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Discussion Starter #1
I've got over 5k miles on the bike this spring and haven't even gone anywhere yet.. but..

I've got two 2,600 mile trips planned this summer, with the first starting in two weeks..

I'm pretty sure i've got everything figured out that i want to take, but figured i'd ask some of the more experienced...

Of all the things you've ever forgotten what's the one that you really needed... or what is the thing you think that a newbie would most likely not realize they will need on a long trip...?

I've got all the basics, and high end rain gear..

Tks
 
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The only thing that I forgot on my first cross country was the extra key.
I didn't need it but it was constantly on my mind.
I now wear my extra key on a neck lanyard.
:em0200:
 
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A lot of times it's not what you forget, but rather what you bring that you wish you hadn't. Too many clothes being #1....also, one thing I will NEVER bring on a trip again is the bike cover. Just takes up too damn much room.

For me here are some things you might forget:
-suntan lotion...and chapstick
-night riding glasses...if you don't have them, look at getting a pair of yellow safety glasses.
-ear plugs
-bungy cords

Only advice is actually PLAN your clothes. don't bring things you won't need and know WHEN you will do laundry so you can count out shirts/pants/socks...etc.
 
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Shower Shoes and a Towel were forgotten Sturgis last year

The Battery pump for my air mattress Daytona this year
 
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For that length of a trip, make sure to leave room for water in one of the bags.
Also I like to keep some long zipties and lengths of velcro strapping. Great for compacting your jacket or bagged clothes to make them as tight as possible. On our recent trip, we used the velcro strapping to tie down a brick of firewood to the bike to bring to our campsite. On that note, I also always bring a lighter (I used to always have one when I smoked, but gave that up so now have to remind myself to bring one). And a multi-tool (gerber or leatherman). Also, I would never go on a trip like that without a first-aid kit... I actually had to use mine this last trip as I got a huge splinter in my foot. Limit the clothes by dressing in layers instead of individual bulky items. And to minimize your toiletries, pick up some 'trial-size' items from your local pharmacy. Even get some small empty bottles to squirt shampoo into, instead of taking the whole big bottle. Also I like to remove most things from their bulky containers and package everything into ziplock baggies to make them smaller and waterproof (camera and charger, bar of soap, take only the medications you will need, etc). I even separate my sock and underwear into large ziplock baggies... that way I can compress them to get all the air out too. If you're planning on doing any night riding, a compact flashlight is helpful if you need to check your luggage or bike in the dark.

Boy there's probably more. But the key is to bring only what you need, and to make that stuff as small as possible.
 
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I don't worry about forgetting something because I can always stop and buy it.
 
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I was going to ride around all The Great Lakes which required going into Canada... I had to have my wife send my passport to me because it was sitting on my desk with the list of things NOT to forget.
 
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A windshield! Won't go on another long trip without one. Even though I hate putting in on. :)
 
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Suntan lotion... I buy it every time and put it somewhere I cant forget it!
 
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My first trip started out at 60F, and went downhill/uphill from there. It dropped to 40F, with heavy rain. Then over some pass in UT it was 32F and snow. In New Mexico it hot 100F and dry wind.

I bought a pair of sweat pants at a thrift store to help combat the cold. Cost was $2 IIRC. In IL I refreshed my shirts with some from another thrift store, cheap and pretty good stuff.

Waterproof boots. I bought TCX waterproof from Revzilla, about $130. The zipper stays up with a velco tab, they are comfortable, you can walk in them,and are low-key looking - meaning they are not clunky and can be worn off the bike.

The spare key. I dropped mine in the parking lot at Natl MC Museum in Ananmosa IA, a HD guy picked it up and found me inside the place. Lucky. Now a generic one is in my wallet - thinner w/o the plastic stuff.

Ziplock bag for camera in pocket. Rain gear pockets are not necessarily waterproof.

Small foldup umbrella for walking around in rain to find beer. If it is a lot of rain (I had 9 days of heavy rain), Rain-X for the windshield. I don't care if it isn't good for the w/s. by the time it starts to turn yellow it will be old and scratched anyway. I need to see in that rain!

If you camp, put the tent up at home to make sure you have all the parts and know how it goes together.

Cancel most of the cook gear, just a small Jetboil and instant coffee+ spoon is fine. Get grub elsewhere. Cancel some of the clothes - you'll buy a t-shirt here and there anyway.

flipflops for shower, pool, etc.

