight evenly distributed over the left and right side as much as possible .

Also check the suspension  if it is correctly adjusted to the extra weight of the luggage. This will undoubtedly need to have a little more prestress than for ordinary daily use.

Luggage system

If you do not have a luggage system on the bike yet, there are several options for this.

You can choose sidecases or saddlebags, or possibly a tankbag in combination with a softbag on the saddle.

Also for the sportive bikes there are some possibilities such as a sports rack or a Racepack.

Regardless of which system you are going to use, make sure you ride some kilometers loaded with the luggage as you would leave on the trip. This in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.

An example of such a surprise from a traveling companion. He mounted his top case at the last moment and after 30 km it just exploded on the highway. The exhausts had heated the topcase so that the chain spray in the trunk exploded. This resulted in having the entire contents of the case rushing over the highway.


Do I have to bring tools?

The bike should be checked before departure (you can do this yourself or you let the mechanic do this). So tires, brake pads, filters, oil, coolant, .. should be replaced or checked that they can handle the planned trip.
This reduces the risk of breakdowns, but certainly does not exclude it. So a few tools to help in the event of a breakdown are always handy. The most common failure will be a punctured tire, even with new tires you can still drive a leak.

  • With this set of dynaplug you can easily repair a flat tire on the road. Very compact to take with you and should not be missing in the luggage. A 12v mini compressor is then also handy to have.
  • Chain spray and the necessary tools to tighten the chain.
  • A liter or 2 fuel as a reserve is always handy to have with you. Here Hepco & Becker has a handy solution with this set
  • Tie wraps, duct tape, iron wire and a pair of straps are also indispensable to do a few emergency repairs.
  • Then a set with some basic tools such as: screwdriver, pliers, a pair of the most common wrenches (10, 13, 17 …) and you are ready to apply first aid at breakdown.

Of course you can still get a breakdown that you cannot repair on the spot, so make sure you take out a proper assistance insurance.


Make an (online) checklist if you are traveling in a group, so everyone can immediately see who is going to bring what.

A few things that should not be missed.

  • Passport, driving license, insurance and papers of the motorcycle.
  • Cell Phone and charger, possibly a power bank
  • Charging cable of the headset
  • Photo camera and actioncam
  • Helmet visor cleaner
  • Toilet paper (can also be used for the above)
  • Pocket knife
  • Flashlight
  • Sunglasses, reading glasses, spare glasses.
  • Rain suit


This list covers just the generalities. Of course you need to add your personal stuff, clothing and in case you go camping also your camping gear.

Also make sure you have a decent clothing outfit for driving your motorcycle. There is no need to explain here that you also have to wear appropriate clothing in the south where it is hot, so check whether your jacket and pants have aeration that you can open.

To be continued…


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