Rules of Thumb
Nothing packs as well on a motorcycle as money and credit cards. You can never have TOO many bungee cords (and small cargo nets are a plus).
The "Art" of packing a motorcycle is figuring out what NOT to take. (Compare it to backpacking up a mountain. Not quite that extreme, but almost.)
I happen to live in the Pacific Northwest. ALWAYS pack your rain gear and cold weather gear when riding in this area, even when it is a 100 degrees in shade and not cloud in the sky. This is NOT California. In summer, we consider this an "anti-rain" good luck charm. For the superstitious motorcyclists among us this goes hand-in-hand with NEVER using the "R" word in spoken conversation. ;^) If your boots are not waterproof, invest in a pair of "Totes" (and remember that they run about 2 sizes too large out of the box. Use produce bags from the grocery store over your street shoes to make the Totes "SLIP" on and off).
So pack your toiletry kit, one change of clothes, 3 changes of underwear (including socks), one towel, at least a partial roll of toilet paper in a zip-lock bag, 3 or 4 garbage bags (these can even be used as rain gear in a pinch), camera and binoculars (if you are so inclined).
For your cleaning windshield and Helmet face shield, Char & I use "Pledge" furniture polish and pack about 3 terrycloth hand towels. All of this will fit into one medium sized nylon stuff bag, and that can be bungie-corded on the bike. When it rains, put the stuff bag inside one of those "just-in-case" garbage bags that I mentioned earlier, to ensure that contents remain dry before you secure it with bungie-cords to the bike. The rain gear and cold weather gear go in a separate stuff bag of their own, if there is no where else to put it.
Now, how much storage space have you got left over? Anything else is discretionary.
Oh, a BATHING SUIT!
· Tool kit
· Nylon/Plastic Ties
· Extra gas container (from a camping store)
· Flat tire patch and/or plug kit, "fix-a-flat" etc. (ONLY as a last resort). That stuff eats aluminum wheels and makes a hell of mess when the tire is changed).
· Tire gauge
· Side-stand plate or "foot" for soft ground or hot pavement
· Spare fuses
· Bike's warranty card, owners manual, registration and insurance info.
· Cellular phone
· AAA "RV PLUS" membership.
Submitted by Charley