Motorcycle Touring Kit: Tried & Tested! (Updated 2022)

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Bikes aside, motorcycle touring kit is our number one subject of questioning by readers.

And whilst it’s easy to get hung up on the best motorcycle touring kit money can buy, that isn’t entirely practical for most people.

Because if most people were to go out and buy the very best of everything, the total amount wouldn’t fall that far short of the price you paid for your bike!

And for beginners who have just spent all their hard-earned cash on motorcycle lessons, their first bike, and increasingly expensive insurance premiums, the best motorcycle touring kit is probably a little out of their financial reach.

rider and adv bike off-road - motorcycle touring kit
Image: Kat Sazonova

Everyday Motorcycle Touring Kit

For the above reasons, I decided not to review the best of everything.

I could have done. And I did think about it. But it would only be useful for a minority of people.

Ultimately, it would be more beneficial (to more people) to bring about a list of affordable motorcycle touring kit. And the best way to do that is to review some of the gear that we use daily here at Motorcycle Tourer HQ.

So with this in mind, I rummaged through our office to bring you a complete collection of basic motorcycle touring kit that is accessible for the everyday rider – regardless of your level of experience.


Motorcycle Touring Kit: The Helmet

hjc rpha 90s carbon helmet
Our helmet of choice: The HJC RPHA 90s Carbon

We all know that a helmet is the most important part of anybody’s motorcycle touring kit. But as someone who spends a lot of time on the road, it’s important to me that my helmet is lightweight whilst providing me with all the necessary protection.

And that’s why I wear the HJC RPHA 90s Carbon. At the time of purchase, it was the lightest flip-front helmet on the market that still included an internal visor (one of my priorities.)

12 months on, it’s still one of the lightest lids available. In my opinion, it’s one of the best motorcycle helmets you can buy in this price range.

If you want more information on this helmet, we did a long-term review here:

We Tested It: HJC RPHA 90s Carbon.

At A Glance

  • Carbon & Carbon Glass hybrid fabric construction
  • Internal drop-down sun visor
  • Stainless steel micro buckle chin strap
  • RapidFireT Visor for tool-less removal
  • Pinlock visor with insert included (included)
  • 3D-engineered, ergonomic interior for noise reduction
  • Removable and washable interior
  • Antibacterial MultiCool interior for moisture-wicking
  • Ready for optional SMART HJC Bluetooth system
  • Weight 1550g +/-50g

Motorcycle Touring Kit: The Jacket

montreal 4.0 jacket - motorcycle touring kit
The Montreal 4.0 jacket by Oxford

When it comes to jackets, we always recommend textiles for your motorcycle touring kit. There’s nothing wrong with leathers on a track (or even on a Sunday morning ride out), but textiles are always far more practical for touring.

You can buy some superb jackets these days – but you’ll pay the best part of £1,000 for the privilege. And in general, it’s not always worth the additional cost.

I’ve worn Oxford jackets for years – they’re practical, affordable, reliable, and their customer service is dependable. (I’ve only had one problem jacket, and they replaced it immediately.)

Today, my everyday hack is the Oxford Montreal 4.0 Textile jacket, and it’s an essential part of my motorcycle touring kit.

At A Glance

  • Waterproof drop liner with Rainseal technology
  • Thermal liner for extra warmth
  • CE certified shoulder and elbow protection
  • Pocket to accommodate back protector
  • External elbow protector pockets for improved comfort
  • Multi-adjustable collar with neoprene edging
  • Soft Amara on the cuffs for comfort
  • Reflective panels to help aid visibility
  • CE approved elbow and shoulder armour
  • Oxford’s Rainseal hood enclosed in the collar
  • Airflow vents on the front and rear
  • Two large box pockets at the front with handwarmer pockets
  • Accordion stretch panels on the back for added comfort
  • Rear box pocket
  • Critical ‘Bar-Tack’ stitching for added durability
  • Double zip with storm flap
  • YKK zips are used throughout
  • Short connection zips to connect trousers

I’ve been caught in some treacherous weather over the years. And the only time my Montreal jacket let me down was when my new one was defective on arrival.

I’m happy to point out that Oxford replaced it immediately, and the new one has never leaked – despite it being in some truly biblical downpours!


Motorcycle Touring: Pants

rst pro series paragon 5 pants
RST Pro Series Paragon 5 textile pants

I find myself in a bit of a quandary when it comes to riding pants. Because for years, I’ve been a staunch wearer of Hein Gericke textile pants.

And even when they went into administration, I always managed to find a brand new pair lurking in some dark corner of the internet!

This time, however, I probably won’t have such luck and will no doubt have to enter the textile-pant-equivalent of the dating scene, having been in a comfortable relationship for years.

A pair of well-coveted textile pants (actually my dad’s) are the RST Pro Series Paragon 5 textile pants which have served him well for the last few years.

They’ve seen almost daily use (in every kind of weather) by way of commuting and on European tours.

