Motorcycle Touring

Impulse Touring

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” – Lewis Carroll

There are planned tours, and there are unplanned tours. There are tours that unravel like clockwork, to perfection. And there are tours that delight you with all the dirty tricks the outdoors can surprise you with. There are rides when you know where you are going, and then there are those that you don’t even know why you are going.

Welcome to the world of get-up-and-get-lost. But then one has to enjoy getting lost. After all getting lost is an art; you don’t want to be lost in the middle of a dark highway with a hopelessly flat tyre. Yes, that deflated feeling. So the next time you get a call from a friend at 0530 am, and he mumbles “Let’s hit the road”, what do you grab in 10 minutes?

How can you prepare for such tours, without missing on the moment?

That’s what I am going to help with. It’s not a foolproof super-safe list of amour, only a minimal survival kit. We don’t do business class on motorcycles, you see. It’s a different league. This is for the grab-a-toothbrush-and-a-credit-card person.

It’s a simple two stage list. The first part is of things you should always keep in a touring bag and keep it aside whenever you plan to hit the road.

1. Obviously, the basic toolkit that came with the bike. It’s designed for most things on you motorcycle. Don’t ever miss this one. Plus a monkey spanner, multi-head screw driver, a small knife, a little torch.

2. Riding Gloves.

3. The most frequent and annoying thing is, a puncture. So carry an extra tube (both front and rear sizes) and a foot pump. Once you replace the tube and pump it up, you can ride away to glory. And yes, learn to change tyres, specially the rear one.

4. Photocopies of RC, Tax, Insurance, and the PUC (if going out of state, then keep original documents as well).

5. A spark plug

6. If you go long distances, then a clutch cable and a long petrol tube.

And now, the ten-minute salvage list. Try and not wake up your family while you do this. It’s always better to message later, you see 🙂

1. Money: cash, card, whatever. Separated between wallet and bag.
3. Your license in the wallet.
4. Cell phone, charged. Roaming activated.
5. A spare key. In the bag
6. Wear covering, but easy-breathing clothing.
7. A GOOD helmet.
8. A pair of sunglasses.
9. A bottle of water, better if mixed to a health drink, like tang. Helps replenish lost minerals in the hot sun.
10. A deep breath and a plan!!

That’s it!

You are pretty much as well-prepared as anyone. Take a good long look at your motorcycle and try and remember if there was something pending that was worrying you. Make a mental note of it and act accordingly. Hit the road early so you are on the interstate highway while the sun is rising. You will not forget the day anytime soon, that’s a promise!

Happy touring…

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