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What Is "MotorBikePacking"?

Adventure motorcycling is defined as travel cross-country, alternating between paved and unpaved roads. "ADV" riding typically includes routes that are avoided by passenger cars and street motorcycles.

MotorBikePacking is the narrow niche of ADV travel on small and light motorcycles.


MotorBikePacking is the intersection of adventure motorcycling and bikepacking. Both involve self-contained travel and camping. Both combine our love of the outdoors, exploration, and wilderness access. Small, light, economical motorcycles allow us to travel farther, for less, and more often!

"Adventure motorcycle touring" has acquired a negative connotation. The term has become synonymous with the largest and most complex "ADV" bikes. Many brands now offer overpowered motorcycles with more than 1,000cc's and more than 100 horsepower. These bikes can exceed $30,000 and include digital riding modes, electronic suspension, and Bluetooth everything. And this doesn’t include thousands of additional dollars spent on racks, luggage, navigation and communication systems, and necessary protective options for offroad travel

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In contrast, MotorBikePacking has more in common with human-powered bikepacking. There are three defining characteristics:
1.    MotorBikePacking rejects the overpowered and overpriced status "ADV" motorcycles. We travel on smaller and lighter motorcycles under 400cc - and often 250cc or even 125cc mini-motos!
2.    We take pride in traveling “softly” with a minimum of gear. Our camping gear is largely interchangeable with bikepackers and backpackers, and we prioritize both minimal weight and bulk. 
3.    Traveling lighter enables us to cover the most distance with the “lightest” environmental impact, primarily the lowest fuel consumption.


Some MotorBikePacking enthusiasts have a singular reason for rejecting what has become “mainstream” ADV travel. Other adventurers strive to minimize their cost, equipment, and environmental impact. Typically, we enjoy traveling farther and more often. These benefits extend to the motorcycle travel newcomer as well as extending the travel opportunities for older riders and smaller, lighter men and women. 

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Many may say, “MotorBikePacking is just returning to basics.” And they would be correct!

Adventure motorcycling predates the modern, super ADV bikes. It is only recently that "adventure" has been redefined as high-tech and and riculously expensive.

Others might state, “MotorBikePacking is a response to societal excess.”

They are also correct as the “minimalism” trend spreads to tiny homes, vanlife, the digital nomad lifestyle and now to ADV motorized travel. Adventure, fun, and memories are NOT based on the price of your ride.

MotorBikePacking on the Trans-Amercia Trail, Oklahoma is here to encourage the return to a simpler, sustainable adventures.
In the process, hopes to welcome new (and returning) minimalist travelers.

By definition, “MotorBikePacking” is motorized transportation and thus excludes bikepacking, backpacking, canoe tripping, and other forms of travel that are human powered. MotorBikePacking includes both offroad "adventure" touring as well as minimalist road trips. (Technically, MotorBikePacking could also include bikepacking on electric bicycles, or ebikes.)


I have thousands of miles of experience on both motorcycle tours and bikepacking. The GreatOutThere blog will feature articles that helps apply the knowledge of extended bikepacking to motorcycle travel. Please Follow and Subscribe to the GreatOutThere blog for ongoing articles related to MotorBikePacking.

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