10 Touring Essentials

Packing for a long road trip can become a big chore. Do I really need this? Can I live without that? These are common questions that cross every biker’s mind when preparing for a motorcycle trip. While you can’t bring everything your house, there are some things that you  should definitely bring along with you. We put together a list of touring essentials to keep you comfortable and safe on your trip.


We say this all of the time: wearing a helmet significantly improves your protection in the case of an accident. Depending on what states you are visiting, you may or may not be required by law to wear a helmet. The choice is up to you, but we consider a helmet to be a riding essential. We suggest a bright helmet such as the Fly Racing Tourist Open Face Helmet to help you be more visible to other motorists on the road.



Fly Racing Tourist Open Face Helmet – Click Image to Purchase

Plastic Ziploc & Trash Bags

Plastic storage bags can be used for a variety of things. You can roll your clothes and organize them with gallon sized bags. They also serve as an extra barrier between your clothing and rain (if you run into it). You can thank us later when you have a dry outfit to change into.

Bike Lock

One of the worst things that could happen and ruin your motorcycle trip is having your bike stolen. A bike lock serves as both a protection against theft and a deterrent. It is much cheaper to buy a bike lock than to buy a whole new bike (and gear). We suggest a lock with an alarm such as the Bully Locks Alarm Lock with Pager. An alarm not only deters a thief from following through, but also alerts you and others around that something is happening.



Bully Locks Alarm Lock with Pager – Click Image to Purchase

Map or GPS

Where would we be without GPS? Or should we say our smartphone? Although technology is a great tool, we recommend carrying a back up paper map just in case your phone dies, breaks, etc. There are few things more stressful than being lost in an unfamiliar place without directions.

Waterproof Jacket

Whether or not you anticipate rain on your trip, it is well worth it to pack a waterproof jacket just in case. Look for one that has added protection in the case of a crash, such as the Alpinestars Lance 3 Layer Waterproof Textile Jacket. It is best to pack your rain jacket towards the top of your saddlebag so that it is easily accessible.

Alpinestars Lance 3 Layer Waterproof Textile Jacket - Click Image to Purchase

Alpinestars Lance 3 Layer Waterproof Textile Jacket – Click Image to Purchase

Emergency First Aid Kit

…simply because accidents of all levels happen from time to time. Some things we recommend you pack in your first aid kit are band aids (multiple sizes), aspirin or other painkiller, insect bite relief spray or cream, eye drops, lip balm, sunscreen, emergency contact information, and antibiotic ointment.

Flat Tire Repair Kit

There are a ton of flat tire repair kits on the market, so take your pick. We like the Bikemaster Tire & Tube Flat Repair Kit because it has everything you need in one compact bag.

Bike Cover

Bike covers are a lifesaver in the rain, but are also nice to keep morning/evening dew off of the seat. They also can be a theft deterrent. We have a variety of different sizes available on our website.

Gears Canada Premium Motorcycle Cover - Click Image to Purchase

Gears Canada Premium Motorcycle Cover – Click Image to Purchase

Water Bottle or Hydration Pack

This one is especially important for high-mileage days. A hydration pack is a good idea for days that you don’t plan on making a lot of stops. Drinking water will help ward of headaches and keep you feeling good during your trip.


Hands are one of the first body parts to get cold in windy or rainy conditions. Look for gloves that are both water and windproof, such as Tour Master’s Dri-Perf Gel Leather Gloves. You will want to pack your gloves towards the top of your bag along with your jacket for easy access.

No matter what you decide to pack for your road trip, it is important to make sure you evenly distribute the weight on both sides of your motorcycle!

Riders Discount provides a vast variety of gear to suit your riding needs. As always, Riders Discount is here to help you make every ride the perfect (and safest) ride. Visit our website to find the right gear for your next trip. Our expert sales team is here for you by phone 10AM-6PM ET M-F 1-866-931-6644 or email at

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  • Rob Biggs

    This is a shopping list that could have been put together by basically anyone, not a rider.

    You don’t need a “jacket” because you’re not going to remove your riding jacket to put on some unarmoured piece of nylon, you need a shell and pants to go OVER your riding gear.

    If you’re a real rider you know you need 2 helmets: at least one full face and a second either full face or shorty. In an unfamiliar, high intensity/low speed urban environment you’ll want the shorty for maximum vision and audio: you have full peripheral vision and can hear that tuktuk driver cutting up on the inside. Also, nice to have a spare helmet when you make a new friend along the way.

    Your first aid kit should be optimised for a crash, not a papercut. You need surgical gloves, a big spray bottle of antiseptic to wash out gravel, bleedstop, large no-stick bandages, tension bandages to hold sprains in place and cold packs.

    Not a map but a road atlas. One map is an invitation to have it get wet and fall apart. Tearing pages out of an atlas is perfectly acceptable, rip out what you need for the day and pack the rest away in a bag.

    A bike cover should be either black, or camouflage. Sometimes you need to free-camp in places that wouldn’t appreciate you being there: out of sight, out of mind. Bonus points if it has a silver lining, then you can reverse it for if you need high visibility, like marking a crash.

    One set of gloves? How about an insulated, waterproof pair and a warm weather pair.

    Also, bring a couple bandanas. Wipe your face, dry your hands, clean your goggles and visor, tie on a bandage, emergency socks, protect your neck, eye covering for napping after lunch, lots of uses.

    Good article for selling stuff, poor effort at helping riders.

    • Riders Discount

      Rob, thanks for sharing these tips. We wrote this to provide a starting point for all kinds of riders. Everyone has different needs, and the best gear will differ based on where and when you ride.

      The riding jacket we recommended is a versatile option. It’s light, reflective for better visibility, and water resistant. It’s both vented and has a removable thermal liner. The removable CE certified protectors and pockets for added body armor make it safe as well. While it’s not perfect in every scenario, it’s a great choice for many situations.

      We agree that two helmets are great. The helmet we proposed was about as close as you can get to what you describe in a single helmet. It’s a great modular helmet with outstanding visibility. It allows the protection of a full face helmet, but opens up to a high visibility and awareness. The jaw and shield can even removed to use it as an open face helmet. It’s almost like two helmets in one.

      Your first aid kit recommendations are spot on! Thank you for these tips!

      As far as a map goes many riders will have a GPS or will be able to navigate by phone. Our concern was to have some sort of a backup, rather than primary navigation system. I use a thick plastic laminated map showing all main roads and highways. This type of map is easy to get from any gas station, will survive some rain, and it light and convenient. I only tend to carry what I need for the places I’m traveling in.

      We generally prefer high visibility, but if you need to lay low your advice on bike covers is excellent.

      As far as gloves go, we try to recommend something that will work for most situations. These will cover hot, dry, wet, and cool. The vibration reducing inserts also help keep your hands comfortable on long rides. When the weather gets down right cold though, you would be more comfortable with a second pair.

      Another great tip with the bandanas. Thanks!

      We appreciate your feedback and we hope that this helped you to see why we recommended these items. I’m sure you’re experienced, and have learned a lot the hard way. Our goal here is to recommend a great starting point, and let everyone learn from there.