Particularly noteworthy is the excellent fit thanks to the integrated braces, and the hidden pockets on the inside – ideal for stowing away your cash and passport. You can read moreRST pants in our review:

We Tested It: RST Pro Ventilator-X Trousers

  • CE certified for road use
  • Constructed of Ballistic and HT tex material
  • Sinaqua waterproof breathable lining
  • Fixed breathable mesh lining
  • Removable thermal quilted liner
  • Pocket for optional RST Contour Plus hip protectors
  • RST Contour plus CE knee armour
  • Full jacket to jean connection zip
  • Night-time visible reflective detailing
  • Stretch comfort panels
  • Detachable braces
  • Adjustable waistband
  • Two external zip pockets
  • Re-inforced seat area
  • Air intake vents on thighs
  • Double and triple stitched seams
  • Heavy-duty bonded nylon thread
  • Max zips are used throughout

For an all-rounder that is robust, waterproof, warm, and well-fitting, these waterproof motorcycle trousers come highly recommended. And after 4 years, they are still an essential element of my dad’s motorcycle touring kit.


Motorcycle Touring Kit: The Boots

altberg boots - motorcycle touring kit
Altberg Microlite motorcycle boots

For me, the best motorcycle boots in the UK are by Altberg.

Based in a small factory in north Yorkshire, they offer personalised service and products that are of superb quality.

Known for kitting out police forces across the country, Altberg boots are expensive (yet affordable) and come with a pedigree that (in my opinion) is unmatched by any other boot manufacturer out there.

My dad bought me some Alterberg Hogg Microlite touring boots around five years. They have been on numerous tours with me, as well as being my everyday boots.

During this time, they have never leaked or caused me any blisters, and the non-slip sole has saved me from numerous mishaps on slippery petrol station forecourts.

Want more information? You can find our dedicated review here:

We Tested It: Altberg Motorcycle Boots (30,000-Mile Review)

At A Glance

ProtectionAnkle protection, 6mm Astroshock impact-absorbing material
Width5 Width Fittings – Made to Order XN, N, M, W, XW
Sizes3.5-13.5 UK (inc ½ sizes)
Upper2.4mm full grain water repellent Anfibio® leather made from UK/European bovine hides
LiningSympatex® breathable 4 layer lining with military-grade waterproof membrane interlayer
MidsoleTri-Flex® 3 season crush-resistant to BSEN 13634:2010 requirements
SoleVibram® Masai hiking/military sole with lightweight mid-layer, combined with a full rubber abrasion resistant rand
Weight860gms (size 9)
Height25.4cms (size 9 including heel)
FootbedTrek Airgrid Black

The only ‘issue’ I’ve noted with them is that my feet get a tad cold when riding in winter. It’s not really a problem, but it’s worth bearing in mind when you order that you may need to wear a thick pair of socks when riding in the winter.

Other than that, I can wholeheartedly recommend Altberg boots, whatever your experience. For me, they form an integral part of my motorcycle touring kit that I wouldn’t be without.


Motorcycle Touring Kit: Winter Gloves

richa ice polar gloves
Ice Polar Gore-Tex gloves by Richa

For me, winter gloves are always the hardest items of my motorcycle touring kit to replace because it seems like no matter which pair I buy, they’re never quite right! It’s difficult to find the best motorcycle gloves for your needs.

Do you go for the warm, insulated pair and risk the water getting in? Or do you go for the out-and-out waterproof gloves and pray they’re going to be warm enough?

Whichever set you buy, they can prove to be a costly mistake.

In the past, I’ve always erred on the side of caution by purchasing waterproof gloves and pairing them with either heated grips or inner gloves.

But if you’d prefer the all-in-one solution, the Ice Polar Gore-Tex gloves by Richa are a great option at a reasonable price.

At A Glance

  • Leather and textile mixed construction
  • Gore-Tex waterproof and breathable membrane
  • Thermal fleece lining for cold rides
  • Leather reinforced double stitched palm
  • Elasticated wrist for optimal fit
  • Hidden PU knuckle impact protection
  • Hook and loop cuff closure system
  • CE certified for use on the roads

Motorcycle Touring Kit: Summer Gloves

furygan summer gloves - motorcycle touring kit
TD12 summer gloves by Furygan

As mentioned in previous posts, I always carry my Furygan TD12 summer motorcycle gloves in my top box – whatever the weather. Like my Altberg boots, they are an integral part of my motorcycle touring kit – especially for summer tours.

For summer riding, the mesh fabric keeps your hands so cool that it actually transforms your ride from a good one to a great one.

Considering they cost so little, these gloves by Furygan are my star find.

Check out our review for more information:

We Tested It: Furygan TD12 Summer Motorcycle Gloves.

