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Packing for a motorcycle guided tour – By Eytan Magen




The motorcycle guided tour packing list, and packing for a guided tour is usually very different from, packing for a riding adventure. When packing for an adventure, everything you may need has to be with you at all times, strapped to the bike. However,  on a guided tour you can expect you luggage (the regular kind) to simply wait for you every day in your hotel room when you arrive after a days ride. Your Kit has to be flown in and ride with you and you will usually have a top box and/or a tank bag supplied to harbor valuables you need during the day. In this article I will try to lay out basic organization thoughts of kit and Comfort, and the basics of planning and packing for a guided tour.

Getting There –

By definition, when packing for a motorcycle tour, your going to plan to travel light. Motorcycles have very little room and there will be a lot of items to cover and include to make the tour with comfort and safety. (See motorcycle guided tour packing list)

We suggest leaving home with 3 bags

  1. A carry-on size suitcase. (Personal belonging, cloths toiletry).  – Figure 1
  2. A back pack. (books, electronics, travel documents and money). – Figure 2
  3. Large duffel. (Riding Suits, Helmets, Gloves). – Figure 3
motorcycle guided tour packing listCarry-On – Figure 1motorcycle guided tour packing listBack Pack – Figure 2motorcycle guided tour packing listDuffel Bag – Figure 3

We also suggest using this motorcycle guided tour packing list to assist you remember and tick-off all the items you may need.

What goes where –

The Carry – On Suitcase –  always works for us. The carry on packed from home is the standard size bag most motorcycle touring companies allow on the van. (On a long hall of over 2 weeks one can upgrade to the next size). We recommend to bring it packed from home. You should have in it all items needed after riding hours – i.e. – evenings.  Don’t put any riding gear or anything you may need during the day such as nylons warm gloves or even an extra lier. You will find soon enough that even though usually the support vehicle runs the same route as the tour, you may find when you need something out of the suitcase on the van, that the van isn’t there. – Alternatively you may learn that there is simply no time to open the van and get to your bag. Finally, many times , and Murphy’s law demands that, your bag will be the one at the back of the van and impossible to get to.

The Back Pack – While traveling this bag will have your money, passport, airline tickets, gadgetry (computer, tablet, phone,) books and magazines, and a small toiletry kit as wells a one night change of underwear. (this is in case you luggage gets sent and lost – its happened to us). we recommend a 2 strap back configuration leaving both hands free to control the 2 other bags.

motorcycle guided tour packing listTank bag with Straps

Here it would be a good place to point out that you can bring your own Tank- Bag and we do recommend the kind that has straps to it. This offers a great solution reducing even more the need to pack and repack this bag as we will explain in the On tour chapter. (see picture).

The Duffle Bag –  This bag is jus for motorcycle kit. The rider needs to arrive at the start point of the tour with full kit. I use a simple collapsible duffle for my Touring Suit, Touring boots, riding gloves, and a helmet. you will be emptying This bag and sending it to the end destination. In the event it is a circular tour you will be leaving it behind at the hotel. We recommend you line the duffle bag with the jacket.  Once you’ve done that, fit the helmet inside the jacket to give it maximum protection from the airport handlers. This bag is optional and we have also gone on tours where we will wear the Jacket and boots, pack the trousers and gloves and put the helmet in its original carry bag and throw it over our shoulder. In this last format you have the benefit of not checking any luggage and walking right off the plane.

While on tour –

to best serve you while on tour, you will need to re-distribute all your belongings between the bike and van . The Carry-On will go onto the support van as is. This way you will not to repack this main bag once you begin the tour. You may empty the second backpack or simply use it as a tank bag (If it has the system). Empty the back-pack into the tank bag and then just fold it and send it to the end point. The duffel bag’s content will be unpacked completely.  All kit to be worn is placed for next day and the rest such as spare gloves spare socks spare undershirt or underwear, all can go into the top box for use on tour. Remember not to put them not the Suit case as you may not have them when you need them.

Self Guided tour –

The major difference between the guided tour and the self guided tour is, of course, the lack of a support van. Thus you need to calculate your luggage volume meticulously. Tamr and I always share the cases in a same way. The side cases are a ‘His and Hers’ and the Top Box is for motorcycle gear cameras and and other essentials on the go. We try not to touch the side cases during the day. When entering the hotel at the end of a riding day, you will be able to take them off and carry them like suitcases.. However you can still use the motorcycle guided tour packing list to plan your packing.

What to look for –

Make sure you are getting a TopBox and a tank bag, when booking a guided tour. Also make sure you have a support van and luggage service during the tour. Additional you should check what is the maximum size of suitcase you can bring. We also recomend you check the airline policy about helmet. Remember this is in addition to your carry on and back pack. Last but not least make sure your bags are all clearly marked with your name. Our staff will need to deliver your bags properly too your room at the end of the day.

The Motorcycle Guided tour Packing List –

We always suggest you use the motorcycle guided tour packing list to plan your packing. Working with a list helps avoid forgetting anything and thus will save you money and time. Even better, Print a copy for each tour and tick off everything you’ve laid out to take with you. We also recommend you go over the list beforehand. Consequently customizing the list to your needs with all that hasn’t been mentioned. If you have suggestions to amend this we welcome any suggestions you may have.

About the author –

Eytan Magen is the founder and managing director of TAMAR Mediterranean Mototours Ltd. (TAMARBIKES). Bikers and a travelers Eytan and Tamar his wife have ridden 4 continents and thousands of miles. This experience enables them to become owners of one of the best riding experiences you can find.

TAMAR Mediterranean Mototours Ltd. (TAMARBIKES) –

TAMARBIKES is a leading Boutique motorcycle guided tour company.  TAMARBIKES brings to the motorcycle guided tour scene some of the best experiences and adventures one can buy on a motorcycle. These adventures are aimed at some of the best and most exciting destinations on earth.



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