Modern day motorcycle touring - how to pack


Senior member
Jan 11, 2011
Chiang Mai, Thailand
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
With the technology steam train constantly forcing us to adapt & change the way we do things, with a long haul motorcycle tour coming up, I thought it would be an opportunistic time to mention some changes to the way we pack for an extended motorcycle tour.

Battery powered electronic devices:

These contraptions now own most of us on a motorcycle tour, if they dont have battery power during the riding day it will irritate. GPS, smart phone, camera & GoPro are the most common devices that many riders carry, all of them need power, for most of us only battery power during the day (apart from GPS which often is wired to the motorcycle battery). FYI a phone USB external battery pack will keep a Garmin GPS running very well if the battery is flat.

I keep a zip lock bag with a spare charged battery for each device in an easy accessible pocket every day as backup. GoPro battery life on stand by and with use is a pain in the ass, for my next trip i'm going to drill the GoPro case so that an external power source can be used to keep the GoPro on stanby all day. The external power source can be a phone USB battery pack, a cheap easy way to keep the GoPro juiced up.


Professional way of doing it with a cable gland, keeping the waterproof integrity

Evening re-charging:

So your long, hot, ride, finishes for the day, you get the GH key for your room,the first thing you look for (after checking the aircon works) is how many power sockets there are in your room and are your cables long enough to rest the multitude of devices that needs charging.

If you think about it, nearly all modern devices are USB/ 5.5V input for charging. The only exception is external battery chargers for cameras, which I dont understand haven't caught up yet (you can charge the camera battery inside the camera by USB cable, even Nikon/ Canon etc...???).

If you get yourself a quality multi socket USB charger, you can charge probably all your devices from one charging unit. This will save bringing all the transformer plugs (AC to DC), plug adapters and multi plug on the trip, it saves a ton of space. Also leave all the charging cables plugged in, no unraveling/ untangling them each day.


The only thing that wont fit might be the external camera charger, Belkin make a neat cube multi power plug. This is useful as all the large transformer plugs then dont get in the way of each other as they do with plug points thats are in line. It even has 2x USB output, so this device might be perfect for many.


Microsoft Surface (Pro) 3 & 4 will run from USB 5.5V but needs around 2 amps of output to charge. In theory you could leave the chunky transformer/ charger end at home as use the above to power the tablet/ computer if it will produce 2 amps (thats why a quality unit is good).

If you dont hard wire your GoPro, get your self a 3 battery charger that will plug into the USB charger, doesnt take up much space and will give you GoPro standby all day.


For you camera, if it only accepts the large size SD cards, carry the adapter and the micro SD cards. We all get through a lot of SD cards on a long multi day trip, these will pack in a minute space.

Especially when you know the riding is going to get rough, ive always been concerned about regular "floating" computer hard drives and external hard drives being destroyed by vibration


A floating disc drive, held in place by springs isnt ideal for adventure motorcycle touring. Many full windows tablets now come with SSD drives. Carry a 1TB SSD external HD as backup with all the computers data on it for safety.Hunt around 350 bucks and you can get a 1TB external HD now.

ssd by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr

With SD cards being so cheap now, another option is to carry your backup data on 64GB SD cards or USB thumb drives.

If you plan to keep the bike or get the same model again, invest in a diagnostic tool. A problem, especially electrical, away from big, modern, cities will be hard to diagnose without this and can save a lot of blood pressure. You can reset error codes yourself with this too. The more modern devices will bluetooth to your smart phone showing diagnostic data

The "anti-gravity" lithium battery packs with huge cold cranking amps capabilities make so much sense to carry. You accidentally leave a big bike power source on and have a flat battery in the morning, this tiny battery device will jump start your motorcycle


Its also a power pack for all your devices, if you dont have one, get one for your next big trip

Link below
Got an Amorn technician to drill and file a hole in the GoPro case so that the old style mini USB can plug through the case, not an easy job to get right. Once he was done, 8mm shrink wrap was added. There's enough rubber elasticity in the shrink wrap,so that when the USB power cable is plugged in, the rubber shrink wrap fills all the gaps in the hole in the case, when under compression.

P_20160404_120205.jpg by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr
Powering several devices while riding can be quite simple if you use a tank bag as the consolidation point


If you cut the power wires and add a connector, it gives you endless options for power/ charging pigtails for every device

Things to carry that will get you out of most fixes:

Bailing wire - With most things on motorcycles being hot, bailing wire, with its ease of being manipulated in intricate places makes a fantastic get-you-home-fix in most cases. It's common for an exhaust to come loose, this has been fixed with bailing wire many times


Wire ties - Easy to create compression, also an easy way to make fixed loops. Can fix mostly anything that arnt hot, carry loads


Epoxy - Fixes radiators, engine case cracks, fuel tanks and withstands heat, always carry it.


Duct tape - A quick fix for anything


Needle nose vice grips - Will jury rig and lever if you crash, works very well


Tire puncture repair foam - Quick way to get to somewhere to fix the flat
Wifi range extender:

Nothing will annoy you more than a weak wifi signal in your hotel room. For around USD$ 30 you can rebroadcast the wifi signal amplified and also then connect several devices to that rebroadcast wifi signal at once, especially useful if they limit the number of devices to one or two devices per wifi login session.


Some examples in the link below:

With most of these Wifi range extenders you can create wifi from a LAN internet connection in the hotel room, useful in China.

More in the link below:
Big, fast days, in the dry heat, in rural farm areas, your helmet visor is going to get covered in dead bugs, un-burned truck diesel & tar. The fancy Amarol brand cleaner in Thailand is around 800 Bht, the Karshine brand is 175 Bht and will not damage your perspex visor (not abrasive). Its a big spray can and will probably last several riding seasons.

P_20160404_174739.jpg by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr
Last edited:
On roadbike trips I carry a 12" Surface Pro 3 Tablet
Security not great with roll-top soft bags, so I've ordered the 5 liter Travelsafe to help prevent the tablet from growing legs.
Looks like it should do the job for items bigger than the holes in the mesh.
Things like Passport/cash/cards etc always stay on me in a money belt.
Top Bottom