Motorcycle Touring Tips

Motorcycle Touring Tips

I am often being asked for advice relating to motorcycle touring, especially in the summer months, so here are some simple tips that I have found useful over the last 20+ years of motorcycle touring around the world.


What do I wear when touring in Europe, in warm weather?

First of all I’m looking for comfort and flexibility, I want to stay as cool as possible and be comfortable when riding and walking around, visiting places. Obviously safety is also important, but don’t be fooled into thinking safety is just about impact and abrasion protection.  Overheating is dangerous, being uncomfortable or distracted is dangerous, reduced awareness of your surroundings is dangerous, etc etc. There are many things that can affect your safety when riding, you just need to make your own assessment of the amount of risk your prepared to take.


We often get customer in our shop wanting some new piece of kit, a day or so before they go off touring on their bikes.  Trust me, it’s a really bad idea to take brand-new kit on holiday.  You need time to break it in before you go, the last thing you need is something that is uncomfortable, doesn’t work or is faulty when your miles from home.  Get to know your kit, try your waterproofs on over your kit, you don’t want to find out something doesn’t fit, when it’s starting to rain and there’s nowhere to shelter.  Once you’ve experienced getting wet before you get your waterproofs on and then start to boil in the bag, you won’t want to do it again. 

if you have comms fitted or a Sat Nav, make sure you know how to use it, or it could ruin your holiday.

Be well prepared before you leave, so you’ve nothing to worry about.


My holiday riding kit consists of:


A flip front helmet, fitted with a communication system and Pinlock filtered ear plugs. Flip helmets have so many advantages for touring, especially when going through passport control, they are so easy to open up so passport control can see your face. The Pinlock earplugs allow speech through whilst protecting your ears from damaging wind noise. I have watched many riders at passport control struggling to get their gloves off, one or both gloves usually falls on the floor, then they must try to take their helmet off, balance it on the tank whilst removing foam earplugs to hear what’s being said by the customs official. All that faffing whilst under pressure in a cue of impatient vehicles. No thanks!


Good quality mesh motorcycle gloves, to keep my hands cool in hot weather.

GoreTex over gloves, to keep my hands dry if it rains, however these are hard to find.  Mine are from Klim, but they stopped making them a few years ago.  There are some non GoreTex versions available from a few suppliers.

Low, casual style, waterproof GoreTex boots, offering good airflow around your shins and being GoreTex my feet will stay dry in rain, but don’t sweat to much in the heat.

A short mesh motorcycle jacket, a textile jacket with lots of mesh panels, to allow maximum air flow. A good quality mesh jacket can vary in price from around £130 up to £400+

Good quality single layer motorcycle jeans.  My favourite jeans are Rokkertech from The Rokker Company.  OK they are one of the higher priced jeans, but after 4+ years of use, they are still in excellent condition, the fit and comfort are great, they are worth every penny in my opinion.  Single layer jeans have the high strength fibre within the denim, so max strength, minimum weight, good airflow, all in one garment.

I also make sure my clothing has D30 Ghost or SAS-Tech highly flexible, light weight armour, for comfort and breathability.  The new D30 Ghost back protectors are now available, so no sweaty back.

I take 2 good quality, short sleeve T-shirts made of a technical, moisture wicking fabric.  They are light weight, allow maximum airflow and are very easy to wash and dry. 

3 sets of light weight underwear.

Finally, light weight waterproof over trousers and jacket.  They pack away, take up little space and are there to keep you dry if it rains.  The over jacket is also a good thermal barrier on cool mornings or when chilly at high altitudes, when worn over the mesh jacket.


That’s my daily riding kit.


The rest of my luggage consists of just a few casual clothing items for warm weather.


Each evening I rinse out the top I was wearing that day, ring out as much water as possible and here my best tip.  Lay a towel on the floor, lay the shirt on the towel, tightly roll up the towel and then stand on it, do a little dance along the roll, putting all your weight on it.  When you unroll it, the shirt will be almost dry.  Do the same with your underwear or nay other clothing you want to wash whilst away.  Hang it up overnight and its ready to wear the next day.


Mirrored or Iridium visors look cool, but also keep you cooler.  The reflective coating keeps the heat of the sun out way more than a standard tinted visor.  A clear visor although convenient with an internal sun visor, does let the heat of the sun in.  Its worth noting that mirrored visors are not as dark a tint as dark visors, so work well when used with the internal sun shield in bright sun.


If its very hot, wet your gloves and wear a wet neck tube, like a Buff.  Once you are moving the airflow with evaporation will cool you down.  Stop regularly to drink water and re-wet your gloves and buff.  Keep an eye on your urine colour, if its coloured, it’s a sign of dehydration, so drink more water.  Dehydration can result in headaches and reduced concentration, both bad news when riding motorcycles.


Hopefully you’ve found some of this useful.  If you have any questions relating to anything I’ve written here, or want more information on the items I’ve mentioned, please feel free to contact me.




Free shipping

Free shipping when you spend over £50.00