Skinnying Down My Motorcycle Clothing Packing for Fly-and-Ride

Skinnying Down My Motorcycle Clothing Packing for Fly-and-Ride

When push comes to shove I can be a fairly light packer when it comes to traveling on the motorcycle. Even so, I *still* take more stuff than I need. By stuff, I usually mean clothes. Invariably I shove a few “I might need an extra…” items in my bag.

With an upcoming trip to the Alps, I’ve been trying to consider ways to skinny down my packing a little more. Doing the fly-and-ride presents its own challenges in terms of making sure whatever you have with you will fit into a space that you can’t lay your eyes on.

I’ll be renting the same type of bike I did when I was last in Italy, a BMW F650GS again with a Givi box on it.

Fuzzygalore F650GS in the AlpsMy Trusty Rental GS Taking in the Alpine View

My mode of thinking is that if I can fit everything in need in a single tote bag that fits in my own Givi box, I’ll be golden. The GS does have small side cases but for the life of me I just cannot remember just how petite they were. My planning so far is just to pretend they don’t exist so whatever space they provide me with is a jackpot.

Fuzzygalore topbox packed up

This is usually the extent of the stuff I carry in my topbox. Koolwink mug optional.

The wash and wear routine will be in effect again. That’s bringing whatever shirt/shorts/underwear I wore to ride in all day into the shower when we stop for the night. When I get out of the shower I wring them in a towel, hang them up and they’re dry by morning.  That helps to conserve a quite a bit of space as I only need to bring 2-3 changes. I usually wear Under Armour which ends up being very compact.

ankle socksSocks generally seem to take up more space than I want them to. Especially nice comfy long ones like my favorite REV’IT socks or the Smart Wool pairs I have. I was thinking about bringing a package of ankle socks and using my running compression calf sleeves to make up the height difference. My sleeves are fast wash/dry and wouldn’t be subject to the same natural perspiration issues that the footbed of a sock would so I wouldn’t have to wash them everyday.

One package of 10 pairs ankle socks on the right are about the same size as 1 pair of my REV’IT tour socks when folded up. Granted, they aren’t nearly as plush or lovely. But I can live with that. I’ll be using my sittin’ muscle most of the days, not on my feet for long stretches.

This time I won’t need to bring my rain gear, thanks to my spiffy new Klim jacket & pants.

I’ll need a light fleece or zip-up jacket, a pair of jeans or pants with zip-off legs, maybe a travel dress, some type of apres-ride shoe and a couple t-shirts and that should basically cover me on the clothing. I think.

This is where I am for now:

  • Light fleece/Jacket – to wear on and off the bike
  • Undergarments (3)
  • Socks (10 pack, ankle)
  • Calf Sleeves – 1 pair
  • Under Armour Shorts or Leggings (2) – on bike
  • Under Armour Shirts (2) – on bike
  • T-shirts  (3-4?) – off bike
  • Jeans or convertible pants (1) – off bike
  • Travel dress (maybe) (1) – off bike
  • Off bike shoes – (1 pair)

Plus I’ll have whatever clothes I wear on to the plane. I’ve got to try to keep whatever that is easily packable once we land. I’ll also have to pick something I can easily slip my riding gear over as I’ll be going to pick up my bike directly upon landing at the airport.

Have any tips or tricks that you use to skinny down the clothing aspect of your trip packing?


How timely! Just today Gizmodo featured a story titled: How Much Underwear to Pack For Your Trip, Visualized with a link to a post on Pack Like a Nerd: Optimizing Underwear. Just what we needed. A chart for packing underpants. 🙂


4 Replies to “Skinnying Down My Motorcycle Clothing Packing for Fly-and-Ride”

  1. That’s a really tough call when you don’t have a support vehicle for an extended trip like that. I also struggle with taking the right amount and type of riding gear, in the summer heat I want my mesh, but it’s so bulky to carry an extra pair of riding pants!

  2. Oh the Alps, is there room in the Givi box for me?
    Ynotride does this more so than I do. His trick is to bring disposable clothes (shirts and underwear that are on their last days of life.) He throws them away after he wears it which then leaves a little room for the things you pick up while on the trip.
    Cant wait to read and see pics of your trip.

  3. Alps again, eh? Jealousy Meter pegged! Looking forward to your stories and photos as always.

    1) Backpacking/camping compression sacks are amazing. 2) No cotton, even jeans. 3) Neck tube, neck tube, neck tube. Maybe 2.

    BTW, those are Givi 21 liter cases on the pictured bike; the ones I have on mine. Top-loaders, so you can get quite a lot in them.

  4. Ah packing for a tour, always difficult. I’m very good at taking too much stuff, even when I’ve packed it, taken stuff out and re-packed it. There is always something I end up taking that I don’t need.
    Not having to take wet weather gear will certainly help, I’ve done the same when choosing my new kit.
    Enjoy your trip!

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