Should You Take A Short Test Trip Before A Long One?
When I say short I’m thinking 2-5 days and when I’m saying long I’m thinking more than a month. To me the answer is “yes” unless you have good experience with past trips, but why?
Mainly due to packing, if virtually anyone shares a photo of their bike on their trip it is a good chance that someone will say, “too much crap!” Packing is an individual thing. You bring what you think makes you comfortable, the volume you want, and the selection you think you need.
But what if you’ve never taken a long motorcycle trip. How would you know?
Pack your bike with everything you need and take off. The basics are clothing, toiletries, camping gear, cooking gear, tools, (and maybe spare parts) the volume is up to you.
We have now got to a point where we just take one or two bags max into a room, and they are small. One is a tank bag and the other is a top bag. In the tank bag is a camera. That’s it. In the top bag is clothes, toiletries, washing powder, documents, and a computer. I have been doing the same for over 7 years and nowadays I can pack for RTW travel in 70/75 liters, but I have currently have around 90 accessible. The extra space is the top bag, which leaves room in the panniers to buy food along the way if its needed.
Use those 2-5 nights to think about what you need, what you really need.
So, once you stop for the day in a hotel and you have that top bag off the bike with what you need for the night, everything else is dead weight. Take those few days to go thru it, find the best way to pack it, look and look again at what you have with you. Look at your itinerary, research the weather, and look at the size of your gear. Can you reduce anything? Most riders I have met over the years, if they are honest, either shipped stuff home or threw it away. That’s money down the drain. Do that thought process now and save that extra money for gas!
More on motorcycle travel on my website www.rtwpaul.com