We know the title sounds strange, especially to those who join one of our guided tours. Why the heck would someone pay for a guided tour if not for us to make their ride less of a hassle? No need to do detailed research, arrange and book accommodation, plan the route, struggle with language in remote locations, or eventually manage a flat tire or a breakdown in a foreign country…. There can be many other reasons obviously, but that’s not the topic of this post.
We actually intend to make the ride easier for all those who decide to do a motorcycle tour in Morocco – be it on their own bike, on one of our rental bikes, and even those who travel via one of our self-guided or guided packages. We will cover all the items and gear you need to have for a ride in Morocco, based on the experience of our BMW certified tour-guides, who cover over 40,000km a year in this country. Some might be obvious, while others might seem minimalist compared to your experience riding in other countries. This post is purely about gears related to motorcycle riding. We do not cover the country, culture, religion or other topics. We will cover the gears and other items our tour-guides use in detail through other posts.
Most of our clients have not been to Morocco before and prefer to ‘over-pack’ as they are unsure as to what will await on the trip. For those who are on guided tours, this is less of a problem as the support vehicle carries the spare luggage, but it is an issue to those who explore the country on a rental bike as space is limited.
When packing, you need to bear in mind that you are a motorcycle journey, not a group holiday. First of all, you’ll be wearing your riding gear every day, so you only need casual clothing for the evenings. Then again, you won’t need two or three pairs of pants, shirts and other fancy clothing. You’ll spend your evenings having drinks and dinner with fellow bikers or occasionally exploring the cities in the evening. Think light and easy.
- For the riding days, a full riding gear (if you are not using one of ours), which means
- a riding jacket with protection, including a back protector
- riding boots (off-road boots for our off-road tours)
- full face helmet
- rain gear
- For riding we recommend to wear base layers (short or long, depending on the season) and motorcycle or hiking socks, that wick the moisture
- Camel bag
- For the evenings:
- A pair of comfy pants (cargo pants or jeans) that you’ll wear in the city or in the evenings
- a pair of shorts
- 2-3 t-shirts – no need for more as you only wear them in the evening
- a pair of comfy shoes
- flip flops
- swim suit (note that most of our hotels have a pool and weather will likely be much hotter than where you come from)
- underwear and socks
- a jumper / sweater
- a light jacket in the winter months
- Then you have all the practical items. Some are useful in Morocco, while you will anyways carry some others on any trip.
- an electric adapter if your home country’s electrical system is different. (Morocco uses the same voltage and plugs as mainland Europe)
- mobile phone (and charger)
- a camera (and charger)
- a battery pack (this one is useful for the nights spent in the desert camp as there is no possibility of charging electric devices)
- a hat or cap to cover from the sun, also useful at the lunch and coffee breaks
- any allergy or other prescription medication that you use
- lip balm (you might overlook that but it is very useful)
- sun cream
- ear plugs (useful for riding)
You will obviously spend your days riding, so you will wear your riding gear from the morning until your arrival at the hotel. Based on our experience, we recommend you wear technical base layers under the riding gear (underwear, socks, t-shirts). These are comfortable, wick moisture well and also dry fast. Morocco has a hot climate and the air is very dry in the Atlas and beyond. We usually pack 2 sets and upon arrival to the hotel, we wash the one we used during the day. It will dry by the next morning and this way you save a lot of space. Earplugs are useful and add to the comfort of long riding days.
The evenings and city visits are not fashion shows and no one cares what you wear while on a bike trip. To save space and weight, you do not need more than two or three t-shirts as you only wear them for a short period during the day. Then again, if you are uncomfortable wearing the same clothes more than once, you can get them dry cleaned at the hotel or wash them yourself. As for the rest, it is only a recommendation, but most people have a pair of comfy pants that will do for the duration of the trip. Bring a pair of shoes and flip flop for the times spent at the pool. Shorts are useful as well through most of the year. In winter months, a light jacket in the evenings and a jumper / sweater is largely enough.
For the practical items, the list is limited to the minimum. Some people bring their laptops, video cameras, helmet cams and other gadgets. Sunglasses are a must as well as sun cream as we have sun every month of the year. Bring something to cover your head during the breaks and in the afternoons. A lip balm is highly recommended as the air is really dry Another useful item is an integrated hydration pack, or camel bag as many call it. Bottled water is readily available everywhere and on our tours the tour-guides ensure every participant drinks enough water during the day. Staying hydrated is very important.
Other than that you will of course bring your travel documents, driver’s license, hopefully have a travel and repatriation insurance and your personal medication, if applicable.
All the above will largely fit in two side panniers or a 30l roll bag. Less luggage is less weight and less complication. After all, you came to enjoy the ride