At A Glance

  • CE approved
  • Polyester and goatskin construction
  • Hard external knuckle protection
  • Mesh for added ventilation
  • Reinforced doubled layer foam on the palm
  • Textile stretch panel between fingers for added comfort
  • Hook and loop wrist closure system
  • Silicone grip on the index and middle finger

Notes:

These gloves do run a little on the small side so you may need to go up a size.

All told, they are excellent for summer riding, and I can’t recommend them enough. I’ve actually got some on my Christmas list this year to replace the ones I already have.


Motorcycle Touring Kit: The Heated Jacket

keis heated jacket in forest
The Keis J501RP heated motorcycle jacket

As with summer gloves (just on the opposite end of the scale), I always carry a heated jacket in my top box as part of my motorcycle touring kit.

If you’re touring in the mountains, the weather can change unexpectedly and leave you freezing cold and wearing nothing but your summer motorcycle touring kit.

A heated jacket (whilst pricey) is a worthy luxury to carry on your tours. And whilst other brands are available, Keis is the manufacturer of choice in our office.

Their jackets are tried and tested and competitively priced.

In our office, most of us started off with the bodywarmer-style Keis V106 and then upgraded to the slightly more expensive, full Keis heated jacket.

We wrote a dedicated review of the Keis heated jacket here:

This Is Why You Need A Keis Heated Jacket!

At A Glance

  • Micro carbon fibre heating element
  • To be worn as an inside layer or stylish casual outer jacket (not waterproof)
  • Breathable and lightweight softshell construction
  • Elasticated side panels for an optimum fit
  • Dedicated zip pocket for cables and controller
  • Convenient lifestyle pockets for small items
  • Chest, kidney, arms and collar area heating panels
  • Motorcycle battery connection cables included
  • Free Heat Controller included
  • Current Draw 7A – Typical Power 84W

Notes:

It’s worth mentioning here that this jacket does get really quite warm! Do not wear it on bare skin; I tend to wear it between my base layers and mid layers to trap in the heat.

It’s also worth spending a little time on getting the correct fit. You want it to be fitted – if it’s baggy, it won’t work as well.

And remember, this is close to your body with very few layers underneath it, so you won’t need to allow extra space for bulky layers.


Motorcycle Touring Kit: Base Layers

rukka markl thermal set - motorcycle touring kit
The Rukka Mark Thermal set

Everybody is quick to buy sexy items such as helmets, boots and jackets. But then they forget about base layers!

But base layers can transform your riding enjoyment – so make sure you have a pair as part of your motorcycle touring kit.

The trick with base layers is to get ones that aren’t bulky. And you’ll find that you can often substitute a couple of layers in winter riding for the sake of one set of well-purchased base layers.

Firstly, they keep you warm. Secondly, they do a great job of wicking away sweat and preventing that cold, sticky sweatiness on your back!

And base layers can be a year-round thing. Whilst thermal (or merino wool) motorcycle base layers are excellent for keeping you warm, summer base layers can make your ride so much more comfortable by sitting between your skin and the fabric of your riding gear.

For winter riding, the Rukka Mark Thermal set is right up there on our list.

  • 100% polyester construction
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Maintains body temperature
  • Base layer garments, top and bottom set
  • Quick-drying
  • Machine washable

Motorcycle Touring Kit: Waterproofs

Out of everything, waterproofs often cause the most amount of confusion.

After all, if you have a waterproof motorcycle jacket and pants as part of your motorcycle touring kit, do you really need additional waterproofs?

As mentioned above, you can easily buy a jacket and pants combo that will be 100% waterproof. But the problem with these is two-fold:

  1. They cost a huge amount of money
  2. They are so waterproof that they lack any kind of ventilation; which means they are hot and can make it uncomfortable to ride in

In my experience, it’s better to get mid-range textiles that are water-repellent and pair them with a cheap, two-piece set of waterproofs.

The beauty of cheap waterproofs is that you use them only when you need them. They’re lightweight and easy to store, and because you have the option to take them off, it means you don’t become overheated whilst riding.

Moreover, waterproofs can act as an extra layer in the cold. Pop them on underneath your main jacket for an extra hit of warmth when the temperature drops.

Our choice of waterproof pants and jacket come in the form of the Richa Rain Warrior series which are a great addition to any motorcycle touring kit.

Jacket:

richa rain warrior jacket
Rain Warrior jacket by Richa
  • Designed to be worn over a jacket
  • Fully waterproof PVC construction
  • Provides noticeable wind protection
  • Elasticated waist and cuffs
  • Lightweight and easy to store
  • Comes supplied with a mesh bag
  • Richa logo and text are reflective
  • RiDE recommended and tested

Pants:

richa rain warrior pants - motorcycle touring kit
Richa Rain Warrior pants
  • Designed to be worn over jeans
  • Fully waterproof PVC construction
  • Provides noticeable wind protection
  • Elasticated waist and leg openings
  • Lightweight and easy to store
  • Comes supplied with a mesh bag
  • Richa logo and text are reflective

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Top image via KTM

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