If you’re like most people, you’ll be riding a motorcycle a long way to the Sturgis Rally or, at the very least, riding your motorcycle to a few locations around the Black Hills during your vacation. Whether you’re putting on 250 or 2,500 miles this riding season, learning these motorcycle packing tips will save you lots of headache and tons of time so you can focus on what really matters—enjoying the ride. To save you even more time and trouble, we’ve assembled a list of eight tips to teach you the most efficient way to pack.
1. Learn to Fold Your Chaps Correctly
This short tutorial not only teaches you how to fold your chaps to save space, but also how to turn them into cushion that can serve many other purposes.
2. Roll Your Clothes
This is a tried and true traveling tip anyone can use to save some space. Rolling your clothes just takes up less space than folding them… ’nuff said. Moving on…
3. Stuff Smaller Items into Your Boots
This video shows this trick being applied to shoes, but imagine all the space you’ll save applying it to your boots! If you’ve got an extra pair of boots, you might as well utilize the space by stuffing them with things like underwear and socks. That way, not an inch of precious space is wasted.
4. Line Your Bags with Plastic Sacks
The name of the game is keeping your stuff dry. You don’t have to get the super-expensive, reptilian waterproof bags (or expensive liner bags) to keep your valuables away from moisture. No matter how fancy or rainproof your bags might be, it doesn’t hurt in the slightest to line all of them with an inexpensive kitchen garbage bag.
5. Develop a System
To pack truly efficiently, you need a system so that you always know where to find the things you need to access quickly and easily. Pack your bags to hold different categories of items (e.g. a bag for tools, accessories and protection; and a bag for toiletries, clothes and documentation), and always put your things back in the same spot so you always know where to find them. Anything you will need to retrieve on a regular basis should always be put on top of your bag.
6. Lock Up Your Valuables
Stow any cash and pricy electronics in locking saddlebags or a locking compartment of some sort. The best way to protect your valuables is to leave them at home, but if you must bring them, make sure they’re in a place that only YOU can access. Don’t carry too many credit cards or more than enough cash for a day or two, and keep copies of important documents as well.
7. Less Is More
This should go without saying, but you should only bring the bare essentials, especially if you’re riding a long distance. You can significantly reduce the amount of clothes you need if you pack some detergent and wash them as you go. The Chip has laundry facilities, so you won’t need to bring extra clothes for once you arrive.
8. Bring Bungee Cords and Zip Ties
If your philosophy is “more is more,” then you’ll need an abundance of bungee cords to securely fasten any extra luggage to your bike.
Utilize these space-saving tips on your motorcycle trips this summer so you have room for all of your cool souvenirs. If you’re riding to the Chip this year, you can save yourself some space by picking up items at the General Store after you’ve arrived. Don’t know where that is? Check out the Festival Guide to find out. And for more tips on riding safety, packing, modifications, and more, subscribe to the Sturgis Rider Newsletter.