Overseas Motorcycle Tour Packing Guide

So, you are new to touring in Europe and not sure what you need to take on your motorcycle adventure or just the really forgetful sort!

​What you need is a checklist to make sure you’ve got everything you need….hopefully this list will help you make your European motorcycle tour an adventure to remember for all the right reasons!


  • Passport – check this is in date well before you are due to leave
  • Money – our advice is to take some currency and at least one but preferably 2 cards
  • Tickets/booking confirmations – often can be on your mobile phone but some people like to have paper version too
  • Driving licence – check this is in date well before you are due to leave
  • Registration document (V5) – take the original and a copy, kept in different places and make sure they are kept dry.
  • ​Insurance document – take a printed version as well as on your phone
  • Breakdown policy with recovery phone number
  • ​Travel insurance – make sure this covers motorcycling on a bike with the size of engine you are riding
  • EHIC card – check this is in date well before you are due to leave
airport run
This is not the best luggage option!


  • Medication – personal to you and more general. Painkillers and Imodium are recommended as a minimum.
  • Glasses – if you need them to drive, make sure you have a spare pair as well
  • Sunglasses/reading glasses
  • Mobile phone
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Plug adapter
  • Sat Nav – well not really packed but don’t forget it! Of course some people use their mobile phone.
  • Sat Nav charger – if not wired into bike electrics
  • Charger for your comms – even if you don’t want to talk to anyone, at least you can listen to your music 
  • Map – if you’re that way inclined
  • Spare ignition key – keep somewhere safe but that you can get to without using the key! ie it’s no use under the seat if you need the key to get the seat off
  • Gloves – we always take a spare pair as wet gloves en route are a nightmare
  • Earplugs
  • Hi viz vest – 2 if you’re taking a pillion
  • Waterproofs
  • Chain lube – unless your bike is shaft or belt driven of course
  • Gaffer tape and cable ties – because you never know!
  • Spare fuses & bulbs – bulbs are not a legal requirement in France on motorbikes but if yours are the changeable sort there’s no harm in having spares
  • Bike security – locks, chains etc
  • Tools – this is always an interesting one for debate. Only take them if you have some vague idea how to use them. If not, that’s what breakdown cover is for.
  • Toiletries – take the bare minimum and make sure any liquids are in a zip loc bag. You can always buy more on tour if you run out.
  • Hairbrush/comb – this is the one I always forget….but I appreciate some bikers may not need one….
  • Underwear – our advice is not more than 5 sets, however long you are going for, as you can always wash on tour
  • Sun block
  • Visor cleaning kit – or some other means of doing so whilst on the road
  • Underlayers – if you use t-shirts or polo shirts, wear one in the evening and then wear the same the next day on the bike. Again 5 is ample.
  • Shoes for off the bike – shoes are bulky so try to restrict to one pair only. Sorry ladies!
  • Swimming costume
  • Shorts – unless going to colder climates
  • Warmer top layer eg fleece or sweat shirt
  • Some smarter clothes for the evening if you think you will need
  • VERY IMPORTANT a couple of plastic bags – these have a load of uses from keeping your feet dry if your boots develop a leak to something to put your dirty clothes in 
z900 luggage
This is a much better luggage option!

More general tips:

  • Make sure your luggage can be well secured to your bike. Have a practice run – and make sure you can still get on the bike with the luggage on!
  • If you are going on an overnight ferry, pack a small bag with just what you need for overnight and leave the rest on the bike.
  • Even if your luggage claims to be waterproof, don’t trust it. Always use an inner bag as well – even a bin liner is better than wet clothes.
  • We are of the “roll, not fold” persuasion when it comes to packing clothes.
  • Worried about your glasses – put them in a stray, unloved sock. You know, the one you kept because it’s partner must turn up one day!
  • Use a tank bag or similar for those items you need close to hand eg money or card for the tolls.

AND REMEMBER: LESS IS MORE when it comes to packing for a motorcycle trip

If you would like to print off a list then click Packing checklist to open an Excel version of our motorcycle tour packing list.