I’ve learned a few things about riding long distances on my Ducati Monster and I thought it was a good time share all my mods and tips that I’ve learned with all those miles. The biggest and most important thing I’ve learned is that it really doesn’t matter what sort of bike you have, you can probably do a trip on it. A Ducati Monster is not the ideal touring bike by a long shot, but it’s what I ended up with and it’s been great so far.
Modifications to the Monster
I’ve made a few key modifications to my Monster. Mostly you’re just making sure you’ll be comfortable covering all those miles. These are the ones I’ve done that are really nice if you’ll be touring.
- USB charger– This is for keeping all those important electronics charged.
- Sergeant Seat– The stock seat is only comfortable for one tank of gas maybe two if you’re super tough (150-300 miles). The Sergeant is much better, I’ve done several 500+ mile days on it.
- Handle Bar Riser – More useful for keeping me comfortable around town, but also on longer rides more options in riding position.
When touring you need to carry quite a bit of stuff. I have used the following and found them all very serviceable. What you need is dependent on what sort of touring you plan on doing. If you’re staying in hotels you could probably make do with a backpack and either just a tail or tank bag (I’ve done it). If you’re going to be camping you start needing a lot more stuff and you’ll need Saddle Bags of some sort, or pack really light.
- Saddle Bags – I use the Ortlieb Low Profile Dry Bag Saddlebags which work really well with my bike.
- Tank Bag- I don’t use it anymore since I generally don’t need the carrying space and I’d rather have easy access to my fuel tank, but when I did use one I used the Icon Urban Tank Bag. It is magnetic which is nice since it makes it easy to move so you can refuel without too much drama. Tank Bags are great for keeping those things you want while you’re traveling; Maps, Visor Cleaner, extra gloves, and things of that nature. If you don’t have a steel tank then you’ll need one that ties on. I really think this one by Kriega is cool, but get whatever you think will work best.
- Tail Bag – The Bags Connection Tank/Rear Bag is great. I’ve been using it every day for a couple of years and it was great on the Portland Trip as a place to keep those items I needed quick access to.
- Backpack- I have a Kriega R20 which is great if a little small, I think the R25 might be perfect for me, but the other even larger ones are tempting as well.
I’ve posted my Packing list from when I went on my last trip to Portland. My other serious tips are these:
- Compression Sack for Sleeping Bag – Making your sleeping bag as small as possible is amazing when you have limited space, even if you’re just strapping it to the back of your bike it’s nice to have it as dense and small as possible so it’s not catching as much wind as you ride.
- Smaller Tent – Space is always hard on a motorcycle, so getting a tent with small poles is very nice so it has a chance to fit in your luggage or if you’re strapping it for the same reasons above.
- Limiting Expectations – Really think about if you want to try and cook at your campsite, or maybe you should stay at hotels to make it easier. Riding a motorcycle all day can be taxing, and you don’t want to try and take too much on if you’re not prepared. Just like everything in life it’s best to do things in small steps.
I really enjoy touring on a motorcycle. With a little preparation you can do it on any motorcycle, even a Ducati Monster. If you want more information on MotoCamping check out my guide. If you have any other questions ask them in the comments below, and then get out on the road!