Read the map at night in motel or tent. Figure out where to go. I have small tablet, 2.5'x4', I write down 'IA20 >> Spirit Lake, R(N) US56 45 mi, L(W)I10 5 mi, R(N) on C365' and so on in a vertical column. This fits in clear map bag on tank. If I change where I am going I pull out the map.

BTW, 2 trips, 10,000 miles later.
YMMV
 
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Stuff I didn't forget:
a small duracell pocket inverter #175. It plugs into the socket in the trunk and charges up the laptop on the run, keep it on top of the pile. Laptop was internet email and Skype. Charger for camera batteries can be plugged in also.

Don't forget the connector from camera to laptop for saving photos if that is your thing. Network RJ45 cable for laptop if motel has hard-wired internet (4'-6' works).

Warm gloves and cold gloves. Warm for the really cold days, cold for all other days. I wore ATTGATT.

Check the bike over in the morning - tires, air, etc. Be sure to CLOSE the bag lids before driving off. I believe most of the open-bag complaints are pilot error.

Load the iPod with stuff you like. Then let it just go through the entire list; leave it along, let it play. You put the music on it so just listen and enjoy the scenery and ride.

YMMV
 
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I tape my spare key to a aluminum panel
I have rubbers for my boot and flip flops for shower
Long strips of duck tape stuck to inside of bags
Vic app Honda app and Harley app you never know who might be able to help you
Large bandanna from cowboy store for neck or head
Towel or sheep skin or wood beads for seat and plenty of Gold Bond power for the hot days
Nice to brush your teeth at rest stops
Atlas ya never know
Electoral tape and fuzz's
 

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500 miles away, riding 2up with my Lady when we stopped and started talking, realized that we had left the dog locked in the house instead of the back yard and would be gone till the next afternoon.


---
Texas Hill Country - Wimberley
Ahote - my 2015 Blue and Ivory Chieftain
 

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This is going to sound stupid, but...

Bring a Nylon rope, at least 12 foot long, in case you need to tow another bike or he needs to tow you. That's happened to us twice now, in various parts of Canada and the US.

A quart of oil.

Tools! At a minimum, and allen key for every single allen related thing on your bike, and an 8 inch adjustable.

Half a roll of duct tape, 'cause you never know.

And, if you can make some, a motorcycle-sized set of jumper cables. Batteries are pretty much the most finnicky thing on new bikes, and they always crap out at the worst times. Plus, bump starting is waaaaay harder with an injected engine than a carbourated one, so having those jumper cables can really save you in a pinch. They're pretty easy to make.

A knife, pocket or fixed blade, but get/carry one that's tough enough to handle some torque being applied without breaking. I use an old KaBar myself.

And, tie a couple of bandanas to your handlebars, and maybe another in your pocket too. Make sure at least one of them is no-stretch, and thick, for the medical stuff. They're good for keeping your face clean, wiping sweat, cleaning bugs off your headlight, impromptu bandages, and if worst comes to worst you can make yourself an okay tourniquet until the ambulance arrives.

Good luck!
 

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On my first long trip (4,000 miles and decades ago) I only brought the bare essentials and everything worked out fine. Today I still pack only the essentials such as 1 pair of jeans, 3-4 T shirts, enough underwear to change daily, toiletries, meds, rain gear and most importantly your IMRG card for help if you need it.

If there is anything else you need along the way just buy it. It is a lot easier to over pack than to travel lightly. Keep it to the essentials, keep safe and enjoy your trip. I hope you have a great ride because that's what it is all about.

Remember... a long ride really isn't that enjoyable. What you see and do on that long ride makes it great!
 

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I've got over 5k miles on the bike this spring and haven't even gone anywhere yet.. but..

I've got two 2,600 mile trips planned this summer, with the first starting in two weeks..

I'm pretty sure i've got everything figured out that i want to take, but figured i'd ask some of the more experienced...

Of all the things you've ever forgotten what's the one that you really needed... or what is the thing you think that a newbie would most likely not realize they will need on a long trip...?

I've got all the basics, and high end rain gear..

Tks
Water bottle (full; pack more as needed). Always pack one in the saddlebag now.
 

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I haven't really been on any long trips yet, just NY and around New England, but I know I'll never forget my rain suit again...OR my windshield.
 
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