Twelve Useful items to take on Tour.

Twelve Useful items to take a motorcycle tour in South Africa 

1)   Tank bag with a clear plastic window to accommodate maps, permits etc. Still one of the most useful touring items available. Great for raingear, license, wallet, ID, booking details, camera and other valuables. Also, easily removed when you go into a restaurant for lunch.

2)   Bikini cover for your motorbike at night. Prevents condensation and is a must-have if there is a rainstorm overnight. If you design your own, it can double up as a picnic 'blanket'.

3)   Braai (barbeque) tongs. Every tour should feature at least one barbeque under the African night sky.

4)   Membership cards. Medical Aid Insurance and emergency breakdown service like AA or similar. Why struggle with a puncture or flat battery when you can leave it to the professionals?

5)   A half-empty pannier or top box. Economic pre-tour packing should leave space for the daily purchase of drinks, provisions and snacks for that night’s overnight accommodation.  Even half a dozen cold beers takes up a lot of room and being heavy and inflexible, cannot be easily carried outside a bag or pannier.

6)   A super-slim, plastic cutting board. At some point during your tour, you will have to prepare your own meal and a clean, flat, hard surface makes this task a lot more pleasant.

7)   Light. A hand held torch (flashlight), a fuel burning lantern and a battery-powered lantern. The latter is a much safer option if you need light inside a tent. If you stay at B+Bs you will still find the fuel-burning lantern useful as it allows you to choose your own spot when you sit outside at night.

8)   An elastic cargo net with hooks. This great little item can expand your bike’s payload somewhat and allows you to buy an unplanned souvenir on your travels.

9)   A “Can you Please Help me at your Convenience” attitude. Ask for help, suggestions, ideas etc when on tour. Locals always respond warmly to tourists with a good attitude when they pass through their town.

10) Hat and sunscreen. Easily forgotten items when you are packing your helmet and leathers

11) An emergency bag. Besides your bike’s tools the following items are invaluable i.e. duct tape, zip ties (cable ties), heavy duty twine or string (10 meters), 3 gauges of wire (2 meters each), high-strength flexible epoxy glue, cloth, hand cleaner, gas lighter, needle and thread, cylume light stick, visor cleaner etc

12) A multi tool (e.g. Leatherman) that attaches to your belt. Be careful, as they can slip off the end of your belt and fall onto the floor when you go to the toilet!

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