Having some serious sport-touring miles under its collective belt, the Sport Rider staff has a good idea of what to bring along on a trip (in addition to the usual toothbrush and change of drawers...). We've put together a list of essentials that are sure to come in handy on a trip.
1. Something you won't mind never having to use--a first-aid kit. This JFF Tour Kit (JFF Enterprises, 800/583-2206) contains more than one hundred items, including bandages and various pills and ointments.
2. Any motorcycle's tool kit can be complemented with a CruzTOOLS (888/909-8665, www.cruztools.com) tool kit. We like this CruzMetrix kit, which is stocked with high-quality stuff.
3. The tire-repair kits from BMW test bikes get scooped up pretty quick around here but equivalent kits are also available from the Riderwearhouse catalog (800/222-1994, www.aerostich.com).
4. And speaking of tires, you can never trust the gauges on gas-station pumps. Always carry your own tire-pressure gauge and use it often.
5. It's nice to have a dry pair of gloves to put on after a rainstorm. These Alpinestars (310/542-5996, www.alpinestars.com) ST-1 waterproof touring gloves and a rainsuit live in our knapsack.
6. You wouldn't want to get lost, would you? Even when you know where you're going, it's best to bring a map along. What if you see a twisty road and want to find out where it goes?
7. We always carry lots of earplugs, only because the editor is forever asking, "Got any earplugs?" Plain foam plugs are available at most hardware stores.
8. The small flashlight and Swiss-army knife on the associate editor's key ring have come in handy a few times, plus he can't lose them this way. (Well, unless he loses his keys....)
9. A clear shield, cleaner and a soft rag are good items to keep on hand for when you get caught out at night.
10. As much as we hate dealing with automobile drivers who drive while talking on the phone, a cellular phone can be a welcome savior when you're stuck out in the middle of West Nowhere.
11. And last but far from least--snacks. We like to bring granola bars, water and a bit of fruit, but anything that will get you to the next meal stop will do.