Written By: RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel
Before going on tour, make sure your motorcycle is loaded in a safe and secure manner. Here are our top 10 “Dos” and “Don’ts” for motorcycle packing:
Do: Pack heavier items low and as close as practical to the bike’s center of gravity. Don’t:Pack a lot of weight high and behind the rear axle. Do: Load saddlebags and soft luggage with equal weight on each side. Don’t: Load more weight on one side of the bike than the other.
Do: Secure everything tightly to prevent them from becoming entangled in the chain or wheels. Don’t: Have any loose items flopping around in the breeze.
Do: Pack only what you definitely will need. A lighter and less bulky load is far better! Don’t: Pack everything you might need on the trip.
Do: Place lighter items in a tankbag and/or in a topcase. Don’t: Place loads on your front fender or forks, which adversely affects handling.
Do: Use nylon tie-down straps that can be locked in place and won’t stretch. Don’t: Use bungee cords to secure exposed items.
Do: Weigh items, including the riders, riding gear and luggage to make sure that Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) isn’t exceeded. Don’t: Exceed the GVWR found in the owner’s manual.
Do: Pack smaller items that require quick access (e.g., credit cards, drivers license, maps, etc) in easy to reach locations, like a tankbag. Don’t: Store things you might need during the day at the bottom of saddlebags.
Do: Pack well ahead of your departure date, and do a test ride to make sure that all items are secured and the bike handles properly. Don’t: Leave on your trip immediately after the bike is loaded.
Do: Check you load at every stop to make sure all items are still secured. Don’t: Pack it and forget it.
Time invested in organizing your gear and packing your motorcycle properly will pay big dividends once you’re out on the road.