A lot has been said and written about you and your motorcycle before, during and after a long ride, but what all do you need to carry to make the journey memorable and not a nightmare? What are those smallest of things that, if neglected, can make you cry, but can also save lives? Well, keep scrolling down to know more about the things you must pack before heading out to the highways on your motorcycle.
First Aid Kit
If you have a tendency to fall sick every now and then than there is little you or anyone can do. But the key to tackle such situations is not to panic, and to always carry a first-aid kit with you. Every person reacts differently to every medicine, so we won't get into the names, but we will surely ask you to carry an antiseptic, a cotton roll, medicines for Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), Oral Dehydration Salts (ORS) for dehydration, medicines for fever or allergies if you have any.
This is probably the most thankless piece of luggage you will be carrying with yourself. Thankless because most of the riders, including me, refuse to acknowledge the importance of carrying spares if not required. But, not having spares at the time of need is probably something you will never want to witness. I am not saying that every motorcycle is as easy to mend (read prone to fall apart) as a Royal Enfield, but carrying a few extra cables and bulbs won't do any harm to you or your motorcycle's load carrying capabilities. The new age motorcycles are more robust which makes them pretty stable all throughout your journey unless you forget the ethics of the terrain you are riding on. But, trust me on this, they aren't invincible as most of the characters from our great mythology. It doesn't need a conspiracy for your throttle wire or clutch cable to snap in the middle of nowhere. A bulb also can refuse to enlighten you whenever it wants. There is not much you will be able to do in case your state-of-the-art motorcycle dies in a territory where humans do not dare to exist, but always carry things you know you can fix in case of an emergency. An extra clutch cable, throttle wire, a few extra bulbs, extra engine oil, a puncture repair kit including a spare tube should always be carried, I feel. And if you happen to own a Royal Enfield which is not UCE empowered, you better carry a few tons of spare parts including a dozen of spare piston kits.
A bungee chord is a highly elastic rope that has various uses ranging from tying your luggage tightly to your motorcycle or to ensure safety of your saddle bags. In case of those metal luggage carriers people going to Himalayas use on their Royal Enfields, bungee chords come extremely handy. Some friends have also used bungee chords to tie a sleepy pillion to the rider to keep the centre of gravity intact. Just saying. You won't know how useful they are unless you have them.
Do not rely on the tool kit that comes free with your motorcycle. In fact, do not rely on it even to tighten your bicycle's seat. Maintain a proper tool kit depending on your bike's requirements. Spend some extra time at your service station or pay some more attention as your motorcycle is getting serviced or worked upon. Figure out the tools that are vital for you to open your motorcycle up if required. Carry almost all the spanners of every size your bike needs, you never know when you might need any one of them. A set of L keys should also be carried as most of the new motorcycles have started using those kind of nuts that need L keys to get loose. Also carry the right tool needed to take the spark plug out and put it back in its place after cleaning. A screw driver with two ends (two sided and four sided) can also be needed to do something that nothing else can do.
You will know why they are important if you have ever ridden a motorcycle in the snow on a bright sunny day. Riding in the daytime in summers can be blinding, especially in hills where visibility is the last thing to be found. To avoid being blinded at such a time, always wear sunglasses or have tinted visors. The problem with tinted visors is that they turn hostile once the sun sets. That leaves us with the only safe solution being wearing a pair of sunglasses inside your helmet. It not only lets you see easily but also covers your eyes properly not letting dust entering through its corners.
If you are one of those who are a little finicky about hygiene of the place where you plan to sleep, sleeping bag should be an integral part of your luggage. There are varieties of sleeping bags in the market, but a few extra grands can always be spent depending on the minimum temperature it can cope with. It might not be practically possible to find a place to stay or sleep for the night and sometimes road are your only option. In such a situation, a sleeping bag comes very handy. Just get inside it and sleep.
As I said initially, these things do not guarantee a perfect ride. There might be some issues that these things might not be able to pull off seamlessly, but such is the nature of travelling on a motorcycle. It also might happen that you do not need to use these things at all, which is also a dream like situation, and after spending almost a decade of travelling on a motorcycle, I can surely say that on a bike ride you can never be sure of anything, but that doesn't stop you from being prepared.