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How To Pack a Motorcycle For a Trip

By Walter F. Kern

Packing a motorcycle for a trip is more of a challenge than packing your car. This procedure is geared for one motorcycle rider. If you have a co-rider, you'll probably need a trunk or other external trunk behind the passenger.

Here's How to Pack a Motorcycle:

  1. Create a packing list of everything you want to take and where it will be placed on the bike. See Related Feature below.
  2. Depending on the bike, you'll need saddlebags, a tailpack, possibly a tank bag, and at least 3 bungee cords.
  3. Clothes should be tightly rolled up to assume the smallest space.
  4. Use the packing list to place items in the various storage areas. Include your jacket as a storage area.
  5. Evenly distribute the load on the left and right sides. Weigh the bags on a scale.
  6. Don't put too much weight on the back of the bike. See your owner's manual for limits.
  7. After all necessities are loaded, place your rain gear somewhere on top of the bike secured by bungee cords. You don't want to have to unpack when it starts to rain.
  8. Double check your list to ensure that everything is on-board.
  9. Place the packing list in your jacket or other readily available spot.
  10. Have a great trip!


  1. Use removable bags in your saddlebags to be able to easily move the contents from your bike to a motel or campsite.
  2. Always place items you don't want to get wet in plastic zip-type bags.
  3. Try to keep items you need on the road in a place where they can be easily accessed.
  4. Use the Motorcycle Views Motorcycle Packing List. It's FREE.

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