When you are headed out on a long trip, having the right stuff in your saddlebag can mean the difference between a good time and a bad time. Being out on the road alone can be daunting and having someone to stop and “help” you can even be scary. Being properly prepared is key to make sure you have an enjoyable trip and reach your destination. We spoke to our riders here at J&P and asked them to tell us the key items they carry and why. Some of these items can change depending on the style of riding you do, or even what type of bike you ride. Someone riding a Shovelhead might be inclined to carry a bottle of oil while a guy riding a new Road Glide may not need the oil. Regardless, we think there are some key items you should carry with you when heading out on a long trip that will make things much more relaxing!
First on the list is a tire repair kit. Having a kit in your bag that can get you patched up and back on the road is imperative. Many times flat tires don’t occur when you are anywhere near a service station, so being able to take care of this roadside is key. There are a few different styles of tire repair kits out there, so make sure you get one that you are comfortable using. Keep it in your bag all the time. It doesn’t take up much space, and having it when you need it will far surpass the inconvenience of having to carry it.
Next on the list is the Amp’d Solutions Jump Starter. If you are not familiar with these little boxes, take some time to get to know them. If you are like me and have a habit of being in a rush, leaving your key on, and coming out to a dead battery, this is the “solution” to your issue. These little boxes are small but pack a wallop! 300 amps allow you to jump-start your bike and get back on the road. They also feature a built-in flashlight and USB ports so you can charge your phone if needed.
Tools are a given. If you are riding without some sort of tool kit, you are going to get stranded at some point. Cruz Tools makes some bike specific kits that can really save your ass in a pinch. Make sure you have one in your bag. It’s really aggravating when you have to stand on the side of the road for hours because you don’t have a crescent wrench in your bag.
The Reda gas can is a really popular item. The innovative shape allows it to fit into your saddlebag without taking up a bunch of space. The container is leak-proof and fume-proof so you don’t have to worry about your clothes smelling like gas. Great to have in your bag if you happen to space off and miss the last gas stop. This can is also great to have if your riding buddy runs out of gas. Which is awesome because now you can bust their chops about running out of gas for months to come!
Clear lenses is also a must. If you have a tinted shield or just wear sunglasses, you need to have clear lenses for riding at night. Sunglasses look cool in the daytime..they aren’t so cool when you run into the truck in front of you with no taillights!
Lastly for those of you attempting to go on those really long rides….a little Anti Monkey Butt is something that is wonderful to have in your bag. This stuff helps keep the chaffing to a minimum and is a life saver if you start to get the itch.
Saddle bag space is a premium these days, so having the right stuff in your bag is essential. These items added to some rain gear will make your time on the road a lot more enjoyable. Take some time and go through the items in your bag. It’s well worth the effort and you will be happy you did the first time something goes wrong.