Motorcycles / Travel

Loaded for Bear – packing for motorcycle touring


I’m packed and ready to go.

At first glance, my 2012 Moto Guzzi looks just like any other Stevlio 1200 NTX – a rugged, beautifully sculpted,  piece of industrial art.  But it’s loaded for bear.

The pair of 37-litre SW Motech ‘Trax’ aluminum panniers are packed solid.  And I’ve tried, really, realy hard, to pack light.

World motorcycle traveler and founder of that one-stop website for anybody thinking about an epic motorcycle adventure – Horizons Unlimited – says the basic clothes you need for traveling on two wheels is 3 t-shirts, 3 pairs of underwear and 3 pairs of socks, all made of moisture-wicking material.

On the road, the standard drill is to wash that evening the t-shirt, underwear and socks you wore.  Most of this new, hi-tech ‘wicking’ material will be dry the next morning, but if not, you still have two other complete sets of furnishings.

In addition to Nikon DSLR camera equipment (with an auxiliary flash, spare battery and charger, lens brush), granola bars, trail mix, and a couple of water bottles, I’m lugging along my Samsung Galaxy touch pad with charger (gotta keep in touch with the family by email and update the blog if the technology gods smile on this hopelessly tech-challenged writer).  But there’s more.

Some basic cleaning supplies (the Stelvio IS a new bike and we wouldn’t want dirt on it, would we?) consisting of a palm-sized squirt bottle with car wash liquid, a micro-fibre cloth and a small plastic ice cream container to serve as a wash bucket.  Oh yeah, and I threw (stuffed, really) a bike half-cover – a sad carry over from my Gold Wing days to keep the bike dry overnight should we encounter rain.  There’s nothing quite so disconcerting as facing a rain-drenched saddle first thing in the morning.

Don’t forget the rain gloves, cargo net (I might buy something on the road and have to pack it somehow), Plexus for cleaning the faceshield, a couple of extra tools to supplement Guzzi’s stingy bag of OEM pieces, rain pants, toiletries, a pair of lightweight ‘expedition’ pants and a single short sleeve shirt for our expected ‘fancy’ dining experiences.  And a pair of Keen enclosed mesh sandal-like shoes for apres riding.

Oh, and I gotta throw in the charger for my cell phone, even though I’ll be to cheap to use it in the U.S.

Yes, I like to travel light.  If only I could.


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