Gear You Absolutely (Don’t) Need to Pack for Your ADV Motorcycle Trip

Gear You Absolutely (Don’t) Need to Pack for Your ADV Motorcycle Trip

While on an adventure motorcycle trip (especially if you are camping along the way), the gear you bring will prove to be both a blessing and a curse. It can be easy during the planning-and-packing phase of your preparation, to get carried away thinking of gear you might want/need to have on your journey…

“Less is more” is a saying that holds true when it comes to packing gear for adventure motorcycle travel. At the end of a long and tiring day of riding, the last thing you want to do is dig through a mountain of gear in order to retrieve what you need to set up your camp; not to mention that every piece of gear you carry is going to force you to work harder when riding offroad!

That being said, here are three categories of gear for you to consider while packing for your next adventure motorcycle trip. Maybe you’ll choose to leave a thing or two at home!

1. Riding Gear

Packing an extra pair of gloves is a good idea when hitting the road for extended periods of time, especially if you will be traveling through different climate zones (one pair for hot weather and one pair for wet/cold weather should suffice), but packing a second riding jacket for the same climatic reasons? This may be more trouble than it’s worth… It’s better to have one “all-weather” waterproof jacket that you can always be wearing, than to bring one jacket for warm weather and another for cold/wet weather.

Keep in mind: “If you’re wearing it while on the bike, you don’t have to pack it on the bike”.

2. Clothing  

I personally am guilty of over-packing clothing on my most recent adventure motorcycle trip…

I knew that I would be on the road for several weeks and that I would be camping in a wide range of weather conditions, so I packed three pairs of pants, two pair of shorts, and several short-sleeve and long-sleeve shirts.

This may not sound like much, but clothing items can be quite bulky when packed and it doesn’t take many items to occupy a lot of storage space on the bike (and add a lot of weight!).

Even after spending about 5 weeks living off of the bike I had actually only worn 2 pair of pants and two shirts (one long-sleeve and one short-sleeve). This is really all the clothing you need in order to be comfortable during your time spent off of the bike... along with several pairs of underwear and socks.

3. Camping Equipment

Here is where people most often get carried away with their gear setup...

Sure you may think that it will be nice to reach your destination for the night knowing that you have virtually everything needed to furnish out a small apartment, but it is important to consider the hassle that comes with hauling and unpacking/repacking this gear, every day of your journey.

Do you really need that big lantern? It sure takes up a lot of space… Maybe just bring a small a powerful headlamp instead.

A camp chair and camp table are creature comforts that some may consider absolutely essential, however even the most compact models on the market are still quite large when strapped onto a motorcycle!

I packed both of these pieces of gear for my most recent adventure motorcycle trip and ended up hardly ever actually using them!

Most nights I would find myself sitting on the ground next to the fire, using my front wheel as a backrest and a nice flat rock as a surface for my camp stove - comfortable and convenient!

My Lone Rider MiniTent and MotoBags-equipped Husquvarna Omega 701 at my camp in Southern Wyoming.

Naturally, everyone’s opinion will vary when it comes to what/how much gear is “necessary” on an adventure motorcycle trip.

The beauty of it is that you can decide however much or however little gear is necessary for you! Whether you want to hit the road with gear piled on your bike as high as your head, or whether you are trying to complete your journey with a little gear as possible, it’s all about finding a compromise that is ideal for you.

The best way to find this ideal compromise? Trial and error. In other words: Get out there on your bike and see what gear works and doesn’t work for YOU!

Now, let's have a bit of fun : what is the most ridiculous thing that you have seen someone bring on a motorcycle camping trip ? Leave me a comment below!