Travelling to the USA - Tips for aspiring motorcyclists to pack for 2020

Perhaps you live in the USA and are thinking about that motorbike ride you've always dreamed of.

Maybe you're making your first trip to the States and are thinking about renting a motorbike in San Francisco to ride in style across the Golden Gate Bridge on a Harley or Indian.

Whatever gets you on two wheels, motorbike riding in the USA offers a huge variety of wonderful scenery, ocean roads and almost every kind of riding you can imagine.

For all newbies, packing for a motorbike trip is one of the biggest headaches when you're not sure what you're doing, where you're going or what you'll need.

Now we'll give you 5 tips on how to pack properly for your trip so that you have everything you need and nothing extra.

5 Tips for Beginner Motorcyclists to Pack for the Road

Don't plan, plan to fail
Do a test ride somewhere for a few hours.

Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise: you can buy almost anything you need on the road
Think about a compression bag
Some things never change

1) Don't plan, plan to fail

Hurrying without proper preparation means there's a good chance you'll end up regretting your lack of thought. Take your time at the planning stage. Be happy, rather than frustrated, and you will increase your chances of being fully prepared for all surprises.

Before you even think about what you are going to take on a long trip, you need to think about how you are going to carry it. You can also find out more about travelling at

Many touring bikes now come with built-in bags, so you don't have to worry about luggage. What about if you're looking for a sports bike or any other bike that requires extra luggage?

Expandable soft luggage is inexpensive and lightweight. It's also very easy to unzip when you need something urgently.

Hard covers, on the other hand, offer extra security and unbeatable weather protection at the expense of size, weight and overall cost.

The main advantage of independent soft luggage is that you can simply remove it from your bike when you're about to go to sleep. This is possible in some severe cases, but not all.

Before you go, however, there is something you should do first...

2) Take a test drive somewhere for a few hours

Is this your debut multi-day trip with luggage?

If so, you're in for a thrilling experience, but you should practise riding with a full load before the big day arrives and it's too late to get back.

Pack your bike as if you were going on a trip, but instead set off for a few hours with all your luggage on board.

Use this test ride as an opportunity to practice your braking. When you drive with a full load, your braking distance increases and your handling is impaired.

When you feel confident in all areas, have another one.

3) Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise: you can buy almost anything you need on the road

Of course, you should make sure you have enough gear for wet and cold weather so you're prepared for anything.

While warm clothing, wet weather gear, tool kit, first aid kit and tyre repair kit are a must, don't fall into the trap of wondering, "What if ?"

So, pack your essentials and your sense of humour, but take care of the rest if and when you need it.

4) Think about a compression bag

We assume you've already made the choice between hard and soft luggage, but don't forget how you're going to store your gear in that luggage.

Use a soft bag or compression bag to keep everything neatly organised in your luggage. An added benefit of this is the freedom it gives you to leave your luggage on your bike and just take what you need to your hotel room after a hard day on your Harley.

5) Some things never change

Even with careful planning, there are some unavoidable elements of any trip that you need to think about before you set off.

When you're assessing how much luggage you can take while remaining steady on your horse, consider possible rides on service roads or dirt roads. Be careful and make sure your balance is not compromised.

What to do next

As long as you have cash or a card, nothing else will be a deal breaker, so why not stretch out and get ready to hit the road? Take care and let us know how you're doing!