Shrinking The Planet – One Ride At A Time

Stuff You “Need”; Or Should That Be Stuff You “Gotta Have”?

There’s an old saying that goes something like this.  “There’s stuff I want and stuff I need and the stuff I want outweighed the stuff I need long ago.”  It’s sort of that way with adventure motorcycling stuff.  Many could argue that the list of stuff you need is fairly short, while others might argue that for significant journeys, the list can be quite lengthy and comprehensive.

But that’s some of the fun of it isn’t it.  We like to get together and talk about all the stuff that’s out there that makes adventure riding a safe, rewarding and enjoyable experience.  So one has to ask him/herself, what do I really need/want to make an adventure ride a reality and what are the cost/benefits of having/not having the item along on the trip.

For example, when riding with Kim, I really like to have two way communications.  I think it vastly improves safety, we can tell each other about road hazards, turns, fuel situations, dangerous drivers and when I’m ready for a pit stop.  But do we really have to have them to ride; no.  But they do make the ride more safe, comfortable and enjoyable.

I also like our Aerostich Roadcrafter suits.  It’s on in less than 30 seconds, it provides great abrasion resistance, has some armor, is fairly waterproof and in high viz yellow, gives us some visibility when we are on pavement.  Nice!  Again, do we really have to have them to ride; no.  But we are once again a bit safer and in cold temps more comfortable and enjoy our trips a bit more wrapped up in our little own cocoons.

So what is important to us is to make the ride a bit more enjoyable and perhaps make the ride a little safer?  Well not so fast there buckaroo.  It so happens that we happen to like some fairly impractical stuff as well that probably doesn’t do a thing to increase safety.  In fact it might compromise it somewhat.  Do you like to listen to your iPod while you ride?  I do.  Is it safer to ride with music playing plugged into both of your ears?  I think not, but often, particularly when I’m riding solo, I must have an iPod and music playing in my ears.  It’s a gotta have item.

So what else do you all “gotta have” on a trip?  I’d like to hear your thoughts.  Add them as comments to this post and tell us whether it’s a want or need.  Sometimes it might be fairly hard to distinguish.  This will be fun to share among each other.

OK, so now it’s your turn…

6 responses

  1. Observations of a Perpetual Motorcyclist

    Need – visor cleaning equipment, earplugs, rain suit, phone.
    Wants – DSLR Camera, iPad, lots of time.


    June 26, 2012 at 2:31 am

  2. Coming from a road riding background, I found I was over loading my KLR when dual sport riding. I quickly learned that riding a heavily loaded bike on tricky double track or jeep roads wears you out, not to mention makes it almost impossible to pick the bike up in a fall. So I try to pack really light, avoiding extra clothing, heavy tools and non-necessities.

    Need – Spare tubes, tire irons, tools and electric tire pump, GPS, comfortable seat, ventilated jacket, layer clothing, electric vest, rain suit, camelbak, MX boots, body armor, sunglasses, hat, point-and-shoot camera.

    Wants – first aid kit, camping stool, extra food, soft cooler with beer!


    June 29, 2012 at 9:51 am

    • Patrice,

      Sorry for the very, very tardy reply! I have no excuse. Thanks so much for your comment. I think both you and Kim and I had the same issues when we started adventure riding. The list of gear was much larger than necessary. Our experience has shortened the list and thankfully lightened the load. Thanks for the awesome comment!


      July 18, 2012 at 10:55 pm

  3. Back, in my early days of motorcycling I didn’t give it much thought. I jumped on my bike wearing jeans and drove of to Morocco. But things have changed.

    Need: good quality protective clothing.

    Want: a GPS navigation system. I haven’t bought one. I still get around by compass, landmarks and map. But I’m thinking about buying a system and the fun is postponing the final decision, so I can preserve this nice feeling of having something to want.


    June 30, 2012 at 5:51 am

  4. CB, Intercom, GPS, Weather band radio, good jacket and pants, Rain suite. When I started back riding 12 years ago I thought much of what I just mention was nice but not necessary… It didn’t take long to realize otherwise… Good post… Thanks.


    October 30, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    • Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Texas Rambler. It’s amazing how that list of what’s necessary can grow over time.



      November 11, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Tell Us What You Think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s