Motorcycle touring essentials
If you're the adventurous sort, then planning a tour through the beautiful backroads of Britain (or beyond) is going to be one of the highlights of your year.
But whichever motorcycle routes you're considering, it's worth bearing in mind that even the very best motorcycle trips can have their blips. So, in order to have a successful experience on the road, you're almost certainly going to benefit from a motorcycle touring checklist.
Like this one!
Essential #1 - motorcycle headset
Even if you love the solitude/independence aspect of the actual ride, you're going to appreciate a bluetooth connection with your riding buddies at some point. Whether someone needs a comfort break at the next pub, or if you want a second opinion on the little flashing light that's just appeared on your trip computer, having instant easy wireless contact with those around you is just a common sense bit of technological wizardry that can only enhance your ride experience.
Essential #2 - second pair of motorcycle gloves
Anyone who's ever put their gloves back on after lunch only to realise how sweat-soaked their hands really were when they stopped knows that a second pair of motorcycle gloves can feel like one of the greatest luxuries ever created. There's no doubt that touring is a physical exertion, and you take your comforts where you can get them, so having another pair of gloves is an easy win. But remember to think about how different types of gloves may come in extra-useful for the type of touring you'll be undertaking; these days there are summer riding gloves, winter riding gloves, padded gloves, and waterproof gloves, for example.
Essential #3 - motorcycle toolkit
Try not to think about everything that might go wrong on a tour. Instead, apply the law of averages and a good motorcycle toolkit should help you fix a puncture for long enough to limp to a mechanic (which is, unfortunately, a bit more feasible). Unless you relish the prospect of sitting by the side of some road waiting for emergency assistance, packing a toolkit is quite simply a must-have.
Essential #4 - navigation
You might think that getting a decent GPS will solve any irksome 'getting lost' related problems; after all, Triumph's Tiger 800 XCA for example, has a GPS mounting kit precisely for that reason. But while the widespread availability of GPS is one of the greatest 21st century developments of them all, it still doesn't offer 100% coverage. The obvious backup plan is to take a good old-fashioned road map with you.
Essential #5 - tank bag
While you've probably filled your panniers to bulging, if your fuel tank is one area on your bike that remains unladen then – good news! – you can load it with a tank bag for extra storage options. Again, for example, Triumph's Tiger 800 XCA accessories collection includes a durable tank bag that can add an extra 20 litres of capacity to your essentials and is therefore well worth adding to any motorcycle touring checklist.
Motorcycle touring can be among the best experiences you can have on two wheels and, the chances are, you'll have a problem-free tour and the time of your life.
But just as you wouldn't begin an adventure without having an idea of which motorcycle routes you'll be travelling, so it makes sense to plan for any little glitches that could easily be solved by a bit of forethought.
Taking a few minutes to draw up a motorcycle touring checklist really can save you hours (or even days) of inconvenience.