You need some basic necessities
with even a short ride, but when you are thinking about taking
a long trip out in the middle of nowhere, you need to think of a lot of
different scenarios to both keep you on the road and comfortable. Mrs. C.
and I have a few basic creature comforts like an MP3 player, molded stereo
earplugs, GPS, spider bungee, phone, basic tool kit, water, extra
glasses, etc. But as I looked in my saddlebags, there really wasn't much in
there, especially if there were any mechanical problems.
So last week I asked you to help
me put together a little more comprehensive list of things to add to my
list of things to take on a trip. And Wow! Did you ever bring it. There were so
many good ideas that if I were to use them all, I would have to pull an
Airstream behind the Road Glide just to carry it all. But it was really great to
hear all of the innovative and important things to take that I hadn't really
thought of. Here are a few that I found particularly interesting that I might
add to my list.
Leatherman Tool: This was the number one recommended item by far. This
is a compact all in one tool that can handle many different chores
that you might need on the road. I see they now have a leatherman with vise
grips. You can also use a multifunctional knife tool as
Wipes: Travel pack size for
cleaning hands after applying sunscreen, wiping dirt off of face, or even wiping
off your arms and neck to cool down. Good idea.
Good idea to keep you on the road long enough to get to your next stop. A good
compliment to this is a small plug kit in case you ran over a nail.
Slime Tire Inflator: I have one of these in my bag. Comes in a small
zippered case. Handy if your tires get low on the road or if you have a flat.
Comes with a small tire gauge. Throw in a small plug kit with this and you
will be good to go. Can be found at some of the local bike shops including
You usually don't ride in the rain on purpose, but there are always that time
that you will be glad you have it. Buy the good stuff, it lasts a long time.
Cargo Net Bungees: (Sometimes called a Spider Bungee)These are the most
handy things you can have in your bag. Vs. a regular bungee, this is more of a
bungee net. Very handy for when you buy too much stuff on your trip and you need
extra space to bring it home. Just use the spider to strap it on to your t-bag,
fender or wherever you can find a spot. I have a couple in my bag. Also carry a
couple of regular bungees.
This can be very important not only for safety, but for finding things in the
bottom of a saddle bag.
Extra Keys for your
bike: Now this is a good idea. Hide an extra set of keys somewhere
on your bike in case you lose yours. Or even swap extra keys with who you are
traveling with. Might come in real handy. Bring an extra key fob if
you have one.
Maps with locations of
Dealerships: No matter what type of bike you ride. This is a good
idea to know where the authorized dealers are in the area that you are riding
and what their phone numbers are.
Charger: Everyone has cell phones these days. But they are not
going to do you much good if the battery is dead. Keep an extra charger in
your bag at all times just in case. Even for short trips you might need it.
Tow Card or Roadside
Assistance: In case of a catastrophic breakdown it is nice to have
one central phone number to call that can get help to you. It might be with
H.O.G., AAA or your own insurance company.
A lot of people suggested this. In case something breaks, you might be able to
hold it together long enough to get to a place to get it fixed.
Especially for the climate around Arizona. I always keep at least 2 bottles of
water in my bags. Can be a life saver in the summer.
Kit: Never know when that bee is going to fly down your jacket.
No matter when or where you are riding, 30 spf sunscreen is a good idea.
Stash some coins and a $20 bill somewhere on the bike. Never know when that lone
vending machine would be needed for air or soda, etc.
In addition to those listed
above, here are a few of the basic items recommended: jumper cables,
bailing wire, duct tape, zipp ties, utility knife, extra sunglasses, sun
block, chapstick, tool kit, chewing gum, gloves, spark plugs, cloth and
cleaning supplies, earplugs, eye drops, energy food bars, electrical wire and
tape, insect repellent, flashlight, oil, extra fuses for your bike, flares,
headlight/taillight bulbs, band aids, pen, tire plug kit and tire pressure
And now for my favorite
recommendation of all. Given my penchant for running low on gas, I now
carry a Turkey Baster
in my bag for those times that I need just a little more gas to get me to the
gas station. As long as you are riding with someone who is better at gas
management than you are, 4 or 5 turkey basters full of gas will get you back on
the road. A siphon hose is also a good idea.
Here is a funny story that a
rider sent to me about what not to use:
As we were traveling south from
Flagstaff to PHX. last summer on my Springer. We pulled over and bought
two cheap plastic ponchos cause we saw rain squalls south of us . We put them on
and continued. Cruising in light rain about 60 mph my poncho blew up and over my
head . For what seemed like forever as I was driving blind. We were lucky we
didnít drive off the highway. You get what you pay for. Cheap ponchos
should never be used.
There were so many good
suggestions for all aspects of riding that I didn't want them to go to
waste, so I listed some in a page for you to read for yourself in the
riders own words. Some of these are extremely thorough and well thought out. One
person even has a checklist. That is way more organized than me. I am usually
running around the garage the night before trying to figure out what I am